<div><img src="http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8386/8476962837_91cc71e659_o.jpg" alt="courtney" /> I’m voting for Courtney Young for ALA President. <a href="http://courtneyyoung.org/">Learn More</a></div>
A couple of really interesting blog posts from the last week.
Just Do it! and Trust Yourself.
Many educators feel overwhelmed by new technology and may feel apprehensive when it comes to adopting it in the classroom. But I’m here to make the case that learning to use technology and employing it as part of your curriculum is actually easier than ever. Way easier. Read more to find out how to “Just Do It”!
Kids, Learning, Risks & Rewards
George Couros shares some wonderful advice for evaluating the use of tech tools and services in schools in 4 Guiding Questions For Your IT Department
- What is best for kids?
- How does this improve learning?
- If we were to do _________, what is the balance of risk vs. reward?
- Is this serving the few or the majority?
I’ve been terribly negligent about keeping my workshop calendar up to date. But it’s finally up to date. So do take a look. There are lots of workshops coming up through the CT State Library, AZ State Library, Internet@Schools/CIL and more.
Direct Link to my Google Calendar in case your mobile browser can’t see it here.
Zeen isn’t a brand new tool, it’s been around for about a year. But I just found it today and with it snowing, it seemed like a good time to play. It’s simple to create a stream of content that can be broken down into individual pages, mimicking magazine style pages.
Take a look at my sample Zeen to find out more! Or read on.
Zeens can contain:
- Photos – add individual photos or create galleries. Photos can be uploaded from your flikr, picasa and instagram accounts. There’s also a search option that pulls from Google image search. You’ll have to go look at my sample zeen to see why I don’t like that idea.
- Text – includes a variety of font and styling options.
- Videos - very easy to embed a YouTube video
- and more.
This feels much more like a creative tool than a curation tool. Sure, you can add links to other content, photos, etc. and it could be called curation. But the way it’s set up is much more a blank slate that encourages you to think a bit more about what you’re adding and why. The individual bits of content you add aren’t meant to stand on their own, but to be used to create a story.
Zeen would be a wonderful platform for student presentations & reports. Or for a personal portfolio. Organizations and classrooms could use it for publicity and reports.
The only problem I have with it (other than the way Google Image Search is implemented) is the embedding options. It only offers iframe embedding options at this point. I wish there were some other options to give it wider embeddability.
I’m working on some new workshops and the idea of public libraries as learning spaces is a topic that keeps running through my head. Obviously public libraries have always been learning spaces, so that in itself isn’t a new idea. But a workshop on creating learning opportunities using technology as the delivery device is what I’m pondering.
In the past year or so there have been some intriguing examples of libraries expanding learning opportunities for their communities to include locally created training delivered online and in-person, distance learning through commercial and open courses, and more. Many of these are taking advantage of the expertise of local community members and experts world-wide. Some programs and ideas that triggered this workshop idea include:
- Library YOU - Escondido CA Public Library is gathering all sorts of local knowledge from community members and sharing it online via podcasts and video. Some items are focused on learning a new skill, others are personal histories and memories.
- NYLTO New Library Trustees Online - Moodle based learning modules for trustees (more…)