Sunday, May 8, 2011


This “re-do” is especially significant as so much as so much as changed since I created this list.   Although I had many temporary library jobs, I now am an official library/tech center staff member in a new district!  It kind of feels like before I was “playing house” and thinking of my dream library.  The reality of working day-to-day in a high school library is very different!  I still stand by my top 10, but have added info to most of the entries indicated by "**". 

Don’t be afraid to say “I don’t know.”  Technology is ever changing and at any given moment you might not have the best answer.  Learn to learn, and allow students to contribute.
**I still agree with this statement, however I have since learned that other people(teachers, administrators) may not be as patient with the “I don’t know”.
Share!  Collaboration is the name of the game.  Chances are, someone may have had a similar idea/assignment, and you can put your own twist on it.
**I have seen so many great ideas but still trying to find a way to enhance collaboration!

Show off! Collaboration is a two-way street.  If you have found something that works; a new way of presenting projects, a new way of teaching a lesson using Web 2.0, share it.  It also makes your school/school system look fabulous!
**It takes an amazing amount of confidence to do this.  Although I have learned so many skills in this course the big push for me is to tell someone about them!

Always Remember: Things don’t always go as planned.  Whether it’s a system issue or something you just didn’t see coming have a plan B…and C.
**Or D, E and F!

Get rid of the “us. Vs. them” mentality with the IT department.   This is a hard barrier to break down but as professional educators we must realize and value the shared mission of creating 21st Century Learners. 
**Easier said than done.   I am fortunate enough to work in a school that embraces technology. There still seems to be a school vs. district issue and a lot of time spent on determining “who” should be doing something rather than getting it done.

Technology is a tool; it is not the band-aid or cure-all for your school or your school system.  Like any tool users must be taught to use it properly.

Do away with absolutes.  Google It! isn’t always the answer just as much as Wikipedia isn’t always evil.  Teach skills so learners can interpret and analyze information appropriately.
**This is one area in which I  feel I have seen our school shine!  I love seeing first hand how many 2.0 skills are being used by teachers. 

Mix it Up!  Overusing any one particular tool; Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts can become just as uninteresting as reading from a Power Point presentation.
***Woops!  I did way too many Power Points for this class and reviewing this reminds me to mix it up more.

Do not use technology as a short cut or an excuse to allow for shortcuts.  Spelling and grammar still matter.  Assignments should not be written as a text message. 
**Still Believe…even more when working with a larger range of students. 

Relax; Have fun; Get engaged.  Students will have a deeper connection to technology when it is introduced by someone who has enthusiasm for embracing technology. 
**After only being at my job for three months, I was recently “spoofed” in a Senior Skit play as being the one who is always smiling, waving and talking to students while “efficiently and accurately putting a laptop into the hand of each student”.  My mantra is to be friendly but not a friend and to get students engaged in learning.  There are so many cool tools out there .. it’s a fun time to be a student!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

OPAC Interview

To complete this assignment, I conducted two "formal" iterviews and supplemented the information with informal coversations with other school staff.  As I enter my third month of employment, I continue to learn daily.    My on-the-job training is somewhat of a self interview for this assignment.  I also used the experience of my recent performance appraisal to supplement the assigment.  This allowed me to highlight specific areas of improvement.  I focussed my proposal on improvements that could be realized by approaching library technology on a district level.  The second area I focused on was the  increased reporting capabilities  an upgrade would allow.  Alhthough I would conduct additional research to complete the proposal, it definately was an excellent opportunity to learn more about my job.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Hello Blog--Have you missed me?

I have missed YOU blog.  I will complete more info tomorrow--Just a few words on my interview assignment.  I found it is SO HARD to get anyone to give up the info.  Maybe because I'm the new kid on the block.  Great assignment and I learned lots!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Internet Safety

There is certainly no shortage of resources for learning and teaching about internet safety.  There are resources for all ages of students from pre-school aged “games” to dramatic and impactful teen videos.  There are resources geared toward parents, educators and the students themselves.  It is such a huge topic with many sub-topics including; personal safety, cyberbullying, avoiding scams and overall computer safety.    

There is no doubt that addressing these topics, as an educator, or as a parent is frightening yet important. Anne Collierm, Co-director of summarizes:

"One of the things that I try to tell parents every chance I get is that fear is bad. Fear is actually increasing risk, because when we're afraid, we shut down communications with our kids. When we start banning things and overreacting, they want to get as far away from us as they possibly can." 

 As parents and educators it is important for us to educate our children how to navigate the internet safely and appropriately.
This is a great site that addresses all involved parities: students of all ages, parents, teachers and yes even librarians!  I like the explanation of terms, including the difference between filtering and blocking.
This Youtube geared towards teens presents a “story” about the dangers of sharing information on-line. It shows howjust a little bit of information shared can allow a predator to obtain more information and lead to a dangerous situtation.   
A very thorough graphic presentation using teen-friendly language.  Could be used as part of a library of resources, linked through a blog or wiki or given as a class presentation.

A quick simple video for tweens  about cyber bullying. 
This site has a lot of great features including interactive quizzes and games.  Friend-finder presents social networking scenarios.  The site also covers other aspects of computer safety including scams and identity theft. 
This is a look at the real life faces behind tragic teen bullying incidents. 

This is a government issued guide for parents.  It is important not to just alarm parents but provide resources for them to use with their children.

This was one my favorite resources because it is so comprehensive.  For the teen age group there are a number of videos that would be excellent starting points for open discussion.

A video reporting real life cyber bullying cases. 

This is a Frontline episode called “Growing Up On-line” .  It would be a great introductory piece for a parent presentation.  It explains the scope of how the internet has affected today’s youth. 

This site has a huge amount of resources including a video library and interactive forum for parents and educators. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Professional Development

I have never had the opportunity to attend a PD session, but have heard many groan about them.  So I say make them fun and interactive! 

Learning about 2.0 tools has made me anxious to share, and I fear my friend and family have grown tired of me showing them my new toys.  I hope, with this week's assignment to be able to share professionally, or to take steps toward being able to do so.

I have never been comfortable speaking in front of an audience.  I think knowing your subject matter and involving particpants relieves that pressure.  Web 2.0 tools are engaging by nature.  Presenting them leads naturally to a hands-on training atmosphere.  Presenting any of these tools in a PD session would be..dare I!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tools and Curriculum


 go2web20....At first it was overwhelming.  It makes one realize the breadth of what is out there for 2.0 applications.  I found it nicely organized.  The tags definately helped to navigate, as a lot of the sites were not educational applications.


E-readers.  I went to a book store and played around with them, but I just can't do it!  I love to hold a "real book" in my hand. 

I haven't worked in a school that uses E-readers yet.  I do, however have my reservations about having them available for all students.   I currently work at a school that has over 100 notebook laptops available for check-out.  Most days there are about 40 available for check-out.  Many are sent our for repairs, or just are not returned in the 24 hour time frame students are granted.  When they are damaged, it takes a lot of time to figure out who is paying..and the device is not available for students.  Although E-readers have value I think it is difficult to make them a main part of the school environment. 


Tools and Curriculum.  It's a tough balance to determine when you are using a tool, because its technology (and fun!), or if it is truly adding value.  I believe it is a good idea to "mix it up" and add things to the textbook reading!  On a personal note, as I was preparing this weeks assignment, my husband said  "I wannna (sic) learn like that. "  Balance is the key

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Social Networking and Games

The subject matter of this week brought a new set of challenges; responding as a parent vs. responding as an educator.  My first response as a parent was that to much time is “wasted”on-line.  

For example, My initial reaction to social networking is based on the challenges that Facebook has brought to our family life.  Constant reminders of the balance between social  networking and academics has become an issue in our house.   
It’s easy to be a Facebook “hater”.  There are some social aspects of Facebook that I still don’t understand.   Everyone has different uses for FB.  I don’t feel the need to record every little life moment  on Facebook; “Seth just ate 12 cheese sticks”,and on the other end of the spectrum I  am uncomfortable with FB postings about the death of a loved one. 
Stepping back and looking at these tools from a different perspective has changed my way of thinking  My teaching experience has given me the wonderful perspective of acknowledging the variety of  learning styles, and the importance of respecting differences within each child.   Of course now I must drag out my favorite quote from Benjamin Franklin:

Hide not your talents, they for use they were made. What's a sun-dial in the shade? :

With this in mind, I was able to realize the value of different platforms of  that can be found in games.  Once  I  “stepped” into Second Life, and other gaming applications, I was lost!  As I struggled to find my way,  I wondered if this is how some students feel when they open a book,   or some other type of assignment.    There are so many educational components of these games it is a great opportunity for all learners to participate.