Tags: eCOLLAB, Friday Finds, Professional Development
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One powerful benefit of AASL membership is free 24/7 access to eCOLLAB, your eLearning Laboratory! which located in the Online Learning & Continuing Education section of the AASL website at http://www.ala.org/aasl/ecollab. Non-members can also utilize this rich repository of wide-ranging professional development resources through a paid subscription to this site.
The eCOLLAB main page reveals three types of resources – webcasts, podcasts, and an online version of KNOWLEDGE QUEST. The webcast section contains an extensive library of in-depth presentations on major topics of interest to the professional librarian. Program evaluation, library design, creative programing, addressing the Common Core, saving school libraries are just some of the issues covered in webcasts gathered from past conferences, online training, and Knowledge Quest presentations. Handouts are available for most of the webcasts, extending the learning and offering additional resources on the topics.
For quick professional development for the busy librarian, check out the podcast section of eCOLLAB. Produced primarily as reflections on a number of KNOWLEDGE QUEST and School Library Month themes, leaders in the profession share their thoughts on school library topics.
The most recent issue of KNOWLEDGE QUEST is also accessible in a read-only format on eCOLLAB. A link on this page leads to a compilation of webinars and podcasts based specifically on past KNOWLEDGE QUEST themes.
Learners can also search eCOLLAB by topic of interest or by past events, such as national conferences, Fall Forums, and Learning4Life webinars. Members unable to attend AASL’s 16th National Conference and Exhibition in Hartford, CT, last fall can still take advantage of the presentations and handouts from the IDEAxCHANGE concurrent sessions, and the Unconference and enhance their professional learning.
eCOLLAB offers one-stop professional development shopping, brought to members and subscribers by top library leaders and thinkers. Spend some time exploring this exciting collection of resources and comment on your experience. What catches your attention in this eLearning Laboratory?
Let’s Get Together Thursday-Cross Campus Collaboration March 6, 2014Posted by Brooke Ahrens in Check this out!.
Tags: collaboration, Let's Get Together Thursday
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A guest post by Andrew Carlos, STEM and Web Services Library at CSU, East Bay
It’s easy to walk down the hall, knock on your colleagues door, and start a project. What if your colleague is across town? Across the country? Across the sea? Cross campus collaborations, though sometimes difficult, bring a variety of viewpoints to a project and could lead to a richer experience.
One of these benefits is disruption – when we have been working with the same people for years, we become comfortable and accustomed to how they work. It also creates a sense of complacency in that you know just how much you need to do to get something done. Speaking with a colleague at another campus forces you to open up your eyes to new possibilities and disrupts your train of thought – which can be scary at times! It allows you to bring in approaches, options and points of view that you may not have thought of that could end up being beneficial to your organization.
Speaking of points of view, it helps to collaborate with organizations that are different from yours. A great example of that is this blog post – this is the product of a collaboration between a private high school technology coordinator and a college web services librarian, done through Google Drive. Since we each serve a different community, we bring in different perspectives as we collaborate. With Brooke, she works very closely with students and for her, working with students is a completely separate beast from working with faculty. For Andrew, he works closely with faculty, with their demands and needs different from students. By examining the issue from separate paradigms, we may raise concerns or solutions previously unexplored or considered.
The next time you are looking for input on a new project, a recurring issue, or a particularly challenging problem consider connecting with colleagues outside your work environment. Their fresh perspective, or sage advice, might be just what you need.
What to Read Wednesday – BOY + BOT by Amy Dyckman March 5, 2014Posted by Karin Perry in Check this out!.
Tags: Friendship, What to Read Wednesday
One day, a boy and a robot meet in the woods. They play. They have fun.
But when Bot gets switched off, Boy thinks he’s sick. The usual remedies—applesauce, reading a story—don’t help, so Boy tucks the sick Bot in, then falls asleep.
Bot is worried when he powers on and finds his friend powered off. He takes Boy home with him and tries all his remedies: oil, reading an instruction manual. Nothing revives the malfunctioning Boy! Can the Inventor help fix him?
Using the perfect blend of sweetness and humor, this story of an adorable duo will win the hearts of the very youngest readers.
I am a sucker for good friendship stories. It’s something that sticks out for me after reading a book, no matter if it is a picture book or a young adult novel. Friendship doesn’t always have to be the main focus of the story like it is in BOY + BOT. For example, in the Vladimir Tod series the focus is on Vlad living as normal a life as possible even though he is a vampire. That and learning about his destiny and saving the world – maybe from himself. Through all of the danger and drama of this series, Henry, Vlad’s best friend, is a rock. Vlad is free to be himself and always can count on the truth when Henry is there.
Another great friendship can be found in the I HUNT KILLERS series by Barry Lyga. Jazz, the son of the most notorious serial killer, and Howie, his hemophiliac, best friend are a great pair. Jazz relies on Howie to keep him grounded and to remember that he doesn’t have to live a life like his father. That he can choose to have a good life.
So, I know there are so many other books that have great friendships. What are some that you can remember? Please leave them in the comments so I can track them down and read them if I haven’t already.
CLICK THE LINK to purchase the books.
Tuesday Tech Tips March 4, 2014Posted by Judy Deichman in Check this out!.
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Today I would like to recommend a social networking site that can be a great tool for launching your own professional learning community. It is easy to use, does requires registration, but most importantly, it is FREE! Once you register, you complete a personal profile and decide upon your own privacy settings and a Home Page is created for you. You can take advantage of the wealth of educational tools, research, and webinars. This network is run by administrators, teachers, professors, and LIBRARIANS! You can work and share with others throughout the country or just within your district or school. Here are some of the tools available within the community:
* Discussion Forums
* Document Libraries
* Chat Rooms
* Polls & Quizzes
Please check it out. See if you can find our great librarians throughout the website!
Monday Means Advocacy: Where do you hang your hat? March 3, 2014Posted by Deanna Harris in Advocacy, Learning Standards.
Tags: Advocacy, Monday Means Advocacy
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At my library media learning team a few years ago, we looked at the beliefs that are the cornerstone for the standards in library media programs using the book, Standards for the 21st Century Learner in Action (AASL, 2009).
First, we looked at the nine common beliefs through our own eyes, as library media coordinators. If we had to hang our hat on just one of the beliefs, where would we hang it? What did we see as our focus in our library media programs?
- Reading is the window to the world.
- Inquiry provides a framework for learning.
- Ethical behavior in the use of information must be taught.
- Technology skills are crucial for future employment needs.
- Equitable access is a key component for education.
- The definition of information literacy has become more complex as resources and technologies have changed.
- The continuing expansion of information demands that all individuals acquire the thinking skills that will enable them to learn on their own.
- Learning has a social context.
- School libraries are essential to the development of learning skills.
We were split between two of the beliefs: ‘Reading is a window to the world’ and ‘School libraries are essential to the development of learning skills’. Some of us felt that reading was the main focus of our programs and our work with students while others took a broader approach to seeing themselves and their programs as the place, environment, and access to all. No real surprises there.
But when we looked at the beliefs from other perspectives, we began to see how others view the library media program and how this affects our work. We asked ourselves which belief our principals would hold up as the hallmark for the media program. What would our students say is the most important belief? And what about our parents and PTA? Where would the superintendent or the school board member hang her hat on these common beliefs?
That’s when we realized that we have to consider all perspectives about library media, our influence on others, and the advocacy to promote our entire program. If a teacher views the library media program as a place for reading and that’s it, will they ever begin to incorporate instructional technologies or encourage educational and social networking with their students? If our principal sees our program as the place for students to improve their technology skills, will we ever get a budget to purchase the latest and greatest fiction? If the superintendent is most worried about and focused on ethical behavior in use of information, will he recognize the need for inquiry and critical thinking skills within the framework of learning?
We as librarians know that these are a set of beliefs and one does not necessarily outweigh another. It’s important to understand the perspectives of all our users in order to meet their needs, build influence and advocate for out total program. However, our hat rack may tell a different story if we tend to hang our own hat on only one or two of the beliefs instead of wearing the many different hats of our profession.
Ideas for Using AASL Best Websites: Animoto and Wordle March 2, 2014Posted by Heather Moorefield-Lang in Best Websites for Teaching and Learning, Hot Topics, Technology.
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Have you ever wanted to breathe new life into boring, traditional assignments? Animoto and Wordle, both 2009 recipients of the BWTL, are favorite go-to ideas when I’m brainstorming with teachers for new projects. Often they are unaware of the programs, or worse, aware but don’t see the tie-in to their curriculum content. As teacher librarians we are always on the look out for activities, ideas, or projects that allow students an interesting way to demonstrate concept mastery. Tried and true paper-writing becomes mundane and boring, both for the student and the teacher. Providing teachers a tool for their teacher toolbox and giving students a unique avenue to show they have researched, read, or learned a required standard can be a catalyst for re-engaging students in the learning process.
One of my teachers each semester assigns one written book report. Often times the type of required book changes by either genre or type. In a collaborative session with her, I introduced her to Wordle and Animoto. The library has a digital frame on the circulation desk, and often we create visuals to promote ongoing initiatives, including things like contests, upcoming events, new books, what’s popular, really almost anything. Having the digital frame made me realize it was the perfect avenue to showcase student work as well. I approached my collaborating teacher with an idea that her students books reports could be improved by adding a visual route, and a digital project was born. Over the years it has taken many twists and turns, and in its current state, it has grown to students creating a book review for our Destiny Quest, a digital product for the digital frame, and that same digital product added to the Destiny Record. Because our Destiny program is open to the public via the world wide web, anyone who looks for books through our catalog may come across Animoto videos, book posters that have included wordles, and student reviews. My collaborating teacher has maintained a written portion to the project, requiring the students to write the review and citations. Citations are for pictures used in their projects and for their print book reviewed in a strict MLA format, and this is a part of the rubric we use, where students are assessed. The rubric assesses the following: MLA Review, MLA Citations, minimum of five pictures related to the story or the books content in a visual, minimum of five uses of text in visual, and an oral presentation to class using the student created visual.
The students are much more engaged in all facets of the project knowing their end product potentially has a global audience. They are also excited at the prospect of our using their work in our digital frame for promoting a print resource they used from the library. My collaborating teacher frequently tells her students the skill set they develop from these projects can be used in other classes. I know our students have done this, particularly with our Animoto Accounts because the Educator accounts we use with the students have many works finished and/or in progress in there. I used to download them and then delete them until recently a student came in the library hysterical because her project (one from some time ago) was missing. I had deleted it thinking it was so old we didn’t need to keep it. This student had actually used the embed feature, and my deleting it caused her work to be missing in another digital avenue. Lesson learned–leave the students previous or other work in my accounts.
Here are a few samples of students past projects from the class I described above. They are embedded in our Destiny catalog and used to advertise or highlight books in the library as well.
Sample Student Visual Book Reports using a mashup of pictures and an overlay of a Wordle.
Sample Animoto Student Projects
Blog Cross Post from Cathy Jo Nelson: AASL Best Websites Committee Member
Friday Finds: #txlchat February 28, 2014Posted by Susi Grissom in Check this out!.
Tags: #txlchat, Friday Finds
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#TXLchat is creating quite a buzz in school librarian circles, and not just in Texas. Co-founder Michelle Cooper, middle school librarian in Henderson, TX, and self-described tech geek, book lover, and all-around nerd, shares the following overview of this popular bi-monthly discussion on Twitter:
#TXLchat provides an open forum for librarians in Texas and throughout the nation to create collaborative connections and share educational resources. Every second and fourth Tuesday of the month at 8:00 p.m. (CST), participants engage in lively discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #txlchat. The forum, focusing on wide-ranging topics relevant to the 21st century librarian, has included sessions on new tech tools, library programming promotion in the digital age, librarians as leaders, connecting with Skype, and must-read books, to name recent 2014 chats. Outstanding authors and library leaders often serve as guest hosts, with #txlchat participants recently enjoying interaction with ALA past president Maureen Sullivan, authors Matt de la Pena and Greg Neri, and hosts of the #SharpSchu chat, Colby Sharp and John Schumacher.
A number of Texas library leaders share the moderator responsibilities, including Sharon Gullett, Naomi Bates, Sue Fitzgerald, Sandra Carswell, Marsha Edney, and Sonja Schulz. Any AASL blog reader can join the next chat at 8:00 p.m. (CST) on March 11, 2014, and be a part of the fast and furious discussion. All are welcomed!
To check out this Twitter experience, use the #txlchat hashtag for resources, discussions and upcoming events, and access the #txlachat archives at: http://txlchat.wikispaces.com/home. Post a comment below if you’ve participated in #txlchat or if you have a Twitter forum to recommend.
Let’s Get Together Thursday- Collaborating about Collaborating February 27, 2014Posted by Brooke Ahrens in Check this out!.
Tags: collaboration, Let's Get Together Thursday
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For several years, my librarian and I have collaborated with freshman English and Religious Studies teachers to help students prepare for their first high school research paper. Students select and and investigate woman of historical significance, and then prepare a research project. The project provides us the opportunity to orient students to the digital and print research resources available in the Learning Commons, where and how to get help doing research, and how to find valid and credible websites.
Previously, our training orientation could be completed in 2 one hour sessions, but then things started to change. We expanded the resources and materials available to students, added more online databases, introduced anti-plagiarism software and online citation and note-taking softwares. We started using Moodle as our LMS to share materials, and incorporated Googles Apps for education. Our students needed training and orientation to all of these new services and softwares, so we added simply added them to our training sessions.
While our trainings changed, but our audience had not. Our students were still freshman, writing their first high school research paper, totally overwhelmed by the assignment and the amount of materials we were presenting. As librarians, teachers and technologists, we had adapted and integrated all of these exciting new tools into our working knowledge over a period of years, so we raced through our orientation sessions, trying to squeeze everything in. But during the trainings, you could feel the engagement of the students drop, and watch their eyes glaze over as they became totally oversaturated with information.
Something had to change, namely our orientation trainings. To solve this dilemma, we collaborated about how to best collaborate to meet our students needs. Meeting with the English and Religious Studies teachers, we laid out the challenges we observed in our training sessions, and discussed the goals each department had for the research project assignment. Then, as a team, we redesigned how the project was introduced to students, and where and when trainings and orientations would occur to meet these outcomes.
Now, instead having orientation training before the project was assigned, we broke the trainings into several smaller sessions occurring over a period of weeks. Students now select the woman they will research before our trainings begin, and each training session is focused on only one type of research resource or software. After each training, students have a specific research assignment related to the skill we’ve just introduced, designed to support their final research project.
Teachers were initially concerned because the new training schedule required more of their class time, but have discovered the new trainings have reduced the amount of class time previously spent reteaching the materials we covered in our rushed orientations. Students now collect and document research materials for their projects in a more methodical and thoughtful process. And best of all, no one looks like they might lose consciousness in the middle of our training orientations!
What to Read Wednesday – Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon and Dean Hale, illustrated by Nathan Hale February 26, 2014Posted by Karin Perry in Check this out!.
Tags: graphic novel, What to Read Wednesday
Once upon a time, in a land you only think you know, lived a little girl and her mother . . . or the woman she thought was her mother.
Every day, when the little girl played in her pretty garden, she grew more curious about what lay on the other side of the garden wall . . . a rather enormous garden wall.
And every year, as she grew older, things seemed weirder and weirder, until the day she finally climbed to the top of the wall and looked over into the mines and desert beyond.
Newbery Honor-winning author Shannon Hale teams up with husband Dean Hale and brilliant artist Nathan Hale (no relation) to bring readers a swashbuckling and hilarious twist on the classic story as you’ve never seen it before. Watch as Rapunzel and her amazing hair team up with Jack (of beanstalk fame) to gallop around the wild and western landscape, changing lives, righting wrongs, and bringing joy to every soul they encounter.
In this uniquely told and illustrated graphic novel version of the classic story Rapunzel, we see Rapunzel in a completely different and independent light, as a “cowgirl.” With elements from the classic story, Rapunzel’s tale opens with her growing up in a lush villa thinking that Mother Gothel is her mother. In reality, Mother Gothel stole her from her family and sentenced her mother and father to life-long servitude in the mines. When Rapunzel finds out she wants her mother freed, but Mother Gothel has her taken to a tower in the forest so that Rapunzel will see the error of her ways and accept her inheritance. In the tower, Rapunzel remains trapped with her hair growing longer and longer every day.
When Rapunzel escapes her prison is when we see the setting in the story take an interesting and unique turn. She is now in the Wild West and meets some unsavory characters along the way. She also meets a young man named Jack, who travels with a Goose named Goldy, whom she helps and then decides to travel with. In Rapunzel’s search to go back and free her mother and Jack’s need for Rapunzel’s protection, they have many hilarious adventures along the way.
The language style used in the story is very reminiscent of “cowboy talk” and often authentic to those times. Jack’s use of “Punzie” as Rapunzel’s nickname is especially funny. The great use of narration, done in yellow rectangles by Rapunzel, and the dialogue, done with oval bubble text boxes, throughout the novel really bring the action to life all the way to our happily-ever-after moment at the end of the story when this unlikely duo defeat Mother Gothel, save Rapunzel’s mother, and share a magical kiss.
I give Rapunzel’s Revenge 5 out of 5 Yupis! (Yupi is the Spanish equivalent to Yippee! or Woo hoo!)
Review by Sandra Delgado
Sandra Delgado is a 1st Grade Dual Language Teacher at Lancaster Elementary with the Ysleta ISD in El Paso, TX. She is also an MLS student at SHSU. A proud member of the Nerdy Book Club, you can find her on Twitter: @Sadcampanita025, Blog: http://techielibrarianlovesbooks.weebly.com/, and Tumblr: http://sandradelgadolovesbooks.tumblr.com/.
Tuesday Tech Tips February 25, 2014Posted by Judy Deichman in Check this out!.
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QR Codes - Short for Quick Response, these codes can be a very powerful tool in your library or classroom. You can create the code in a matter of seconds and they can be read by SMART phones, tablets, and even computers. You can print them in color to differentiate instruction. Most QR Code Generators and Readers are free to the user. The QR Code can contain text, an URL, or other data.
Here are some library and classroom uses:
Links to videos for students to watch, either for remediation or for flipping the classroom.
Can link to a online survey.
Connect students to additional resources for content.
Create study flashcards with QR Codes on the back, linking to answers.
Use QR Codes on books in the library with links to book trailers, so students can preview a book.
Utilize QR Codes to promote library or school events.
Will provide links to verified, vetted websites for student research.
Label sections of your library with QR Codes….it’s amazing what a student will read embedded in a QR Code!
Use you imagination, the possibilities are infinite!