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As I've studied this year and, more recently, read Joyce Valenza's blog about library websites, I've been thinking about the implications of Web 2.0 for both libraries and education. I always saw myself as pretty advanced along the tech integration pathway, at least compared to other teachers in my school. I used list-servs and webquests and digital storytelling/documentaries as a regular part of my classes. I even had a (fairly disastrous) foray into podcasting. (grin--nothing in Egypt is ever easy!) However, blogs, wikis and their use in education are all new territory for me.

More specifically, I'm wondering how to use them as I design my own library website. I looked around several websites Joyce listed as "exemplary" in her Library webquest. Pretty impressive, but as she pointed out in her blog a few days ago, almost none of them incorporate aspects of the read/write web. How much of this is a time factor? I realized during my practicum that this "library thing" is FAR more intense than simply teaching English. Multi-tasking is the order of the day! If we really try to incorporate the ideas behind Information Power, we're heavily involved in teaching and collaborating--so just when will we have time to maintain an interactive website?

Assuming we DO find the time, how do we put these technologies to best use? I love the idea of a (moderated!) reading recommendation blog for students/teachers. Of course, a library blog on "what's up" at the library each month seems obvious, too. I thought of including a page of student podcasts where they "sound off" on topical issues. But this all seems fairly mundane and not the most creative use of media.

I've ordered a book--just out!--called "Using Technology in the Classroom" that, if the blurb on Amazon is right, looks like it will provide some good ideas. I'll post more as I continue to investigate.

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Comment by lyricaldi on May 28, 2007 at 8:10pm
I think you are doing everything right. Even our disasters are great teaching exercises for us and our students benefit from seeing how we learn. This field continues to evolve in so many ways. We have to eat the elephant one bite at a time so find a topic that you currently are incorporating and see if there is a place where the newer technologies will work better. For example, my fourth graders suggest that I build a wiki of library rules and let the new group of 4th graders add to it next year during orientation. THey recognize their will be more buy-in and everyone will pay attention better. This year I simply allowed students to walk themselves through a powerpoint orientation with interactive links. Just imagine when they use the wiki to create the library they desire! We learn so much talking to each other. Please keep sharing your ideas.

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