This is a collection of tools—mostly free, mostly web-based—that make the web interactive. They enable us to interact with both information and with people, to collaborate, and to take all kinds of digital content and mash it up to create something uniquely our own. And then to share that creation… essentially with the whole world. So there’s a social networking component to Web 2.0.
And that brings us to a problematic issue we all share. I’ve never presented or attended a Web 2.0 workshop that someone didn’t raise their hand and say, “but we can’t do that, because in our school it’s blocked.” Well, the technology people are trying to protect their networks; the administrators think they’re protecting our students… Unfortunately the skills that these social networking tools foster—the ability to collaborate and create and share—are the very skills valued by 21 st century employers. So this is a battle we want to choose to fight. I recognize this problem, and I don’t have a solution for it—but I’ll speak to it a little bit and then we’re going to move on.
The first advice I would give is… okay, the tool is blocked at school, but don’t let that stop you from learning. Just because you can’t use it at school doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to use it in your own personal life to make yourself more productive or to make your life a little bit easier. Learn the tools!
As you are using the tools in your own personal life, you’re going to begin to think of ways they could be used at school. Ways they can help to support core curriculum standards. Ways that they could be used with students. Once you’re familiar with the ins and outs of how these tools work, you’ll be in a much better position to make a case for getting them unblocked, and for showing how they can be beneficial for our students. Learn them, and use them.
And the other advice I would give is to make sure you stay on top of new developments. The companies or the developers of these tools are beginning to recognize that they have tremendous application for education and the educational market is huge. So what we’re beginning to see happen now is that they are creating educational versions. And these educational versions have features built in that are going to make administrators more comfortable with seeing these tools used in a school environment. Educators are going to be given more control over who students interact with and how, and even who will be able to view student work. And while this may not be social networking as we know it, or how it was meant to be… it’s a darn site better than having it blocked altogether!
So when your favorite tool becomes education-friendly, you want to be right on top of that and ready to jump. Of course there are always brave, innovative people out ahead of us who are already demonstrating the power of Web 2.0 to educate and engage students—and some of those people are librarians. And we’re beginning to see some changes in how we look at education in the 21 st century, even if those changes haven’t yet filtered down to how we do education.
Remember Bloom’s Taxonomy? Whether you took your education classes last year or 20 years ago, no one escapes Bloom’s Taxonomy. But even this time honored model is undergoing some changes. And the major change is at the high end of the model—the level we want kids to get to. Rather than just evaluating, which seems to imply that we’re thinking about other people’s ideas… we are now striving to create. Which really is a higher order skill. Why the change?
Perhaps because we now have the tools to make it possible for more students to be creators. Here’s yet another new view of Bloom’s Taxonomy with each level populated by the Web 2.0 tools that could be used to help kids get to that level. So there’s a lot of good thinking going on out there helping us to make sense of these new technologies and somehow merge them in with more established ways of thinking. Very constructivist!
So once again, it’s a brave new world. We’re standing here on the edge of this vast sea of Web 2.0 applications. Today we’ll take a look at just a few of these tools. Some of them I’m sure you’ll be familiar with and may even be using now. But mostly I want us to look at some of the ways they are being used, or could be used in libraries…
To enhance programs
Or to promote your library
And To increase productivity So let’s start just by getting our feet wet with some easy examples that you could go home and try today.
One of the easiest tools to get started with is a generator. There are lots of these, and the way they work is that you put in some information and the generator takes it and generates a new way of displaying it. A familiar example would be a citation generator, where you put in the elements of your bibliographic citation—author’s name, title, etc., and the generator gives you back a properly formatted citation, with everything in the right order and the correct punctuation. So you’re familiar with this concept. Let’s just look at other some simple examples. Word art. We’re not going to set the world on fire here, but it’s useful… and easy.
--explain how Spell with Flickr works-- Sometimes all it takes is a new look to bring a little more energy to your work. So instead of using the same old word art on Powerpoint that everyone’s seen before, you can Spell With Flickr. And now you have word art that has a fun colorful “ransom note” quality to it! --can be used in powerpoint presentations, or anywhere else you would use word art--
With Spell with Flickr, you’re working with individual letters, while Wordle deals with words. Wordle is a tool for generating word clouds from text you provide. Words that show up more frequently in the text are displayed more prominently. You can tweak your word clouds with different fonts, layouts and color schemes. This Wordle was created at an SJRLC meeting and I chose to share it because of the activity that generated it.
Everyone at the meeting was asked to create word art (literally– with construction paper, markers, glitter, etc) of a word that described their impression of the South Jersey Library Cooperative and its role in working with south Jersey libraries. The artwork was displayed around the room. Wouldn’t this be a great activity for School Library Month or National Library Week? You would not only have your students’ colorful artwork to display around the library or the school hallways… (go back to previous slide) but you could also create a Wordle using the words to display on your website.
Describe how to create a Wordle
Example of Wordle created using the tags from my delicious account. The generator initially chooses the colors, font, etc., but you can edit. This slide shows how to edit the color of the Wordle.
Wordles have been used a a pre-reading activity to predict what a text is about, or as a way of analyzing or summarizing articles because word clouds somehow seem to capture the gist of what the article is about. This Wordle was created from the text of a Library of Congress primary source document about child labor and the textile mills at the turn of the century. Note that it has been organized in alphabetical order, from left to right.
This is a Wordle of the Gettysburg address. I’d love to see students use a Wordle as the opening slide of a powerpoint presentation, instead of a text-dense slide which they then read to the class. The Wordle could provide the visual clues they’d need to introduce their topic. A Wordle gives us a way to look at text from a new perspective. Educators seem to have really taken to Wordle, so if you do a web search, you can come up with quite a lot of ideas for how it’s being used.
We’ve looked at examples of generators that create mostly-visual results. There are others that create mostly- auditory results.
This generator is called “Good Old Times”. You type in your message, which is then delivered by a television announcer. The television can be embedded into your website– a good way to catch students’ attention and hopefully get your message across! Note that it is possible to create your message in languages other than English.
Another way of getting a message across is to have it delivered by an avatar. This is a voki—a talking voice character that you can customize to look like you… (or not). --Describe process of creating Voki— Possible use– teachers could use this to post homework assignments. Quicker and easier than having to type them all out, especially during times when there are a large number of absences. Vokis can be embedded into a wiki, blog, website, or emailed to someone.
So, we have tools that produce mostly visuals, and tools that produce mostly an audio effect, and then there are tools that let us combine both for more of a multimedia effect. Two of the most popular Web 2.0 tools being used in libraries today are Animoto and Voicethread, which fall into this category.
We’ll take a look at Animoto first because of the two, you’re able to get a flashier final product with less work on your part with Animoto. With Animoto, the original free accounts only allowed you to do a 30 second video. It was a little frustrating--- using pictures—no control… can remix. But it is possible to get across a pretty good feel for what a book is about in 30 seconds with Animoto. Let me show you an example of that. Second example: longer Animoto showing SLJ’s choices of Best Books of the Year which was embedded on school library website to promote those titles.
--Describe how to create an Animoto video--
Animoto also provides holiday cards into which you can embed your video. Try making a video showing all the events that went on in your library during the year and email it to your staff members as a holiday card. You are actually promoting your library by reminding them of all the great things that went on there over the year, while they think you are just sending them a really cool card! This is also a subtle way of showing your staff the things you know how to do with technology.
Now that you’ve seen Animoto, let’s look at Voicethread. And since you looked at book promotion and book talks on Animoto, let’s start with what a booktalk on Voicethread woud look like. --show segment of Lost and Found booktalk--
If you look at how the Voicethread is created, you’ll see it’s pretty much the same process as Animoto, except that you have a lot more control over what’s going on. You still start by uploading your images.
After you’ll uploaded all images you want to use, you can record your comments. Voicethread is essentially a narrated slide show, and because of the amount of control the user has over how it’s going to turn out, it lends itself to some different applications than Animoto does.
There are some advantages for students of doing Voicethread projects. If you get up in front of the class to do an oral report, first of all it’s terrifying, number two, if you make a mistake there’s no way to take that back. But if you’re doing a Voicethread, there’s a much higher comfort level because you’re sitting in front of a computer and you have the opportunity to do things over again. You can go back and edit, and fix things. So it’s much less intimidating for kids. It’s also less time consuming. For a student to speak from their notes about what they’ve learned instead of typing everything out. Instead of spending a lot of time in the computer lab waiting for kids to type a report, they can work from their notes and just say it. And this is an important skill for kids to have—to not just read something, but to be able to speak about a topic and use their own words. Since we’re dealing with graphics, and if they’re getting the graphics from the web, we can teach them how to find things that are Creative Commons licensed, and teach them to cite their sources. Another important skill. Lastly, you can embed the final products into a website so that parents and family members would be able to view the students’ work—and even comment on it. We talked about this at another workshop I attended recently, and one of the librarians who was doing Voicethread projects with students has the parents come to the library and they learn how to comment on Voicethreads—and that’s a really great way of getting parents involved in what kids are learning in the library. I really liked that idea.
The next tool is entirely different from the ones we look at so far. This is a screen casting tool. A screencast is essentially a movie taken of your computer’s desktop. It can show everything you do—from typing a search term into a search box, clicking on a link, resizing windows—everything. It’s one I’m really excited about because it’s something I’ve wanted to be able to do for years, but up until not too long ago, it required software that cost a couple hundred dollars. This is a killer tool for library tutorials. Instead of handing out step by step instructions on how to do something on the computer (which I do all the time- with varying degrees of success), you can SHOW kids how to do it. And you can explain what you’re doing while you do it—so this addresses both the visual and auditory learners.
Here’s an example created with a tool called Jing. I think this has great possibilities both for instruction and library promotion. You can create screencasts showing how to use the databases your library subscribes to, you could show teachers how to create RSS feeds—and all these screencasts could be available on your library website so that parents and community members would also see what you have available. You could even have kids create tutorials, which would be a way of showing what they’ve learned. Wouldn’t you love to see a screencast of them explaining their search strategies before and after you’ve taught them some more advanced searching skills? But I think the productivity value of not having to show kids how to do the same thing over and over again – but instead directing them to the screencast to view and letting them answer their own question is priceless! -- Also perfect for presentation examples when you don’t have internet access– Jing what you want to show ahead of time and use those files instead of connecting to the internet. Can save your presentation if your connection isn’t working well!--
There are several different Web 2.0 applications that make it possible to create surveys or polls and embed them in a website.
Besides collecting useful data if you ask the right questions, this is another way that you can make your library website interactive. This is an example from an elementary school. If you were to change your poll every couple of weeks, or every month it helps to keep your site fresh and keep kids interested in going back because they might find something new they can do.
--describe how to create a poll--
Some additional examples. You can get some valuable feedback from students using polls. We pay a lot of money for subscription databases. Polls can help us find out which ones are being used, and which ones students value. A poll on what magazines students prefer can help you if you need to make some difficult decisions about what subscriptions to keep and which ones not to renew. Make friends with the computer teacher and see if your poll can be used as a “do now” at the start of computer class. This way you could poll every student in a class or grade level.
The next couple of examples are just here to remind us that with the technology available to us today, video production is no longer beyond our reach. Flip video cameras make it very easy to produce and share a simple video, and there are now a number of sites to which you can upload large video files for free. This pretty much removes the barriers to using video as a library promotion tool that existed in the past.
This video was created with a Flip camera and uploaded to Fliqz. It’s so simple, yet so compelling! And fun! Let’s remember that today’s kids are the “Look at Me!” generation– so they love participating in this sort of thing. This could be a great idea for promoting the Book Fair, too!
The next video was done professionally to promote an event sponsored by the Collingswood Public Library. It’s been viewed more than 7500 times on YouTube. If you are in a middle or high school, your students could probably create something similar using iMovie or MovieMaker.
Collingswood Public Library “Beat the Director” Race commercial.
Once you have all these bits of digital content you’ve created, you’ll want a way to bring them all together. You could use a wiki…
Or a Glog. A glog is a digital poster. These are being used a lot now as the splash page or menu page for websites and wikis. You can embed photographs, videos, and sound files and link them to other sites. Note the Animoto video in the lower right corner that uses a Wordle as the opening graphic.
--how to create a Glog--
Glogs can also be used as student projects. Not everything has to end up as a Powerpoint! This is a biographical report on John James Audubon created using Glogster.
Several of these biography reports are displayed in a wiki. The sidebar acts as a table of contents for the different reports. A key thing here is that the student work can now be viewed by parents and family members. The only place that people create work that will only be viewed by one person is at school. In the real world, people want others to see their work– it’s much more engaging and motivating for students when they know there is an authentic audience for their work– another important Web 2.0 advantage!
This glog is a timeline– but it’s not linear! Pointing hands guide the viewer from one event to the next. Each of the text boxes has a scroll bar, so you can actually enter more text than you are able to view in this screenshot. The graphic in the lower left corner is a video of the “American War of Independence”.
Some final advice from people who know a little about the future…
And this bears repeating. We need to see what’s out there and keep up with what’s available to us as educators. Learn how to use the tools so that we can… Make it so they’re not blocked any more and… We can use them to engage our students in a 21 st century education environment. It’s up to us to boldly go where no one in our district has gone before!
NJASL 2009 New Technologies @ Your Library
New Technology for... Shayne Russell Library Media Specialist Olson Middle School Tabernacle, NJ @ your library
<ul><li>"In times of change learners inherit the earth while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to work in a world that no longer exists." </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>- Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
<ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Learn the tools! </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
<ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Learn the tools! </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use the tools! </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
<ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Learn the tools! </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Use the tools! </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Watch the tools! </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
Then Now Churches, Andrew A. "Bloom's Taxonomy Blooms Digitally ." Tech & Learning 1 Apr. 2008. Web. 8 Nov. 2009. < http://www.techlearning.com/article/8670 >. Text Bloom’s Taxonomy