The Fault in Our Stars

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A beautifully written MUST READ by one of my favorite contemporary authors

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Thing 5: Social Bookmarking

I absolutely love Scoop.It! I had been hearing about it but this was my first time trying it out. I feel like this is exactly the web-organizing tool that I’ve been waiting for. I have tried bookmarking tools like Delicious, and I keep bookmarks in my browser’s toolbar, but as with a lot of the other tools we’ve been exploring I find that I do much better with the more visual tools. The Web is so infinite and overwhelming – it’s helpful to have a concrete space to organize the things that I want to keep track of.

I really like the “magazine” layout of Scoop.It (Maybe it’s the familiarity of a physical print format that makes this tool so appealing to me!)I created a topic called “Reading Resources.”


It would be really simple to share all of these sources with my library patrons with one link to the topic page. I also love the idea of having students use this tool to keep track of web resources as they are researching or to keep an online portfolio of their own personal web publications.

The other bookmarking tool that I have been using is Pinterest. I love the simplicity of it and the Pin It! bookmarklet that allows you to easily add something to a pin board as you are browsing the Web. So far I have been using this one soley for my personal needs – I like the social networking aspect of it as I have been following the pins of friends and other library professionals.

Thing 4: RSS

I have fallen a bit behind, but I’m ready to catch up! This year all of the teachers and students in my school district received Google accounts, so I already had an iGoogle page set up, but I decided to add to it based on Polly’s suggestions.

I really like using iGoogle as a kind of personal home page where I can organize all of my web materials. I also find the layout really easy to navigate – I like that all of my gadgets have their own physical space on the page. For this reason I added a separate RSS feed for each website or blog that I want to keep up with, rather than using GoogleReader – I just find it more visually appealing when each source has its own box, rather than being all clumped together in the reader. I added feeds from a variety of different content areas, including libraries, technology, and top news stories. So far this has been a great way for me to get the “headlines” so that I can keep up with the latest hot topics, and then I can explore the stories deeper if I have a relevant interest (and if I have the time!)

I also added some gadgets, including basic things like the weather forecast, along with the Upper Hudson Library System search box, which I think is really cool! Overall, I enjoy using iGoogle as an organizer of my personal Web. Now I would love to extend this tool to students. It would be a great way to teach them how to organize their information when searching on the web, and it’s fun too!

I explored NetVibes too because I wasn’t as familiar with it. I found that I don’t like the tabbed layout as much for my own personal organizing. However, I have been using it to keep track of the Cool Tools blogs and I can definitely envision using it with classes, especially because it allows you to create a public page that can be shared.

While iGoogle works great as a personal home page, I see NetVibes working very well as a tool for gathering information in one spot – specifically I would show students how to use it as a kind of “virtual file folder” for gathering web resources for a research project or I would use it to present information during a lesson that can be accessed by students afterwards. I believe RSS feeds have huge potential for information literacy education and I can’t wait to come up with some fun ways to use it with students.

Thing #3: Online Communities

I consider myself to be fairly “in-the-know” about the social networks that are out there, but Twitter is one trend that I have struggled to get into.  I set up an account awhile ago just to get familiar with it, but it’s an information platform that I have trouble wrapping my head around.  It just feels like too much information coming at me from different sources, while it is more natural for me to take my time reading one longer document (say an article or a book).

I gave it another go for this assignment though, and after playing around a bit I’m making it work for me.  It helped me to set up lists to organize different types of information.  So far I have Professional Organizations (ALA, NYPL, etc.), Authors, Librarians, and Friends.  I am really enjoying following some of my favorite authors.  I’ve decided that for me the best uses for Twitter will be to keep up with the latest library trends and book releases and reviews – all of the information that I want be on the cutting edge of –  the headlines of the library world in other words.

I have not tweeted anything myself yet, as I am still getting familiar my surroundings.  I love some of the Twitter widgets that Polly mentioned though, and am trying to decide if I should set up a news feed on my library webpage. So after some tweaking of my profile I guess I am warming up to Twitter!

P.S. Feel free to follow me @GHSLibrarian, I would love to add some Cool Toolers to my Twitter community!

Thing 1: Blogging

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Hello fellow Cool Tools participants! This is my first year participating in the course and I am very excited to get started.  This is my second year as a Library Media Specialist at Guilderland High School. I am always trying to keep up with the latest educational technologies to use with students and teachers and to use myself! I think this forum will be an excellent way to learn, troubleshoot and discuss different technology tools with others in the field.

I have to admit that this is my very first official blog!  I actually resurrected an old WordPress blog that I created just to play around with it, but I have never really followed through with posting things regularly.  I enjoy journaling so I think this will be fun!