Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Digital Libraries

Hello Class,


Digital Libraries: Shifting the Landscape, by Glen Bull and Martha Sites, is an article that brings focus on the topic of digitizing books.  Digitizing books basically means to have a digital, “electronic ink” version of a book on a device (such as the Kindle) rather than a physical, ink copy.  This article makes the argument that because of the many advantages of digitized books and their fast-growing popularity, we may be looking at the beginning of the end of printed books.  
One advantage mentioned is that digital copies of books have “equal-to-print readability and multidevice integration”– meaning that we can access the book from many different devices. (Bull & Sites, 2009) The article also mentioned something that I found to be pretty interesting: a device such as the Kindle has a built in speech option that reads a book aloud, which is used to help people with poor vision or help students focus by listening.  I do not think I would encourage students to use this option, because I think that reading is an important activity for students.  I do, however, think that digital books are going to be very prevalent in our future, especially within education.  I mean, look at our class – all of our readings are online!  No need to buy an expensive book that will be out of date by next semester when we can just read up to date, digital information!  I think this will be catching on in elementary and high schools as well and I plan to use them in my classroom one day.  It would allow my students to access their books from many different places without having to carry around a heavy book, and it also saves the school a lot of money because there is no need to purchase printed books that go out of date usually by the time they hit the classroom. 
To summarize, this article highlights the growing use of digitized books in society today and predicts that printed books are on their way out.   One great example related to education that the article mentioned was that University of Virginia is removing printed copies of 50,000 volumes from their library and will be accessing digitized copies from Google Books in order to create the “library of the future”.   More and more schools will be doing this and I look forward to seeing what is to come in education with the use of technology. 

Thanks for reading,

Kimberly Taron

Citation Information

Bull, G., & Sites, M. (2009). Digital libraries: Shifting the landscape. Learning and Leading with Technology , 37(1), 13-14. Retrieved from

Friday, February 17, 2012

Virtual Field Trips

Hi Class,

I was really excited to learn about virtual field trips in the article, The Beginner's Guide to Interactive Virtual Field Trips, by Jan Zanetis.  I really had no idea they existed and think back to my own school experience as a child and wish that this resource had been available to me! Virtual field trips provide an opportunity for kids in all different communities to virtually travel to a place they otherwise could not.  Not only can students learn from onsite experts at institutions all around the country, but they can also interact with them.  This is really an incredible movement in the use of technology for education.  This tool is better than just putting on a video to teach kids about a subject because it is actually a real time, interactive experience.  They can ask questions and view the space as if they were actually there.  It gives students the opportunity to explore outside of the classroom while remaining at the school.  This is a great resource for schools that have a hard time providing real field trip opportunities to the students.
I enjoyed visiting some of the virtual field trip sites mentioned in the article.  Here is a page I found on the Natural History Museum’s site.  It has all kinds of different links and areas to explore.
You can find this site at: Natural History Museum 
This museum is in London, but it has so many great galleries and interesting things to explore and learn about.  This is a great example of how virtual field trips are beneficial.

What I also find great is how easy it is!  Although the equipment (which allows the use of a large screen that can be used for watching and interacting with the experts) may be an initial investment and many of the virtual field trips have a fee, there are ways to raise the funds.  The article mentions that virtual field trip funding can be included in a school’s budget.  I also think that it can be something that schools can work to raise the money for themselves, if need be.  Jog-a-thons, bake sales, etc. are good ways for schools to raise money for important resources.  I think that implementing the tools needed for virtual field trips into schools is going to be very important in the coming years, and schools will definitely begin to catch on.  I can’t wait to use them one day in my own classroom!

Thanks for reading!

Kimberly Taron

Friday, February 10, 2012

Is Blogging Worth the Risk??

Hi Class,

After reading the article, “Point CounterPoint: Is Blogging Worth the Risk?”, I believe that blogging is worth the risk.  Communication is everything these days, especially on the Internet through social networking sites.  I think that blogging should be used to express opinions as long as they are constructive.  I also strongly believe that blogging should be used in the classroom.  Kids are going to be putting their thoughts out there in the social networking world all over the Internet whether we like it or not, so why not incorporate it into education? As mentioned in the article, by using blogs to express themselves in an educational setting, students will learn positive practices for communication.  With an implied responsibility connected to their online communication, students will develop good habits. Kids are going to express themselves no matter what.  Therefore, why not help them do it in a positive way?  

Check out this website I found with tips for blogging with your students:

Thanks for reading! 
Kimberly Taron

Tuesday, February 7, 2012


                Welcome to my Blog!!

My name is Kimberly and I am going to be an elementary school teacher.