Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Teen Read Week 2008

What a great time to celebrate YALSA's Teen Read WeekOctober 12-18! There will be a very cool celebration every night that week @ Readergirlz. Each night next week they will have live chats with authors! The "epic lineup of published authors" and the five themed chats will take place at the rgz MySpace group forum, October 13-17, 2008, 6:00 pm PST/9:00 pm EST.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Student Collaboration

Live blogging at CASL! Afternoon Workshop!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

TIE is coming..

OK- Getting ready for TIE (Technology in Education @ Copper Mountain) and I can't wait! There are so many very good sessions planned by educators that are full of great information. Finally the planning for my workshops is almost finished, and I have found some very cool toys for librarians to play with! Here is something I created with Wordle for my preso- it is made up of words from Standards for the 21st Century Learner.

What do you think?

Even if you can't attend- join us virtually for the conference! You can follow posts, pictures and more at David Warlick's Hitchhikr where the conference is named TIECO2008. If you post to your blog, add TIECO2008 and your post, photos etc will apprear for others @ Hitchhikr
Follow us via twitter with Hashtags: #TIECO2008 or http://hashtags.org/tag/TIECO2008/
See you there! Technorati Tags:

Friday, April 25, 2008

Marian Notes from 4/21

Thanks to Beckie for facilitating and providing these notes!
** NOTE - next Marians Monday, May 19th!

· 21 skills are online learning in variety of ways: Blogging, video, databases.

· Virtual Campus is what St. Vrain is using. Classes are set up to use Moodle.

· Teachers are creating online professional development communities

· Alternatives to PowerPoint. Photo Story is an example

· The Program Destiny is used in Estes. When looking up books/topics in the library it connects to websites for research purposes.

· Transferable skills are what we need to teach.

· It was brought up that in Estes they are required to do 3-4 hours of professional development on computer skills.

Laura adds: great resources at:21st Century Skills

Also, the Framework for 21st Century Learning was presented at the CAL Pre-conference in November with Allison Zmuda. She was talking to librarians and principals and making sure principals knew that the skills businesses want to see in graduates are not necessarily the same skills be assessed in schools. Click here for her PowerPoint from that presentation.

Monday, April 07, 2008

CO Teen Literature Conference Authors

Teens had the opportunity to ask questions of Alane Ferguson and Gail Giles during the Teen Literature Conference April 5th 2008. (Notes for some of the conversation below)

Next year's authors were announced: Jordan Sonneblick (Notes from the Midnight Driver) and David Lubar (The Curse of the Campfire Weenies/Sleeping Freshman Never Lie). This should make for a great conference!

Mark your calendars now- see if you can join us APRIL 4, 2009!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Teen Lit Author Panel- Denver 4/5

Authors Hilari Bell, Linda Collison, Laura Resau, Donita Tompkins talk about the process of writing and answered questions.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Alex Award winners...

Thanks to Learning Gems, I now have a nice piece to tease ALA's 2008 Alex Award winners! Have a look:

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Need some help with your administrator?

Joyce Valenza wrote a great blog post today about a project she has been working on for schools in her area. Inspired by the Did you Know video, she has created her own piece to advocate that certified media specialists/teacher librarians be in place in all schools Well put together and good supportive material.
Take a look:
Libraries- a tale of inequity

For her complete post, click here: NeverEnding Search

Monday, March 24, 2008

What TIME is it?

After finishing a research project on great poets in the AP English the students posted them in their classroom Google presentation account. They were to use this information to map the poet's birth or life span on a time line.

Some students used the new stylish looking Mnemograph time line creator. It is easy to get into so the students begin creating some pretty slick looking time lines. After about nine students, we had difficult seeing all the time lines though. **Note- just got an email from Michael R. from Mnemograph who thanked us for the feedback and said this would be a good addition. Within just a short time, Michael had adjusted the problems and we are good to go for today.

Some of the students chose to use Xtimeliner which is a social time line creation tool. Our students also found this easy to use and fairly quick to navigate. It has different options like collaborative editing and time line sharing that are kind of nice.

Since we were trying something new, it was hard for the students (and me!). Crashing computers, stalled work...but the student stuck with it and created most of their charts. The main goal was for them to begin to see patterns in the artists lives- and who was influenced by whom.

Turns out both tools work well for this. Even though we got stuck a few times the students liked the looks and feel of Mnemograph better. (At least today- we'll try with another class tomorrow!)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Grab 'N Gab

Today, upon completion of CSAP I invited all the staff up to the library for a kind an open house we called Grab 'n Gab!

It was a showcase of materials that we offer teachers that they don't normally see. We had district book sets like HS poetry, Forensics, audio books and DVD's playing. Cyberbully lessons from Netsmartz. I set out SLJ and Booklist for teachers to select books for me to purchase.

We provided mini-cheesecakes, cream filled strawberries, chocolate truffles and hot cider. There was a display of Information Literacy Standards. We even had book scavenger hunts for every subject area (yes even including PE and math). Lastly- we had cheesy prizes and opportunities to share some conversations.

It was a good lunch hour- Science, English, Foreign Language, Special Ed, administrators and even Math departments stopped by for a visit. Several of the books sets went straight into teachers classrooms. I even picked up some more work with ESL and special ed...great opportunities for future planning! Many thanks to my friend Kim for letting me copy her idea, my great clerk and new intern for making this possible. What a fun day! ~guybrarian

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Question # Dos

As a spin off from Teen Tech Week, my Spanish teacher is now using VOKI avatars.
Her current assignment is to have students tell their favorite restaurants, and foods. Even though it is not required, then can create a VOKI and respond right on her blog. She has been very pleased with the variety and amount of responses. Because of the technology, her year 1 Spanish students are loving it and doing good work.

Check out her blog: Clase de Espanol. Make sure to click on the little clipboard/notebook to hear and see the students responses!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Teen Tech Week Workshops - part three

(I almost called this THE REVENGE OF TTTW! ARGHHHH! This is part 3- read from below up to here! :) ~guybrarian)

Evaluation: Wow. Did I learn a lot! Here are some highlights:
1) Informal statistics
From my little polls I determined that 1/2-2/3's of my students have their own My Space accounts (only one student out of the 8 classes said they had Facebook).
About 1/3 of the students use an online photo tool, most use Photobucket
Most of them have been creating powerpoint presentations since about 4th or 5th grade.
There were 8 blocks of students that attended, filling every IMC computer. (Also a handful of teachers!)

2) What they don't know
They don't really know whats available to them online.
Most of the students had never seen the applications I previewed for them, much less used them for classroom work

They don't know too much about how to tag information
When we talked about online photo accounts, they used them but had never tagged their info in order to organize or even RSS them. Even the term TAG or TAGGING was new to them. I think this puts them at a disadvantage when they to sort information or research.

They don't know too much about RSS.
Making friends in my space- you bet! But we also talked about push/pull technology and it was pretty clear that they didn't know they could create spaces that would bring all their information to them in order to create meaning.

They don't know how to embed code into their web pages
When finished working with VOKI's it provides a script, and very very few of them knew what it was or what they could do with it. So, they didn't really know that they could adapt their online pages to become something that helps their learning.

They don't know how to create online workspaces that help them to be more efficient and organized.
When I showed them
IGoogle (or pageflakes or netvibes) they had no idea that they could set these types of workspaces up for themselves. A few created them during our time, and saw the value in it.

They need practice on how to have productive live/online conversations.
While I was hoping that they could use the backchannel to clarify and share constructive information, my monitor ended up refereeing much too much for my taste. I just don't think students had a concept of what could really be accomplished here.

What does it mean?
Even though this didn't quite accomplish what I hoped there were some positive things.

A few students registered for online photo accounts and began organizing photos. I thought the avatar creator had less educational value than some of the other applications, so was a little embarrassed when students flocked to it. Then a teacher found a way to embed this cute avatar in her foreign language wiki. She set up an brief response to go with an assignment that I'm sure the students will love. (Check it out!) Lastly, I was very glad to see a few students create IGoogle accounts and began using them. This really seems useful for them and I wonder what it would look like to help students set these up for classes and activities.

The whole experience brought up many questions...

* What do students need to know so that they can create something of value to add to the web?
* How can we coach students to get to deeper levels when researching for themselves (rather than a prescribed assignment for school)?
* How can we best help students to productive and meaningful conversations on the web?
* What are some questions you have? :)

TTWW TOO! (or Teen Tech Week part 2)

(note: if you are lost- read the previous post about how I set up workshops for teen tech week @ Silver Creek library!)

Implementation: I started with my original plan, but changed it every hour. Students didn't know the tools I wanted to go over so it took a little longer. They loved playing with and creating avatars via VOKI, so spent quite a bit of time doing this. Had 3 or four teachers come in during their plan and created an extra handout for them, but they played with the VOKI too.

The night after the 1st presentation, I re-listened to Joyce Valenza's comments on Women of the Web 2.o podcast #65. Amongst other things- she talked about teacher her seniors how to create their own launching pages using IGoogle. So, the second day I incorporated that into the presentation by helping students to set up their own pages that could link to their teachers pages, the library and even have to-do lists.

Oh- and I tried to run a live backchannel chat during each session. It was managed by the Study Hall teacher back in her room and it was my intent that students could ask eachother questions and make helpful comments about the workshop. I also invited other librarians out of the building to poke in from time to time.

Evaluation: How did it go? Oh man! Wait till you read this...next blog post! ~guybrarian

Teen Tech Week Workshops, or TTWW??

Part I: Here at Silver Creek, we tried to set up workshops about emerging and current tech for students and teachers...thanks to a suggestion from Jennifer at Horizon High School.

SETUP: First I reserved the library computers and space for the last 1/2 hour of every block Thursday and Friday. Then I went to study hall teachers, guided study and others to get their students to sign up. I also made this available for students with a free period AND teachers. Classes were taught in the library. "Cheat Sheets" were created for each application if they wanted to explore on their own.

DESIGN: I planned on introducing tools that I think the students should be using: online multimedia tools like Voicethread or Slideshare; online photo sharing/editing tools like Flickr or Photobucket; book sources Library Thing; productivity software like Google and ZOHO and of course how to embed code in your blog/web presence- using VOKI as an example.

Process: 10-15 minutes of intro. 10-15 minutes of hands on work time. Then, 5-10 minutes of final links like Del.icio.us, Zamar and wrap up.

Implementation and evaluation...next post!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Teen Literature Conference

Don't forget this is the week to register for the Teen Literature Conference held in Denver.

This years event will be hosted
Saturday | April 5, 2008
On the Auraria Campus (at the Tivoli) in downtown Denver.

Gail Giles and Alane Ferguson will both be speaking to the conference attendees. If you haven't been before, this is a great opportunity for you to take your students and enjoy good workshops and hear about new books. $25 Students and $50 adults.

Registration forms and more information is available online!

Monday, February 11, 2008


(ok- this is a really a article I submitted to the student newspaper...but thought you might enjoy it too)~guybrarian

Ever slam your finger in a car door? You know it is about to happen. In slow motion you watch in horror as the door whooshes uncontrollably into your flesh. With a JOLT you are keenly aware of your senses and the incredible pain that this very REAL action caused. In many ways it changes your life for quite some time. You have to touch and grab things differently. You can’t point at things the same as before. The very real fact of this event is etched right into your fingernail- usually for weeks to come.

That is the idea behind Poetry Slams. They originated with Marc Smith who was a construction worker that loved poetry. He was fed up with stuffy academic poetry readings that appeared to have little regard for its audience. Smith created an event that included the crowd as judges and scorekeepers and where poets could present their raw, edgy and very REAL poetry. The audience in a way actually becomes part of each poem’s performance. At Silver Creek- we have modeled our competitive event after this model where each poet performs for five judges who award a numeric score to each poem. The highest and lowest score are dropped, giving each performance a rating between zero and thirty points.

While most slams go many rounds, Silver Creek only has time for two rounds during the lunchtime presentation. Even so- there is lots of time for good entertainment. Many rounds can be very competitive- with the top two poets separated by less than .7 of a point! Winners vie for highly coveted prizes like sidewalk chalk, water rockets or the amazing twisted animal balloon maker! It is always an interesting event, and continues to draws visitors from throughout the district.
Each slam is different, but there is always something that happens that jars your thinking…and with a JOLT you are keenly aware of your senses…in ways that change your thinking for quite some time.
By the way, props, costumes, and music are generally forbidden in slams. However for the March poetry slam organizers are opening it up to Sock Puppet poets. Come and join in the hilarity!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

January Marians

What a nice meeting yesterday with some great Marians in attendance. If you missed, Axel shared his teacher collaboration and planning form. (see that cute miniature? :)

Also he facilitated a good conversation on note taking, and queried as to the teacher librarian's role in this. (I wonder if we often find ourselves teaching this along with good research strategies) He shared some great resources along with the techniques he uses.
There are some great paper manipulative plans from Dina Zike that are fabulous to work with students. Take a look! See ya at next month's Marians! ~guybrarian
PS - Here are the dates:
Feb 13th, March 12th, April 21st and May 19th!