One frustration I've had is how to get middle school students to understand that the Web 2.0 tools used to create a web presence for the library's patrons are actually useful to them. As my customers, I feel obligated to introduce the library's various tools and have them use them during research and creating. My hope is that they will utilize these outside of the school and adopt some of these tools for their own use. Through observation, stats, and conversations with students, I have come to the conclusion that many students just don't want to read a lot of text (neither do I), so I explored some ways over the last year to create some excitement using comics, animation, and Glogster.
Now, that being said, my creations are rather basic, but I have thoroughly enjoyed every moment exploring various tools and creating these. First, let me give credit to Gwyneth Jones, the Daring Librarian, who graciously shares her very professional creations and how to create them, working under a Creative Commons. Check out her blog post with tutorials.
And here are some of my own. Using Comic Life software I experimented with a page on the library's wiki page linking to the Delicious site. The beauty of this is that I threw this together in only 10-15 min. after downloading the software. It's so easy. The avatars are some that I already had, so if time is an issue, this will not hinder you. We all know that Delicious is not very attractive and has lots of text, so students were not enamored with it last year. But, I have caught students reading the comic explaining how to use Delicious, so the traffic is increasing. The home page of the wiki was done using Glogster. It took a while, but only because I had too much fun looking at the widgets and deciding what to use. And guess what, students are using the wiki!
At book fair time I decided to get their attention on the morning news show by using a couple of other tools that were easy and fun. Here is one using GoAnimate. An even easier animation tool is Domo. The videos definitely got their attention.
If I can do it, so can you. If you try something, please consider sharing how you are using it and what successes you are having. Good luck!