Week 8 Sayonara! Thanks for learning with us!

We hoped you’ve enjoyed learning with us over the past weeks. This has truly been a learning experience for all of us, as we navigate our way through some unfamiliar technologies in order to distill and present them to you.

Some things to reflect on:

Which tools did you enjoy using the most?

Which do you think will be the most useful to you, your students, and library patrons?

Which tools would you use in your own life, and how? Please answer this one with an infographic. Just kidding.

How much more time and training would you need to effectively teach these tools to your students?

Final thoughts: We may need a bit of a push to begin using new tech tools in our work and in our own lives, and the learning never stops! No one has to use every tool; indeed, few of us have the time. Find the tools that suit you best and become proficient in their use. Use these learning modules as a starting point, and find your own tech tools, too.

Hey, even the codex was new technology once!

Week 7 Bookmarking and Curation: Pinterest

Pinterest Logo

Let’s try Pinterest!

What I hope you will learn after this module:

  • What is Pinterest?
  • How to pin items that interest you
  • How to set up pinboards
  • How to use the social media aspect of Pinterest to your advantage
  • How you can use Pinterest effectively in your library, both for professional development and for your patrons

What Is It? 

Pinterest is a type of social and visual bookmarking/curation website that has the honor of being named the “hottest website of 2012“.  Like traditional bookmarking tools, it allows you to organize, manage, store, search and retrieve bookmarks, but with the additional bonus of creating an account so you can access them from any computer.  It is nontraditional in that it is visually-oriented.   Pinterest saves images from a site (curation) as well as the original URL the image came from (bookmarking).  It also has a social media aspect in that you can “follow” another person or comment on a pin or pinboard on Pinterest, as well as have others follow you.  Pinterest basically works by:

  1. you find something that interests you on the web (e.g. a book display idea) and you click the “Pin It” bookmarklet in your browser’s toolbar; 
  2. you “pin” the image of the thing that interested you (the book display image);
  3. you tag that image with the appropriate keywords and tags so that it is meaningful to you;
  4. you then place that image on a virtual pinboard (your book display pinboard);
  5. your newest “Pin” is then shared!

Another option is to “repin” something interesting you find on another person’s pinboard.  It will always retain the URL of the original website it came from.

Here is an example of the types of boards you can create for your library by Hamden Hall’s Sarah Ludwig….

 With a close-up of one of her pinboards…

Check out this great tutorial for step-by-step procedures!

Here is another great tutorial from a classroom teacher on how she uses Pinterest in the classroom and for professional development.

How Can I Use It?  

Pinterest can easily be used both for private back-end use in the library to share resources and ideas or for promoting services and materials in the library.    For the school library, you can create visual Reader’s Advisory lists, promote new acquisitions or programs and services, etc.   Of course, you can also use it privately to curate your own personal interests and share them with others.

There are several articles on ways in which libraries are using Pinterest, as well as sites that show examples.   Here are a few:

Try It Out!

  • Visit the Pinterest homepage;
  • You can sign up using either your Facebook or Twitter accounts; another option is to sign up the traditional way via your email address and setting up a username and password;
  • 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!  You can create any type of pinboard you want on any topic you like.  Create more than one board if you are feeling inspired!
  • Share–Post the URLs of your Pinterest page to your group blog;
  • Follow  the pinboards of your fellow learners;
  • Browse Pinterest and find a board or person you want to follow;
  • Need help?  Try their  “Getting started” page…or “Support” page.


Tell us about your group’s thoughts in a group 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 either professionally or personally?  Don’t forget to individually tweet one individual micro-reflection using our #C2Iasij hashtag.  This is a great time to share how each of you felt about this assignment or Pinterest in general!

Explore More:

  • Utilize Pinterest’s collaboration capability and create a board to use for collaboration and invite others to join your board.  Or join an already established collaboration board.  How about creating a group board for ASIJ’s library!  Simply create the board, click “edit” and you can add contributors (note: you must be following at least one board of theirs to add them as a contributor).  Don’t forget to save the settings!
  • Download the Pinterest app for your iPhone, iPad, or Android device so you can pin even on the go!
  • Explore other Bookmarking/Curating tools:
    • Delicious, a social bookmarking site that allows you to bookmark to organize, apply folksonomy, and comment on your bookmarks as you like, but with the addition of sharing with others.  You can also follow other’s “stacks” of bookmarks to share resources.
    • Diigo, another social bookmarking site that allows you to bookmark, write virtual post-it notes and highlight when reading on the Internet, allows for group collaboration and curation, and mobile accessibility.  Also has a free education edition.
    • LiveBinder, a virtual binder that collects texts, links, images, videos and other resources; an excellent way to make a pathfinder.
    • Scoop.it,  a curation tool to create an online visual magazine on any topic by “scooping” articles and resources from around the web.




This Learning 2.0 module was originally designed and implemented by students in Dr. Michael Stephens‘ Transformative Literacies class in the Fall of 2012.  This class is part of San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science curriculum. It was adapted by Maria Papanastassiou for American School in Japan. It is available for use for other libraries or institutions.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Week 6 Presentations: Glogster, Infographics, and Creative Commons Media

There are many tools available for creating visual presentations online. This module will focus on Glogster (a proprietary type of “graphic blog” or interactive poster) and infographics (easy-to-follow graphics that present information and often statistics in a quick visual format).


What Is It?

Glogster has developed a platform for educators and students called Glogster.edu.

 This is a sample Glog. Click through to explore the links, audio files, and other elements. (You’ll have to scroll down.) You can add audio & video, still images, text, links, and attachments to your Glog, making it an easy to way present a lot of resources in one place.

How Can I Use It?

Glogster.edu has three options for membership: a free account lets you create Glogs and have up to 10 student sub-accounts. Paid memberships offer more student accounts and a variety of other features. Check here for prices and features. In this module, we’ll use the free basic membership model.

Try It Out!

Glogster requires quite a bit of information to get an account. Be ready with your school’s name, address, and phone number, including country code. Once you create an account, you’ll go to a dashboard where you can create new glogs or work on existing ones. In a free account, the only tabs you can access in the dashboard are Glogs, Students, and Messages.

Begin by clicking Create your first Glog. A menu of options appears, and from there, you can choose your “wall” or background, images, audio and video, text, data, and drawing (this requires an upgraded membership). Drag your images around the wall to place them where you want them. For text, choose the text object you want, drag it, and click Edit to add your own text.

Glogster comes with a clip art gallery of free images, but you can also import your own. Save images to your computer and use the Upload button at the upper and lower lefthand corners.

Glogster has incorporated many of the features of a standard program like Publisher. Images can be brought forward or sent back, enlarged or made smaller, and rotated. When you’ve added all the elements you want, preview or save your Glog. You can save it as Unfinished and come back to work on it later. You can also mark it as Public or Private, depending on your purpose.

Other features: Glogster hosts forums for posting questions if you run into trouble.


Please post:

      1. 1 group reflection to the group blog.
      2. At least one individual micro-reflections to your Twitter account using our #C2Iasij hashtag.

 You might consider these questions in your reflection: How will this tool be useful in your library?  What are the advantages of Glogster over PowerPoints, reports, and plain old posterboard projects?

Explore More

Glogster.edu has partnerships with SchoolTube and TeacherTube. Search these sources for content to add to a Glog.

This video tutorial shows you how to upload a video from SchoolTube, in addition to going over the basics we’ve already covered.

Here’s another video tutorial.


What Is It?

An infographic shares information visually. This infographic, created by the School of Education at USC, collects various data about children’s books and literacy and presents it all in one colorful and well-designed poster. Clever or interesting infographics often go viral, although most are probably never seen by very many people outside the intended audience.

How Can I Use It?

An infographic is a neat way to organize a lot of chunks of related information. For example, demographic data fits nicely into infographic form. Any project that requires students to combine facts and statistics can be made into an infographic. You can also use an infographic to illustrate a process step by step. Instead of multiple slides to present their finished products, students can use a single infographic.

Remember that there are two main components to an infographic, just as there are for any visual medium: content and form, or data and design. An infographic at its best is attractive and full of verifiable and useful information, thoughtfully chosen. A badly-designed infographic full of great data will probably only confuse the audience; a stylish infographic with very little data or random or questionable data looks good but means nothing.

Try It Out!

First you need some data. If you’re not using data from your own observations and experiments, you’ll need some good sources for reliable data. Some examples:

U.S. Census Bureau has data on deomgraphics, economic indicators, and more.

CIA World Factbook–not just for future spies! If you’re looking for country data, this is the place to go.

Pew Research Center has several branches, including their projects on the Internet and American Life and Global Attitudes. The graphic to the right is an example of Pew data represented visually (no political commentary intended here).

There are of course plenty of other places to hunt for useful and enlightening data for more specialized topics. Be sure that your sources are reliable! Government and university sites are usually good bets.

The sticking point for many people is the design aspect. But I’m not a graphic designer! you say. Never fear. There are tools to help you. If you can handle the basics of using slideshow software like PowerPoint, you can make an infographic. All you need to be able to do is insert images, create text boxes, customize your color scheme, and feed data into a chart wizard. Remember to attribute any data you cull from outside sources.

I made these three slides in PowerPoint.

Visually stunning and instantly graspable information! The final step is to collect the slides into a single image using a photo editor or other image-friendly product.

I saved each slide as a jpeg and opened them all in Publisher to paste them onto one canvas. I created a custom paper size (8.5×20) and then cropped the resulting jpeg to get rid of any white space around the edges. Photoshop is a more sophisticated tool for this, and there are several online photo editors available. You can try Pixlr.com. I was able to save the single image as a png, but I couldn’t import it; you may have better luck!


Please post:

  1. 1 group reflection to the group blog.
  2. At least one individual micro-reflections to your Twitter account using our #C2Iasij hashtag.

Infographics are fun, but they can take a serious investment in time. What is the best way to use them in the library or with other staff in the school? How can you use infographics made by others to enhance your library’s mission?

Explore More

Now try combing your Twitter skills with infographics using Visual.ly, a free inforgraphic service that lets you customize from a gallery of templates.

Look at this Livebinder from Carolyn Jo Starkey for more resources on infographics for educators.

Creative Commons licensing

A quick look at Creative Commons licensing: Creative Commons is a nonprofit that “enables the use and sharing of creativity and knowledge through free legal tools.” They have developed a series of licenses that creators can use to tag their work in order to allow other users to share and remix. Remember that you are still responsible for attribution if you use images or other work that has been tagged with a CC license. Check the specific information about attribution and reuse on the creative work you wish to use.

You can find CC-licensed work on Wikimedia Commons, through Google image search and other search engines, on Flickr, YouTube and more. For example, searching Google images for “panda creative commons license” brings up results containing those phrases. Double check to make sure the image you want to use carries the CC license.

You can use CC-licensed images in your Glogs and infographics, and in a variety of multimedia projects. Here’s a resource for educators to teach students about intellectual property rights.







This Learning 2.0 module was originally designed and implemented by students in Dr. Michael StephensTransformative Literacies class in the Fall of 2012.  This class is part of San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science curriculum. It was adapted by Rebecca Donnelly for American School in Japan. It is available for use for other libraries or institutions.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Week 5 Video Production: Screencasting


Welcome to our 5th Week Module!

Have you ever had trouble explaining to someone just how you did that certain thing on your computer? Like how to open a certain file or how to use a google spreadsheet? By creating a short video that essentially records what you do on your computer, coupled with your own narration, you can easily and effectively share this information by making a screencast video. This week we will be taking a look at screencasting, from what screencasts are to what software and websites can be used and, finally, how to do it yourself!

Screencasting makes it possible for you to make a video of what is happening on your computer screen. Showing everything that happens on your computer screen in real-time, screencast videos can be used as tutorials to show uninitiated users how to use different programs and emergent technologies.

Screencasting can be done with a variety of tools, but for the purposes of this module, we will focus on three ways to create a screencast; Jing, Quicktime and Screenr.

*Important Notice!*

 These three tools require different software and each tool may work differently, or not at all, for your computer.


 “What is it?”

Jing is a free, online, downloadable program that allows you to make short screencast videos (a maximum of 5 minutes). The program is simple to use and takes just a few moments to download.

How Can I Use It?

  • First, you will need to download the program. Begin by going to http://www.techsmith.com/jing.html
  • Then, you will want to select the “Free Download” button on the top, right hand side of the screen. (See Picture)

  • Warning! Make sure you check the specifications on the free download page to see if your computer has all of the necessary requirements.
  • Once you have downloaded the program, follow your computer’s prompts to install and run Jing. (See Picture: Mac example only)

Now that you have downloaded Jing, you can open the program and make a screencast video.

  • Upon opening Jing, you will want to select which part of the screen you would like to limit your video to (you can use the whole of your computer screen or just a certain section).
  • Then you will want to hit record and start your tutorial (remember you only have five minutes)
  • Once you have recorded your video, you can save it or share it via several different outlets by selecting the appropriate button at the bottom of your screen.

Here are two helpful, step-by-step tutorial for creating your screencast video (one is just a link while the other, you can watch right here!):

Video Option #1

Video Option #2


Now, for a look at another screencasting option, Screenr!


Screenr, just like Jing, is a free way to create screencast videos. Like Jing, Screenr allows you to make short, 5 minutes screencasts. Also, Screenr is free. But unlike Jing, one only needs to go to the Screenr website in order to make a video.

  • The first step is to make sure you have the latest version of Java, which can be downloaded for free at www.java.com (it is probably a good idea to get Java anyway, as many other programs and tools make use of Java). The picture below is what you should see on the Java website.

  • Second, go to www.screenr.com and simply hit the record button when you are ready to begin your screencast.

  • Once you have clicked the record button, you will be able to adjust the size of your screencast, using the whole of your computer screen or however small a portion you would like.
  • Now, once you have selected which microphone you would like to use, you can hit record and begin, hitting done when you are finished.
  • Upon completion, you will be given a URL for your Screenr video that you can post on youtube, twitter, facebook or your own blog and website (just like Jing!)

For a really helpful and simple tutorial, watch this video from the Screenr website:

Now that we have taken a look at Screenr and Jing, we will now move on to our last screencasting option…


While the previous two options for screencasting are easy to use and free, if you have recently purchased a new Mac computer, odds are (depending on how new it is) you have the a version of Quicktime that allows you to make screencasts. If you have an older Mac (not purchased within the last year or two) then you will need Quicktime Pro, which will cost you hefty sum of money.

… But if you have that newer Mac, you already have a great and easy way to make screencasts right on your computer!

  • The first step is to go to the upper right of your screen to the spotlight function and type in Quicktime, clicking on the top option.

  • Now go to the “File” menu in Quicktime Player and select “new screen recording”.

  • Using the triangle shaped button on the right, you can adjust the microphone you want to use along with other settings.

  • Now, just like in Jing or Screenr, you drag your mouse to highlight what portion of the screen you want to use for your recording.
  • Once you have finished (by clicking stop), you will now be prompted to choose which type of file you want to save your screencast as (what resolution, for I-Phone or for computer, etc.)

Now that we have taken a look at three different options for creating a screencast video, we have come to this module’s assignment…

Creating a Screencast Video of Your Own!

Your assignment for this weeks module is to create a short tutorial video using one of the three options detailed throughout this module that best fits your computer:

  • Jing (Mac and PC, downloadable program, free)
  • Screenr (Mac and PC, browser/Java based, also free)
  • Quicktime (Mac, free on certain, newer computers)

The video should just include a super quick tutorial on how to do something on your computer (something as simple as “how to open Internet Explorer” or “how to play your favorite Lionel Ritchie song on ITunes”).

Once you have created your video, go ahead and put it up on youtube (if you know how) or simply remember the link needed to see it. Whatever route you choose to go, remember to have fun! Once you have all had a chance to make and save your video, please place the video or link on your group blog for us all to see!

*Helpful Tip!* —-> It seems a simple thing, but writing a script before making your screencast tutorial is  great way to take the pressure off and to keep your video clean of “umms” and “uhhs” and other non-desirables.

Good luck!


Now that you have made a screencast of your own, take a look around YouTube and Vimeo to find some other tutorials (chances are, they used one of the programs we have discussed or something very similar).

Here are two tutorials I found helpful for using two different music programs for Macs (while a little boring to the uninterested, they are great examples of the power of screencasts)



Now that we’ve entered into the world of screencasting and come out with our own videos, we would like to you to reflect upon what you’ve seen and learned on your blog and via Twitter. Let us know what you thought of the module and what you thought of screencasting and tutorials. Maybe sometime down the road you’ll be driven to make another screencast to help one of your not-so-technologically-gifted friends!

This Learning 2.0 module was originally designed, adapted, and implemented by students in Dr. Michael Stephens‘ Transformative Literacies class in the Fall of 2012.  This class is part of San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science curriculum. It was adapted by Grant Hayslip for American School in Japan. It is available for use for other libraries or institutions.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Week 4: Play Week! Get Messy!

Time to take a break and play!

You have gone over Blogging, Twitter, Pipes and QR codes and that may or may not have been a lot to learn in such a short time. Either way, we will take this week to play around more with the things you have learned and we will not have an assignment for this week.

Instead, we will show you some more interesting, funny and off-the-wall things that can be done with some of these ‘Things’.


As you were probably well aware of (even before taking part in our little program), blogs can be really cool and super innovative. Go ahead, just go to Google and type in something your interested in (whether it be knitting or Ethiopian food) followed by the word blog or blogspot. You will be amazed at the variety, style and passion put into these blogs. If you want a few, very cool and unique ways that blogs have been used, check out these links.

Like pancakes? I thought you might…


Are you and avid record collector? Well, if not, you can still appreciate the thought and time put in to this blog.


These are pretty awesome examples of blogs but there are seemingly limitless possibilities, so I urge you to take a peek around!


Now that you’ve started your own Twitter account and learned some of the basics, like adding an image, I urge you to look around the Twitter-verse (I don’t think it’s actually called that) and see what types of craziness can be found!

Lots of celebrities and professional athletes like to Tweet irrational, insensitive and otherwise nonsensical thoughts (which can be a lot of fun!). So get out there and follow a few people you respect, or individuals towards whom you feel the opposite of respect (just click the ‘follow’ button on their Twitter profile, as in the picture).

Here are a few people who’s Twitter is constantly full of interesting, if not always sane, material:

Chad Ochocinco (an American Football player)


Neil deGrasse Tyson (Astrophysicist, with a little style)


and for someone more pertinent the the world of librarianship

https://twitter.com/cindysku (she has lots of tweets and quite a few followers)

Remember, have fun and explore!

QR Codes

I know that our module for this topic tried to fit the topic in to how it can be used in a school setting, but it is still really cool to see how else QR codes can be used. This website, http://blog.kissmetrics.com/genius-qr-codes/ , shows five ways that QR codes have been implemented that are pretty interesting. The highlights include:

Angry Birds!

and a museum in Poland that had a great idea for QR codes.



Being our “catch-up/play” week, the only “activity” will be your reflection. Since there is really no new skills or tools to learn about this week, we will only ask that each of you post a short micro blog via our #C2Iasij  twitter hashtag. This week is more about exploring the different ways that each of the previous weeks’ modules can be put to good use. So, don’t just let us know what you think, get out there and explore and let us know what you find!




This Learning 2.0 module was originally designed, adapted, and implemented by students in Dr. Michael Stephens‘ Transformative Literacies class in the Fall of 2012.  This class is part of San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science curriculum. It was adapted by Grant Hayslip for American School in Japan. It is available for use for other libraries or institutions.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Week 3 Mobile Technology: QR Codes

Mobile Technology Week: QR Codes

Diary of a Wimpy Kid:  Dog Days QR Code for Book Trailers for All

Let’s try QR Codes!

What I hope you will learn after this module:

  • What are QR codes?
  • How to read QR codes
  • How to generate QR codes
  • How you can use QR codes effectively in your library

What is it?

A QR Code is an abbreviation for Quick Response Code.  Think of it as a type of matrix-like two-dimensional bar code with the capability of storing large amounts of information such as text, URLs, images, etc. embedded in it.

QR Readers: In order to “read” the QR code, however, you need a QR Code Reader which you can download onto your mobile device, as well as the ability to take pictures with that device.  The “reader” essentially takes a picture of the QR code and then reads and decodes the information embedded in the code and translates it into usable information content, such as a URL or text.   You simply take a picture of the QR code and then will be taken to the appropriate URL or to whatever other content the code links to.   Here are several different types  of QR readers you can download for free!

  • Scan For iPhone –  Easy to use, with a user-friendly scan history (with a really cool map) and a feature which really caught our attention is their support for scanning reverse image/inverted color QR codes. They also have an Android version and a Windows Mobile version as well.
  • Scanlife is also a solid performer that is well put together by people that clearly understand QR codes at a technical level.  Available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows Mobile, Java and Symbian.
  • QR Code Reader and Scanner for the iPhone or QR Droid for Android

Visual learner?  Check out this handy comic explanation!

QR Code Comic Courtesy of Gwyneth Jones-The Daring Librarian~Creative Commons License

QR Code Generators: So what if you want to create your own QR codes?  In that case, you need to download a QR Code Generator.  You will need to input the appropriate information, and then the Generator will provide you with a QR Code image file you can save on your computer.   There are a couple of free generators such as Kaywa  and i-nigma.  Another option is to use a URL shortener website such as bitly or goo.gl (run by Google).   They will shorten your target URL and then generate a QR code for you.  As a bonus, they also retain some stats for you if you would like to see how many “clicks” your QR code URLs are generating.   The bitly instructions are in the cartoon below.  For goo.gl, you simply create your shortened URL, click details and you will see the page with the statistics and the QR code on the top of the page.  Simply save the QR image then to your desktop.

Things to consider when generating a QR Code:

  • Size (where will you be displaying it and will it be big enough to scan?)
  • Use (how will it be displayed; poster, sign, back of a book, website?)

Check out this handy comic for a great visual explanation!  Feel free to try out the steps and software she suggests as well!

QR Code Comic Courtesy of Gwyneth Jones-The Daring Librarian~Creative Commons License

How can I use it?

QR Codes have lots of uses commercially, but also have many uses in libraries and schools. They are used to link physical objects with online resources.  You can link them to book reviews, talks, trailers, online databases, library catalogs, online resources or assignments, calendar events, and so much more!  You can create a great library scavenger hunt program.  For a great blog post on why QR codes increase student engagement in school libraries, check this out!

Try it out!

  1. Conduct a Google search or app store search for a free scanning app (or feel free to use one of the recommended ones in this blog post). Download the app onto your device.  These readers are available on multiple platforms, including macs, Androids, or Windows.  If you don’t have a mobile device to try it on, you can download an application to your PC or Mac desktop to “read” QR codes with a webcam.
  2. Find a QR code in the real world and scan it with your mobile device.  Report in your weekly blog post what information you found or tweet about it.
  3. Select one of the recommended QR Generators or do a search for your own on your computer.  Create a QR code for an item in the library.  You can choose what kind of information you want to attach to the QR code.    Have one of your learning team-mates “read” your QR code and report on their findings via the group blog or twitter.  If you like, you can embed the QR code in your group blog post so everyone can have easy access to your code.  Make sure you label it with your user name so it is identifiable.  You will do the same for another C2I classmate.


For your group blog reflection this week, reflect on your ideas about implementing QR codes as well as any great ideas you have for using them in your school library.   Please post the QR codes you created on the group blog and make a mention of what types of information you found while “reading” various QR codes.  Time also to test out your new found tweeting skills!   Don’t forget to individually tweet one individual micro-reflection using our #C2Iasij hashtag.  This is a great time to share how each of you felt about this assignment or QR codes in general!

Explore more!

Here some other places to see how QR codes are being used in education…

Want some guidance for some more great mobile apps to add to your repertoire?

  • We Want Apps– an app for iPads or iPhones that searches apps for you based on age, category, language, platform, and price
  • i Education Apps Review– review of education apps for mobile devices by teachers and students!
  • iPad App Evaluation for the Classroom-Silvia Tolisano has created a guide that will assist you in selecting the best apps for use in your library and classroom.







This Learning 2.0 module was originally designed and implemented by students in Dr. Michael Stephens‘ Transformative Literacies class in the Fall of 2012.  This class is part of San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science curriculum. It was adapted by Maria Papanastassiou for American School in Japan. It is available for use for other libraries or institutions.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Week 2 Communication: Twitter and Pipes


Week 2 has 2 Things:  Twitter and Pipes.  Not to worry.  Think of it this way, if it helps:

  • Definitely do the Twitter Thing.  It will be your individual reflection vehicle during the next weeks of this program.
  • The Pipes Thing is optional.  Experiment with it if:  1) you are already an avid Twitter user and the Twitter Thing was a snap or 2) Pipes pique your interest.


What is Twitter…..in 140 characters or less?

Twitter is a microblogging tool for sharing, tracking and conversing about topics of interest in short bursts of text no more than 140 characters in length.

No doubt you’ve already heard of Twitter.  It’s been a phenomenon almost since its inception back in 2006.  You’ve tracked the role it’s played in major world events like the Mumbai terrorist attacks, Egypt’s Arab Spring and Japan’s March 11th earthquake and tsunami.

In this module, we want you to experiment with how Twitter can serve as a rapid-fire, quick interest bulletin board that consolidates and transmits your day-to-day, minute-to-minute library discoveries and initiatives of interest to your patrons.  It can be another fun way of sparking conversation both in and outside the library.

Why Tweet?

  • Because of Twitter’s hyper-short form of communication, there is no laboring over long communiqués.   All you need to do is draft something short and snappy.
  • Messages streaming out of, and in to, your library can be consolidated with the use of something called a hashtag.  Hashtags are unique tags, or labels, that are added to a tweet to highlight its content as being part of an organization or addressing a particular topic.  They often start out as rather informal, self-selected tags that sometimes catch fire with followers.  The identifying feature of a hashtag is the # sign at the start of a short string of letters &/or numbers.  For instance, #asij is ASIJ’s hashtag.
  • You never know where Twitter might take you.  Listen to the founder of Twitter, Evan Williams, describe how Twitter evolved in ways beyond his imagination.

Still not completely sure about Twitter?  Watch these two excellent Common Craft explanatory videos:

Twitter in Plain English
Twitter Search in Plain English

Try it out!

Twitter Activity 1:  Get Tweeting

1.  Sign up for a Twitter account, if you don’t already have one.  Follow the steps at How to Sign Up on Twitter.

2.  Post your Twitter account username on this Collaborate2Innovate site under the Participants Blog and Twitter Accounts tab found along the top navigational bar.

3.  Look for people to follow.  Follow us!  Follow each other!  Follow other colleagues at ASIJ!

  • Grant @GrantHayslip
  • Maria @mpapanice2cu
  • Rebecca @beccadonnelly405
  • Ruth @ruthlesslyterse
  • Michael Stephens @mstephens7
  • Wouter @9wout9

Here are 2 helpful sites for finding people and organizations to follow on topics of interest to you:

  • Listorious   [Tip: Click on About to learn more about Listorious, their top tags, the Listorious 140]
  • wefollow

4.  Post some tweets.  Report on what you are doing right now.  Peddle the last best book you read.  Announce an upcoming event at your library.   Here’s a little help from Twitter:

5.  Direct some of your tweets to a specific Twitter user by adding @username to one of your tweets.

6.  Learn more about how to use Twitter in this infographic from social media guru, Cheryl Lawson:

Twitter Activity 2:  Hashtags 101

1.  Read about Hashtags:

What are Hashtags?
Why use Hashtags?

2.  Use #C2Iasij, our Collaborate2Innovate hashtag.

We’ve coined a hashtag for this project:  #C2Iasij.  Now all you have to do to give it some traction as a legitimate hashtag by using it on your tweets during the next 6 weeks.

Try it out by including #C2Iasij in a couple quick tweets.

Every week, you will be asked to post at least 1 micro-reflection about the week’s module topic.  Please add the #C2Iasij hashtag to each of your micro-reflections.  And, by all means, tweet beyond that minimum requirement.  It’s the more the merrier when it comes to tweeting!

Twitter Activity 3:  Adding an image your tweet.

Adding an image to a tweet is slick.

1.  Watch this quick how to video:

2.  Now, go ahead!   Add some images!  Remember to add the #C2Iasij hashtag!


Individual Reflection:  Use our #C2Iasij hashtag to tweet about tweeting on your Twitter site!

Group Reflection:  Post 1 group reflection on your group blog about your experiences using Twitter this week.  Discuss Twitter’s potential in your libraries and how a unique hashtag for your library might be put to good use.


Delve into all that Twitter offers by exploring Twitter Basics in their Help Center.


What are Pipes?

Pipes are mashups.  Sounds messy, doesn’t it?   But, in fact, mashups are an efficient way of selecting and aggregating the flow of information that you want to take in and perhaps present to a wider audience.

Yahoo Pipes is an extremely intuitive software that makes it easy for you to specify and consolidate sources of information on a specific topic.

Why use Pipes?

Let’s start with an example:  Food blogs.  I love food blogs.  They are more than a bit addictive!  I can recapture some of the time I expend on my food blog habit by being efficient in the way that I follow them.   On a time efficiency scale, I can:

Here is what my Yahoo Pipe for my 12 favorite food blogs looks like:

And here is it’s output as an image and text mashup:

Easy!  Efficient!  My Yahoo Pipe gives me the latest blog entries from 12 different food blogs in one view.  I can just click on any of the images listed at the bottom and, boom!, I’m at the full blog post.

But Pipes are not just for food blogs!

You can consolidate and customize, with surprising specificity, blogs, news sites and image sources of all sorts.   In your library, a custom Pipe might be used to:

  • Capture the breaking blog posts from student blogs for book clubs, literature circles and Sakura Medal Brainbowl Teams.
  • Generate an image or content mashup for the 2nd Grade Insect Unit.
  • Follow popular author blogs
  • Track Iditerod news stories.


1.  Find 3 blogs that you’d like to experiment with and have their RSS Feeds handy.

Don’t know any blogs to follow?  Have a snoop here at the 2012 Weblog award winners and runners up best blogs of 2012.  [Hint: See the gray panel on the left for links to categories and the years along the top to see previous year winners.]

Want to know more about RSS feeds?  Read more about them here:  RSS Explained

2.   Go to Yahoo at https://login.yahoo.com/config/login.  If you already have a Yahoo account, log in.  If you don’t, scroll down and punch the Create New Account button.  Fill in the necessary information and, voila!, you have a Yahoo account.

3.  To create a pipe, go to Yahoo Pipes at  http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/ and sign in with your Yahoo login in the upper right corner.

4.  Once you are logged in, hit    along the top.

5.  Now you are ready to build a pipe.  This video [4:39 min] will show you how to do it.

6.  Post your Pipe’s URL on to the your participants’ blog.


This is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what Yahoo Pipes can do.  If you want to get more sophisticated with Yahoo Pipes, please explore these links:


Please post about your experience this week with Yahoo Pipes:

  1. 1 group reflection to the group blog.
  2. At least one individual micro-reflections to your Twitter account using our #C2Iasij hashtag.

Wondering what to write about?  Here are some suggestions:  Can you see any applicability for Yahoo Pipes in your library or in your personal life?  How is it an improvement over how you gather/track information now?  Was it tricky or easy to wrap your mind around Yahoo Pipes?


For the Twitter section:


For the Pipes section:


This Learning 2.0 module was originally designed and implemented by students in Dr. Michael Stephens‘ Transformative Literacies class in the Fall of 2012.  This class is part of San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science curriculum. It was adapted by Ruth Larson Bender for American School in Japan. It is available for use for other libraries or institutions.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Week 1: Blogging with WordPress

Blogs: An Overview

Now that you’ve explored Collaborate2Innovate Things and found out all about the program, it’s time to jump right in with Week 1′s topic: Blogs! This post will give you a brief overview of the technology, explain the activities for the week, and provide links to some additional reading for those who would like to know more.

What I hope you will learn after this module:

  • What are blogs?
  • How to create a blog using WordPress
  • How you can use blogs effectively in your library

What is it?

A blog, or weblog, is a format for publishing content on the web. As the name suggests, blogs are, quite simply, web-based logs of information that have the following features in common:

  • content is organized in reverse chronological order, with the most recent entry appearing at the top
  • dates and timestamps indicate when content was published
  • archives are automatically generated by the blog software
  • visitors participate in the conversation by leaving comments to blog entries, or posts

Way back in April of 2009, Technorati estimated the existence of over 133 million blogs with an average of 120,000 new blogs being created daily. The number is only growing. It’s likely that many of your colleagues, friends, family members, neighbors, and even their pets already have their own blog. You’ll find blogs written about anything and everything; some are focused on a single subject while other bloggers write about whatever comes to mind. Common blog topics include personal stories or insights, technology, politics, news, entertainment, books, business, hobbies, food, finance, sports, and, of course, libraries!

How can I use it?

Blogs are a great way to connect with your students and staff, keeping them up to date on library happenings.  You can use blogs to promote programs, news, events, or literacy materials.  Blogs allow you to embed a variety of media, so you can feature video book trailers or even host a virtual book club.

Check out a few of the librarian, library and educator blogs. Here are some of our favorites:

The Handheld Librarian– A great tech-oriented blog with information about tech news, trends, and other things to help expand your library’s technology.

The MHMS Daring School Library Blog– Award-winning school library blog with lots of great ideas for implementing tech in your library or for programming ideas.  Also see the Daring Librarian’s Professional Blog for more in-depth school library and tech discussions.  Don’t miss her companion wikis, Gadget-a-go-g0 and Web 2.Oh Tools.

Eliterate Librarian– Techie middle school librarian with guest bloggers

21st Century Educational Technology and Learning–  award-winning educational tech blog

Blogs in Plain English Video

Still confused about blogs? Watch this video from the Common Craft Show. It should clear things up!

Click this link to watch: http://www.teachertube.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=12423&title=Blogs_in_Plain_English

Try it out & Reflect!

Activity #1

Ready to start blogging? Set up your own group blog and add your first entry!

  • Use WordPress.com to set up your own blog. WordPress is a free, hosted blogging tool where you can set up an account and start a blog in a matter of minutes. If you already have a blog and would like to use it to track your progress during this program, feel free to do so!
  • On WordPress, your blog address will be http://nameyouchoose.wordpress.com.
  • WordPress.com offers many themes/templates so you can choose one that fits you. Depending on the theme/template you choose, you might also be able to customize the header, sidebar widgets, and more. Take some time to explore the dashboard (i.e., the back-end of the blog) to see what options are available to you.
  • For detailed instructions on setting up a WordPress.com account, check out this great FAQ page.
  • It’s up to you to decide just how much you will reveal about yourself on your blog, but please provide at least your first name in either your username  or profile so the rest of the participants will recognize the author of each post. The title of your blog and your username do not have to reveal your real identity. You can be as creative as you want with this!
  • After you have set up the blog, please invite the rest of your group to be users.  For more detailed instructions on how to do this, please review the help page listed below.  Since you all will be taking turns writing the posts for the blogs, please invite all of the users to be administrators of the blog.   http://en.support.wordpress.com/adding-users/
  • Once you’ve set up your blog, go ahead and add your first group entry! For your first entry, please introduce everyone in your group and share something interesting or fun, like a favorite childhood game or your favorite current hobby :) . Or maybe you’ll want to share your favorite blogs (library-related or not) if you’re already a fan.
  • *Important – Please write an additional group entry about your thoughts on blogs, blogging, libraries, and your experience setting up the blog. You’ll be asked to write a group reflective blog entry like this for each week.

Activity #2

Once you set up your blog, please post your blog’s information on Participant’s Blog page on Collaborate2Innovate Things with the following information:

  • your blog’s user names
  • your blog address (URL) and your blog title

Activity #3 

Although you will be submitting only one group blog post, feel free to  individually leave a comment or question (note: it doesn’t need to be as long as a research paper; 1-3 sentences is fine!) on your group’s blog or on this one.  We’d love to know how each of you are progressing!  Keep an eye on your own blog, too. If someone comments on your blog, it’s perfectly appropriate to respond with a comment of your own. If people see that you usually respond to comments and questions on your blog, they’re more likely to comment and even come back!

Below is a diagram that will help you learn the basics of writing a new blog post. Click to enlarge.

Explore more!

If you want a safe place to promote your school blog, or have trouble with your school’s IT software blocking certain sites, try Edublogs as an alternative to WordPress or Blogger.   It offers a platform for much more than traditional blogging and it’s free (or pretty darn inexpensive if you want additional features)!   P.S. It is actually run by WordPress, so the dashboard should be pretty similar!

Further Reading (optional)

Citation: http://thehyperlinkedlibrary.org/transtech/blogging-module-template-thing-1/

This Learning 2.0 module was originally designed and implemented by students in Dr. Michael Stephens‘ Transformative Literacies class in the Fall of 2012.  This class is part of San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science curriculum. It was adapted by Maria Papanastassiou for American School in Japan. It is available for use for other libraries or institutions.  This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.