Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read

"A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever." -Martin Tupper


Monday, November 23, 2009

Week Fourteen Reflections


            Amy Hertzberg writes on November 6th about using Discovery Education Streaming videos.  My school has just recently started using this program and I think it is off to a slow start.  Teachers easily get overwhelmed when asked to try something new and then throw them all into a mass training for 30 minutes.  I can understand this.  Teachers need practice with something before they will feel comfortable enough to try something in their classroom.  I think if my staff gets some more training with Discovery Ed they will come around to it more easily.

            Sarles Patricia shares a great resource on October 8th for our music teachers out there.  It is a link to a virtual piano.  Students can play chords or single notes and learn about different keys.  I like the idea of an online resource for the music student out there.  Pianos are a bit expensive but this would be a way to share the experience with the whole class.


            The question has been brought up time and time again about when media specialists are supposed to find time to play with everything that is available out there on the web then learn how to integrate it into lessons and share resources with others.  In a guest post from Mary Mehsikomer, on Doug Johnson’s Blue Skunk blog, was sharing her own complaints on this topic but also how she was told “You’ve no longer a choice.”  That’s one way of putting it I suppose. J Perhaps, that is what it has come to.  Media specialists will need to become more flexible and start re-thinking the way we do things so that we can adapt and change into our web 2.0 world.

            In another post from Doug Johnson, on November 16th he writes in response to a NY Times article about teachers selling their lesson plans.  This bothers me a little bit.  In education, we have always shared our ideas freely and without charge.  Don’t enough things cost money already?  I know we don’t get paid much and teachers should be allowed to make something extra for all their hard work but I don’t want this to get out of hand.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Week Thirteen Reflections


            Shonda Brisco shared a great link on November 11th that illustrated a great resource to help science out.  It was a link that showed the eye up close and personal and also a video of an eye dissection.  Overall, this was a great reminder that there are some amazing resources out there to help out those departments that don’t get as much love from the library and they are FREE!

            Anne-Marie Gordon replied to the discussion on November 11th, about defining Fiction and Nonfiction in the library.  The discussion started because students were confused about why fairy tales were in the nonfiction section of the library.  Anne-Marie described how she explained it to students. She said that they had a discussion of how authors decide on what to write.  Those who come up with their own ideas belong in fiction and those who write about something that already exists go into nonfiction.  Since fair tales are passed down and not a brand new idea, they get a special place in nonfiction.


The Unquiet Librarian writes on November 18th about “Information Literacy and Inquiry as Disruption to School Culture Oppressed by Testing”.  I was immediately drawn to this post because of my own struggles this year with authentic and meaningful learning vs. the all-powerful MAP test.  The Unquiet Librarian questions here in her post how librarians will play their role in literacy based on inquiry when students don’t have the drive for questions and original thought any longer.  I too am worried about students losing their drive for learning because we have tested it out of them. How much longer will the standardized testing craze go on?  How much longer can we let it go on?

Doug Johnson writes today, November 22, about the rewards and challenges that come with getting a big job done.  His school will be installing lots of new technology over the next two months and he already anticipating the struggles that will come along with it. True, you can’t give your staff new technology with out the complaints that will surely come along with it. There will have to be training sessions to support the different levels of abilities and support if for some reason something doesn’t end up working right.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Week Twelve Reflections


            Now that Barnes and Noble has presented its Nook the to world, the great debate has begun, what is the best electronic reader out there? Shonda Brisco writes on LM_NET on November 5th about some of the research she has found about the Nook vs. the Kindle.  Some library media specialists are looking into the possibilities of using these readers in their collections and are trying to figure out ways of being able to check them out. I believe students would be very interested in electronic readers.  Some would truly benefit from Kindle’s ability to read books to the owner.  Other students would just appreciate the technology and that would be enough to inspire them to read.  I think we  as librarians are going to have to get creative and figure out way to use these in the future.

            Nicole Meintz posted some questions about the Pulitzer and Hugo awards on November 5th.  Apparently, an 8th grade teacher in her school has her advanced readers use novels from these categories to study.  The librarian was wondering how appropriate these novels were and if she should have them in the regular circulation.  I read many, many, many young adult novels being a reader teacher but I have to tell you that they are not all created equal.  To this day, The Giver by Lois Lowry is my all-time favorite story and it received the Newberry award but not all of the books that have won the same award are as good in my opinion.  I think with all books added to the collection, the media specialist will have to read reviews and check them out before adding them in.  Just because a book has an award doesn’t mean it must be added to the collection.



            On October 22nd, the Unquiet Librarian wrote about AASL using GoAnimate to advertise the Blogger’s CafĂ©.  It seems similar to Animoto but with more animation effects.  I think students could really see value in learning how to use these free applications on the web for school projects. GoAnimate is more advanced than Animoto but I could see students learning about this after-school and creating some amazing stuff!

            Doug Johnson always has some interesting thoughts posted on his blog, Blue Skunk Blog.  Today he wrote about how signs in libraries are too restrictive and how if they were written in a positive tone then more people might be willing to use the resources we have available.  I agree with Johnson.  I think that if students don’t feel comfortable using the libraries then they will continue to avoid them.  It needs to be a place of social learning as well if we are to hook students.

Week Eleven Reflections


            I first learned of Skype when I went to study abroad my senior year of undergraduate school.  It was how I kept in contact with my family and friends while I was away for 5 months.  I started using it again in grad school for one of my online classes. I love the many potential uses it provides and it was no shock to read about it on LM_NET.  Denise Perkins brought it up on October 30th to see if anyone had used it for a book discussion.  I think this would be a great idea for the library.  Students could have book talks with people from other states or even countries.  It would be a great way to expand our learners into more global thinkers.

            On the subject of book talks, Karen McLachlan wrote on October 30th about using Animoto.  She was looking for some ideas for student projects.  I know some people have mentioned using it for book reports, which I absolutely love, but I can see how this too might have endless opportunities in the learning environment.  I remember using publisher one year to get kids interested in sharing what they have read. We created brochures and printed them in color.  The students loved the project and loved being able to share.  I think Animoto has the same potential.


            Yesterday, November 7th, the Unquiet Librarian wrote about an experience she had with PollEverywhere.  Apparently, during a conference she had audience members participating during her presentation but sending in their votes through Twitter or by texting.  She said it was an amazing way to engage members through 21st century technology.  I went and checked out the web site and you can sign up for a free account.  The technology is advanced enough to update the information sent in automatically and can handle thousands of people texting at once. I think this would be awesome to use to get students involved in lectures. I can’t wait to see about using this at school!

            On October 30th, the Unquiet Librarian writes about being more transparent in his/her monthly reports about the happenings in the library. This caught my attention because I just read an article about this recently for grad class.  The Unquiet Librarian has tried using Animoto to show more detail with the reports and has had a great response.  He/she has also put videos and lesson plans on the web page.  The whole idea of making the library business transparent is really taking off.