My first Library blog review

Blog #1 – Not So Distant Future: technology, libraries, and schools http://futura.edublogs.org/

This blog is designed to discuss Web 2.0, teaching strategies, integration of technology into the classroom, and up-to-date issues involving research tools.

The creator of this blog is a High School Librarian from Austin, Texas who has been nominated for, and won, several awards including taking second place in the 2010 Salem Press Blog Awards and being a two time finalist for the TCEA Librarian of the Year award.

The blog itself is fairly straightforward, black and white with simple picture header, a widgit for what the librarian is currently reading, awards she has won, recent comments and posts, a widgit for other places to find the librarian (such as Skype, Del.icio.us, and Youtube), and more.

There is a link near the top of the blog entitled “iPads” which I was sort of excited to see since we had just read an article for class in which the usefulness of interactive white boards was discussed and why iPads or another mobile device would be more appropriate. It contains links to wiki sites discussing iPad apps that could be useful in the classroom as well as links to articles on how to use the iPad in teaching, plus more.

There is a post I found which discusses the switch-over to iPads in the school.

What a difference a day makes: http://futura.edublogs.org/2011/08/26/what-a-difference-a-day-makes/

I enjoyed this post and its infectious enthusiasm for technology in the classroom. I do not own an iPad or really any significant piece of technology other than a Nook and a cell phone yet this article was exciting to read. The librarian discusses how within a short period of time, their school has gone mostly paperless. Students are able to use online dictionaries, play games, take notes, and have access to the internet throughout the entire school. One teacher mentioned even brought back a laptop because she said she didn’t need it now.

It did get me thinking though. With technology advancing as quickly as it is, will we be able to keep up with it so that we are giving our students the biggest advantage? At one point, computers in a science classroom were considered ‘high tech’ and ‘up-to-date’ yet now, clunky monitors and slow hard drives seem like a hindrance and ‘so yesterday’. It will be quite interesting to see whether or not we will be able to keep the pace with the technology we bring into our classrooms.

Speaking of which…..

The very first post I encountered on this site was on the topic of ebooks and various issues that are, and will be, arising from the field of ebook publishing, presenting, and maintaining ebook libraries.

The article can be found here: http://futura.edublogs.org/2011/10/20/facing-the-conundrum-reports-from-the-e-book-field/

I found this article to be very thought-provoking since it talks about potential issues of locked-down ebooks such as could be presented through Apple. It left me wondering, how does a library (or any consumer) who purchases ebooks through a single-format (and locked) source make for wide use and access when consumers (students or teachers) do not have a device that supports that specific format? Unless the library (and school) provide devices that are very specific and limited solely to that format, it could cause many problems. Aren’t we then severely limiting ourselves and the students?

Overall, I enjoyed this blog because I feel that the articles present information that is current, thought-provoking, and relevant to today’s librarians and teachers. If I were teaching or a current librarian, I could see using this to find articles that could be used as discussion-openers.

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