High Above the Clouds

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Thing 23: Concluding thoughts

YIPEE...I'm DONE!!! I had fallen so far behind. Thankfully, I set my mind to completing everything I set out to accomplish. Of course, this is only the beginning. But this program has really opened my eyes to so many possibilities for learning and discovery. Some of the tools (RSS, Technorati, Rollyo) were completely new to me, and had it not been for the 23 Things program, I may have never experimented with them. There are other, more familiar tools, such as Flickr and LibraryThing, which I continue to enjoy.

I had a blast with Rollyo (I could spend hours here), but I also loved the Web 2.o Awards site and clips I discovered of favorite musicians on YouTube. Many of the exercises were intriguing enough that I will want to revisit them often.

I am thrilled to have taken part in this relevant, stimulating program. There are no limits to where technology can take us or to what we can learn in the process. The tools are ours for the taking..it is up to each of us to decide what to do with them.

Week 9: Thing 22 - Audiobooks & Project Gutenberg

I thought it would be great to look into downloadable audiobooks and experience it for myself. This is a wonderful example of how technology can make library services available to anyone, anywhere, with computer access. The concept of a library extends well beyond the brick and mortar building. As I had no experience with e-books, I listened to the introduction and installed the OverDrive module on my laptop. Back in BCPL's catalog, I selected and charged out 2 books of interest.

Up until now, the process was effortless, but when I attempted to download one of the titles and listen, it did not take me to OverDrive as I had expected. Instead, I was directed to a page from Abobe - "Adobe Digital Editions," asking that I download it to listen to my audiobook! There are numerous Adobe products already installed on my computer, and perhaps there is a default setting that I don't know about. How frustrating! I'll go back to this when I have a little more energy to figure out what's going on.

Instead, I explored Project Gutenberg - a very worthwhile pursuit! Imagine 20,000 free books (many available in a number of languages), either in text or audio format, all in the public domain! The most recent copyright laws put a major damper on this project. I view it as a positive step toward bridging the digital divide, but one still needs a computer! And unfortunately, computers are still out of reach for many, many people.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Week 9: Thing 21 - Podcasts

This gave me a much clearer picture of what podcasts are all about. I tried to a listen to a few, but had some technical issues. Finally, I accessed one that I thought would be interesting, and instead put me to sleep. I can understand the appeal of podcasts and potential uses, but don't believe they are for me. I'm far more of a visual person.

Week 9: Thing 20 - YouTube

This has really taken me by surprise! I was familiar with YouTube, but never realized how many categories are actually on the site. (It's not all cutesy, comical videos, thank goodness!)

I browsed the "music" category and ran a couple of searches. Most of my favorite musicians were actually represented! As a result, I spent WAY too much time with this. I was astounded at the number of classical music clips (many historic) and was tempted to post several to my blog. But, I'll exercise some restraint and choose one: Anuna (an Irish choral group) performing Siuil A Ruin and The Rising of the Sun. Gorgeous stuff...and I will be hearing them in concert at the Lyric in December!!! Also worth checking out: Martha Argerich's award winning performance at the Chopin International Piano Competition in 1965: Chopin Scherzo #3 (one of my perennial favorites). She is nothing short of amazing. Also worth investigating: Mikhail Pletnev (another incredible pianist) and anything by Richard Thompson, one of the most charismatic songwriters and phenomenal guitarists working today.

Aaaaah...I'm in heaven!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Week 8: Thing 19 - Web 2.0 Award Winners

I've created yet another account (!), this time with Upcoming, one of the Web 2.o Award Winners in the "Events" category. I figured that I could plan all kinds of adventures, cultural forays, etc., but there are concerts, for example, which I KNOW are taking place but can't be found on this site. I need to play with it some more - although it received 5 stars for ease of use, it does not appear intuitive to me. I did check out some of the other sites and want to examine "City Guides and Reviews," "Lists and Polls," "Books" and "Travel."

Who knew this stuff existed?!

Week 8: Thing 18-Online tools

I signed up for Zoho (used Creator) approximately one year ago when I was doing a project for a class. The alternative would have been to learn Access! Zoho Writer is new to me, though, and I plan on using it more frequently (eventually, I'll lean more heavily on this program or Open Office, which I love). MS Word is a growing source of frustration, so I am actively seeking alternatives that will meet my word processing needs without the hassles I encounter.

Week 7:Thing 17 - Sandbox wiki

Done! It would be fun to play with this for a longer period of time and read some other "favorites". But for now, I created a list (under the unimaginative title of "Favorite Things"), along with a photo of one of my spoiled-rotten cats!