Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thing #8: Screencast

Whew! This was tricky! Screencastle would record the cast and then play it, but I never successfully embeded it in my blog. I could not get the Jing to record my sounds. It recorded the movements fine.... Eek. Technology. Always expect problems.

Thing #7: Video Resources

Our kids live in a world of videos. How many times have I told kids about a story only to have someone say, "I saw that movie!" Eek! So I approach videos with caution. Kids are already watching, passively, too many videos. If I am to use videos, it is to promote active use of videos.

I found so many great videos that I could use in our school next year that I'm a little overwhelmed.

Here are two great video search engines that will work well at my school:



Thing #6: iTouch Apps

I've had an iPhone for, let's see, all of three months and I'm still in love.

No, I couldn't receive e-mail when I was out in the middle of Nowhere, Utah a week ago, but who could? And that's been my only difficulty.

What do I do with my iPhone? E-mail, of course. Connect to the Web. Approve blog comments. Find a good place to eat. Scramble. Read books on the Kindle app (though I prefer the Kindle because of the size of the page and the length of the battery). Listen to music (occasionally). Make calls (especially when lightning knocked out our home phone...again). Take pictures (a few, because they cannot-apparently-be removed). Twitter to see what others are doing. Facebook.

Okay. I use my iPhone a lot.

How could students use it?

First, we would need the technology. Not sure iTouch is a great tool for five-year-olds. But, hey, who knows? Who would have thought we'd have two-year-olds using computers?!

Monday, June 29, 2009

#5: Microblogging (aka Twitter and Facebook)

I've been at Facebook for several months. It was my cousin who got me started. She is older than I am (and that's OLD!) but she used Facebook and recommended it to me as a way we could stay in touch.

I joined Facebook reluctantly. At first, it was tough to find friends. The only friends I could find were my son's age. And it struck me as a little silly...."Would you be my friend?"

But now I've been using it a while and I've found it's an easy way to stay in touch with people I don't get to see as often as I would like to. I have relatives who are friends. I have book friends who are friends. I have fellow librarians who are friends. I have old friends who are friends.

I look at what others are doing and I see what others are reading and I post a little about myself and I post pictures and I see others' pictures.


My name at Facebook is Debbie Ashley Nance. I am always happy to have new friends.

Now, Twitter....Well, that's a different story. I signed up for Twitter a while back and I rarely look at it. I haven't really found that many people I am eager to follow at Twitter, I think.

My name at Twitter is debnance. Again, I would love to follow and be followed by those who are interested in libraries, books, reading, puppets, teaching, and technology.

Thing #3: Skype

How can I use Skype and Skype-like tools in the library?

1. I would love to hold meetings using WizIQ. Would others be amenable to this? Would it be possible to participate in district meetings or school meetings this way and, at the same time, accomplish needed library tasks?

2. I wonder how a teacher at our school could use Skype in connection with her Flat Stanley project.

3. Could ESL students benefit from Skype-ing with others?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Thing #4 (The Rest): Videos and YouTube

Videos are compelling to the children at my school.

I made my first video and posted it to YouTube while we were in Utah. It took me forever to upload it here on my blog. Not sure why. I had no success and then finally changed the format. Finally, the video took.

The video is of my husband looking for topaz on Topaz Mountain. He appears to be laying on his back while he is topaz hunting, but this is the result of my poor video skills.

Thing #2 (the rest): Bookr

Ah! People can take photos and then publish them in a small book!

Here are my little books on Utah:

http://www.pimpampum.net/bookr/index.php?id=7577 (first attempt)
http://www.pimpampum.net/bookr/index.php?id=7578 (with words, too)

Utah (with An Exclamation Point)

Exclamation points are overused, they say.

I will allow the Utah! license plate its exclamation point. It is justified.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Thing #4: (A Little) The King's English and (Mostly) Topaz Mountain

We arrived in Utah on Monday afternoon and where was our first stop? The King's English Bookstore in Salt Lake City. I finished two books on the plane and was desperate for more books.

(Aside: Why is it that Salt Lake is everything I thought San Francisco would be and wasn't? Kind, friendly people. Clean. Cool but not cold.)

I requested a book with a Utah (Utahan?) author and the bookshop help showed me several great choices. I ended up with A is for Arches (a Sleeping Bear children's alphabet book) and Refuge by Salt Lake author Terry Tempest Williams.

Warning: Stop reading here if you care not about life outside books.

We spent yesterday and today collecting sunstone and topaz and Apache tears. Fabulous. We'll be taking oodles of sunstone and oodles of topaz and oodles of Apache tears home with us.

Here's a video I shot of mi esposo:

Wouldn't kids love to see a video they'd created online or posted on my library blog?!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Back in the Saddle

I've been MIA for a bit...end of school...library inventory...traveling to Dallas...summer job...Relay for Life...getting ready to leave tomorrow for Utah....but I'm finally back in the saddle, figuratively speaking, in my reading.

And I'm about to climb back in the saddle, literally, when we head off to Utah. Utah presented a challenge to me. I always find some books set in the place we're going to take along with me for my trip. Utah was tough. I finally found a Louis L'Amour western and a Magic Tree House western (in Spanish). I'm bringing along Roughing It to release there, but I've already read it. And I found a children's nonfiction book (copyright 1963) about Utah.

And that's it.

Surely there are other Utah books?!

In the last few weeks, I have finally finished Home by Marilynne Robinson, a Magic Tree House book in Spanish), Nick Hornby's Shakespeare Wrote for Money, and three books about yoga and meditation.

I had checked out Home when it first came out but turned it quickly back in, thinking it was too much like Gilead. The reviews for Home continued to pour in and all of them were good. So I went back to it. And loved it. Robinson knows the Prodigal Son.

Shakespeare Wrote for Money is a collection of Hornby's last columns for the Believer magazine. I'm glad he's given up on these. I must say I liked his earlier columns, but the novelty so vital to the appeal of his approach has dimmed with each column.

I've been playing around with yoga and Christian meditation in recent days. The three books I read all sent me off to try out some new poses, new thoughts. Worthwhile, I think.

So I'm off to Utah tomorrow. Hope I can find some charming bookstores there. I'm pretty sure I will be coming home with some beautiful rocks, some trilobites, and some great pictures...but I'm a bit worried about finding some books. Wish me luck.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Library 2Play 2: Thing #1

The Networked Student; The Movie
http://www.teachertube.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=64972&title=The_Networked_Student___The_Movie )

Yes, isn't that what we all want?

Can you imagine a world where kids grow up with this kind of education? Where kids become adults who love to learn? Where these adults spend their work time and their free time working with others and exploring their passions?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Summer Starts TODAY!

The bell will sound at 3 this afternoon and my summer will officially begin.

Here's what I've stockpiled in the last few weeks:

Un-birthday books:

Shakespeare Wrote for Money

The Book Whisperer


Carol Shields' Selected Stories

House Lust

BookCrossing book:


In the Mail:

Book on digital photography

A poetry book

Book on relaxation techniques

A Spanish-English visual dictionary

At the Library:

Home by Marilynne Robinson

New Elizabeth Berg

New Terry Pratchett

Am I set for summer or what?!