More Research Pathfinder 2.0 and Social Media: Travel Across the USA

My latest research pathfinder, Travel Across America USA, came together rather quickly, but it is one of my favorites to date.  Although I did not get to collaborate as much as I had hoped with the teacher on the project as of this evening, I feel confident we will conference next week and make any adjustments that may be needed since we have worked together, and he is really enthusiastic about using Google Docs and now moving on to Google Sites.

In this project, the students essentially must research and collect information about travel destinations between Juneau, Alaska and Key West , Florida.   You can see the requirements on the pathfinder page, but students are responsible for collecting multiple forms of data and representing it in an interesting and meaningful way.   I think the use of Google Docs (the presentation and spreadsheet tools) , Google Sites, and Google Maps can be instrumental in this project!  I am hopeful that I can confirm we will be using all three sets of tools to embed content and showcase the student projects.

This research pathfinder incorporates some of my favorite forms of social media:

  • A widget featuring a travel guide via Google Books
  • RSS feeds from Frommer’s and Lonely Planet Twitter accounts
  • RSS feeds for blogs from these two travel powerhouses
  • RSS feeds for travel podcasts and vodcasts
  • Widgets featuring Flickr photo group pools sponsored from Frommer’s and Lonely Planet
  • The use of “kwout” to highlight key websites that can be helpful for the assignment
  • A Google Map I created to show some of the travel destinations I would choose if I were doing the assignment to model how students might use Google Maps; in addition, I have provided links to tutorials although students will have to use some of the instructional videos at home since they are embedded from YouTube
  • An iTunes iMix of “travel music” created by National Geographic music (fun!)

I find it incredibly exciting to create a pathfinder that integrates so much social media to help students see how helpful and fun these resources can be.    What else would you add to this pathfinder?  Your suggestions are welcome!

Free Verse Flickr Project and the Academy of American Poets

Do you love poetry?  Do you love photography?  Or both?  The Academy of American Poets is sponsoring the Free Verse Project. Here is the scoop!

Inspired by the 2009 National Poetry Month Poster which features lines by T. S. Eliot written in a fogged window, the Academy of American Poets invites you to capture and share verse in ephemeral ways.

Recreate a favorite poem off the page and contribute it to the Free Verse project. Write lines on a sandy beach, assemble twigs on a hillside, or chalk the sidewalk. Take a photo before it disappears and post it in the Free Verse group page on Flickr, on the Academy’s Fan Page on Facebook, or email your photo to freeverse@poets.org. Include the source of your lines in the photo caption.  All photos posted by April 15 will be automatically entered to win the new Poem in Your Pocket anthology and a commemorative piece of jewelry by San Francisco designer Jeanine Payer, who specializes in hand-engraving lines of poetry on earrings, necklaces, and other items. Selected entries will also be featured on Poets.org.

For more information, please visit the Free Verse Project Page hosted by the Academy of American Poets at Poets.org.

Library of Congress Adds Lincoln Photos To Flickr Photostream

The Library of Congress had added a new photoset featuring President Abraham Lincoln to its Flickr photostream!  You can read more about the new addition at the LOC blog or at the Flickr blog to get the scoop on these historic photos.

Photo Archives 2.0: Flickr and Wikipedia Commons

I just had a great article from The New York Times come into my Google Reader; this article discusses how web 2.0 is transforming photography and photo archiving.   Flickr and Wikipedia Commons are leading the way in making historic photos accessible to everybody—take a look at this informative article!

Inauguration Goes 2.0: Pageflaking Information Streams

pageflakes-inaug_smallerIf you haven’t had a chance to try Pageflakes (or Netvibes) as an information portal to stream information on a topic for your teachers and students, then take a look at my latest Pageflakes pagecast to see the power of social media!  I created a Pageflakes Pagecast to aggregate and stream my favorite resources for Inauguration 2009. What information streams are included in this pagecast?

  • A RSS feed from the official Presidential Inauguration Committee’s blog
  • An embedded widget that will carry UStream TV’s  live coverage of the inauguration ceremonies.
  • A RSS feed with the latest entries from Change.gov
  • An “Inauguration 2009 Countdown” widget
  • A widget with my media center’s favorite bookmarks related to all things Inauguration 2009 via delicious
  • A widget with the latest videos from the official Presidential Inauguration Committee’s YouTube channel
  • A Flickr widget with photos from the official Presidential Inauguration Committee’s Flickr account (includes great photos of Lincoln’s Bible!); there is also an additional photo widget for a Flickr group for “Inauguration 2009″ photos that is tied into the Smithsonian’s “Click!  Photography Changes Everything!” project.
  • A widget with the latest headlines via Google News related to Inauguration 2009
  • A widget from the Washington Post called “Inauguration Watch 2009″
  • A Time magazine widget that will carry live blog posts from the ceremonies on January 20.
  • Widgets with the latest Tweets from the official Presidential Inauguration Committee’s Twitter account as well as the Inauguration_DC Twitter account.

What makes this pagecast so cool and relevant?  The content is live and dynamic—as feeds and content are added to each of these mediums, the updates are automatically reflected on thepagecast widgets.   The pagecast is the perfect medium for the organic information feeding into the information portal.  A pagecast also allows you to incorporate new media into your resource portal—much more exciting and informative than  a static flat  list of links on a traditional 1.0 web page.

If you have not tried using an information portal such as Pageflakes or NetVibes, I’d like to encourage you to consider giving it a try!  You can check out some of my favorite resources for learning about Pageflakes, examples of pagecasts, and how libraries are using information portals at http://delicious.com/theunquietlibrary/pageflakes .

If you like the pagecast, please feel free to link to it from your own media center blog, website, or wiki!

Buffy Hamilton, Media Specialist
Creekview High School
http://theunquietlibrary.wordpress.com
http://theunquietlibrarian.wordpress.com