We selected the wiki platform for our project because it allowed us to embed digital images, links, text, podcasts, polls, and search engines; to organize our information using Web pages and a navigation bar; to allow members to create content using discussion tabs; and to limit content creation to members. And it was all free without ads! Digital images and podcasts were selected to generate greater appeal. Internal links were used to provide easier navigation that members expect. External links were used to supplement the information we provided. A poll was used to allow members to influence book selection. A custom search engine was used to make searching easier and safer. Together, this technology allows members to share their thoughts and encourage reading.
School libraries need to go where students are, online, and provide the kinds of services students are already getting elsewhere. This can be accomplished via tools such as wikis and blogs which allow students to read and create information and share it online. Students can now also collaborate online on projects using tools such as Google Docs. This can be done conveniently at any computer, anywhere. It can be done synchronously with tools such as Skype or asynchronously with tools like Blogger. Social networking tools such as Teacher-Librarian and Twitter also make it easy for school media specialists to share information and ideas and to learn the most recent developments.
The podcasts we created were posted on the Podomatic Web site. One problem with this is that I was unable to listen to these podcasts whenever the Podomatic server was down. Another concern I have is that some of the tools we used may start to charge fees for their services once they become more popular.
The wiki platform allowed us to complete our project asynchronously from 3 different locations. We were able to view each others’ work and give and receive feedback via email. This allowed us to collaborate on any new issues that arose after our initial meeting during the class. The only drawback to this was that we had to wait for everyone to check their email before receiving responses.