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My year on the web and off

Around this time of year, it is customary for bloggers to look back at their blogs and come up with a list of highlights.

Here’s a recap of low points and highlights and favorite discoveries.

In January, I lamented the disappearance of the majority of the databases in our state suite and celebrated the launch of our TL Virtual Cafe.   I discovered WallWisher as a tool for content analysis of film as well as backchanneling.  Offline, I had a wonderful time at ALA Midwinter, campaigning for Sara with Rocco and Terry, and playing in the Bloggers’ Cafe with Wendy, and Buffy, and Ernie, and Francey and Robin.

In February, I discussed the launch of SweetSearch Biographies, blogged about Word Sift with its word cloud and Visual Thesaurus features, and WebList as a thumbnail, pathfinder alternative. I shared  Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano‘s super-handy ebook, Digital Storytelling Tools for Educators and Dave Lankes’ inspiring speech at the HMCPL Staff Development Day in Huntsville, Alabama, reaffirming the importance of professional mission, NOT the mission of place.

In MarchRichard Byrne offered another of his lovely, downloadable, embeddable guides, Google for Teachers,  chock full of step-by-step,  useful stuff,  I shared a few more digital storytelling options–Pixton for schools and FotobabbleShonda Brisco published her Google crisis map,  A Nation without School Librarians.  Offline, I was honored to experience the generous aloha spirit of the librarians of HASL, who threw me a birthday party and invited me to a Hawaiian style Passover seder.

In my April blog posts, I surveyed school library website practice touring middle and elementary practice and high school sites. We launched #tlchat as a strategy for furthering the TL conversation on Twitter.  I also shared Sweet Primary Sources,, the theme song my students help me prepare for a program at the Library of Congress.  As for new discoveries, I got excited about Mashpedia’s realtime multimedia search and WolframAlpha‘s  new site for educators.  I shared A Proclamation: A Library for Every School, from ENSIL, IASL and IFLA School Libraries and Resource Centres and the resources of  TEDxNYED.

In May, I discussed transliteracy and the library and information literacy tutorials on CLIP,  and celebrated Gale’s  AccessMyLibrary iPhone and AccessMyLibrary School Edition apps.  Offline, I hosted a convesation with David Jakes at EdCampPhilly.

In June, I discovered and easily created the #tlchat Daily Twitter newspaper.  I blogged about the launch of FindingDulcinea‘s new K8 search engine for children, SweetSearch4Me and experimented with Edistorm for sticky note backchanneling and planning.  I created the Pathfinder Swap Wiki for sharing our resources and discussed the evolution of our Geek Tribe.  I shared my own Annual Report and many others shared theirs on our School Library Websites wiki.  Offline,  with other Geek Tribers, I attended ISTE Denver and participated on a number of panels and in a the most fun Smackdown ever.

In July, I came across SearchCredible, a handy aggregator of the more academic search tools and the visual search engine with social network reach, Spezify. I helped get the word out about the Elementary Library Routines wiki, Mrs. P’s Magic Library,  and I belatedly discovered Journal of Media Literacy Education. I went nuts over Only Two Clicks for creating thumbnail pathfinders and used it to review digital storytelling and digital publishing.  I spent a week at the Library of Congress as a TPS Mentor.  BLC was fabulous.  I will never forget our very special girls’ night, shabu shabu (noodle swish) dinner.

In August, we announced the launch of SLJ’s book trailor award, toured essential research apps and  museum apps, and discussed the things I think librarians should unlearn,  Offline, I was hosted by the generous, gracious, talented, and powerful librarians of SLAV in Melbourne, Australian.

In September, I considered how inadequate notebooks are as containers for research and the glorious mess presented by varying ebook platforms and discussed Glogster’s new friendship with Wikispaces.  I also shared our pathfinder for nonfiction and documentary films, which now includes a Google Custom Search.

In October, I shared our early experiments with QR codes, reflected on SLJSummit10. (The Trailee Awards were a hoot and that night never ended!) I discovered Sort Fix, a new search tool especially useful for demonstrating strategies, the National Archives Experience’s DocsTeach for teaching with primary sources,  and Interactive Folio: Romeo and Juliet from the folks at Canadian Adaptation. I also got excited about Creative Commons’ new Public Domain Mark Offline, I had a blast presenting, mentoring, and presiding over the Trailee Awards at the SLJ Summit.

In November I considered What librarians make, Apps student TLs might need, and was grateful that Buffy Hamilton offered her Very Kind Kindle support

And most recently, in December, I lamented the demise and comeback and demise of Pageflakes, successfully explored LibGuides. shared Larry Magid and Anne Collier’s Parents’ Guide to Facebook and their chart of recommended privacy settings for teens both in this blog and with my junior class.  I also shared the launch of Google’s ebook store and Body Browser, as well as a revised manifesto,. and a wish for more official recognition of practitioners’ work in the area of school library websites. Offline, our library was honored to host Nancy Everhart’s Vision Tour. The event culminated with a flash mob dance!  (Student produced video of the event to come.)

Wishing all TLs, all over the world a very happy and productive new year!  I look forward to sharing and growing with you in 2011!

Joyce Valenza About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza


  1. Joyce – what a wonderful recap of your amazing year. Thanks for all of your sharing – you truly inspire all of us teacher librarians. Your post made me realize that since I have only been sporadically blogging this year – there is no way I could go back and recreate my learning and sharing like this – even though I KNOW I learned tons this year. Thanks for the reminder to keep blogging!

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