I’m in the middle of the party season and completely done with it. The theater had two parties over the weekend, and if I never see another glass of Andre ‘champagne,’ it will be too soon. We did spend a lovely evening on Sunday with Verna Ramsey, a local theater patron and octogenarian. I really have a thing for Delta women in their eighties. She went to Mississippi State College for Women (now MUW) with one of my cousins. Absolutley and completely and devastatingly charming.
I have had a comment on the blog–I’ve been neglecting my gmail account and missed it entirely–along with an email from my best friend from high school in Little Rock and another from my best friend from Boston wishing me a happy birthday. I’m going to recommit myself to gmail–it’s just that the American Library Association has it, and I am deluged with nonsensical emails from them. Librarians love a listserv and they love to send email. I get enough from the librarians on my bloglines account. Lord love ‘em. Me. Etc.
Speaking of blogs, aggregators, etc., I’ve been playing around with Flock. It’s a browser that works seemlessly with Flickr and blogs, etc. I’ve got an easy plug-in on my links menu now that lets me blog any webpage page easily. And I can drag and drop pix from my Flickr toolbar into a blog easily. And by playing around with it, in part I mean turning my friend Thomas (Instructional Media guru) onto it. Thomas is the sort of person that can attract a zefrank humanbaton to Starkville, Mississippi on his way across the country. See Luke (aka humanbaton) and Kris having fun downtown:
Thomas is somehow able to go farther with the technologies I find…he’s actually figured out how to get around in Second Life, when I’ve barely gotten dressed. [Yes, I know I said I'd sworn it off forever, but people keep planning press conferences and training sessions there--I'm just afraid of being left out, I guess. Ha!] We’re having a Flock tutorial today to catch me up on what he’s learned (I hope).
Today’s our last day in the office until January 3rd, but I’m going to be working through the break, of course. I’ve got two research projects going, but neither have to do with Library 2.0, alas. I’ve got to publish, however, and I’ve got co-authors for both of these. And they both have to do with using JCR ratings. One in Agronomy and one in Education. Hopefully the synergy will keep me going. I’m planning to blog it after I get back from Christmas travels on the 27th. First Jackson for Dad’s family, then Little Rock to visit with my mom. Lots of time with beautiful nephew Hank, brother Mitchell and sister Liberty… (she’s taking the pictures…)
Happy holidays and cheer wherever you are….
Today I’m attending this institute (?) at my desk. I’ve heard about wikis, mashups, 2nd life, and some pedagogy stuff about instruction. Even though I teach workshops and bibliographic instruction, I don’t have any training as a teacher. Not one class. I’m sure that would horrify some of the faculty who’s classes I teach–except I don’t think many of them have either. We’ve just started a Center for Teaching and Learning here at MSU, and I’m on the Faculty Advisory Board, which turns out to mean relatively little. We’re supposed to be focused on training the faculty about teaching–so I’ll hope for that. But Jeffrey Trzeciak’s discussion about ADDIE and the Nine Events Instruction was very informative. Right now, I’m not really attached to a class in a way that most of it would be relevant. We do have librarians who do a section a week of some classes (English, largely). So, my “lesson plans” are relatively limited–an hour and fifteen minutes normally. However, I am starting to develop these classes for the staff that are going to introduce them to these social networking ideas, and it may be that I could apply what I’ve learned today to that series of workshops. I’m thinking about it.
So–I got some stuff about wikis today that I didn’t know. Good ideas about starting a wiki with my graduate students–seeding it, providing documentation, doing marketing via training programs, etc. (this came from Meredith Farkas, who was excellent). So I’m going to go ahead and set up the wiki I want us to work on as a group and put in all of the research guide stuff I have already. Then I’m going to try to visit them and do some training on wikis. We’ll see… Big ideas. Also plug-ins for spam protection–I don’t have that on mine right now, but I’m going to get it. I never got an answer about free wikis that have levels of permissions/passwords. Pbwiki wants money for that. And I learned that you can calendar and blog on some wikis. Not sure that I want to, but it’s good to know.
I’m against Second Life altogether now. I’m sure of it. There are too many other things I need to focus on–I’ll leave that to people with more energy for it. I can’t see its benefit for my students, and that’s all I’ve really got energy for right now. I can see real and immediate use for wikis and social bookmarking and even myspace and facebook stuff. Some of the mashups I heard about look really interesting, too. I haven’t used the LibraryLookup from Jon Udell yet, but I love the idea of being on Amazon and then looking for the book in our library using a booklet.
I’d heard of LibraryThing, but I saw it for the first time today and I’m considering buying a barcode reader so I can scan in all my books. That’s definitely sort of a fantasy of mine to have my own catalog. Sigh.