The Desk

The Desk
So many projects . . . so little time!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Blogging for Readers

I love blogging. It fulfills that frustrated writer in me and I love the ease of it. Up until now I have maintained this blog primarily for my own benefit. That others read what I write is just a plus. After attending the recent CSLA conference and hearing what others have done with their blogs and wikis I decided that I needed to branch out. I started thinking about how I could incorporate a blog into my library program. What I came up with can be found at .

The first obstacle to creating a blog that students and teachers might read is finding a blog service that our ever diligent filter wouldn't protect them from. I received several different recommendations and decided to go with Wordpress. I wanted to be able to create entries at school as well as on my own time. I also wanted staff and students to be able to get to it. So far so good.

The next, and even more important, part was to decide the purpose for the blog. I needed to have a theme that would make others want to read it. One of my goals in the library is to help students enjoy reading. That became the premise for my new blog. I decided that I would read new books, old books, classic books, picture books, etc and then "book talk" them for the students. I started with Each Little Bird That Sings because I just loved the characters in the book. I am going to try to add a new book each week.

The last part of setting up my blog is promoting it. How am I going to bring readers to my page? Library Learning 2.0 spoiled me. I had a cheer leader assigned to me and I could always count on someone reading what I wrote here and commenting with a pat on the virtual back and maybe a suggestion. But most of all there was encouragement.

For my new library blog I have to be a little more forward. Maybe a lot more forward. I emailed my whole staff, the other library staff in my district, my technology mentor and the assistant superintendent over curriculum. I told them why I was doing the blog and where they can find it. I put a link on our school website. I also plan on putting a shameless plug for my blog in the school newsletter first chance I get.

Thus, my new blog has been inaugurated. It's a little like opening a store and hoping for that first customer to walk through the door. The open sign is lit.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Too Long Gone

It has been a while but it's not because I haven't been learning and using 2.0 constantly. remains my friend and I have recruited many to the usefulness of it. I am happy to report that many of the teachers at my school are enjoying it's benefits. And it's not one of the sites that my district web filter blocks. Yeah!!!!

The newest toy I have come across isn't really Web 2.0 but useful and fun all the same. Photo Story 3 is such a fun and it's so easy that even the technology challenged can put together a photo story. I learned about it from our district technology coordinator and then asked her if she'd mind if I shared it with the teachers at my site. With her blessing I did three inservices for the staff, taught it to a fifth grade class and did a presentation at the PTA meeting for parents. The last was a shameless ploy to get them to finance microphones. Our principal had already convinced them to purchase ten new digital cameras for us. (Side note: We bought hot pink Cyber Shot cameras so they couldn't be confused with personal cameras. Besides a donation went to breast cancer research when you bought the pink ones.)

Back to Photo Story 3 .... If you haven't used this yet, it is a free download from Microsoft. It works on your computer if you have XP or higher (I think it is part of the package with Vista). One of the fun features is the option to email your Photo Story when it is completed. I have taken pictures in the morning, put one together and emailed it to teachers so that they can show it to their students before dismissal time. It, by no means, equipped with the bells and whistles of similar programs like Roxio, but for something quick and easy, Photo Story 3 is your answer.