Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Beyond Method #12: Reflection and Evaluation

I really enjoyed this course and wish I could keep going. So, yes, I would be interested in taking a follow-up course from the TX State Library. Through the readings, I was exposed to many new websites, concepts, and tools. What I need now is more practice with some of the tools. I would love to have a concrete "reason" to practice - for example, a digital story that will be critiqued by a committee.

My favorite exercises were Tell a Digital Story, Customizing Your Window to the Internet, Social Cataloging, Next Generation Presentations, and Capture Your Computer Screen. I loved realizing how powerful a digital story can be and discovering for myself that less is more. I enjoyed customizing several window pages so that everything I use frequently was in one place. However, once I did it, I realized that I preferred igoogle because of a more visually-pleasing lay out. I learned how user-friendly Good Reads is, and I plan to continue cataloging and keeping track of books there. I had a good time playing with SlideRocket and saw how much potential there is to create more exciting presentations. Finally, I learned that I can design powerful, time-saving Capture Your Screen presentations that will explain basic concepts and conserve staff time and energy.

The main weakness of this program was that I did not interact with other students or a teacher. If there was an option to do so, I was unaware of it. It was lonely writing blogs and making discoveries without having people to share with. I would recommend working on this feature by putting students in mini-clusters or at least with a peer or mentor who will give feedback.

Once again, I am very interested in a follow-up class. Thank you, Texas State Library, for a positive learning opportunity.

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Favorite Children's Books

Some Favorite Adult Books

  • Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
  • Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali (memoir)
  • The Highest Tide by Jim Lynch
  • The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar
  • Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri