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Current Events #6

Yay for Canada being on top of the technological curve this time around!  Is this new ‘virtual newsstand’ app going to change the way more people read, and spread digital literacy farther?  I can’t see it changing the way I read – I still prefer print text, but I can see it becoming popular with busy professionals….  especially those that commute long distances to work.  Will this new app bring changes to libraries?

Canadian app maker gains from the ‘big shift’ in publishing

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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

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?!?!

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!)

This past week has been extremely long for me.  There are times where I very much dislike being a substitute teacher, and this week was one of them.  The actual subbing itself was not bad this week, but I worked every day.  That doesn’t necessarily seem like a bad thing, right?!  It is when you have a second job.  I subbed every day this week, worked three nights this week, had dance class one night this week, and every other time I was not working, my mom was here at my new house painting.  Still all sounds good right?  Not when you’re ALSO taking an online class!  🙂

I have a million things to do that are homework-related.  I tried – I really did – to search out some things to help me make my previous blogs better, and managed to find a few.  But I feel extremely guilty sitting around doing ‘nothing’ (aka homework) when my mom is here painting.  And she is here again as we speak (type?) and yet I am in my bedroom blogging.  I understand how busy I am, but my mom doesn’t (she thinks that all things on the computer are ‘fun and games’)!  I also feel extremely guilty that I have left my poor puppy locked up in her kennel for most of the week while I worked.  I did manage to take her for two walks, but that’s still not enough for a growing puppy.

I now feel that I am even further behind in the school work because I’ve put my Web 2.o explorations on hold in order to try and whip my past blogs into shape.  I have also missed putting up my past current events (though they are posted on the school moodle site), so I will get to those this week too.  There probably will not be many posts this week as I try to systematically update my past blogs, except for the updates on how my updates are going!

Lest We Forget

It really hurts how students don’t seem to take Remembrance Day seriously – and I remember it quite clearly even from when I was in high school.  People vying and collecting as many poppies as they could to make lewd shapes with them on their backpacks.  Talking throughout the ceremony, or worse – skipping it altogether.  Although maybe it was better that those students skip anyway.  I used to have quite a part in organizing Remembrance Day ceremonies as I used to be part of the SRC (Student Representative Council).  I took it seriously, and it was very important to me, even though I did not even have any relatives who were in the war.  I actually find it very hard to accurately express how much this day means to me, and the sorrow it brings me that people don’t seem to care, and that’s saying a lot (as I usually have a lot to say on subjects, and find myself to be usually very eloquent when it comes to my words).

I began looking online for articles etc about today’s youth ‘forgetting’ – because it seems that it’s only getting worse – and I found a remarkable lack of information.  There are plenty of ideas for Remembrance Day “activities” – although how colouring pictures of poppies teaches our students about remembrance is still beyond me.  Is this just not as much of a problem as it seems to me, or are people just ignoring it/sweeping it under the rug because they don’t know what to do about it?  I collected what I could, and made a glog out of the information:

Remembrance Day Glog

I have had a few ‘problems’ with Glogster – my initial one is that I found the options for me (at least for this ‘project) were not wide enough….  not enough ‘serious’ graphics and backgrounds etc to support this topic, so I apologize for that, but did not want to try this in a whole new media once I’d started.  I can see the potential for other applications though, and do look forward to using it in the future to highlight or compare and contrast other things with a less serious nature.

In addition, I wanted to post the actual glog ‘poster’ here, but could not figure out how to do that.  So unfortunately you will have to follow the link, which I’m sure with provide you with the same experience.

I also very much wanted to change the colour of the highlighting ‘circle’ around links (I think the fuchsia is quite garish in this application) but also could not figure out how to do that!  It’s always the simple things that seem to confound us.

Ninja Week

Ninja week you ask?  That’s because this past week seems to have snuck by me and I don’t know how.  A three day Halloween dance production (Friday – Sunday, so it’s still going on) that I’m participating in and two jobs might have something to do with that though.  I have not been doing a very good job with time management, and I know that, but at this moment (being entirely stressed out by it, and stress makes things MUCH less enjoyable to do) I’m not sure what I can change to better manage my time.  My first, and only thought right now, is staying up later to complete things.  I will keep you posted on how that goes.

That aside, Glogster has been occupying what little time I have left.  I also wanted to use some different media to show you some things about Glogster besides simply hyperlinks to websites (which I’ve been doing in the past).  YouTube brought me some wonderful resources to look at for Glogster.  Straight from the mouths of students about their experiences with Glogster: “Really Easy!”

I also came across experiences with students using Glogster in their classrooms from as young as grade 4 to as old as grade 12.  Eileen Doherty did some WONDERFUL things with her grade 4s, and I can’t wait to get students in schools to use Glogster in some of the ways that she did!

Glogster also shows some students creating Glogs to complete their state-required graduation project, and their school would be just fine with them making ‘regular’ posters for this requirement, but the students are very eager to share their Glogs instead….

I was recently subbing in Marion Graham high school, and while I was there in the library I saw some bookmarks for upcoming Remembrance Day.  I want to create a Glog about my feelings on Remembrance Day – it is a very important day to me, and I feel that students do not respect Remembrance Day anymore (and did not even when I was in high school).  Unfortunately that Glog will have to wait for a bit while I catch up with things….