Sunday, March 30, 2008

Back to the Future

I was interviewed for Edutopia about place-based storytelling. The article is called Marking Time: Back to the Future on Web 2.0.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Color My Wiki

Wikispaces has added a color feature! You can now change the color, font, size or alignment of text on your page. Go to to check it out.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

What Do You Do?

It's been awhile since I've posted an article (not counting yesterday's live blog at the ASSET Conference). This article is prompted by a remark my husband made to me yesterday when I got home from the conference, after my presentation on Web 2.0: More Than Just Razzle Dazzle.
..."How did it go? I still don't understand what you do."

So, how do I explain what it is that I do? Better question - what should a library media specialist be doing? After my presentation yesterday, I had two requests for permission to come observe what I do in my library media center. One was from the head of a Suffolk Library Association; one from a school district. Both said that their librarians do not do what I do because they claim that there is not time to do it. Honestly, I don't quite know how I juggle teaching 600 kids, teaching a graduate course in educational technology, creating workshops and presentations, mentoring library interns, staying current in ed-tech, being a mom and a wife. One answer could be that I wake up very early in the morning (it's 5:24 am right now) to organize my day. But, in all honesty, it's more than putting in extra hours. I think that if you love what you do, then somehow you find the time to get done what you want to get done. If you can surround yourself with people who are like-minded, that helps. If you can't find like-minded people where you work, join a social network, like classroom 2.0 or teacher-librarian 2.0 or twitter. In fact, join one or more of those anyway! Catch the spirit. Go to conferences to find motivation. Take a professional development course and learn something new. If these things don't appeal to you, it is probably time to start thinking about hanging it up. All of us librarians remember the library motto "lifelong learner". It applies to us as professionals, too.

Monday, March 17, 2008

ASSET 2008: Keynote - Rushton Hurley

Blogging live from ASSET 2008 in Huntington, NY. Rushton Hurley is the director of Next Vista For Learning. Having fun with clickers - getting audience statistics. Haha funny - 54 teachers clicked in that they've been teaching since the dawn of time. The fun of teaching: 11 people - no place in learning for fun! Themes -fun, technology, and testing. Where is the common ground?

If what we do is teach really well in front of class and they're not getting it, it may be more about reception, not broadcast.
  • Sketchup - from Google - build a house - there are tutorials on how to do this. Can use with science -can put shadows on the house by time of year! Ask students, "why is this happening?"
  • Google Earth - historical, geographical tie-ins that you can see visually.
  • Video - incredibly powerful tool. Getting kids interested in doing a job just right.
  • PicLens - make a photowall - can use it for a wordwall.
How does this relate to testing? Find a way to reach kids that are having difficulties with testing. Getting ideas across in a different way. Wrote a minigrant to teach the kids how to make videos to help explain hard-to-understand concepts. Kids are making the movie; audience is rest of class, school, world. Confidence booster for kids. Make a video of our school - what is it like in our school? Kids worked for hours to 'get it just right.' Low achieving kids made these videos. Tools to give these students another opportunity to say 'we belong, too'.

Later: My session, Web 2.0: Beyond Razzle Dazzle, went very well. Audience very appreciative. I made many references to David Warlick and Will Richardson - thank goodness for these two!