Welcome to iHCPL: The Next Generation. This site was created as the next step in Harris County Public Library's iHCPL Learning 2.0 Program; a discovery learning program designed to encourage staff to explore new technologies. The original iHCPL program was adapted from The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County's Learning 2.0 Program.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Potluck #50: Global Nation

Time to travel, whether just the next state over or across the globe, there are some great websites to help you on your way. Grab your passport, and let’s go! This potluck exercise is worth .5 training hours.

First stop – wait - don’t have a passport? I’m afraid that’s a requirement when you go out of the United States (and really, isn’t it just cool to say you have one?) Don’t worry, though, the government has actually made getting a passport easy. Several local post offices now are able to help you, and there is an informative website as well. Visit http://travel.state.gov/passport

Now you’ve gotten that taken care of, let’s visit some great trip planning and sharing sites.

Tripbase.com is guided by your interests. Use the slider bars to indicate how much you want to spend and your interests when you’re traveling (nature lover? Sightseer?), and then let the site suggest global and local destinations for you. Beware of the flight costs being a little sketchy. I know I can’t get from Houston to Fraser Island, Australia on $220. If I could, I wouldn’t be typing this up to you all. I’d be saying, “Bye, mates!” The reason for the error in cost? It was pulling up a flight to Tulsa, OK. The other information offers pretty decent indicators on your spending.
Tripwise.com incorporates some popular social networking sites and gives the overall atmosphere a travel guide feel. According to its About Us, page Tripwise.com is a “Travel 2.0 company with a great vision to create and build a community of travelers…”

IgoUgo.com is another social travel site allowing members to store up travel stories, blogs, and trip tips to share with others. Covering over 800,000 destinations around the globe, you should have plenty of stories to read and inspiration for a great vacation.

Need more of the cultural stops? Want to know the events going on locally? Here are sites that will steer you on the right path.

Simpatigo.com won’t tell you where to go, only tell you how to get there and what you’ll see on the way. The ultimate car trip guide, give it where you start and where you end, and it has a tourist’s cornucopia of sights to see. Like stop by the first J.C. Penny store, the Golden Rule Store, on your trip from Houston to Seattle. It’s in Kemmerer, WY.

– Ebookers Calendar is a downloadable program to help you see what events are going on around the world. It also has a web version that requires a sign up. As part of the Orbitz.com family of companies, ebookers.com being the European site, there is a lot of information in here, including early travel offer alerts.
For more great sites visit nileguide.com, 43places.com, or the European based sites venividiwiki.eu or Ving Trip Finder .

And always remember most cities and places of interest of a tourist board. Visit their websites to learn about the culture, what’s going on, and the places to stay and see.

Discovery Exercise:

Your exercise is to use one, or more, of these websites and plan your dream vacation. Post your destination and things you’ll be seeing or doing on your blog before you get carried away in your imaginings of sipping exotic beverages on a beach or climbing K2.

HCPL Staff: Have you this exercise? Then Submit your Registration of Completion

This post is brought to you by Beth Krippel (ATA) and Kathy Knox (ADM).

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