Stacked in Our Favor

Thoughts about libraries, education, children's literature, writing, art and being connected

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Can’t turn that librarian brain off

The other day I had a medical appointment. The doctor suggested that I have some blood drawn. So as I put out my arm, I started chatting with the wonderful professional who was taking my blood. Before I knew it we were discussing Captain Underpants and Geronimo Stilton. In the short time we talked, I participated in reader’s advisory, online access instruction and an overall plug for using resources available through the local public library.

Believe it or not, my family thinks it’s funny that I cannot go out in the world without thinking and acting like a librarian.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Just when I thought I was riding the wave

This morning's article on NPR about using mobile phones like cash cards made me realise that I am far from riding the wave. I'm struggling to finding my surf board! The article Bump for Cash: Phones as Virtual Wallets indicates that there are already places doing this. As smart phones become able to perform various functions for us there will be a need to carry less stuff with us. That gives me two thoughts. 1. How much more devastating it will be if misplaced. 2. If they can only pack a lipstick into it....

I recently received an email about the New Mercedes-Benz SCL600 which purportedly has no steering wheel or foot pedals. It is operated by joystick. The idea of driving this car would be quite a jump in thinking for me. Frankly, a car like this would change the driving experience more than bucket seats did in the 70s.  Looking on Snopes this morning I found that this car was actually made as a prototype. There is little danger of having to make the switch in the short term as this car was made 10 years ago. Still, once a technology takes off it isn't long before it is everywhere. The addition of a port to connect mobile music players was a breakthrough a few years ago and now it's a standard feature in cars.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

My Phone - the iPhone

After much thinking, researching and drooling, I finally purchased an iPhone. That was about 3 weeks ago. It’s funny. The day I bought it, I really didn’t have time to explore it. In fact, I couldn’t even make a phone call. Each day I’ve learned something new and discovered a new way to make this piece of equipment work for me.

The other day I went to the doctor and had to wait for a lengthy amount of time. Now I can enjoy doing nothing as much as anyone, but I had a great deal of work to do for school, including developing lesson plans. So I sat in the waiting room with my plan book and pencil. I got to the point when I needed to know the state standards to go with the plans. So I whipped out my iPhone, pulled up the DESE page and found the standards I wanted to use. I know that I could have taken notes on the computer, but I’ll freely admit that I wrote them in pencil on the paper. Not a remarkable use of technology, perhaps. However, what was significant was that I was able to use that time to move forward with the tasks I needed to accomplish despite the rearrangement of my schedule. Some people will tell me that it would have been better if I had just relaxed. Getting my work done while waiting gave me the opportunity to relax at home with people I want to relax with. More to the point, I was able to use the time wisely and avoid getting nervous, fidgety or mad.

I'm starting to understand more of what David Weinberger was talking about in Everything is Miscellaneous. (see my post Book Which Changed Everything) The opportunities for interconnectivity and immediacy are exponential.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Newbery Course with KT Horning

I haven't been blogging in the past six weeks. I just finished an online course through ALSC. The course, The Newbery Medal: Past, Present and Future, is led by the indomitable KT Horning. So instead of posting to my blog, I've been reading like crazy and posting to the course discussions.

I have wanted to take this class since I first heard about it. Several times I saw it listed and wanted to sign up so badly I could taste it. Each time the timing was unthinkable. This time I was not feeling much time on my hands. By all reckoning I was as busy as I ever have been. This time when I saw the course offering I thought “If not now, when?” So I signed up and had my mind expanded.

The cast of characters taking the course was rich and varied. The course is well planned out, the content is thoughtful and the experience has been really enlightening for me. Some of my long held beliefs have been shattered and new understanding is awakening in me. I am much richer for the experience. I would recommend this course to anyone with an interest in the Newbery Medal. I understand that the course will be offered again in the summer.

Between reading David Weinberger’s book in January and taking this course this month, my intellect has been stretched in new ways. It will take the rest of the year to digest and implement what I have learned. Meanwhile, I have a stack of books which have been waiting for me to get to them while I've been reading Newberys.