Wednesday, September 3, 2008


Oops ... I forgot to mention Skype. I've been a Skyper (???) for a while. It's a great way to chat to friends 'face to face' (using a webcam), as well as saving big $. It's use is becoming more prevalent in my work as well. I've recently set up PD for all our staff for next year, using Skype.

I wouldn't say it's as much a part of my life as my mobile phone ... but it's certainly a regularly used tool.

Social networking sites

I have a Facebook page, but not MySpace. There's something about MySpace that I just couldn't trust fully. As the guy from Symantics said on the Sunrise video - you don't trust everyone in your normal community, and you shouldn't in online communities either. Part of my job is to teach kids about online safety - and social networking spaces are really significant in that teaching. Kids are trusting, and are not fully aware of the possibilities of what could happen to them through their networking spaces. It's really about educating them. If they know what to look for, they will be safer. These sites will not go away and, I think, will become more prevalent and important in their lives. I can understand why libraries would want 'in' on the act - but it's not really for me.

Drupal looks interesting. I have to admit I didn't watch the presentation to the end, but the site certainly has features that I could see used in a school setting like mine. I have bookmarked the site and will look into it closer later on.

I have had a Facebook page for a while because a friend got engaged whilst overseas, and the only way I could 'see' them was on her Facebook page. So I joined. What amazes me is how GOOD it's been. Several friends I haven't heard from for years have caught up with me (I have NO idea how they found me ... I guess they searched????). My daughter recently got engaged, and some of her old friends contacted ME to ask about pressies etc. How cool is that???? That part has been great. But, I must admit, the 'gifts' are driving me crazy - they can become a bit overwhelming after a while. I now choose to ignore them (and I hope the friends who send them don't get upset).

I had heard of Nings, but didn't know what they were. I found, and joined, the Quilting Librarians Ning. I'm also a member of a Yahoo group of TL quilters who 'met' on the oztl_net list. Maybe librarians are attracted to quilting because of the 'order' ... dunno ... but there seem to be a few of us around!

Second Life TOTALLY freaks me out. I MUCH prefer a 'real' life to one online. Amazing as it might be to 'attend' a Jane Austen tea party and discussion, I think I would rather 'attend' one in real life. The same applies to the other sites ... a Second Life university campus ... pLease!! As exciting as they are, and as much fun they might be 'being there', I believe that, as humans, we need to integrate with others in person. The kids I teach who spend a lot of time online often experience problems relating to others in real life - social skills are vital, and too much time on sites like these can be mentally and physically damaging. They look like fun, the kids would probably ge a real kick out of doing a course I had developed online, BUT they are a worry to me.

The bottom line with all of these is ... who has the time to do it all??? I don't ... I'd rather be quilting!

Google maps

I've been a fan of Google Maps for a while. The latest views are almost freaky in their detail ... I mean, to see my car parked outside my house is fantastic ... if not a little freaky. It certainly brings up the possibility of one's privacy being invaded.

When I searched for directions to get from home to work, the suggested route was a bit odd. It took me out of the fastest and most direct way, through a busy shopping centre, backstreets and 60km zones, rather than on the main road and an 80km zone. I hadn't realised Google maps had this directions option - I usually use Whereis. An advantage of the Google maps directions is that you can actually see a photo of your destination - that could prove to be useful.

Google goodies

Hmm ... not so sure about iGoogle. I'm undecided as to whether or not I'd use it regularly. Some of the gadgets available look great - but I already have my favourite things bookmarked. I guess the main plus is that you can access your faves from the one page, and not have to look for them on the bookmark list ... but it doesn't 'grab' me.

As for working at Google ... it almost looks too good to be true. Having all those services available to you in one place tells me they work VERY long hours and, perhaps, need all that 'pampering' and facilities available to them. As much as I am an advocate for workplaces looking after their staff, and that studies have shown when staff are treated well productivity increases, there's something about the Google setup that doesn't feel comfortable to me. It's kind of 'too good to be true'.

YPRL's Overdrive Downloadable Media

Wow ... I didn't know YPRL's Overdrive Downloadable Media even existed (a sad thing for a TL to admit). What a treasure-trove of great books. It's got me thinking about the place of e-books in our school library ... my, how the role of a TL has changed since I was at school!


Children's Storybooks Online
I found this great site for children's storybooks last year. It has illustrated children's stories for kids of all ages.

A quick search of Project Gutenberg led me to ‘The Storyof the Three Little Pigs’. It is quite an old version, illustrated by Brooke, L. Leslie (Leonard Leslie), 1862-1940 . The book can be downloaded for free, but it looks great to read it online … but … be WARNED … it’s the original version … no lovey-dovey running off to the next little pig’s house in this one … !!!


Hmmm ... it looks like other folk have linked to the web page, not the actual Podcast ... so ... OK ... I'll have a go and see if this works.

Chris Betcher is a teacher who is 'into' ICT. I've been following his Virtual Staffroom blog for a while, and this Podcast about Moodle is of particular interest as the other online course I'm doing is about Moodle.

In this Podcast Chris interviews Talia Carbis, Darrel Branson and Julian Ridden. They all use Moodle, but in completely different settings.


I've been struggling with this one. I can't work out how to actually download one and link to it from the blog. The only way I can hear them is if I put the url into Windows Media Player ... I think it's meant to be easier. Anyway ... I'll keep trying ... but having problems!

Mr Bean - Library

OK ... as a Librarian I couldn't resist searching YouTube for any library-related videos I hadn't seen before. I 'lurve' Mr. Bean, and this video is a gem. Having just recently been stunned by the beauty of the Illuminated Manuscripts at the State Library of Victoria, it has double the impact.

It goes for just over 9 minutes ... so grab a cuppa and settle down to some chuckles.

Cat in a quilt

Seeing my blog's theme is related to my love of quilting, I thought a trip around the quilting clips on YouTube was in order. There are LOTS related to 'how' to make a quilt - but I fell in love with this one. It brings together my other love - cats. One of my cats, William, LOVES to help me when I'm quilting (although we regularly have to have a little talk about how sitting right in front of me rubbing his head on my arm really is a 'help').

I love this video. Its right 'up there' for cuteness ... so take a moment to enjoy it.

I had to search a little to work out how to embed it in this blog (the Help page was actually helpful - go figure!). I only wish I could use YouTube at school. There are some fantastic videos amongs the 'garbage'. Last year I did some Claymation with the kids at school ... YouTube videos took me through the process step-by-step ... it was fantastic ...... but I couldn't show them to the kids because the site is blocked. I wish there was some way to show them, without risk of them coming across the more unsavoury videos on the site.

Been a tad busy lately

I've been a 'tad' busy lately and this blog has suffered ... as has my Web2 learning ... but I'm back! So I'll head over to YouTube and see what I can find. This course has been great. I've already put some of the things I've learnt to good use, and have plans for more. As well as this course, I'm learning how to use Moodle - so myself and the other LLL (Lovely Library Ladies) at my school can start setting out resources for our school community. I've found the 2 courses really compliment each other, and can't wait to 'get it all together'.

So I'm off to learn. Talk to you again shortly.