Working together 2 make a difference – growing legs.

I’ve written before about the ning site Working together 2 make a difference that I set up with Angela and Laura Stockman. It’s been slow to get started but is starting to grow some legs. Originally we had decided that we would run it until mid December, but we now feel it is worthy of continuation. We see it as a place where educators and students can come together and share what they are doing in their community to make some sort of difference. Our hope is that it will become a place where community can form and links across classrooms can be made.

A friend of mine from a neighbouring school has joined and I was thrilled to see one of her students  create a page. Here is what she posted;  

I love animals and since you are all such wonderful people I was wondering if you could help? The Animal Rescue Site is having trouble getting enough people to click on it daily and they don’t have enough food to donate to abused and neglected animals. It takes less than a minute (about 20 seconds) to go to their site and click on the purple box ‘fund food for animals’ for free. This doesn’t cost you a thing. Their advertisers use the number of daily visits to donate food to abandoned/neglected animals in exchange for advertising.

Here’s the web site! Pass it along to people you know.
http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/

 

Here’s a student who can recognise the potential of this medium to effect change. Did I click the link and click the purple box? You betcha. I encourage you to do the same. Better still, visit her page , click the link and leave an encouraging comment.

You should also visit Laura’s blog and follow her as she tells us who she is grateful and thankful for in the lead up to Christmas. We should take a leaf out of her book and do the same for those who support us.

So readers, I am thankful for you. Thanks for taking the time to stick around and comment occasionally. My life is enriched as a result.

The Alexandrine Dilemma – Mark Pesce’s message for Librarians.

I’ve just finished reading Mark Pesce‘s latest post, The Alexandrine Dilemma, his keynote for the New Librarians Symposium that he delivered on Friday. As I was reading I was nodding my head in agreement. In it, he identifies the issues facing the library profession. How do we adapt to a changing landscape when information will be online and not available in print form and how do we make this vast repository of information accessible and manageable to the population, many of whom are going to be overwhelmed.

Mark discusses the growth of Wikipedia and the future for paid subscription encylopedias like Brittanica. I’ve been saying something similar in my school environment as we analyse useage and question the need for expensive databases.

Watch carefully: over the next decade we’ll see the somewhat drawn out death of Britannica as it becomes ever less relevant in a Wikipedia-dominated landscape.

I couldn’t agree more. I wonder if it will even take a decade.

He provides us with the focus we need to adopt for the world that is evolving;

All of which puts you in a key position for the transformation already underway. You get to be the “life coaches” for our digital lifestyle, because, as these digital artifacts start to weigh us down (like Jacob Marley’s lockboxes), you will provide the guidance that will free us from these weights. Now that we’ve got it, it’s up to you to tell us how we find it. Now that we’ve captured it, it’s up to you to tell us how we index it.

He goes on to discuss how we respond to a world where information is located on the web but needs to be ordered in some way to make it accessible.

Without a common, public taxonomy (a cataloging system), tagging systems will not scale into universality. That universality has value, because it allows us to extend our searches, our view, and our capability.

This taxonomy is the part that I am struggling with right now. How do we tag websites with a common system that makes them accessible to all. The subject heading system that accompanied the Dewey Decimal System of operation is not flexible enough to meet the needs of a population that will be used to the tagging system of folksonimies operational in Delicious and Flickr and various other applications.

So how do we do this? I don’t know just yet.  Right now I’m wondering what we as a library are going to do? How do we introduce a  tagging system into the systems that our libraries run with and are these organisations that we pay to support our collections even thinking about this yet? I hope so.  

If you are a Teacher-Librarian and even if you’re not, you should visit Mark’s blog and read this post. There is much more in it than what I’ve drawn on here. Lots to contemplate.     

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

School’s out Friday

Couldn’t resist. Today was the last day for students from my school. They have now headed off for the holiday and Christmas break. I had a wonderful Yr 7 group who I am going to miss- they really gave me a lot of joy this year.

So this video from YouTube is for them because I know this is something they would enjoy. Have a great weekend. I intend to!

Meetsee for collaboration

In the Oz/NZ flashmeeting the other night, Dean Groom took us into his Meetsee virtual office space. I found it very interesting and have been thinking about how appealing it would be for use with secondary school students.

2008-12-03_2131

I could see my students finding this kind of meeting space meaningful. It’s probably suited for collaborative work across schools or even perhaps year levels. At the moment I’m struggling to find suitable times for teams of teachers to meet -perhaps we could arrange meetings in a Meetsee space and we’d have more success. I need to play around with it more, but I love the fact that you can use the television screens in the room to upload presentations or YouTube videos.

The best thing I can do is direct you to Dean Groom’s blog where he has written a post about the features Meetsee has. I laughed when I read this;

Of course you can fiddle with your avatar (though one niggle, I hit the girl button by mistake and can’t switch it). You can upload a photo of your own head, which is cool too.  

I have to admit I was wondering why Dean was wandering around the space as a female avatar with his head uploaded. I thought it was another manifestation of his sense of humour!

I think Meetsee looks really promising. You can sign up for free and get an office space that can host up to 15 participants. I saw in a comment on Dean’s post that they are looking at developing an education version and would be interested in receiving feedback. Could be even more promising if this pans out.