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 kinds...you 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!