Monday, November 26, 2007

Thing #23

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

I loved the creativity of Flickr mashups, online image generators, and YouTube. I also loved the organizational usefulness of resources like RSS feeds, LibraryThing, and Audiobooks & podcasts are also wonderful. I was happy to discover that there are databases for both of those.

Were there any take-aways or unexpected outcomes from this program that surprised you?

I didn't think I would be interested in RSS feeds or podcasts, but I find that I will most definitely be using them in the future.

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

I really enjoyed this, so yes, most definitely I would participate again.

There were several things that I had heard of before, but did not know exactly what they were. I feel like I am much better informed not. But more than that, I feel like I would enjoy participating & using these new Web 2.0 technologies. Thank you!

Thing #2

"7 1/2 Habits"

1. Begin with the end in mind
2. Accept responsibility for your own learning
3. View problems as challenges
4. Have confidence in yourself
5. Create your own learning toolbox
6. Use technology to your advantage
7. Teach & mentor others
7 1/2. Play

I thought this was an interesting tutorial. Most of the things discussed seem like common sense or second nature, but having them spelled out lets you actually examine your own behavior and learning style. I believe the hardest habits of the ones above for me would be: 3. Viewing problems as challenges (I tend to be pessimistic and give up easily), 4. Confidence (again, due to pessimism), and 7. Teaching others. I feel that the ability to instruct and communicate my ideas clearly are things that I particularly struggle with. I learn much better on my own. The easiest habits for me would be: 1. Have a goal in mind, 2. Be responsible for your own learning, 7. Use technology, and finally "Play." I find that "playing" or exploring/experimenting with something is best way to not only learn, but to reinforce past lessons.

Thing #22 - Audiobooks

I have to say I love Project Gutenberg. What a great directory of free e-books! It has a search function for author or title, bu what I loved the most is the list of Top 100 downloaded books. I would be interested in trying Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen or Beowulf.

I especially love audiobooks for listening to on long trips.

Thing #21 - Podcasts

Out of all the podcast directories listed, I found I preferred Podcastalley.

There is such a wide variety of available podcasts. It's pretty incredible. I decided I wanted to look for some movie critic podcasts. I found 2 movie review podcasts ("Filmspotting" & "Movies You Should See"), which I have added to my Bloglines account. I liked that you were able to browse for podcasts by genre. I found that most helpful.

Thing #20 - YouTube

YouTube is a site that I frequent often. Here is a recent favorite video of mine. It uses typography (as a direct reaction to music) as an artform, and it is absolutely stunning.

I can see YouTube being useful for libraries for events, programs, or lectures. The previous assignment video The Machine Is Us/ing Us is a good example of how streaming video could be useful for a library system.

The main drawback to YouTube is that there is a lot of, well, bad videos that you have to sift through to find the gems. Another rapidly expanding streaming video site that I use is IMeem.

Thing #19

[ Discover any site from the Web 2.0 awards list ]

There are certainly a lot of useful, productive tools and resources on the awards list. I think, though, I'm going to write about the ones that I had the most fun with.

Cocktail Builder is a guide to mixed drinks, but it's more than just a list of recipes. In the search box, you can type in some bottles you might have in your house, and up pops a list of all the drinks you can makes with those. There is also a wiki-type function that allows users to add their own drink recipes to the database, as well as user reviews.

I also loved the idea of One Sentence, which showcases stories (added by users) that are only one sentence long. From the "About" page:

This is about telling the most interesting or poignant story possible in the least amount of words.

Both of these use the basic Web 2.0 idea of user-generated content. Plus, they're a lot of fun!

Thing #18

I created a document in Zoho Writer and was then able to use Zoho to publish it directly into my blog. The bottom half of this post was published like that. I am now editing the post to add this introduction. I really like the idea of web-based word processing applications.

This is a test document for Thing #18

I am going to copy & paste a passage from the assignment:

One large benefit to web-based applications it that they eliminate the need to worry about different software versions or file types as you email documents or move from PC to PC. Another bonus is that they easily accommodate collaboration by allowing multiple users to edit the same file (with versioning) and provide users the ability to save and convert documents as multiple file types (including HTML and pdf). And, you can even use many of these tools, such as Zoho Writer and Google Docs* (formerly known as Writely) to author and publish posts to your blog. It’s this type of integration with other web 2.0 tools that also makes web-based apps so appealing.For this discovery exercise, participants are asked to take a look at a web-based word processing tool called Zoho Writer, create a simple document and then document your discoveries in your blog. If you're up to the challenge, you might even export your document as an HTML file or publish it through Zoho to your blog. With Zoho and web-based applications, the possibilities are endless.