Books, Donuts, & Me: A Love Story

When I’m on vacation, there are only two things I’m interested in:

1)  books

2)  food

Often, but not always, in that order.

Thus, for the two weeks in January that I spent vacationing in the Pacific Northwest, #etmooc and all other “real world” stuff got pushed to the back burner while I went in pursuit of two of my great loves…

A corset book, one of the many wondrous objects in the University of Washington’s Book Arts Collection.

Image

Delectable, made-to-order beignets served with vanilla marscapone and raspberry jam at Seattle’s Dahlia Bakery. (My apologies for the poor photo quality and harried “hurry-up-and-take-the-photo-so-I-can-eat” expressions)

Image

A couple of chickens preparing to cross the road.  (okay, not a book, nor food, but representative of my third great love:  funky local art)

Image

By the end of my vacation, I felt refreshed, rejuvenated and ready to jump back into #etmooc-ing but, alas, the universe had other plans.  By the time my homeward bound plane touched ground, I was knocked nearly unconscious by a nasty flu.

Image

After a week of bed rest, coupled with large doses of fresh ginger, o.j., and gallons of soup, I’m now (mostly) back to normal – hurray!

To ease myself back into the swing of things, I spent the evening catching up on some #etmooc blog posts.  Here are a couple that knocked my socks off:

_____

Charlie Chapman, move over!  Amy Burvall’s silent film, ‘Hat Check Girl’, is absolutely the bees knees!

_____

My favorite stories are always the ones with elements that I can relate to.  Linda Pemik’s first digital story of ‘A Family of Firsts’ had me awww-ing and grinning and reminiscing about some of my own “firsts”.

_____

Having lived in Hawaii for most of my life, I found Tim Brenner’s collage of Boston blizzard photos an utterly fascinating story.  (Gee, look at all that white stuff!)

_____

Diana Samson shared ‘A Pep Talk From Kid President to You’.  In a word:  ADORABLE.

Week 1 Recap: Getting organized

It’s the end of #etmooc orientation week and, for the most part, I think I’ve got myself sorted with the help of several tech tools:

  • WordPress.com:  After registering for #etmooc, I started this blog to reflect on all the cool and exciting things I’ll learn in the next 10 weeks.  I chose WordPress over other weblog publishing tools because I appreciate the clean and professional aesthetic of many of the templates.  The  dashboard is not always user friendly but a quick YouTube tutorial is usually all I need to get me back on track.
  • Evernote:  Oh how love thee!  I created a brand new stack of notebooks where I’ll stash links to articles & blog posts; save tweets that inspire me; jot down fresh new ideas to try; clip provocative G+conversations…and much, much more.
  • HootSuite:  Unfortunately, twitter chats happen while I’m at work…boohoo.  I saved both the #etmooc and #etmchat hashtags – displayed side-by-side – so that I can still participate in conversations during my bus ride home.
  • Google Reader:  I added the #etmooc & BlogHub to my otherwise empty Reader.  To be honest, I’d rather use Flipboard for this since that’s where I do most of my weblog reading but for some reason, the BlogHub RSS wouldn’t cooperate.  Oh well, such is life.
  • Blackboard Collaborate:  I downloaded the app to my iPad for those rare occasions when I don’t have to work and can log into a session.  Thank goodness for archived sessions!
  • Google+:   My self-introduction post led to new connections with other information professionals, including Heather Martin, who created a G+ circle specifically for #etmooc librarians – yippee!

MOOCS can often feel overwhelming so I tried to weave  #etmooc into my existing streams of information, making it easier to connect and engage.  Which tech tools have you found useful while organizing your #etmooc experience?

Ed Tech Tool Review: GoAnimate

What it is…

GoAnimate is an online do-it-yourself video maker for businesses, educators, and students.  Basic accounts are free, or you can pay a nominal fee for extra features like uploading images, video clips and sound, or publishing rights to social media platforms such as YouTube.  School accounts are also available, affording educators a safe, private and monitored environment to help students create their own mini masterpieces.

What I liked about it…

After breezing through a quick sign-up page, I was guided through a fun tutorial which showed me all the basics I needed to know in order to create my video.  The user interface was very intuitive, featuring a simple yet colorful layout and family friendly images to work with.   I especially loved the cute animations that I could use to make my main character dance happily across the screen.

I think that students of all ages would get a kick out using GoAnimoto to present book reports, point-of-view debates or to illustrate a story.  Teachers might use it as a fresh method of introducing a new topic in class, posing hypothetical scenarios or to create tutorials.

Without further ado…

I used GoAnimate to create my #etmooc self-introduction…enjoy!