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Another Post Inspired by Back to School Time

September 29, 2008

I’m still completely in the back-to-school mode of thought and this post reflects it. Think of it as a continuation of Friday’s post: two parts fun and one part seriousness.

I was reflecting on one of my favorite quotes yesterday, “No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care” (Don Swartz). I thought that it was very appropriate in our roles both as librarians and as teachers. We know a lot about a whole lot of things, but no one really does care unless we can help them. Like the best teachers always say about the classes they teach: the class isn’t about the teacher, s/he already knows the content, it is about the students and what we can learn from each other. This concept works with marketing the library as well, but that is another day’s post.

Want proof of the power of caring? Check out Rate My Professor. Do you see your name there? If you check out professors, the ones that actually help their students and care about their students’ learning are the ones who most often get the highest ratings. Caring, not being an easy grader, is the key to becoming a great professor. It is fun to look at the professors responses to their students ratings too.

Here is one of the great interactive sites on the web Free Rice. Here you can improve your vocabulary while getting sponsors who advertise on the site to donate rice to the UN World Hunger Program. For every answer you get right, 20 grains of rice are donated to the UN World Hunger Program. It’s easy, it stretches your brain and you get to help people without ever leaving your computer. And to think that some say interactive web has no good uses!

Do you love music? Do you want a soundtrack to play at work so you aren’t distracted by everyone coming in and out of your office all day? Check out Pandora from the Music Genome Project. You get to design your own radio stations that only play the music you like. You can choose one of their already made stations or create your own station around your favorite artists, songs, genres, etc. Just follow the really simple instructions for creating a free account and start making stations. You can make a station to listen to when writing articles, another for when you need some energy, etc. Go have some fun on Pandora.

I promise the next post will be less about back-to-school and more about diving into the fray of Web2.0 and libraries. Happy Monday!

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