Marians February 2009

So I was the presenter yesterday, so there’s not a lot that’s new this time. Nonetheless, when a group of librarians gets together, someone is going to have information to share. (it’s our nature!)

We discussed how to embed applications, documents, videos, etc. into wiki pages. Web 2.0 has gotten much simpler these days. It’s pretty much just a point-and-click process anymore.

We also talked about Voicethread which has now upgraded to offer a free educational account. This account does not allow for setting up unlimited identities, but if you set it up with a generic password you can create unlimited threads which is pretty much the process we’ve been using so far.

We’re all familiar with Animoto, as I use it to send out the slideshows of the new books we get each month. However, Librarian Jeri Hurd has helped students use Garage Band and Animoto to create innovative book reviews.
While the student is speaking pretty fast in the first one, the review for “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon” is a pretty good example. Check them out here:


Marians December 2008

The DPS Keeping up with the Marians group met this week and we played with a few fun tools.
Here are the highlights: is a website that creates a word cloud from any text you cut-and-paste into a text box. This handy tool can become a great visual tool. Remember that with tag clouds, the more a word is used, the larger it is in comparison to the others, so this tool can create some interesting configurations. Students can use it to create a tag cloud about themselves at the beginning of the semester, it can be used for a word wall, or to compare similar texts. A neat online use of this tool can be found at which uses wordle to visually compare the four 2008 accepatnce speeches.

We played a bit with an online slideshow program with music.

The presentation included an argument for stronger slide presentations with examples such as the Gettysburg Powerpoint and if Lincoln had had powerpoint and garageband.

Marians and CAL

This time we learned about some exciting applications. by Tiger Logic is an interesting tool: it opens two windows side by side and offers annotations on search results with the intent of cutting down on the use of commerical web sites for research. It does require a download, but visit the web site and watch the tutorial video for more information. (formerly known as fauxto) is online freeware for the person who needs photoshop on the fly. It’s a robust program for free.

We discussed alternatives to Powerpoint such as (blocked by DPS filters) to make visual presentations more interesting. Of course Voicethread was an option as were animoto and Google Presentations. (See examples of TJ’s voicethreads and animoto videos on the Tj web site)

Google Apps have proven to be a popular and easy tool for classroom teaching and collaborating.