Sunday, August 15, 2010

Adventure #23-Just the Beginning

Adventure #23 is looking at copyright laws and creative commons. Creative commons allows you to take an idea or an image or anything else under license or copyright and remix it or "change it up." Copyright laws are so extensive that I feel, even though I am at the end of this course, I will devote other blog postings to laws that pertain to librarians and teachers.

I enjoyed every adventure. Did I learn new things? Yes; however, I felt like I was being rushed and couldn't devote enough time to adventures that I really enjoyed, like glogs! One of the other librarians taking this class thought it would be a good idea to include podcasts in the course. Why not incorporate the technology that we are learning in the course. Good idea Ms. M. Gonzalez!

This isn't the end of my blog. I am learning new technology applications that will lead to more adventures. Adventures never end; so, keep tuning in techies....................The fun is just beginning.

Adventure #22 eBooks

eBooks are becoming a fast-growing phenomenon with all the competition in eBook readers; however, as with everything else, you can invest a lot of money into purchasing the reader and the book; there are several places that I researched that provide free eBooks. These are books that are part of the public domain, books not covered under copyright laws in the United States. I found some of my favorites: Emma by Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Wuthering Heights, to name a few.

There are two sites that I really like for free eBooks; one is the Gutenberg Project and the other is Many Books, found at You can browse in Many Books by author, title, genre or language. Their are many different formats for download including PDF files.

Another site was mentioned, This site provides "best places to get free eBooks." However, this site was not working properly.

For elementary schools, there is a website called Tumblebook Library but you must pay for a subscription unless you can access it through a public library.

If you are interested in purchasing eBooks, you can visit The World e-Book Fair for websites.

That is all for now techies.....................

Podcasts-A New Note

Although the definition says that podcasts are non-musical, I am finding musical podcasts. They are in MP3 format and some are downloadable, either to your podcast receiver or your computer. Interesting!!!! Thought I would share.....on to e-books!

Adventure #21 Podcasts

Podcasts are non-musical audios that are fed into embeddable players or through your RSS feeds. I signed up for an account at I liked that fact that they have an embeddable player for podcasts. The embeddable player can be embedded into your blog or other website. However, what I am finding out, although I am still investigating this, is that the podcasts that embed into the player are the ones that we create, not ones that you find that are already created by someone else. I am still trying to find a way to embed podcasts that have been created by someone else but am running out of time right now.

There are many podcasts that are found in directories on topics such as current news topics, education (found one on beginning Spanish) and any other topic you could think of.

One of our librarians last year created podcasts with her students. They read books; then, they created book review podcasts. What was interesting and exciting was that Derek Landy, author of Skulduggery Pleasant, found out about her podcast and scheduled a phone interview with her students, all the way from Ireland. Kudos to Amy Marquez, librarian extraordinaire!

So, my podcasting adventure is just beginning. I will post more on this adventure at a later date. So until next time techies........

Friday, August 13, 2010

TeacherTube Video

YouTube-Adventure #20

YouTube has every kind of video imaginable. Unfortunately or fortunately, YouTube is filtered in our district. I added two videos for practice. The first one is a song by OwlCity called Fireflies. My daughter loves that song. This is a remix. What can I say, I love it too. The next video is of Roshan Taneja, an Indian Acting Professor who went to the Neighborhood Playhouse in New York with my father. He has been in the acting profession for over 45 years and is revered in India, as well as the United States.

TeacherTube is not filtered in our school district; so, I plan to view videos in TeacherTube and post one or two that I feel I could use successfully in the library. So, until next time techies......

Roshan Taneja on YouTube

Adventure #20 YouTube

Adventure #19-Library Thing

Library Thing, found at, allows users to add books from their personal library to the website; thus, they can connect with other users who have similar interests. This reminds me of a world-wide book club! I added books that are my favorites (although I have many many more), and it allowed me to see who had similar libraries like mine. Maybe other librarians? Other Angel believers? There are also book reviews by users, which could prove useful for librarians.

I was able to add a Library Thing widget to my blog. You just have to go into the HTML and paste the code. Hopefully, it will update when I add more books. I will test this out tomorrow. So, until next time techies......I'm off to the pool.

Zoho Writer-Adventure #18

Zoho Writer, found at, is a web-based tool that allows you to create online documents. This is similar to google docs. This tool allows the user to set up their page and add images, a table of contents, a table or anything else that they would normally use if they were using Microsoft Word. I think this would be especially helpful for high school students who may not have access to Word or Works at home but have access to the Internet.

I also found out, as you can see from my previous posts, that you can save a document and post it into your blog or publish it for other Zoho Writer users to see. I am off to another adventure. (This was a fast one....felt like I was just passing through but I actually went in depth with it.) Until next time techies................

Zoho Writer Part 2 -Adventure #18

It worked! You can save your documents in Zoho Writer; then, publish directly to your blog. Love it.

Zoho Writer

I am experimenting with Zoho Writer. It is similar to Google Docs. Registered users are able to create word processing pages, spreadsheets and many other items without having to have Microsoft products installed on their computers. Now, I am going to save this; then, I am going to try to post this to my blog. It has this feature, but let me see if I can get it to work. More on Zoho Writer later.......

Adventure #17 Wikis Revisited

For this adventure, I was asked to look at other wiki websites. Then, I was asked to play in the ESC1 wiki's sandbox. I really didn't enjoy playing in the sandbox. The sandbox is an area where you can add things for fun, I guess so that you will become comfortable with working inside a wiki. To each his own.

What I did enjoy, however, was looking at other wiki websites. The one I really liked is a California Curriculum Connections wiki found at This provided me with a lot of ideas for wiki use.

Wikis could be used as a place for librarians to help each other (within a school district), especially new ones. In fact, I think I am going to start one, let the librarians know about it, and see where it goes. Librarians could also collaborate on creating standard documents to be used in all elementary or secondary libraries. Library uses: Scavenger hunts, genre study, technology wiki for teachers and students, book discussions....and the list could go on and on.

Another wiki I enjoyed was the TeacherLibrarian wiki found at Okay, enough of wikis. I am ready to move on to web-based tools. So, until next time techies.

Adventure #16 Wikis

I am trying to complete my 23 adventures by Sunday, my deadline.......scary thought; however, I have been inundated (don't you just love big words?) with a lot of other technology woes. I just found out yesterday that I would be getting a new circulation system for the library. It isn't hard to do, but when you haven't had any formal training, you need time to "play around" with it. I also created a website for my husband and his friend. (They have a cover-band) I have been learning about domain names and google analytics. So, even though I haven't been solely concentrating on the 23 adventures, I have been venturing out into uncharted territory. Okay, enough dramatics!

Some of these adventures tend to overlap; so, I hope I don't repeat myself. Wikis are collaborative websites that allow users to add, delete and edit content created by any of the registered users.The wiki website that I researched is PBworks, found at The PB wiki is an easy to use wiki for elementary school implementation. In addition, the teacher can sign up as many as 100 students under him/her without the students needing email addresses.

4th graders, in Texas, are tested in writing; so, this would be a good tool for editing and peer feedback. This would also be a good resource for story writing across grades, as well as collaborative research projects. I can envision a state or country project!

PBworks is not filtered in our district which is a plus. I am just hoping that I can get the teachers to jump on the PBworks wagon with me. If not, then I will set up one for the library for an on-going research project....maybe a road trip! Who doesn't like road trips?

Better venture on. The next adventure is the same as this one: Wikis. So, wait a few minutes and come back. There will be another entry.

If you want to see my website creation, go to Sounds like I'm promoting right? Until next time, techies....