Thursday, January 28, 2010

Week 3 Assistive Technology

Well, week three... the semester has really begun. I have gotten into somewhat of a schedule for completing my classwork each week, and - I am happy to say - I have become more comfortable using the computer applications needed to complete some of these assignments. As difficult as it is for me to learn and educate myself - I cannot imagine the difficulty involved in education for a person living with a disability. I applaud all those with learning, mobile, or sensory disabilities who get up everyday and tackle school work, despite countless challenges which are very easy for most, such as manipulating a mouse on a computer or turning the pages or a book.
Assistive Technology can bridge this gap - to some extent. I am really glad we were required to complete this newsletter about assistive devices because through my research, I learned a great deal about how much is really out there. I feel more prepared now to enter a real world situation in which I would be responsible to acquire the proper tools to assist someone with a particular disability. There is a wide array of tools out there... we just need to know which ones best serve the needs of the student population and how to obtain the funding to acquire them.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Week 2 trial and error

... And so it begins. I am now well into the second week of the semester. The online format of this class has been quite a challenge for me, but at the same time, I have been learning a good deal about the online applications involved in this field of library media through trial and error. In many ways, I can see that this is the best way to learn. Through experimentation, frustration, and some success I have been able to learn many new things this week about making the Internet useful for myself and others.
This week we discussed and explored the issues of related to the governmental hierarchy involved in school libraries. Who is in control? Where does the money come from? These are really important questions that need to be answered in order to best serve your library media center. Being aware of different councils, regional groups and grant writing opportunities is an absolute must. To not investigate these avenues would mean missing out on many possible ways to improve your school library. This is a disservice to me as the SLMS, the school, the principal, the faculty, and most importantly to the students the LMC is meant to serve.
We also entered into some discussion on copyright this week. This is something I have to force myself to be interested in, as is probably true for many. However, it is readily apparent that this is an important topic for SLMS and their schools. Legal action is more prevalent than I thought in regards to copyright infringement. It is definitely something to be informed about and to make others around you aware.
This second week has been a successful one thus far. I am beginning to feel less anxious and more confidant about the upcoming semester.... Hopefully I will be able to carry this positive attitude with me throughout the next 14 weeks.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Week 1 Getting Connected

I began my first week in the Spring 2010 semester with a great deal of confidence. Although I am only in my second semester of the SLMS program at the University at Buffalo, I had finished the fall semester with success and was rested up after a nice, albeit seemingly too short, break. As soon as I opened the syllabus for each of the four classes I am taking, my confidence was replaced with anxiety, stress, and even a bit of nausea. Seeing the next few months of my life laid out before me was more than a little daunting.
LIS 568, in particular, was a cause of some immediate concern, upon learning that I had to subscribe to a wiki, create a Diigo account, write a blog, listen to a podcast... etc. None of these things were in my repertoire of prior experience or knowledge. However, once I took a few deep breaths and read the instructions carefully, I came to realize that these tools were nothing to be afraid of. They were simply that... tools for my use. For example, creating an account for an RSS feed seemed like an insurmountable task, but when I put my mind to it, I could see how useful and time-saving such an application could and would be to me in the future.
Even now, I am writing a blog... successfully I might add (and the first week is not even over with yet). Imagine what I will be able to do by the last week of class!