Week 4 – Happy Spring Break

Week 4 is here! Happy Spring Break! We hope that spring is truly arriving in NY and that you will have some time for rejuvenation and relaxation.  We also hope that you’ll have a little time for your Web 2.0 journey with EYT.  This is your chance to catch up on the exploring you keep meaning to get to, but that gets lost in the midst of your busy days!   So, catch up or take a breather.  Look around at your colleagues blogs.  For those of you caught up and ready for even more goodies, try out Tagxedo, Photocollect, Zooburst, Knovio or Educaplay.

As always, we are here for you if you need us.  Cheers from the EYT team 🙂

Ready for presentation tools?

Hi gang!  We hope that you enjoyed discovering some new bookmarking tools last week.  It has been great to read your blog posts and to see the conversations beginning among you.  What a fabulous and eclectic group you are! Writers, quilters, triathletes, genealogists, musicians and many a working mother.  Remember that we are always here to help or commiserate with as you continue along this learning path.

And now, welcome to Week 3: Presentation Tools.   This week, we will be sharing two really easy to use and fun tools, Jing and VoiceThread.  Both are well suited to use in a classroom and can be used not only for presentation, but for collaboration as well.  Jing is a screencasting tool and VoiceThread is basically a multimedia conversation.  We hope that you will quickly see how these tools can be used in your instruction.  Enjoy!

Bookmarking this week

Teachers and librarians acquire a lot of stuff over the years. Teachers regularly file lesson plans and other resources they have found that work. Busy instructors know what a time saver reusing or tweaking an already completed plan can be. The probem is finding that resource a month or a year after originally using it.

Good file management skills are so important and yet so time consuming. This is why so many educators have jumped onto the bookmarking bandwagon. Bookmarking is a must in every educators toolkit. Not only can you “file” the great links and resources you find online, you can also network with others to see what their great sites are.

Some of you indicated you have used Delicious for bookmarking in the past. I started with this one too. Now there are so many other options – each with their own pros and cons. So this week, we want to encourage you to check out one or more of the following social bookmarking services; Evernote, Pinterest, and LiveBinder. Join a group or two, create your own bookmarks; see what the tools have to offer. Bookmarking Tools has all the information to get you started.

Which one works the best for you?

Please remember to blog about your experience and provide a link to your work.

Comments and community building

We have really enjoyed meeting each of you through your blogs with week. Each of your blogs is a little different – different widgets, themes, and backgrounds.  One of the great things about blogs is the ability to create community around a topic or interest. For example, The Geeky Librarian is adding author websites in a sidebar, Just another libeary girl is counting down to her first triathlon and The Musical Librarian likes Zumba.

So if you have time, consider visiting the blogs of the people participating in this process with you. Your peers can be a great resource when you have questions about this project but also with general questions about libraries in your area. So drop by and leave a comment to say “hi”. Leave us comments too – we love them!

While on the topic of comments, please remember to check for and approve comments that you receive on your blog. It’s a great way of developing a conversation. You can approve your comments through your dashboard; click on Comments. Under the comment, click “Approve”.

Happy blogging!

Welcome to Expand Your Toolkit

Welcome to our Advanced Web 2.0 learning experience! We will be launching our program soon, and you can check back here for updates throughout the course!

For now, feel free to browse the links to find out more about this program and what we will be covering over the next few weeks!

Week 4: Take a Break and Play!

We have covered a lot of ground over the last few weeks. This week is intended as a catch up week and to give you time to play with some of the tools you have been learning about.

By now you should be feeling comfortable with creating a post on your blog. Please take the time to look at some of your colleagues’ blogs and add comments. One of the best things about blogs is the ability to create community around topics and issues. Another fun thing to do is to create an online avatar which will be used on your blog and when you post on other’s blogs. You could also play with the look of your blog.

There are so many fun sites on the Web. Listed below are some fun things you can play with, if you have time.  The tools were selected, tested and compiled using two great sources of recommended Web 2.0 learning tools:

Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day

The American Library Association’s Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning

More tools to play with!

Zooburst for digital storytelling. Students create interactive pop-up books.

 Tagxedo – similar to Wordle, but with additional styling options.  Click the thumbnail to see a sample made in seconds, using the URL of this blog.


Educaplay – allows teachers to create multimedia teaching activities.

Photocollect – multiple users upload photos to a shared photo album.  Seems like a great way to gather all those different photos people take at an event!

Knovio – add video or audio to PowerPoint presentations and then share.

Remember, play is learning. We need to give ourselves permission to explore and try things. This is just one way to model being a lifelong learner to our students.

Week 3: Presentation Tools

When you’re looking for a great way to integrate web 2.0 technology into the learning experiences of teachers and students, these tools provide versatile, creative options to enhance presentations and to collaborate with a wide audience. This week, you can try out two excellent tools, VoiceThread and Jing. Choose 1 or try them both!

• VoiceThread

VoiceThread is a tool that allows people anywhere to join in an asynchronous, online multimedia conversation. It is an easy and fun way for teachers and students to create, collaborate, share, debate, and reflect on their learning.

The Basics:

Click on the picture below to see a quick overview of what a VoiceThread is and how it works and some examples of that people are doing with this great tool! 

 Click here for some great examples of using VoiceThread with students of all ages.

Your turn!  Get started on your tasks:

1. Sign up for a VoiceThread account
Once you register, you’ll be directed to the page shown below, where you will find simple steps for creating your first VoiceThread. Watch some of the videos or head straight to the Create tab to dive right in!


2. Create your first VoiceThread
3. Comment on it.
4. Share it with someone!
5. Blog about your experience

How are educators using VoiceThread?

Voicethread 4 Education is an extensive and informative source for examples of how teachers are using Voicethread.

Check out the Voicethread 4 Education’s Best Practices page for an excellent and thorough overview.

Teachers, particularly teachers of younger students, will appreciate this quick tutorial on how to make multiple identities, so that you can use one VoiceThread account for multiple users.  One class, one account.  Easy peasy.

Great tutorials:

Teacher training videos (another tutorial from Russell Stannard)

Extensive collection of video tutorials from beginner to advanced from tech integrationist and blogger, Jennifer Dorman.

Great tips and information from New Zealand educator Suzie Vesper

Even more information:

While VoiceThread is free tool, the people at VoiceThread also offer Ed.VoiceThread, a subscription based version designed specifically for K-12 educators.

Scholarly articles on the use of Voicethread in education

And now for…


What is it?
Jing is a free online screensharing tool; it allows you to record a video of up to 5-minutes of anything you want to share that is on your computer screen. You can also use Jing to take still images of your desktop and to highlight, add text and annotate those images.

The Basics:

Jing is super easy to use!  Here’s the 1 minute quick tour.

Jing in the classroom:

Educators are discovering fun and effective ways to use Jing in the classroom. Find out more here:


• Check out this video.  Educator Russell Stannard loves Jing for language learners.

Your turn!  Get started on your tasks:

1. Explore the interactive tutorial from Techsmith, the creators of Jing.
(You will need to have Adobe Flash Player downloaded on your computer to be able to use the interactive tutorials.

Interactive tutorials:

If you don’t have Adobe Flash Player, try the tutorials below:

  • TechSmith provides over 20 training videos for beginning and advanced users of Jing!

2. Download the free version of Jing http://www.techsmith.com/download/jing/default.asp
3. Capture a screen image. Annotate it. Save it. OR create a Jing video.
4. Share your annotated image or video on your blog by sharing the link or embedding it.

Have fun!

Week 7: Collaboration Tools

One of the absolute greatest facets of the web world is the ability to collaborate with others, wherever they may be. The amount of collaboration that is possible in the Web 2.0 world is simply astounding. No longer do people have to be in the same place at the same time, travel long distances for face to face meetings, or send documents back and forth by snail mail. Whether you are time zones apart, or right next door, you can collaborate on and share documents, programs, websites, videos, audio, or whatever else, in real-time or on your own time.

Two of the most useful collaboration tools today are GoogleDocs and Dropbox. We will be working with these two great “things” for the duration of Week 7.

Google Docs

GoogleDocs is a free tool that allows users to share and collaborate on documents (text docs, spreadsheets and more) and keep everything stored online for easy access by all parties involved. Users working on a shared document in GoogleDocs can make simultaneous edits (which can be tracked according to which user made the edits) or can add to documents when it is convenient for them. GoogleDocs is a great tool for educators to help students collaborate on projects and peer-edit work, or for teachers and school librarians to collaborate amongst themselves for a variety of issues or projects.

Get Acquainted with Google Docs:


Dropbox is another important collaboration tool, and is also useful on a personal level as a sort of online storage drive where you can store files in order to be able to access them when you are away from your computer. By signing up for Dropbox, you are given 2 GB of online storage space where you can upload files of all types and access them from wherever you have internet access. You can also share items in your dropbox by creating links that you can send to others so that they can access the files stored in your Dropbox. Dropbox is free for up to 2GB of storage, so if you use it more as a temporary flash drive, or just need to transfer files to another individual for a short period of time, you should have plenty of space to work with. If you really love Dropbox, however, you can always upgrade and purchase more space too!

Get Started with Dropbox:

  • Go to Dropbox.com and in the right hand corner click the login dropdown on the upper right hand sign to create an account.
  • After creating an account, return to the homepage and download the Dropbox program onto your computer (this program will help you to sync files to your dropbox account).
  • Take the Tour to get acquainted with Dropbox’s features
  • Create a couple of Directory in your account to help sort the files you will be uploading (e.g. Documents, Photos, and Music)
  • Upload a couple of files to the various directories you created (try uploading different file types)
  • Create a link to share one of your files with a friend, colleague, or other participant here and send it to them
  • If you have an iPhone or Android, download the Dropbox app to be able to access your files from your phone, or upload files from your phone

Blog Post for Week 7:

Reflect on your experiences playing with both GoogleDocs and Dropbox. Some things you may consider discussing:

Did you have any difficulties in using the tools, or did you feel they were user-friendly? How can you see yourself using GoogleDocs or Dropbox in your professional life? In your personal life? Which tool did you like better? Did you use either of these prior to being a part of this program?

Week 8: Survey Tools

Online surveys can be used to schedule meetings, solicit feedback, automate signups, keep reading logs, administer and grade tests, and perhaps for some purposes only you can dream up.

This week we’ll be exploring three tools for creating, administering, and reporting the results of online surveys: Doodle, Survey Monkey, and Google Forms.

Try whatever interests you below, look at the examples, and remember to blog about how these tools work for you. (Hint: You may want to invite other course participants to be guinea pigs for any surveys you create this week.)




Doodle has one very specific purpose: to poll multiple people about meeting times.

How can I use it?

Doodle has a quick learning curve; you can design a poll listing possible meeting times, and send invitations to all invitees, in less than 5 minutes. Really.

Some options in setting up your poll:

  • Check a box to show times in respondents’ own time zones
  • List start times only, or both start and end times
  • Response choices can be either yes / no, or yes / yes (if need be) / no

Get started with Doodle:

  • Follow step-by-step instructions on the Doodle website to schedule an event, with or without registering for an account.
  • Send an invitation to several people to respond your poll.
  • Use the notification features to follow up on whether they’ve responded, to remind them if necessary, and to let them know which meeting time works for the most people.

If you want to explore more free features, try these as well:

  • Watch this video (<2 minutes) about using Doodle’s Calendar Connect
  • Sign up for a free MyDoodle acount
  • Sign up for Calendar Connect to sync Doodle to your calendar (works with Google Calendar, Exchange, iCal and Outlook)
  • Set up a MeetMe page to let others see when you’re available for meetings
  • Sign up for Doodle mobile, to access Doodle from a cell phone



SurveyMonkey was the most popular tool for online surveys from about 2007-2010, and has since been displaced by Google Forms, which offers fewer types of questions but more other features than the free version of SurveyMonkey.

How can I use it?

The SurveyMonkey website offers good resources about questionnaire design which can inform your use of any survey tool.

Given the number of examples of Google Forms being used in school libraries, I suspect that will be a better fit for most of your needs. But I recommend exploring both.

Some SurveyMonkey features:

  • More types of questions and charts than Google Forms
  • Wide range of templates (some not available to free users) with questions designed and tested by survey experts
  • Free version only allows 10 questions and 100 responses per survey, and results can only be exported as PDFs

Some examples you might find interesting:

Get started with SurveyMonkey:

  • Create an account, and/or sign in at SurveyMonkey
  • On the home page, click on the three dots in the main panel to read “How It Works”, “5 Tips for Designing a Great Survey”, and “5 Ways to Get More Responses”
  • Look at the tour of SurveyMonkey’s features
  • Look at how questions and response choices are worded in these templates for education surveys
  • Adapt a template for your own use, or go to the home page and click on “create a survey” to start one from scratch.
  • From inside your survey, tap on the “collect responses” tab to invite colleagues or friends to fill out your survey.
  • When you have some responses, tap on the “analyze results” tab from inside your survey, and explore the options in the left sidebar for displaying your findings.

If you want to explore more features, take a look at Survey Monkey’s tutorials and documentation.

Want to brush up on survey design in general, whether or not you’re using SurveyMonkey? Take a look at SurveyMonkey’s Best Practices for Survey Design (36-page pdf) for a good overview of question types, wording and layout, response rates, and pros and cons of online surveys.

Google Forms



Like SurveyMonkey, Google Forms can be used to design online surveys. It is free, as part of the Google Docs suite, so you need to sign up there to use it. Google Forms can be accessed from desktop and laptop computers, but not from mobile devices.

How can I use it?

After respondents fill out your survey, Google Forms will generate a simple summary of the responses, showing a tally of closed-ended responses, and text strings of open responses. Each survey you design is directly linked to a spreadsheet of the results, which can be exported as Excel, CSV, or several other formats.

Here are some examples of Google forms being used in education and in libraries:

After looking at these examples, jot down or blog your ideas about ways to use Google Forms at your library or school.

Get started with Google Forms:

Here are some tutorials. (If you need a refresher on writing good questions, see the resources listed under SurveyMonkey above.)

Try designing a survey:

  • If you’re not already signed up for Google docs, you will need to register. Forms can be created in the desktop version of Google docs, but not the mobile version.
  • Follow one of the tutorials to create a survey. Experiment with different question types to see what is possible.
  • Click on the “Email this form” button near the upper right to send your survey to a few friends or colleagues.
  • After they respond, click on the “See responses” button near the upper right. Choose “Summary” to see an automatically generated tally. If you want to edit or export any responses, choose “Spreadsheet” and use the menus there.
  • If you are used to preparing charts or tables in Excel or another program, try exporting from your spreadsheet, and manipulating your data there.

Thanks for expanding your toolkit with these Web 2.0 survey tools! Remember to share your ideas and experiences with the rest of us in your blogs, about how these tools work for you and how you might use them in your work.

Week 2: Bookmarking Tools


Welcome to Social Bookmarking Tools!  Hope everyone had a great blogging week.  For this unit we are going to explore three popular online bookmarking tools:  Evernote, Pinterst, and LiveBinders.

So what are social bookmarking tools?  Social Bookmarking tools allow users to organize, manage, store, search and retrieve their saved bookmarks from any computer as long as it can get to the web.  On an Internet with an estimated 15 billion web pages, bookmarking tools allow us a very easy way to “bookmark” web pages and images that we are visiting in a real time moment, to be able to search our bookmarks and go back later – even a year or more later, assuming the site is still active – and find our bookmarked site or images when we need them.  What’s more, we can share our bookmarks with others, either those we choose, those in our personal networks, or with the entire online community!

Check out this short video from Common Craft (3:25) for a concise introduction to social bookmarking, focusing on one of the most popular bookmarking tools, Delicious, as an social bookmarking tool example.

Okay, so in addition to being able to organize, manage, store, search and retrieve our saved bookmarks from any web enabled computer, we can also share and access each other’s bookmarks – What’s so beneficial about the “sharing” part of social bookmaking tools?

As the Common Craft video noted, the “social” part of these bookmarking tools allows us to learn, share and use each others’ saved public bookmarks — it contributes to a positive information and knowledge community on the web, and we inspire each other with our bookmarked resources that we make available!  With 15 billion pages, we’ll never have time to visit them all — but we can benefit from the social efforts of others, who have taken the time to compile and tag their bookmarked links for learning community benefit.

And so here’s where the other important concept comes in – organizing and tagging.  It’s the categorizing and labeling/”tagging” of our bookmarks that allows us to later efficiently search through our saved bookmarks, as well as facilitating others to do so as well.  As this Wikipedia article on Social Bookmarking notes: “Tagging is a significant feature of social bookmarking systems, enabling users to organize their bookmarks in flexible ways and develop shared vocabularies known as folksonomies.”

It is your tags that will help you – and others – makes sense of and search your saved bookmarks for retrieval and inspiration.  While you often have the option to sometimes label your bookmarks with free-text comments or descriptions, more focused uses of tags will make them useful to others in the Internet community for browsing and access.  As the Common Craft video noted: “Your bookmarks can benefit other people!”

So let’s dive in!




A very easy way to store “anything” – with Evernote, all of your notes, web clips, files and images, audio clips, are made available on every device and computer you use.  When you create an account, Evernote gives you a clipping widget tool for clipping things from the web.

Because your saved things are stored in the cloud, you have access from any web enabled device or computer, and you can share it, too.

Here is an excellent video by jhedin31 (9:33) that gives a concise Evernote Tutorial, taking us from the account creation process, to creating new notes, to tagging, an overview of note features, saving, organization tips, uploading files, and ways of sharing our bookmarks and notes.

Also, check out this inspiring video highlighting the educational potential of Evernote at a K-12 school in Montclair, New Jersey: “Evernote at The Montclair Kimberley Academy” (1:33)


  • Create an account;
  • Click here to check out some things you can do in Evernote;
  • Do something in Evernote, have fun;
  • Share–Post the URL linking to what you did in Evernote on your blog–Tell us about it:  How was your experience?  Was it fun, inspiring, any issues?  Any thoughts as to how you might use Evernote in the future?;
  • Use the social features in Evernote–comment on each other’s Evernote projects.

Additional Resources



One of the fastest growing social media tools available at the moment, Pinterest is basically an online pinboard.  More than a conventional bookmarking tool like Delicious, Pinterest is a destination of inspiration and rich visual resources.  But “be careful” – many have reported becoming mesmerized during visits to Pinterest and losing track of a couple of hours or more!

Similar to Evernote’s clipping widget, Pinterest gives users a “Pin It” bookmarklet, that can be easily dragged to your web browser’s bookmarks bar; then when you find an image or page that you like, with a single click you can “pin it” to one of your “boards” on Pinterest, add a description, and it is instantly viewable by the Pinterest community.  Members can “like” other members’ pins, as well as comment, and “repin” to their own boards.

Pinterest offers a range of diverse categories in which you can browse or be active in yourself with your pinning.  Great for creating your own project boards, Pinterest is a wonderful source of amazing images from the web, a fund of user recommended websites, of inspirational browsing and surfacing treasures.  And like Flickr, Pinterest offers a rich trove of searchable images to discover and use for presentations and projects (with proper attribution, of course!).

Check out this video from fairhair33 (4:41) featuring a basic Pinterest Tutorial.  One interesting search featured is the ability to retrieve images of a certain color scheme.  Also covered is a method of using Pinterest to display all images available on a particular website.

Please note some current controversy around copyright infringement stemming from pinning others’ entire images, as this article by Alyson Shontell profiles; the issue will likely continue, with outcome uncertain, but something to be aware of.  It also is further reminder to properly cite all of our sources when sharing others’ content.


Note: Anyone can freely browse Pinterest, but to join, currently you need to have a Facebook or Twitter account to establish a Pinterest user account.  This could change in the future; we’ll have to see how Pinterest develops with all the intense activity and interest around this tool.

  • Visit the Pinterest homepage;
  • At the top click the Request an Invite box;
  • This takes you to where you enter your email address, and then click Request Invitation;
  • This triggers the message: “Thanks! We’ll send you an invite as soon as we can.”–Pinterest makes you wait a bit…
  • Before long you should have an email invitation to establish your Pinterest account (again, you need to have a Facebook or Twitter account to join Pinterest, and will use one of these to provide your user information);
  • Create your account; pick some interests from the Pinterest categories, Pinterest initially matches you with other users to follow based on your interests;
  • Go ahead and drag the Pinterest “Pin It” bookmarklet to your browser’s bookmarks bar–and get pinning!
  • Share–Post the URL of your Pinterest page to your blog–Tell us about it in a reflective blog post:  How was your experience?  Was it fun, inspiring, any issues?  Any thoughts as to how you might use Pinterest in the future?

Additional Resources



“A better way to organize and share the information that you find on the web.”

You create an organized, fully loaded online “binder” of text, links, images and videos, and other resources, complete with page tabs and sub-tabs–and you can share your completed binder as a simple URL to send to others or make available for the community to access your binder–it couldn’t be easier!  For educational uses LiveBinders makes a wonderful pathfinder tool.

Check out this video (1:33) from LiveBinders that introduces this tool and demonstrates how-to.  (May take a moment to start.)


  • Visit the LiveBinders site and click ‘Sign Up’ to complete the simple sign up process;
  • After logging in you can visit your LiveBinder area–browse around, or jump right into creating a new binder!
  • Create a new binder:  this can be as basic or rich as you like, the main thing is to gain some experience creating a binder to see how easy it can be;
  • Share–Post the URL of your binder to your blog and tell us about it:  How was your experience?  Was it fun, inspiring, any issues?  Any thoughts as to how you might use LiveBinders in the future?  Any resources or tips you found to share?

Additional Resources

  • Visit the LiveBinders Learn More page for additional information, links to Video Tutorials, archived Webinars, as well as potential Educational uses: School Computer Labs, Class Presentations, Class Assignments, Learning at Home, School Team Sports, Class Projects and Research.
  • View some of the binder examples on LiveBinders for information, ideas and inspiration!
  • Check out the the LiveBinders Gallery at TeacherCast.net
  • Scan the LiveBinders Blog for news, information, tips and inspiration.

We definitely want to hear about your experiences with any or all of these tools!  Your reflective blog posts will inspire and enhance community, and we want to share and learn from each other, participate, and though it all: Play!  Learn & Have Fun! 😀

And if interested, read on:  here are a few more tools to consider for your toolkit.  As always, if you know of any interesting or helpful tools we have not mentioned, please share with the community and mention on your blog – thanks!

More Tools FYI…


“Web Highlighter and Sticky Notes, Online Bookmarking and Annotation, Personal Learning Network.” A cloud-based personal information management system; allows highlighting chosen parts of webpages you find, adding digital sticky notes, and much more. Great for saving and sharing screen shots – a whole webpage screen, or just a selected area of it.  Enables knowledge-sharing and group-based collaborative research.  Check out this excellent video introduction to Diigo. (3:35)


[aka formerly known as Foxmarks] A browser plug-in that when installed on each computer you use seamlessly integrates with the web browser and keeps bookmarks safely backed-up and synced.  Available for multiple browsers: Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Safari.  You can watch this video “How I use Xmarks.com to sync and backup my bookmarks” by casttv. (5:46)

Google Bookmarks

A bookmarking tool from Google.  Use when logged in to gmail.  Here’s an interesting video about Using Google Bookmarks with Lists: (2:50)  You can save bookmarks a number of ways, including through the Google Bookmarks gadget on iGoogle; or clicking on the star button on your Google Toolbar.


Using the “Read Later” bookmark you can mark something you want to read for returning to this page and reading later.  As with other tools you can drag the bookmarklet to your bookmarks toolbar.  Here’s a video “How to User Instatpaper” from hardy1nc. (4:18)  Have a Kindle? Check out this video tutorial from mlgsca on “Setting up Instapaper for your Kindle” (2:23)


 Visual bookmarking tool with some social features.  Zootool supports bookmarking, organizing, sharing images, videos, documents and links from the web.  Here’s a list of features.  For a more comprehensive look, you can view this longer video “Intro to Zootool – Part 1” from evolutionarydesigns. (11:26)

Mister Wong

Developed in Germany, cited as Europe’s largest bookmarking service. Each bookmark is represented by a thumbnail of the website.  You can watch a video introduction by BeeRobi (2:41) [n.b: no sound]  Mister Wong is available for English, Spanish, Chinese, French, Russian, German.


Historious is a bookmarking tool that allows the creating of a search engine – but note that the free account only allows bookmarking 300 sites – after that a fee is involved.  Here is a video introduction. (1:36)