Friday, May 18, 2012

Technology to Put in the Hands of Students and Librarians

Several weeks ago I attended a the ILA Region 5 & 6 Conference at Snake River Community Library.  Here are some notes that I took at one of my favorite sessions. 

Tech Talk: Integrating 21st Century Tools into School Libraries with Gena Marker, current president of ILA.  She is a school librarian at Centennial High School in Meridian, ID.

            This session was rather exciting for me, because it talked about how technology can be used to enhance learning and the educational experience.  She began by mentioning how many teachers get in a technology rut, using software adopted a decade ago.  Gena encouraged librarians to put new tools in students’ hands.  I believe one of the educational goals for Idaho is to increase student fluency with technology; someone made reference to this in the session. 

            Gena has bought flip or pocket cameras (Sony Bloggie models I believe) into the students’ hands.  Students need to learn new information and how to present it.  They should navigate the future and can do this with the use of new tools and technology.

            Animoto: it’s great and it’s free.  As an educator you can upgrade when you login.  This will give more access.  Create a video with a few clicks.  The free version allows for a 30-second video, but educators can do more.  Embed photos and video clips.  It is quick to use once you have tried it out, as with other sites in the Cloud.  With the flip cameras, it is necessary to be close to people to hear them.  Animoto lets you choose music from (set of options) music library.

            Photo Story 3: this is good.

            Zamzar: third party that converts almost any file type, such as avi, flv, wav, mov, etc.  It has an easy three-step process:

1.       Upload file

2.      Specify the new file type you desire

3.      Enter email address, so they can send you the new file with the new extension

Let students create videos.  It forces creativity.

            AnyVideo Converter: another third party file converter.  This may cost money, but it also does more in the way of screen captures, ripping DVDs, and so forth.

            Prezi: it’s an interactive whiteboard that zooms, flips, and embeds photos.  Create an educator account.  It’s possible to download it to a USB device.  Check out flip cameras from the library.  Learn by trial and error.

            Glogster: she recommends that teachers and librarians use the Glogster EDU as it may be safer and can be managed in a private setting just for class.  Use Glogster to show things.  It is an alternative to PowerPoint.  Poster yourself.  It’s a digital poster, but it allows you to embed audio and video into the poster.  Thumbnail photos can be enlarged.  It’s more about content than design creation.  Or maybe she said to encourage students to focus on the content than on design creation.  Some students in an honors class created one that looked at McBeth(?) from a feminist perspective.  They created a video that could be viewed, and they could show the poster while they explained it to the class during a presentation. 

            Extranormal: student love this the most and can waste a lot of time here.  Type in the text, and a mechanical voice will come out of the cartoon character you have chosen.  Type in stage directions, like walk forward three steps, and point to the left.

            Audacity: free podcasting.  It’s a free download.  Use a microphone with a USB connector to attach it to the computer.  Record a book review and share it in your online catalog.  With Follett’s Destiny (opac vendor), she can do this. 

            Windows Live Movie Maker: it is good for making movies with photographs, recorded digital movies, and music.

            VoiceThread: collaborate to change a presentation or comment on it. 

            Wordle: create word clouds.  This is a fun design thing.

            Overall, this presentation interested me because of the way she tied the technology to student learning and creativity.  It gave me some ideas and made me want to try some of these things.

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