Tuesday, December 31, 2019

2020...A New Decade to Connect, Share, Learn, Grow Together!

Like many as we leave one year and move onto the next, the promise of new things to come is just around the corner. This year we don't just usher in a new year but a new decade making the reflection process common for this time of year especially poignant. 

In the last decade, I welcomed to the world three amazing grandchildren and four fur babies (I miss you Oliver kitty), met the love of my life and got married, made some of my best friends on social media and collaborated on some incredible projects, wrote a book, retired, turned fifty, relocated to a new state, served a year as the ISTE Librarians Network President, started a new career, became a Ph.D. student, and bought a house.

Being a school librarian is the very essence of who I have been but it is and has always been the technology part of being a school librarian that has sustained my interest and propelled me forward. This is why I fully support organizations like the Future Ready Librarians and the ISTE Librarians Network who understand the vital role school librarians wield when they work as and in unison with educational technology leaders. 

In 2019 my lifelong love of technology came to a crescendo with my new career as a leader in digital learning and the pursuit of a doctorate degree with an emphasis on educational technology. 

As 2020 dawns I dedicate this next decade to the integration of technology, learning, and school librarianship. 

Cheers to a new decade of opportunities to connect, share, learn and grow together!

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Have You Heard About . . . ClassroomQ?

Recently while looking for a student response system I came across ClassroomQ and was blown away.

ClassroomQ is a powerful classroom management tool for a 1:1 environment that was created by two teachers. Students who have questions can ask them without interrupting the lesson or without bringing the attention of the whole class on them. Teachers can see who needs assistance and what questions students have in a compact easy to use format.

There are no fancy bells and whistles with ClassroomQ. Just a simple, streamlined, intuitive interface for both teachers and students.

Jess, a middle school math teacher wrote a great blog post about using ClassroomQ with her students and included student feedback about using this tool. Take a look below at Jess' ClassroomQ teacher dashboard to get a better idea of how this tool works.

The students' point of view is simple and easy to use.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Have You Heard About . . . Wakelet?

I began hearing buzz about Wakelet from my PLN (Professional Learning Network) at ISTE 2018 in Chicago but I didn't really pay much attention to Wakelet, as I thought it was just another bookmarking tool. Then it appeared on the prestigious AASLs 2019 Best Websites list and I had to take a closer look. 

Wakelet is so much more than a mere bookmarking tool! Wakelet goes so far beyond bookmarking websites integrating the ability to not only save and organize important URLs but also tweets, images, PDF documents, and so much more!

I have been using Wakelet at work to provide easily accessible resources for workshop attendees and personally as I gather resources for my doctoral courses. Sharing a Wakelet is easy as there are a variety of share options available including Google Classroom.

While preparing for an upcoming workshop I was looking for a collaborative online tool where attendees could respond to a prompt in realtime and see the responses of others. To my surprise, Wakelet turned up in my search results and makes it super easy to collaborate.

Want to learn more about how to harness the magic of Wakelet for your classroom or school library? Check out this incredible Wakelet presented at ISTE 2019 in Philadelphia by my friend Kristina Holzweiss and friends.