Sunday, November 22, 2009

LINDA SLACUM "Mock Facebook" Nov. 22, 2009 LM_NET

Ms. Slacum has a HIT about how teachers and teacher-librarians are using Facebook, blogging and other Web 2.0 tools in the classroom and library. I get so frustrated when reading these because I have talked myself blue in the face in my district without any avail. We do not let students on networking sites...period. We COULD because we have the equipment and services available but we won't. We don't want parents to ask us why their child is on Facebook at school just like we don't want them to access the library catalog - we don't want them to ask why certain books are on the shelves. SO WRONG!!!!!!

Reality Bytes...Reality is Testing

Buffy Hamilton is echoing a question we all deal with everyday.

"Why do some students embrace reflection and original thinking while others chafe in the face of learning experiences that do not reflect the knowledge banking nature of today’s test driven educational climate?"

Students know that their grades result in happy/angry parents and teachers, self-satisfaction, a way of comparing themselves to others...entrance to college, jobs, etc. Where do these grades come from? Scores on assignments and tests...or at least that's the perception of the student. This is not new. What is new is the all-encompassing MAP (or other test).

I don't blame students for wanting us to tell them exactly what they are supposed to know and help them learn to do exactly what they need to do. They know how much depends on GPAs and ACT/SAT scores for college; they know there will be tests in every profession...the Bar, Boards, and other certifications. I like to know what I will be evaluated do they. I want to know what my principal is looking for when she comes in to observe. I know my students need to gain a certain amount of knowledge and skills while they are with me. That is what expected of me. My students are expected to pass these tests...that's the reality that it seems none of us can do much to change in the near future.

I must be cynical today, but we all want Buffy's Elesian fields of literacy but reality is very different.

Jacqueline Henry "Blogs as authoritative sources" Nov. 21, 2009 LM_NET

I often wonder how to teach my students about using blogs as sources. It seems I am not the only one. Ms. Henry makes the point very well. "If the author posts credentials it is easy. If they don't - I advise the student to toss them out. Many of these sites have info that just looks SO good - it catches them up." More than once I have watched a student struggle to find good sources about a particularly elusive topic and FINALLY come across an "excellent" site full of information... a blog. I just pray we can find the author and some credentials. No such luck. Now my student thinks I am purposely trying to make his/her life more difficult and they are not listening to anything else I say. Well, that last bit is not true, I hope. Fact: very frustrating. Can we start implementing a tag or filter for Websites so that kids can type in "good" and only good ones show up? (no, I'm not smoking anything - just a thought)

Change for change's sake...not always good

Leadership is getting someone to do what they don’t want to do, to achieve what they want to achieve. - Tom Landry

Doug Johnson used this quote as he discussed the difficulties of implementing change in an organization like a school. Change is inevitable, but not all change is good change. I think leadership is making sure you know just what it is everyone around you wants to achieve, first. Then, make sure the stuff they "don't want to do" will actually increase achievement. I sometimes wonder if we hypothesize what will make everything better, then forget to check and see if it IS actually making things better once we have it. Sometimes there's a damn good reason people "don't want to do" certain things - like, it doesn't work! Is hoping that it will all work out in the end worth the fight to convince people it will (when you don't even know that it will)?

My outlook isn't completely cynical. I just want to know that when I am told by a supervisor that I must implement a change, I want to know said person has done their homework. I want to see the data that says it will work and why it works. I don't think that is too much to ask.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Distracting Technologies

Doug Johnson asks "How do we deal with the distractive qualities of technology in schools?" I honestly don't think this is technology problem, it is an engagement problem. Would anyone argue that students were always paying close attention and never distracted in school before iPods and Twitter were available? One person commented that this is much more of an issue in secondary than elementary schools. True, simply because older students tend to have more access to these devices. Are elementary students more likely to be interested and focused on the lesson? Others commented on making sure you, as educator, are using technologies for a purpose, not just "because." I think this is completely off topic. Students can benefit from lessons using any kind of technology or not. The educator's job is to get them interested and keep them engaged. If this is happening, they won't be listening to their iPods. If it is not, they will find other ways of entertaining themselves, passing notes, doodling, etc. The question about how to use technology effectively as a learning tool is another discussion entirely.


Joyce Valenza shows off some the videos her students created with Animoto recently. I also used this Website with my students. We ran into a few problems but were successful in the end. All our images were cited and we were able to show our parents during PT conferences. The parents were thrilled, the students were proud and I have nowhere to put them. Everything is cited so they would be fine on the Web but my district won't allow me to do that. Frustrating!

Sandra Carswell "Fair Use and Copyright on the Web" Oct. 27, 2009 LM_Net

This post goes through very useful tips about how and what is legal to use under the "fair use" clause in copyright law. She points out that many images can be used as long as the student work is used only in the classroom, not published online. In that case, citations are necessary. Why would we ever let students use images or words without citing them, no matter where their final product ends up? How are we teaching our students to use sources ethically and responsibly if we don't insist they give credit to the correct owner. I think it is very misleading to let students not cite works for certain things and insist they cite in other situations. I suggest students be required to cite all sources and that teachers/librarians model this practice in their own work.

Mary Burkey "Audio Books" Oct. 27, 2009 LM_Net

Burkey suggests resources such as "ALSC Notable Children's Recordings & YALSA Amazing Audiobook selection lists and Odyssey Award titles" for audio books. She also posts this link for evidence of why they are important. The SPED department in our district recognized the importance of these resources but chose to buy MP3 players and record someone reading the book instead of buying the audio version. As Floyd pointed out, this is copyright violation. I wonder who was responsible for knowing and/or enforcing this in my district? I still don't know.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

13 point checklist for principals

Doug Johnson is so good at putting a lot of information into easily used formats. This is a checklist that I want my principal to see. First, I'd like her to realize that much of what is being done already is important, even if it doesn't seem like it. Second, many of her decisions are limiting the effectiveness of the LMC and LMS. In addition to the building principal, though, our district admisistration should also see it...specifically this...

8. Telecommunications
Is the school linked by a telecommunications network for distance learning opportunities for students? Are there interactive classrooms in the building?
Does the library media program coordinate programming which can be aired on the local public access channel?
Does the library program coordinate in-house video broadcast programming?

There's something other than Google?

Joyce Valenza is a big proponent of Richard Byrne's "Beyond Google: Improve Your Search Results." I am emailed this article to myself and will use it very soon. I know Google can provide useful results but it is certainly not the only option. I get highly annoyed when educators say "don't use Google at all." Google has a lot to offer. So do other sites. I need to do a better job "selling" databases, etc. and teaching HOW to search effectively.

Martha Oldham "Facebook" Oct 25, 2009 LM_NET

My school has a "no public access" policy...or at least that's what I call it. None of the schools have Web pages and no LMC pages are accessible and teachers are not supposed to have class Websites. One of my colleagues has a wiki anyway where he posts class news updates, lesson plans, assignments and communicates with any parents who have Internet access. It is not a place where students can interact with him nor does he post student work. I am wondering if having a "teacher" Facebook page would really be a problem. Student comments will have to stay on topic and follow school expectations. If parents allow their students to have a FB page in the first place, adding a page to remind them of homework assignments should not be a problem. My big question is do I ask for permission first or potentially ask for forgiveness later?

Anne Corsetti "Animoto" Oct 25, 2009 LM_NET

Apparently I am not the only one tyring to use Animoto for creating my own book trailers as well as having students create them. I am currently trying to get all of my students to complete one before parent teacher confereces. Some of my students are done, some are close, and others have nothing... typical. I thought this assignment might actually be one where every student would get it completed. Wrong. They love watching my videos; they love looking at videos done by other students; they were all very excited when I introduced the activity; some still have nothing. My problem is that many of my students have no email address so they cannot set up their own account. So, I paid for an unlimited video account and let the rest of them use mine. I don't know if that is an ethical problem but my thought is 1)they could have their own free accounts if I insist they set up an email account OR 2)Animoto gets my yearly fee and students are exposed to their product... I picked door number two. This is causing problems, though. There are too many projects working at the same time and students end up with other's images in their video... I am loving the ones that are done but it has certainly not been without headaches. I was going to use MovieMaker, but Animoto is SO much simpler to use. Anyone have suggestions or other options?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Nancy Willard " A Librarian by any other name..." Oct 16, 2009 LM_NET

Nancy Willard is advocating a new title for...librarians/teacher-librarians/library media specialists. She argues that, given the actual requirements of this job, the title should reflect the technological expertise of the position. The term "librarian" carries too many stereotypes and images of gray hair in a bun (or balding man), with horn-rimmed glasses always scowling, stamping books and repeating "shh" ad naseum. I understand her point. However, I completely disagree with her. There are too many titles for our position already. We need to pick one and make it standard. We still have libraries, although they may look different every decade, and we still have librarians. Our job needs to evolve as well as our skills, but our title does not. Teaching looks very different today from fifty years ago, but we are still called teachers. We still dial a phone although I dare you to find anyone under twenty who can tell you what a "dial" is. The title is not the issue...advocacy and education is.

Melissa Techman "Copyright" Oct. 17 LM_NET

Ms. Techman shares a great idea about promoting books that, unfortunately, violates copyright law. I find that this happens ALL THE TIME in schools. It is just so easy to copy pages for a class set rather than use precious funds for a class set of books. The LMS is clearly the person most knowledgeable about this issue in the building, although every teacher should be aware of these laws. Most people just don't care. The truth is, I'm not sure how I would tackle this issue as a LMS. I have mentioned to colleagues that they are blantently violating copyright and the response is the same as my students' - "So what? No one will ever know and I need this." Teachers will often pull the "it's for the kids" arguement. I am a rule-follower but I am also practical. How do I convince teachers that copyright violation is unethical and illegal and THAT should be reason enough not to do it? Furthermore, is it even possible to enforce this in your building?

Facebook Faux Pas

Doug Johnson links to some articles about how adults need some serious help deciding what to post on social networking sites. We spend a lot of energy discussing the use of Web 2.0 in schools and how important it is to instruct teenagers to use it ethically and responsibly. We all know that people will inevitably make poor decisions. Do not consider me an elitist when I say that sometimes people are just dumb. Social networking blunders could, arguably, fall into the "situation unknown" category simply because the technology comes at us so quickly. Yes, as we learn from others' mistakes in using these sites we need to be developing sets of instructions and "how-to" processes for our young people. However, basic thinking skills should be enough to guide anyone in their use of any new technology. This is, in my mind, more important than any specific Web 2.0 skill.


I find it interesting that the Unquiet Librarian posted this during the week that we, in the Administration class, are talking about that very issue. Ms. Hamilton is using her Flip video camera to gather feedback about users' opinions about the library. Both videos she has posted are students answering questions that begin, "What do you like about..." This is a great marketing tool. It certainly builds a positive image of her LMC. I have no doubt her LMC is wonderful, but I certainly hope this is not the only data she relies upon to assess her program. (I would bet it is not)

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

How to be Superwoman...that is the question

Joyce Valenza posted this list of her favorite news magazines now available online. I love it when someone else compiles lists, and links, to useful resources that I can use. Every time I see Ms. Valenza's name on anything, though, I get slightly depressed. I think "How does this woman find the time to do all these things...and do them so well?" and "There is no way I will ever be able to do that." This sounds very negative but, honestly...are we all supposed to be so prolific? I hope not. I am typically a bit of an overachiever and hold myself to a pretty high standard, but I do not want to work ALL the time. I ask the question because I assume she knows something I don't. I want to know how to be influencial in my profession as well as have a life outside of it.

Wi-Fi and the Community

This post by David Warlick does not at first seem to be relevant to school media centers, but I am reminded of the article I read about Valerie Diggs and her Learning Commons at Chelmsford High School in Massachusetts (Teacher Librarian, 36.4). She used the "Starbucks" model of coffee shop-as-meeting place to bring students together in the library. This, according to the article, has worked very well. I wonder, though, as I push for wireless Internet in my building, whether our we will find that our students become more interested in their own community or less. Will the availability of instant communication across the country and globe make our small community less important and just plain boring? How will we, as educators, bring the world to our students and still keep their interest in their immediate community. I've noticed my students are already more likely to have "conversations" through texting or some kind of instant messaging than face-to-face. How do we emphasise the importance of personal communication in addition to all the exciting cyber-communication? Just some food for thought.

Sara Robisch "AR in Elementary" Sept. 28, 2009 LM_NET

As I read through this compilation of opinions about using AR (Accelerated Reader), or other similar programs like Reading Counts, I get so frustrated I need to post a rant. When I take a position as LMS, I will fight these programs' widespread use with everything I have. As a teacher, I am fighting is as much as I can, which is, unfortunately, not much. I am having trouble seeing where the value is in them. I see censorship. Librarians are pressured to acquire only "testable" books instead of simply acquiring the best collection possible. Books are then labeled by color that represent their Lexile or Reading Level. Students now choose books by looking at colors on the spine instead of interest. Teachers requiring students to read on a certain "level" are limiting their students options and lowering the likelihood of their finding a book they really enjoy. Lower readers are now ashamed of their books that boldy show off the low level. High-low books are not so effective all of a sudden. Advanced readers have even more problems. Books in their level are often not at all interesting or even available in elementary libraries. Why should a student, who is clearly a good reader, be forced to read books at a level their teachers do not even read? I read the Mark Twain and Truman books for fun (and to keep abreast of what is available to my kiddos). Am I becoming a worse reader? Do I need to read Jane Austen and Dickens in order to keep my reading skills acute, improve my comprehension and learn to enjoy reading? I do enjoy Austen; I do not enjoy Dickens. So, I read Austen when I'm in the mood and I never read Dickens. This should be how we teach students to choose books. "Here, try this. If you like it, great... if not, let's try something else." How does reading become fun when it is a chore to find a book with the right color and the right number of points. The fact that most students choose books based on these two things proves that they are not reading for fun. They are reading for a grade.

I really could go on and on...I pretty much hate AR and RC...this will not be something I will willingly incorporate into my LMC programs.

Louise Gorvett "Teacher Resources/Digital Divide" Sept. 28, 2009 LM_NET

In this posting, Louise asks whether teacher use digital or print professional resources more often. This is a good question that probably depends on the demographics of the teachers in a given building or district. Her next question is the one that should be considered first.
"And, on a related note, do you find that the "digital divide" applies to
teachers? Are your younger teachers more likely to embrace e-books and
online databases?"

Although this is certainly not accurate across the board, there is a "digital divide" based largely on age. I am sure we could all think of an older, or more experienced, teacher who does not think of using databases or teaching Web 2.0 skills. They are not necessarily opposed to new technologies but are comfortable with what they have been doing and often do a great job without them. Younger teachers have grown up using digital technologies and have been taught to use them during under-grad. I see older teachers whose attitude is more "how is that any better?" rather than "I can't learn how to use that." This is always a good question. Nothing should be used "just because." Younger teachers will answer, "this is WAY more fun (and a lot easier)!" Teacher-librarians should answer, "these are the skills students will need when they graduate. We need to teach them how to use them properly, ethically and responsibly."

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Nancy Dickinson "Author Visits" Sept. 27, 2009 LM_NET

I am glad to see that people post good experiences with authors. This particular post recommends Dianne de las Casas. Our students have enjoyed Roland Smith so much our LMS tries to get him every other year so that all our students see him once. His books fly off the shelves because he is so inspiring, I think. Students really love having that personal connection with an author and I have seen students start reading just because they heard him talk about a book. I have also experienced a less-than-fabulous presentation by some others. Author visits can be so rewarding for everyone involved but they cost quite a bit. It is really dissappointing to use precious funds and instructional time for an unimpressive "assembly" where the kids have tuned out within minutes. I am a huge proponent of author visits and I will always advocate for them as an LMS. I just need to do the research and make sure the response is "I want a book by..." and not "whatever you paid for that it was too much."

jessica munich "Teachers stay during library time" Sept. 27, 2009 LM_NET

My building now uses flex scheduling for library access so whether or not to stay with my students is not an even an option. I have worked in an elementary setting where my students went to the library every two weeks. It never occurred to me to leave my students in the library. Generally, students behave better when their own teacher is present. One hour every two weeks is simply not enough time for a teacher-librarian to establish that relationship. Of course, an LMS will have classroom management skills but I would not want her/him to be focused on management or discipline instead of the content and skills of the lesson. I agree with Jessica and her principal that this should be required of teachers.

That being said, her problem is one I do not envy. Teachers, I know this because I am one, tend to resist change. We, who should constantly be trying to improve, like having things "just so." We don't get a whole lot of personal time so taking any of that time will meet with resistance. Jessica has the support of her administration, which is ultimately important. She also says she will make her expectations very clear. This is a good idea. When it is presented as "this is our goal," "I will do this," "you do this," can't very well be argued. Of course, teachers will argue anyway, but they will eventually run out of steam and start using the time productively.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Reflection about that meta-reflection?

My favorite Unquiet Librarian reflected over her semester so far in this post. I am really learning that "reflection" is one of the most necessary steps in education. I have always had my students explain their processes and verbalize their own strengths and weaknesses with topics. I am not so diligent in my own processes, however. I love that she posts her reflections because not only is she learning from her experiences but I can learn from them as well. I love Web 2.0!!!!

The Best Time to be a Librarian???

Joyce Valenza wrote this article about how great it is to be librarian in our information/interaction-rich society. I am often torn when I think about leaving my classroom for the library (a much larger classroom). I get excited about the possibilities and I am energized by all the resources and skills I learn in my classes. On the other hand I get overwhelmed and anxious when I see how much is demanded of teacher-librarians and how many jobs are getting cut every year. I like to see that it is possible to make the job relevent and enoyable at the same time.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Magic Books

Doug Johnson wrote this wonderful post reflecting on intrinsic motivation and the need for libraries. I just turned in my Budgets project which I put together with this in mind. It seems that every year I find more and more students who hate to read...some of them are poor readers so they are constantly frustrated...some are excellent readers who, for whatever reason, associate reading with very negative experiences. The former group need a VARIETY of books at their level from which to choose. Librarians have to make sure their collections are filled with materials that have age-appropriate themes and content but vary in reading level. Even more, the librarian must be available to know the needs of low readers to spark that internal fire with materials that will not cause further frustration for the reader. The second group also depends on the expertise of the LMS. These good readers are uninterested and have already decided that every book is boring and that reading means being bored. The LMS has the challenge of finding that illusive book, or some kind of material, to begin the process of changing the child's perception of reading. Librarians are simply SO important for this, from developing the collection to working with students. I do my best to help students in my class find these magic books but I do not have these expertise that the LMS does. I will, though, eventually.

Twitter may save your life?

The Unquiet Librarian links to an article by Patricia F. Anderson about how Twitter or other technology could have helped in the aftermath of September 11. I never thought about this before. The discussion about whether, or how much, or how to use social networking media and Web 2.0 as learning tools is ongoing. The importance of teaching media literacy is evident, but seemingly slow in coming to many schools. We know students need these tools to succeed in academia and the work force, but do we ever think about it possibly saving their lives? We teach small children how to call 911 and set alarm codes at home. Every teenager has a cell phone, often BECAUSE of safety reasons. In this light, it seems that every child has a right to know how to use these kinds of technology. We must be teaching this in every school. It may not be easy, but LMSs have an obligation to convince nay-sayers that Web 2.0 belongs in schools.

Susan Grisby "Media Clerk Interview Question" Sept. 11, 2009 LM_NET

This post brought up a lot of issues for me as I think about becoming a LMS in upcoming years. I would clearly want to be a part of the hiring process for an assistant but I would have similar concerns to Susan's. How does one find out whether someone will actually be a good fit for the position. I know administrators deal with this all the time, but I am not a principle and have no desire to be one. I look at my current LMC staff and don't know how it would run if our LMC paraprofessional was not there. She knows everything - I'm not kidding. Without quality help, I don't know that I will be able to handle starting as an LMS. I worked one year in a building with a brand new LMS whose part-time assistant did nothing more than check-out and occasionaly reshelve books. This resulted in a very poorly run LMC where my students did not enjoy spending time and where they learned very little. I know it will be a struggle to make the transition from the classroom to the LMC and my worst nightmare is not having someone who already knows what's going on.

David Lininger "The Copy Police" Sept. 11, 2009 LM_NET

The title of this post caught my eye immediately. There was another post recently about teaching students about plagiarism and copyright. This is such a difficult task for teachers and librarians both. I get so frustrated trying to convince my students that it really is not okay to steal other people's ideas. They seem to be more willing to not copy from books but there truly is an attitude that anything on the Web is "free." "Who will know?" "I'm not making any money off of my paper or anything." I like articles like this one to use as "back up." It is not just my crazy teacher/librarian telling me I can't really IS a big deal.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Perfect timing

I was reading some recent posts on my favorite library blog, Blue Skunk Blog, and saw this. Which took me on a little rant to my boyfriend about how absurd it is to be unhappy by constantly dwelling on horrible things at work. Those of us who work with children every day have the fewest reasons to be unhappy and complain because we truly have the BEST job in the world! Since I am a fabulous multi-tasker, just as I was saying this I came upon this post by the Unquiet Librarian. I don't need to keep ranting...just read this...all the way to the bottom.

G Lehman "Audio Book Help" Sept 2, 2009 LM_NET Posting

I love listening to books on tape and am becoming a huge fan of using them in school. Students that are reading on level either already know how to enjoy a story or need some convincing that books are actually fun. Audio books seem more like entertainment than work and they can help convince those kiddos. Lower readers need even more convincing that books can be fun and this may be the encouragement they need. While they develop their skills they can still enjoy the stories and learn literary concepts.

That being said... my school has quite a collection of audio books on cd but last year added numerous mp3 players to the collection. During PD days before the school year, several para-professionals were enlisted to read a variety of books - selected by teachers - and record them on the mp3s. Although the equipment is cataloged and circulated through the library, it was the SPED dept that requested the funding and "got it done." The more I think about it the more I realize that most of the technology - equipment and programs - in our building were acquired due to district initiatives or specific department efforts...not due to the LMC staff.

Patricia Scanlan "Anger management" Sept 3, 2009 LM_NET Posting

I walked through my LMC the other day before school where my LMS and a vendor were going through new titles available. Since she knows I am in this program and often tax her brain about library "stuff" she stopped me and asked if I had a few minutes to look at some titles with them. I did not, unfortunately, but I did notice a new non-fiction series dealing with emotional health. One was dealing with anger management and the comment was made that it may not be appropriate for a 5th and 6th grade library. I was somewhat surprised. I suggested that it may still be a worthwhile title to put in the staff resource area, at least. I was pressed for time and had to leave, but thought about this for a while. The entire series looked well done and had good reviews. Why would this particular title get put under such censure? Spend one day in my builing, or any intermediate school, and it becomes obvious that this issue certainly applies to this age group. I deal with children with anger problems on a daily basis. It is a topic covered in class counseling sessions. Why was it automatically set aside as inappropriate? Here, Ms Scanlan is asking for recommendations (granted, for a HS) and our book is being hidden or perhaps rejected entirely. I am baffled. My parting comment was, "You know me. I am all for 'all books on the shelf'."

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Have you seen the library? It's SO cool!

The Unquiet Librarian is also wondering what's going to get patrons into the library and using the materials and services. She is trying a personalized loan program. I don't know that would make much difference in my school since the students are never actually charged until they graduate and the book is still missing. Graduation is a long way away to a 12-year-old. Using a more retail-based design strategy is good! As long as students ( and teachers) are allowed the freedom to really browse, enjoy and be "sucked in" to the environment, it could work. I'm not sure what kind of public school offers that much free time, but maybe... maybe the environment will make the limited time available more productive. And again, what can we learn from Facebook and other social sites in reference to the media center and learning???? She keeps coming back to that... will keep reading...

The Teacher Makes a Difference? WHAT???

I first read an article by Doug Johnson last year for the Collections and Acquisitions class. I really had no idea what he was talking about but after some time in this program I went back to that article and others he had written. All that to say, I really like his blog and this posting in particular - "Librarian-proof libraries? Guest rant by Gary Hartzell." I am not a librarian or media center specialist yet but I have been a teacher for a while and feel that every year this idea has become more prominent - that we all just need to work together to get the curriculum and lesson plans just right and then every student will have the same success no matter where they go to school. The points made in this posting are wonderfully obvious and TRUE!! How is the teacher accountable for anything if the curriculum/system is "the thing." If that's true, every child in my classroom should get the same scores because they've had the same curriculum... every child visiting the media center will be 21st Century Learners because the system is in place. ?????? Of course people matter... good teachers are essential... not all teachers are good ones... fact. Why do we pay more for name brands? a specialist instead of our primary care physician? a certified car dealership instead of the guy in the garage in the alley? EVERYTHING is personnel-dependent!!!!

Betty Winslow 'Getting Teachers into the MC' Aug. 25, 2009 LM_NET

Winslow has some great ideas to "advertise" the MC to teachers. I know my LMS is constantly struggling with this. "You can lead a horse to water but..." applies to teachers as well as students. We want students to be inquisitive and learn/apply new skills but so many of us (teachers) don't inquire or learn new skills ourselves. Winslow suggests bribery... probably the most practical... at least, until you can develop a whole propoganda strategy to brainwash everyone !!!

Darlene J. Forsythe 'Collaborating with Public Libraries' Aug 24, 2009 LM_Net

Our textbook boes into some detail about collaborating with public libraries...what not to and what MUST be done. I got the feeling that the author is a proponent of the concept but not really sure what to advise about it. Darlene Forsythe seems not to know any more. I asked my students today, prompted by a Channel One story about "texting librarians," how many of them - or even someone in their family - had a library card. About 12 students raised their hands. I know my students pick out books from the library at school, but would they know how to do this at a library that does not have AR or RC color-codes and points? Unfortunately most of my students pick out books based on lexiles and points and nothing much else if left on their own. Does this translate to life-long learning? Not so much.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Social Networks as Learning Tool? Absolutely!

The Unquiet Librarian is advocating for the use of social networking tools in the classroom in response to another article by Dana Boyd which claims bringing social networking into the classroom creates a "cognitive collision" and can be harmful to students. Hamilton and those who commented on this post claim that students cannot be expected to go out into the university or work world and use these tools for learning and professional/educational development if they are not taught to do this. I agree completely. Just as we teach them to read and be discerning in their choice and context of reading material, we should be teaching them how to take advantage of these digital tools and use them responsibly. David Phelps has an article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune called "You have the right to remain silent... and tweetless" talking about the legal ramifications of anything posted online even if it is on Facebook or Twitter and meant as a private conversation. Doug Johnson added a link to the article on his "Blue Skunk Blog" advising potential criminals to simply use the phone. The first discussion leads directly to this article. Where and how will students be instructed on 1) what is available to them in the digital world 2) how to use them effectively and productively 3) real-life application and consequences of both proper and miss-use. The school, specifically the media center, is ideal for this. In fact the Standards for 21st-Century Learners demands we do this.

Shonda Brisco 'Need Caldecott and Newbery Award Posters' Aug 23, 2009 LM_Net posting

I am reminded just how many hats a LMS wears and how resourceful he/she must be. The books, the equipment, the technology, the lessons...okay. But then there are the vendors, "marketing" (the posters in the above posting among other things), authors, policies, professional groups of all are administrator/teacher/librarian/whatever else is needed it seems.

Thank goodness we live in a world of instant communication capabilities and social networking. How could a person do it all alone?

Ellyssa Kroski, 'Social Media Policies' Aug 23, 2009 LM_Net posting

Ellyssa Kroski is writing an article about creating policies for employees using social Websites at work. It never occured to me that this would be a LMS' job. Our district librarians work together on many projects and make suggestions but policy, specifically one dealing with technology, is done at Central office with some input from the Tech Dept. Perhaps Ms. Kroski is not writing this simply as a teacher/librarian.
I am very interested to see what kind of response she gets and what eventually goes in the article.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Getting Started

It has been many years since I have done any blogging. I am excited to get this all started again!