My Shelfari Bookshelf

Shelfari: Book reviews on your book blog

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My Wordle

I learned how to tie words together in a Wordle while reading Karen's blog, and had to try it!  I made one for my definition of "Minnesota Nice," which I've come to learn is not as well-known in the south as it is in the midwest.  Check it out:

I kinda like it!  I think I might even post it to FB . . .

Thing 11

LibraryThing was interesting.  Actually, I kind of found it relaxing to add a bunch of my books to my collection.  I ended up adding 38 books tonight, which is quite a few, but is only scratching the surface of my books.  It was a little slow at points, and because I'm anal, I took more time than I really needed to make sure I had the correct version of the book uploaded (especially with my Jane Austen's).  I plan on adding more of my books when I get another free minute . . . and I'll probably add them as I buy them!  I wonder if they have a way of listing e-books?  Not that I need that, yet - but I do see an IPad in my future . . . might be way in the future, but I still see it!

I ended up joining one group called Children's Literature.  I think this will be a good forum to ask questions about different books, get recommendations for good reads, come up with literary comparisons, maybe even get inspired or pick up something that sparks an idea for a lesson.

Thing 10

Heh heh heh.  Playing with online image generators was a blast!  I went to Custom Sign Generator and made a magazine cover with a photo from a family excursion where we were attacked by giant killer spiders! (I swear!)

I think students would have fun creating their own magazine covers.  They could easily find one to create for a Social Studies topic,or maybe as an enrichment to a reading assignment.

I also went to Image Chef and played with their Visual Poetry option which I found fun, frustrating, and challenging.  I didn't like not being able to control certain aspects of it, but it was still fun to find a poem (that was appropriate to share) and image that fit . . . and then combine them.

I liked the Word Mosaic, too.  Tried the Poetry Blender, too, but it kept locking up.  Obviously, this site would fun to use in a poetry lesson.  Students can even create their own background images to express their poems.

I still love Big Huge Labs - I think it has so many fun and easy to use options! 

I LOVED Dumpr!  The sketch feature was awesome!  I took a picture of my sister, self, niece and nephew that normally gets all messed up when I apply special effects to it, and it turned out great!  Here's the original:

Here's the sketch!:

I love it!  They had other unique options like putting it in a museum or making it a postcard on a postcard stand.  Just a very fun site.  I plan on playing around with it some more!  I could easily see students using the site to add visuals to a report, images to a blog, as part of a reading assignment (maybe creating something that represents one of the characters), etc.  There are numerous possibilities!

Glogster looks like it would be a lot of fun, too!  I signed up with Glogster Edu so my niece could possible make one and look through them.  It seemed like a safer environment than the Glogster site.  I didn't play around too much with this, but I could see it having a place in education, as well.  I think students would have fun creating and upkeeping their own glogs.

I plan on doing more searches for image and text generators, too; they're just too much fun!

Thing 9

The easiest “search” tool was the Google blog search, although it returned way too many results for my taste.  I’m honestly more of a browser, in which case the Edublog award winners were best for educational topics. also provides too many hits for my taste, and it seemed to repeat news stories in the hits.  I suppose this is because stories are mass published, appearing on multiple news sites.  I got way to carried away using Google blog search and browsing through Edublog – I think I spent a few hours just browsing and reading.  I literally had to stop and remind myself that I was supposed to be checking out the search tools!

I did notice that there were quite a few different RSS readers out there.  I didn’t check them out, though.  I just used Google Reader.  I also noticed that you could “follow” blogs (if you had a like-hosted account – ie. Blogger) and that Blogger added them to your dashboard.  Any new posts are shown there.  I still added them to my Google reader, though.  I’d rather have everything in one place!

Librarians Do Gaga

I know this isn't a "Thing" from Library2Play, but I thought it was adorable and could see it being recreated for elementary or middle school students.  Heck - they could make their own versions using different popular songs . . . anyway, just wanted to share it!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Thing 8

          RSS and readers are wonderful. I love having the blogs I want to read right at my fingertips. Not only can I stay on top of what my pastors at church are saying, but I can also keep up with my sarcastic friend's witty retorts about relationships, different librarians blogs about technology, education, and books, AND I can see new recipes and healthy tips . . . all on one page. Totally eliminates the lengthy loading time! I've already found out about a few different things that I'd like to try eventually when I start either teaching or when I'm a librarian! I love that I can stay on top of trends and technology easier, too. In the past, I got bored (I'll blame it on lack of attention-span) when searching through people's blogs and frustrated with having to wait for pages to load - even when it took less than 10 seconds. Talk about being spoiled with an uber-fast connection.
          In the past couple days that I've used my Google Reader account, I've read more blogs and read more news than I've read in months. Students could easily keep up with each others blogs if they had an RSS feed. Classroom blogs could have an RSS feed for parents and students to keep on top of newly posted information and changes. School websites could have them, too. In Google Reader, you can subscribe to bundles which are feeds centered around a specific topic. You can even create your own bundle and share it with friends. I could easily see teachers being able to use this type of combining to receive up-to-date info on whatever topic they were focusing on.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Thing 7

I had no idea that “google” was in the dictionary now!  Wonder when Microsoft is going to add it to their Word lexicon . . . lol.

I’ve been using a lot of the Google Tools or have played around with them over the years.  In fact, Google Calendar and Google Docs are how my sister and I keep our schedules and whatnot organizes with my nannying duties.  I created an iGoogle page and used it for at least 6 months, but I get frustrated with how long it takes the page to load, so I change it back to the normal Google screen off and on.  I also have a Picassa Web Album, although I don’t think I have much in it anymore.  I actually downloaded Picassa and used it more on my comp than the Web.  I’ve used Google Scholar to search before, and have messed with the Advanced Search options just for fun (and to create an account for my niece that’s censored).  I tried Google Earth and downloaded the Plugin for Google Maps, but I didn’t like it.  It took too long to load and then my firewall wanted to block certain aspects of it. Considering I’m not a computer guru, I decided to let my firewall limit the access and ended up not being able to do much with the program.

My two tools:

Google Calendar:  I think I’m going to explore Google Calendar more and add my pet sitting schedule, workout schedule, and volunteer schedule to it!  I just added my work schedule, but until now I’ve mostly used to follow other people’s schedules, not mine.  Considering how much I have going on, I bet it would be really handy to add everything.  Plus, it has email reminders which my phone will notify me of, so I have an automatic alarm for each event!

Google Books:  I did try out Google Books, which has online books and magazines that you can either read or preview.  The books and magazines that have full text available are either in the public domain or are out of copyright; however, some authors have given permission for their works to be on Google Books, too.  Because the majority of the magazines are not current, it would be great to use this search engine as a way of comparing trends in society, fashion, politics, etc. with current trends.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Thing 6

Mashups are a lot of fun!  I played around with Flickr Color Pickr and had fun seeing how many things I could find that were naturally that color vs. how many were photoshopped to be that color.  Then I spent way too long goofing around on Big Huge Labs site.  I made a calendar, tried to make a motivational poster, but don’t really like the saying I chose, thought about making an ID badge, made a mosaic of my mad face-painting skills, and made a trading card!  I could see students having a lot of fun doing this.  They could make trading cards for their favorite character from a book or for the book themselves.  I also think it would be a fun “introduction” assignment!  The students could make one of themselves and print off enough for each of their classmates so they each had a “class” collection.  It could even be turned into a game.  Students could create the cards with a picture that represented themselves from Flickr’s Creative Commons collections, use an alias instead of their real name, and their classmates would have to guess whose card was whose.  I think it would be fun to have the students make motivational reading posters, too!  They could make them about a specific genre or just reading in general and then the librarian could post them in the library or possibly throughout the school.  As for me, right now I plan on just using these mashups for tomfoolery and shenanigans. 

My mad face-painting mosaic! :-)

Motivationally speaking:

And my very own trading card! (limited edition):