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.


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)


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)


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.


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:

  •  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!