As a measure of how fast technology is evolving, parts of this program seemed outdated already and it was frustrating that many of the links no longer worked. Programs like this in the future should probably have an online manager to check and update the material.
I did enjoy learning about some online tools that I had not yet ventured into - RSS feeds, newsreaders, and podcasts. The style of learning - self-paced personal exploration is effective but needs group follow-up. At Davis I am planning a staff meeting where we will share our experience of 23 Things, what we learned, what questions we may have, where to go from here in staying up to date with the fast pace of technological change.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Here I tackled a topic I really haven't become adept at yet - I just prefer an actual book to a downloadable or audio book. It did give me an opportunity to explore the revised LibGuide to eBooks on the MCPL website - it is very well organized and has a lot of helpful information for late adapters like me. I feel better able to help patrons with their questions after reviewing this site. I found some very interesting choices on Project Gutenberg - because their titles have expired copyright there are many old titles and editions. I decided to download Costumes of the Middle Ages and Renaissance - I thought the illustrations would be interesting to see on the screen.
I explored podcasts this evening, first a general podcast directory and then gravitating naturally to the NPR site where you can subscribe to podcasts of your favorite programs - talk or music. I don't think I am as excited about podcasts as I am by other online activities. I have iTunes on my Mac at home but I've never really got into it. Ah well, let she who is without a sense of humor cast the first pod!
Exploring YouTube can really be a depressing business when there is so much stupidity to wade through! And cruelty - the main page today featured an obese teen singing very badly and was obviously there because people enjoy laughing at her. I've had the most experience using it to find authors reading from or discussing their work. I embed them in the Discussion Guides I create for the Readers' Cafe. I've also enjoyed finding video of singers and bands from my youth in England in the 60's. A very nostalgic experience! Today I decided to find video of my favorite opera aria - Purcell's Dido's Lament. It is very interesting to see different versions and compare the changing styles in staging and costume over the years. The best version I saw today is here:
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Of the listed award winning sites to explore I chose Lulu, an online publishing site, well - because my brother's books are available there. I wanted to learn more about the world of online publishing. I was impressed with the variety of services Lulu offers. Some are widely available elsewhere, for example photo books, but Lulu also offers full publishing services including editing and cover design, ebooks, and music CDs - just upload your music and design the case! Lulu prints on demand as site visitors purchase items. Services like this are challenging the business model of traditional publishers and also have implications for libraries. More books in the future will be downloaded to a portable device and many trees will be saved. Authors who self-publish at Lulu or similar sites market their own books and sometimes get picked up by traditional publishers. If you don't care about fame and fortune but just want to create a book of family history for your relatives Lulu is the perfect place.
I feel like a little kid left out of the sandbox when all the other kids get to play! I am attempting #17 which is supposed to be fun - I could not sign in to the Maryland Libraries Sandbox. The link from the 23 Things page just asks for email address and gives a generic password. That didn't work so I clicked "help" and found a way to sign up for PB. Then when I tried to log in I was told I did not have access to the workspace. So I emailed a question to the "contact." Even that was fraught - I couldn't read two of the squiggley words. So now I have completed one of the web's frustrating sessions of spinning wheels pointlessly. Ah well, it is all a learning experience! I will await an answer to my email, if it hasn't disappeared into some black hole, so I can continue on the 23 Things track.