Tuesday, November 26, 2013

This Month in The Library@HHS November 2013

More pics from this month HERE

I was only in The Library @HHS this month 11 days.  November was a crazy month filled with conference presentations that I had committed to long before I started working here.  I am thankful that my new school was supportive of these commitments, although I felt bad that I was missing so much time at the school.


Inventory in November? Yep.  We love the fact that Destiny has it's Inventory system set up to allow for inventory to be conducted year round.  Parent volunteers came in and have completed inventorying most of our reference, biography and special section books.  Parent volunteers ROCK!

Electronic Signage

My new school went 1:1 iPads this year yet The Library@HHS was still using a dry erase board to post where classes were scheduled to meet in the five meeting areas within the library.  This month we finally got our big screen television mounted so that we could toss the dry erase board and move into the future with the rest of the school.

Holiday Bazaar

Traditionally, The Library@HHS allows various community vendors to set up a one day Holiday Bazaar in the library.  This gets the community into our beautiful library and helps build relationships with community businesses.

Thanksgiving Meal with Hollis & Vann

Each year Ms. Hollis & Ms. Vann's students cook an amazing Thanksgiving Feast and invite teachers, parents, bus drivers, etc to come and celebrate the holidays with them.  This year was extra special as they were able to cook and serve lunch in their new classroom space.  The meal was delicious and I stuffed my belly full! 

Great Gatsby Day

Ms. Gannon and Ms. Gibson held their Great Gatsby Party in the community room inside The Library@HHS.  The kids dressed up, there was food to enjoy and watch the movie with gorgeous Leonardo DiCaprio.

Thankful Holiday Display

I created an interactive display that asked: "What Are You Thankful For?".  Students & teachers could get a leaf in the library and add it to the physical display or they could can the QR Code and add their thoughts to the interactive Padlet Board.

Tear Jerker Holiday Display

Inside the library Ms. Latta put together a Tear Jerker Display that has received many great reviews.


Gibson- GemDay Weebly

In September I showed the English PLC how to use Weebly for their classes.  This month one of our English Teachers, Ms. Gibson, showed me the Weebly she made for her husband who died of cancer two years ago.  I am so happy that she was able to use something I had taught her and apply it in such a meaningful way.


One thing I love about my new school is the willingness of teachers to share and learn together.  Ms. Ort always has great ideas and is willing to explore new ways to reach the goals for her classes.  This month we explored the possibility of using Google Maps with a special project she is having her students work on.

Zarzour- Doctopus & Goobric

Ms. Zarzour is a phenomenal first year teacher.  I learned about Doctopus and Goobric from Dr. Christopher Craft when I presented at the Georgia Educational Technology Conference the second week of November. Later I found out that Ms. Zarzour was already using Doctopus & Goobric with her students.  I wanted to use them with my student library aides and Ms. Zarzour was kind enough to sit down with me and walk me through the steps of how to use them. I am so excited to work in a school where we are encouraged to grow and learn together!

Reading to Hollis & Vann's Classes

Every Monday afternoon we read to Ms. Hollis and Ms. Vann's students. This past Monday I read an interactive touch book (ITB for Kids App) from my iPad that was mirrored via Apple TV onto our big screen television located in the library atrium. We also made hand turkeys (Hand Turkey App) using the iPad and everyone could see our turkeys on the big TV.

VHS Weeding Party

The Library@HHS is fortunate to have a large collection of VHS and DVD's available for teachers. However, weeding is necessary in this area of the collection.  Ms. Camp pulled up the circulation report for VHS tapes on her iPad and used this to pull VHS tapes from the collection that had not circulated in the last five years.  We then bought cookies, coffee, and hot chocolate, sent out invitations and had a VHS Weeding party in The Library@HHS.

Office Move

I think being visible in your library is important for all librarians.  open your doors and come out of those offices!  I just started working at The Library@HHS this school year.  My office is very nice, but is located in the very back of the library.  Up until this point I have been using a laptop and my iPad and sitting out at the circulation desk with our student library aides.  Recently Ms. Camp mentioned moving a television monitor in my office up to the circulation area so that we could monitor the students in our computer lab better.  It then occurred to me that I could move my entire office to the small alcove in the circulation area.  My "office" is now located in the hub of the library action without me being in the way of the student aides working the front desk.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

AASL 16th National Conference/Unconference First Timers Review

Flickr Unconference 2013 Group: http://www.flickr.com/groups/aasluncon/  
Please add your pictures from this event to the group.

November 14th through November 16th were the best three days of my entire 22 year career as an educator. Thanks to the Bound To Stay Bound Grant I was able to attend my first National Conference for the American Association of School Librarians.  

School librarians are often the only person in their schools that do what they do.  It was refreshing to be among so many of  "my people".  I started making friends right away, starting at the airport bus stop.

View more of my AASL 2013 pictures HERE

I came to realize that the heating and air issues I've experienced are not unique to just my school.  That budget woes plague many librarians across the country. Questions about how to best collaborate, Genrefication vs. Dewey, role as Professional Development leaders, are on the minds of school librarians everywhere.  

These issues along with a whole slew of other topics were discussed at length informally as well as in formal concurrent sessions. There were so many great concurrent sessions offered at the AASL 16th National Conference there was simply no way to attend them all.  I love that AASL recorded many of the sessions and have them available in the AASL’s eCOLLAB | Your eLearning Laboratory

Another much loved feature of the AASL 16th National Conference was the eLearnings Commons. The sessions offered here were a mix of formal and informal sessions.  The TL News Night Team also made an appearance and broadcast LIVE from AASL! We pulled Joyce Valenza, Matthew Winner & Tiffany Whitehead out of the audience, turned the cameras on the audience and gave a shout out to the Vermont School Library Association.

My favorite part of the entire conference, however, was the first ever AASL Unconference put together by the amazing Joyce Valenza. I was thrilled when Joyce asked me to be part of the planning team for this event.  I love the Unconference/EdCamp concept so much I co-founded EdCamp Atlanta.  

Even though the AASL Unconference was a late night event, we had so many in attendance we spilled out into the hallway.  The event started with a brief explanation of the participant nature of the Unconference/EdCamp concept.  Participants quickly filled up the session boards and we started the first round of sessions.  Discussion topics included Google Apps in the Library, Twitter, Research, CCSS, Copyright, Maker Spaces, Genrefication, Library Songs, etc.  

After the first round of sessions, Dan Callahan, co founder of the EdCamp Foundation, lead the group in a Rocks/Sucks Showdown.  The topic that got the most reaction was Genrefication vs Dewey.  For a moment, I thought we might have to grab the bouncer from the bar downstairs to help out!  Librarians are passionate about the arrangement of books! 

After the energetic Rocks/Sucks debates we began our second round of sessions. Topics discussed during this round included Augmented Reality, gaming, kindergartners doing research, ebooks, coffee cafes, etc. 

The night ended with my favorite part of  Unconference/EdCamp events; the SMACKDOWN! Anyone who wants to share a great lesson, app, website, etc has one minute to come to the microphone and share their great find.  There was a long line of participants ready to share. The great thing about an Unconference/EdCamp is that the learning and sharing continues long after the event.  Please feel free to add your own great finds to our SmackDown Google Presentation HERE.

Dhaivyd Hilgendorf ended the night with a song that he wrote as the Unconference took place making sure to incorporate all the fun we had.

Don't just take my word for it. Read the excerpts below and watch the videos for more reflections about the AASL 16th National Conference and the AASL Unconference.

My dear Peeps,
   At the expense of repeating what I've been effusively proclaiming in Tweets and other posts, the Unconference demonstrated to me, in a visceral way, that I have found my professional Peeps. This group was/is the bomb. The cathartic bomb that I needed to allow me to be myself in the context of my colleagues. You represent all that I stand for as a contemporary school librarian and technology integrationist. The Unconference felt like a turning point for me, helping me realize that I have something of special value to offer our profession, like the rest of you. My heart sings to have shared the experience with you, and I look forward to more creative collaborations in the coming years. 
   Hugs all around...and a few songs, too.

I very much enjoyed the experience! I have been so swamped with school stuff and professional "outside" school stuff, that I never even replied to the initial call for help, but I knew I could and WOULD support all efforts (Learning Commons; Unconference).  It just might serve as the catalyst to truly bring ASSL into the 21st century way of thinking! 

Late night or not, I stayed to the very end to show how important it was to me.  I made sure I contributed in every way a participant should, and i really think our own standing in that line and stepping up to the mic encouraged many to follow suit. FABULOUS evening so congrats to everyone. The Learning Commons was definitely full of activity too.  YAY.  

Hi Friends, 

I joined the AASL board a couple of years ago hoping that the organization could be invigorated by smart and energetic 21st century enthusiasts with fresh ideas about our profession and our practice. The "crowdsourced" parts of this conference - the eLearning Commons, and Friday's unconference converted my hope into reality. 

Thank you, thank you, thank you, all!

HUGS! Lots of them!

TL News Night Team and Special Guest, Vermont School Library Association, shares their favorite parts of AASL 2013:

FLIPGRID responses regarding the power of informal learning: 

Please add your own reflections of AASL to this FLIPGRID here: http://flipgrid.com/#f478c511

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

#USEdChat Twitter Party!

This past Monday night my amazingly energetic & innovative administrators held a Twitter Party in The Library@HHS for the #USEdChat Twitter Session.  Holly Sutherland and Jennifer Hogan both moderate #USEdChat along with other administrators/moderators from state edchats around the country. The purpose of the #USEdChat is to bring the various state edchats together on a quarterly basis for a discussion of a topical issue in education.

The purpose of the in person Twitter Party was to provide a supportive environment to help those teachers who wish to participate in the Twitter chat but aren't quite sure how to use the technology. 
The night was fun, jovial and informative.  At one point we were all laughing so much someone snorted!  LOL!

Near the end of the night one teacher new to Twitter commented, "It's almost over already?!"

Want your teachers to realize the amazing professional development power of Twitter?  Model and lead by example like Holly Sutherland and Jennifer Hogan.