Thursday, June 3, 2010

I am becoming an ICT nerd.

I've been having a busy few days exploring some new online applications that I hope will be useful in my everyday life.

First, I signed up for LibraryThing. Do you use LibraryThing? I'd heard of it, but I didn't really know what it was. Then when I visited The University of Technology Sydney's library for my study visit, one of the presentations was about using social networking in the library. They mentioned Facebook, Twitter, and LibraryThing. So I thought I'd give it a try.

LibraryThing is pretty fun! I've started adding books to "My Library", and you'll notice on my blog sidebar I have a LibraryThing widget. If you click on any of the covers, it will open up a window with a catalogue record of the book, including my rating and review if I've written a review. Cool huh!?

Second, I decided that I'd have a go of Evernote. I blogged a little bit about it here, and I decided to take the plunge and try it out.

So far, I LOVE IT!!!

For my MEd, I have to construct a portfolio which contains a critical evaluation of my learning during the course and an assessment of how this learning will enable me to be an effective teacher librarian in the future. I'm going to need to collect a lot of information to write an excellent portfolio, so I've decided to use Evernote to facilitate this process.

Here's a screen shot of my Evernote window:


On the right hand side is the "note" that I was most recently working on, which happens to be a text document. It's some ideas about what themes I will concentrate on when I'm writing my portfolio.

In the centre is a list of all the notes that I've made so far. On the left hand side is a toolbar for managing my "notebooks".

What is super fantastic about Evernote is the simplicity of doing anything that I want to do with just one or two clicks. I emailed my theme ideas for my portfolio to my supervisor straight from Evernote - no middleman needed! I also grabbed the screen shot that you see above in Evernote, right clicked on it and chose "picture" so I could import it straight into this post. And that leads me to my next discovery...

I get a lot of great information via Twitter. I follow quite a lot of librarians and teacher librarians, and I know that I'll be able to use lots of the links and information that they tweet in my portfolio. I needed to find an easy way to grab tweets that I like and store them in Evernote. And along came Seesmic.

Seesmic is a platform for Twitter so that you don't have to use the Twitter.com website to access your timeline. It has the excellent function that I can highlight a tweet, click the Evernote icon on my toolbar, and it sends a copy of the tweet as a "note" to my Evernote account. If the tweet contains a link to a website, when in Evernote I just double-click on the link and it takes me straight there! Sweet :)

Yes, it's been time-consuming to set up these new applications, and yes, I'm still learning how to get the best out of them. But I'm loving it!

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