23 Things

NOTE: THIS PROGRAM IS ARCHIVED FOR REFERENCE ONLY.SBISD has NO plans to have a 2011 Summer session.

Listed below are 23 Things (or activities) that you can do on the web to explore and expand your knowledge of the Internet and Web 2.0 tools.

Summer 2010 SessionPublish Post
Start Date: Monday, June 7, 2010
Blog posts must be dated on or after this date.

Completion Deadline: Monday, August 9, 2010
All 23 Things must be be completed by 11:59 pm. No partial credit will be given.

Spring Branch employees only -- If finished by August 9, 2010 Spring Branch employees will receive 18 hours off-contract PDLC credit. The PDLC course # is 1671.13464

Out of district players -- If finished by August 9, 2010 players from outside SBISD will receive a certificate indicating 18 hours of professional development participation.

For more information, contact

Face-to-Face (F2F) Recess
These F2F encounters will take place at the Media Center on the SBEC Campus.
Come-&-go informal assistance will be available from 9:00-3:00. Bring your laptop!
Tuesday, June 22nd
Wednesday, July 7th
Thursday, July 15th
Tuesday, July 20th

Ready! Set! Play! Begin here.
(Be sure and click on the hot links. They tell you what to do!)

23 Things*
Week 1: Life Long Learning

Week 2: Blogging
(Remember the weeks are just guidelines and markers for PDLC. You may use your own timeline as long as you finish on time! You do NOT have to have things done by any date EXCEPT the final date -- August 9th)

  • Thing #3: Set up your own blog, create an avatar, and add a post about what you did.

  • Thing #4: Register your blog and begin your Library2Play journey. (To be officially registered you must have posts written for Thing 2 and Thing 3.)

Week 3: Photos & Images

Week 4: RSS & Newsreaders

Week 5: Hodge-Podge

Week 6: Tagging, Folksonomies & Technorati

Week 7: Wikis & Rollyo

Week 8: Online Applications & Tools

Week 9: Videos, Podcasts, & Nings

More Help - FAQs

* Note: 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). Our adaptation comes largely from School Library Learning 2.0 An online learning program for CSLA members and friends and Learning 2.0 Through Play by Mary Woodard Library Director at Mesquite ISD, Texas.

Thing #1: Read This Blog and Find Out About This Program

Welcome to Spring Branch ISD, Library Information Services Library2Play program & blog.

Library2Play is an online learning program that encourages School Librarians and other educators to learn more about emerging technologies on the web that are changing the way people, society, and Libraries access information and communicate with each other. And changing options for students to create new products for assignments.

The Library2Play Team modified The Learning 2.0 program designed by Helene Blowers, Technology Director, Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County and is loosely based upon Stephen Abram's article, 43 Things I (or You) might want to do this year (Information Outlook - February 2006) and the website 43 Things. We also drew heavily from the Learning 2.0 Through Play.

The Library2Play program contains direct links and offers suggestions for ways to incorporate these tools into your classroom and teacher collaborations. We offer ideas to "jump start" your thinking and hope you will share your ideas as you learn how to use web 2.0 tools. The design of this online program was completely built on Web 2.0 technologies that are freely available on the Internet. These sites include: Blogger, FlickrCC, TeacherTube, PBWorks & Google Reader, and others.

Over the course of the next several weeks, this website will highlight "23 Things" and discovery exercises to help you become familiar with blogging, RSS feeds, tagging, wikis, podcasting, online applications, video and image hosting sites, and more.

To familiarize yourself with this project, be sure to read the Other Information page. This page should answer most of your questions about this program. If not, then please add your question to any page as a comment.

So fasten your seat belts, grab your mouse and get ready for a discovery adventure… and remember, it's OK to play in school and have fun!

Thing #2: Pointers from Life Long Learners

The mission of the SBISD Libraries is "Helping Students become Independent, Information - literate, Lifelong Learners!" Because you are reading this and choosing to participate in this series of activities already says you are most likely a life-long learner, but it does not hurt to review some thoughts regarding what constitutes a life-long learner.

7 & 1/2 Habits reviews several key points of life-long learning and the variety of learning involved. You may recognize that the tutorial is loosely arranged on the format of the the widely-acclaimed 7 Habits of Highly Successful People.

Discovery Exercise:
1. Make sure you have headphones or speakers attached to your computer.
2. Open up the 7 & 1/2 Habits online tutorial and watch the online tutorial. The tutorial was developed by the training specialists at the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County.
3. As you watch and listen, write down which habit among the 7 & 1/2 that is easiest for you and which is hardest.
4. Instead of the link included at the end of the tutorial, you will use your personal blog (which you will set up in Thing #3) to post your thoughts about lifelong learning as "Thing #2".

Have fun!

P.S. Please write a separate post for EACH Thing.

Thing #4: Register Your Blog

If you’ve made it this far, you already have three items or “things” completed of Library2Play. We hope you are enjoying the adventure so far and having fun. Remember to share with colleagues knowledge or experiences.

But now we need to take care of a couple of housekeeping chores so that you can continue to play:

1. Now that your blog is created AND you have blogged about Things #2 and #3 in YOUR blog (not comment boxes) and created you avatar, you MUST register your blog with the Library2Play Team.

Email with:

1. Blog name/title of your blog,.
2. Your name as you are known in your blog--YOUR blog identity.
3. Your blog address which will look like
4. N0n-SBISD player, please include location/school/school district.
4a. If you are a student in the 6336 UHCL class, please indicate that.

Until you do this, you are not officially a player and are not eligible for credit or certificate.

If you are a SBISD employee and wish to receive the 18 hours of professional development off-contract hours, you must be registered on PDLC. If you have problems registering on PDLC for this course, The PDLC number for this staff development will be updated for the Summer 2010 session.

You must record your progress on each of the 23 Things’ on your blog. Clearly identify each THING in the title of your entries. Each Thing needs to be written in a separate blog posting. Please do not combine Things!

Your blog name is in the title bar.
Your blog address will have this form:
the insertname represents the part of the address you created when you set up your blog.


Until you contact you are not officially playing and will not receive credit. The Kickball Captains MUST receive your information for you to be added to the Players' roster. You will also receive an official "welcome" email to indicate that you are registered.

Just think, now there’s only 19 more things to go!

Thing #3: Set Up a Blog...and Make an Avatar

Now that you’ve done some exploring around these webpages (this blog) 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.

Note: This Thing has lots of parts. Please read the WHOLE thing! Thanks, The Kickball Captains

Background of Blogging

1. View this short video from the CommonCraft guys that explains blogs "in Plain English."

if you can not see the video from this blog, go here and watch it.

2.View this PowerPoint for an overview of a blog's format and see some samples of different types of blogs you may encounter during this experience.

3. Read The 4 Cs of Blogging, a post about what to think about when setting up your blog, how to approach what you might write about, and how you will respond to others' thoughts.

4. Read 2¢ Worth David Warlick's posting on the value of edublogging.

Creating Your Blog

For this Discovery Activity, you may use any one of several free online blog hosting services including Blogger, Wordpress, Class Blogmeister, or Typepad.

We are recommending Blogger. It comes through the district firewall, is consistently available (no down time), and is also supported in Atomic Learning where (if you are a SBISD employee or resident) you can get additional help with the program. Take the Quick Tour of Blogger for a look at it before starting.

To start your blog:

1. Create an Blogger account. You will need a gmail account. It does not need to be a gmail account, but can be. We recommend that you use this gmail account as you register for other activities throughout the program.

2. Name your blog. The portion that goes into the address is "permanent." It can not be changed once set up. The blog title that appears on the actual page can be changed or updated to meet the needs of your blog. A good rule of thumb...short and sweet and easy to type!

3. Choose a template (or skin.) You can always go back and select another one if you don't care for the look of your blog.

When setting up your preferences, please allow for comments by anyone. You CAN set it up where you have to approve them before they show.

MORE HELP with setting up your blog

Remember to identify EACH of your post titles with the word "Thing" & # that goes with what you are writing about. Each Thing should be written in a separate post.

Now that your blog is set up:

1. Go back to Thing #2 and write (in a new blog post) your thoughts regarding the habit among the 7 & 1/2 that is easiest for you and the one which is hardest. Include any other thoughts about lifelong learning.

2. Create an avatar -- a representation of yourself.
Go to Yahoo Avatars and create a character representing things about yourself. Here's a chance for your creativity to come out! Have fun!

3. Save your avatar and export to your blog.

HELP: Here's how to export your avatar to your blog.

a) When you are on your page, go to "home" tab and look to the right column.

b) One of the options is: "EXPORT/Download your avatar" Click on Export.

c) Under the words "Yahoo Avatars," click DOWNLOAD.
click on the download button under JPG. When the popup window comes up, choose SAVE and save the file to your desktop.

d) Go to your blog (Sign in. When you first sign in, there is an option to add a post OR manage posts, settings, or layout)
Go to "LAYOUT." You will see Add a Gadget on your sidebar. Scroll down until you see Picture.
Add your avatar here. Advice: do not use the "Add a gadget" at the top of your page to add your will get in your way!

e) Then move that GADGET to wherever you want your avatar to appear on your blog side bar. The gadgets can be moved up and down the side bar.
NOTE: Save your avatar ONLY as a jpg file (picture) --- the option to save it as HTML no longer works in Blogger.

3. Write about the process about setting up your blog and your avatar in a Thing #3 blog post . Have you looked at anyone else's blog...have you made a comment or ask a question?

Seems like a lot here, but you are over the hardest part and ready to write about all the new things you will be seeing and doing. Have fun!

Thing #5: Explore Flickr

Photo sharing websites have been around since the 90s, but it took a small startup site called Flickr to catapult the idea of “sharing” into a full blown online community. Within the last few years, Flickr has become the fastest growing photo sharing site on the web and is known as one of the first websites to use keyword “tags” to create associations and connections between photos and users of the site.

Read 7 Things You Should Know About Flickr

As you know (or should know) not all Google Images are copyright-friendly. You do not have the rights to use all visuals found there. That is also true with Flickr photos in the overall collection.

However, the folks at Flickr have arranged separate collections based on the copyright-friendly Creative Commons rules. The photos found here can be downloaded and used by you, a visitor to the site.

For this discovery exercise:
1.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 are using Flickr for.

2. Visit the Flickr Creative Commons site and explore what kinds of photos you could you use for your library or classroom. Do a search using a keyword or two from your subject or curriculum.
Save a photo to your hard drive (in My Pictures is best). Add that photo to your #5 blog posting that interests you.
Note: Do not use the Search box found on the top right side--it takes you to the general collection where not all photos are copyright friendly. Here is some help in downloading photos from the site.

3. Write about what you found. Be sure and put Thing 5 as part of your post title.

Reminder: Separate post for each Thing. Please do not combine Things.

Thing #6: Mashups and 3rd Party sites

What is a "mashup"?
Wikipedia offers a great article that explains mashups. Basically they are hybrid web applications that take features from one application (like Flickr) and mash it up with another (like Google Maps). In this example, you get Mappr (

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 Creative Commons images or even your own photos.

Discovery Resources:

Here are a few examples of mashups that use Flickr:
Mappr - allows you to take Flickr images and paste them on a map

Flickr Color Pickr - lets you find public photos in Flickr that match a specific color.

Mosaic Maker – create a photo mosaic from photos found on Flickr. Discover more mashups, web apps, and Flickr tools.

Bookr - a cute way to create little books using Flickr pictures and your text. Look in the archive at different examples by clicking on the key words list. If you create one, remember the title! The search function is not the best...but remember, it's free! Include the link in your posting so we can see your creation!

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.

In your post, talk about some ways Flickr and/or Flickr mashups could be used in your library program.One of our very favorite tools is FD ToysTrading Card Maker. And there’s a ton of librarians out there who have created their own Librarian Trading Card. So have some fun discovering and exploring some neat little apps. And if you're up to the challenge while you’re at it, why not create a trading card of your own?! :)

Take a look at more fun stuff from the Big Huge Labs.

P.S. Be sure and use copyright-friendly photos!

Thing #7: Cool Google Tools

Google is the most famous search engine on the web these days, with the very name becoming a verb in our language. Here's Wikipedia's entry on this phenomenon:

The verb to google (also spelled to Google) refers to using the Google search engine to obtain information on the Web. For example, "Mary googled for recipes." A neologism arising from the popularity and dominance[1] of the eponymous search engine, the American Dialect Society chose it as the "most useful word of 2002." [2] It was officially added to the Oxford English Dictionary on June 15, 2006,[3] and to the 11th edition of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary in July 2006.[4] The first recorded usage of google used as a verb was on July 8, 1998, by Larry Page himself, who wrote on a mailing list: "Have fun and keep googling!"[5]

Although we generally equate Google with web searching, that's not what this "thing" is about. Google also has a variety of free web tools that can be particularly useful in education. Some of these are:

Google Alerts - will e-mail the news to you as it happens. Just enter a search term (educational term, news topic, person, event, sports team, etc.) that you would like to keep tabs on. Whenever that topic appears in a news item or on the web, Google Alerts will send you an e-mail.

Google Calendar - lets you organize your schedule and share it with family, friends, teachers, students...

iGoogle - gives you a customizable home page where you can add links, news feeds, gadgets, etc. (Be sure and look at the gadgets - these are really fun!). Students can use iGoogle as their home page. They can have tabs for separate subjects or projects. They can set up gadgets to deliver information on topics, etc...

Picasa Web Albums - similar to Flickr; Google's version of photo sharing.

Google Scholar - Google Scholar provides a simple way to broadly search for scholarly literature. From one place, you can search across many disciplines and sources: peer-reviewed papers, theses, books, abstracts and articles, from academic publishers, professional societies, pre-print repositories, universities and other scholarly organizations.

Google Advanced Search – Allows you to search by file format. In other words, if you want a PowerPoint already created about a particular topic, you choose the PowerPoint (.ppt) and search for your topic.

Google Earth - Google Earth combines the power of Google Search with satellite imagery, maps, terrain and 3D buildings to put the world's geographic information at your fingertips. (SBISD employees, Google Earth is loaded on the Teacher roll-out laptops and maybe other computers, double check before you download).

and Google Docs - Look at all the new things you can do with plain ol' text, spreadsheet and presentation items!

And more! From the Google Search page, click on the "more" pull-down at the top middle of the screen. Then click on "even more" at the bottom of the pull-down list.

Discovery Resources:

Discovery Exercise

After looking at each of Google tools, choose two of them to explore further. Try setting up an alert, calendar, notebook, or iGoogle page and using it. If sharing is an option for the tools you choose, make them public.

Blog about your experience with both tools and include a link (if you make it public) to your creation. Be sure and include possible educational uses.

Thing #8: RSS Feeds and Readers

Have you heard of RSS? Maybe you’ve seen those little orange symbols on websites? Possibly you have heard colleagues and friends talk about their readers. Well don’t worry, according to this survey you’re still in the majority, but this is changing rapidly.

In the information world, RSS is not only revolutionizing the way news, media, and content creators share information, but it also is swiftly changing the way everyday users are consuming information. As leaders in the acquisition of information, it is one Web 2.0 tool that you MUST know how to use and use regularly.

RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication” and is a file format for delivering regularly updated information over the web. Just think about the blogs, websites, and news information sources you visit everyday. It takes time to visit those sites and scour the ad-filled and image-heavy pages for just the text you want to read, doesn’t it?

Now imagine if you could visit all those blogs, information sources, and web pages in just one place and all at the same time … without being bombarded with advertising… without having to search for new information on the page you’d already seen or read before… and without having to consume a lot of time visiting each site individually.

Would that be valuable to you? Well, it’s available now through an RSS reader (sometimes called an aggregator).

Background Information:
To learn learning about RSS feeds and what free tools you can use to do this, here are some activities you need to complete

1.Watch this video - RSS in Plain English (YouTube won't show in district but here is the TeacherTube copy!)

2. Read Newbie's Guide to Google Reader

Now that you have background and understanding about RSS and readers, it's time for some Discovery Activities:

1. Select a reader and create a free account.

2. Now add at least 5 blog sites to your reader plus any news sources you may want to follow. Most likely, you will be pasting the address into the links bar inside the reader to add the feeds you choose. Just follow the directions provided by your reader.

Here are some suggested blogs to look at. You may select others by going to Google Blog Search and searching keywords of your choice.

3. Create a post in your blog about this Thing #8 that answers these questions:

  • What do you like about RSS and readers?
  • How do you think you might be able to use this technology in your school or personal life?
  • How can libraries/teachers/administrators use readers or take advantage of this new technology?

4. Optional: Make your reader list public. Create a public page with Google Reader or provide a link to your public Bloglines account .

Sharing information is a key component for 21st Century life-long learners and you have made that activity easy now that you have an RSS reader set up. Have fun reading all about whatever!

Thing #9: Useful Library-Related Blogs and News Feeds

Now that you have an RSS reader (your Google Reader or Bloglines account), you can begin adding other blog feeds that interest you. Technorati, a blog tracking site, reports that they are currently tracking 133 million blogs. Out of the millions of blogs available, how do you find the ones that are of most value to you? There are several resources that you can use.

First, read this post from The Cool Cat Teacher blog for some great suggestions on how to select good RSS feeds: How to Create Your Circle of the Wise.
Next, explore some other options for locating appropriate RSS feeds.

Discovery Resources:
When visiting your favorite websites -- look for RSS feed icons (like this ) that indicate the website provides it. Often a feed icon will be displayed somewhere in the navigation bar of the site.

Google Blog Search - See what appears when you search "Library2Play" or "Spring Branch ISD".

Use Blogline's Search tool - Bloglines recently expanded search tool lets you search for news feeds in addition to posts, citations and the web. Use the Search for Feeds option to locate RSS feeds you might be interested in.

Consider Edublogs' award winners. Each of the winners and the other nominees in each catagory have blogrolls containing useful, helpful and often highly respected representative blogs that could meet your need. Click a catagory and go see what is there!

Other Search tools that can help you find feeds:

School Library Blogs on Suprglu - this site offers a selection of postings from lots of different blogs by School Librarians. Click on the link under each post to visit the actual blog. - This search tool allows you to locate recent newsfeed items based upon keyword or phrase searching. The tool focuses specifically on news and media outlet RSS feeds for information, not weblogs. - Syndic8 is an open directory of RSS feeds that contains thousands of RSS feeds that users have submitted.

Technorati - Technorati is a popular blog finding tool that lets you search for blogs. Since RSS feeds are inherent to all blogging tools, Technorati Blog Search can help you find RSS feeds for topic specific blogs you may be interested in. Additonal Resource: Technorati Tutorial on finding and adding your blog.

Atomic Learning has lots of video clips on RSS feeds. Type "feeds" into the search box for the basics. If you want more, type "RSS" into the search box. (requires SBISD password info.)

Discovery Exercise:

Explore some of the search tools noted above that can help you locate some RSS feeds.

Add any pertinent feeds to your RSS reader.

Create a blog post about your experience that answers these questions:

  • Which Search tool was the easiest for you?

  • Which was more confusing?

  • What kind of useful feeds did you find in your travels? Or what kind of unusual ones did you find?

EXTRA STUFF -- Feed icon information:

In February of 2006, the adoption of a standard feed icon among websites and browsers finally began to assist in stopping the madness and confusion caused by so many variations. So far this icon has been adopted by many websites and browsers, including Opera and FireFox, where it displays in the address bar:

Internet Explorer 7 has something like this as well. For more information about this emerging new standard, see

Thing #10: Online Image Generator

(This image was made with Comic Strip Generator)

For this discovery exercise, we just want you to have fun. Find a few fun image or text generators to play around with and write a post in your blog about one of your favorites and display the result. Often adding the image you mocked up to your blog is as simple as copying and pasting code that the page provides. If not, you may just need to right click on the image and then save it to your hard drive before using Blogger’s image button to add it to your post. If you’re having difficulty getting your image added to a post in your blog, ask a colleague for help. In looking at several of your blogs, it’s easy to see that we have lots of people in the district who have figured out how easy it is to add images to their blogs.

Discovery Resources:
Comic Strip Generator
Custom Sign Generator
Image Chef
Happy Face Generator
Big Huge Labs
Kid-Friendly Image Generators

Trading Card Maker
Also try a Google search for online generators, text generators or image generators!

(This image was created in Trading Card Maker)

Discovery Exercise:
1. Play around with some image generators and find one that you like.
2. Create several different types of images and save them to your computer.
3. Describe your discovery process in your blog.
Note: Be sure to include a link to the image generator(s) you used, so other participants can discover it too.
4. In your post, be sure to include ways you might use these image generators in the library 0r classroom. Take some time and have fun with this exercise. (And remember to be tasteful too!)

Thing #11: LibraryThing

Are you a book lover...with piles covering all the flat surfaces in your world? Do you like order in your life...even with your personal items? Do you like to share books with others...would you like to discuss books with others who share the same passions as you do?

Then LibraryThing is for you! Over 500,000 book lovers and over 300 million titles (and the pertinent info about the books...need info for a new book that needs to be added to the system?)

Background information:
1. Take the tour.
2. Go thru the very short introduction.
3. Listen to the podcast. (The stats are old...the ones above in this post are current and LibraryThing is almost 3 yrs old now.)
powered by ODEO

Discovery Activities:
1. Create an account. It is super simple!
2. Add at least 5 titles to your list.
3. On your blog, write a Thing #11 post about your experience with LibraryThing. How do you think it could be useful to you in your situation? Did you check out any of the groups? Did you find a group of users that share your interests?

Want to keep up with new things about and issues with LibraryThing? Follow the blog. (Or better yet...add the blog link to your RSS reader!)

Just for fun...a skit about LibraryThing

Thing #12: Creating Community Through Commenting

The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs according to the article about blogging from Wikipedia. A blog is a vehicle for a group of people with common interests to communicate, share, and learn in spite of barriers of time and distance.

How to Comment Like a King (or Queen!) from Cool Cat's blog.

Read 10 Techniques to Get More Comments on Your Blog

Read The Ten Commandments of Blog Commenting oops! this link is no longer available. Searching for replacement.

Blue Skunk has some comments about commenting. Incidentally, he pretty much responds to every commentor of each of his posts! In another post he asks "Are you contributing to the general discussion?" He feels commenting is "a unique characteristic of blogging - that it can be more dialog than sermon."

Meredith Farkas of Information Wants to Be Free has an interesting response to the idea of sharing information through commenting...even if you do not feel you have worthy thoughts!

Drape's Takes has something to say about commenting as a part of his Edublogger Etiquette series.

Here is a short post about commenting using an alias vs. your real name from Blogging 101. You can read many other posts about commenting. There is a podcast about lurking and commenting. Listen if you wish. It is useful information but is rather lengthy.

Discovery Activities:
1. Think about the various points made about successful comments from the above readings. In the post about this Thing, explain two of the points that you think are important.

2. Since commenting has been described as essential to the purpose of blogging that includes community building and interaction, choose at least five different Library2Play blogs and make at least one comment to each.

3. Find two blogs about a subject of personal interest (Google Blog Search!) or from the blogroll of any blogger you read. Comment on these two blogs that are not a part of the Library2Play community. In your post about this Thing, explain what drew your attention to these blogs.

It is understood that you may want to do some of this commenting at different times during this 23 Things experience.
Create the post as usual and as you find new things to comment about, come back to the post, use the edit feature, and add your new thoughts.
Do your blog post about this activity later. As long as you label the post with "Thing 12," it does not have to appear in numerical order.

Thing #13: Tagging and Discover Delicious

A tag is simply a word you use to describe a bookmark. Unlike folders, you make up tags when you need them and you can use as many as you like. The result is a better way to organize your bookmarks and a great way to discover interesting things on the Web.


Tags are one-word descriptors that you can assign to your bookmarks on delicious to help you organize and remember them. Tags are a little bit like keywords, but they're chosen by you, and they do not form a hierarchy. You can assign as many tags to a bookmark as you like and rename or delete the tags later. So, tagging can be a lot easier and more flexible than fitting your information into preconceived categories or folders.

For example, if you save an article about how to make a certain kind of cake, you can tag it with recipes sweets yogurt or whatever other tags you might use to find it again. You don't have to rely on the designer of a system to provide you with a category for French cake recipes. You make up tags as you need them, and use the tags that make the most sense to you.

This is great for organizing and finding personal data, but it goes even further when someone else posts related content using the same tags. You begin building a collaborative repository of related information, driven by personal interests and creative organization.

For instance, to view everybody's bookmarks about sweets, visit To see the most popular items tagged as sweets, visit
If you don't get it right away, that's OK -- you don't have to. Tagging is pretty intuitive and can take some practice to fully understand. Try it and experiment a bit! There are no wrong tags.

How do I tag?

When saving or editing a bookmark, there is a field for tags. In this field, enter as many tags as you would like, each separated by a space. You may notice lists of tags underneath this form. Popular tags are what other people have tagged this page as, and recommended tags are a combination of tags you have already used and tags that other people have used. You are under no obligation to use these! They are only there to help you. What tags or words would help you remember this page a few years from now? That's a good place to start. Learn more about saving bookmarks.

Some examples of tagging
You can use tags describing an article or website's subject, location, name, category, people, places, ideas -- pretty much anything you can think of. The more tags the better! (Well, most people use from one or two up to five or six tags for an item.)
The only limitation on tags is that they must not include spaces. So if your web page is about a two-word place like "San Francisco", you may want to tag it as sf, san-francisco, SanFrancisco, san.francisco, or whatever else makes sense to you. You probably don't want to use commas, though, since a comma will be become part of the tag.

You can also use tags to describe metadata about the bookmark. For example, you can use asterisks to rate bookmarks. So a tag of * might mean an OK link, *** is pretty good, and a bookmark tagged ***** is awesome. You can tag something "toread", or "via:friend". Items that you want can be tagged "wishlist", and links that might not be safe to visit at work can be tagged nsfw.

A tag can be anything you want.

Here's a neat place to start exploring tags: a cloud of frequently-used tags on delicious.

For this discovery exercise, you are asked to take a look at Delicious and a couple of other social bookmarking sites to see how this tool could be used in your school.

Discovery Resources

1. Start your exploration of social bookmarking by watching this video by the Common Craft guys. Here is a direct link to the CC copy at their site. (This should be about social bookmarking)

2. Watch the Delicious podcast tutorial (8 minutes) This link was checked 7-6-09 and was working

3. Check out Digg

4. Check out Furl and Ma.gnolia - two other social bookmarking sites. Watch a Furl tutorial here. There's a Ma.gnolia tutorial also.

5. Check out Top 30 Social Bookmarking Sites

Discovery Exercise

1. Review the resources above to get a good overview of social bookmarking - especially the Delicious tutorial.

2. Take a look around Delicious using key words /tags that fit your professiona (and perosnal needs)

3. See if you can figure out how to share your delicious site with others (students).

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 or classroom teachers take advantage of social bookmarking sites?

Thing #14: Technorati and How Tags Work

Now that you have been working with blogs for awhile, it is time to look at a search engine that is specifically for searching blogs for their content. That would be Technorati, a portmanteau (or morphing) of technology and literati or intellectuals. as of August, 2007, it has indexed over 84 million blogs.

There are a lot of features in Technorati including the capability to search for keywords in blog posts, search for entire blog posts that have been tagged with a certain keyword, limit a search by language, or search for blogs that have been registered and tagged as whole blogs about a certain subject (like book reviews or libraries).

Background information:
1. View the blog from Technorati. View the tags used to categorize the information included in the posts.
2. Watch this video of the leadership at Technorati talking about their "product."

3. Read this blog post that discusses tags and tagging in things like Technorati,,, and the effect it is having on advertisers.

Discovery activities:
1. Take a look at Technorati and try doing a keyword search for “School Library Learning 2.0” in Blog posts, in tags and in the Blog Directory. Are the results different?
2. Explore popular blog, searches and tags. Is anything interesting or surprising in your results?
3. Create a blog post for Thing #14 and express your thoughts regarding how Technorati and its features could assist you. Since you have now looked at several tools that use tagging (Technorati,, & Flickr), add your thoughts about the value of tagging information

1. Register and claim your blog. It will increase the traffic that visits your blog.
2.Explore the various Technorati widgets that you could add to your blog.

Tag was a fun childhood game...hope tagging has now become a fun "learning" tool!

P.S. Did you realize you are 2/3 of the way through the 23 Things? Yipee!!
Have you taken a look at some of the other Players' blogs, read some of their posts, and commented? Please be sure you comment to some of the thoughts expressed by your fellow Players...commenting is an important part of the interactive web world!

Thing #15: Web 2.0, Library 2.0 and the Future of Libraries

Library 2.0 is term used to describe a new set of concepts for developing and delivering Library services. The name, as you may guess, is an extension of Web 2.0 and shares many of its same philosophies and concepts including:
  • harnessing the user in both design and implementation of services,
  • embracing constant change as a development cycle over the traditional notion of upgrades,
  • and reworking Library services to meet the users in their space, as opposed to ours (Libraries).

Many have argued that the notion of Library 2.0 is more than just a term used to describe concepts that merely revolve around the use of technology; it also a term that can be used to describe both physical and mindset changes that are occurring within Libraries to make our spaces and services more user-friendly and inviting.

Others within the profession have asserted that Libraries have always been 2.0: collaborative, customer friendly, and welcoming.

But no matter which side of the debate proponents fall, both sides agree that Libraries of tomorrow, even five or ten years from now, will look substantially different from Libraries today.

Watch this video and consider what these students would say about the Library of the future:
A Vision of Students Today is available on TeacherTube if this embedded copy does not show.

If you have trouble viewing the video, here is another link to it (along with explanation by the creator.)

Discovery Exercise:

  1. Read two or three of the perspectives on Library 2.0 from the list below.
  2. Create a blog post about your thoughts on any one of these. Library 2.0 - It's many things to many people. What does it mean to you? What does it mean for school libraries?

Discovery Resources:

OCLC Next Space Newsletter – Web 2.0: Where will the next generation of the web it take libraries?

Five Perspectives:
Away from Icebergs
Into a new world of librarianship
To more powerful ways to cooperate
To better bibliographic services
To a temporary place in time

Wikipedia – Library 2.0
Library 2.0 Discussions (list of great references from Wikipedia)

Any posts by David Warlick (a disruptive thinker) at 2 Cents Worth

We hope you're enjoying all the exercises you've done so far. Keep having fun exploring and thinking about Web 2.0/Library 2.0/School Library 2.0. Have you commented on another blog or two?

Thing #16: Wikis

A wiki is a collaborative website and authoring tool that allows users to easily add, remove and edit content. Wikipedia, the online open-community encyclopedia, is the largest and perhaps the most well known of these knowledge sharing tools, but with benefits that wikis provide the use and popularity of these tools is exploding.

Some of the benefits that make the use of wikis so attractive are:
· Anyone (registered or unregistered if unrestricted) can add, edit or delete content.
· Tracking tools within wikis allow you to easily keep up on what been changed and by whom.
· Earlier versions of a page can be rolled back and viewed when needed.
· Users do not need to know HTML in order to apply styles to text or add and edit content.

As the use of wikis has grown over the last few years, Libraries all over the country have begun to use them to collaborate and share knowledge. Among their applications are pathfinder or subject guide wikis, book review wikis, ALA conference wikis and even Library best practices wikis.

Watch this CommonCraft video. It illustrates a wiki "in Plain English" very well.

If the embedded YouTube version does not show, you can view it directly from the Common Craft site.

Take a look at some Library wikis. Here are a few examples to get you started:

For more Wikis including ones used by teachers see Blogroll at this blog:

Use these resources to learn more about wikis:

Atomic Learning has some helpful video clips for Wikis. In the "Our Tutorials" tab chose "PBwiki - Wiki Workshop" or type "wiki" in the search box. (SBISD employees only...password protected)
· Wiki, wiki, wiki - from the Core Competency blog of the Public Library of Charlotte-Mecklenburg County.
· Wikis: A Beginner’s Look – an excellent short slide presentation that offers a short introduction and examples.
· What is a Wiki? – Library Success wiki presentation.
· Using Wikis to Create Online Communities – a good overview of what a wiki is and how it can be used in Libraries.

Curriculum Connections:
Wikis can be made for any classroom:

· Idea #1: Collaborative note-taking. Everyone pitches in and adds a fact or two about a topic. Teachers can encourage students to include opinions, challenges, and appropriate criticism. Students would then write essays using only these notes. Make sure that each addition includes a citation to website, book, or database, including page numbers so that it can be checked.

· Idea #2: History. Students can compile a wiki of famous artists, architects, writers, and other key historical figures from a city, state, or country.

· Idea #3: Create a "top 10" lists and supporting material. This could include scientists and their discoveries, top writers and their books, ... you get the idea.

· Idea #4: Mission trading cards (see Week 3), once completed, could be added to a class wiki.

A sandbox is a term that wikis often use to describe the area of the website that should be used for pure play so for this discovery and exploration exercise, go to the sandbox portion of the Spring Branch Library Future wiki -- go ahead and play! The username is "sbisd" and the password is "sbisdlib."

Discovery Exercise 1. Visit the sandbox portion of the Spring Branch Library Future wiki and add something about your 23 Things learning experience to this point. Remember the username is "sbisd" and the password is "sbisdlib."

You may want to add a link. Click on Sign-in in upper right corner Fill in username and password as listed above. Click on the edit button. Add you comment (just like you would type a post box on your blog) Be sure and click on Save--either at the top in the editor bar or at the bottom way on the right!

Discovery Exercise 2. Create a post in your blog about the experience.

How might you use wikis?

Discovery Resources:

· PB Wiki Tour - Find out how this collaborative tool can be used (YouTube-won't show in district)

· PBWiki Video Gallery - Short videos of PBwiki features

· PB Wiki Tips

Curriculum Connection:

Idea #1: Select one of your favorite curriculum ideas from your own blog. "Copy and paste" it to the sandbox portion of the Spring Branch Library Future wiki wiki. The username is "sbisd" and the password is "sbisdlib." What did you find interesting? What types of applications within Libraries and schools might work well with a wiki?

By the way: Have you made some comments in any other Players' blogs?

Thing #17: Rollyo

Are you tired of wading though thousands of irrelevant search results to get to the information you want? Ever wish you could narrow your search to sites you already know and trust?

With Rollyo, you can easily create your own custom search engines - we call them Searchrolls - and explore, save, and personalize those created by others. Rollyo puts the power of search in your hands, by giving you the tools to create your own personal search engines - with no programming required. All you have to do is pick the sites you want to search, and we'll create a custom search engine for you.

Not quite ready to roll? We've created a starter kit of Searchrolls you can personalize. What else can Rollyo do?

Share Your Searchrolls

You can explore and save searchrolls created by the community of Rollyo users and share your knowledge on a particular set of topics. You can even edit Searchrolls created by others. More than a thousand new Searchrolls are created every day!

Search Your Top News Sites and Blogs
Rollyo searches for the latest news articles and blog posts, giving you up-to-the-minute search results from the news sources you know and trust when it comes to a particular topic or area of interest.

The RollBar Bookmarklet allows you to drag your entire Rollyo experience onto your browser. Search any site, use your Searchrolls wherever you are, add sites to your rolls on the fly, even create new rolls from the site that you're on.

Roll a Firefox™
Search Engine Firefox™ users can quickly create custom Searchrolls and add them to their browser toolbar in one click. You can include one site that you search all the time or a topical list of up to 25 sites. Any Rollyo Searchroll can be added to Firefox™ with one click.

High Rollers
Rollyo welcomes several high profile, High Rollers: Debra Messing, Arianna Huffington, Rosario Dawson, Brian Greene, Diane Von Furstenberg, our friends at PBS Frontline and many top bloggers have all rolled custom search engines. You can be a High Roller too if your searchroll becomes popular with the Rollyo community. Think of it as our version of Star Search.

Single Site Search
If you're always going back to the same site over and over again like, Amazon or Ebay, you can create a searchroll that includes just that single site so all your searches are in one place.

Web Search
You can always expand any search to include the whole Web.
With Rollyo you can search one site, the whole web, and everything in between.

We are constantly adding new tools to make Rollyo more useful. A few of these include a Firefox™ Plugin, a custom searchbox for your site, our RollBar, and a simple way to import your bookmarks so you can use them to quickly create a variety of searchrolls. You can check out our excellent buzz and there's plenty more that you'll discover as you start using Rollyo. But ultimately Rollyo is really about a very simple idea: Quickly and easily getting you the results you want from the sites you trust. Ready?

Discovery Activity: Create your own customize search and write about it in your blog and post a link to it. See if this video (created by a L2P Player) will help you.

Thing #18: Online Productivity Tools

Open Office is a multiplatform and multilingual office suite and an open-source project. Compatible with all other major office suites, the product is free to download, use, and distribute.
You will need to download the product and then play with the features. Remember to choose the format when you go to save your document, you can save it in several different formats, including MS Word '98, 2000, and 2003. Open Office is already loaded on SBISD's teacher laptops! Yea!!!

Another option to explore is Google Docs you will have to register, but they offer a "tour" of the things they offer and an information video for getting started.

Discovery Exercise: For this discovery exercise explore one or both of the free options above and post a blog with your opinion of the advantages and/or disadvantages of using a free online tool instead of Microsoft Office.

Thing #19: Web 2.0 Awards List

There are about 500 2.0 tools on the web. You have explored just a few so far thorough this series of activities. These collaborative, social networking, and information tools cover so many different aspects of using the web that we want you to have the opportunity to pick one from a list of proven winners and explore it.

Discovery Activity:
1.Explore any site from the Web 2.0 awards list and play with it.
The awards are listed by name OR are arranged by subject groups. A handful are not free, so be on the look-out!

2. Write a blog post for Thing #19 about your findings. Consider these questions when organizing your thoughts. What is special about the tool? What are its useful parts, especially with regards to Libraries and school? How might you use this tool in your own setting?

So many wonderful 2.0 resources...SO little time! Have fun with the one you choose!

Thing #20: YouTube, TeacherTube and Zamzar

You have viewed several YouTube videos and other online videos throughout the earlier activities of this project. Streaming videos, especially through video hosting websites such as YouTube have proven to be very useful web 2.0 resources because they can be created for personal learning/teaching needs and uploaded at point of need. Both Yahoo and Google also include video hosting components.

Another important video hosting source for educationally-based videos is TeacherTube. All of the videos included there are resources for classroom settings or educator-based training. (this site is NOT blocked in SBISD.)

Sample videos to view:
1. Evaluating Websites Tutorial idea for something you could tailor to meet your situation.
2. Three Steps for thought? how many of the tools do you now recognize?
3. Portal to Texas History...Tease (advertisement) for a useful website?

You have been provided with the URLs to these sample videos. Several embedded videos can be found in other "Things" can tell an embedded video because you see a small screen in the blog.

To embed, follow the directions given at the particular site.
It usually consists of copying some code for the particular site you are taking the video TO.

Then you paste it into your blog post on the code or HTML tab, not the usual Compose tab. It's easy to switch back and forth. You will want to position the cursor where you want the video to embed.

It is hoped that your institution has allowed these video resources to be open and available to use with students. However, in the event that sites like YouTube are blocked by the firewall, you may have to download the video at another location and use a .flv player to be able to view the video. This PowerPoint slide show gives you some directions in doing that. [UPDATE: this is a more involved cumbersome way to bring in youTube videos because it requires you add a player.]

Another way of getting videos that may be "blocked" is to use a file conversion program such as Zamzar which takes the URL of the wanted video and converts it to a format that available. This blog posting will explain the process of URL conversion. You choose to the file as a .avi or other formats that will play on your computer without adding a player. Zamzar will also convert text, music, or graphic files. [UPDATE: this is the conversion method of choice! simple! quick!]

If you would like to search the web in general for useful videos, current events or news stories, or even historical items, you can use the search engine Blinkx to search for sources of videos. Whether the video will be available, downloadable, or able to be embedded will depend on the actual source of the material. Blinx acts like a one stop shop for locating video streaming!

Another overview of these resources

Discovery activities:
1. Go to YouTube and find a video using the search box. Search for something such as libraries, librarians, learning and teaching, Web 2.0, Library 2.0, educational technology.

2. Go to TeacherTube and locate a video for a subject of your choice...math, science, social studies that might be useful for students or teachers in your sphere of influence.

3. Write a post for Thing #20 about your video finds and the value of having access to so many video resources. Embed at least one of the videos you selected into your post.

Have fun learning from the "movies"...anyone got popcorn?