Friday, June 11, 2010

Awesome Web 2.0 tools: learn 'em, live 'em, spread the knowledge!

Portrait of a girl holding a home video camera Model Release: Yes Property Release: NA
Sooo...we're all hearing about embracing technology completely and implementing Web 2.0 technology into our programs and library resources. There really ARE so many super cool, interactive, and highly educational online tools that librarians can use to promote their library and resources. Kids will enjoy learning these new technologies, and this provides the public library the chance to really help kids develop tech skills that are critical during the school years and beyond.  Plus, there's always the chance for public library and school library collaboration that could be heightened with these tools.  The nifty Flipcam that soo many libraries use is one example of the AMAZING technologies that libraries can use in super creative, effective ways.  Here are a couple of my favorite Web 2.0 things...I hope you decide to check out some of these fantastic resources! 

Blabberize is a great tool for kids why are a bit shy, or who might wish to just tell a story in a different kind of way.  Here's how it works: you create an account, upload photos of your choice, and create a voice blurb that goes along with the photos.   Blabberize is completely free, and has been used successfully by many teachers for school projects. The same use could occur in children's progamming!  Say for instance, you hold a storytelling workshop...there are some shy or hesitant patrons who want to participate and tell their own show them how to use blabberize and BAM! they've successfully told their own story.  Blabberize really gives pictures a whole new dimension.  Pretty cool, pretty simple, super great. :) 

Voice Thread is another great tool that is similar to blabberize. In much the same way, you can create a story around a single image or set of images...there are so many ways to apply this great program. It's sort of like creating an interactive powerpoint, or slide show with lots of cool aspects.  You could use it during a workshop with patrons, create a voice thread with screen shots for searching the OPAC that would make a very user-friendly instructional guide...oh, the possibilities are endless!  The super thing about voice thread is that it's a technology which is highly interactive...users can leave comments about different threads, and can really engage in interesting conversations in this online community.  An interactive, online program that promotes community sharing. It's pretty super.  On the main page, there is a link to "What is VoiceThread Anyway?" a quick tutorial that is packed full of useful information that I found to be very helpful. VoiceThread recently partnered with New York Public Library as well. Check this out here!

While doing some research, I came across this FANTASTIC wiki, Teacher Web 2.0 that a group of teachers created, all about Web 2.0 uses in the classroom.  By no means are these programs and tools limited to the school environment--there are so many ways to incorporate amazing technologies into programming and similar endeavors at the public library.  I hope you decide to check out this wiki, and explore the great programs that are available!

 Live it, love it, share it :)  yay technology!