Monday, October 8, 2012

Online Identity (Part Deux)

I admit that sometimes I can get sucked into the black hole that is YouTube.  You know what I search for something and next thing you know hours have gone by and you've watched dozens of cute cat videos.  No? Hmmm...

Anyway, when I was searching for videos on online identity, I found this AMAZING video that I just had to share. It would be fantastic for any educator, parent, employer, or anyone to share with everyone! Seriously.  The message is that important and it makes that much of an impression.  So without further adieu, I present "On the Internet, nobody knows you're a ....."

Online Identity

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I am posting again tonight. As noted previously, I am seriously behind in this online journals so I have to get busy! During week 3, our readings focused on online identity issues relating to today's digital youth.  However, many adults are not as tech savvy as kids and we need to have a good understanding of how to control our own online identity.  I am absolutely including myself in this group of adults even though I am in an educational technology program.

Controlling your online identity is not an easy task.  Friends (or enemies) can post pictures on social networks that might not portray you in the most flattering light. Photos and videos that were meant to be private can become extremely public (just ask Kim Karadashian). Your online identity can be stolen and your good name can be run through the online mud.  Top that off with having to evaluate other people's online identities and you have quite a job to do.

Many adults use Facebook but setting your privacy settings takes a little time and effort.  I found this fantastic video by Renia Carsillo that goes through the privacy settings in a way that even my mom could understand and its even a tad bit entertaining.  I seriously learned a lot from this video and it is safe to say that I will be logging into Facebook tonight and changing my settings. I love how Renia explains the custom controls.  I have messed around with these a little but I seriously need to use this setting more.

 Is this a video I would show a group of elementary students? Probably not.  Would I share this with my museum staff? Absolutely.  I think that many of us just become complacent and forget about cultivating the proper online identity until its too late.  So, I challenge everyone who reads this post (and I know there are hundreds) to set aside a few minutes and just work on your Facebook identity whether it be through privacy settings or simply cleaning up any posts that you don't want the world to see. Then you can move onto all those other social networks.  

Social Networking and Interactivity

Ok, here I am.  Late again on my online journal post.   This time I'm really late.  Dang it. I promise I will not let my social networks distract me from my school work anymore.

Speaking of social networks...that was the topic of our 2nd week's readings.  I promise I did the readings on time and really did get a lot out of them! :)

While many traditional educators are focusing on teaching students how to be safe and be ethical participants in social networks, as a children's museum director, I am focused on how to use social networks to increase attendance and involve museum patrons in our programs.  The potential for museums to use social networks to connect with patrons is amazing. Social networks can be used for more than simply advertising; they can be used to engage museums patrons and encourage ownership in the museum (Vogel, 2011).  The company I work for has official Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube presences and keeps all three updated with happenings in each of the three museum locations.  While the marketing department does control these social network channels, each museum contributes the content that is disseminated online.  Currently we are working on finding better ways to engage patrons and potential patrons.  Social networks are a great way to allow people to participate in their experience in the museums.  Interactivity is a big buzz word among museums.  The idea is that there should be two way communication between the museum and the public and that this communication should definitely steer the direction that museums take when planning exhibits and programming. Social networks provide the perfect venue for this interactivity to take place.

So as I wrap up this "better late than never" post, I just have to say that it feels very weird to move away from the teacher librarian position of teaching my students about how to best use social networks and move into a position that focuses on actually using social networks to engage the young and the old.  For years I have preached to kids about not sharing their full names and other personal information, cyberbullying, and using our school system approved networks for educational purposes.  Then I would try to camouflage lessons and assignments within the school social network and cross my fingers that kids would be motivated and engaged.  Now I'm actually networking and using social networks for authentic purposes and it feels great! Let's not forget, that I'm still using them for personal reasons as well which continuously distracts me from my "real" school work!

Vogel, C. (2011, March 16). The spirit of sharing. The New York TImes. Retrieved from

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Media Ecology

Last week I started a new graduate course: Instructional Computer II.  Part of the course is to keep an online journal where we can reflect on our readings so for the next 8 weeks, you will be privy to my thoughts and ideas on instructional computing! 

Let me start this first post by putting it out there: I'm late.  This entry should have been posted by Sunday but I have been crazy busy with a new job.  I have moved out of the school library and into the world of children's museums.  But enough about me!
Moving on this week's readings...

I'm really excited about the text we have started reading: Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out by a whole bunch of people from MIT. So far it has been an interesting and easy read that paints the picture of how today's youth use digital media.  The first chapter focuses on what the authors call "media ecology" which in layman's terms means how kids lives today are completely infiltrated with digital media. The authors divide children's participation with digital media into three genres: "hanging out, messing around, and geeking out." 

What caught my attention in this chapter is the idea that experimentation and play are important aspects of kids "messing around" online.  Kids love to learn how to produce digital media and create content and most of their learning is done informally.  They figure it out how to use new technologies to create new content on their own.  So while they don't necessarily need educators teaching them how to use technology and make cool stuff, they do need guidance on how to be good digital citizens.  This was one of my hardest jobs in my previous role as a librarian.

But, I'm not a librarian anymore so what does this mean for me in my new position?  I would say that it reinforces the idea of informal education.  Kids need time to figure things out without being told what they should do and how they should do it.  This messing around part of children's lives is not a new concept.  What's new is that now they have this online setting in which to mess around and these really cool digital tools to mess around with.  Children's museums can facilitate this by providing opportunities for kids to mess around with digital media in the safe environment of the museum.  We can also be the informal educators that help kids become good digital citizens.  After all, it can't all fall on the shoulders of the school teachers! 

Ito, M., Sonja B., Matteo B., Boyd, D. Cody, R., Herr, B., Horst, H.A., Lange, P.G., Mahendran, D., Martinez, K., Pascoe, C.J., Perkel, D., Robinson, L., Sims, C., & Tripp, L.(2009). Hanging Out, Messing Around, Geeking Out: Living and Learning with New Media. Cambridge: MIT Press

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Pinterest ate my homework

Seriously.  I am drowning in a sea of homework assignments and yet I can't seem to get off of Pinterest.  I'm sure I'm not the only one.  BUT I don't consider all the time I spend on there wasted.  For example, I've found tons of technology integration ideas that I can use next year.  Plus, I've pinned dozens of recipes that I can try out.  This week I've decided that I will do/make/read at least one of the ideas I've pinned each day.

Last night I made a delicious corn, tomato, and cheddar pie.  We had fresh corn from my husband's brother so I thought I'd give it a try.   The original recipe called for a homemade crust but I cheated and bought one at the store.  Honestly, it's summer and I don't even dry my hair so I'm definitely note making homemade crust. Regardless, I think my semi-homemade version came on quite nicely!
As you can tell, it was quite juicy once I cut into it.  Not a problem.  I simply dipped it out with a spoon and ate that part like soup. So delicious!!! So anyway, my husband said that it was good but the next time I make it he wants me to dice the tomatoes because he doesn't like sliced tomatoes (what a weirdo!).  I have to give credit to Clockwork Lemon blog for the recipe and some anonymous pinner who pinned it originally.  This is definitely a keeper.  

I realize that this is a random post on my library blog but even librarians have lives outside the library! Plus, Pinterest is a great technology tool that has the amazing ability to connect people and ideas so I think it does fit. I'm not sure what today's Pinterest project might be.  I'm debating between using suggestions for organizing your t-shirt drawer and how to style my hair so that I have soft, beach waves.  So many projects, so little time.  Oh and I might do some homework to!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Going Green

Our school is really trying to "go green" with recycling bins and campus beautification projects.  We're trying to celebrate Earth Day everyday.  Leading up to the official Earth Day, my fifth graders did a short research project during the month of April that focused on recycling facts.  They worked in small groups and found some really interesting facts that surprised us all.  But what to do with those facts?  They were tired of the same old Power Point presentations that they had done in the past.  Plus, we have very limited time in our fixed library schedule.  So we took a skill they already had (PowerPoint) then took it to another level. They produced a PowerPoint presentation, then saved them as jpegs, and then loaded them into Animoto.  Voila! A video public service announcement in no time flat.  They really had fun choosing their theme and music.  Sometimes it wasn't exactly what I would have chosen but beggars can't be choosers! 

Monday, March 19, 2012


          I just realized I never blogged about my NCTIES experience. I can only blame that on the fact that I saw so many fabulous uses of technology while I was there that I was too busy playing around with all the "techno-stuff" that I totally forgot to share.  NCTIES (North Carolina Technology in Education Society) is by far the best conference I've ever been to.  Wait, let me rephrase that, the content, presenters, and attendees were the best. I once went to a conference that had Starbucks coffee on tap along with all the food you could eat. But I digress. 
        Where to begin.....every session I went to was amazing. I highly recommend going to pre-conference sessions because they give you a chance to really delve into something new.   In the morning pre-conference session we learned about using video to enhance instruction.  Richard Byrne was full of ideas that can easily be incorporated into the classroom or library.  He has inspired me to do a video research project with my 5th graders so be on the look out for their projects soon.  The afternoon pre-conference session was actually a photo safari with Ken Shelton.  He had a tremendous amount of patience as he taught us how to "make" pictures instead of taking them.  I've been practicing my rule of thirds and I'm even considering doing a project 365 where you take a picture each day of the year. 
      The concurrent sessions were full of wonderful FREE ideas.  I absolutely loved the Web 2.0 Smackdown that Jennifer LaGarde and Jennifer Northrup presented.  It's not that I'm partial to school librarians...well obviously I am so I won't even go there. Back to the smackdown: It was fast and furious but it was so much fun.  They used a symbaloo (which I had never heard of) and shared tons of tools that I've been playing around with. 
      I can't even begin to discuss all the new tools and ideas that I found at NCTIES.  What I will do is share how we're incorporating them in the library and in my school.  Stay tuned!