Last week I wrote a post about EyeJot This and the way my brain was reacting to the possibilities of using the tool with teens.’  Now, I’m back in brain spinning mode as I think about:

  • How the U.S. House and Senate, along with President-Elect Barack Obama, are using YouTube as a way to connect with people.’  Househub YouTube HeaderHousehub and Senatehub provide anyone and everyone with quick and easy access to the YouTube channels of members of Congress. While the content might not be the most exciting – yet – the access is important because it does give teens and librarians another resource for learning about and connecting with the U.S. government.

    Senatehub YouTube HeaderAs I think about this access, I have to ask, doesn’t this access all but make it impossible to continue to block tools like YouTube in schools and libraries? If teens are expected to learn about current events, the U.S. government, and politics, how can that learning take place without being able to get to these videos within the classroom and library?’  It seems to me that this really is the “straw that breaks the camel’s back” when it comes to limitations on web 2.0 tools in educational environments.

  • Storytlr, a lifestreaming site that gives users the opportunity to tell their story via their posts on a variety web 2.0 sites.’ 

    storytlr2While there are other lifestreaming sites, what makes Storytlr different is the story aspect of the site. With other lifestreaming services you might simply access a blog-like stream that shows updates in various web 2.0 services.’  But, with the story aspect of Storyltr, it’s possible to create a lifestream that starts and ends within a specific timeframe and that focuses on a specific topic. As the Ars Technica post on Storytlr says: “Storytlr’s claim to fame—its actual “Stories” feature—also received a key update with Release 6. Stories allow you to collect, say, photos from Flickr, Vimeo movies, and blog posts from your lifestream over a particular period of time for presenting as, well, a story of an event, such as a vacation or your annual family Christmas circus party. Creating a story from your lifestream involves not much more than setting a title, picking the dates between which items should be collected, and selecting the specific services among those you’re already importing.”

    Imagine a group of teens in a Teen Advisory Group taking pictures, writing blog posts, and Tweeting as they plan and implement a program for children at the library.’  The teens can turn those activities into a story on Storytlr and members of the community – peers, librarians, parents, and teachers – can watch the story unfold as the TAG works through and presents the pieces.’  That story is a visual and textual way to show what the teens are working on and creates a record of a project and process.

The U.S. government use of YouTube and Storytlr are the two things that have my brain going full steam this AM.’  And, while they may seem to not have a lot in common, in the world of teens and libraries they both give me a lot to think about in terms of how we provide teens with access to great resources and tools.

About Linda W Braun

Linda W Braun is a YALSA Past President, the YALSA CE Consultant, and a learning consultant/project management coordinator at LEO: Librarians & Educators Online.

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