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#12 Google Docs

Google docs looks like a great way to store documents if you don’t always use the same computer or network. It occurred to me that if you were travelling and using internet cafes it would be fantastic for maintaining access to documents you might need.

I’m wondering about how different it is to a Wiki? I’ve jumped ahead to that week and already created my own wiki for the school’s e-plan – from what I can see a Wiki is probably better for collaboration and coordination of lots of information between a number of people. Google docs would be ok for simpler single document uses.
I tried uploading a couple of files. The powerpoint worked fine and is a great thing to be able to do if you are going to be presenting using a different computer. Too many times there are problems with versions of the software or failures of usb sticks. In slideshow mode it didn’t fill the full screen, there was still a column of information down the right hand side but it is certainly better than no show at all!
I loaded up a spreadsheet which has 3 sheets and only the first sheet loaded so that is obviously a limitation of the application; I think I’ll have to save each sheet separately and the upload them all if I want access to all three.
In the midst of doing this our internet access (at school) went down so I’ve written this in a word document to copy and paste to the blog later…a bit ironic in the circumstances!

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#11 Facebook

I have registered with Facebook and asked a few people to be my friend!  Takes me right back to primary school, hope no-one turns round says they won’t be friends with me.

It was interesting checking out the ways to find friends.  I first searched for my sister because I know she’s on there (and I’m fairly sure she won’t reject me); then I found a whole heap of names/pictures presented to me because they are also State Government of Victoria group members.  Then I went and edited my profile and put in my school name.  Suddenly there were people who I wasn’t surprised to see (also doing this course) but also people who used to work where I do, including one who I am sure would not want to be friends with me (so I didn’t ask!!!).

I wasn’t able to view the videos because I’m doing this at home and we only have dial up.  I think I’ll have a go again next week at work – I’d like to see a few more examples of the sorts of things that go on.  People tell me it gets better when you’ve got some friends aaaarh, I feel like I’m in the playground again.

I had a quick look at some of the groups.  Some of them were scarey (You’re in Australia so speak English) others just plain silly (I use more than 2 teaspoons of milo).  Haven’t yet found any I’d want to join (and would I want to join a club that would have me for a member!).

Anyway, that’s the facebook column ticked.

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#18 Wikis

I’ve jumped ahead to Wikis because I need to create one for our ePlanning team to work on our plan…so I’m a little disappointed that this week’s activity is just look at some wiki’s, not actually make one for yourself.

I can certainly see lots of applications for Wikis in the library.  Our subject pathfinders which we currently create from templates from Researching Together is one; our procedures manual has already been turned into a wiki by another staff member so that is another.  I have been thinking about starting a blog for all school staff to discuss books and reading for pleasure, now I’m not sure whether a wiki would be better?

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#4 RSS Feeds and Feedreaders

I had a vague idea about RSS and feedreaders before this week’s activity so it was good to finally get round to finding out for sure.  I went with Googlereader because for some reason I couldn’t access Bloglines even though someone else at my school could do so.

It was all pretty straight forward.  I was surprised, and somewhat relieved, not to have to create a gmail account to set it up – how many email accounts can one girl have! 

I’ve subscribed to 6 school and library related blogs including: Lucacept; The Hub; Learning Gems; Hey Jude; Bluyonder by Greg Whitby, the keynote speaker at last Friday’s innovation showcase, and weblogg-ed by the guru himself, Will Richardson.

I can already see the value of the feedreader for myself.  Previously I had subscribed the The Hub by email and 9 times out of 10 I didn’t bother following the link to read the new post because at the time I was just trying to get through the emails.  Now I can go to Google reader at when I know I’ve got time to do some reading and it makes it very quick and easy to see what I’ve got to choose from.

I’m not sure yet about further applications…?

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#3 Image Generators and Library Thing

Image generators are lots of fun.  I can imagine hours being idled away.  At last I know how some clever people come up with those funny emails that do the rounds.  I can see some value for the library in creating display material although I haven’t tested how well anything prints, especially if you want to make it big.  I hope you like my version of Andre Rieu in the previous post.

I’ve looked at Library thing before and I’ve got to admit that I think that anyone who catalogues their personal books must be a bit sad!  However, I can see it being a useful tool for libraries, and for individuals looking for what to read next or for some commentary/discussion on what they have read.  So far I’ve added the books my book club is reading this year and I’ll go back and add the previous years (if I can remember them all) – I think it will be very handy when we are looking for ideas for books for next year.

I’m in the process of setting up a blog for our staff that I’m going to call the Reading Cafe.  Part of that is going to be a reading challenge.  I think I’ll use Library Thing to set up recommended reading lists.

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#2 Flickr

Well, I think I’ve done what I needed to.  I’ve created my Flickr account, uploaded some beautiful pics of Billy the Bichon and Dash the Blue whippet, added the Flickr widget to my sidebar and connected it to my Flickr account.

I think Flickr looks pretty clever; I especially like the idea of adding the map reference which will be fantastic for travel photos.  I haven’t yet figured out the distinction between family, friends and contacts and why or when it would matter.  What I’ve put on so far I’ve left as public and that’s fine because they’re just dogs after all…but I think I’d like to do some stuff with our travel photos and I don’t specially want photos of my children to be in the public domain.  Anyway, I shall explore more…