Weekly Entry, Week 12

Well, this semester is coming to a close... And I am not entirely sure if this is my last blog post for the course? I just can't wait for this semester to be over... I have so many things going on right now, I'm just going crazy. Summer can't come soon enough. I need a break from school AND work. On a lighter note, I really enjoyed this past week, answering all of the tutorial questions about my tutorial on GoodReads. I feel like I know that product much better because of those questions. I think the format of that assignment was awesome.

The readings and videos for this past week, Web 2.0 and technology in education, come just at the right time with a new venture my school is considering. BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) is a program that Volusia County Schools is using to implement technology in the classroom and something that my middle school is applying for for the 2013-2014 school year. If students have their devices with them at school, they will be better able to use Web 2.0 applications during instruction. This opens a whole world of knowledge and resources for the students. The video, Web 2.0 in Education, really brought up some good points and gave me some ideas for the implementation of BYOT at my school. I hope that my school goes in the direction of student collaboration using social networks (much like this course has done), because those teamwork skills are vital to their future. I really genuinely hope that my school ACTIVELY uses this tool to their advantage, but I still think that many are afraid of social networking.

Web 2.0 in education. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVr5pokOVG0


Weekly Entry, Week 11

These past few weeks have been INSANE! DC with middle school kids one week and being snowed in at a cabin with no internet for the next. Basically, I have had to put my life on hold for a bit, now it's time to play catch up. Thankfully I did my tutorial a few weeks ago just to get it out of the way. Not having internet was a bit of a relief, though, because as I have said in previous posts, I actually dislike being wired.

This week's readings are really quite interesting and raise questions of privacy when it comes to social media. In the article 5 Ways Social Media Will Change Recorded History, Ben Parr mentions that "Everyone will have the ability to know what you did and who you were with on a daily basis..." This scares me. I see the benefits, but at the same time, I see it causing problems and huge privacy issues. Another point he makes is that "There is little room for hiding details about our lives..." Here is an example in the week I was in DC... Some girls were having some problems with each other and somehow or another, there is a post on Facebook that a fight broke out between the two. Soon after, we get a call from the principal asking us what is going on... It was just stupid teen stuff and NOTHING HAPPENED. NO FIGHT, just immature rumors. I was told by one of the chaperones with some seniority on the trip, that stuff like that NEVER happened before social media got huge. What happened in DC, stayed in DC, and was dealt with by competent adults who know how to do their job. These kids go crazy when they go on trips away from their parents and realize that they can't stand to live with their "best friends". Stuff like that just happens. Having the kids on the DC trip connected through social media with the kids back at home just causes problems, in my opinion.

The constant monitoring of our lives is a HUGE reason why I dislike social media more and more... I honestly dislike that I have had to sign up for so many social media applications. My only way to use them is to either sign up with my Facebook or Twitter accounts, or to sign up with an email address. There needs to be more sites that just let browse without membership. I just hate that my online presence is growing... but I guess it is a necessary evil...

Parr, B. (November 18, 2008). 5 ways social media will change recorded history. Retrieved from http://mashable.com/2008/11/18/consequences-of-social-media/


Weekly Entry, Week 10

After reading some of this week's readings, I am left a bit depressed. Although it is awesome to have more people reading and advancing technology through e-books and the like, isn't it sad to see the book and physical print go? I know I am supposed to be a proponent of change and advancement in this field, but I can't help feeling this way. I also think about my own personal experiences, especially in my professional life. For instance, the entire 7th grade at my school has their math "book" and various math exercises online ONLY. This year, our math teacher had to take an extended leave of absence, leaving those students with a substitute, or worse in the auditorium doing NOTHING. When they do have a substitute teacher, no one is "allowed" on the computers, due to certain substitute teacher limitations. These kids can't access their books or the materials, when if they just had a real physical book, they wouldn't have this problem. My school also doesn't allow electronics, so they can only access materials under teacher supervision. To me, this is just ridiculous... If they are going to adopt a technological advancement, they need to be willing to deal with the undesirable things that come with it. This applies to all institutions. With technology, you have to be all or nothing. But money becomes an issue when you go for it all... So what do you think should be done? Are their more pros or cons in transitioning to e-books/materials?


Weekly Entry, Week 9

Despite the articles provided for our Week 9 readings, it seems that teens are getting bored with Facebook. From the looks of the world maps of social networks, it seems like Facebook is taking over the WORLD, but some say teens are feeling differently these days. According to this article, teens seem to gravitate more towards Instagram and Snapchat. I have actually found cases of this myself among teenagers. My boyfriend's cousins and their friends have described Facebook as "lame" or "dumb", and have deactivated or deleted their accounts. They rave about Snapchat, something I don't know anything about. Honestly, I too have grown tired of Facebook. I only maintain my page to stay in touch with a few people, and if I'm being really honest with myself, to snoop on people's lives that I really care nothing about. It's some sick need for gossip that I know everyone has... It's terrible. I am almost 100% less active on Facebook now than I was a few years ago. I just don't have the time or energy for it. It's exhausting trying to paint a picture of a life that is this or that, good or bad. I have better things to do, and I really hate being wired anyway.......... Again, I ask myself, am I in the right profession/era if I'm not completely on board with all this social networking?

Cosenza, V. (n.d.). World map of social networks June 2012. Retrieved from http://vincos.it/world-map-of-social-networks/


Weekly Entry, Week 8

I like that this past week our readings focused on Social Media and the news. My original topic, "Does participation in social media impact political engagement?" sort of comes from this realm. I view politics and the news as sort of going hand in hand these days. Although, I am not researching this topic anymore, it's still interesting to me. I find truth in the article How Social Media Helps Journalists Break the News. While reading it, I thought to myself, "Wow, I really do get ALL of my news from the internet..." I occasionally watch local news on the TV, but for the most part I find out what is going on in my edge of the world and beyond through News websites (that are often partially fueled by social media) and social media applications in general. I see things like updated weather reports on my Facebook news feed, some of the latest crime, celebrity news, world news, etc. and it is usually from one of my friends posting. Basically, word of mouth ONLINE gets me my news, then I go a step further and look at the story myself. I hear about things almost instantaneously, which is great, but the downside of that is that I could get some bad information as well. Also, I may not get a well rounded series of stories. It's easy for me personally to get trapped in paying attention to celebrity news only LOL. That's one of my guilty tendencies, I suppose. I CARE ABOUT REAL NEWS TOO, but if I am able to search for what I want, I may sometimes shy away from real stories.

Delicious & Diigo

I haven't worked with Delicious in a while. I don't exactly love it, but it can be a good tool if that's what you're looking for. I was able to find some good articles through USF's Library Literature and Information Science Full Text database. I had some issues with the bookmarklet feature, so I just added my links the old fashioned way. My Delicious account can be found here.

I have never used Diigo, so this was a new experience for me. I think Diigo is a lot more user friendly than Delicious, and I was successfully able to add their tool to my Chrome toolbar. I used the same database and a few different articles. My Diigo account can be found here. I will probably be using this in the future.

I think both of these tools are more interactive versions of something like RefWorks. I can save my links and articles, but I can also see the links and articles of others too.

Brooks, R. (May 3, 2011). How social media helps journalists break news. Social Media Examiner. Retrieved from http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-social-media-helps-journalists-break-news


Weekly Entry, Week 7

Well, this week has been interesting, frustrating, meh... Lots of things have happened with my research proposal/project. I had an original partner, but that is no longer because I guess our topics just didn't mesh well. Now I have another partner, which I feel pretty good about. Hopefully a topic can be settled on sometime soon. I really want to get things rolling. Also, I changed my tutorial topic, because I just can't find any material on Pandora being a social media application. I guess Pandora had plans to take a social feature on, but they never got around to really implementing it. So, now my topic is GoodReads, which actually works out better for me. I actually decided upon this social media service after I wrote a short bit about it on Google+ for one of the last activities for this course. It just seems so much more applicable to this field than Pandora, and it will help at my media center with book recommendations by teaching me how to really use the application. SO MANY CHANGES WITH SO LITTLE TIME LEFT! Let's hope I survive it.


Weekly Entry, Week 6

Well, things are progressing quite nicely in this course. I missed the first tutorial questions, but other than that, things are going well, I think. I learned quite a bit about Tumblr and The Google Drive this week. I am just wondering if I am going to have to use the YouTube format for this assignment. I am hoping to start on mine SOON, and maybe use KeyNote for the presentation. I found out that KeyNote on the iPad does not have the audio record function, but KeyNote on a Mac computer does! So, I will be purchasing that soon. I have to get mostly everything done before my school DC trip, so it is going to be crazy for the next few weeks.

I just have a few comments about the video, A Vision of Students Today... I guess the message was that technology is the answer to some of the issues of tomorrow. I guess they are saying that technology could help in the classroom and that something like the chalk board doesn't have a place in the 21st century classroom. While I agree that technology is great and can be very beneficial, what about when that technology doesn't work? This makes me think of the classrooms at my school... Now they use electronic whiteboards to "write" or put information on the "board". These are in place of the chalkboards that are now covered up. Do you have any idea how often this technology fails and their entire lesson is put behind because they are so reliant on that technology? It's absurd. Either we have to become less reliant on technology, or we need to find ways to ensure that this technology doesn't fail over 50% of the time. When it comes to public schools adopting technology, it has turned into a big mess, because there is not enough money to provide students and teachers with the technology and tech support they need. It seems like it would make more sense in a University that has more funding... But what do public schools do?

A vision of students today. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGCJ46vyR9o


Weekly Entry, Week 5

So, I am happy to say that I have a partner for my research project in this course. I hope that this development will work out, because I have some MAJOR stuff coming up with my job at the end of the semester. FCAT, evaluations, DC chaperoning, inventory, just EVERYTHING at once. I hope that having a partner will make for better research, while dividing the work load. Speaking of my job at school, I found out some great information from Saxton's Information Tools: Using Blogs, RSS, and Wikis as Professional Resources. It can be very difficult to work in an environment when you have a job like no one else. I can't go to my fellow media specialist at school and ask questions or collaborate, because it's just me. Sure, I can talk to the teachers about some things, but staying abreast of library related changes isn't in their job description. Saxton suggests staying up to date and networking with other librarians and information professionals by means of blogs, RSS feeds, and Wikis. She mentions tons of sites that information professionals can access to develop their careers. I will definitely be utilizing some of these resources including: www.ypulse.com; www.yalit.com; atn-reading-lists.wikispaces.com; www.libsuccess.org; and wikis.ala.org/yalsa/index.php/ Teen_Tech_Week.

Saxton, B. (2008). Information tools: Using blogs, RSS, and wikis as professional resources. Young Adult Library Services, 6 (2), 27-29. Retrieved from http://ezproxy.lib.usf.edu/login?url=https://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=28717241&site=eds-live


Weekly Entry, Week 4

I have found that it's probably better to write my blog post little by little throughout the week and save it as a draft, just to more accurately log my thoughts, then post it on Sundays. Sometimes I can't even remember what I had for dinner last night with my schedule being as hectic as it is... This will work best for me...

FETC was fun... I wouldn't say it was worth the money it cost to send me there, but still fun. I think I didn't get as much out of it as I could because I am still finishing up my masters. A lot of the ideas I heard about at the conference are things I am already actively doing in my masters program. I think it would be more beneficial to someone who is not in school and needs to stay up to date with changing technology through some authoritative source.

I have often felt the way Cordell describes in the beginning of his article How to Start Tweeting (and Why You Might Want To)... I don't really know how to get started on Twitter, and I honestly haven't had any interest. I think his tips are great and they could really be effective in a professional setting, but I'm still not sold. I just don't have any interest in being wired to more than I have to be.

I hope I'm not in the wrong profession :P Maybe I'm just in the wrong time period...

Cordell, R. (August 11, 2010). How to start tweeting (and why you might want to). The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com/blogs/profhacker/how-to-start-tweeting-and-why-you-might-want-to/26065


Activity, Week 3

Part A: See Blackboard Discussion

Part B:

To be honest, one of the main reasons why I chose the Unquiet Librarian, is because her blog was one of the few that seems to be continually updated. Maybe I have been looking in the wrong places, but some of the library blogs I found that interested me just weren't kept up. I have heard of the Unquiet Librarian before, specifically when I was looking for research on how to incorporate e-readers into K-12 schools. She had a successful Kindle program started a while back. In her "About Me" section, she describes her blog as a space where she "muses about all things related to life as a modern librarian." As such, her blog is heavily technology based, which is of particular interest to me because schools are integrating technology more and more every day. I think a library blog becomes successful if it is up to date and relevant. Like I said earlier, I passed over tons of blogs because they weren't updated. With how rapidly things change within librarianship, it doesn't make much sense to follow blogs that are already dated. It also doesn't hurt if a blog is witty and funny ;)


Weekly Entry, Week 3

The reading for this week is so fitting for this coming week for me. This Wednesday I am going to the FETC Conference in Orlando. I plan on going to lots of technology sessions that can be applicable to my middle school media center. Some of the sessions I hope to attend are: 15 Free or Almost Free Web Resources to Engage & Enhance Learning; A Technology Roadmap for Reading; and Using Web 2.0 to Enhance Learning of the Common Core Standards. Hopefully media specialists who attend these conferences can go back to their schools and successfully deliver new Web 2.0 applications. I see many roadblocks at my own school, mainly applications that are blocked by the county. As mentioned in Maness's article, Web 2.0 technologies and applications are changing the face of libraries while connecting more and more communities, libraries just need to stay abreast of those changes. Something that particularly struck me n this article was this... "Library 2.0 is not about searching, but finding; not about access, but sharing. Library 2.0 recognizes that human beings do not seek and utilize information as individuals, but as communities." It makes me think, why is my school blocked off from all other schools? Why are these students not communicating with one another outside of their usual domain? We have the tools, so let's use them. Despite this, my school is making strides towards some of those changes. We actually just signed up for this program called Vicarious Voyage. Students at my school will be able to interact with college students who are traveling across the world by ship through a blog. Each time the group goes to port, they are able to posts about their experiences on their blog and directly communicate with students at my school. I think it's a cool project, so we will see how it goes. I hope the kids take a real interest.

Maness, J. (2006). Web 2.0 and its implications for libraries. Webology, 3 (2). Retrieved from http://www.webology.org/2006/v3n2/a25.html


Activity, Week 2

Part A:

Social networking is when people of similar interests join together and communicate online. Interests and venues can range from photography on Flickr to weight loss sub-reddits on Reddit. These individuals come together to discuss and share. The types of social networks out there are really limitless; there is something for everyone.

I currently use Facebook, Pinterest, GoogleDocs, Pandora, Blogger, Flickr, and I occasionally "lurk" on Reddit.

For me, Facebook is primarily used for staying in touch with friends and family, and posting pictures from various trips I've been on. I log into Facebook daily on my iPad, iPhone, and my computer. I'm actually more connected to it than I'd like to be.

Pinterest is next, and I mainly use this to find DIY project ideas. I log in on my iPhone about every other day. This is my go to app when I have nothing else to do. I could be looking for crafty ideas for HOURS if I didn't keep myself in check.

GoogleDocs is something that I use daily for my TV production class. Each day our script is written on this just so all of my students can contribute from home. If they want to add something that they think is important, they can. I also use this for courses here at USF when I have group projects.

Pandora is also something I use almost everyday. I use it just to listen to music while I workout, drive, relax, whatever, as well as in my media center. I usually keep it on the Jazz station while at my media center to ensure nothing inappropriate comes on :/

Although I don't upload pictures to Flickr, I often use it for the Creative Commons. This is mainly for school or other projects. Sometimes I also use it to check out what places look like that I am going to visit. For instance, it has really come in handy when looking for good camping sites in State Parks just to get a better idea of what the area looks like.

Finally, Reddit is something that I occasionally browse. Again, like Flickr I don't contribute to the site, but it is interesting to look at the front page top stories.

Part B:

Weekly Entry - Week 2

First, I'd like to say that I am SUPER EXCITED about my tutorial topic. My topic is Pandora. I really wasn't aware of the social aspect of Pandora, but I am very interested in getting started on it so I can I can learn more about it.

The beginning of this course has served to provide some background and history of social media. I was particularly interested in the article, Why Americans Use Social Media (Smith, 2011). I found a lot of truths in this article, mainly the reasons why females use social media; to stay in touch with friends and family. You have no idea how many times I've said "I'm just gonna delete my Facebook account," but my connections with my friends and family always hold me back. For a lot of people I am friends with on Facebook, this is really my only form of communication with them. Perhaps that's why I'd like to get rid of it sometimes, because I know these are only surface relationships. But for some reason, I'm holding on to that little bit of communication.

Until next time...

Smith, A. (November 15, 2011). Why Americans use social media. Retrieved from http://www.pewinternet.org/Reports/2011/Why-Americans-Use-Social-Media/Main-report.aspx


First Post, LIS5937SMS13

This is not the first time I have created a blog. I started my first blog in the first semester of this program and added to it for various classes. I really have only done blogging through the MLIS program at USF. I always intend on getting more into it, but life always seems to get in the way. I read the occasional blog, and I am subscribed to some, but again, I don't check them often. I tend to like crafty or DIY blogs, but I more so stumble upon them versus searching them out. I really do like blogs, despite the lack of use. I like the freedom they provide to the author(s), as well as the customizable layout. I actually tried a few blog hosting sites including Wordpress, but I prefer Blogger because it seems to be a bit more user friendly.