Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Week 9, Thing 23 - Is this the end?

23 Things has certainly opened new doors for me in terms of computer use. I basically used my computer to check e-mail, shop on line, google, just for ordinary things. After experiencing and learning with 23 things, I feel I will be using it for many more things. I also believe that we are all "new learners" when it comes to this new age of technology. Although there are some things that I probably will not use often (if at all), but just knowing what exist out there and seeing how we as humans are finding new ways of communicating with each other is fascinating and exciting.

My only concern is how do we make this new technology accessible to everyone. The library can only have so many computers available for the public's use. I was able to finish 23 things because I have a PC at home. There is a vast number of Americans who live at or below the poverty level who do not have access to a computer. Some schools in this country aren't equipped with a computer lab or the equipment is very outdated. If we want people to communicate and share ideas with one another, we have to find a way for everyone to have the opportunity to do so.

Twenty-three things is certainly a learning tool and it has the capability of being an educational tool as well. My only hope is that one day soon there will be more of us becoming "new learners" who probably would never have had the opportunity to do so before. Just imagine what an impact that would have on their view of the world.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Week 9, Thing 22 - Could this be the one?

I think I have found the "thing" I have been looking for. Setting up my eAudio account through Howard County Library and the Maryland Digital eLibrary Consortium is probably my favorite "thing" of all. Netlibrary's tutorial was user-friendly and easier to understand for me than Overdrive and Guttenberg. Other participants may not have had any problems using the latter two, but Netlibrary was the best for me. I thought it had the best features once you established your account and searched for items. It was simple to understand; they made it seem easy enough and HClibrary's "electronic resources" was another simple and easy tool to use.

Setting up my account was a "breeze" and although I could not find one particular book I am looking for (I will have to check the title and I did not have the author's name), I was able to put a hold on a book I've been meaning to read. Having this service through the library is going to solve a lot of my problems when it comes to having time to sit and read. Its not always easy for me to carve out two or three hours a day to reading a book. This way I can multi-task while listening to a book (Yes!). Can you tell that I'm a bit excited about this very useful feature.

Looking forward to listening to many great books! Cannot thank HC Library enough for providing this sevice to the public.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Week 9, Thing 21 - Podcastic

Not sure if I will ever be a "podcast" person. I like listening to a radio, even better, the XM radio I have in my car. I listen to music and news programs on the radio throughout the day more so than watching TV. I will have to spend more time maneuvering my way around and discovering more about "Podcast". I did find a music show that I like a lot. Its called the "neo soul cafe". I enjoy listening to this new form of soul music performed and written by new and young artist. I admire them for trying to keep soul music new and fresh and to be able to express themselves through this form of music. They sing songs about love, relationships, etc. just like the old groups from Motown (Temptations, Four Tops, Supremes, etc.).

I also looked at the Denver Library list of podcasts and saw that they have podcast for young children. To be able to select a book from the library and then have someone read it to your child to me is another wonderful way to encourage a child to read. Librarians seem to have enough to keep them busy; maybe volunteers could be recruited to read some of the books for the podcasts.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Week 9, Thing 20 - Can U Tube!

This is the first time I had the chance of viewing "You Tube". I had heard many negative and funny things that have appeared on this website. I had the impression that this was a site that was of interest to mainly the youth in our society; a way for them to express themselves freely without their parents permission. I was a little reluctant at first but then decided to give it a try. I decided to search for "Flamenco dancers". To my surprise, many items appeared to choose from. I viewed 10 or more videos of performers from Barcelona, Madrid, South America, NYC, etc. Beautiful dances performed by men and women, solo as well as group performances. The dancers were accompanied by singers, guitars, violins, drums, people pounding on wooden boxes, etc. It was educational as well as entertaining. I now see You Tube in a different light - not so much negative, but as a learning tool as well. Of course, their are some videos on subjects that can be viewed as harmful to some. I'm not sure if aything can be done about this other than policing what your child is seeing on the internet.

I also viewed some videos about african safaris, and found some beautiful, and incredible videos of animals roaming freely in Kenya and the wilderbeest migrating and crossing the Mara River. Some were visually stunning and some the video quality was a bit to be desired. All and all, my impression of You Tube has changed for the better and I can see it being used as a learning tool. The library could perhaps download podcasts that would be beneficial to students on subjects they feel are safe and educational for the community.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Week 8, Thing 19

I choose a hosted wikki called "wetpaint". Its a fun site that is very similar to a "blog" in asmuch as setting up, and choosing how you want your wikki to look (templates, etc.). You have to pick a topic for your wikki and decide whether you want your wikki to be available to everyone or if you want it to be private. I choose it to be available to the public for now. The topic of my wikki is japanese crafts. My hope is to reconnect with some of the people I met in Japan who took japanese culture classes with me. This is a picture of a samarai that I made in my Kimekomi class in Tokyo.

I could see this tool being used among co-workers or perhaps a librarian helping a student with research, or a patron who has a particular author or interest in a certain subject, etc.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Week 8, Thing 18

This exercise was fun and painless. I created an account with Zoho. Not sure if I would use it on a regular basis. I clicked on the templates and saw how businesses, students, etc. can select a
form based on their needs. I can see how sites like Zoho and Google Docs would be helpful to many especially in the business community.

While looking at Zoho's templates, I clicked on "resume letters". I plan to show my son samples of letters from that site. This site would be helpful to many businesses because not a lot of time or money would be wasted on installing special applications. Its also a great "shortcut" for businesses when it comes to online productivity!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Week 7, Thing 17 - Which Wiki!

Since we were not able to go to the "Maryland Sandbox wiki", I posted a comment on the sandbox wiki that Beth Tribe created. Sorry we were not able to do "favorite blogs". I will try later and also ask other's if they were able to do the exercises for 17. So far, I like the wetpaint wiki and will play around with that website some more.