Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Great Beginnings

It has been a while since my last post because I have been so busy with my first official month as a librarian. Things are off to a great start. I completed my August advocacy data report for administration. It was a great way for me to evaluate my first month. Students are so excited about the new layout of the library and my abolition of fines. I have been integrating technology as much as my district IT staff will allow. I started a blog on the school web page and created a student group in Goodreads. I have three QR codes displayed in the library. The one to the left on the circulation desk so that students can find me online and two on a SC Junior Book Award bulletin board that takes them to a video about the nominees and my Youtube channel where my favorites include book trailers of the nominees. Students are still signing up for library notice by text and seem very excited by the idea. I am collecting applications for our book club and plan to begin by the end of September. I met with every student for orientation. Feel free to view the prezi for orientation.The sixth grade also completed a scavener hunt. The summer reading program concluded. I will post pics of the winners with their prizes on our school blog. My first month has been a whirlwind, but it has been so much fun. I am currently planning Banned Book Week, Teen Read Week and Wrestlemania Reading Challenges for September and October. More posts about these events will be forthcoming.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Advocating with Induction Teachers

Today I had the pleasure of speaking with the induction teachers for our district. Advocacy is vital to our profession so I asked if I could speak with them. It turned out that they were looking for more speakers and were grateful for me to volunteer. I do not remember learning about library collaboration in my education program and I had the feeling things have not changed much recently. I used Poll Everywhere to survey the group and these are the results. No is the largest answer unfortunately.

Poll Everywhere

You can find my presentation on Slideshare.

I explained how we can assist them and little things they can do to help us do our best for them. Many web tools are blocked in our district so I showed them several and told them to continue to ask that they be unblocked. I need more teachers helping me to fight for this. I also introduced them to the idea of a PLN and gave them five simple steps to get started.

I was pleased with their reactions and comments and I hope that in my own way I have contributed to helping others see our value.

BTW I asked other librarians in the district to help or attend (especially considering this is my first year) and I only had one person interested. Bummer.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Reform Symposium 2010

I "attended" the Reform Symposium 2010 last weekend. I logged in for the opening keynote address on Friday from Steve Hargadon. It was a motivator for me and reminded me why I have been brainstorming and planning all summer. The key point I took out of his remarks is that we are doing a disservice to our students if we do not teach them creativity. This is a skill they will need in life and work. His remarks reminded me that my fight to get Web 2.0 tools unblocked is a worthwhile effort even though I get so discouraged sometimes.

I have "attended" other sessions by listening to the recordings because I went out of town on Saturday and Sunday. I listened to "Backchanneling in the Classroom" by Richard Byrne of Free Technology for Teachers. This is a tool that I really want to try. He provided great advice on tools to use, ideas for setting up the channel and preparing your students, and how to avoid possible problems. I plan to try every source he offered to find one that is not blocked at school or that they will unblock for me to use.

I listened to the presentation "Its not the tool, its how you use it" by Mary Beth Hertz. She explained how important it is to integrate techology into your lessons and the positive outcomes that you can see. She comes from an elementary background, but the advice applies to all ages.

"The new teacher survival kit" was another useful presentation. I am presenting to induction teachers soon so I wanted to watch this for ideas. Joan Young and Lisa Dabbs gave new teachers (and vets that need a boost) advice on how to balance work and home life and the challenges of the teaching profession. The second half of the session gave suggestions for new teacher mentors.

"Everything I learned about Tech Integration I learned from the Movies" was another fun presentation that would make a great introduction for anyone thinking about putting more technology in their lessons.

"Tech in Ten" by Kelly Hines is a great presentation on tools that do not require lots of training before they are ready for students to dive in.

I really look forward to watching Tom Whitby's presentation on PLNs, but it isn't posted yet.

There are so many great sessions. These are only the few that I picked as my favorites. This conference is completely free. Check it out if you haven't already!