Sunday, March 18, 2007

Week 9, Exercise 23

Well what do you know. I actually made it to the end of the Learner 2.0 program. I was a little disgruntled that it took so much time, particularly since I had to do it on my own time, but it was worth the effort.

1. What were your favorite discoveries or exercises on this learning journey?

A: My favorite exercises were learning how to blog, discovering Flickr and image generators, RSS feeds, the Libary Thing and podcasts. I yhink the home search tools that I explored in Exercise 11 will come in handy in the not too distant future.

2. How has this program assisted or affected your lifelong learning goals?

A: I found a number of things I want to go back to and spend more time with. I've mentioned these in previous blog entries. Previously, I would use the Internet chiefly to find the answer to a question. Now I will look at it more as an extension of the library; i.e., a place were I can browse and "check out" stuff that interests me.

3. Were there any take-a-ways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?

A: Don't know that it was unexpected, but I certainly feel more in tune with what my kids have been using for a long time. What's amazing is that they learned it all on their own without a course like this!

4. What could we do differently to improve upon this program’s format or concept?

A: Can't really think of anything, though I don't think the podcasts were necessary.

And last but not least…

If we offered another discovery program like this in the future, would you choose to participate?

A: Depends on what it was.

Thanks for the journey :-)

Week 9, Exercise 22

My exploration of ebooks was not quite as satisfying as the podcasts. Most of the items answering to my search interests turned out to be for SJSU only. The Gutenberg titles looked pretty dry, for the most part. What I anticipate finding most useful will be the Pimsleur language titles. I've always enjoyed the challenge of learning languages. It doesn't stay with you long if you have no opportunity to practice it, but while you're trying it out, it's still fun. Was going to download and revisit French today, but since I don't have a cable hook-up or dial-up and no time estimates were provided for DSL, I decided to leave it for another day. Safari Tech also looks promising. When I have the time, I'll download "Graphic Design Portfolio-Builder: Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator Projects" for starters.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Week 9, Exercise 21

Wow, this is cool, an absolute goldmine of manageable chunks of information delivered aurally. Like many of the resources introduced, there's more out there than one can cover in 20 minutes. The risk lies in wandering around out there for hours, possibly missing activities that are fundamentally more important. Nevertheless, I'm glad to have explored this resource as I found many things of personal interest (see list below that I'll be returning to). For one thing, it looks like a great place to find material with which to practice one's foreign language comprehension skills. "Learn Hindi from Bollywood Movies" looked like it could be fun. I learned how to use my French press and make Irish coffee by watching "Art of the Drink: St. Patrick's Day Irish Coffee." Here are some interesting findings. Podcast Alley's "Top 10" included two Harry Potter themed podcasts. The most popular tags today, as posted by Yahoo Podcasts, were comedy, music, news, podcast and technology. Both Podcast Alley and Yahoo Podcasts did a better job of locating library-related podcasts. I added "Libraries Across Cultures" to my Blogline feeds. "The program aims to help librarians serving multilingual, multicultural populations understand how to more successfully reach new people." Another one that YA librarians might find useful is "Game On = Games in Libraries," which "aims to keep librarians up-to-date on gaiming."

Here are my personal favorites from today's exploration:
* Unabellavista: How to Tour Italy
* Creative Photoshop with John Reuter
* NPR All Songs Considered

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Week 9, Exercise 20

A coworker suggested today that I look up "The Secret" on YouTube. I found that there were many entries for it. Here's one that offers an appealing way to remember the ideas.

There is quite an amazing range of material presented. One video I encountered shared a teenager's angst at being humiliated on a TV show. I have to wonder at the wisdom of baring one's soul in this manner for some of the responses were so unkind. I can't help but wonder if he didn't feel worse in the end.

Potential library uses for videos: storytelling, tutorials

Site components that could transfer: what's new at..., popular [books] for mobile devices

Week 8, Exercise 19

Creating a Library Thing personal catalog was drop dead easy. Here's the link to my catalog, though I have to say it looks like a generic address:

Here are my entries:
Graphic Design Solutions, Third Edition by Robin Landa (3 other members)

Creative Bead Weaving: A Contemporary Guide To Classic Off-Loom Stitches by Carol Wells (41 other members)

The Watercolor Landscape Techniques of 23 International Artists by International Artists (1 other members)

Kaffe Fassett's Kaleidoscope of Quilts (Patchwork and Quilting) by Kaffe Fassett (5 other members)

Handpaint Country: A Knitter's Journey by Cheryl Potter (29 other members)

Beading and knitting appear to be the most popular shared interests. Surprised not to see more owners of the watercolor book. Now here is what I'd really like to see. A similar service that stores books you "want" to read, but don't own. That way I can avoid checking out books until I actually have time to read them (avoiding those nasty fines for inevitably forgetting to renew something on time). I could also ditch the raggedy notebook in which I've recorded all the books I want to read "when I have time." I supposed I could create a shadow account for that purpose. Who but me would know (or care) that I don't own the books listed?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Week 8, Exercise 18

Google Docs does a better job of introducing the benefits and features of its service. My actual trial, as required, was conducted using Zoho Writer. After a little bit of a rocky start, I figured out how it works and everything worked pretty smoothly. I created a basic table template called "Community Contacts." I used that template to create a brief document (based on memory, since I was trying this at home) called "School & Education Contacts." I emailed and esported the document successfully. The drawback I encountered with Zoho Writer is its limited table options. I couldn't see how to have a table larger than 6 columns by 6 rows. Hopefully Google Docs would be more sophisticated.

What I can see as key advantages, over traditional ways of sharing documents, is that everyone working on a document is always accessing the most current version and multiple people can access the file at the same time. Nothing slows things down like getting a response in email that is responding to a document version that is already passe. Among its other benefits, I can see that this tool would be an easy way to create an aggregated contact list of any type (e.g., Friends, community partners, media, school, etc.)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Week 7, Exercise 17

I don't think you could find an easier tool to use. How it could be used at work? Obvious things that come to mind are:
* Post recommendations
* Organizing project resources
* Collecting best practices on any task assignment area; e.g. community outreach
It's 7:30pm on Sunday evening and my son is complaining "When are you gonna be done so I can use the computer?" so I guess I'll leave it at that.