SLfireworks

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originally uploaded by validator.

So I spent the summer learning about Second Life- exploring, finding educational sites, and meeting fellow librarians. The ISTE Island is a really cool place for educators to meet and learn what is happening in virtual reality. I found helpful individuals who taught me the ropes and I feel right at home now! Some summer highlights: the Bookbinder’s Ball (up in the air over Caledon) and a fireworks show.

My Second Life

valavatar Over a year ago I heard, through another librarian’s blog, that the American Library Association held a meeting in a conference area of Second Life (a virtual environment).  I was intrigued but could not get the program to download on my laptop.  This summer, after a year of trying to keep up with ever-changing technology and maintain my school library, I finally got on Second Life.  I had to download it at home, since access at school is blocked by a firewall.

OK, I will admit it. I am hooked! First, the virtual world is fascinating- beyond what I dreamed.  Second, my avatar is so cute- I even have a fur hat & muff.  Third, the possibilities for creativity are endless.  How am I going to add this to my list of things to learn and do?  I barely had enough time for my first life and then…

Still learning

I visited my home town of Seattle this month for my sister’s wedding.  While there I helped my 81 year old father make a website.  He is having so much fun learning!  He is writing about the wedding and uploading pictures.  How great to see all ages learn new technology in creative ways.

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Autumn leaves

I wish I could slow time for just this month of October.  Today was the first crisp day of fall after an incredibly hot Texas summer.  As I whirl through life’s responsibilies, personal and professional, I want to savor the beauty.  Maybe that is why I choose the profession of librarian.  I want to capture something meaningful and point it out, helping others finding something meaningful to them.

Sorting through the blogs and wikis

Technorati’s homepage has the quote “50 million blogs…some of them have to be good.”  (Matt).  Weeding out the useless from the golden nuggets seems an undaunting challenge.  Tagging may be a useful tool for finding individuals with similar quests, with the same passions, or with new creative viewpoints.  http://librarytails.pbwiki.com/ is a wiki with some great links to help librarians share ideas.  Check out the section on tagging.

Vygotsky said “We learn through collision with others.”

His words hold true as the online community collaborates in numbers so huge I can hardly comprehend them.  The world wide web moves toward a new era with Web 2.0; and folksonomies allow people to share technology tools.  I can search for other educators’ blogs and wikis, learning daily and testing my own “pseudo-concepts.”  Wouldn’t Vygotsky love this?

Podcasting

I am looking forward to experimenting with podcasting in my school library.  Students might use podcasting for oral reports, book talks, or sharing personal stories or poems.  Podcasts will be launched through our reading and writing club. Electronic format is providing opportunities for students to create and share, collaborate and publish.  On the one hand, I am excited about learning these new tools.  On the other hand, we hear every day about online security and keeping our students names and faces off the Internet.  It is a confusing time, but then maybe all times have been confusing.

Blended Librarianship

I notice much of my writing on this blog centers around technology and the impact changing technology is making on the library.  I stumbled upon a blog by a librarian in Singapore introducing me to the subject of a “blended librarian.”  I found information explaining blended librarians on a library wiki.   Librarians everywhere are learning at a rapid pace how to balance our own physical collection with the information available in electronic format.  We are an exploding community of learners.  I feel overwhelmed at how much I don’t know and excited by new concepts that I am learning each day.  I really want to figure out what http://del.icio.us/ is all about! As a librarian, organizing information is the foundation of our profession.  Electronic information has changed everything and words like tagging and technorati (http://technorati.com/) keep popping up faster than I can look up definitions.