I do not see YouTube as a valuable tool for the education community. They catalog videos using 12 categories. This method creates a need to wade through a lot of rubbish before finding anything appropriate. The site also lacks a means for users to filter their searches. Our district blocks students from accessing YouTube but they do allow access to teachers. I queried our Director of Information Technology about the district's decision to block YouTube. He informed me that the primary reason for blocking it was because the content is often inappropriate and there is no means to filter appropriate videos from inappropriate ones. Additionally, it tends to suck up to much bandwidth creating other problems. I do not see any component of this site that would offer anything of value to our webpage. I would prefer to rely on United Streaming and TeacherTube.
For the podcasts activity I had to get a password from our IT dept. that would allow me to bypass the district's Websense filter. I browsed through podcast.net, podcastalley.com, Yahoo podcasts (which is shutting down 10/31/07 - hmmm!), and the Educational Podcast Directory (epnweb.org). The Educational Podcast Directory is the only site that wasn't blocked by our Websense filter. It was also the site that I found to have the podcasts that were most relevant. Sirsi Dynix Institute has made available multiple podcasts that would be of interest to librarians. I listened to "Teen Second Life: Library Services in a 3D World." I can see how podcasts can be utilized for teacher/librarian professional training. Podcasts could be a great asset to our home/hospital students. We can provide them with pre-chosen, teacher prepared podcasts that would cover the subject area that they are missing at school.
I missed the opportunity to download from World eBook Fair for free. eBooks and audio books can be put to use in a school in a variety of ways. It is a great venue for reluctant readers, ELL, foreign language classes as well as another great resource for home/hospital students. LibriVox would prove useful for students researching authors or literary genres. Of course, the commentary attached to each selection would not be a credible reference source but listening to the readings would be beneficial and a fun addition added to their project. It may also be the only means students have to materials that are out of print. Adding a LibriVox link to our library page would be expanding our collection.
Even though the Sept 1st completion date passed I was determined to follow through and complete the twenty-three Library 2.0 Things. There were times I felt slightly overwhelmed by the material presented but for the most part I was overwhelmed by all the other projects I found on my plate as a result of the start of the new school year. Our district is co-hosting an author visit with our public library as part of their 'The Big Read" program with the National Endowment for the Arts. This has taken up an enormous amount of my time. I wish that I had completed all of the Library 2.0 projects earlier as Zoho Writer would have come in handy while working on this project. Oh well, next time! I have just a few more tasks left before finishing. I am excited to begin implementing all the new ideas I have as a result of this course. I will try to keep this blog up-to-date with the progress my library and school make in the 2.0 world.