ALA’s “Our Authors, Our Advocates”

The American Library Association is sponsoring the “Our Authors, Our Advocates” program.  Library lovers are encouraged to share these Public Service Announcement (PSA) videos with not only our friends and families, but also with our communities.  You will find four PSAs, each featuring a different author:  Sharon Draper, Brad Meltzer, Sara Paretsky, and Scott Turow.

Why not embed one or more of these videos on your library’s website?

The videos are posted on YouTube, which is blocked by many school filters.  School librarians might find success in sharing these videos by using VodPod or SafeShare.tv.  Both services are free and easy to use.

 

Libraries as Ghost Towns? Hardly!

Due to the economy, America’s libraries are seeing historical increases in usage.  Now, more than ever, America needs its libraries.  Love that that New York Public Library allowed Improv Everywhere to stage this:

“Everyday Advocacy:  Making a case for libraries is easy with web tools.  Here’s how to get started.” is Carolyn Foote’s most recent post in School Library Journal. Read the article and visit the links she provides to find out how to use free Internet resources to promote your library’s program.

How can we help our communities during the economic crisis?  During a South Carolina Association for School Librarians‘ recent board meeting, President Joe Myers suggested we think about opening our school libraries to the community after school hours.  For those in rural areas where local public libraries may not have branches, those without home access to the Internet would certainly welcome the opportunity to use our computers to assist them in looking for jobs.

What are your advocacy plans for the 2010-2011 school year?

Search Stories Video Creator

If you have yet to play with this video creator, put it on your “to-do” list for this summer.  It’s as easy as 1-2-3 (steps, that is).

Step One

What story do you wish to tell?  You will be asked to enter six search terms.


For each search term, you can choose the types of results you wish to show:  web, images, maps, news, blog search, product search, or books.  Once you make a choice you can see a preview of the search.

Step Two:  Choosing Music

Next, you will choose the music you wish to accompany your Search Story.  There are eight categories:  action, comedy, country/western, drama, family, horror, sci fi, and romance.  Within each category, you are given three choices to further personalize your Search Story.

Step Three:  Let Search Story Video Creator do the Rest

Once you have chosen your music, the video creator goes to work.

Finalizing and Uploading Your Search Story

Now you can preview your Search Story and choose to edit any portion of it.  Once you are satisfied, you will be asked to give it a title , description (optional), and category.   Your category choices here are the same as they are for the music.

Now you are ready to upload it to your YouTube account.


Easy – peasy!  How will you use this in your library?



Email Treats

I’ve recently subscribed to two more library related listservs (LM_NET and YALSA-bk) and found some gems from them in my inbox this evening.

I know you shouldn’t wish your life away, but the first gem is a YouTube video for a book coming out this fall.  Gotta get this book!

ECYA Blog

Another great find was this list of YA series on the ECYA Blog.  What a great site!  Check out the book lists, display ideas, and the Young Adult Authors page.

Publication Date Nearing

Are you a fan of the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness?  The third book in the series, Monsters of Men,  is being published May 3rd – in the UK.  Not sure of the release date here, but Jennifer Rothschild shared on the YALSA-bk listserv that you can order it with free shipping from The Book Depository.com (direct link to the book).  Have never done business with this site, but for diehard fans of the series, it might be worth checking out.

Book Trailers

If you have yet to discover Book Trailers for All, head on over to the site.  It’s still in its infancy (eight weeks old), but it is brimming with book trailers.

These were just a few of the great tidbits shared through listservs today.  What goodies have you discovered lately?

Advocacy: Create a Bragalog

Most school librarians I have met find it difficult to brag about what they do.  But think about it.  While there may be dozens of teachers in your building, you are more than likely the only school librarian there.  Many education programs do not address our role in any of their courses.  How many teachers in your building truly know what your program entails?

Every teacher in your school has a built-in advocacy group – their students.  Students talk about their teachers to one another:  “Oh, you don’t want to get Mr. So and So because he requires two research projects a semester.”  “I love Mrs. So and So because she makes class fun by …..”

Teachers in your building are spoken about on a daily basis.  I wonder how many students discuss their school librarian with their friends?

As I was surfing the Internet recently, I came across the California School Library Association’s website.  What a treasure trove!  One of the treasures there struck me as a very simple way to toot your own horn:  the Bragalog. The YouTube video above was filmed at the CSLA’s 2009 conference.  It  introduces the Bragalog (but unfortunately we don’t actually see it).  Further searching on the website turns up a pdf file explaining the Bragalog.

Peggy Klaus, author of Brag! The Art of Tooting Your Own Horn without Blowing It, created the Bragalog as a marketing tool.  In this article, she provides an example of an effective beginning for a Braglog.  By weaving your passion for your program into your story, you can create a positive “brag” that effectively markets your program.

If you don’t want to feature yourself speaking in your Bragalog, why not involve your students?  If you have a morning news show or a broadcasting class in your school, you might find a ready and willing group to create your Bragalog featuring students.

What do you think?  Is this a marketing tool that you would consider for your program, or is it something you would still feel too uncomfortable doing?

South Carolina Young Adult Book Award Nominees 2010-2011

Although the voting for the 2009-2010 award is still a few weeks away, I have been preparing a book order for next year’s nominees which inspired this video.

Book Club Promotion

A great way to promote your book club!

Safely Share YouTube Videos

Filter Frustration

Have you ever found an awesome video on YouTube to share with your students only to have the school’s internet filtering software prevent it? Zamzar, a file conversion site, has long  been my “go-to” source to bypass the filtering frustration.  However, using Zamzar is not an instant fix for the problem; if I am at school when I wish to convert the video, I have to override the filter, and then several minutes can lapse between submitting the YouTube URL and downloading the converted video.

So today as I was going through this week’s shared bookmarks in my Classroom 2.0 group on Diigo, I found this gem shared by Judy Robinson that I can’t wait to try at school on Monday.  It promises to be a much quicker fix for filter frustration.

SafeShare.TV
“Not only does SafeShare.TV remove distracting and offensive elements around YouTube videos, but it also allows you to crop videos before sharing them.”

To test the service, I went to my YouTube account and found a newly saved video in my Book Trailer Playlist.  I pasted the URL into the box on SafeShare.TV and was quickly rewarded with a new URL that does not reflect the book trailer’s origin (YouTube), prompting me to hope that this URL will not be blocked by my school district’s filter.

Above is a screenshot of the video on YouTube.  Compare that with the screen shot to the right of the same video as it appears in SafeShare.TV’s newly generated URL. Click on the link below to see the video in its new home.

Video Betraying Season by Marissa Doyle.

Now, keep your fingers crossed that this will work at school!

What do you do to bypass the filtering software at your school to provide awesome educational content that is blocked for your students?

Screenshot URLs:

YouTube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PlP1o_NF3rg&feature=PlayList&p=62D1478CBA9855E4&index=41

SafeShare.TV: http://www.safeshare.tv/v/PlP1o_NF3rg

YouTube Alternatives (continued)

questions

A few days ago, I shared five educational video sites to try when YouTube is blocked at school. If I had been keeping up with my Google Reader, I would have read Joyce Valenza’s Dec. 19th post in which she shares several ways of using YouTube videos in school despite its being blocked.

Dean Mantz commented:

This is a good time to discuss the downloading of YouTube via third party applications. I agree with “Bob” about the YouTube agreement. Here is a portion of the Terms of Use: 4. General Use of Website-Permission and Restrictions C. You agree not to access User Submissions (defined below) or YouTube Content through any technology or means other than the video playback pages of the Website itself, the YouTube Embeddable Player, or other explicitly authorized means YouTube may designate. So, is the use of the sites above legal or not? I will leave that to you folks to decide.

Joyce replied to Dean:

Before I say “no” to this, I will try to contact the YouTube folks after the holiday. (No email, just phone number.) In another statement, they advise: “Our community guidelines and clear messaging on the site make it clear that users must own or have permission from copyright holders to *post* any videos. We take copyright issues very seriously. We prohibit users from *uploading* infringing material and we cooperate with copyright holders to identify and promptly remove infringing content.” (My asterisks) My question is, is it fair use if you don’t post and simply use the file temporarily in a classroom? Are we okay if we do contact the creator of the video?

As a LMS concerned with copyright issues, I had checked the YouTube user’s terms of agreement before suggesting using “back door” entry into YouTube. I will be interested to read what Joyce discovers.

Image attribution: http://www.flickr.com/photos/42788859@N00/318947873

Take Five: YouTube Alternatives

you-tube-banned

What do you do when YouTube is blocked at your school?  There are many other sites where you can find educational videos.  Hopefully, you will be able to access some of these from your school:

JohnLocker.com

“JohnLocker.com was started in April of 2008 to help students, teachers, educators, and the public get educated on a variety of topics. As the first user powered online learning network, you can expect to come away with knowledge that both challenges and empowers you.

By harnessing the power of social communities and video sharing, JohnLocker.com is able to provide the best documentaries and educational videos found on the web. It is our goal to make the process of watching, adding, rating, and discussing the videos as simple as possible. “

Categories:  Conspiracy, History, Political, Religious, Science, Sports, Weird, Music, War, Nature, and Society

How Stuff Works

How Stuff Works’ Video site includes categroized videos from Discovery, The Learning Channel, the Science Channel, and Reuters.  Categories include Adventure, Animals, Auto, Computer, Electronics, Entertainment, Food, Geography, Health, History, Home and Garden, Money, People, and Science. 

What a wide range of videos!  I watched “Loch Ness Monster Evidence” and “It’s All Geek to Me: Cell Phone Tricks” (cut through the carrier’s message you usually have to wait through to be able to leave someone a voice mail) from just the home page.

Edublogs TV

This video hosting site is dedicated to education.  Categories included Career and Technology Education, College and University, Elementary, Fine Arts, Globalstudent, Globalteacher, High School, Languages, Math, Middle School, Moodle, Professional Development, Reading, Science, Social Studies, and Writing.

Connect with like-minded educators through the social networking aspect of the site, listen and download audio clips (including dance, electronic, hip-hop, Latin, pop, and new age among others), and join and upload your own videos.

TeacherTube and SchoolTube

Both of these sites are offered to educators as alternatives to YouTube.  Just as at YouTube, there are gems to be found at each site. 

Now, if my addition is correct, I’ve offered five alternatives.  But perhaps I should ask Ma and Pa Kettle to check my figures.

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