in which I attempt to be a rockstar teacher librarian :)

Archive for March, 2013

Podcasting? SURE, LET’S TRY THAT!

This week in my “Technologies in Educational Organizations” class, we’re discussing two not-very-related things: podcasts, and QR codes.  If you’re not certain how I feel about QR codes…we could discuss it, or…

So, while I read about QR codes and did try to think about them (see above result), I went with podcasting!
Here are the instructions, which I… somewhat followed. (Oops?)

Try creating your own 1 – 2 minute (approximately) podcast. You can make it a news podcast, a booktalk podcast, or anything that you think could be one in a series of regularly distributed podcasts. This could be something you would use on your own (as in a personal web site or a blog) or something that could be a regular feature on your school’s library web site.

Okay, I said. I can do that. So I downloaded Audacity for free, because I don’t think I have sound recording capable software on my computer [note: I most likely do, but I figured why not get the most out of this task and learn something new to boot?]. And then I realized Audacity has a bit of a steep learning curve — while it doesn’t seem hard to use, I think it has approximately a bajillion functions which I ignored for the time being. I learned:

  • how to add a time track
  • how to add a blank audio track onto which to record
  • how to figure out the whole moving-the-time-forward-and-backward thing
  • how to add an audio track to play in the background
  • how to open the sound mixer for the two tracks

And then I went to town, as I am wont to do. Now, in the context of the assignment, I will explain: my theme, if you will, is a regularly occurring podcast in the vein of “Learn Something New”. The facts are thus:

  1. I am a librarian.
  2. I like learning new things.
  3. I like talking about the things I have learned.

So this seems like a grand opportunity! Admittedly the audio isn’t that great — I’m going to try to figure out more of the “clean up” tricks in Audacity soon, but having an embedded webcam in a laptop that you use many hours of the day means it picks up sounds you don’t want. ALAS. Additional note: I had to search for web-based storage space for a .wav/.mp3 file. WordPress requires you to upgrade in order to upload those sorts of files. I used mediashare.com’s free account this time…but I don’t know what I’d do if this was a regular sort of thing. Any suggestions?

Enjoy the Americana! 😉

Note: Click the link. Download the file, and open it in Windows Media Player or whatever it is you use for audio files. And please let me know if you have trouble with this. I didn’t realize that hosting/embedding/etc., would be such an issue!

http://www.mediafire.com/?cmkf1km6fgv0c1i

Day in the Life: Thursday/Day 4.

A bit tired, so this will be quick. First, what you’ve all been waiting for…

Day 4: drinking a homemade fruit smoothie!

Day 4: drinking a homemade fruit smoothie!

1 very small banana, 3/4 c. frozen mango, 1/2. lowfat vanilla yogurt, splash or three of lemon juice. Process. Drink!

So what did I accomplish today?

  • obviously I made a smoothie. and coffee. and I made chicken-white-bean enchiladas for dinner. and I just took a small batch of molasses chip cookies out of the oven. I love food and beverage.
  • I spent around 3 hours cleaning and packing today. This also included un-building an Ikea entertainment center using only a hex key. My thumbs are still a little sore from that.
  • returned books to the local public library JUST in time! they were due today.
  • returned a few emails. did a bit of job searching.
  • Posted a blog for my practicum “class” in Blackboard; organized my thoughts for the due-soon-assignment that I’ve been working on a lot this week.

So it might sound like I haven’t done much, but I really have! And now… it’s Penguins v. Flyers tonight. So I’m listening to the radio broadcast, sipping a Maple Pecan Porter courtesy of Samuel Adams, and ready for those cookies!

Day in the Life of an LIS student, Day 3!

Here I am… blogging yet a-a-gaiiiin… (okay, so “Hurricane” is stuck in my head and now you all know).

I was at home most of the early part of the day. What did I do? Well…

  • drank a lot of coffee, black.
  • learned an incredible amount about GoogleSites and how to manage a Google Site, and what you can’t do on a Google Site if you’re not an “owner” of the site. #frustration
  • read through the mash-up document of Common Core state standards and the Information Fluency Continuum, not for the first time, but for probably the third or fourth time…
  • worked through a module for a class, and posted to the discussion board. Whee, Blackboard!

And then I went to the clinic and tried to figure out why, after a 14-dose course of antibiotics, I’m still feeling sick. Answer: I’m probably still fighting off a virus 3.5 weeks later. So there’s that.

Then…

  • went to Panera so they could make me dinner because I’d spent so much time in the urgent care clinic that I couldn’t comprehend coming home and then making dinner.
Yet another photo in this weeks series of "Marie, staring at camera, holding large beverage container in hand". This time, it's not coffee! #shocking

Yet another photo in this weeks series of “Marie, staring at camera, holding large beverage container in hand”. This time, it’s not coffee! #shocking

  • I consumed a lot of unsweetened acai berry tea and did some mindless “Internet things”, like checking email
  • got to work on an assignment for my “tech in educational organizations” class. I actually made quite a bit of progress!
  • One of my brothers called, and we chatted for a good fifteen minutes 🙂

And now I’m hanging out at home, watching coverage of the filibuster on CSPAN2, and contemplating making a banana-mango drink with my awesome food processor. Tomorrow’s another day! Gotta build up my energy. 🙂

LIS student Day In The Life #2

It’s Tuesday. And day two of this project. Twosday?

It’s been said that I occasionally have “intense” hair. Well, I’d like to think it’s just a natural overflow of my intensely bubbly and helpful personality! Science tells me it’s probably just a combination of genetics and humidity, though.

Must. drink. more. coffee.(Note, the Timmy Ho Twenty Fo makes another appearance!)

Must. drink. more. coffee.
(Note, the Timmy Ho Twenty Fo makes another appearance!)

Today, I am, among other things…

  • trying to learn useful ‘tricks of the trade’ regarding GoogleSites, and how to build, curate, and manage them. Why is this harder than normal, you ask? Because my host school’s filtering policy blocks Google Help. Yep. So this project will continue tomorrow, when I’m at home and unfiltered!
  • helping out my host librarian and/or students with anything that comes up during the day. The fun part of being a librarian is something happens almost every day that must be handled almost immediately! To me, that’s fun. 🙂

Stay tuned! You never know what will happen as the day goes on…

And now it’s late afternoon and I can report that…

I found some rather entertaining infographics this afternoon. My host librarian asked for some, so, I went out in search and it was really quite fruitful. I decided to share this Anatomy of a Librarian one with y’all.

But unrelatedly, “The Very Very Many Varieties of Beer” was even more fascinating.

I’ve got assignments, modules to read, and food(s) to make tonight. See you on the twitters! 🙂

LIS student Day in the Life #1: Teaming up with Hack Lib School!

A quick word of explanation:

all week, I’ll be blogging/tweeting/vlogging (if I’m brave) “day in the life” posts, in conjunction with the Hack Library School team. If you want to know more about the project, or jump in — read here!

Today I am…

  • at my high school library internship! Wednesday is my last day, so I’m wrapping up some projects (and starting up one or two for my host librarian to continue once I leave here). I taught classes on Thursday and Friday on digital footprints, blogging and creating a positive web presence, and the like. They were very discussion-based and I was pretty impressed with some of the ideas my high schoolers had!

    summary of projects I’m devoting time to today:

    updating and curating our GoogleSites page for the library, to make it more reader-friendly.
    collecting research and best practices on “genre-fying” a school library fiction collection, to be compiled into a report with suggestions on if we should implement it here.

  • wearing a black cardigan. It’s the staple of my cold-Upstate-NY wardrobe, and I don’t care if it’s stereotypical.
  • drinking my usual 6 cups of coffee (that’s 36 ounces) and then switching to hot H20.
  • planning to dive into new modules for my online courses, IST 611- Technology in Educational Organizations, and IST661- Management in School Libraries this evening over dinner. I’m not even sure what topics we’re on this week, because I avoid checking into BB until I have time to pay attention. Wheeeee!
  • using a MacBook Pro, because the high school I’m at is an All-Mac school. Which means I could take this awesome photo for you!
    (Yes, my coffee mug is huge. We call it the Timmy Ho Twenty Fo, affectionately.)
self, black cardigan, coffee mug. in a high school library office room.

self, black cardigan, coffee mug. in a high school library office room.

I don’t plan to blog every morning this week, so you’ll get some “here’s what I will be doing” and you’ll get some “here’s what I did” posts depending when my free time emerges. Join us, if you’re a fellow libschool student!

Sidebar: I’m on twitter, @intjME, and if I decide to vlog I’ll embed the video here.

Quick Thoughts on: EBooks/Print Books for Students

I’m reading through this blogpost/article/web-hosted-thing-of-words that discusses the implications of a recent study on students preferences when it comes to reading text, print or digital. I thought others might appreciate it. There’s a link to download the study which the author refers to, for further research, if you’re interested.

I’m finding myself very conflicted (unsurprisingly) on the whole debate, between what I think I need versus what my students need. Additionally, there’s this whole “projecting our own needs or ideas onto our students and presuming that’s what they want” mentality that I’ve run into a few times (and I’m certainly not a fan of it). So! Here’s the link, if you’re interested.

I think this potentially affects all of us, regardless of what age level we teach. I know the high school I’m currently at is straddling this divide and still figuring out what direction to go… what do you think?