Sunday, May 1, 2011

It's Been Great

This has been a great class. I have learned so much and been "exposed" to so many Web 2.0 tools. What a learning experience! All my classmates have been wonderful to work with. I wish you all good luck in your future endevors. For the next three weeks, I'll be outside doing something. I definitely won't be sitting at my desk on a computer.

Final Individual Fun Project

With the help of a few friends I was able to create a video for my final individual serious project. It was intended to be a comedy with our take on the children’s story, “The Little Red Hen”. While planning for the video, I use a Google document. I ran into a little problem when one of my “actors” had to go out of town for a whole week. I finally was able to find someone else. I think it turned out great. My friends will have a little fun with this one.

Final Individual Serious Project

For my Individual Serious Project, I chose to create a Flickr “set” for my daughter. I gather pictures of my grandson from birth to two years of age. My daughter sent me some of the pictures via email in digital format. Other pictures that I had on had needed to be scanned. Once I had all the necessary digital images in one folder, I uploaded them into Flickr. Here, you have the ability to create “sets” that allow you to view slideshows of only the pictures in a particular set. Once this class ends, I will revisit this “set” to restrict the privacy settings to only a few family members and friends.
MomBaby1Braylon at 1 monthBraylon at 2 monthsBraylon at 3 monthsBraylon at 4 months
Braylon at 5 monthsBraylon at 6 monthsBraylon at 7 monthsBraylon at 8 monthsBraylon at 9 monthsBraylon at 10 months
Braylon at 11 monthsBraylon is 1 year old!Two year old little man

Braylon's First Year, a set on Flickr.

Saturday, April 30, 2011


While taking this Web 2.0 class, I realized quickly that I did not know as much as I thought I did. By working in at IT department I thought I was keeping up with technology. However, there is so much out there, I guess it’s hard to stay abreast of everything. I’ve come a long way thought, heck, four months ago I couldn’t define Web 2.0.
Another things that I need experience with a IPad. Recently, at an IT conference, I was wishing I had brought my laptop for taking notes. But as I looked about the auditorium, I saw that a lot of attendees had IPads. I was thankful I didn’t have my laptop. It would have seemed old fashioned and I probably would have been embarrassed. I’m sure the employees and students at my school have some already and my staff and I need to know how to support them. I’m putting in a request for one tomorrow…

Motorcycles and Social Media

What does a Harley Davidson motorcycle and social media have in common? You may think, “nothing”. However, my husband, who doesn’t know how to log onto a computer, found Craigslist about three years ago. In his daily searching for a bargain, he found my soon to be, motorcycle. He even sent an email to the seller to inquire about it.

My husband bought this for me as a surprise for our 20th wedding anniversary. He woke me up early on a work day and asked me to walk to the barn with him. I thought he had lost his mind and told him so. I finally agreed to go and found that beautiful bike. I was soon out on our little rural road riding it, still in my PJ’s. Not many people have seen this picture, so don’t spread it around. ;) Yes, that’s the title. It’s mine!!

Technology and Small Children

As most of you know, I have three grandsons. They are all 2 ½ years old. It is amazing to watch them use technology. All three of them can use a cell phone. Although they can’t read, they know with button to press to call Pa, Momma, or Daddy. They can even answer a call! They recognize ring tones too. They know who is calling before I do. Even as small boys, they knew what a remote was and even though they couldn’t pronounce the word, they knew that it controlled the TV. Isn’t that amazing?
I know this is because it's all they have known. When they are with me, they get to use a computer. They know how to use a mouse and click on their shortcuts that I have made for them. They understand that by clicking on one they get to see Mickey Mouse, or by clicking on another they can see Sponge Bob.
Technology has brought us so far. I can’t imagine what these boys will have access to when they are grown.

Final Fun Group Project - Team Mac!

For our final group fun project, our class split into two teams to do a spinoff of Top Chef. Our project started out with Lauren introducing our plan with chocolate and bacon. Her video was sent to Justin, who showed us how to melt the chocolate. He sent it to Tasha and she made smores. I made a BLT and sent the video to Jenny. She made a wonderful summer time drink. Ray completed our meal with good ole Lays potato chips. The video turned out great! You can view it here.

How Things have Changed

When I got up this morning, I was thinking about how I used to get a cup of coffee and read the newspaper before starting my day. Things have changed so much. I don’t subscribe to the newspaper any more, I read it online. And not only do I ready our local paper, but also check out The Winston-Salem Journal and The News and Observer from Raleigh, NC. Another thing has changed with getting my news online. I don’t read in-depth anymore, but just scan the headlines. If something catches my attention, I’ll read it, but it’s nothing like I use to do. I used to know who was engaged, who got married, who died, and everything else that was going on in our community. Now I get that info from Facebook.
I miss my paper. So much for relaxing.…

Friday, April 29, 2011

Group Serious Project

For this project I did a tutorial on using igoogle. It is a very convenient tool to use for accessing your social media content from one personal web portal. As our social media tools grew throughout the semester I needed an easy way to keep up with all my accounts. Igoogle has been so helpful. No longer do I have to open up several taps or windows to see my content, it’s now all located on one page. You can see my tutorial here. I hope it’s helpful.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Social Media Policies

Recently, I had the honor of working to create a social media policy. I did a lot of research to see what items needed to be covered in our policy. After reading many articles, I found one that really stood out. had a list of “must haves” that needs to be covered in all social media policies. Although it was a group effort in creating our policy, we all agreed these items and many more must be covered:

1.     Introduce the purpose of social media
2.     Be responsible for what you write
3.     Be authentic
4.     Consider your audience
5.     Exercise good judgment
6.     Understand the concept of community
7.     Respect copyrights and fair use
8.     Remember to protect confidential & proprietary info
9.     Bring value
10.  Productivity matters

We have many employees who want to incorporate social media into their departments. I hope they do. Everyone in those positions has been advised to ready the policy and attend a training session. I think our employees will benefit if they take advantage of the resources available to them.

Individual Serious Project

My individual serious project will be a Flickr slideshow of one of my grandsons. I want to captures his pictures from birth to one year and then his two year old picture. Since I don’t have copies of all the pictures, I will be gathering some of them from my daughter’s Facebook page. (with her permission of course) The pictures I do have in my possession must be scanned into a digital format.

Once this course is over I will definitely change the security on the slideshow that will allow only my family to see these pictures and present it to my daughter. This will be for her.

IBM is 100 Years Old

I read in a magazine recently about IBM celebrating an anniversary. They turned 100 years old on June 16th. IBM formed from a merger of the Computer Scale Company of America and the International Time Recording Company. The business was renamed to International Business Machines in 1924 when the new owner, Thomas J. Watson took over . Hence the name, “Watson” for the computer that played on Jeopardy. Who knew?....

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

IT Conference

I attended an IT Conference a couple weeks ago. When I got home, I videoed my thoughts about events that took place there and I forgot to upload it to YouTube.

It's a little late, but here are my thoughts on a discussion we had about social media.

Great Resources

Today on Twitter I saw a great resource for copyright-friendly images. I know we had a previous assignment to find a site about images that could be used for free. Just bookmarking this site will be so helpful in the future. It looks like a one-stop site for all your graphical needs.

The disclaimer is very simple. “Most of the images in the collections below include images with a variety of less restrictive licensing. Though students may not need to ask permission to use them when publishing on the Web for educational purposes, they should cite these images unless otherwise notified.”

I sure wish the tweet had come in a few days earlier. This would have been a great place to find one source to blog about for a previous assignment.

Being a good leader

Do you ever wonder what it takes to be a good leader? This video describes what it takes and how important it is to have your first follower. I never thought of it this way, but getting your first follower is the biggest step in becoming a great leader. Take a look...

Monday, April 25, 2011

QR Codes

As this semester progressed, I begin noticing Tweets and email messages relating to QR codes. I never heard of them before and thought that when I got time I would do some research to see what they were. I never took the time to do that until this past weekend.

While at Lowes on Saturday, I purchased a house plant and a few other much needed items. When I got home, I removed the tags from the items I had purchased and threw them in the trash. As I was throwing them away, something caught my eye. It was a QR code on the houseplant tag. Still not knowing what it was all about, I went to the computer and googled “QR codes”.

It seems these codes are the newest rage for merchants, advertisers, and professionals. QR stands for “Quick Response”. They are the equivalent of bar codes and can be scanned by an iphone app. They can also be used on business cards to capture contact information from someone and automatically enter it into your contact list. How neat is that?

The code on my plant contains information about caring for the plant and a link to a website to learn even more.

Wikipedia has some great information about these QR codes if you want to learn more about them.

Easter 2011

Easter at our house was great this year. We had a three day weekend and that was wonderful. I made Easter baskets for our three grandsons and our three great-nephews. It's always so much fun when we get our whole family together. When that happens, we have eighteen people at our house!

Our little boys are so much fun. Their ages are from two and a half through seven years old. Watch my video to see what I did for them for Easter.

Usable Non-copyright Content

I found a great website that has tons of free photos. The photos are free, but the owner, Sam Mugraby at asks for a link back to his site if using his images for personal use. For commercial use, he asks that you include the source of the images and keep the name unchanged. If you don’t want to give credit, then you can pay a release fee to use the images. What I really like about this site is that there is a great “Terms of Use” page that leaves no questions unanswered about copyrighting. Another plus is that this site contains really great images that can be used on personal websites. I'll mark this site as a favorite. Maybe I'll be able to use some of these images in future classes.
Here is a sample of his work.
Photo courtesy of

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Wish Trip

My husband wants us to ride our Harley Davidson motorcycles to the beach this year. So, I have plotted our route. My intentions are to stay off of the interstate highways. This is the route we have taken before when driving our car. I tried very hard to insert an image on one of the pins. It can be done, but I'll need more experience with HTML before I can do it. (I think I am so close.)

View Wish Trip in a larger map

Friday, April 22, 2011


I created my Flickr geotag map. I tagged my  images with asuweb20, then searched for “asuweb20” and found all of our pictures. I love this technology. I used the Attribution-NoDerivs Creative Commons license for my photos. I would like to get credit for my work. I will be using Flickr more when I have time.

What amazing technology Blaise Aguera y Arcas has developed. He works for Microsoft and is the architect of Bing Maps. He has built dreamscapes using still photos from the web. This technology leads to the ability to drive down the road, take a picture of a landmark and be able to find other attractions that are located nearby. After viewing his video, I visited to view some of the images. They are amazing! It makes me want a professional camera.

EXIF stands for Exhangeable image file format and is basically the properties of your image. By checking the meta data on your image you will see the camera model, shooting time and date, shutter speed, aperture, light metering, exposure, ISO speed, image size, and many other things. GPS information can also be included with up high end cameras that will list the location of where the image was taken.

I’m not so sure I like the idea of the GPS coordinates included in the EXIF data for my pictures that I put online. We have no privacy or anonymity now. I think it is dangerous to give this information to everyone. When doing the geotagging within Flickr, I had the option to pick the located of where my image was taken. I choose not to pin-point the exact location. Not so with the cameras with GPS. Smartphone camera also have this feature. For safety sake, you can turn this feature off. If not, any photo you upload to the Internet will contain a road map to your door. Scary stuff…

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Archived Newspapers

A coworker of mine shared a link with me for archived newspapers. I am so excited to find these resources. Our local paper, The Mount Airy News has their collection here and I can’t wait to explore many of the editions listed. Their collection dates back to August, 1923.
I have to stay focused now. I could browse those newspapers for days. I love that kind of thing. I’ll make myself stay away until this semester end. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I just received my new edition of Community College Journal and found a very interesting article on campus parking. I know we have an issue with parking during the first few weeks of every new semester. Every space is full, cars are on the curbs and the grass. I hope that someday we’re able to have a parking deck. And, I’m all for assigned parking for employees.
The article, “Parking Smarter” talks about how community college enrollment is up due to increasing expense of attending a four year school, military personnel re-entering the private sector, and displaced workers changing careers. No longer do we have traditional high school students. So, parking has become a huge issue. Not to worry though, you can hire a qualified parking professional. Who knew!: There are professionals for everything now days. I was surprised to learn about the existence of these professionals. Some are even specialist in community college parking. Oh well...I guess “there’s an app for that” too.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Office Tour

I have a quick tour of my office in this video. This was filmed after a very long day at work during the first day of on-line registration at our school.

Fun Group Project

Wow, this video titled “A Day at the Office” was great! I sure wish I had thought of this. The group of people I work with would have done this. Since “fun” was a requirement for this project, I thought office pranks would be funny to do. Here’s an example. This one is a little extreme, but I could pull one off with my co-workers. Hiding the camera would be the hard part.
A lip sync/dancing video would be hilarious as a group project, but thank God we decided not to do one. I was afraid I would have to drop out of school! This Barbie Girl lip sync video reminded me of when my son and daughter were young teenagers. They did this song for me, Kevin did the lead and Kristin did the guy’s part. I sure wish I had videotaped it. They made me laugh so hard my sides hurt.

Resume Promo Blurb

Looking for the perfect social media candidate? Do you want help in getting your information into the hands of your customers and the world? Let me show you how I can promote your business to be the front runner in this Web 2.0 world in which we live! I love to blog and share information on Facebook, and Twitter. I am an energetic social media guru with outstanding writing skills and a strong desire to work in this field. Let me create and maintain your social presence today.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Internet Safety for Children

In a recent video I mentioned identity theft. This morning while getting ready for work, and listening to the local news channel on TV, I heard a report on how small children are now being targeted for identity theft. Facebook being the most popular way people share pictures of their kids and grandkids, criminals are capturing information about children and using that data to get credit cards with their names.
To help protect these kids, the report said to never give the child’s birth date and never ever give their full names They also said when posting pictures of children, not to have identifying locations in the background.
Makes you wonder don’t it? I love sharing my family pictures with my friends on Facebook. But is it worth putting our children at risk? Probably not…I may start cleaning out some of my albums today.

Junk Mail

I get so tired of dealing with junk mail. Even with everything I do online, I still get tons of credit card offers through the mail. That mail isn't something you can toss in the trash. See my video for how I handle it all.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tie the Worlds Together

This has not been an easy assignment for me. I sent a friend request to a friend of a friend on Facebook. As weird as it may have sounded, she befriended me and agreed to meet with me to have a picture taken. We have talked several times on Facebook, but due to our busy schedules, have yet to meet in real life. I’ve been working extra-long hours the last few weeks and she has had a death in her family. Hopefully we will get together very soon. I’ll post a picture and add to this blog when that takes place.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Objectives Met?

I revisited an old blog entry for a list of my objectives. Here is what I wrote at the beginning of this class.
  1. To get a better understanding of Web 2.0
  2. To learn how to incorporate Web 2.0 technologies into education
  3. To complete all assignments correctly and on time
  4. Get to know my fellow classmates
  5. Enjoy the journey
1.    My first objective was to get a better understanding of Web 2.0. I definitely have done this. I didn’t understand what Web 2.0 meant when we first started. It took a while to grasp the concept. But, with all we’ve done in this class, I know I have a better understanding. At least now I know what it is. Because I work in the IT field, I thought I was on top of technology, but this somehow got by me. I appreciate this class and all I have learned. Since I was recently appointed to the Technology Committee at my school, I’m glad this class came around when it did.

2.    Objective 2 has also been met. In this class my classmates and I will definitely be using Web 2.0 tools to collaborate on our upcoming projects as well as presenting them with the same tools to show off what we have learned. I have also been able to poll some instructions at my school to see if these tools are being used there. The use of this technology is being used more that I suspected. Many of requiring their students to blog about assignments, use videos to show what they have learned, and some are using twitter with their students.

3.     Objective 3 is still in progress. So far I have done a good job of completing my assignments on time. And, I think they have been done correctly. We’ll see how the next few weeks go…

4.    Objective 4 was to get to know my fellow classmates. By the nature of this class, there is no way this couldn’t have happened. With so much collaboration with my classmates, we have grown to know each other. The videos allows us to see and hear others. I think this has been the single most effective way to connect with my classmates.

5.    Objective 5 was to enjoy the journey, and a journey it has been. We’ve all come a long way. There has been so many time consuming assignments to complete. I didn’t understand at the beginning of the semester of how everything we have done ties in with another. It has been fun, and challenging.
I wouldn’t change any of my objectives at this point. I think I set realistic goals for this class and so far I am accomplishing them.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Facebook for Fogies

I was on Twitter again tonight, because like Amanda, I’m addicted. I saw a tweet with a link for  “facebook for fogies” and had to check it out. I found an article at Huffington Post by Steve Kettman. He is in the process of writing a book with advice for grandmas on how to use Facebook and other social media. Can you believe it?!!. We should all go there and add our “Grandma and Web 2.0” assignments. Maybe he could use some of our advice. Or better yet, maybe we should write a book…

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Helpful videos in plain English

I just learn via Twitter, about a very interesting website call Common Craft. They sell a service of course, but have many “how-to” videos. They have many 3-minutes to help educate and explain complex subjects in easy to understand plain English. By clicking on the “videos” link you can find lots of information about social media, RSS feeds, Twitter, and many other things related to technology. I thought this could be a very helpful site and wanted to share.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Private Universe

Our assignment was to answer the following questions. What causes the seasons/temperature differences on earth thru the year? And, what causes the phases of the moon (from new moon to full moon)? My answers are not important.
The video we watched stated that despite a lifetime of the very best education most graduate students do not have a good understanding of science.
One thing in particular that stood out to me in the video was the teacher saying that her smartest ninth grade student only understood the season and moon phases after she held the models in her hands. This tells me two things, one is that students don’t get the hands-on and individual attention they need to learn anything. Our teachers are faced with teaching so much in a little amount of time with way too many students And two, is that all students learn differently. This just emphasized the fact that as teachers we need to pay attention to learning styles.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

There's an app for that

While I like keeping up with the news and world events, I find it hard sometimes. I get home from work late and miss the 6:00 news or miss reading the current days newspaper. I do have my favorite websites that I visit, but some days just don't get around to it. Today I found an article on on ComputerWorld about how to keep up with events in case of a natural disaster. There you can find a list of several apps that can be used to learn what to do, where to meet, even an app on how to give CPR if you are in a disaster. I wasn't surprised to find Twitter and Google in the listing. We have all learned and heard how social networking is changing the way the world communicates.

Embedding Content

I added some content in my Classroom 2.0 site. Embedding was simple enough. Most sites allow you to grab the code for doing this. I really like this feature. On Classroom 2.0, I embedded my YouTube video on Pano Units.

 Here is the link for my video that is embedded on my Classroom 2.0 site.

Oh gosh!, this is getting complicated...

What License To Use

If I had a great idea, photo, song (that will never happen), video, or anything else that  would warrant copyrighting, how I wanted it used would determine how I would license. If I thought it had the potential to be a big money maker, then I definitely would use the most restrictive licenses.
According Creative Commons, there are six level of license. They are, 1) Attribution, 2) Attribution-ShareAlike, 3) Attribution-NoDerivs, 4) Attribution-NonCommercial, 5) Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike and 6) Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs.
While searching for a photo to use here I found this link with public domain pictures. I was able to find many photos that are free for commercial and personal use. They only ask if you use one of their photos that you link back to their site. So, I chose this picture. It reminded me my daffodils that are blooming in my flower garden.
I think the photographer chose to share his photo on this site to gain exposure and popularity. The information on the website says this will help with your photographic and graphic skills.

Wikimedia Review

I’ve never used  Wikipedia much in the past, and I was surprised by how much it has to offer.  Trying not to get so side-tracked,  I selected Wikinews and Wikiquote as my two projects to explore.
My husband says that I am obsessed with news programs. I thought I was only keeping up with current events. I realize that Wikinews is written by anyone that wants to contribute, but I will probably add this site to my list of places to check.  I just read their top story today, which is about the earthquake in Japan. It seems to be up to date as compared to what I’ve seen on MSNBC this morning. I was surprised to find that that are sub-projects to Wikinews. Audio Wikinews, which is a project to create audio-based Wikinews content. It was not current. Two more sub-projects I found are, News Briefs and Spoken Wikinews. Neither of these are current.
Wikiquote is another site I probably will visit often. I love that you can find quotes by people, productions like films, literary works, and television. You have the option to browse lists, proverbs, and themes and alphabetically.  I could stay there all day…moving on. While looking for quotes from the movie “Sling Blade”, I did fine a stub, which is disappointing. A co-worker of mine can quote that movie almost word-for-word. I was hoping to pick up a few lines.
I like the wiki communities and I'm interested to see how it will grow. I hope there is enougth interest to keep all the projects active.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Couch Surfing

I created an account Couch surfing. Here is the link for my profile. I was very hesitant about joining this site. You need to add so much personal information, and I can understand why, especially if you really plan on travelling or hosting strangers in your home. My husband and I both agreed that we wouldn’t do either. I did not offer my couch, but only “coffee or a drink”. Maybe sometime in the future I’ll meet up with someone within the site. When I get time to explore the site more I might be more comfortable with it, just not now.


Chirbit is a tool that allows you to record and share your voice or audio files. Setting up a free account was no problem. It took a while, but I finally was able to do three recordings. I'm not sure why I would use this site. I'm not really fond of hearing a recording of my voice. I also struggled with getting the links to my YouTube and Flickr accounts to display correctly. The links are there, but they are not what I wanted. I think I need to brush up on HTML. I ended up spending more time on this than I should have.


Flickr is great. It is easy to use and allows you to store and share pictures with others. Setting up an account and uploading pictures is very easy. I like that Flickr has easy to read, common sense guidlines to follow. My favorite is "Do play nice". I think it's great that I can have access to my pictures anytime and anywhere I go. I can just log in to one website to access them. No longer will I have to pull out the digital camera or insert an SD card into a computer to show someone my pictures. Life is good...

YouTube Account

This was a quick and easy assignment since I already had a YouTube account. I only had to edit my info and add links to Flickr and Chirbit. I've been using YouTube for quite a while to find videos that suit my interest. I don't necessarily like having my own videos there for the whole world to see, but it is getting easier. Some of my co-workers and I were talking about it today and one of them said, "If you can imagine it, you can find it on YouTube".

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wild Fires

Living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains is always interesting. Today I came home to a nearby wildfire and captured some of it on video. This is the 2nd one in two weeks. Hopefully, the fire department will get this one extinguished quickly.

Follow up on Desktop Virtualization

I finally made a video showing the Pano Units in one of our classrooms on campus.

Monday, February 28, 2011

PS22 Chorus

One morning this week, as I listened to the morning news on TV, I heard them mention the PS22 school chorus from Statin Island, NY. I made a mental note to google them later. I ended up searching for them on You Tube and found their channel. These kids are awesome!
They have since performed for the Academy Awards ceremony and was able to go to Disneyland. I saw one of their interviews where one of the kids said, “We are living the dream.” I’m so happy for these children and am amazed at their talent and I appreciate Mr. Breinberg (chorus director) for all he has done for this group of children.
This article tells about how Mr. Breinberg, their blog, and You Tube has contributed to the success of the PS22 chorus. Because of all the things mentioned here, they have been view by millions of people around the world. If you have not heard them perform, please check them out.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Review and Reflection

This has been a very interesting class. It’s hard to believe we are almost halfway through the semester. This class has really opened my eyes to the huge amount of Web 2.0 tools that are available. Some of them, like Wordle and Second Life, I had heard of before but never use. Since I work in an IT department, I thought I was pretty techno savvy, but quickly learned how little I knew.
The first couple of weeks of this class was like a whirl-wind. All those emails coming in so quickly was very hard to track. Learning where to post a comment and when was so confusing. Learning to manage all those new accounts has been challenging. I think I have it under control now. But, we’ll see.
One of my favorite assignments was learning Second Life. I can’t believe I feel this way, because my first experience with it was horrible. Being so naive about the program, somehow I teleported to an unknown area and was pushed around and cursed. I think I jumped in too fast. After going through the tutorials and actually having a meeting with my instructor and fellow classmates, I found that I liked it so much better. I’ve since learned that the North Carolina Community College System uses Second Life for professional development. I may get involved with this in the near future. Second Life has also helped me to feel more connected to my classmates. The meeting we had was great in allowing us to talk and “see” everyone.
Although I hate blogging, it is beneficial in getting to know everyone. By reading everyone’s blog and viewing their weekly vlogs, getting to know everyone is so much easier than if we were only using Moodle. I really hate the vlogs too. Blogging reminds me of writing in a diary. I did that when I was a young girl and viewed them as a very personal and private journal. When mine was read by someone else (no, not my parents), I decided that I would never keep up another one. Never say "never". The vlogs are a struggle for me because it’s hard talking to the camera and not knowing who will see your video. I think it’s hard to come up with a topic that will be interesting enough to capture someone’s attention. Maybe it will get easier as the semester progresses, as others have said, we’ll see.  I can’t believe that I’m actually uploading videos to You Tube!
There are several tools I really like and feel like I will use again. Wordle was fun and so was learning about editing information on Wikipedia, Wiktionary, and Wikiversity. I found it exciting to learn that I can edit the information contained within these Wiki sites and help update information for others. The delicious toolbar that allows you to bookmark your favorites sites is also something I will use. It will be great to be able to access my favorites from different computers.
Learning about Michael Wesch has been wonderful. I love all of his YouTube videos. I may be one of his biggest fans. The information he presents about Media Ecology and Cultural Anthropology is fascinating.
Through all the frustrations of this fast-paced class and keeping up with the many websites, login names, passwords, and the confusion I’ve had about where to post what, this has been a great class. I look forward to all the new things I will learn and will be able to take with me when the class ends.

Living with Technology

Today has been one of those days I've needed to catch up on a few things. Seems like everything is moving way to fast and I don't have time for anything. I took a day off work and thought I would be glued to my computer all day. Well I have been, but it hasn't been so bad after all.

I love living in this day and age when everything you need is right at your fingertips. I've been able to log into my computer at my office to get some work done. I've checked my checking account balance and paid a bill online. I've spent most of my day doing homework assignments for an online graduate degree program through Appalachian State University. My husband has called two times to check on me via a cell phone. I've had a conversation with my daughter via texting and she even sent me a new picture of my grandson. I've caught up on my three email accounts as they are all delivered to my Droid. I was able to talk to a few friends on Facebook and even check my church's calendar events through their website.

Sounds like a lot doesn't it? Well it has been a very productive day and I have to count my blessings. I've done most of this while sitting on my front porch enjoying this beautiful 74 degree weather.  With a wireless Internet connection and my laptop, I'm no longer trapped inside the house sitting at a desk.

Life is good!


I'm really excited about using the Delicious website. I like the idea of all my links being in one place.

During any given day, I work on at least five different computers. There's three in my office, a laptop and desktop PC at home. So it has been a challenge to find all of my favorite websites and finding the ones I need to get my job done. This will make my life so much easier.

This is just one more of the Web 2.0 tools that I didn't know existed before taking this class. I'm looking forward to see what else lies in store for us.

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Wikipedia is one of those websites that I have visited before, but never really explored. I never thought I would be adding content to any Wikipedia articles. I set up my profile and updated an article about the college where I am employed. The most complicated part about updating my profile was trying to insert a picture.  I thought it would be nice to use a picture of one of my plants, but discovered I couldn't do that until I had edited at least 10 articles. That may take a while, or never happen, so I found one on the Wikipedia site that was free to use. I finally found a "how to" video that showed how to insert an image. That was really helpful. I've enjoyed the experience of editing articles on this site, but was so nervous about messing up someone elses content that was already there.

Desktop Virtualization

We are always updating computers in our labs at school. Recently, we decided to test cloud computing and knew that we wanted to use the Pano Logic system. We have already virtualized some of our servers and wanted to test desktop virtualization as well. I found a great article on the Pano Logic systems in eWeek magazine. Check out the article if you’re interested.

In planning for the installation, we had to upgrade all of the network switches in each building on campus. New Cisco switches were needed so that each Pano units could connect to a virtual Pano Manager server located in our server room. Each of these servers can run up to 25 Pano Units. This number works great for all of our labs. We normally have 20 to 25 computers in each room.

There are so many good reasons for moving to this technology. First of all, we have one central place for all updates and troubleshooting. No longer do we have to run across campus to work on an individual computer. The units are very small in size, and they require a fraction of electricity to run as compared to a conventional desktop computer. I’m amazed at how little electricity they use. A normal desktop computer (this does not include the monitor and other peripherals) requires approximately 400 watts of electricity to run. The Pano units only needs 9 watts to run. This in itself is a great cost savings to our already taxed budget.

All of the software needed for a particular class only has to be installed one time, on a server. Then when students log on to a computer (the Pano Unit), the software they need is there. This cuts down on the time it takes for our PC technicians to set up a lab.

We have had wonderful results with this system in the three of our labs so far. We do plan on expanding to all our labs as soon as possible.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Michael Wesch Video

Watching any of the videos by Michael Wesch is exciting. I love them! They are very interesting to me because of the classes I’m currently taking, and because I work in an IT department at a school. By being in an education environment, I can see the way students prefer to learn and how instructors teach have changed over the years. In conversations I hear across campus, no longer are students talking about certain textbook or encyclopedias. Google, YouTube, and Wikipedia is now their sources of information.
In An anthropological introduction of YouTube ,Wesch’s says that “when media change, human relationships change”. I see that students no longer sit in the cafeteria reading a book, or just hanging out with friends, most are online with a laptop, netbook, or iPhone. All seeming to be disengaged from their current surroundings. I do realize they are not alone, but are in their virtual world, with their friends, whether it’s someone across the room or around the world. And, maybe it’s the person sitting right beside them. Who knows?
I could really relate to his term “contact collapse”. In doing my weekly videos, I just want to be invisible. I hope that my friends and family never find my videos. I know I don’t have to worry, but I’ve wondered what I would do if one of my went “viral”. I would be so embarrassed.
One of the main things that stood out in this video for me was the comment about Carl Sagan calling our planet Earth “The Pale Blue Dot…the only home we’ve ever known”. And I loved Wesch’s follow up poem, …that dot, that’s there, that’s somewhere else, that’s everybody, on the other side of that dot, is everyone you know, everyone you love, everyone you’ve ever heard of….billions of potential viewers…it’s a little glass dot, the eyes of the world” Wow! No wonder it’s so hard to make those weekly videos.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Video #3 My favorite Web 2.0 Tool

My daughter's laptop messed up a few days ago and I haven't been able to Skype them. I normally visit with my grandson at least a couple times a week via Skype. Being without it this week has made me realize how much I depend on it and love it. Watch my video to see how I really feel about Skype.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Wordle - Before and After

Just created a Wordle for one of my assignments. According to their website, "Wordle is a tool for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text". I used the URL from this blog to generate the text for my Wordle. You can see mine here on the Wordle website. Then, using the text from my resume, I create this one.

I had heard of wordles before this assignment. One of the VP's at my school asked me to help create one for her to use in a presentation she was doing. She gave me the text she wanted to use and said, "create it". I googled the word "wordle" and found their website, then was able to generate what she wanted. I felt good about doing this because she only gave me a two hour notice to get it done.

The challenge for this assignment, I think, has been to display the graphic within our Moodle forum, I was able to display mine, although it seems a little blurred.

Second Life

One of our assignments this week was to create an account in the virtual world of Second Life. Being a newbie in SL, I thought I would list some pros and cons as I know it, one week in.

Interesting place
Great for meetings
Great for connectivity and engagement in  DL classes

Its huge!
Computer processor hog
Overheats my laptop
Rude people (avatars)
The unknown
Time consuming to learn
Big learning curve
Can be addicting

As you can see, I don’t know many of the good things about this program yet. I hope as the semester wears on, my opinion of this will change.
Our first class meeting in SL was challenging. However, I did get a few good laughs watching everyone’s avatar maneuver around.  The meeting also made me feel better about being in on online class. I actually was able to meet, see, and interact with my classmates.  I would like to get my avatar looking more like me. My hair is naturally curly and I can’t seem to accomplish that yet. Hopefully I’ll learn how beneficial SL is to education. Since we are having to invest so much time in learning this program, I hope it will be used in more than just this one class.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Google Image Labeler

I really enjoyed  the  video by Luis von Ahn. What a great idea he has to get all the images within Google labeled. I’m willing to help tag all those images for fun. I like the game and I like competition. This may cut down on my time playing solitaire. ;)
The idea of crowdsourcing to me is getting a group of people together to do some good old fashion brainstorming. My director reminds us all the time that “we are smarter together than we are individually” I have found that to be so true, because one person can’t know it all, or in a  case like this, can’t do it all.
We do use this method a lot in the IT department at my school. If we have a problem that one person can’t solve, or involves different areas of our network, we all gather to discuss the problem. By working together, we can solve the problem. It also works when we have a big project with a fast approaching deadline. Everyone, whether they have prior knowledge of the task  or not, chips in to help.  By doing a quick tutorial and a step-by-step instruction sheet, we can get the job done.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Explain Web 2.0 to your grandmother

What do you mean, explain Web 2.0 to Grandma. I AM GRANDMA!! And I know many grandma’s that are so tech savvy it’s scary. J Ok, just kidding….Now down to business.
“Web 2.0 refers to the transition from static HTML web pages to the new web of collaboration. In the days of Web 1.0, the average internet user was consumer only. Information distribution went one way, from the internet 'gurus' to the user. With Web 2.0 users are both consumers and producers of information. Web 2.0 is any type of web application that allows user interaction, sharing, and collaboration to generate content. This user-generated content replaces the author-generated content of more traditional websites. Web 2.0 allows users to give more feedback to the author of the website. User participation, dynamic content and increased standardization enhance and enrich the user’s experience. This interactive and enterprising process allows all users of Web 2.0 to share knowledge efficiently and effectively at a higher rate of speed. It allows a voice to all people who have access to the internet and is not constrained by economics or political systems. Web 2.0 somewhat levels the playing field between all its participants and subtly blurs the line between creator and contributor.”

Let me begin by explaining the Internet to you. It can be accessed by clicking on an icon on your computer desktop. Once the window opens, you will have access to the world. If you can imagine it, you can find it.
Like anything else the Internet is changing. Up until the last few years, accessing information on the Internet was like going to the library. You would find a book you want, take it home and read the information it contained. The words in that book never changed. This is called static. It will always remain the same. To learn something new about the subject you picked, you had to wait until the next book was published. Well, the Internet is no longer like that. New technology, called Web 2.0, allows the information you find to change constantly. This is called dynamic. Everyone that has access to the Internet can update the pages or information. Let’s compare it to books again. You no longer have to wait for the next book to come out, it’s like inserting more pages into the same book with updated information.
With this new technology, you can talk to your family and friends just like you would on the phone. This is called real-time. You must have Skype! We’ll get that set up shortly and I’ll show you how to use it. You no longer have to wait for new pictures of your grandchildren to be printed before you can see them. We’ll create you a Facebook and Flickr account so that we can “insert” or upload new pictures anytime we have new ones. We are no longer separated by distanced. We can see or talk to each other whenever we choose. What an amazing time we live in.

"Distance Learning Down Under"

I ran across an article by Evantheia Schibsted at She has written about the Alice Springs School of the Air (ASSOA) that has been providing educational opportunities to children in the Outback of Australia since 1951. This school was established by Adelaide Meithke. She used the RFDS’s two way radio network to put classroom lessons into distant rural homes. The radio network was used until 1995 when they began using computers and the Internet.
I was fascinated by the fact that Ms. Meithke saw the need for distance education long before we even knew it was possible. What a visionary! The article is worth reading. It can be found here.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Impromp 2.0 - What is Web 2.0

Our assignment this week is to write down what we think Web 2.0 is within one minute. Here's what I came up with...

Web 2.0 is a way to access information on the Internet. It is not a physical thing, but a concept. It makes accessing information easier, in a central place, giving you more options to connect with other people and unlimited information.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blue Ridge Mountain Views

What beautiful weather we've had today. I think it reached a high of 64 degrees. I definitely wanted to be outside, so I made another video, this time showing the view from my house. I love living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and you can see them from my property. I hope you enjoy...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Web 2.0 - Thinking Differently, Doing Differently

The video by Michael Wesch reminds me of a planning meeting I was in about six years ago. We were brainstorming ideas about our technology needs for the next 10 years. We concluded that we couldn’t plan that far in advance because the technology we would need then had not yet been developed or conceived. I wasn’t surprised by the student holding the sign that said when she graduates, she will have a job that does not exist now.
My favorite thing growing up was going to the library. I could spend hours there and just get lost in all the information that was available. When I finally had Internet access in my home in 1998, I felt like I had my own library. Eventually I stopped going to the library for fun. There was no need. Anything I could imagine, I could find right at the tips of my fingers.  And I didn’t have to use my imagination often either. Ads, suggestions, and links to similar information could lead me far beyond where I started.
This information explosion has changed the way we teach and learn. Methods used in teaching and learning for many years will never be the same. Ten years ago I never would never thought that I or anyone else would have the ability to take so many classes online. To earn a degree online was unheard of.
This video, also by Michael Wesch shows how gathering information you need or want has changed.