Thursday, March 18, 2010

Final Thoughts

I have thoroughly enjoyed having the excuse to spend SO MUCH TIME checking out all the wonderful Web 2.0 capabilities through this course. I know I've only touched the tip of the iceberg. There is just so much out there. The only thing that got me away from the computer sometimes was the fact that several of the sites I went to charged fees or required more signing in, and I already have more logins and passwords that I ever thought I'd have. Plus I did need to eat and sleep.

The best thing about this course was finding so many cool sites that I would never have looked for before. The worst thing is knowing that every day there are hundreds of new sites being created, so you really can't keep up with it all. For that reason I would definitely sign up for another project like this one in the future.


I love YouTube and have used the "Dewey Rap" and the "Gotta Keep Reading" videos with my students this year. Those are so well done and the students LOVED watching them. Thank goodness our school district unblocked the YouTube website this year.

Hopefully I will be posting some of the videos I make at school on TeacherTube at some point. Right now I'm not comfortable posting videos featuring students, and the ones with teachers use copyrighted music so we can only use them in school.

Unlike some others I didn't have any problem setting up a NetLibrary account. They must have fixed their "issues." I could read Anne of Green Gables at my computer or download it but The Lightning Thief was not available.

I am more a reader and a watcher than a listener, so audio podcasts are not my favorite thing. I still haven't gotten into audiobooks and don't even listen to music when I'm working, although I do listen while I'm driving so I can loudly sing along. I already had the KERA podcasts in my RSS feeds so didn't add a new one although I did find several very interesting ones.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Love YELP!

I played around with many of the sites on the Web2.0 list and this was my favorite. Their slogan is "Real people, real reviews." You can put in your hometown and words like sushi or haircut and get great ideas from people on where to go. You can also put in the name of an establishment and get reviews for it. My husband and I just tried a brand new restaurant in Grapevine and it had two reviews already on this site, both of which I agreed with. I can't wait to try it for services around here and for restaurants in towns I visit.

Experimenting with ZOHO Writer

I am experimenting with ZOHO Writer. I will attach an image, use some color and add this to my blog. Looks like it works great. I probably will never use it again though.

This is a very special tree at our ranch in Clay County, Texas.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Social Bookmarking and Wikis

After visiting Delicious and setting up an account I realized that I should have done it at school instead of from home since most of the sites I wanted to bookmark are at school. Almost instantaneously I realized that that was why I needed Delicious, so that after I get the websites from school added I will be able to access them from home. Clever. Once I get the information from the two computers together I'll be able to plan lessons from home much more easily. I'm looking forward to that.

Moving on to wikis, I am very familiar with wikis and have always had a concern about the fact that anyone can edit anything on a true wiki. That is why I have a modified wiki on my school website where students can add to their classmates' comments, but can't change them. Kiera, go look at what your new second-favorite movie is on our HEB 23 Wiki and you'll see what I mean.

Friday, February 12, 2010


I really enjoyed using this site and created an account to keep track of my autographed books. So far I have added a couple dozen hardback books to the account. I'm using my new avatar as my profile shot. If you want to check it out you can access it at

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Playing around with image generators

I've explored many image and text generators today. Have had some great success with a couple and some frustration with others. My greatest frustration is clicking on a site that I think will provide a service and getting an ad-filled site with multiple other links posted and no indication as to which one does what I went to the site to do. When that happened I just moved on and found something less complicated to use. I'm posting my two favorite products from today's exercise here - my cartoon avatar and a book cover. I hope you like them. Be sure to read the speech bubble in the book cover. It reflects how I feel about all the cool Web 2.0 possibilities and the lack of opportunities to use them with students.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

RSS Feeds

I've been adding several RSS feeds to my Blogline account this past week and have found some wonderful sites. Today my husband told me about a show he heard on KERA radio that was an interview with an author of a book about libraries. He only heard part of it but thought I would enjoy it. He gave me the title of the show and a short Google search later gave me the radio broadcast to listen to. I've added the RSS from that show to my account. Go to My RSS Feeds on the right and choose the KERA feed, then go to Feb. 4's Think show and listen to the host, Krys Boyd, interview Marilyn Johnson, author of This Book is Overdue, How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All. It will make you very proud to be in our profession.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Flickr and 6th grade project

OK, I created a Flickr account for my professional development course which I am planning on using for family photos after this project is finished. That's why I gave it a personal name rather than a professional name. I figure I can make sets for Midway Park on it that anyone can view as well as sets for our family photos that will be private.

The first set I added has photos I use with 6th grade when we study world structures. They were taken at Machu Picchu, Peru. I brought my Midway Park backpack just to get these photos to use. As it turned out, the backpack was much more comfortable than I expected and I ended up using it every day!

I discuss Machu Picchu with the students after sharing the book, Talking Walls, with them and prior to the Big 6 research project we do on world structures. In that project I am able to include lessons on web evaluation, copyright and plagiarism, Word, PowerPoint, and, hopefully this year, Photo Story. I have the students randomly draw a structure from the 25-30 that I have in a hat. Usually they have never heard of the one they draw, even if it is Fenway Park or Neuschwanstein Castle, but they have a lot of fun learning about the structure they chose and then sharing what they've learned with their classmates.

My Flicker account is :

Sunday, January 17, 2010


My name is Beth Doyle. I have been a librarian since 1977 and am currently in my 17th year at Midway Park Elementary School in Euless, TX. I created this blog as part of an online professional development course - HEB23. Through HEB23 I will be learning many of the Web 2.0 tools that my three grown sons use.

I think it is important to stay current on the technology available today both for professional reasons and personal reasons. I will be able to use what I learn with my students and fellow faculty members, and will also be able to share them with my husband, mother and many siblings. It is my hope that other librarians will find ideas here that they can use in their own schools. Thanks for visiting. - - - BD