Sunday, May 30, 2010

Mixing it in the wiki

Have just finished the wiki section of CCL Learn, and should be feeling totally comfortable with contributing to wikis now.....ummm...not so much. I think it is a case of performance anxiety - what if I do something wrong, what if everyone laughs, why would anyone be interested in what I have to say (although as my friends will tell you, that has never stopped me before).

I guess it is just a case of taking that first step, grabbing the bull by the horns, crossing that bridge, getting out there and mixing those metaphors.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

The SLANZA wiki

The School Library Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (SLANZA) has a very handy wiki. It contains all sorts of reading lists along with recommended search engines and tools.


It has a whole raft of lists for different genres, themes and reading levels, and covers both primary and secondary schools.

So, the next time you get a secondary school student asking for a recommendation for a book that meets the Wide Reading criteria for, say prejudice against women, then try checking out this wiki for suggestions.

However, you still need to get them to confirm their choice with English teacher - as some schools have different requirements from others.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Do try this at home

OK, so I'm meant to be doing a post on Flickr, or mashups, or something useful I have learnt over the last few days, but I got a wee bit waylaid.........and I found this.

Matthew Reinhart is a paper engineer, and is one half of the team which produces the amazing Encyclopedia Prehistorica series, and the more recent Encyclopedia Mythologica books. You know, those incredibly complex pop-up books that you look through in bookshops with your jaw resting on the top of your shoes, and wonder to yourself (and often those around you) "how do they create these amazing pop ups?" Ok, so, maybe it's just me that does that.

You can check out his website here Matthew and here Matthew talks about his latest book Gods and Heroes.

But this is the one that caught my attention. In it he gives a quick, on the fly demonstration on how to make your very own pop-up dragon. Watch it - and tell me you don't smile at the face at the end of it!

Nastia Liukin, Olympic All Around Champion 2008

My daughter has this picture of Nastia Liukin on her wall - along with the words "Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you are right"

Competitive gymnastics is hard, hard work - but the physcial and mental skills she is developing, along with her ability to set goals and go after them are invaluable.

And she is growing such great friendships with the rest of her squad, as they share the tough days and the good.

I'm a very proud Mum of my hard working, beautiful daughter.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

RSS feeds and podcasts

A disclaimer....any typos in this post are the result of trying to type over the large, warm, furry body of one of our cats. Monty has decided that my desk is THE place to be this evening - and he has planted himself between me and the keyboard. That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

I have been using RSS feeds from my favourite websites and blogs for a while now - and I'm a fan! I used to have a slew of favourited websites which I would regularly wade through - now I just sit back and they all come to me. If only I could train my children that well.

I have my feeds sorted into subject folders (namely Book Reviews, Libraries, Social Media & Personal), so that when I go to my home page I can choose which ones I want to look through.

I hadn't searched specifically for RSS feeds or blogs before, so I found it interesting comparing the results between Bloglines, Technorati &

Bloglines was a fail - firstly a broken link, then when I got to the homepage I couldn't go any further without registering - sorry, I like to try before I buy.

Syndic8 came up with some interesting blogs, but Technorati was the winner on the day. I liked that I could see at a glance what the blogs looked like (yes, I admit it, I'm shallow, I'm influenced by the pretty) and the fact that quite a few of the blogs that came up in my search were ones I already follow. And there were some new ones that looked really interesting, so they have been added to my ever-burgeoning feed list.

I'm not so familiar with podcasts - although I have used them in the past. I think I prefer to read rather than be read to (hmmm, perhaps I have control issues?). Or perhaps it's more a time thing - I can quickly skim-read a blog post or article and determine if it is of interest. Listening to a podcast requires more of a commitment. Oh dear - does that imply I also have commitment issues?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

And here it is - my very first blog post!

A very talented friend of mine gave me some very good advice the other day....I had just spent half an hour telling her how nervous I was about presenting part of a Storytime session. Her reply was that if I felt that I couldn't do it, then just pretend to be someone who can...easy!

It seemed like pretty good advice to here I am - pretending to be a blogger :-)