Sunday, May 8, 2016

NEW Google Image Search Save


Google has quietly unveiled a super handy new way to search...and Save Google Images! I just stumbled across this and was like, Whaaat?

It's super cool, but it's going to make my job trying to teach students (and teachers) NOT to just always use (and give sloppy attribution) Google Image Search instead of my beloved Flikr Creative Commons! Gah!!! LOL


When you're logged into your Gmail or Google and you go to Google Image Search, click on any image and you now see two little new buttons that say Save? and View Save? Try it! Voila! 
But it's quirky! I just checked this morning when I got into school, logged in with my other Gmail account (you know we all have more than one, amirite?) and it didn't work! But when I logged into the one that I was on yesterday at home, all my saves were there! So, quirky!  Same computer, Firefox, maybe it's because it's NEW?  So, with anything new by Google - your mileage may vary.  

Click for the full size example

I saw this first on Firefox but not on Chrome (see below about the Chrome extension) 

The first time you try this out and go to View Saves, you'll see this splashy little pop up! Which says: 

"Your new home for saved images and links - Images you s ave in Google Image Search live here at google.com/save.  Website links you save with the Save to Google extension for Chrome can also be found here.  Tag your saved images and links to easily find them and stay organized."

Pretty cool, huh? The live web view (remember you gotta be signed into your Gmail or Google account to see it) is this! So all your images are saved in the Google Cloud! You can easily delete them, too!
google.com/save

Pretty Darn Nifty, Right? Wanting to know more, I searched around and found this also nifty explanation on how to save websites, like bookmarking!

"To save websites to "Google Save,"  install the Chrome extension "Save to Google."  On the site that you would like to save, click the Save to Google extension.  The extension will open a small window giving you the options to add tags."


"Click View Saved and your site will be saved in your Google Save.  You may be asking yourself, how is this different from the extension "Save to Drive?"  Well, Save to Drive will save the site/image to your Google Drive. The site/image will become one of the many files in your Google Drive.   With Google Save, you saved images/websites are stored in one central location making it easier to organize and search images and sites."  - Tania Moneim

Thanks Tania! That's super cool! 

What do you think? Please hit me up in the comments! (feeeling jiggy with it tonight!)

Sunday, April 24, 2016

A Shockingly Private Blog Post About Social Media


Is it shocking that I would use such an obvious click-bait blog post title? Shameless! But this post is all about the difference between sharing what is personal versus private on social media.
Why do people TMI share on Social Media?  Maybe because it's titillating! It's shocking! It's attention-seeking and it's usually a bad idea!  Don't get me wrong, I love gossip, tea, shade, and scandal as much as the next squirrelfriend! Heck, I watch most every Bravo show out there, and all but 2 of the Real Housewives franchise.  Even so, I think it's important to keep your interactions on Social Media authentic, real, but always professional. Being positive, passionate, & upbeat is a good thing, too!

(I try my best, I admit I delete a few snarky Tweets now and then after posting [hangs head in shame], usually about the Kardashians, Justin Bieber, TV people, people who don't Google first, and commercials that annoy)

Here are a few examples of what NOT to share.

Ewww! See? That's a WHOLE lotta TMI!   
Here's something else NOT to do on Social Media.
It may not seem fair, but you are what you RT and Like. 
Whether you know it or not, a re-tweet or a like, is an endorsement. Ask any politician or public figure who has felt the heat for it.
So, it's best not to re-tweet bad language or something controversial

Personal versus Private
Sharing personal info shows you're human and authentic.
Sharing too much private info is just creepy! 


Being an educator actively involved with social media professionally, is an optional and a daring choice. 

There are SO many social media outlets out there to choose from - it could either be a mine-field or a diamond mine in terms of connecting, sharing, and creating your own Personal Learning Network or PLN. 
I use social media only in a professional sense - to share the cool things going on every day in my school and library, to celebrate my amazing students, and to connect with my parents, our local and our global community.  In other words, I have purposefully and intentionally NOT used Social Media in any kind of personal way. For some, that might seem like a sacrifice - for me, it's been pretty great and sort of a relief.  That's not to say, as you saw above, that I don't occasionally share some personal stuff. Just not ALL the time.  Twitter and Scoopit are my preferred social media tools and I recently added Instagram - because that’s where my kiddos are! 
Years ago I broke up with Tom of MySpace, then Facebook (stop poking me!), but pick what you want, what feels familiar to you and is the best tool for you to be a positive force.  Never vent about school, administrators, or student frustrations via social media!  

Don't Tweet yourself out of a job. If you're at a party (with other teachers or muggles) don't let someone take a picture of you with any kind of alcoholic beverage in your hand. That can be posted. If someone wants to take a selfie, or your picture with friends at a bar or a restaurant, move the pint of beer (or whatever) out of the shot.   
It's just not worth it. Caesar's wife and all that.
On social media you can push the positive and change the world, you can grow professionally by leaps and bounds… or you could get in really big trouble.  
Share thoughtfully, wisely, and well.  

Now, it's YOUR turn!   
Please chime in on the comments, I'd love to hear from you!  What do you think is the difference between personal and private?

by Doug Johnson
Read more about: 

The SMALL Print
Hey, Dear Email Subscribers!  

Thanks to a reader comment, I found out something I didn't know about the email subscription to this blog, that when my post comes to your email inbox - the yellow font doesn't show up on the white background! (Thanks Anon!)  I didn't know that! So, I switched it back and I hope it shows up better or emails and for mobile viewers. I wonder, when I edit a blog post and update it, do you get another email? If so, that would be annoying! Since it seems like I edit my blogs constantly after publishing - always fixing this or that and adding in another thought.  Of course subscribers, you can always click to view the post on my actual blog, but I get how that might be a pain! 

So, even though I Loooove using that colour font, I will try not to use it on the whole post, or only for paragraph headers. How does the colour blue look? I guess I never thought to subscribe to my own blog to see what that's like. (Duh! I should have!) 

Please feel free to comment constructively on this blog, you can even ask that I don't publish the comment, just read it (I would always honor that)  You can also send me an email at gwynethanne (@) gmail.com - call me out if I'm being too snarky (I was once, and I fixed it! Lesson Learned:  never blog when you have a cold & are already cranky!) Tell me what you think or even disagree with me - I actually LOVE a good debate and I respect everyone's right to a different opinion. That's very cool. Anyway, well, this was supposed to just be a quick aside - sorry - bottom line, I care what you think. It matters. You matter. Thank you for visiting & taking your time to read this. You rock!


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Speed Dating by Book Genre: Personal Ads


I've blogged about Speed Dating With Books before - but I really fell in LOVE with this activity - it was a new take on it!

I don't let just anyone guest blog here - they have to be someone I know, admire, & like! (So stop asking me start-ups & companies!)  But Mary Reilley-Clark aka @SEMSLibraryLady is indeed a personal friend of mine, and her latest activity was something that I wanted join in on and to share with you! I'm going to post the graphics I created, with her text, and at the very end of this post you will find links to Make a Copy and take the Google Docs, an Exit Ticket, and the Kahoot game, too!


Stay tuned, my friends - this is going to be fun!

From Mary's original Scoopit share:

"We're speed dating this week. Several 6th grade teachers want their students to explore different fiction genres. I decided to make some personal ads (larger picture & at the end of the post) for different genres or subgenres. I already had resources lists in Destiny for these genres, so it made it easy. We have eleven tables, which we'll load with books and an ad. Students will have to rotate through at least 4 tables. They'll be discussing genres in class, but I made an exit ticket so I can track which are the most popular (I still have one more book order to place.)"


Action/Adventure
I’m an adrenaline junkie. I like non-stop action, whether it’s with swashbuckling pirates or spies and jewel thieves. Choose me if you like plot twists and lots of cliff hangers.


Mystery
I’ll leave you guessing until my last few pages. If you like to be puzzled and often left in the dark, pick me up and try to figure me out.


Realistic  Fiction
You tell it like it is. Reality is just fine with you --no need for hocus pocus or playing games. Choose me if you want to hang out with kids kind of like you!


Books That Make You Cry
Grab a box of tissues if you pick me.
I’ll melt your heart in a good way.


Dystopian
I’m the one for you, if you’re into scary or disturbing visions of the future. Clones, microchips, hostile governments, survival...you enjoy reading about societies like this, if only to make your own life look more cozy! 


Harry Potter Read-Alikes
Let’s make some magic together! We both love wizards, and wish we went to Hogwarts. Mix us up a potion and get lost in my pages. 


Sports
Playing games is my thing! I don’t mean I’ll mess with your head, though. If you’re into a sport, check me out to find your favorite. 


Fantasy
We know unicorns and dragons are real, even if the rest of the world has lost hope. Let’s get together and make our own magic!

Historical Fiction
Do you ever feel like you were born in the wrong era? 
Pick me and let’s go back in time together...


Military Stories
Do you like long walks on the beach, baskets of kittens and meaningful chats over mugs of hot chocolate? Then go look somewhere else! I’ll shape you up with stories of war, soldiers, resistance fighters, with a mix of Fiction and Non-Fiction. 

  
Global Fiction
You know there’s a a lot more to the world than our little corner of paradise. Pick me, and let’s explore the world together. Warning: some parts of the world aren’t so pretty, but I know you’re ready for a different perspective.


Science Fiction
I believe the truth is out there and that there’s more to the universe than meets the eye. Aliens, life on other planets, alternative realities, and time travel? Let’s go on a voyage of the imagination together!

Resources:

Here's the Flickr Gallery of Graphics - ALL CREATIVE COMMONS
Here's the Exit Ticket! Go to File > Make a Copy > 
Here's the Google Doc! - Take This! Go to File > Make a Copy > Make sure to see the fonts at the end of the doc and add them on Google to get the full effect!






Here's my Speed Dating with Books blog post! 

Example from Mary of the Personal Ads printed out and on the table
 - See other sizes





More About Mary: 

"I run a middle school library but I'M NOT A LIBRARIAN!  Sure,  I'd love to work with a teacher librarian, media specialist or whatever a credentialed person is called in your neck of the woods.  The reality is, I don't see that happening in my district.  I don't even know when elementary or middle schools in my district had librarians.  What we do have are some hard-working people, working full-time (and then some!) to give students the best library experience we can.    



I've wanted to be a librarian since I was 5, but that job option wasn't encouraged by the feisty and feminist nuns who taught me in  high school.  So I majored in International Environmental Studies, got another degree in Public Health,  and spent 9 years working in three wildly different bookstores to pay my way.  A short stint working for a governmental agency, a change of coasts, marriage, baby, and finally, volunteer hours in the school library.  When the library technician retired, I knew the job had to be mine.  Luckily the principal agreed.  I'm finishing my 14th year as a library media technician, and third in middle school.  That's 2520 days, and I've probably loved 2500 of them (I endure textbook collection, but there's nothing to love about it. But wait-- last year I had five student helpers and they were awesome kids I wouldn't have the pleasure of getting to know better if I wasn't collecting textbooks.  So I loved 2510 of them.)   

I was born to work in a library.  Everything about libraries makes intuitive sense to me.  I love the Dewey Decimal System! And shelving! And reading aloud! And book talking! I don't like silverfish. That's the only downside to libraries.  Why do silverfish like books so much? I also love that technology has made my job even more incredible. Every day I can share new things with teachers and students that I learned from blog posts, Twitter, webinars, and more!  If you're still reading, there are a few more things you should know.  I overuse words like awesome and amazing, as well as the exclamation point.  That's how I talk, too.  I just think a lot of library, book, and tech-related things are amazing, and a lot of the people involved in those things are awesome. I am old enough to be amazed that I can virtually hang out with library people from around the world.  

I share on Twitter & Scoopit about the great resources I've found, what goes on in my library, what I'd like to do in the future, and how I'm incorporating those shiny things I find that other library folks have so generously shared.   I'm a little snarky, and more than a bit subversive when it comes to the library, so anything I write here in no way reflects the policies of my school or district.  My frustrations with budget and technology limits may make it sound like I'm not happy with the powers that be, but I'm well aware they'd be happy to shower my library with books and  technology if they had the money!  I doubt the people who make those decisions will read this blog, but I like them, I really like them!"

From Gwyneth:
I admire and like Mary SO much and she's one of the most talented, generous, and dynamic Library Professionals in California and the country - I hope her fellow California Librarians, Library Associations, and professionals make her welcome and treat her with the respect she deserves. 
She Rocks! 
So do you!


Sunday, February 28, 2016

6 Tips to a Super Twitter Profile



After re-vamping my blog header (Teaching Good: Branding Evil) I took a serious look at my professional Twitter profile and changed it, too! Though, I admit - I'm still not used to it but I'm giving it a whirl!

Besides, it's good to practice what I preach. One of the presentations I do when I'm a keynote or a spotlight at Tech conferences is Tweet Like a Ninja (part of the Ninja series) so I thought I would expand on the 6 tips to a super Twitter professional profile for those who are new to Twitter or have been thinking of a similar re-vamp!
Please note my disclaimer below & then here we go!


Here are the 6 Easy Tips or Steps to a Super Twitter Profile!  



1. Put Your Best Face Forward! First thing - BREAK Your Twitter Egg and show your face. For six years I used my favourite avatar drawn by the creator of Ollie the Twitter bird artist, David Lanham, but I've lately had a change of heart.
You see, I realized that people didn't recognize me for me! (though I swear my avatar is uncannilly spot on! lol) So, I chose my best recent selfie, jazzed it up a bit with PicMonkey and voila! The real me. How daring!


But if you don't have a selfie or a full face pic you're partial to, or you don't want to show your face - go ahead and make an avatar! Here's 21+ FREE avatar generators to play with.

If you do upload a picture, make sure it's a picture of YOU - not your kids, not your pet, not your classroom, not a group shot where people will always wonder who's who, and not a picture of your car or an inanimate object. Remember, this is a professional representation of yourself and you should put your best foot..or face forward. ANYThing but the Egg.

2. Heads Up!
I blogged about this years ago when Twitter changed its header design and specifications (Getting a Head(er) with Twitter), but having a customized header is a great way to express your professional personality. 
In fact...

I'm also going to be blogging more about this soon because I've decided to start a collective of FREE Twitter headers for educators  to use! You will be able to both take one and contribute one - but for now, it's enough to know that having a blank or just color block header is really a wasted opportunity. 

 

In fact, when I decide to follow someone back I quickly scan their Twitter profile for these 5 things I'm gonna talk about and having a header is one of them. 

3. Name it So!
If you can get your real name @YourName go for it! But, 10 years after Twitter was started - it may be a challenge! I've been Tweeting under my brand name for years, (see above "old" on left)  but just recently had an epiphany that I'm more than my brand name. In fact, sometimes I feel a little hemmed in or limited by my brand. I am more than just a Daring Librarian. I’m a redhead, a geek, a goofball, a Marylander, HoCo resident, a daughter, a friend, and a snarky smart a$$. I'm many things. 
So are you!  

So, I'm now putting my Daring Librarian in the description (see "new"above). I'm still daring, baby! But, I want to lead with given name. More about why,  here: (Teaching Good: Branding Evil)


If you have the opportunity, do go for your name and not your school name for your official @twittername. Because you might change schools someday! What happens to your following? Do you hand over your Twitter password and start ALL over again?  If the powers that be (school district, public library, or company) have made the account for you and you must have it as your Twitter name like @mhms_media, do like Mrs. Pressley did on the right  (view full size), and add your real name above the @schoolname. This way, people know exactly *who* is really Tweeting and it builds your positive digital footprint.  The next school librarian who inherits that account will add their name to that spot.  Public Libraries & businesses, make sure you identify the manager, VP, Librarian, community rep, or intern who is really Tweeting.  Another way around this, add your REAL name in the description as Amanda Highley did below! (view full size) Remember friends, Transparent IS the New Black

What do you do if you have a common name like mine?
Jones? or Williams? or Smith?
Or if your name is taken?
Try to avoid numbers like @Gwyneth87 
That's SO 2001, AOL, & GeoCities!
Try these suggestions!


When I first started Twitter in 2008, I wasn't ready to use my real name. I used Capt_Red my Second Life persona (it just wasn't done early on in the Interwebs) but a year later, after the NECC in DC (now ISTE) conference, I had a professional transparency epiphany and claimed my Twitter name @GwynethJones. But I led with the my new brand name - The Daring Librarian (you can change this part at any time) with my @RealName below it.


Please don't do this! LOL It's just not professional. It's also a sure sign you're looking for your identity outside yourself. Admirable maybe, professional? Not so much.

4. Write a Positive Profile
You don't have a lot of room to list EVERYthing in your profile description -you only have 160 characters. This is your best, first, and most read professional bio out there on the web - so make it good! 


I think it's a good start to include your subject area, teaching level, an award or certification if you like, a quirky hobby or interesting fact, and maybe something funny. Always be positive!


This isn't the place to make some kind of profound political or religious statement (IMHO).  God knows I'm trying my best every day, (and failing often!) and I've Tweeted about how I believe in the power of prayer - but I don't lead with that. Why risk alienating anyone from the get-go? Bless their hearts!


Just like my Mom always said, never talk politics or religion at the dinner table or dinner party. Wanna do that? Debate the issues or trash talk someone? Throw some tea and some shade? Sure! Let's wait till we're at the pub! 


AVOID Grandiose Claims!
Sure, coming from me - the MOST ridiculously humble Librarian in the WORLD (snarf!) this may sound a little ironic. 

But, putting Technology Queen, Media Maven, or GEEK God of Everything is sorta setting yourself up for either failure, mockery, or major eye rolling - especially, if you don't exactly live up to that claim. You gotta be on point to live up to a name like that!

Being a self-proclaimed Tech Queen and not having a fully filled out Twitter profile, being a chronic re-Tweeter, or NOT having a professional blog or website isn't really convincing. 

You gotta walk the walk if you talk the talk, my friends! And I stumble ALL the time! 
My friend Joquetta Johnson is The Digital D. I.V. A. But, she really is!

Keep yourself relate-able. I try and make mockery and FUN of myself as much as I can online (and in life) and I frequently admit my tech failures (I still can't figure out how to connect my school Vine w/ my Twitter to show off my loops! GAH!) just be careful of being seen as full of yourself.  Why? There's a lot of haters or critics out there, fellow educators, comedians, your students, trolls - don't give them any fodder for mockery! Heck, my real daily life is enough for that! lol

Again, these are my personal opinions, 
like mileage, yours may vary! 

5. Be a Hometown Hero!
You don't have to put your street address or your latitude and longitude - but I suggest that you give your country, state, province, school district, or at least your city. So people can connect with you! I say I'm from the DC Metro area because I grew up here - I'm a DelMarVa and Chesapake Bay gal! (Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia) I'm also a HoCo gal! (I live and teach in Howard County and I'm proud of it) and after college I lived in Downtown Baltimore....that changes you! Love me some Baltimore, hon!

Tweet globally, represent regionally, & connect locally.
It's great to build a global PLN, to reach beyond your borders and seek out ideas that reflect a global perspective. Sometimes I follow people back just because they're in a different state, country, and as far from me as possible, because I want to be as diversified in the voices I listen to as possible.

6. Link it, Baby!
It's good to add a validating link to who you really are. To prove you're a real educator and not a posing pretending spammer or marketer. (Yes, they're out there - I'm looking at you Svetlana!)   
I'm not talking about getting that oh so coveted Twitter Verification check on your profile, just something that other professionals can look to make sure you're really who you say you are! 
OR.. maybe they want to get in touch with you to give a compliment, nominate you for an award, or ask you a question!

If you don't have a blog, a Pinterest page, a Wikispaces page, a school Edublog, or a professional web page - add a link to your school's staff webpage! OR....create a LinkedIn profile and link to that. 

Why LinkedIn when you're not looking for a new job or school? 
Our parents and community are there & and it shows that we're professionals, too! 
AND.... LinkedIn is the cactus plant of social media   They would probably HATE that I'm saying this, but if you're a teacher who is happy in your district, create it once (make sure to add a picture!) and you can neglect it and water it like twice a year!  Plug for LinkedIn - they are getting bigger AND adding new bloggy type features, AND they bought my beloved Slideshare! So now you can integrate them, pretty cool! (Happy now LinkedIn? [grins]  
I'll be adding more to this post - I've been working on it (on and off) for weeks now.
Here's the whole presentation of Tweet Like a Ninja. But it's better when I do it in person, I tell more tips and funny stories then! lol



Oh and I just realized that if you're re-vamping your Twitter profile, changing your profile picture, your name, header, and description - your long time followers might not recognize you. I worry about that! Remember, to announce it and say HI! .....



It's YOUR Turn! What did I forget? Do you agree or disagree? Love that! 
I invite you to shout out in the comments! 
(Ps.  Don't be shy to let me know if I have any terrible typos! LOL)


 Hey there! UPDATE!
Do you have a 6 STAR Twitter Profile? Did you follow this blog post and up your Twitter game? Then, feel free to grab a badge and post it with pride! No cash money included, (sorry!) but the beaming, preening, prideful glee that can only come from a fancy Photoshopped blog badge! W00t!

(Download a badge in several sizes!) 
I know this is a little silly, but I had a request for it! So, sure - 20 min w/ Photoshop and here you go!


 Here's a Twitter Challenge!




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