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My mom has been harassing me for both a Christmas and birthday list lately (my birthday is in December as well), and one of the things I’ve thought of is some sort of e-reader.  As a result of that, I came across this website that provides sources for free e-books!  What a great way to add to your library if you are on a limited budget, or have used up your budget for the year!

Free E-books!

I aso came across a neat website that has educational applications for e-books in the classroom – enjoy!

Technology and reading e-books in education

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Blog-ish organization?!

I have discovered I do not like the way blogs are ‘set up’.  They just keep posting things in ‘reverse’ chronological order – newest to oldest – (and yes, I realize that’s the way blogs work), but that doesn’t mean I like it!  I’ve been wanting to ‘rearrange’ my posts, so that I can put all the Shelfari, Glogster, or Prezi ones together.  Yes, I also realize that you can have categories and just tag each post so that you can simply go to the correct ‘category’ and find all the relevant posts, but I personally don’t like that either.  (These are all just my own preferences of course!)  I want to keep the posts together for continuity’s sake – so one can see my progression with each tool.  And I like to read in a more linear fashion, so therefore I also want to organize in a linear fashion!  I cannot find ANY way to rearrange posts (and I’ve been through all the help pages) – the best they offer is a chronological order, which is beneficial to those who are writing novels (in which case their first post would be chapter 1, of course, and then that one would naturally be at the bottom of all the posts which is not what they’d want), and with reverse order the newest posts would go at the end rather than at the beginning.

Because I cannot find any other way to arrange my posts to my satisfaction, I have decided to simply ADD to each post (ie edit it) and create a new page for each new addition I make to that post (please see More than just a personal tool as an example of what I mean!)  I’m not sure what readers will think of this setup, but to ME it makes sense!

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Voicethread woes….

The concept of Voicethread is great, and I have everything all ready to go….  but one GIGANTIC downfall with Voicethread is not HAVING a voice.  And I’m not even sick (well at least don’t feel sick) but simply have no voice!  Guess the Voicethread is going to have to be put off again, at least for a little bit 😦

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I have started to update my old current events posts as well, and as I was updating the first one (about library lockers and the chance of them replacing librarians), I came across some really interesting things about ‘library lockers’ that I wanted to share!

The first post I came across was about a teenage girl in a Catholic high school who was running an ‘illegal’ library out of her locker at school and lending books to fellow students that had been banned by her school.  I’m sure there will be many conflicting views on her actions.  I personally feel that she is a pioneer within her school and age bracket for promoting reading to her fellow school-mates.  Good for her!  Perhaps she is also already ‘wiser’ than her teachers and administrators and sees the ‘hindrances’ and sometimes ‘absurd notions’ of organized religions.  (*side note – please don’t think that I’m a religion-hater; I accept and support each persons views and choices in their own religion*) However, sometimes it’s hard to respect the decisions of a Catholic school when they ban a book as brilliant as Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy simply because it makes some jokes about God and His existence and/or His ability to be a ‘good’ God (at least that’s why I assume it’s banned).

Is it really impossible to view these books for what they are:  WORKS OF FICTION?!  Adams is using humour in an attempt to make his books interesting to readers (and in my opinion it works wonderfully!)  Additionally, some other banned books in Canada include the entire Harry Potter series, which I also love.  These books are banned because of their content of magic, witchcraft, etc, and I think that’s ludicrous!  Once again, these are works of FICTION, and also they do not – in ANY way – get into inappropriate ‘magic use’ (ie – Satanism, etc).  And The Lorax?  The LORAX?!  

Okay, moving on to the second post before I start ranting too much 🙂

The second post I found about library lockers was a really heart-warming one: Peace Corps book lockers.  It’s really too bad that these were discontinued because of funding (an all too real story for most libraries….)  😦

Lorax image from: http://wearemoviegeeks.com/wp-content/lorax1.jpg
Censorship image from: http://inthenextroom.blogspot.com/2011/09/banned-books-week-2011.html
Hitchhiker image from personal collection.

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Glogster Culmination!

So after a very long day of many many trials with Glogster, I finally have a glog I am happy with comparing and contrasting WordPress and Blogspot.  In the process I have discovered that my computer does not like loading ‘slideshare’ websites, because each time I tried it froze up all of my webpages.  That means that it also froze up the glog I was working on, which meant it had to be re-loaded, which meant I lost anything I had not saved up until that point.  Extremely frustrating, especially if you’ve embedded a bunch of links in the glog, and you then have to go back and find them all again.  I thought I had learned my lesson after the third time, but once you get on a roll, and interested in what you are doing….  you forget to save!  (And thank you WordPress – I just noticed you autosaved my work!)

I found it hard (at first) getting all the items on the glog to be the same size (when I resized and rotated them) – THEN I realized that it would be much easier to resize the original and colour it to what I wanted, and THEN clone it (previously I had been making the number of clones I needed first, then ‘fixing’ them all).  I also found it hard to line up all my different text boxes to they looked neat (I made a separate text box for each of my separate links – I think I could have put multiple links in one text box, but then I would have only has one ‘swoosh’ around the whole text box to highlight the links, and that’s somewhat misleading to those viewing the glog because it seems as if there’s only one link).

I did want to include some screenshots with my glog, but I didn’t want the actual pictures on the glog; I wanted to link to them opening up in a browser page.  I could not figure out how to do that though (I’m not sure it’s even possible) so it’s sans screen-shots.  I chose to leave them out because in order for screen shots to be effective, they have to be large enough to see, and that would have taken up too much space on the glog.

I also found out an interesting thing about Glogster – for some reason I tried to put in quotation marks (“) and I could NOT!!  It made my “s as ?s!!!  So I used single quotes/apostrophes as my quotes.  I thought it was a trifle weird, and I will certainly pay attention to it next time I make a glog!  So please enjoy the culmination of all my work on Glogster:

WordPress vs. Blogspot

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Glogster Woes

I am currently in the midst of creating my “WordPress/Blogspot” glog, and it seems to have disappeared.  I am flipping back and forth between Glogster and other webpages (with ‘research’) and when I flipped back to Glogster, it was just a blank screen – nooooooooooo!  And apparently there’s no autosave (I thought there was).  *sigh* Now to start all over.  But when I try, even creating a new glog gives me a blank screen.  What to do what to do?!?!

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Over an hour later, and the first ‘revised’ blog has been edited.  *Side note – ‘edited’ blogs will now have a new title along with (The blog post formerly known as ‘old blog title’)*  I feel that I’ve added some great things to it, but somehow feel that I may have still missed the ‘essence’ of the tool that I’m supposed to be exploring (in this case Google Reader).  I suppose I’m struggling with this because Google Reader is basically a mass centre of information, and once I find some information that interests me, I begin to focus on THAT information, rather than on Google Reader and what it can do for me.  I wonder if I can find some articles or blogs on Google Reader about Google Reader! ~Please see bottom of post for findings!~  Google Reader does make it easier for me to LEARN as a teacher or teacher librarian, as it helps me very easily find relevant information.  Wow, little bit of an epiphany right at this moment – Google Reader itself isn’t going to teach me things per-say, but the things that I find on there can teach me things….

So far Google Reader has yet to teach me anything on a ‘personal’ level – I feel that I don’t have much of a life lately, so anything ‘personal’ or that would be of interest to me on a personal or ‘hobby’ level has been put on hold right now while I concentrate on my school (or professional) life.  I would like to be able to add many additional feeds to follow, including ones about yoga, Wheaten Terriers (my puppy), DIY home renos, cooking, etc, but I KNOW if I add any of those things at the moment, I will spend more time looking at (and ‘wasting’ time with) those so I refrain at the moment.

~I thought I should see if I could find some things about Google Reader ON Google Reader and the people I was subscribed to, and here are some of the things I found!~

And the list could just keep going (at least my generated search keeps going!)

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