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Bibliodidaskalos-ity?

This is my newest blog, and this time, it’s about making connections.  I have another blog, Bibliocity, where I do reader advisor book summaries.  I call it Bibliocity for two reasons.  First, most people are familiar with the Greek root “biblio” which means book.  I chose “city” because it means “a place or situation characterized by a specified attribute” (Google definition).  Combine the two together, and you get a place for book summaries.   Second, I was a teenager in the 80s when The Police came out with Synchronicity and Bibliocity made me think of great music AND connecting things.

220px-police-album-synchronicity

For Bibliodidaskalos-ity (biblio-di-das-ka-los-ity), I inserted didáskalos, which means teacher in Greek.  To get technical, I think I am a didáskalissa, but that would have meant the blog’s name, which is already crazy, would end in “issa-city”  and I prefer the sound of “os-ity”.

So connections.  Teacher librarians have to be really good at this.  They connect students to information, teachers to information, and often wear other hats besides.  They are tech coaches, professional development leaders, curriculum developers.  They have to be up-to-date with subject area standards and technology.  They are reader advisors, champions of all kinds of literacies.  That makes them superstars and superheroes on school campuses.

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Cultural Competence as a librarian + immigration as part of globalization

9781616206888-679x1024This is my INFO281 Blog Post #3

In our globalization class, we’ve been reading about cultural flows and global flows of people (migration in particular).  As I read about the plight of undocumented immigrants, I was reminded by a recent read: The Leavers by Lisa Ko.  I did a post for my book summary blog for The Leavers, which is the story of a mother and her child who are separated by immigration authorities, and the emotional aftermath that ensues as a result–the child, Deming, is adopted into a white family, but he essentially becomes a rudderless vessel as a result of the trauma.  The book won the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction.  In an interview with Hyphen magazine’s Melissa Hung, Ko notes that a white reader was skeptical of the events in the story, saying, “But  this would never happen. This doesn’t feel believable to me — that an Asian child would experience this amount of racism nowadays.”   Ko wrote her book based on a true story!  (Hung, 2017).

In reading the novel myself, and in connecting the story to reading from our Ritzer and Dean text, I appreciate the cultural and global competence that these experiences afford.  I teach in a high-immigrant community, and see firsthand the effect anti-immigrant legislation under our current government administration has on immigrant American citizens and their families.  I grew up in a middle-class white home in California, sheltered and oblivious to the struggles of people who have come to this country to escape, to survive.  As a teacher, and then a librarian, I have 10 plus years of experience, but it wasn’t until Silicon Valley Reads (regional literacy program) focused their 2015 theme on immigration and I read NoViolet Bulawayo’s (2013) We Need New Names and The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez (2014), then INFO237, when we covered the importance of cultural competence, and now in this globalization class, that I’ve really moved toward increasing my understanding through reading first-hand experiences and novels that illustrate true stories.   I am convinced that this deepening understanding/awareness makes me a better teacher librarian and a better global citizen.

References:

Hung, M. (2017, May 28). Interview with The Leavers author Lisa Ko. Hyphen Magazine. Retrieved from https://hyphenmagazine.com/blog/2017/05/interview-leavers-author-lisa-ko

Ritzer, G. & Dean, P. (2015). Globalization: A basic text. Chichester, West Sussex: Blackwell and Wiley. [Referenced Chapters 8 & 10]

 

INFO281 Post 2: All your data are belong to us

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Imamon. (2006, Oct. 30).”All your data are belong to us.” Wikimedia Commons, CC Attribution 2.0 Generic

We are reading about economic globalization.  One of the readings assigned is a January 6, 2017 New York Times article by Cecilia Kang and Katie Benner, “Russia requires Apple and Google to remove LinkedIn from local app stores.”  The main idea that I took away from the article is this quote: “Tech companies and civil rights advocates warn that the increasing push by nations to create their own internet rules will Balkanize the internet and potentially lead to privacy violations and the stifling of political dissent. ”  

This all stems from what is seen as an invasion of privacy by governments like Russia and Turkey who want their citizens’ data stored in the homeland.  The issue is seemingly unwarranted control.

But I wanted to get a better feel for this whole LinkedIn bit.  Why is LinkedIn refusing to comply to Russian law when many other companies have “caved” to Russia’s demands so that they can continue to operate in Russia?  I found that the Nabi Abdullaev’s December 8, 2016 Forbes article, “Why Russia’s LinkedIn ban is not about Internet freedoms”  helped me understand via an alternate perspective.  Abdullaev points out that Russian laws are similar to those in many other countries.  Also of interest is the author’s statement that Roskomnadzor (the “the relevant regulator and internet oversight watchdog”) just wants LinkedIn to amend its data collection policies, wherein “not only personal data of its users but also personal metadata (IP-addresses and cookie files) of its website’s visitors” is collected.  Abdullaev notes that Russia is trying to protect its citizenry, since unlike the U.S., and more like EU regulations, “certain types of cookie files” are defined as personal data.

We in the U.S., under the Protect America Act, allow the government a pretty incredible amount of data surveillance.  I’m not surprised by Russia and other nation-state’s desire to keep its citizens data out of the U.S. when our citizens must trust that our government’s access to data is all for the good.

Note on the image:  I knew I wanted to write about this, and I like to create a title to capture attention.  I thought about the old meme, “All your base are belong to us” and did a little research on that in Wikipedia.  The image that I used popped up, and I couldn’t pass it up.  Did you know that an unidentified group of April Fool’s Day pranksters scared the citizens of Sturgis, Michigan in 2003 when they posted signs with the meme around town.  “Police chief Eugene Alli said the signs could be ‘a borderline terrorist threat depending on what someone interprets it to mean.'” Very interesting…

References:

All your base are belong to us. (2017, September 25). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21:03, October 1, 2017, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=All_your_base_are_belong_to_us&oldid=802262208

Abdullaev, N. (2016, December 8). Why Russia’s LinkedIn ban is not about Internet freedoms. Forbes. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/riskmap/2016/12/08/why-russias-linkedin-ban-is-not-about-internet-freedoms/#3df4aa81a78e

Kang, C. & Benner, K. (2017, January 6). Russia requires Apple and Google to remove LinkedIn from local app stores. New York Times. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/06/technology/linkedin-blocked-in-russia.html?_r=0

 

Network Society, Network Neutrality & Teacher Librarians

social_network_analysis_visualization
Grandjean, M. (2013). Social Network Analysis Visualization.  CC attribution -SA 3.0 Unported

In my reading from INFO281 (Seminar in Contemporary Issues: Globalization and Information) this week, I got a look at globalization theories.  I was particularly interested in Manuel Castells’ Network Society.  Perhaps it is because I was inundated by neoliberalism, or that I couldn’t help but equate Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri’s Empire theory with Star Wars— Emperor Palpatine and the Rebel Alliance and all. Whatever the case, Castells’ Network Society theory was like a breath of fresh air, because I felt like it resonated with me.  It’s not because “technological change exercises underlying causal determination in the myriad of processes referred to as globalization” (Robinson, 2007, p. 132), although that does play a big part.  Honestly, I appreciate a theory that, rather than focusing on the economic or political pieces of globalization, sees something like advances in technology making an impact on the various, interconnected parts that make up what is, to my budding understanding, globalization.  The reason it resonates is because I, in my role as a teacher librarian, thoroughly embrace Sir Francis Bacon’s famous saying, “knowledge is power.”  Part of the theory of Network Society is the idea that the economy is knowledge based.

So how does that relate to network neutrality?  Well, the September/October 2017 issue of American Libraries includes a news article, “ALA fights for an open internet” (p. 8). Part of librarianship for any librarian is the support and championing of freedom of information: as ALA president Jim Neal notes, “Network neutrality is all about equity of access to information.”  It’s necessary to support the 2015 Open Internet Order, which puts in place rules that protect access to information.  The article’s author reminds readers that “access to the internet and other library resources empowers all to participate fully in today’s digital economy.”

The language current to most of today’s school standards focuses on students that are able to function in a digital environment, with the understanding that today’s technology does empower as it breaks down barriers to knowledge (see AASL Standards for 21st-century learners, 2007 and NGSS “The need for standards” & Monica Burns’ 2015 Edutopia article “The Common Core and digital skills development”).  All of the standards recognize the fact that successful students are prepared for life in a highly technological society.  In order to support these students, it’s imperative that knowledge is accessible, that it’s not restricted by government and commercial internet service provider interference.

References:

American Association of School Libraries. (2007). Standards for 21st-century learners. [PDF]. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/aasl/files/guidelinesandstandards/learningstandards/AASL_LearningStandards.pdf

American Library Association. (2017, September/October). Ala fights for an open internet. American Libraries 48(9/10), p. 8).

Burns, M. (2015, July 1). The Common Core and digital skills development. Edutopia. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/blog/common-core-digital-skills-development-monica-burns

Next Generation Science Standards. (n.d.). The need for standards. nextgenscience.org. Retrieved from https://www.nextgenscience.org/need-standards

Robinson, W.I. (2007). Theories of globalization. In G.Ritzer (Ed.), Blackwell companion to globalization (pp. 125-143) Malden, MA: Blackwell.

 

 

Advocacy in Advertising: Student Icons

7b739e548f9d8df0c3763e12980e015c-library-lessons-library-ideas
student-created display, from liquidliteracy.wordpress.com

As I’m getting ready to begin the new year, I’m moving into preparing the library for patrons.  That is a concrete job that showcases the learning commons’ resources.  In my role as library advocate, I have to spend time on signage.  I was chagrined by my lack of time to put into displays this year–there was funding last year for new textbooks, so I spent this week adding them and generating barcodes in Destiny instead of working on displays.  I shared my frustration with the principal (she used to be the TL), and she reminded me that I will have plenty of time to get displays up in the first week of school. This encouragement helped me to remember that the STUDENTS have been the display creators in past years, and they do really well.

Two years ago, students from the Virtual Enterprise class took my print orders and made beautiful copies that I laminated and used for signage.  I have since discovered a wealth of help creating gorgeous signs and displays from student aides and the Students for Literacy club.  One student aide made a bulletin board for books that will be made into movies.  My last student aide put together an origami border for the digital citizenship board, and another lovely fanime board.

Sometimes it’s hard to let students take on this job.  My aesthetics approach to lettering involves peeling off stickers and sticking them to designated spots on a penciled-in line.  Two years ago, one of my students spent an inordinate amount of time cutting out lettering for a graphic novels display.  Despite the fact that the Gothic font was a bit difficult to read, and the letters were smaller than I would’ve done, I was at least thankful to delegate a job that needed doing, thereby supporting participatory culture.  According to the 2006 MacArthur Foundation/MIT publication, White Paper: Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century by Henry Jenkins, “Our goals should be to encourage youth to develop the skills, knowledge, ethical frameworks, and self-confidence needed to be full participants in contemporary culture” (p.8).  In addition, YALSA’s (2014) publication, The future of library services for and with teens: A call to action  exhorts us K-12 educators to “Listen to teens and seek out ways to affirm [student] identities through connected learning opportunities with libraries that build upon academic, digital, critical literacies, etc.” (p. 27).  What better way to engage students than to grant them the privilege to not only contribute to the running of the library, but also to build community?  And what a great way to move a job from the librarian’s shoulders to the place where it naturally goes?

For those of us who either have trouble removing our hands from the task, or have students who want to help but can’t draw a straight line, there are places to go to get great, free, images.  As I was searching the web for my last post, I came across the July 17, 2017 Knowledge Quest article by Becca Munson titled, “The Noun Project: Find icons for all your needs” .  The Noun Project, located at thenounproject.com, contains “over a million curated icons, created by a global community.”  And if they need ideas, have them check out Pinterest boards like this one by KarinSHallett. For lettering, if you want students to conform to your expectation of readability and coloring, you can go the sticker route, or you can get die-cut letters from your local RAFT (Resource Area For Teaching) store.  I challenge you to let them take the reins, though.  There is cooperation, and then there is collaboration.  If you hand over a job and say do it this way (here are the letters, use these colors, etc.), the student cooperates by completing the job to your specifications.  If you ask your student to come up with some display ideas and plans that you review and ask about (What font size do you plan on using? Do you need me to purchase supplies?), that’s collaboration.

Do any of you have go-to sources for images and lettering that you’d like to share?

References:

Jenkins, H. (2006, October 19). White Paper: Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century.  MacArthur Foundation. Retrieved from https://www.macfound.org/press/publications/white-paper-confronting-the-challenges-of-participatory-culture-media-education-for-the-21st-century-by-henry-jenkins/

Munson, B. (2017, July 17). The Noun Project: Find icons for all your needs. Knowledge Quest. Retrieved from http://knowledgequest.aasl.org/noun-project-find-icons-needs/

Young Adult Library Services Association. (2014, January 8). The future of library services for and with teens: A call to action. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/yaforum/future-library-services-and-teens-project-report

 

Symbaloo for Professional Development

It was the first day teachers were back today, and my professional development colleagues and I talked about tech best practices.  Professional Development Co-coordinator is one of my roles as a teacher librarian, and I have to say that being a tech coach is one of my favorite hats to wear. As we (my fellow students and myself) have learned over the course of the summer, “Twenty-first-century standards progressively call for librarians to step in as instructional leaders, connecting educators and students to materials, methods, and technology across the curriculum” (Parrott & Keith, 2015, p. 12).

So this morning, our collaborative team had so very little time, just half an hour, before the educators in the audience moved on to the next back-to-school meeting.  Which meant that we stuck with the basics.  No delving into nitty-gritty how-tos.  Just overviews. And while this works in a broad sense, as we are covering bases that need covering, I know that two things need to happen for follow up.  First, our team needs to ensure that new teachers have access to tutorials for our LMS and other applications.  They also need access to a tech FAQ.  Secondly, our team recognizes the importance of documentation. We can point back to teaching as a means to measure what teachers know.

Fellow INFO233 student Katrina Bergen suggested using a tool called Symbaloo to organize my professional developer ideas and lessons into one place, and I thought it would be a great idea to do a little trial with Symbaloo for filling in professional development gaps like the ones I KNOW must have happened this morning, especially for the new teachers.  Here’s what I’ve got so far…

symbaloo_example

Now this isn’t the real deal, in case you were wondering why the buttons don’t work. Our school uses Google Apps for Education, and while our teachers would be able to open all the links, you won’t since they’re proprietary to my school.

However, I am going to add the link to Karen Hume’s Teach Magazine article, “Managing Technology Use in Your Classroom.”   I found her points highly relevant — technology use in the classroom was one of the big points of our talk this morning.

Going back to the Symbaloo tile board, I imagine that this will go great on our PD website. I’m using the old Google Sites, which allows me to embed a widget, so the tile board will show nicely there…

Now, in terms of measuring effectiveness, I will need to talk to new and old teachers about whether the Symbaloo tile board helped them learn the tools.  I can make changes or scrap the tile board if the teachers didn’t get much or anything out of it.  To say the least, I have attempted to fill in learning gaps for teachers in an accessible, simple way.

Thanks, Katrina, for the suggestion!

References:

Hume, K. (n.d.) “Managing technology use in your classroom.” Teach Magazine. Retrieved from http://www.teachmag.com/archives/3510

Katrina’s response to my August 3, 2017 blog post, “Professional developer seeks organizational assistance”

Parrott, D. J., & Keith, K. J. (2015). Three Heads Are Better Than One. Teacher Librarian42(5), 12-18.  Retrieved from http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lls&AN=103235147&site=ehost-live&scope=sited

 

 

 

 

Professional Developer seeks organizational assistance

one_hell_of_a_mess
Cronin, Tom. 10 July, 2004. One Hell of a Mess…CC Share-Alike 2.0 Generic

One of the many hats the teacher librarian wears is the role of professional developer.  Yes, we are bound to develop our own skills.  These days, we find professional development opportunities through conferences and workshops, but more and more of us are moving to OERs, webinars, and connections through social media sources like Twitter and Facebook.  As Carolyn Foote notes in her 2013 Library Media Collection article “From professional development to personalized learning,” personalized learning is “something that you do for the benefit of your own learning on your own time and at your own convenience, and it’s tailored to what you need.” Foote points out that we have ample choices at our fingertips, and we need to use them.

How do we transfer what we’re getting to the teaching staff and classified staff at our schools?  I’ve been pondering this question as summer comes to a close and I will be looking for ways to get into the classroom to support teachers since, as Kristin Fontichiaro states in her 2013 article “Librarians as professional developers,”  “being a professional developer allows librarians to reach kids by empowering their teachers” (p. 47). In past years, I have been able to incorporate what I’m learning into weekly emails that I send out to the staff, called “Tech Tip Tuesday.”  I’ve also been able to use what I’ve learned in tech menu sessions and in department meetings.

But part of my problem is organization.  My tech tip emails are in one spot; my tech lessons in another, etc.  A lot of the professional learning comes at me in bits and bytes, and winds up relegated to a back channel.  I would love to have all my little bits and pieces in one spot so I can find it easily AND direct staff to it.I love Pinterest for that, and I’ve used my Google+ account to do a little of this, too.  The new Google Sites can also be a great place to put stuff, except for the fact that it’s not ready to work with Widgets (my Twitter feed and Pinterest boards are just links).  I love WordPress, and have a feeling I’ll be moving everything onto a site here…

Any of you out there have some good tips on getting my professional development ideas organizing your good stuff?

References:

Foote, C. (2013). From professional development to personalized learning. Library Media Connection31(4), 34-35.  Retrieved from http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lls&AN=84557824&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Fontichiaro, K. (2013, May). Librarians as professional developers. School Library Monthly, 29(8), 47-48.  Retrieved from http://libaccess.sjlibrary.org/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=lls&AN=87773567&site=ehost-live&scope=site

 

Go Game, Young Person

go-equipment-narrow-blackFellow iSchool student Lauren McNeil writes about tabletop games as a great addition to any library/learning commons (link below).

I attended the June ALA conference in San Francisco last year and got a quick taste for tabletop games when I encountered a group playing Go.  I signed up to receive a free set of GO games for the library, but am sad to say that I’ve let them collect dust in one of the library storage cabinets.  NO LONGER!  I am inspired to get Go-ing on providing games for my patrons.

Lauren’s well-cited post (seriously, check out her reference list) reminds me of the importance of the learning commons as a place to play and connect.  To get into the spirit of the thing, I decided to Google popular board games for teens.  Tutor Doctor recommends games like Settlers of Catan and Equate in order to “improve memory, build social skills, develop strategic thinking skills, and even just learn more about the world and its history.”  I love to play Settlers of Catan  with my family, and I bet our high school students would like it too (especially on block days, when they’ll have plenty of time to play).

Lauren additionally reminds me that “In support of culturally responsive teaching, game playing can unite patrons of different backgrounds.”  So I looked up games that help in this category as well.  Hellogiggles’ Elena Zhang (2016) post, “10 superfun tabletop games that celebrate women and diversity” .  Included in the top 10 are many games that, like Settlers of Catan could take long hours of play (Dungeons and Dragons, Pandemic); however, Dixit is there!  How did I not think of Dixit?  If you haven’t played it before, please go out and try.  It’s definitely a game that anyone can play, and really gets people to see varied perspectives.  Anyway, I’m getting it!

My school is a pretty diverse population, and one of our missions is to build community.  How better to build community in my own corner of the school than to promote games that draw patrons together?

One final word: Lauren’s post also shows you ways to get board games on a shoestring budget.  Here’s her link: Info 233 Learning Journal, Week 8: Tabletop Games as School Library Game-Changers