Monday, July 28, 2008

Bonus 2.0 Tools

2.0 tools are literally emerging by the minute across the web. In the previous lessons we took a look at only ten -- specifically those that are used frequently in educational settings.

How can you keep up? Well, that's pretty much impossible. However, there are some excellent sites out there that try to do just that. Take a look at:

Time to continue your exploration. Here are additional tools that may or may not have an educational component. Of course, what you define as "educational" is up to you. Give these a try!

43 Things

List your goals. Share your progress. Cheer each other on. connects you with your favorite music, and uses your unique taste to find new music, people, and concerts you'll like.


Enter what you're reading or your whole library—it's an easy, library-quality catalog.


Find things to do This Weekend with Upcoming.

Any others you particularly like? Share them in the Comments...

Monday, July 21, 2008

Week 10: Podcasting


7 Things You Should Know About Podcasting (PDF), by Educause Learning Initiative


Podcasting in Plain English, by Common Craft


  1. Use your browser to go to Either Internet Explorer or Firefox will work.

  2. Create your own Odeo account by clicking the 'Create Account' link.

  3. Browse Categories or do a keyword search to identify and subscribe to at least 3 podcasts.

  4. Listen!

  5. Post your Odeo account information on your blog.


Odeo is an example of a web-based podcatcher. If you have the ability to download software on your work or home computer, you may want to try:

  • iTunes, Apple's free media player is the most popular podcatcher. You can use it to listen to your podcasts even if you don't have an iPod.

  • Juice Receiver (formerly iPodder)

As with many of our other social software tools, podcasts have special search engines and directories. Find new podcasts for your listening pleasure at:

Want to make your own? It's cheap and easy to do it. Here are some tips:

  • Making a Podcast, an in-depth tutorial from Apple

  • Audacity is free, open-source software for recording and editing your podcast

Monday, July 14, 2008

Week 9: Online Video Sharing

The remaining two lessons feature tools that involve video and audio clips. Rather than teaching you how to create and upload your own content, the lessons will just introduce you to sites that host content for your viewing/listening pleasure. I'd encourage you to learn more about creating media if you're interested, but not everyone has access to the technology required to do so. Of course, there's always the MLRC...


7 Things You Should Know About YouTube (PDF)


Part of a series of library tours from the University of Florida


  1. Use your browser to go to Either Internet Explorer or Firefox will work.

  2. Create your own YouTube account by clicking the 'Sign Up' link.

  3. Watch Sock Monkey Visits the NEIU Library created by our very own Nancy Murillo!

  4. Subscribe to the neiulibrary channel.

  5. Search for 3 additional library-related videos and add them to your favorites.

  6. Post your YouTube username to your blog.


Other online video sharing sites include:

Monday, July 7, 2008

Week 8: Microblogs

7 Things You Should Know About Twitter (PDF), by Educause Learning Initiative

Twitter in Plain English, by Common Craft


  1. Use your browser to go to Either Internet Explorer or Firefox will work.

  2. Create an account by clicking the green 'Get Started -- Join!' button.

  3. If you want to you can then find people you know on Twitter by searching your email contacts.

  4. Tell Twitter what you're doing

  5. Find the NEIU Library and start following our updates.

  6. Add a Twitter badge to the sidebar of your blog.

Want to find other people or organizations to follow?

  • Try Summize to find Twitter posts (i.e. "tweets") by keyword. Then follow the author.

  • Sign up for TweetBeep to be notified when someone tweets on a topic.

  • Read your news through Twitter. These news services post tweets when breaking news stories happen.

Find more cool Twitter applications on the Twitter Fan Wiki.

As with all of the tools we've examined so far, Twitter is not the only microblogging service out there. Take a look at:

Also, many social networks have incorporated microblogging (or status updates) into their sites. You can update on Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Plaxo...What a hassle to update all of these! Do it all in one place with

Monday, June 30, 2008

Week 7: Social Networking


7 Things You Should Know About Facebook (PDF), by Educause Learning Initiative

7 Things You Should Know About Facebook II (PDF)), by Educause Learning Initiative

Social Networking in Plain English, by Common Craft


  1. Use your browser to go to Either Internet Explorer or Firefox will work

  2. Create an account by filling out the 'Sign Up for Facebook' box

  3. Confirm your email address by clicking on the link in the confirmation email

  4. If you want to you can then:

    • See which of your email friends are already on Facebook

    • Start filling out your profile information with education and work

    • Join the Chicago, IL network

  5. Upload a profile photo

  6. Post your first status update

  7. Become a fan of the Ronald Williams Library

  8. Add the NEIU LibGuides application

Please note that you have the option of setting your privacy levels on Facebook for different types of friends. Just click the 'Privacy' link across the top of the page once you're logged in.


Facebook offers loads and loads of Applications -- some of which may be useful; many of which are simple time wasters. Try some of these to get started:

What about MySpace? Well, yes, Facebook is only one of many social networking sites. Perhaps more of your family and/or friends are on one of these:

...and more. New ones are being created all the time.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Let's Catch Up

Since we have a few weeks of padding built into our series of lessons, I thought it might be helpful for all of us to take a break from new "toys" this week and review what we've done so far.

We're a little more than halfway through the lessons. I'd like to hear from you. Of the six things we've covered so far...

  1. Which tool (if any) has been completely new to you?

  2. Which tool do you see being the most useful in your work? your personal life?

  3. Which tool do you think is the most fun? Why?

Having a good time with these lessons? Spread the word. Now would be a good time to encourage your co-workers to jump in and catch up.

Questions so far? Drop me a line this week at I'll try to respond by the end of the week so we can all get back to learning new things on June 30.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Week 6: Instant Messaging


7 Things You Should Know About Instant Messaging (PDF), by Educause Learning Initiative


Common Craft has not yet produced a video on Instant Messaging. This week's video is:
Instant Messaging with Meebo, by PCMechTV


  1. Use your browser to go to Either Internet Explorer or Firefox will work.
  2. Create a Meebo account by clicking on 'Sign up now'

  3. When you get to the screen that asks you to add your IM account information, put in your AIM, Yahoo!, Google Talk, and/or MSN account name and password. If you do not have one of those sign up here:

  4. Send a chat to neiulibrary (available on all systems). You'll reach the reference desk. Say hi! Or drop me a note at lisacwallis (available on all systems).

That's all there is to it. The real benefit of meebo is that you can sign in in one place and access all of your different IM accounts. I'd recommend you at least sign up for two of the above services. After all, they're free. Plus, your family and friends are probably scattered among all of them. With meebo, you can chat with all of them at once.


IM has already been popular for several years. However, Meebo makes it so much more convenient. Explore the Meebo features including:

  • Changing your page colors and/or design

  • Adding a photo to your Meebo account

  • Putting a Meebo Me widget on your blog. Just follow these instructions.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Week 5: Online Photo Sharing

7 Things You Should Know About Flickr (PDF), by Educause Learning Initiative

Online Photo Sharing in Plain English, by Common Craft


  1. Use your browser to go to Either Internet Explorer or Firefox will work.

  2. Choose the 'Create Your Account' button. If you already have a Yahoo! account, you can log in with that.

  3. Try browsing through the Flickr tour. Note the:

    • Different ways you can upload your photos

    • Types of privacy levels you can assign each photo

  4. Add the neiulibrary profile as a contact by clicking 'Add neiulibrary as a contact'.

  5. Join the Libraries and Librarians group by clicking 'Join this group'.

  6. Upload a photo to your account and give it a few tags. You can use the basic upload page or try one of the tools they offer.

  7. Click on one of the tags you gave your photo. On the resulting page, click the link that reads 'See all public content tagged with ____'. Click on one you really like, and add it as a favorite.

  8. Share your flickr profile URL in a post on your blog.


Please note that you have the option of making each photo you upload either public or private. Public photos will be viewable by anyone; private photos will only be viewable by family, friends, or only you (when logged in)--your choice.

The Common Craft video mentioned a couple of other photo sharing sites. Some additional ones include:

Images are protected by copyright, and you can decide who can use yours and what exactly they can do. Learn more at Creative Commons.

Free online photo editors are a convenient way to make your pictures really stand out. Flick incorporates Picnik. Others include:

Monday, June 2, 2008

Week 4: Social Bookmarking


7 Things You Should Know About Social Bookmarking (PDF), by Educause Learning Initiative


Social Bookmarking in Plain English, by Common Craft


  1. Use your browser to go to Either Internet Explorer or Firefox will work.

  2. Create a free account. For help see "How do I get started?".

  3. Install the Firefox extension (or IE buttons) or save the bookmarklet buttons. These are what will allow you to add links to your account as you find them.

  4. Add the neiulibrary account to your network by going to the neiulibrary page and clicking "add neiulibrary to your network".

  5. Bookmark your first page. How about help? Remember to tag it.

  6. Explore other users' links. How?

    • Browse the home page for the latest adds.

    • Search the site by tag.

    • Go directly to one of your favorite sites.

  7. Pick a bookmark and "send" to to neiulibrary by tagging it with for:neiulibrary

  8. Share your URL in a post on your blog. Also include comments on a) those pink bars--what do they mean? b) tagging with phrases -- what are some options?


Please note that you have the option of making each bookmark you save either public or private. Public bookmarks will show up in your publicly viewable link list; private booksmarks will only show up in your link list when you are logged in.


As with the other tools we've explored so far, is not the only social bookmarking site. You could also use:

Some bookmarking sites have been created specifically for academic use. These include:

Monday, May 26, 2008

Week 3: Wikis


7 Things You Should Know About Wikis (PDF), by Educause Learning Initiative


Wikis in Plain English, by Common Craft


  1. Use your browser to go to

  2. Sign up and create a free PBWiki account and wiki. Tips:

    • It will be less confusing to use the same name that you used for your blog (,, etc.), but that's up to you.

    • Make your wiki public for now. You can change this later.

    • Click the link that allows you to use the free version. No need to upgrade.

  3. Edit the front page of your wiki. Write whatever you like, perhaps a brief bio.

  4. Edit the sidebar of your wiki to include a link to your blog.

  5. Use the Contact the owner form to have your PBWiki account linked to the course wiki. Please include the same email address you provided in step 2.

  6. Add a link to your personal wiki from your blog with a post and any thoughts you have about wikis.

Please note that the main purpose of wikis is for collaboration with others. The exercises you are completing here just show that you can do basic editing in PBWiki. This might not make a lot of sense now, is what I'm saying. But it will...Stay tuned.

Explore isn't the only site for setting up a free wiki. You could also try:

Wikipedia is perhaps the best known and largest wiki out on the Web. But did you know that a number of libraries are using wikis, too? These include:

There are literally hundreds of types of wikis out there. Some are Web-based (like PBWiki) and others require installation on a server (like MediaWiki, which is used by Wikipedia).

  • Use WikiMatrix to compare features and find a wiki for your next project

Monday, May 19, 2008

Week 2: RSS & Newsreaders


7 Things You Should Know About RSS (PDF), by Educause Learning Initiative


RSS in Plain English, by Common Craft


  1. Use your browser to go to

  2. Create a free Bloglines account. For help see "How do I sign up?" or other FAQs.

  3. Subscribe to the Library News blog by

    1. Signing in to Bloglines

    2. Clicking "Add"

    3. Typing into the Blog or Feed URL box

  4. Subscribe to a few of the NEIU staff blogs created in last week's module. For a list of these see the Library Bloggers area in the sidebar.

  5. Search Bloglines by keyword choosing "Search for Feeds" to find additional blogs of interest. Anything: reading, quilting, gardening, motorcycles, tattoos...

  6. Share your Bloglines blogroll by

    1. Signing in to Bloglines

    2. Clicking "Account" (upper right), then "Blog Settings"

    3. Filling in a User Name and choosing "Yes, publish my Blogroll"

    4. Clicking the "Save Changes" button

    5. Posting the blogroll URL on your blog


Please note you have the option of making each RSS feed you add either public or private. Public feeds will show up in your blogroll; private feeds will not.


Bloglines isn't the only free Web-based newsreader available. You could also use:

RSS Feeds also have special search engines to help you identify additional resources. To find more feeds to add to Bloglines, search:

Monday, May 12, 2008

Week 1: Blogging


7 Things You Should Know About Blogs (PDF), by Educause Learning Initiative


Blogs in Plain English, by Common Craft


  1. Use your browser to go to Either Internet Explorer or Firefox will work.

  2. Create a free Blogger account and blog. For help see "How do I create a Blogger account?"

  3. Send the name of your blog and its URL / link to Lisa Wallis

  4. Write your first (brief) post about either

Explore isn't the only site for setting up a free blog. You could also use:

Since blogs are updated so frequently, special search engines constantly monitor them. To find something on a blog, search:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Welcome to Web 2.0

This blog has been set up as part of the NEIU Library Learns 2.0 program to encourage staff to experiment and learn about the new and emerging technologies that are reshaping the context of information on the Internet today.

The design of this online program was completely built on ten Web 2.0 technologies that are freely available on the Internet. Each week one of these new technologies, or tools, will be featured in a learning module. The tools include: Blogger, Bloglines, PBWiki,, Flickr, Meebo, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Odeo.

The Learning 2.0 program was originally designed by Helene Blowers, Technology Director at the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, with the support and assistance of several staff. It is loosely based upon Stephen Abram's article, 43 Things I Might Want To Do This Year from the February 2006 issue of Information Outlook.

How to Prepare

  1. Subscribe to email updates to be notified whenever a new learning module is available.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

  2. Read Library 2.0: Service For the Next Generation Library, from Library Journal.

    "The heart of Library 2.0 is user-centered change. It is a model for library service that encourages constant and purposeful change, inviting user participation in the creation of both the physical and the virtual services they want, supported by consistently evaluating services. It also attempts to reach new users and better serve current ones through improved customer-driven offerings. Each component by itself is a step toward better serving our users; however, it is through the combined implementation of all of these that we can reach Library 2.0."

  3. Read 15 Minutes a Day: A Personal Learning Management Strategy (PDF), also by Stephen Abram.

    "Yes, we are all very busy people. In the situations I am aware of there was enormous teamwork involved to ensure that everyone made the time to learn. That in itself is a major accomplishment in cultural change in creating a value system around progress, innovation and learning and having all staff, including management, visibly demonstrate support..."

  4. Challenge yourself to play and have fun -- even at work!

How to Participate

A new module will be published every Monday morning starting on Monday, May 12. If you have signed up for email notification, you will receive the module via email. Each week:

  1. Read the introductory "7 Things" article on the topic. This excellent series is published by Educause, a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology.

  2. View the brief video clip that demonstrates the technology. Many of these come from another excellent series called "In Plain English" from Common Craft.

  3. Complete the tasks listed in the module.

  4. Post your thoughts on your blog. (Don't worry, you'll set one up in the first learning module.)

Please Remember

"Right" and "wrong" do not apply to Learning 2.0. Just try. You won't break anything.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How does this online learning program work?

This is a self-discovery program which encourages staff to take control of their own learning and to utilize their lifelong learning skills through exploration and PLAY. There will be no classes or workshops offered to support this program. Instead, staff are encouraged to work together and share with each other their discoveries, techniques and "how to's" both in person and through their blogs.

Is this program open to all NEIU Library staff?

This program is open to all NEIU Library staff. If you are not a member of the NEIU Library staff, you are welcome to follow along, too.

How long do I have to complete the program?

The program kicks off May 7 as part of the NEIU Library Professional Development Day and officially wraps up at the end of the summer. There are 10 weekly modules.

Will there be any training classes offered to show staff how to do this?

Not after the May 7 Kick Off event. This is a self-directed learning program. If you feel you need assistance with an item, you are encouraged to be resourceful and to find a co-worker who can help. Reading other staff members' blogs can help, too.

I've seen the list of 10 Tech Tools on the website, but how do I know what to do with them?

Every week a new post will be added to the blog with details about the discovery exercise. The reason for this staggered approach is to allow participants the ability to focus each week on a different area without feeling overwhelmed.

What if I need help - who can I call?

Since this program is self-directed and is being completed by many library staff members simultaneously, you are encouraged to work with colleagues along your discovery journey. OK, if you're really stuck, contact Lisa Wallis at 4571, but only if you're really stuck.

I don't feel comfortable with my co-workers reading my blog; can I participate anonymously?

Kind of. If you wish to blog anonymously, you may by not listing your name on your Blogger account. However, to be eligible to win a prize for completing the program, we will need to know which blog belongs to you.