Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Aviary Tools

Aviary is a great site with several applications.  It is more advanced that many of the others discussed in this blog. 
Aviary has 6 applications, most of them work in Internet Explorer, but they work better when using Firefox.
1. Image Editor - This is similary to Photoshop, it used layers and many other editing tools.  It also have very good tutorials that walk you through a project.  I may finally understand layers. Of the 6 applications this one is the easiest to use.
2. Image Markup - Use Falcon and Talon to quickly capture images and web pages from your browser and crop, resize or mark them up. I tried using Falcon with Internet Explorer and it would not work.  I did not try with Firefox, but I am sure it will work with Firefox.
3. Effects Ediors - This is definate an advanced application, but I bet some of the high school students that like to work with graphics would love it.
4. Myna - audio remixer - Use Myna to remix music tracks and audio clips. Apply sound effects and record your own voice or instruments!
5. Vector Editor - Another more advanced tool -Use Raven to create fully scalable vector art appropriate for logos or tee shirt designs.
6. Swatch Editor - Used alone or in conjunction with our other creation tools, Toucan gives you the features you need to inject color into your creative process.   This is something I will use if I need an html color code.  I can't do html, but I can find a color and put a new code in its place.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

New Web Toys

Free Flash Toys is a great site it gives you a big variety of web toys to add to you page. They are all easily created and you just copy the html and paste into your page. There is a Glitter Text maker, page pets, clocks, count down clocks and much more.

Glitter Text
Make your own Glitter Graphics

Friday, August 14, 2009

Thing 23: Reflection

This has been a great experience, I am really going to miss the challenges. Many times I did fall behind on my posting and have to play catch up. But there are some tools that I know I will use right away. I shared Wordle with my school secretary and she has created a Wordle about each one of the staff members as a welcome back treat. I will use the photo imageing sites all through the year in the library, on my Wiki and website. I am using a Hollywood theme in the library this year and will be making movie posters of top readers.

There are also a few tools that surprised me, I didn't think I would have any use for Google Reader, but some of the websites that feed in are great and I have added many blogs that I like to follow. The reader makes it so much easier.

I have found Twitter to be a big disappointment, I guess I'm just not that interested in what everyone is doing at the moment. I also didn't really expect to enjoy blogging since I don't really like to write, but it has become very helpful and I have created a blog for our Outdoor Learning Enviroment.

Think 22: Developing my own "Things"

This year I hope to provide my teachers with many opportunities to discover Web 2.0 applications. I will model the tools by using them with students in the library and as tools to promote the library and special events.

But I am also going to send out 1 thing each month to my teachers and offer a mini workshop. I already have a Library Wiki and plan to expand it to offer much more. I also want to develop and continue this blog.

Think 21: Podcasts

My last post discussed YouTube with focuses on video this post will discuss Podcasts which audio files that use a web feed such as RSS, like blogs. Podcasts do not requrie and IPod You can listen to podcasts on your computer, mp3 player, or other audio devices.

Teachers can use podcasts in many ways. Studens or teachers can make booktalks, record lessons, class instructions.

The Education Podcast Network is a resource full of education related Podcasts.

The Library Success Wiki page has some great tools for "publishing" podcasts under its "How to Podcast" section.

I have listened to "Twilight Series Theories" with is a podcasts by a teacher and her sister. It keeps me listening because:
Their personalities come through, they are having fun
They stay on task
The sound quality is very good
They have a format and I know what to expect.
They have a good length.

I have listened to other Twilight Podcasts but they never hold my interest, in those podcasts many times they:
get off topic
have sound problems
are unprepared which leaves gaps
go too long, you have to know when to stop.

I would like to try podcasts as a way to promote library events - like a radio comerical. This would be a great way to get students involved. It is also a good way for students to publish writing. I want to see if a podcasts can be placed on our schools web site. I'm sure I can embed them in the library Wiki

Think 20: YouTube

YouTube is a hot site. It is composed of user-submitted videos that can be no longer than 10 minutes long and 2 GB. YouTube uses Adobe Flash to play the videos.
Any and every kind of video can be found here from cute animals to how to videos or science lessons.
I first used it to see the funny and weird videos and thought of it as a place where teens spend hours watching others be silly. I then discovered that one of my favorite art instructions had several videos on YouTube, I found his videos as well as several made by other people watching his demonstrations. It is now the first place I come to learn how to do anything including using a new kitchen appliance, ActiveInspire, how to crochet flowers and much more.

In the library I would love to make book trailers and technology how to videos. However with YouTube being blocked by the district I probably will not spend my time there. But I will continue to use it as a great resource at home.

Looking though some library related videos I found that public libraries are making great use of YouTube.It is great free publicity. There are some videos that have great quality and have had some thought and editing put it. However just letting a camera run and then uploading it to YouTube doesn't always make for an interesting video. A video needs good light a quality, and good sound, a fuzzy picture with poor sound is just anoying.

What I really love is some of the book trailers make by the fans, they are great and so creative. They really show the protential for student work. I also found a book trailer for The Graveyard narriated by the author Neil Gaiman. How cool is that!

Think 19: Google Docs

Google Docs are much like Microsoft Office. It allows you to create documents, spreadsheets, and slideshow presentations. They are similar to Office, but offer freedom to collaborate. They are made for online collaboration and storage.

For example the Reading Dep. chair needs to gather information from each of her teachers into a common document. This would require each teacher to gather her date create a document and give it to the Dep. chair who would then reenter the data into a common document. She would then send out that document to the teachers to review and make corrections. They would then send the document back to the Dept. chair to make corrections. This process would repeat until all were satisfied requiring a lot of reworking and multiple copies.

The magic of Google Docs is that you create a document invite others to collaborate. You decide if they can view or edit the document. They can also insert notes.

Google Docs. has unlimited value for both administrative purposes and instructional uses. I love the fact that you can access the document anywhere and that it can be exported as an Office doucment. I am going to do my best to get my teachers to create an account so we can start collaborating.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Thing 18: Wikis

Wikis are websites that use special software to allow users to create or edit web pages. They ususally have a table of contents, pages that lead to subpages. Wikipedia is the largest one, but there are many others.

Over the last couple of years I have looked at Wikipedia and have gone to never using it to using it as a tool for basic information. It is also a great way to show students how the Internet has its own point of view and how web sites can developed.

I went to a sample page set up for the North Texas 23 participants. It was very easy to add pages and pictures. The process is much like other web applications and there wasn't much of a learning curve.

I would love to have some of our students create an entry in Wikipedia for our school. I think this would be a great experience for them.

Thing 17: LibWorm

"LibWorm is a search engine for library-related RSS feeds. It tracks over 1,400 feeds a day, and provides methods for searching by keyword or phrase. It also allows browsing by subject, category, or tags."
Lib work is apparently down tonight. I'll keep checking back and let you know what I think.

Thing 16: LibraryThing

Library Thing is a great took for those people who want to keep a good quality record of their personal library. It allows you to add tags (subject headings). I can see this a being a very helpful tool. Personally I don't think this is something I want to maintain.

There are also many other features, many of which are social. If you want to chat with other readers this is a great place to start. I do like the recommendations tab. Here you will find recommendations based on the books in your catalog.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Thing 15 - Digg

Digg is a place for people to share information from anywhere on the web. These news items can be from a traditional news source like CNN or from an individuals blog. The Digg stores can then be voted on by the users and this determines the news content that you will find on the web site. The more readers that digg the site the faster it will rise to the top of the news list. And of course the readers can comment on the stores or add information about the story thus creating a very social web site.

Digg started out as a site focused on Technology and has since changed to include a great deal of general news items.

I find Digg to be a useful site if you are really into the latest news and want a source outside of the local paper or network news. It is also a great place to look for information new a breaking news.

Thing 14 - Delicious

Delicious is a bookmarking site that allows you bookmark and tag your websites and access those websites from any computer. You can also share your bookmarks with others.

Delicious is fairly simple to use, you have to set up an account, and import your bookmarks. You can then edit and add tags and put tags together into bundles. I do highly recommend cleaning out your book marks first, it is much easier in Explorer.

The great thing about Delicious is that it allows you to share your book marks with others. You can gather a set of book marks and make them available to your students or teachers.

Thing 13 - Tagging

This Thing is a look at tagging. Tagging is a way of saving your websites, pictures blogs or anything else you find on the web and giving them your own catagories i.e. Tags. Tagging allows you to organize your date anyway you want with any connections you want. We already have this ability in Internet Exploer by saving a site and putting it in a folder. But that is limiting; you can only access those bookmarks from that computer, you can put a bookmark in more that one folder but that can get real messy. If you ever find yourself at work or at a friends house trying to find a web site you know you have book marked on your computer, then Tags are for you.

I really do think tagging has a place in the library. If our patrons do use tagging in their online life, why disconnect them in the library. Any tags I create are for my personal use and will not interfer with anyone else. It is not different from creating specific bibliographies. Just easier and more personal.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Lone Star Books 2009 - 2010 on PhotoPeach
PhotoPeach is another great tool to show photos or book list. It is really easy to use, it does require that you save a copy of the picture to your computer and then upload it to PhotoPeach.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Visual Book Shelf

Shelfari is a great Widget, I am still playing with it and working out the bugs. I should be able to add books on the website and it automatically update on my blog. When I get the bugs worked out I am going to add this widget to my Library Wiki so the kids can see it.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Thing 12 - Twitter

I know Twitter is the Hot thing now, but I have not had good luck with it. I find very little of interest. It doesn't seem worth the time either.

Thing 11 - Instant Messageings

IM is deffinately for the young. But I have found that is has a place. I IM more often on Facebook. It is great to just say hello and drop a few words. But it is not for a real converstaion. I know that IM could be much more helpful at school. Too often we are sending whole email messages when IM would be quicker and easier.

Thing 10 Ning

Ning is deffinately not one of my favorite things. It seems full of groups that are not active, or groups that are not much more that someone's blog. I spend alot of time searching and not finding anything of great interest. For groups to participate in I still like Yahoo groups.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wonderful Site full of links

I was way off the path when I found this treasure. New Tools Workshop is a Wikki full of links of Web 2.0 tools. All categorized and organized - a Librarian's dream.

New Tools Workshop

Friday, June 12, 2009

Things 8 & 9 Facebook

I have been on Faceb00k for about a year. It started out as a way to keep in touch with the kids from my youth group. They are now in college and starting their own families and spreaking out across the country. My Facebook life grew, old freinds from HS found me, and many of my local friends are on the book. It has become a part of my life, it is a fun and easy way to keep in touch and share part of your life with others.

Blog Reader

OK, I went to set up my Blog Reader, apparently I had already done that and don't even remember. How scary is that? I can see it being helpful, but if I actually keep up with all these blogs I need to get a life.


I was showing a friend of mine some of the fun tools we were using to enhance photos when the conversation turned to Wordle. We had a lot of fun playing with the quick and easy way to make posters. One of the things I appreciate about Wordle is that they give you complete freedom to use the images on anything even items you are selling for a profit as long as you give them credit.

I did these in a few minutes using the randomizer, but you do have the ability to select you own colors, background and fonts.
Some tips; You must have java loaded on the computer and have the firewall set to allow for java. There is more information in the FAQs. I have also found it very helpful to create the test in Word and copy and paste it into Wordle. This eliminates the frustration of loosing all your test if the Internet gets bumpy.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Playing with widgets - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more I wonder if these can be embedded in Powerpoint or in a Promethean flip chart? - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Walk of Fame Animated custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more - One of my AR plans was to have a "Walk of fame" and some how incorportate the hand prints. But this makes me think about haveing a virtual "Walk of Fame" and they could get their name on a star and post it in the library Wiki. This would be easy for me, every few weeks I could sit down and update them all at once. No ink or paper involved.

These were all made on Imagechief, scroll down to catagoies and select animations

Thing 5

I am moving right along. All these Photo things are really fun. I am working with ImageChef right now. It may be a way to add some desperately needed flash to my Destiny page. Let's see how it looks.
I put it next to a Movie Poster to show the students what their poster could look like.

Adding captions to pictures

Once again this is so easy, just upload the picture and add your words. The kids will just love this. Just think of the possibilities anything from library promotions to short comic strips.

by LunaDiRimmel

With Favorite Surfer, you can have
Ficker randomly bring up great images.

This movie poster is exactly what I need. Next year my AR theme is going to have something to do with Hollywood and the whole be a star area. When a student gets 100 points I am going to make them a movie poster.

Bella Andy Warhol style.

For these fun toys and more check out Big Huge Labs.

KMcElman_090514_T1 E Ringer Hat E l ramon S Red A

This was so easy. Just type your name and the site finds the pictures and creates the word. I just copied the HTML and pasted it into my blog.

Spell with Flicker

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I got lucky on this one. I already had a Flicker account. I first opened it when I was trading a lot of ATC's (Artist Trading Cards). This was an easy way to show my art work and connect with other traders. But of course with the arrival of Bella I had to create an album to show her off. Flicker is a fun easy way to share your photos with others. However I don't use it nearly as much since I got on Facebook.

Stephen Abram

Stephen's remark about putting the human back into the mix is crucial for us. We are the humans and our students need that human touch. And he is right to have input we must have a first hand knowledge of the technology. If you don't use Facebook or My Space the kids will tune you out.

I do feel that wen it comes to web 2.0 technology that I am playing catch up always running a behind. It seems that I learn something new and before I get to incorporate it --- it is old and done. Stephen also comments that our knowledge will change the way we perceive our students. We can't be intimated that they know more than us, but we need to be able to enter the arena on a level that is at least respectable in their eyes and ours.

I also watched the video Web 2.0...The Machine is Us/ing Us. It was really fasanating. It really captured the way Web 2.o makes me feel. You can't take your eyes off of it and it moves faster than you can possible keep up. But I hope to pick those jewels that will benifit my students the most and hang on.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

This is the Beginning

This is the beginning of what I hope to be a fun and challenging experience. This is a great project, with just a little pushing I' m sure I'll pick up some great ideas to take back to my school next year.