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Saturday, 28 November 2009

Wikis as Websites for Libraries-It's not just about the code, is it?

This morning we held our second Wikis as Websites session of the year for members of the Salvadoran library community and members of ABES, the Salvadoran Librarians association.

Widget Fever

It was great to see everyone again, and they were certainly revved to get back into their wikis. After a brief refresher it became all about the widgets and code. The looks of surprise and then joy on people's faces when they saw not only the variety of useful widgets and ways to embed codes from various online services, took me back about 6 months, when I too caught the widget bug. Of course fantastic websites are not just about the code, but what a hook! Code in the form of widgets is like opening a little door or window to another source or collection of ideas, in an highly engaging manner.

The sheer enormity of of widgets/gadgets/flakes and embedding code out there, for free I might add, is enough to give anyone widget fever.

Today we looked at embedding slideshows, glogs, Librarything and Shelfari book shelves, blogs and rss feeds using widgetbox, youtube videos and Twitter feeds. In the end we could have used at least one more exploratory session, but hopefully participants will maintain their momentum over the next few months.

But there is more!

During the last part of the session our Library Assistant fed back from her Guatemalan Digital Literacy conference experience using Prezi. It was her first time presenting and her first time using Prezi.

What's Prezi?

If you haven't tried Prezi are missing out on a great interactive presentation tool. Yes it's a web app and yes you can also download your work! Try teaching it to kids, what a fantastic way to get away from the ppt and enforce presentation reform guidelines!

Back to the Conference

Our conference wasjoined by others who had attended in Guatemala.  Some joined us in person and others  did so virutally using Elluminate. It was the first time I was able to use my Learn Central V-Room with anything larger than a group of friends. It was fantastic and the participants in El Salvador got to listen to and learn from  speakers in other areas of the continent as well as those physically present. This was the first such experience for most of the participants and they were thrilled by it.

I am going to break out the V-Room again this school year with our Spanish classes, enabling students and teachers to  link up and participate to student presentations in real time.

Is anyone else out there using Elluminate with their kids?

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