Saturday, September 20, 2008

Exercise 21

I'm not a great fan of of social networking. Yes, I know I'm a dinosaur! I suppose I would rather interact face-to-face with someone in the real world that bother with the false instant "friendships" that seem to be the norm in Bebo and Facebook. Having observed umpteen students (who are absolutely hooked on Bebo)I've concluded that social networking dynamics can often invoke the schoolyard with gossip, bullying and popularity contests an insidious part of the equation. Trying to collect as many friends as possible as a means to prove your ‘coolness’, means that many virtual relationships are never anything more than fickle.

Of the sites I explored though, I preferred Facebook - it seems to be a more grown up version of Bebo. At least most people converse in a more highly evolved version of English than the text language that proliferates on Bebo!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Exercise 20 - ebooks

I explored Project Gutenberg for this exercise and was surprised at just how many classics could be found online. Shakespeare had pretty thorough coverage; a search for Othello gave you the opportunity to download the work in languages such as French, German and Finnish as well as English! You could also supplement your study with lectures on Shakespearean Tragedy by eminent professors. Poetry was well represented also - Keats, Byron, Wordsworth all had very comprehensive collections on Project Gutenberg. There were also works by 20th century authors such as Virginia Woolf and Joseph Conrad.

However, there was still the need to download onto my PC. I would love to examine a Kindle just to see how user-friendly a real ebook is. To me, a book just isn't a book unless you can take it to the beach and read it happily in the sun!

Exercise 19 - podcasts

I really like the podcasts produced by children at Point England Primary School in Auckland. They produce book reviews & news items and seem to be such confident users of this technology. The link to the site is:

However, I found this via Google, not the listed podcast directories! My favourite directory was Yahoo Audio Search though, - the clearest and easiest to use.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Exercise 18 YouTube

Wow, there's a wide variety of videos on YouTube - everything from Her Majesty the Queen's Christmas message to K.D. Lang in concert! There also seems to be lot of very frivolous rubbish posted by sad wannabes all looking for their 15 minutes of fame!

However, I can see the benefits for public libraries. How about a guided tour pointing out where our collections are housed, or You Tube storytimes for those parents whose kids are sick and so cannot make it to Rhymetime?