Frequently Asked Questions

Have some questions?

  • How will it work?
    Every other week (approximately!) from October 2012 through March 2013, we’ll post a new lesson here on this blog. They’ll be listed on the right side of this page. There will be a total of 9 lessons or “things.” Each lesson will cover a different topic and will include:

    • An introduction to the topic & tools
    • Examples of how those tools can be used in schools & libraries
    • Basic directions on how to use one or more of the tools
    • A short exercise to complete.
  • What do I need to get started?
    A sense of curiosity, an interest in learning and an email address.
  • How do I let you know I’ve completed an exercise?
    After you’ve explored the tools for a lesson and completed the exercise, you’ll write a brief blog post about what you learned. (We’ll cover blogging in the Thing 1!) That’s the only way we’ll have of knowing if you’ve completed the lessons. And that’s it! Complete all the “things” and you’ll receive professional development hours. (see below for details)
  • How much do I have to write in my blog posts?
    Each blog post must describe the activities you have completed for each lesson. Remember to title your post for each lesson with something like this: Thing 1: Blogging. Describe what your experience was learning about the topic (easy, hard, impossible!), ideas about how you can use this in your library or school, and any other comments, tips, ideas that you want to share. While we don’t expect a dissertation on every topic, we do expect thoughtful reflection and active participation that is clear in the post.
  • Can I participate anonymously?
    Absolutely! Since you can control all the information that you share on your blog and you can choose to use a screen-name that does not reveal your identity to the public. Only the organizers will know your identity so we can track your participation.
  • How much time will it take?
    This depends on how much you want to do. We estimate that you’ll need 2 hours for each lesson. Completion time will also depend on your previous online experience and your interest in the particular tools featured. All of these modules will be self-paced and can be completed in increments so your work time can be spread throughout the weeks allotted to each lesson.
  • What if I need help? Who can I call?
    There will be lots of ways to get help! If you’re partnering with a colleague in your school, you’ll probably want to work through the lessons together and share your tips and ideas. Also check to see if any of your friends and colleagues are participating and can help you out.   This is a great way to develop a “personal learning network” that will last well beyond this program. Reading other participants’ blogs can be a great source of help too. And you can also post comments on the lesson blog post here on this site. That way we can all try to help each other by sharing our questions and solutions.
  • What about continuing education hours?
    Yes! If you complete all 9 lessons you’ll receive 18 contact hours. Complete 5 of the activities (Thing 1: Blogging & your choice of 4 others) for 10 contact hours.
  • Have other questions?
    Post a comment below and we’ll try to answer it!

13 Responses to Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Dorothy Szarowski says:

    When we set up out blog- do we set it to publish privately or publicly? I set it for private but I can change it if I need to…

  2. Dorothy Szarowski says:

    Hi Polly- I changed it to public- but I have two questions:

    1. Why is my blog address not in blue and underlined when I look at the participants blogs page? Do I have to do something else?

    2. What is the best way to handle the privacy setting when working with elementary age children? I would not want to leave kids open to having anyone post on their blog. This issue is one of the reasons I have not already begun using blogging with my students. – that and the fact they do not have email….

    Dorothy

  3. Joanna Arkans says:

    Hi Polly,
    I got started a little late – just doing my first blog post today. Is there already a lesson #2? Some people were talking about Twitter on their blogs but I didn’t get an email about the next lesson. I wasn’t sure if we are supposed to check this blog for new lessons or if we will receive emails.
    Thanks!
    Joanna

  4. Joanna Arkans says:

    It’s Joanna again – I think I realized part of my problem. Somehow I ended up clicking onto this link http://cooltoolsforschool.wordpress.com/ which seems to be for a different class that is ahead of our group. I think I ended up commenting on some of their blogs – oops. If you can make sure that my blog got listed on the correct list for the SLS class that would be great.

    • pollyalida says:

      Hi Joanna, you’re not the only one who has gotten confused! Me too! That’s why I put a really different header image on the two sites. 🙂 The other program is about 4 weeks ahead of this project. They’re doing the same topics though, so if you’re looking for a preview, take a look at that site. Your blog did get registered for the right class, so you’re all set!

  5. Teri Richardson says:

    I have added my post to my blog regarding Thing 2—is it supposed to show up as a comment under the original post, or is there a way to start a new “topic” so the posts are categorized? I used Blogger…

    • Hi Teri, I see what happened. You wrote your Thing 2 entry as a comment in response to your original post. To start a whole new entry, log in to your blogger account and use the “New Post” option.

  6. Teri Richardson says:

    Hello Polly,

    I am reading the content for Thing 7 and am worried. I do not have a microphone for my computer, and I also do not have a Smart Phone. Do I need to go buy a microphone so I will be able to complete this week’s assignment?

    • Hi Teri, that’s ok. You can do a screencast without audio to get an dea of how it works. Though it would be more fun for you if you could borrow a microphone from someone. Does your school have one oh could use? Either way is fine though.

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