Wednesday, September 28, 2011

No Unread Items

So a little about my newest obsession (can it be an obsession if I have only been using it for a mere 12 hours?). Thank you IST 611. I never really understood what an RSS reader could do for me… Every morning I check my blogs. They might have new posts, they might not, but off I went, going through all my bookmarks, one by one. Young House Love – check. Heir To Blair – check. Dooce – check. You don’t even want to know how long that list is.

Enter Google Reader. Oh – hey, that’s convenient!

So we were posed a question regarding my new found love – is RSS here for the long run, or dying on the vine? I have seen a lot of talk about people just turning to Twitter to gather the information that an RSS reader used to provide them. I don’t think that RSS is dying all together, but that users just have multiple ways to do essentially the same thing – it all boils down to personal preference. One major difference I can see is that with Twitter, it’s more “real-time” for me (when I do use it!). Something that is tweeted, say, even 2 hours ago, I might never read. With Google Reader, any content I have missed, no matter how long it’s been there, you can almost bet I am still going to read it.

Another concept to ponder is the one of blogging – is it a useful and effective tool in the classroom? The short answer – YES! Teacher blogs provide a way to communicate with students, teachers, the administration and the school community. It can be simply posting homework assignments, or a write up about what’s going on in the classroom. It allows for students and teachers to comment, asking questions and getting clarification. Classroom blogs have the potential make students more engaged. Just as Kim Sivick (Coordinator of Lower School Technology, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy) spoke about in her presentation from the 140 Character Conference, those students literally were jumping for joy when receiving comments on their blog. They were able to find a voice, and were recognized for that voice. It’s exciting stuff – exciting stuff that I am finally getting a grasp on.

Welcome to....

Diigo, Twitter, Google Reader and now a blog. I really thought I was “up” on Web 2.0 tools, but am finding there is so very much I didn’t know about.

First blog post – here we go.

A little intro to “The Toppling Bookends,” shall we? I wanted to create a blog name that was going to grow with me as I work towards finishing up my degree and embark on this new career of school library media specialists. Currently, my bookends are toppling – my shelves are filled to the brim with no room to grow. Is it time to purge some of those books I have not read in 10 years? Pull those chewed up board books my 16-month old has shown little interest in for several months?

But figuratively, we are all “plagued” with toppling bookends. Information coming at us left and right, top and bottom, surrounding us on all sides. Too much information? Not in my opinion. We all must find a way to manage that information – what is important/credible/relevant to me? I can only hope, as a budding school librarian, I will be able to impart these strategies to my future students – keeping those bookends right in place.