Apr 14 2009
Working with Web2.0 tools – Part 1
This week, I am trying to sort out in my mind all of the amazing Web2.0 tools and apps I have been playing around with, how useful I think they are for my own work, what I need to do to get the best out of them and which ones I will try with teachers and students when I have the opportunity. It is a tall order as my head is buzzing with all of the new things that I find every day. But I think I need to slow down and take stock. I seem to be skimming the surface and moving on again before I have really learned what each one can do.
A colleague, Caroline Roche in “Playing in my sandbox“, posted very wisely about this very thing on her blog – yes, I think that I am probably one of the “butterflies” in that I just play around with something for a while and then my attention is caught by a new thing to try! My husband has always said that I have a butterfly mind (wouldn’t mind the wings!)
Another librarian, Meredith Farkas in “Looking beyond the technolust“, has also recently written about those of us who are advocates for technology and our attitude to people who are maybe more measured in their approach to new things and ideas:
I think sometimes we all need to try and step outside of our personal feelings about these technologies, which isn’t easy when we think they’re the best thing since sliced bread. When we are talking to others about technology, we need to realize that what we find useful may not be useful to them (and that’s ok).
So, I need to think carefully when I advocate tools that I use myself – as many of you may not love them so much – and that is your prerogative!
The list here is very much a personal one. These are the things that are working for me at the moment!
To organise my working day, and sometimes my personal stuff I find Netvibes invaluable. I used to use Outlook and Pageflakes in my last job, but we don’t use Outlook in my new school and Pageflakes got a bit flakey(!) recently.
I have already posted about my use of Netvibes before, so I won’t repeat it all! But I do wonder what I will do if it goes!
Well, I still use email a lot – apparently younger people are moving away from it now. I don’t text very much as most of my family and friends don’t. I also don’t use my mobile phone very much either – this may cause some shock amongst readers!
I like email as I have a record of the correspondence, I can take the time to think about what I want to say, although I am known for jumping in a bit too quickly with it sometimes. I still have too many accounts – Hotmail and Yahoo Mail are old ones that I rarely use these days. My main account is Gmail, which I use for personal and semi-professional stuff and I also use the school official email. None of these are Web2.0, but email still forms the basis of my daily communications.
Twitter is becoming a really important source of news, information, professional development, support etc. My Twitter network is growing, although I try to keep the number of those I follow to a reasonable number. I also stick to people who I think will be interesting and ignore those who lock down their tweets or who don’t have a profile. It will be interesting to see if I, and others, are using it to the same extent a year from now!
I am also experimenting with Meebo. I have this on my library website and have used it to communicate with some students – I am not sure about this and will think about the issues surrounding “chat” with young students. It was used successfully by a group of school librarians during a recent online course and I hope that we try it out as a group in the future.
Of course, blogging is also a way of communicating. I write something here and, if I am lucky, I get a response from other librarian colleagues that makes me think. Blogs are a wonderful way of sharing ideas – that’s why I have so many on my Netvibes page!
This post has been long enough and I will continue with other ways I use Web2.0 tools another day. I will cover collaboration, presentation, social bookmarking, note-taking, picture/photo sites, organising books, and maybe more as I think of categories!