Saturday, March 29, 2008

Teleconferencing: Social Networking/Social Tools

This week I forayed into the teleconferencing world for the first time. Well, not really for the first time - I've participated in them through the Education Institute - but this was my first experience in being the presenter. That I was considered a resource person for social networking is a little surprising since I don't social network all that much - I have a space on TeacherLibraian Ning , and I'm still trying to figure out Twitter for goodness sake - that's the extent of it.
I presented two teleconferences to Junior Achievement Canada - one to their regional presidents across Canada and one to their business advisory board members. They wanted to know how education is using social networking. The point I made was that we're really not using social networking in education, we're using social tools. Got you confused? Well you're not the only one. There is a debate going on about terminology and how we need to differentiate between social networking (My Space, Facebook) and social tools that are used for educational purposes(blogs, wikis, RSS and aggegators, podcasts, webcasts...). You can get more information from my wiki.
I created a resource wikipage for them to access with a variety of the resources that I used to help create the presentation. You can find it by clicking My Wikispaces on the left side of this blog and then going into the Teacher Librarian section (or looking to the contents section on the left of the wiki). I am going to create a podcast of the presentation and add that as well. That I'll do sometime next week - I forgot to bring my microphone home with me this weekend. When it's ready it'll be on the wiki.
My purpose in writing about this is not only to share that there are some more pages on the wiki, but to also reflect on the process that I went through to develop the presentation. The point of all this is how I see my process of researching evolving. I turned to 3 main sources: the online databases on our Student Reference Portal, my account and to my blog feeds. I don't believe I googled even once or even Wikipedia-ed (is that a verb?). I am finding that my account is becoming a very important personal resource - my personal digital library. As I read through my blogs and the other sites to which they connect, I collect information on a variety of topics. When I had to prepare for this presentation, low and behold, I already had lots of resources waiting for me. For more information on how others are seeing the use of RSS with library and research you can check out Hey Jude (a blog from a TL in Australia) here and here.

One last thing which is a geeky, techy thing that I have noticed in other blogs. I'll see how it works on this blog:

Introducing Snap Shots from

I just installed a nice little tool on this site called Snap Shots that enhances links with visual previews of the destination site, interactive excerpts of Wikipedia articles, MySpace profiles, IMDb profiles and Amazon products, display online videos, RSS, MP3s, photos, stock charts and more.

Sometimes Snap Shots bring you the information you need, without your having to leave the site, while other times it lets you "look ahead," before deciding if you want to follow a link or not.

Should you decide this is not for you, just click the Options icon in the upper right corner of the Snap Shot and opt-out.

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