Wednesday, December 17, 2008

How About Hosting a Technology Fair for Teen Tech Week?

From the latest School Library Journal online:
"Looking for a way to integrate your school’s technology program with Teen Tech Week? St. Vrain Valley School District (SVVSD), Longmont, Colorado has put together an award-winning Student Technology Fair project, and since Teen Tech Week 2009 is just around the corner (March 8-14), now is time to start planning." Read the article here.

New Reason to Use Google Reader

Interesting thing I just discovered with my Google Reader here at school - You can read the pop-up blog posts in Google Reader, even if the home site is one that is blocked at your school site. This is something new to me, at least.

I started following Sarah Dessen's blog (Just Listen, Lock and Key) on LiveJournal, which is blocked here at school. However, when I checked my Google Reader blog roll, I could still read her posts in Google Reader. What a concept! I think it's just great that a web 2.0 tool is helping me to get around the block my district puts on this kind of site. Who knew! Try it for yourself.

CSLA Conference Day 3

Well, so much for finishing my blog posting from the conference. My 24 hours ran out on the Hyatt network and as I was leaving on Sat. in the early evening, I didn't bother to pay for another day. It's truly my hope that wifi will become ubiquitous at conference venues and as an organization we won't be required to pay high fees to give the conference attendees access.

The conference was a great success and hats off once again to all of the planners and organizers. We don't say thank you enough, but we truly appreciate you!

P.S. I highly recommend volunteering to work at the registration desk. You get to see everyone arriving, find friends and make a lot of new ones. It was great fun.

Friday, November 21, 2008

News from the Conference Day 2

Greetings on day 2. Today I began the day with a very early breakfast and then got over to the convention center to work at the registration desk at 7:00 am. What was I thinking? It was great, though. I can highly recommend it as a place to volunteer to see people as they arrive and make new friends too. George Pilling was there and brought us some of the CALIBK12 stickers for those of us who forgot to print them out. We pasted them on any badge holders we got our hands on. Thanks, George, even if we don't win a prize.

Those of us at registration didn't make it to all of the opening session, but I did get to go hear the featured speaker, Joe McHugh, present Slaying the Gorgon - Storytelling and Media in the Electronic Age. He was fantastic! A great story teller and very creative in bringing together images from advertising and the web to illustrate his points. I wish we had video so everyone in CSLA could see and hear his talk. Kudos once again to the conference committee for finding an amazing, entertaining and inspiring keynote speaker.

After the opening session, attendees had a chance to visit the exhibits for an hour or so before the first concurrent session. I still haven't gotten in there except for a brief tour last night. There's always tomorrow.

1st concurrent session: ABC's of Leadership - Barbara Jeefus, Jim Duke, Chela Cortez, Claudette McLinn, Jeanne Nelson shared their road to leadership in our organization. Sandy Schuckett facilitated this interesting peek at what brought them all to CSLA. It was the conclusion of the attendees that this needs to be presented in a larger forum to inspire more people to participate in CSLA as officers and chairs, and it's a job for all of us.

Next on to the Legislative Lunch with informative words from our own Jeff Frost. The word is not good on the budget situation, even for this current school year. We all need to continue to contact our legislators, especially the 30 newbies in the Senate and Assembly. If you have a supportive legislator, why don't you encourage he or she to mentor a new person on the importance of school libraries to student achievement? We need to watch for the dates to be announced by CSLA for legi days in the district, etc.

2nd. session: I attended the session on Textbook Management, with Rob Darrow, Gene Menicucci, and online with us, Paula Ford. I got lots of great ideas to pass on to my district to upgrade our textbook software. We do a pretty good job of retrieval of textbooks at my HS, but the district as a whole, needs to get better control, so I can go home with some good info.

3rd. session: I attended "Is the Google Generation Information Literate?" Zorana Ercegovac presnted her findings from a case study with secondary school students. I think we all related to her findings and she will share her presentation and pretest with all of us to use at our schools. She has a new edition of her book just published based on this study as well. It would probably be great for my teachers to read.

Well, I'm off to the President's Reception with a live radio show, refreshments and goodies to take home. Don't you wish you were here? I do!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

News from the Conference Day 1

Well, the first day is over. I've seen some old friends, made some new ones and spent time in 2 interesting workshops. So far, the only disappointing thing is that the convention center doesn't have wifi for us, so we can't really be as green as we all anticipated. Here at the Hyatt one has to pay by the day to get online, so I probably won't be able to write as much as I wanted to.

Sometimes, when I spend my days with so many connected high school kids, it seems like the entire world is connected, and maybe it really isn't.

Ah well, off to bed. In a weak moment I actually volunteered to work in registration at 7:oo am! What was I thinking?

Librarymum in Sacramento

Monday, November 17, 2008

Blogging at the CSLA Conference

Hi all!
I just added this blog to the CSLA Conference wiki at - Come join us! Librarymum wants to see you there too.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Unattended - found on Flickr

The Unattended
The Unattended,
originally uploaded by gatorgalpics.
This reminded me of Dan Pink's comments at AASL07 in Reno last fall when he talked about making signs more “empathetic.”

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Freepath--a new 2.0 tool

"Freepath--a tool a librarian (and a teacher and a presenter and a student) can love - Every once in a while a new tool makes me almost want to be a PC user. Take Freepath, launched yesterday in public beta." From Joyce Valenza on her blog, Neverendingsearch - read about it here

This looks like a fantastic tool to bring a lot of our web 2.0 tools together and use them easily. I hope I can open it at school! I'll let you know

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Turning the Pages at the British Library

Turning Pages into Classroom Gold: Ancient Texts Shine on the Web - In Turning the Pages, the British Library puts some of the world's oldest, most beautiful, and culturally significant books online. Read about it in an article by Douglas Cruickshank in the latest issue of Edutopia at:

If you haven't seen this before, you are in for a treat. This looks like a great resource for finding access to magnificent texts and primary sources.

In the words of the author, "The past has a brilliant future."

Friday, May 16, 2008

My First Library

This is a picture of the Arcadia Public Library in the 1950s. It's the first library my parents took me to, and the first I remember. I'm sure I still have my first library card, one of those small cardboard ones, with the little metal insert with my number on it. I'm sharing this piece of my personal history with you because I retrieved this picture from Calisphere, that great resource for pictures and pieces of California history. I use the site with students and teachers here at the high school, and we have found some amazing primary sources. This is such a wonderful example of what is available to us now in this digital age.

Recently I heard that our public library had contributed a lot of digitized pictures to the collection, so today I just searched Arcadia on the site. The very first picture was this one of the public library from my childhood. Have you tried searching the name of your city on the site? If you haven't tried Calisphere, I highly recommend it. There is usually a Calisphere workshop and booth at the annual CSLA conference, so you can catch up with the latest info about it there too.

Picture link:

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

NBC News Launches Free Online Learning Community for Teenagers

From eSchool News this week:

Current Site of the Week ...

NBC News launches free online learning community for teenagers
Immerse, Connect, Understand, and Excel. Its learning platform uses a patented technology, based on research from the MIT Education Arcade, called the CueCard; it's a combination media player, flash card, note-taking tool, and trading card. This "flip-card" technology allows users to watch streaming videos from NBC News and then "flip" the CueCard over for additional information. | eSchool News">Full Story

Saturday, May 10, 2008

A Great Teen Library Page

I was doing my usual weekend trolling and reading through my blog roll on Google Reader, catching up with some of you and Joyce Valenza and Doug Johnson, when I saw a link to the YALSA blog and a post about Teen Second Life. That lead me to a link to this teen library page, Library Loft PLCMC, from the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, home to the original 23 Things tutorial, the basis for our own SLL2.0.

This page is amazing and I want my library page to be like this. Of course, public libraries get to have a presence on Teen Second Life and we can't even look at it at school, but here's hoping. What I think is so important about completing the 23 things in School Library Learning 2.0 is that we are learning what these tools are, how they can be used and discovering new and inspiring ways to use them. It's a whole new world to some of us, but it's a real, current world for all of us right now.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Rand McNally Globe

Today I received for the first time the free Rand McNally eNewsletter - A monthly newsletter with tips on integrating geography and social studies across the curriculum. Each newsletter includes a FREE map!

I know, we all get way too much email, but this has so many "geo" related activities for all grade levels that I had to pass it along. This month focuses on geography and language arts and includes a list of famous authors born in May. It seemed to include a lot of things a teacher librarian could use. Enjoy!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Google Book Search

I had an interesting experience this week. I was trying to catalog a book published by one of our retired teachers. It was published by a small local publisher (do we still call them vanity presses?), and it was lacking information that we usually include in the catalog record. It didn't include the publication or copyright date or the place of publication. I know, we can deal with that in the record, but I decided to do some research, as it did have the publisher's name, an ISBN, and a URL for the publisher.

I'll try to get the point here. The publisher's website had no mailing address, so I Googled them and got the address, and I found one date in the author's dedication. Finally, I decided to look it up in Google Books. Well, that was interesting because it turns out that Google Books had "mashed up" our teacher's book with another book published by the same publisher many years ago. The ISBN for our teacher's book was there along with the one for the other book. On the Google Book page, you can send in questions or suggestions for entries. I did this and they answered that they will check into it and thanked me for the information.

Social cataloging! What fun.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Tip of the week from History Tech

Here's a great collection of links from the History Tech blog. From Glenn, writer of the blog: "This week’s tip is basically just a list of places online that can help you integrate literature with your social studies instruction. I’ve tried to include stuff for different grade levels."

LookyBook is here (talked about before on this blog), along with StoryLine Online where you can listen to books read aloud by members of the Screen Actors Guild, and lots of others.

I was especially excited to find American Passages: A Literary Survey. This site created by Annenberg Media provides professional development and classroom materials to enhance the study of American Literature in its cultural context. From the site: "American Passages: A Literary Survey provides professional development and classroom materials to enhance the study of American Literature in its cultural context. It is organized into 16 units, each exploring canonical and re-discovered texts, and presenting the material through an Instructor Guide, a 30-minute documentary video series, literary texts and an integrated Study Guide." Along with our students, we can find resources and and tools to use to create our own analytical narratives.

Wow, this link to American Literature is going out on email tomorrow, especially to my English and Social Studies teachers.

Flickr: The Commons & the Library of Congress

I didn't see this before, but Flickr and the Library of Congress have teamed up to provide access to more of the photos and artifacts available at the Library of Congress. From The Commons site:

"Back in June of 2007, we began our first collaboration with a civic institution to facilitate giving people a voice in describing the content of a publicly-held photography collection, The Library of Congress. The pilot project we created together launched on January 16, 2008.

The key goals of The Commons are to firstly give you a taste of the hidden treasures in the world's public photography archives, and secondly to show how your input and knowledge can help make these collections even richer.

You're invited to help describe the photographs you discover in The Commons on Flickr, either by adding tags or leaving comments."

I'm on a mission now to get access to Flickr back at school! Watch this space.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Have you seen Lookybook?

Found on SLJ's ExtraHelping - Preview a picture book before you buy it at Lookybook. bills itself as "the world's longest bookshelf" and a "test track" for picture books—all for free. Before buying or committing to a picture book, parents, teachers, and librarians can view the work in its entirety using the site's whimsical "page-turning" tool. It's a lot of fun too!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Add this to your Google Reader or Bloglines list

TipLine - Gates' Computer Tips - Another blog to watch for new technology and how-tos

From Jim Gates: "Each day during the school year I try to send out a computer tip or two. It's usually a website, but sometimes it's a news item or an Excel tip, etc. You can also find the archive of my tips going back to May of 2005. Please leave a comment to let me know you were here and what you thought of the tip."

Winner of a 2007 Edublog Award

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Hands On Science in Nevada Schools

From Edutopia - Las Vegas: Environments
Thanks to imaginative teachers and active community support, science learning in Clark County, Nevada, has been enlivened with the establishment of two on-site learning environments -- a rain forest dome and a replica of a silver mine. Watch this short video about these innovative environments.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Blogging from my phone

I got so excited this morning. I was reading an article (Moblogging in Schools) and a blog from an elementary teacher in England who is doing "moblogging" with his students and I wanted to try it for myself. Here on Blogspot, when you are on the Dashboard, you can follow the directions for mobile blogging. You can take a picture with your camera and/or text and send it to your blog. What a concept. I tried it and the post showed up blank, with only the date showing. More to learn here! I'll let you know when it works.

Friday, March 7, 2008

To Second Life and Beyond!

If you have never read Edutopia, here is a great article to start with. It particularly focuses on "Whyville, a web-based virtual world that provides inquiry-based education for middle school students." You can read it here: Get a Life: Students Collaborate in Simulated Rolls. You will probably even be able to open it at school! What a concept! Here's to more access.
Here's another article with a video about the further use of virtual reality at all levels of education and training. No Gamer Left Behind: Virtual Learning Goes to the Next Level. The video is fascinating.
Picture credit: Revolutionary Technology:
Students at Suffern Middle School, in Suffern, New York, created these avatars to represent characters from novels they read about the American Revolution. Credit: Courtesy of Suffern Middle School

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Why Let Our Students Blog?

Several days ago Randy de Jong (fellow SLL2.0 team member) posted a question on the High School group on TeacherLibrarian Ning about getting permission to open blogs and wikis for use by students and teachers at his school. In one of the replies, there was a link to a wiki that included this video created by Rachael Boyd, a teacher in New Zealand. This is a great tool to use at any level of school.

Friday, February 29, 2008

CSLA Southern Section Workshop on SLL2.0

The links for my presentation:

SLL2.0 blog: PageSpace –

School wiki -

50 Ways to Tell a Story

I added the last one after I printed out the handout book marker, so here it is.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

PowerPointlessness, or How to do it better

I had to pass along this blog post from Joyce Valenza on teaching and encouraging students (and teachers) to create better presentations. At her school, they are trying to help their students create better and more effective presentations for classes and this blog gives you the first chapter on what they tried and how it worked. I recommended it to all of the teachers at my school to help our students prepare classwork and even for themselves (I can say that because I need this too!). It's worth your time to read it if you haven't seen it before.

Joyce Valenza writes on January 20, 2008:
"PowerPoint Reform: a first chapter"

"After 10 years, it was time.

We could not sit through another bullet-ridden, brain-numbing student presentation.

We interviewed the kids.

For them it was just as bad.

They dreaded each others' PowerPoints.

Though we've been using other tools for communication, sometimes the slideshow really seems the best choice. We knew that presentation styles had changed. At conferences and on websites we'd seen so many effective examples. But we knew that breaking 10 years of bad habits was going to be a process. And with PowerPoint so ingrained in our culture, we also expected a fight."

To read the rest, go to:

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Great Uses for Social Bookmarking

I like to read David Warlick's 2Cents Worth blog and the comments that people make on it. In one of his posts I found a comment about presentations and also a comment with a link to using social bookmarking. Specifically, the comment referred to using and linked to another blog about uses for in the classroom. There are lots of good suggestions here and I think it's worth your time to read it. I'm going to post a link to it on the calcurriculum wiki as well.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Something to Do With Your New 2.0 Wiki Skills

PBwiki Presenter Packs - If you're giving a presentation about wikis,
PBwiki will ship you a free PBwiki t-shirt, an easy-to-read PDF about
wikis, a Powerpoint with pictures of real PBwiki users, and 3 FREE
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would love to give you one, too.

Get your PBwiki Presenter Pack here:

Friday Night is Blog Following Night

It seems that I find myself trolling, reading and "following" blogs and interesting links on Friday nights. Television doesn't have much to offer and I am finding myself back in the zone I discovered while I was completing the "23 Things of School Library Learning 2.0" last summer. Here are a few I discovered tonight on my stroll: BookMoot - written by a librarian with oh so many links to author pages, book review pages and a great blog about an event with Eoin Colfer, author of Artemis Fowl, et al.; Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, Why Stop at Six?, a blog mostly about children's books and picture books; and a humorous look at library life from behind the desk, A Librarian's Guide to Etiquette, subtitled "A polite librarian is a good librarian" - WARNING! reading this at school could spoil your image as a serious person if you find yourself laughing out loud too much!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Uploading pictures from Flickr

originally uploaded by Librarymum.
I'm exploring how to post pics from Flickr on this blog. One of the participants in SLL2.0 Winter Fun was having trouble with this. It seems to have changed somewhat.

One thought I had - with Flckr now blocked at school, my pics on Flickr won't show on the blog when I open it at school. It seems like it would be best to only use things I upload from my own computer if I want to use them at school for now. I certainly hope that we can figure out a way to use some of these tools (Flickr, YouTube, etc.) when presenting lessons, even if we can't open them up for unlimited use at school by students. I know the reasons, but it is a shame.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Library 2.1 - The Next 23 Things

I just found a new blog (actually, not so new as this was posted in April 2007!), but I don't think I was paying attention then. Helene Blowers, of the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County, who started one of the first of the 23 things programs, has created a blog for Library 2.1 and here she has posted "The Next 23 Things". I don't know if I'm ready for this, but something draws me on...