Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Summer of Learning in Review

As I look back at my learning this summer, I cannot believe the new knowledge that I have gained!  Every teacher should have to take a class just like this one!  Although the tasks sometimes seemed daunting, I always managed to learn what I needed to complete the task.

Week #1 introduced me to blogging.  I feel that this has been my greatest "take-away" from this class.  I not only enjoyed blogging myself, but I learned so much from my peers' blog posts and the blogs that I began following.  I also started using Google Reader to organize the RSS feeds from the blogs that I follow.  Google Reader is a tool that I plan to inservice teachers on this fall.  It is an extremely useful service for building your Personal Learning Network (PLN).

Week #2 gave me the opportunity to teach my peers about something that I know about and use in my library.  I created my Focus On Presentation about using WikiSpaces for book discussions.  Through watching the presentations of others I learned about Twitter, Shelfari, Animoto, and Evernote, among others.  Since then, I have started using Twitter and Shelfari.

Week #3 was a very valuable week of learning.  I loved browsing the free resources that my peers posted.  This week also introduced me to Diigo, which has quickly become a favorite for me!  I look forward to utilizing the resources I learned about when school starts in the fall.

Week #4 utilized Edmodo to facilitate class discussions.  I enjoyed this format and appreciated the opportunity to be immersed in Edmodo as a student.  I felt that I really got a feel for how Edmodo works and how it can be best utilized in the classroom or library setting.  This week also opened me up to the possibility of creating a Facebook fan page for my library.  I plan to discuss this with my administrators when school begins in the fall.

Week #5 introduced me to Prezi.  Prior to this class, I had not seen or used Prezi.  I felt that creating two presentations, a Prezi and a PowerPoint, using the same information, images, links, etc was a very hands-on way to compare the two programs.  That project choice by our professor was a great idea.  Since then, I have merged PowerPoint slides with Prezi to get the best of both worlds.  These are tools I will continue to use.

Week #6 was the video project.  This was probably the easiest project for me because I was so familiar with movie-making programs.  I shared my video "An Introduction to PBS Learning Media" with the teachers in my district and received very positive feedback.  I can see many benefits of sharing information and resources with teachers through videos (especially because I work in four libraries).  Teachers can view them at their convenience and the videos can be archived for future reference.

Week #7 gave me the opportunity to do some much needed revamping of our library website.  I took advantage of this project to make the site more user friendly, more visually appealing to younger students, and provide high quality links for students and teachers.  I am extremely happy with the results and look forward to continuing my website updates!

This final week was a wrap-up.  I began work on my SLS eportfolio and am writing my reflection post on this blog.  I enjoyed this class a great deal and feel that my learning curve was great!

You may have noticed that I have changed the name of my blog to "Smiles from the MV Library".  I chose that name for two reasons.  First, I wanted the name to reflect the libraries that I work in, rather than this class's course number. :-)  The second reason I chose that name was because I often hear people tell me that I am always smiling.  So my future posts will come from the "smiling librarian"!

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