Friday, December 18, 2009

Favorite Readings

I liked our readings from our textbook Library 2.0 and Beyond edited by Nancy Courtney the best. It was easy to read and I felt like I learned a lot. I definitely enjoyed the required readings from this course more than the required readings of our Cataloging course. The chapters I liked the most were the most informative and relevant. One reading I liked was the first chapter, "Web 2.0 and Library 2.0:What Librarians Need to Know" . I had definitely heard the term Web 2.0 before but this gave a great explanation to what Web 2.0 means. My other favorite reading was chapter 3 of this book, "The Wonderful World of Wikis: Applications for Libraries." This explained the reasons and ease of using wikis in libraries. I think what I appreciated most was the follow up with our class discussion in Tapped In based on our readings and activities about wikis. I felt this was the best session of Tapped In that I attended. After reading and discussing I wanted to explore more about wikis.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

AT Module 5

This was a nice conclusion to our AT discovery exercises. It was good to read some suggested lesson plans. A lot of good resources are available and promoted during disability awareness month. It was interesting to study AT in this course. I'm on a team at our church that was brainstorming needs of our church over the next few years. We met last night and one area that came up was making sure we meeting the needs of those with disabilities. They talked about updating our technology available for those who need help hearing the sermon. I thought that was awesome that our church was looking to use funds to use assistive technology.
I spent a little bit of time looking through the books on Library Thing about characters with disabilities. Some I am familiar with but some titles were new to me. I hope to have some down time to get to read a little. I'll check out a few of these books. I really think Library Thing is a great resource. I found the information in these AT modules beneficial.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

AT Module 4 Part 2

Here are some good websites I bookmarked about Assitive Technology:
Assistive Technology to Meet K-12 Student Needs
Includes table with lists of assistive technology separated by disability
Enable Mart- Technology for Everyone
Store with variety of assistive technology based on disability need
Tech Matrix
Search for assistive technology tools by subject or learning support
RJ Cooper & Associates Inc.
Hardware and software needs for people with special needs
Technology for Education
Includes assistive technology to use in classrooms

Monday, November 30, 2009

AT Module 4

I was amazed at how many different resources there are about netiquette. I guess it has become an important area to inform as so much communication now happens over the computer. I know schools really need to address cyberbullying and teaching students correct use of technology.

I also enjoyed reading all the website had to say about ettiquette with those with disabilities. I enjoyed the You Tube video where the guy went for an interview and roles were reversed. I know people gain comfort the more they spend time with those with disabilities. This is definitely something I feel is important to support and reach out to those with disabilities. When I was in high school, I helped coach special olympics soccer. I loved my time and it is a major reason why I became a special education teacher.

I thought the suggestions this module gave were very good. I thought one good point was to make sure you are communicating and making eye contact with the person rather than any tool they use. One area that I think more suggestions are needed are when people are communicating with someone with severe speech difficulties. I know how much they want to be understood. It is hard when they know a person can't understand and are struggling to continue to repeat themselves.

I actually think students are sometimes some of the best at rallying around someone who has a disability. I loved watching the kindness of students who really made a student I had with autism feel accepted. I think sometimes teenagers are better than adults.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

AT Module 3

There was a lot to navigate through and check out with this module about software. I sorted through some software rubrics that are already developed. I ended up liking one of the first ones I checked out the best. It was one developed by Kristin Miller and Jacqueline Bach as SAS School interns. It was very detailed and had important components to measure.

I like seeing demonstrations on You Tube about some of the software solutions available for students with disabilities. It definitely brings it to life more than just reading about them.

I read the pdf brochures about Kurzweil. This is the first I had really heard much about it before. It seemed to make a positive difference in those students' lives. I am familiar with Inspiration. Teachers used it in the school I taught in Virginia. When I was reading up on the different assistive technology software, I noticed reference to Assistive Technology Act of 1998. Then I was curious to find out more since we are studying it in this course. Then I found with some searching that it was revised in 2004. I'd like to know more what is involved with this Act. Maybe there is more about it in one of our next two modules. I'm not sure. I'm just curious a little more what it says and how it affects meeting the technology needs with students with disabilities.

I also explored the accessibility features of Windows Vista. That was cool to see what was already available and listed as features within the system I use.

For my software selection for our course I compared screen magnification software and scanning to edit text software for a student with visual impairment. I looked at Zoom Text Magnifier USB v9.18 and i Zoom 3.1 Reader & Magnifier . I also found out more about Scan 2 Text and Scan and Read Pro.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

AT Module 2

I almost forgot to do this blog. I was so worried about getting our hardware selection assignment turned in the beginning of this week since I have company in town. It just hit me that I never did this. Glad I didn't totally forget.

I really am enjoying learning about the different assistive technology that is available. The You Tube video that shows the graphic designer using assistive technology was amazing. I was so thankful that she has the chance to rise above her challenges.

I did my hardware selection based on a student with visual impairment. I looked all over the EnableMart website with the technology available for different disabilities. I'm so glad that people have developed this amazing equipment. It seems we will need to keep developing technology to keep up with new technology.

I was surprised by just how expensive all of the equipment is. I wonder how many disabled students have been denied access to what they need simply because of budget needs.

When I was choosing my hardware the ease of portability was important to me. I heard about a visually impaired student in my old county that all that was provided was a clunky old CCTV that was not even housed in any of the classes he was in. I think you have to be logical and find what's most beneficial for the student when provided assistive technology.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Discovering AT Module 1

I am very excited for our next few weeks in these modules. This combines my interests in gaining more skills with technology and my current job as a teacher of students with learning disabilities. I first of all enjoyed looking at some disabilities that famous people have overcome.
I then enjoyed looking at all the information about teaching blind students. I was reflecting at how much hands on teaching and technology in education affects students without sight. I guess it really depends school district to school district how blind students are included in the regular curriculum. So much planning would take part to accomodate for a student with no sight. I browsed through the Braille is Beautiful part of the website. It sounds like an awesome way for seeing students to embrace the world of life with a blind student.
Twice I have had Visually Impaired students as part of my case load. It takes a lot of extra work and thinking through every step of the lesson how to adapt. Math was sometimes a difficult subject because there is so much modeling on the board and lining up problems correctly. I found that preparing for a Visually Impaired student that I needed the regular education teacher to be more prepared than usual so that I could accomodate. There was always a balance of how much do we change the material or do we require VI students to use resources to change existing materials. That's why I'm interested more in technology that helps students work with existing material. There is not always someone to change the materials for them.

Also for this module we looked at the Job Accomodation Network. It was great to search through this website as I think of the future of some of my students. Transition planning on IEP's starts at age 14 but because much more involved at the age of 16. I haven't had to do much transition planning because the majority of the time I've taught students with Learning Disabilities was 6th grade students. I've taught 8th grade the past 2 years. At a recent inservice about IEP goal making, the presenter was saying how much the rest of a high school teacher's IEP should be based on the transition plan. Teachers should really start planning educationally based on the students' goals for post high school. It should be a major part of the IEP rather than a minor. I liked seeing what JAN's goals were for students with disabilities. I look forward to the rest of these modules.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Week 9 Thing 23

Wow! I can't believe we finished all 23 Things. I just finished my survey and had very positive feedback to give. I felt like the weekly tasks were broken up well and the perfect length. The directions were so easy to follow to complete our assignments. It is so nice when assignments for courses are so worthwhile. I feel like I learned so much through 23 Things and had fun doing coursework. It is a refreshing feeling to enjoy what I'm learning rather than feel burdened by the work. I love learning new ways with technology to enhance our teaching for this generation.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Week 9 Thing 22

I clicked on the link from our assignment page and read more about ebooks and looked up the different fact sheets. This is an area that I'm wondering how interests in ebooks will evolve. I enjoy audiobooks for trips. I have not yet ventured to read an ebook. The link we read from our class assignment page mentioned the difficulty of eye strain. My eyes always hurt after spending a long time at the computer so I wonder how my eyes would handle an ebook. One appealing aspect of ebooks is the reduction of clutter. I explored the free ebooks site. I searched some books about babies which is my most common reading topic these days. I didn't really find any that I would want to read that were provided. Everytime I go onto Amazon the Kindle is being advertised on the home page. Since I haven't ever read an ebook I'm curious to hear the comparison of traditional book vs ebook from someone who has experienced both.

Week 9 Thing 21

This was my first exploration of Podcasts. I listened to the 60 minutes podcast. I also listened to a little bit of some podcasts about the tv show Lost. They were talking about other current events including the World Series and V rather than just Lost. These Lost podcasts are probably more interesting when the series is actually on. I know there are always wierd things you don't catch that others do when watching Lost. I also listened to a Podcast Books on the Night Stand. It was about Literary fads including vampires, zombies, and angels. I'm not really a fan of talk radio so these particular Podcasts reminded me too much of talk radio to enjoy. I think if there is some topic or some theme someone loves to follow, that a specialized Podcast may intrigue them. I'm sure there are some great Podcasts to use in education to present information a different way to students.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Week 9 Thing 20

I was excited when going through this assignment to see that Teacher Tube exists. I had never heard of it and was wondering if there was something out there like this. I could get lost a long time playing on You Tube rather than completing our assignments. I rarely just explore You Tube with searches and had fun looking up a few things. I had never seen the You Tube wedding video that Jim and Pam's wedding from The Office was based on so I watched that. I also looked up the Shift Happens videos again because my cousin and I were just talking about them. I wanted to watch the original one again. There are so many clips that we can use in education now with You Tube. You just have to be careful what pops up with other users' posts. My friend was just showing a science clip. After it was over, an inappropriate post showed up.
The You Tube that I wanted to share for the day is an old Sesame Street clip where Cookie Monster wants cookies at the library. Cookie Monster was pictured in Google search picture today so he was my inspiration for looking up the clip. I remember this clip from when I was a kid. What's interesting also to see is how libraries have evolved from when I was young. The librarian keeps telling Cookie Monster that the library only has books.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Week 8 Thing 19

I once again enjoyed our activity this week. Library Thing is so easy to use and find books. There was more than I expected that fit my subject for my lesson. My Rollyo and WebQuest were about the Salem Witch Trials. This was meant for the history class that I team teach my 8th grade Learning Support students. Searches and tags are so easy to use in Library Thing. I like that you can set it up to search through Amazon as well which is one of my favorite sites to shop. I used Library Thing for the first time this past summer when we took Young Adult Literature. I performed tagmashes with Peer Pressure and Young Adult and found titles to read for my display assignment. I'm interested in checking out other classmates' Library Thing titles. Here is a link to the 5 books I chose: .

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Week 8 Thing 18

I played around with Zoho Writer and published from Zoho to the blog. That is my zoho document listed as Halloween post. It was pretty easy to use and definitely easy to post in the blog. I didn't realize it would look just like the other posts in my blog. I thought it might have a different appearance. Zoho was a little slower than I was hoping. I was originally going to create a simple document with pictures of my new house but it took a long time. Then there were errors uploading the images. So I instead just wrote about what was on my mind for this week. This was my first use of Zoho Writer. I can see the benefits of saving documents to one place. This maybe useful for people who are constantly emailing themselves documents to complete at work or home. I definitely hear people talking more about the use of Google Docs more than Zoho Writer.


Kristen Will Celebrate 1st Halloween this Saturday



I now have the joy of Trick or Treating with my own child.  We have enjoyed nieces and nephews in past years, but now we have our own kiddo to dress up.  Matt actually allowed me to dress Scout up last year as Super Dog.  It's the only time he'll let me put clothes on Scout. 


This year we wanted to coordinate our dog and baby.  We decided  Scout would be a banana and Kristen would be a monkey.  Target didn't have his size, but we ordered from   About 3 weeks later, I called Target to find out where the package was.  We found out the sad news that there are no banana outfits in stock in Scout's size.    It was available on Ebay, but the auction price got too high to justify to qualify a pet costume as an essential need. 


So Scout will probably stay home this year and Kristen will go solo in her monkey outfit.  Is it wierd to collect candy for a baby whose sole nourishment is from nursing?  Do people know it's just for the parents of the baby?  I know it will probably bring out the old feelings of my youth as I feel the victory of a Reeses Cup or Twix. 





Friday, October 23, 2009

Week 7 Thing 17

I enjoyed creating the Web Quest. It was so easy to use the template. The sandbox wiki was great to follow along with who had completed Web Quests. I also was able to see what others had done before me to upload my Web Quest correctly. I wasn't sure when I first saved my Web Quest link how to make the web address not based on my computer. The upload file component of the sandbox wiki was easy to use and now my link is through the pbwiki site to my Web Quest. It was really great to connect with everyone on the Tapped In session the other evening. There were some great ideas about using wikis in schools. I've been happy with my use of wikis so far in course work. Here is my activity about the Salem Witch Trials:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Week 7 Thing 16

I enjoyed looking at some of the sample Wikis that were included. The first time I had used a Wiki was in our first semester of LS classes last year. We worked together on the wiki to complete a budget. It was so easy to use and to collaborate to complete the assignment. It is so nice with a wiki to get to edit a web page without having any knowledge of HTML language skills. It was the first time I really felt connected to others in our cohort also by working together. I think there is a lot of potential of using wikis within education. Collaboration can happen when common planning time is not available. I could see good potential for students using wikis to complete a class project. A lot of students like to communicate more through technology. I hope to make it to the Tapped In session to hear other classmate's insights on wikis.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Week 6 Thing 15

This activity was interesting because it involved watching a few different You Tube Videos. The Disney copyright video was so well done. I know the dynamics of sharing information and copyright is so different in the digital social networking era we are now in. I watched the You Tube video about the Creative Commons website to get an overview. I haven't yet explored much of the website yet. It seems like a great plan to share creativity with others. I also watched the You Tube video "Did You Know 4.0". This was a huge reminder of the power and use of technology. It show how things have changed in just the last few years. I also read "Away from Iceburgs" about what libraries need to watch out for. It struck me how differently we will need to view library collections in the next years. It seems we are getting our training as media specialists but that is a highly changing dynamic of how we will view our jobs and roles in libraries. When I watch things like the Did You Know 4.0 video, it makes me so excited to approach my role as a librarian to use all the benefits of technology to enhance our students' education.

Week 6 Thing 14

I explored Technorati with blog searches and looked at the popular blog, searches and tags. I would be less likely to use Technorati than some of the other tools we have explored so far in the class. Currently I don't have as much time to read blogs. The only blogs I'm really interested in reading are ones from others in this class. I can see how easy this site is for those who want to find others' blogs. I also read more about Technorati authority ratings because I wasn't sure originally how that was determined. After this activity and the last activity I can see the benefits of tagging. The most I had used tagging before was with another project for our young adult literature class. I searched tags to find books with the theme peer pressure.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Week 6 Thing 13

I explored through Delicious bookmarks. I found it very easy to navigate and find related tags to main subjects searched. I think this would be very helpful in doing research to look through tags that are easily organized. I could see the potential that this could have in libraries to provide subject guides through Delicious. I looked up the Delicious tags from the Hilton Bulley Library. There was a Physic subject guide with the Delicious bookmarks provided. I liked seeing an actual example of the bookmarking in use to help students.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Week 5 Thing 12

I liked using Rollyo. It just seemed hit and miss about how long it would take. Some clicks would be quick and others I had to get my other textbook out to read while I was waiting for it to load. I saw some others in the class had noted that it was taking a long time as well.

I am so glad to know about Rollyo. This will really help guide students in searching the Internet for lessons. I wish I had known about this before. I team teach in several classes as a Learning Support teacher. Students like using the Internet for projects but have difficulty in searching to find the necessary information. I am going to pass this info on to the History teacher I team teach with when I'm not on maternity leave. I think this would help him to provide trusted sites for students to search.

I created my Rollyo based on a history lesson about the Salem Witch Trials. I put 10 sites for students and history for the students to search. They will then find information to create an interview of a person of their choice from that time period. Here is the Rollyo I created:

Week 5 Thing 11

I looked under the category food to explore a Web 2.0 Award winner. I looked around at the website I found the website pretty interesting. Users upload videos of themselves cooking recipes. It allows people to feel as if they are a food channel star at home. It allows people to share their best dishes and users to find new recipes. It is cool because you get to see a recipe being made rather than simply following one in print. I was wondering if there is anything like this in education where teachers are videotaping/ sharing great lesson ideas. There are so many creative education ideas that should be shared. I also did some other exploring to find some I might be interested in doing my presentation. I'm hoping to do my presentation on comiqs and learn more about the website.

I also joined Classroom 2.0 network group through Ning. There seems to be a network for all different interest areas. This opens up great connections through the computer to find others with similar interests or causes. I also played around with Travel IQ. I wanted to keep playing but I'm limited with time. I had a college professor make us memorize what every single country in the world was. I found this tedious but maybe it helped my score. I found I know countries but cities are weaker.

Week 5 Thing 10

I again wish I had more time to play around with these online image generators. I definitely want to use these sites in the future to send to friends. I was amazed at all you can do. I was looking at the generators where you can upload photos to movie clips. I think that would be fun to do for some friends. My friend was telling us her friend made her a movie for her birthday from one of these generators. I've known about them but didn't really explore them myself.

I ended up making a simple comic. I have been so angry at the phone company because we are still waiting for an engineer to put up a phone pole in our new house. So I have been without internet service since my move. I brought my pack and play and my baby is napping while I use my inlaws internet. I made a simple comic with the Lion King (which is one of my favorite movies). I've been so stressed about the courses with no internet at the house so Pumba is telling me Hakuna Matata to have no worries. The link is under my avatar to check out the comic.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Week 4 Thing 9

Now that I have set up my Bloglines, it was interesting to explore these suggested places to search for feeds. I thought the easiest one to use was It was user friendly to type in searches and provided relevant feeds. Google Blog search was the easiest to use to search blogs. The edublog award winning blogs was interesting to read but not too easy to sort through finding ones easily that I wanted to read. I really had never used a search tool to look for blogs. This class is the first I have really had any interest in follow others' blogs. I will continue to search out feeds that interest me and may benefit my classroom when I return.

Week 4 Thing 8

This is the first I've signed up for RSS feed. I used Bloglines and signed up for a variety of newsfeeds. I really liked this service. I like that it was so easy to sign up for the feeds. They had suggestions for users and easy clicks to the most popular feeds. I could use this service in a library or for personal use. I signed up for ones that I thought were interesting. As a librarian, I could sign up for educational ones. It makes it so easy for educators to have all that feeds in one place. It seems like it would save so much time and make easy access to information. I thought the book readers clubs would be great for teachers and libraries to check out reviews for books. News feeds could be used for current events. Teachers could look for specific feeds that support their curriculum. The best thing is to put all the information in one place to save from future searches and clicking around the web.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Week 3 Thing 7

I'm really excited about all we will do with technology in this course. It doesn't feel burdensome to fulfill requirements like some assignments in courses. I definitely will come out of this course with so much more knowledge and experience with technology. I am amazed at all that is available. I think it is so important to include technology in our lesson plans, especially with this generation of students. I am on maternity leave currently from my teaching position. Over the summer all classrooms got smartboards so I'm so excited to have this in my room. At home I'm looking forward to using Skype. For my dad's birthday I bought each of us a camera for our computers. Living apart from my family has been harder now that I have a baby. Using Skype will allow us to see each other more even if my parents can't hold my baby as much as they would like.

Week 3 Thing 6

What a fun activity! I was excited to explore all the fun things you can do with flikr. I never knew it was as easy as it is to create all these cool things with your pictures. I played around with FD toys Big Huge Labs: Jigsaw Maker. I was so excited to see that you can send away for a real puzzle. My niece loves puzzles and I think she would love one of a picture of her family. I wish I had even more time to explore all these fun picture tools. I'm moving in a couple of days and limited for time. I will revisit this activity in free time in the future.

Lake McDonald Dream, Glacier National Park

Week 3 Thing 5: I had fun searching through flickr. There are some amazing photos, and very talented photographers have shared their pictures. I chose to post a picture from Glacier National Park. This is where my husband and I went on our honeymoon two years ago. It was a beautiful place and I wanted to see what pictures others had taken. Wow. This was uploaded by username moonjazz.


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I set up this blog account today and played with Yahoo! Avatars for the first time. I found an outfit that included a baby so I had to pick that one to represent my 4 month old. I wish I could use the same system and edit the baby's appearance to look a little cuter.