Friday, September 28, 2007

Hypothetical lunchtime blogging

Instead of reading a book for lunch I'm blogging. No, it's not a reflection on the children's books I have selected as of late, but it is of what has been occupying my time this week; collection development and technology. Yesterday I finished a folder full of orders for the acquisitions librarian. This afternoon I am attending the first of six three hour sessions on integrating technology into teaching (and in my case the library as well).

Beyond the juvenile/young adult (three boxes waiting to be processed in tech services) and education liaison collection development responsibilities I also purchase the boring every-day items necessary for keeping my little corner of the library running smoothly. Included in that particular group of unexciting items are color toner (budget hog), laminating film rolls (pays for itself), book kit folders (resulting from reorganization of materials kits), and cases of paper. Recent weeding and shelf shifting in the resource center resulted in an entire section of empty shelving allowing me to increase holdings in software, materials kits, and activity books.

I spent a great deal of time finding appropriate, both topic and technologically, educational software. Since there are teachers editions to software packages just as there are teachers editions to textbooks, I started my search with an old favorite, Tom Snyder. Many of the available titles have not yet caught up with the ever changing windows operating system. In that regard my biggest challenge at this point is to find something which will run on XP, our current university system, and potentially on vista. Though a secondary issue is always budgeting and cost of the software, I was able to order six titles for $400 (plus shipping & handling) that should meet our needs.

Materials kits and activity books were more, dare I say it, fun to order. Carson Dellosa, Carson Dellosa School Division, and MindWare were my vendors of choice. I was able to order materials kits with coin money, lacing cards, bi-lingual learning games, magnet coloring sets, a USA floor map puzzle, and a very cool set of puppets (they have teacher resources and audio cd's included!). As I was working students were perusing the catalogs and inquiring what was going to be added to the collection. Activity books and puppet sets were high on the list were high on their personal "yes" lists.

I am assisting the group facilitator, sheesh in about fifteen minutes, with today's technology topic of podcasting, desktop movies, TeacherTube, YouTube, and video. After remembering to charge the digital video camera, I spent a good portion of the morning re-learning how to use Camtasia Studio to make screencast movies. My topic of choice is the new resource center web site. At first the project was just for show and tell, but as I've worked on it steadily throughout the day I think it will be the first video I try to upload to a blog. Editing the recorded screen can be addicting, especially to an annoying perfectionist (understanding the problem is the first step). Time will tell, but at least now I have a project for the meeting.

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