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

 

 

 

 

Twitterer

697029-twitter-512I’m a social media dabbler. Not the kind of person who wakes up to check Facebook, sends tweets from conferences or author sightings, or takes fabulous Instagram pics for the school’s library site. Worse, I’m also not the kind of person who advances the library social media challenge to willing teacher’s aides. Actually, they’re usually not that willing.

Needless to say, I’m devoting this post to extending myself to Tweet world, or Tweetland, or whatever you Twittery people call it. My reason? It’s a network thing. I am always amazed by the contacts I get through Twitter. It’s awesome to attend a conference and get the handle for a great educator or inspiring librarian, and then see those tweets start coming in.

I am not a handle collector, and I never hope to be. However, it was somewhat gratifying to see that I follow 3 of the 15 (okay, 16) listed educational innovators from Laura Devaney’s (2014) eSchoolNews.com article, “15 innovative Twitter accounts you should follow.” I’ve been a big Alice Keeler fan since I attended a workshop session at a Google Summit a few years back–or was it a Computer Using Educators (CUE) conference? I also like seeing what’s going on in the EdTechTeacher world, and I love Ron Swanson. That one comes up as a bonus account in the article.

So why keep up with Twitter, when there are so many other things to think about? Well, I asked my husband that question recently, and he said that he only uses Twitter for industry news and trends. This gels with advice I’ve seen elsewhere, as in Joni Nguyen’s (2017) Edudemic.com article, “15 top educators to follow in 2017.” Nguyen states, “Following educators on Twitter can help today’s teachers stay up-to-date on the latest trends and research in education as well as help develop innovative and fun lesson plans for various subjects.” So I’m challenging myself, starting this next school year, to up my game by checking my Twitter feed more often, and to Tweet more, myself.

As a social media site, Twitter is probably the most innocuous. I can easily substitute a fancy, time-consuming Tech tip email for a quick Tweet that shows up on the library site or the school’s professional development site via a widget. And it doesn’t have to be mine! I can retweet someone else’s brilliant idea, which, COME ON, is basically what we do when we share tips. We’re librarians! So all that time I spent worrying about the fact that I hadn’t a) thought of a useful tip, and b) sat down to write and click send, as well as the time actually used in those tasks, is SAVED, yes SAVED. If you’re interested in more ways to use Twitter, check out another Edudemic article, “The Teacher’s guide to Twitter.”

If you have comments about the way you use Twitter to save time in your hectic library-running, class-coordinating, tech-consulting day, please share!

References:

Devaney, L. (2014, June 17). 15 innovative Twitter accounts you should follow. eSchool News. Retrieved from https://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/06/17/innovative-twitter-accounts-365/

Nguyen, J. (2017, April 24). 15 top educators to follow in 2017. Edudemic. Retrieved from http://www.edudemic.com/teachers-on-twitter/

The teacher’s guide to Twitter. (n.d.). The teacher’s guide to Twitter. Edudemic. Retrieved from http://www.edudemic.com/teachers-on-twitter/

 

Why I’m not going to ISTE this year, and why I think you should care

Hello my name is badge sticker

Conferences, conferences.  Every professional has the opportunity to attend conferences for professional development.  Conferences are often run by industry groups or organizations. As teacher librarians, we are encouraged to become involved in various library-related associations (see 4 C  Blog “Top 10 reasons to join a professional organization” to understand why).  Encouragement for me has initially come from professors in my Masters of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program through San Jose State University. Thank you, professors.   If you’re lucky, you have administrators that encourage you to take part in library-related associations.  I, myself, am a proud member of several of these.   First is the American Library Association (ALA), the big guns, along with two ALA divisions, the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and the American Association of School Librarians (AASL).  I am also a member of  the California School Libary Association (CSLA).  I have attended ALA and CSLA conferences, and will be attending the AASL conference this fall in Arizona. Yes, I know.  Sounds awesome.

I’m really not trying to brag, here.  In talking with other teacher librarians, I’ve found that most are part of 3-5 associations, and many of them even more.

Now, in my first post, if you read it, I talked about librarians wearing lots of different hats?  Well, one of the biggest hats we wear is the hat that I call, very unoriginally, “Tech go-to.”  We are that person at our sites.  As Steven Abram noted in his recent January 2017 Internet@Schools article titled, “What’s in the pipeline? Teacher librarians as STEAM vents,”  “The next phase of libraries will expand our role in schools and our communities into lending 3D printers, 3D scanners, drones, games, IoT devices, artificial intelligence and aug­mented reality tools, robots, robotics, and the full range of digital and other tools needed for successful learning.”  So yeah, better get up on all that. As a quick side note, Abram quotes the 2016 Thomas Frey Futurist Speaker article, “‘122 Things’ you will be able to do in the library of the future that you can’t do today,” which is a great read.  

See, inasmuch as the library associations mentioned heretofore help us connect, and actually do a good job in helping us keep up with technology, it’s wise to spread out and form professional attachments to groups that FOCUS on tech. To that end, I became a member of Computer Using Educators (CUE), the Silicon Valley offshoot (SVCUE), and the International Society of Technology in Education (ISTE).  With CUE, I get out of the library box and into seeing how subject-area educators are using new applications.  ISTE pushes global awareness, and has developed up-to-date international student and teacher technology standards that echo the AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner.

It’s hard to pick and choose which professional conferences you want to attend, if you’re lucky to even have that choice.  When I look over my year, I try to spread things out a bit, attending 1 library-associated conference and 1 tech conference.  I have experienced good and mediocre conferences.  The greatest takeaway at EVERY conference is network building. Yes, you learn about trends and technology too.  But if learned anything, it’s the acquaintances and friendships you strike up, because they will enrich you over and over again.

I’m not going to ISTE this year because it coincides with a much-needed family vacation.   Maybe I’ll go next year when it’s in Chicago.

Why should you care?  Well, if you’re interested in teacher librarianship, and you want to stay connected through attendance at conferences, maybe this post will pique your interest in the professional associations I listed above, but that’s not my main point.  My hope is that you, dear fellow teacher librarian, in your attempt to perch the many hats you wear atop your head AT THE SAME TIME, can read this little post and either say to yourself, “She’s such a lightweight!” or “Aha! I’ve found someone that’s just as involved as me.”  If you’re one of the former, I take one of my many hats off to you.  If you’re one of the latter, cheers!

References:

Abram, S. (2017, January). What’s in the pipeline? Teacher librarians as STEAM vents. Internet@Schools, 24(1), 8-10. Retrieved from http://www.internetatschools.com/Articles/Column/The-Pipeline/THE-PIPELINE-Whats-in-the-Pipeline-Teacher-Librarians-as-STEAM-Vents-116124.aspx

Frey, Thomas. (2016, October 26). “122 Things” you will be able to do in the library of the future that you can’t do today. [Web log]. Futurist Speaker. Retrieved from http://www.futuristspeaker.com/business-trends/122-things-you-will-be-able-to-do-in-the-library-of-the-future-that-you-cant-do-today/

McClellan, J. (2015, November 5). Top 10 reasons to join a professional association. [Web log]. 4CDesignworks. Retrieved from http://blog.cccctech.com/top-10-reasons-to-join-a-professional-organization/