Friday, August 31, 2007

Week 9, thing 23: Summarizing 23 things

I feel like I'm finally crossing the finish line- I'm done and it's a good feeling. When I first posted my first blog and picked out the template I thought hey this is pretty cool. Then I started to feel a little overwhelmed with some of the "things" I had to do. Sometimes the "things" didn't always publish or happen the way I thought they should, but I hung in there. Then I started to worry about some of the "things" I had to sign up for. I kind of felt exposed, and I was afraid I would end up getting tons of spam (that hasn't happened). Then after coming back from vacation I started to tackle it again, and I found it getting easier and easier (maybe because I was actually learning "things" along the way). Before I realized it, "23 things" became quite enjoyable, and I must say I learned a great deal throughout the course. And now, having completed it, it feels like I completed a college level course. Near the end, when we started exploring the 2.0 award sites, youtube and NetLibray, was probably when I had the most fun. And looking back on it, that was the logical order of "things" to learn about. For me, the hardest "things" were at the beginning, and then they gradually became more enjoyable. The biggest challenge for me was finding the time to work on the program. Summer has been an extremely busy time at the library, and at times I wondered if I would be able to finish on time. The order of things kind of held my interest to the end. If it had been the other way around, I may have become discouraged. Did 23 things live up to it's purpose? It certainly did for me, I really did learn a lot and had fun in the process (wasn't that one of our goals at the beginning?). In retrospect, it really was the perfect course for someone like myself. Thank you.

Week 9, thing 22: Audiobooks

Since I deal with Books on cd on an almost daily basis, I found this to one to be extremely interesting. As per instructions, I went through the NetLibrary tutorial, and then established an account with NetLibrary. Wow, what a resource for people who enjoy audio books. I typed in a few classics, and they came up. Then I typed in a few names of historical figures I admire. They too showed up. Then I explored the "Browse by subject" bar on the right side of the screen. Everything is neatly catergorized under it's appropriate subject. After exploring that, I'm already finding books that I would like to read (or listen to) for myself in the future (although I think I'll try to locate them in physical book form at my library first). Even for those who prefer to read a book, rather than listen to it, NetLibrary offeres books in text form- a nice benefit for those who are homebound. Again, like many of the other online tools and resources we've learned about throughout 23 things, very often it was something I had heard about it, but never took the time to explore for myself. NetLibrary, like many of the other 2.0 resources I've learned about, will become a welcome part of my online journeys for now on.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Week 9, thing 21: Podcasts

Another very enjoyable tutorial. Again, I've heard of podcasts and seen a few, but never really explored them. I'm a big Gordon Lightfoot fan (can't get into Bob Dylan) so I decided to type his name in to see what popped up. There wasn't a whole lot, but I did find a pretty cool 10 minute radio interview that he did fairly recently. He doesn't really like doing interviews, so this was kinda nice. I must say I was amazed at the way you can pick and choose the podcasts. When you find one that looks interesting, you simply click on it and play, very cool. Next I searched for a book review regarding one of my favorites, "The great divorce" by C.S.Lewis. Again, not a whole lot came up, although I did find a review from a young lady that was ok. Thanks to 23 things, this is another resource I will continue to use and explore in the future. I imagine podcasts are something that will continue to grow and improve just like everything else 2.0 related.

Week 9, thing 20: Youtube

I found out about youtube a few months ago from a co-worker. Because we both enjoy older music, he said I should check it out. I was amazed at all the stuff I found on there. Music from artists and groups I thought most people didn't even know about, plus all kinds of clips from tv shows and commercials, some I remember from when I was a kid. People also enjoy posting things about themselves and their friends (it's amazing what some people will do). I was going to try posting a favorite music clip, I managed to copy the address ok, but I couldn't get it to play. Hopefully youtube can continue, I remember thinking napster was pretty neat when that first came on the internet, but it was shut down after a year or so and hasn't been the same since, although I'd have to say I enjoy youtube more. In conclusion, this was another fun excercise, thanks- I needed that!

Week 8, thing 19: Web 2.0 Awards

Without a doubt this was the most fun I've had yet. I like to play games, but with my schedule I never have the time. I've seen kids playing games online before but I never took the time to explore it for myself. With this assignment, to explore a web 2.0 award site, I decided to check out one of the online gaming sites (Arcaplay). Wow, did this take me back. Besides new ones, they have all the old classic arcade games that I remember from the 1980's (probably the only good thing I remember from the 80's). They have Space Invaders, Donkeykong, and of course the one that really sparked the whole arcade and gaming craze- pacman. As a kid I enjoyed playing arcade games, but I was never as good as some of my friends, who could make one quarter last an hour. Yes, after all these years I can now rest peacefully having finally rescued the princess (I'm just a romantic at heart) at the top of the skyscraper in Donkeykong. Arcaplay has many, many different games to choose from. But of course I couldn't spend too much time looking around (although it would be very easy to do) as I must press on. So yes, I had fun, and again was very surprised and impressed at the wealth of games and other fun sites offered on the web.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Week 8, thing 18: Online applications and tools

What will they think of next? Again, I didn't know google offered spreadsheets and other online tools. I was a little leary of having to sign up for yet something else, but it appears I already had an account with google, so that made things a little easier. As for spreadsheets, I think they're amazing. I have used them before, but it's been awhile so I was a little rusty at it. Like anything, the more you use it, the more proficient you become at it. But I still had fun.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Week 7, thing 17: SandBox Wiki

This was kinda cool. I wasn't sure what to expect when I was reading over my thing to do for this particular excercise, but it turned out to be fun. Until now, I've only seen the blogs from Allegany, Garrett, and Washington counties. With this excercise, you get to see blogs from all over the state of Maryland. I really didn't have time to read through that many, but the ones I did were very well done. It looks like a good book is still regarded by many as the ideal way to relax and unwind. I couldn't agree more. To finish off, I added my blog to the Maryland SandBox wiki.