Friday, September 21, 2007

Welcome to 5 Things @ EIT

Welcome to 5 Things, a brief introduction to the Learning 2.0 online self-discovery program called 23 Things, that encourages the exploration of web 2.0 tools and new technologies.

This program was originally developed and launched for the staff at the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County in August 2006 with a total of 352 PLCMC participants creating blogs and many additional guests joining in. Since the program's launch, the exercises here have helped other library systems develop programs of their own, the first being the Yarra Plenty Regional Library system in Melbourne, Australia.

This project is loosely based upon the website 43Things (which allows you to set and track personal goals) and the Stephen Abram article titled 43 Things I (or You) might want to do this year (Information Outlook - Feb 2006).

Although it is about self-discovery, 23 Things is also a social programme that works best if you share & exchange information and tips with your colleagues or peers. If your interest is piqued today and you would like to do the full 23 Things, please get in touch with your friendly eLearning Advisor, Joyce Seitzinger, to adjust the programme for your team.

What to do? Here are the 5 Things...

For this tutorial, there are 5 Things for you to do. Each Thing will show you another web tool. There are many places for you to explore, experiment with, and think about creative ways to use this in your work or to collaborate with other educators.

#1 Create your own blog, then post about it

#2 Share your blog

#3 Explore Flickr and learn more about this popular image sharing tool

#4 Flickr Fun - Mashups & Tools

#5 Learn about tagging & discover

Feel free to look around this web site - it is a place for self-directed and shared learning. If you get stuck, ask the person next to you first.

#5 Learn about tagging and discover (a social bookmarking site)

Tagging is an open and informal method of categorizing that allows users to associate keywords with online content (webpages, pictures & posts). Unlike traditional library subject cataloging, which follows a strict set of guidelines (e.g., Library of Congress subject headings), tagging is completely unstructured and freeform, allowing users to create connections between data in any way they want.

Today we’ve already explored one site – Flickr - that allows users to take advantage of tagging. In addition to exploring Technorati and LibraryThing tagging, we also want to take a look at the popular social bookmarking site (typed in as

Why social bookmarking? Well, have you checked your list of favorites or bookmarks on your internet browser lately? If you’re like me, your favorites list may need some pruning or organization. Or, if you don’t happen to be on your regular computer, how do you even remember all the sites you’ve bookmarked? is a social bookmarking manager which allows you to bookmark a web page and add tags to categorize your bookmarks.

Many users find that real power of is in the social networking aspect, which allows you to see how other users have tagged similar links and also discover other websites that may be of interest to you. You can think of it as peering into another users’ filing cabinet, but with this powerful bookmarking tool each user's filing cabinet helps to build an expansive knowledge network.For this discovery exercise, you are asked to take a look at and learn about this popular bookmarking tool.

Discovery Exercise:
1. View the 12 minute tutorial to get a good overview of its features.

2. Take a look around using the SJLibraryLearning2 account that was created for this exercise. Note: In this account you will find lots of resources that have been highlighted or used throughout the course of the Learning 2.0 program. You can keep up to date with what's added by subscribing to the RSS feed.

3. Explore the site options and try clicking on a bookmark that has also been bookmarked by a lot of other users. Can you see the comments they added about this bookmark or the tags they used to catgorize this reference?

4. Create a blog post about your experience and thoughts about this tool. Can you see the potential of this tool for research assistance? Or just as an easy way to create bookmarks that can be accessed from anywhere? How can libraries take advantage of social bookmarking sites?
Would you like to read more about and other social bookmarking tools? Go to SJLibrary’s page and look for entries under the tag headings “” and “bookmarking.”

OPTIONAL: If you’re up to the challenge, create a account for yourself and discover how this useful bookmarking tool can replace your traditional browser bookmark list. You might even want to explore’ latest addition, a network badge. (Psst! see it over there at the end of the navigation sidebar.)

Note: If you do setup a account, here’s a quick word about the Buttons. On PC that have the toolbars locked down, these will install as options in your browser bookmarks. Use the “Post to my” link to add the current webpage to your account (you may need to log in). Use the “My” link to view your online account.

Discovery Resources:
[Note: Please remember to include the THING# in your heading posts.]

#4 Flickr Fun - Mashups and Tools

Like many web 2.0 sites, Flickr has encouraged other people to build their own online applications using images found on the site. Through the use of APIs (application programming interfaces), many people have created third party tools and mashups* that use Flickr images. Here is just a sampling of a few …
· Mappr - takes Flickr images and allows you to paste them on a map
· Flickr Color Pickr - lets you find public photos in Flickr that match a specific color.
· Montagr – create a photo mosaics from photos found on Flickr.Discover more mashups, web apps, and Flickr tools.

Discovery Exercise:
Your discovery exercise for this Thing is to:
Explore some of the fun Flickr mashups and 3rd party tools that are out there. Create a blog post about one that intrigues you. You might want to check out FD ToysTrading Card Maker. And there’s a ton of librarians out there that have created their own Librarian Trading Card.

So have some fun discovering and exploring some neat little apps. If you are up to the challenge while you’re at it, create a trading card of your own. :) or a movie poster or magazine cover from this Flickr site.

* Mashup Note: Wikipedia offers some great articles that explain mashups. Basically they are hybrid web applications that take features from one application (like Flickr) and mash it up with another (like a map) In this example, you get Mappr (

#3 Explore Flickr and learn more about this popular image sharing site

Photo sharing websites have been around since the 90s, but it took a small startup site called Flickr (now owned by Yahoo) to catapult the idea of “sharing” into a full blown online community.

Flickr uses "tags" or what we would call keywords to help identify and search for photos.For this discovery exercise, you are asked to take a good look at Flickr and discover what this site has to offer. Find out how tags work, what groups are, and all the neat things that people and other libraries (list also here) are creating thanks to Flickr.

Discovery Exercise:
In this discovery exercise, you have two options…
a. Take a good look around Flickr and discover an interesting image that you want to blog about. Be sure to include either a link to the image or if you create a Flickr account, you can use Flickr's blogging tool to add the image in your post. Another option you have for including images in your post is to use Blogger's photo upload tool.
b. If you are up to an easy challenge ... create a Free account in Flickr and use your organisation's digital camera to capture a few pictures of something at your school. Upload these to your Flickr account and tag at least one of the images “5 Things @ EIT” and mark it public. Then create a post in your blog about your photo and experience. Be sure to include the image in your post. Once you have a Flickr account, you have two options for doing this; through Flickr's blogging tool or using Blogger's photo upload feature. So go ahead, explore the site and have some Flickr photo fun and if you're interested in looking at some photo hosting sites, then check out Picasa Web Albums from Google and another service called Smugmug.

PS: A quick word about photo posting etiquette - When posting identifiable photos of other people (especially minors) get the person's permission before posting their photo in a publicly accessible place like Flickr. Never upload pictures that weren't taken by you (unless you have the photographer's consent) and always give credit when you include photos taken by someone else in your blog.

Discovery Resources:
· Flickr Learn More tour (6 steps)
· Mediamazine Flickr Tutorials
· Flickr: Popular tags Interesting- Last 7 days
· Flickr Services (3rd party applications & mashups) and here's another Flickr site that lets you create movie posters, CD covers, magazine covers and so on.
· libraries that Flickr or 365 Days of Library Pictures in Flickr.

[Note: When you post about Flickr, please remember to include the THING# in your heading posts.]

#2 Share your blog

Yay, you're already on number 2 of your '5 Things.’ We hope you are enjoying the adventure so far and having fun.

Remember to share with colleagues knowledge or experience that may help them out if they get stuck or vice versa!

How do you share? Well by visiting each other’s blogs and leaving comments. This means you have to find them first. So, here’s Thing #2 – add a comment to this post and copy & paste your blog address there. Remember … your blog address is in the format

It’s really that easy and just think, now there’s only 3 more things to go. :)

Tip! For a quick way to copy & paste information, use these key combinations, Ctrl +C and then Ctrl+V.

Optional: Create a link list as a new page element on your own blog and add the addresses of the others’ blogs to your Blog Roll.

#1 Create your own blog, then post about it

After you’ve done some exploring around this website and understand how this program will work, it’s time to set up your very own personal blog to begin recording your thoughts, discoveries, and exercises. For this program, you may use any one of several free online blog hosting services including Blogger, Wordpress, or Typepad. (Although we are recommending Blogger, you may find that your organisation may block websites with the name "blog" in them or it may have a preferred blog service.)

Grab yourself a blog in 3 steps:

1. Create an account.
Google asks you for an email address - this becomes your username. Use your work email or a personal Gmail address.

2. Name your blog
Remember that the whole web world can see your blog title and blog address. You probably don’t want to use your real name. Consider creating a blog name that’s anonymous, yet uniquely you. The URL for your blog will look like these examples - or or (these are real blogs so of course you need to give your own blog its own unique name.) The format is when you use software. Note: There are no www in the address when using software. Please remember your URL address and/or bookmark it.

3. Select your template.
Blogger has several templates - have fun choosing one for you! If you run into problems, check out Blogger's Help file and Tutorial

Discovery Exercise:
1. Set up a blog for yourself through Blogger.
2. Play around and add a test post or two.
3. Take a look at the Template tab. Try adding some page elements to your blog.
4. You will create a discovery post for each of the ’5 Things.’ Please clearly label each entry in your blog in the following way: Week 1, Exercise or Thing #1, subject. Each of your posts should provide insights into what you’ve discovered and learned. Feel free to share what worked for you … and what didn’t … what surprised you … what frustrated you … what amazed you.

For example: Your ‘Thing 1’ post will talk about how difficult or easy you found it to set up your blog.