Archive for Information Literacy
April 24, 2008
The other day I blogged about some local new blogging voices from South Carolina, my home state. Today I am adding to that some voices that promote information literacy through school library programs using the vehicle of blogs, and the net is a wider global area, way beyond just South Carolina.
Don’t forget that I spotlighted 2 SC LMS blogs of those in the post the other day. Here is a list of my favorite related to my field, school libraries. I will follow up with more SC Librarians who are blogging and adding depth and dimension to my thinking. Note: I know roughly 30 more but want to give them time to develop some meat before spotlighting them.
Testing my “table creating skills” too in the body of a blog. Hey, if you have some recommendations for me to read, please comment and add them in!
|Favored School Library Media Specialists / Teacher Librarian Blogs|
|Hey Jude from Sydney, Australia’s Judy O’Connell||Doug Johnson’s Blue Skunk Blog|
|California Dreamin’ by Rob Darrow||Carolyn Foote’s Not So Distant Future|
|Diane M. Cordell’s Journeys||Joyce Valenza’s Never Ending Search|
|Chris Harris’ Infomancy||The Top Shelf written by Mary Woodard of TX|
|Jeri Hurd’s Bib 2.0||Diane R. Chen’s Deep Thinking|
|Alice Yucht’s Alice in Infoland||Sarah Kelly John’s From the Inside Out|
|Lori Franklin’s Library||Powerlibrarian by twitter friend Congerjan|
|Gargoyle’s Loose in the Library||Colorado’s “Calling All School Librarians|
|A Library by Any Other Name||Kathryn Greenhill’s Librarians Matter|
|AASL Weblog||Lucy and Ethel’s Library Schemes|
|SCASL Blogs||Valerie Byrd-Fort’s Library Goddess|
|Fran Bullington’s Informania||Mary Haddon’s Library Blog|
|Martha Alewine’s Library Corner||Mary Haddon’s “Untitled” Professional Blog|
|Andi Fansher’s Library News You Can Use|
Image: ‘dewy? indeed he do.‘
March 6, 2008
Next week, March 12-14, the South Carolina Association of School Librarians will meet up in Columbia, SC for the annual SCASL Conference. This year’s theme, Power Up @ Your Library, is very fitting, as there are some POWERFUL guest speakers, authors, and more coming to rejuvenate me! Annette Lamb, Larry Johnson, Joyce Valenza, Gail Dickinson…I almost feel like I’m going to a national level conference rather than a state level one. Our President-elect, Valerie Byrd-Fort has one a FANTASTIC job putting our conference together this year. I cannot wait until Wednesday next week!
The conference program was released today, and I have made a preliminary outline of what I want to attend–and guess what? I’m not skipping a single event. I will be exhausted when I get home Friday evening. Here is a rough itinerary (with session titles abbreviated for me) that is subject to change.
Concurrent 1 (4:15-5:15)
James Bryan – Historical Fiction
Perry McLeod- Digital Storytelling
Exploratorium and All-Conference Reception (5:30-7:30)
SCASL Blogs! & SCASL Flickrs! (Okay, so you may not know that this is my responsibility and so I will be hosting it–IT! OMG!! I have not even begun to put together a display board or anything. I better get busy!! Late supper too-shucks…Someone wait for me to go eat.
Concurrent 2 (8:00-9:00)
Joyce Valenza – Library Websites
Concurrent 3 (9:15-10:15)
Gail Dickinson NBPTS–>NBCT Now what?
Annette Lamb – PPT Sidekicks
Larry Johnson – Re-Imagine…
12:00-1:15 Meet authors/special guests
(Hob-nob with Authors Jaime Adoff, Eloise Greenfield, Will Hobbs, Alan Katz, Michelle Knudsen, and special guests Joyce Valenza, Annette Lab, and Larry Johnson!)
SCASL Business Meeting, 1:30 – 3:00
Concurrent 4 (3:15-4:15)
Gail Dickinson – AASL Standards
Annette Lamb – Re-Imagine…
Larry Johnson – RSS feeds in classroom
Concurrent 5 (8:00-9:00)
MINE-Feed the Mind w/ RSS
(Note: there were some awesome sessions planned at the same time as mine, and thankfully some of the ones going on at the same time (Like MaryAnn Sansonetti’s “Ipodabilities” and Carole McGrath’s “T-N-T” I saw previously at a different conference. The only thing I have to worry about–other than an obscene early time to present–is that everyone else might choose theirs over mine. Oh, wait, that would mean fewer people in my session, which translates to an easier preso to give. Ok, I can live with it after-all!)
Concurrent 6 (9:15-10:15)
Debbie Keenan/Margie Edgerton – Flexible schedule
Julia Davis – Google Lit Trips
(I need to go to the Keenan/Edgerton session for ideas on a different preso I’m giving…but I want to go to Julias–how will I ever decide?)
Concurrent 7 (10:15-11:15)
Donna Shannon – Building a Knowledge Base in Reading
Andi Fansher – Moviemaker Magic
Awards Luncheon, 12:00 – 2:00
Eat with my Horry County LMS colleagues as we wait on the edge of our seats for the announcing of this years’ SC Book Award Nominees.
Okay so everyone can see that I have a jam-packed conference planned for myself, and still have many decisions to make. I’m carrying my laptop, and with free wifi, I plan to be connected to my network everywhere I go. Any of you loyal readers, would you like for me to “Ustream” anything? I have found out in the past I cannot “coveritlive” very well or even semi blog during sessions. I have to reflect and post. So I definitely could Ustream some. I’ll be taking a lot of pictures too, and will be posting them to the SCASL Flickrs photostream. So if you are not coming, you can virtually attend compliments of me. Let me know.
February 13, 2008
Recently Carolyn Foote was contacted by the School Library Journal Technology Editor about an article they are including in the March 2008 edition. Here is what they wanted (and Carolyn asked me and Joyce Valenza to chime in.)
We’d like to run something about the Educon program in the March issue. Could you give us an idea of the response? Who attended and what did the non-library audience have to say? Also, we’d love to run a photo from the event. Do you have any Flickr images we could use?
Thanks so much.
My bridge metaphor from Educon 2.0 was about how the use of print resources are dwindling as electronic resources gain popularity. So my “This I believe…” statement centered on me being a bridge to bring my patrons back to the library by connecting them to the resources available print or electronic. I also talked about modeling the use of the tools in instructional practice so that teachers can see how students respond when we use 21st century tools, and learn side by side with students (and with me.) I discussed that the stakeholders all need to see that we are all on a learning journey, and not everyone is at the same place in this journey, and i can act as a friend, guide, teacher, assistant, or whatever the situation calls for in my quest to bridge the gap of yesterday’s way of learning to the new horizon ahead of us. I want to be that bridge that my learners are willing to take advantage of, and my mission is to model effective and ethical practices along the way. Being in the library gives me the perfect scenery to bring up ethical use and best practice while using or introducing new tools. I just want to connect my learners (students, teachers, parents, stakeholders) with 21st century tools, and make them associate the use of them with learning from the library.
The SLJ Technology Editor wants more, like reactions by participants, pictures. I am uploading the pictures I have tomorrow, and will share reactions from participants. They had many questions, but a reoccurring one was “how do we get our librarian to do these things you do?” All I could say was one at a time, one at a time.
I compared it to how we get teachers willing to try the new tools out, and take leaps in their instructional practice and instructional design. We share, model, encourage, invite, assist, and more. I suggested that if their school had a librarian not necessarily up to par on 21st century tools, then be the one who approaches this person, just as I approach teachers. That bridge can be a two-way street, and it doesn’t have to originate from the library. Plan activities or lessons where the tools (be it blogs, wikis, video, presentations, whatever) are done in the library, and invite the librarian to be a part of the implementation. At first he or she may sit on the peripheral and be a silent observer, but engaged learning is infectious, and eventually this person will see that taking a risk and getting in this sandbox where we are learning is not so difficult after all, and we don’t have to be the expert. Our kids certainly know this. Eventually that paradigm shift in the old way of thinking will swing over to the new way. Other teachers who come through the library will ask questions, either on the spot or later. The principal will probably hear about things too, and if not, go tell this person. Anyone in the school environment that has a vested interest in learning will want to observe and more than likely become involved. I also stressed that you will have your nay-sayers, and you’ll have your reluctant particpants. You’ll also have the “yeah but’s” and you’ll have some that just like with every other “new” thing, jump right in.
It’s just an attitude of willingness–willing to try, learn, fail, try again, and learn more. I never really learned anything until I tried and failed, and then kept trying. If I didn’t struggle then I obviously already knew it. Never stop learning. As my former (and now retired) professor Dan Barron always said—”Grow or Die.”
I had a student ask me this week a strange question. He said, “Mrs. Nelson, you know so much about technology and computers. Why don’t you work in a job using them? I replied, but I do! He disagreed, saying I could make much more money doing something else, maybe from the business world or even technology world. I told him my job is a calling, a desire. I teach because I want too, and being in the library also fills my need to use, handle, learn, and teach technology too. I told him I have the best job ever. He was baffled, and so I asked, “Are you glad I’m here?” He said yes. So I said, “See, I’m in the best possible place for both if us, and I like it that way.”
Carolyn, Kathy, Joyce, and others…I have some good photos of the attendees working on their metaphorical drawings of a modern library, and they are on a camera at school. I will do my BEST to upload them to flickr tomorrow and then share. Sorry about “sitting” on them. I’ll post again and ping you as soon as it’s done.
NOTE: This is a picture I took while at NECC 2006 in San Diego!
Nelson, Cathy. “LASD 442.“ Online image. CNelson’s Photostream. 5 July 2006. <http://farm1.static.flickr.com/98/212031617_edf0df2976.jpg>
November 29, 2007
Recently Carolyn Foote, a friend who is honestly a friend in the virtual sense, as I only know her from Twitter, blogging, webcasts, and Ustream forums, has challenged my thinking about the library. She works in a large public suburban high school in Austin, Texas (Westlake High School). She is in the process of packing up her entire library book by book for a renovation project. Earlier this week she was informed that the renovation could take as long as a year. My comment to Carolyn was “Wow, you will be a virtual librarian in every sense of the word.”
As I reflect on my joking quip, I realize it is true. Will her job end until the renovation is done? Will she have anything to do while the renovation happens? How can a staff member with no physical “home” in the building continue to work and serve the school without any books or tables, a checkout counter, or a reference section, especially in a high school?
I know the answer to my questions. Carolyn will be in need and in high demand right through the whole project. She will probably work harder than any other staff member in the entire building, as she strives to provide the same level of service and instruction as before when there were the typical tables, chairs, books, and more. How?
Just as I jokingly called her a “virtual” librarian, she will become just that. Research projects will be just as effectively completed as they were before. She will continue to teach information literacy and using online resources effectively. Students will have access to necessary resources. Book talks and author visits will continue to happen, even if she has to use Skype. You see, Carolyn is a 21st century teacher librarian, who has adopted and uses instructional technology to “complete” the job. She uses the tools to compliment instruction, and I would wager she is so good at this already, this vehicle called web 2.0 will drive her services until she can park her self back in a physical space called a library. Carolyn already uses wikis, blogs, and more to supplement instruction. She is using Skype to pull in authors for literature appreciation and book analysis. And students as well as teachers know she can assist in just about any kind of project she is challenged with. Carolyn Foote is a 21st Century Librarian, and I am so glad to know her, at least in the virtual sense.
Be sure to wish her luck as she tackles the project of library renovation. I know the end result will be a 21st Century Library to compliment her, the student body, faculty & staff, and community. I am looking forward to a face to face meeting with you in San Antonio this summer at Iste’s NECC.
Carolyn’s Blog Not So Distant Future
Carolyn’s Wiki Web 2.0 in Education
PS–my 17yo is looking at Austin, TX for college.
November 10, 2007
Thursday, November 8th, Dean Shareski and friends published a podcast where they interviewed Bud Hunt (AKA Bud the Teacher.) If you don’t listen to this podcast you should. They truly rocked my world Thursday as they turned from topic to topic. My favorite part of the conversation was how the teacher librarian is in a position to be a change agent in a school. Oh wow do I ever know that? Anyway, they have this mug with the logo EdTech Posse, and were promoting it if someone would just post to the shownotes or blog the term they discussed with Bud, which was “Venn Diagram.” I am amazed that I was the first. Since I didn’t catch the other members’ names interviewing Bud, I posted it on Dean’s and the podcast show notes–I won!! WOOT. I guess that makes me a virtual honorary member of the EdTech Posse!
Here’s a pix of the mug and the notification. See? I knew reading all them blogs and listening to those podcasts would pay off. Actuallly they have in many ways, more than I can even begin to describe. DOUBLE WOOT!
November 3, 2007
I am new in my district this year, even though I’m a 22 year veteran. This week I had a couple of sixth grade science teachers ask about using the library computers (20 in all) for a webquest they were completing, because there were some unavailable times in the computer lab to them. I of course agreed to have them, and the teachers assured me there was nothing I needed to do. Trying to be accommodating, I suggested at the bare minimum, I could have the webquest bookmarked, add it to the library’s home page for one click easy access, or just downright already have it loaded to save the teachers and their kids time. I received no follow up from the teachers, and quite honestly worked on other issues or projects when they came.
But I was alarmed at the neediness of the kids. Problems ranged from not having enough computers to students unable to locate the webquest. I looked at the handout and found a very long crazy URL, and understood completely why so many were having a hard time. But in the middle of this class was not the time to explain how I could have helped avert the issues. So I tried to help as much as I could, and just kept my mouth closed. Obviously I need to have a sit down talk with the sixth grade science teachers. NOTE to self: get with these two teachers. I didn’t need to wait long, as one of them came to me Thursday, asking about bringing a class back to the library one more time since the lab was booked for the next day. The problem she had was that she was going to be absent, and so the class would be with a special ed teacher who normally only works with a few kids in the class who are being served with special services in the “inclusion” format. She wanted me to be available to help. GREAT! Here’s my opportunity to at least explain how to better address this project, and how I could make it easier for the kids to not only find the webquest, but also find answers to the questions. I discovered that the teacher had planned for the kids to “google” their questions, and then copy/paste answers (as well as the URL where it came from) and appropriate pictures. Aye-aye-aaye how wrong! But it was too late to change this, as apparently the kids had been doing just this in the lab across the hall all week. I asked her why not have them use Discus (our state virtual library), Ebsco ( a subscription database), and pictures from United Streaming? She confessed she didn’t understand those resources, and she had been able to find everything they would need just using Google, so she felt they would be able to as well. She said next time they have a similar project, we could talk about those resources, and she would decide for her self whether or not to use them, but for the next day, they were to use Google. So I asked to at least send me the URL so it would be ready for them. She assured me she would. Late Thursday PM I got an email saying here is the URL, but there was no URL. Bummer. She didn’t respond when I replied with that information that there wasn’t a URL.
To say that when the kids came was a train wreck was putting it lightly. They did not know how to find the information, they were copying and pasting everything, and were not even remotely interested in anything accept Google. It was quite ugly how frustrated the kids were.
So here is my action plan:
• Meet with teachers regarding the project
• Show how Discus, Ebsco, and United Streaming would have been a lot easier to use for the research
• Talk about the inappropriate way kids were citing sources, and how teaching that material in ELA classes will not help them in science. Demonstrate that the content about citing should have been taught in the context of this lesson when it was needed (like while doing the webquest in Science)
• Finally, explain how including me in the planning stages will give them a third person who has a totally different perspective and might be able to offer suggestions and/or solutions to potential problems. (Had I known the plan was to turn kids loose on Google in the pre-planning stages, I would have given them good options for research that would have been safer, refereed, more authoritative, and probably closer to the kids grade level too.) And I could have taken the chance to actually teach the kids (and their teachers) about better quality searching.
So—I have my work cut out for me. I hope they are receptive to this. And I am shocked that my teachers do not know about Discus, Ebsco, or using their teacher librarian as a teaching partner. Totally caught me off guard, this did. But it also excites me to no end! I have so much to share.
September 24, 2007
Today at school as I was sharing content from my iPod to classes, a discussion ensued regarding the legality of downloading songs from Limewire. This is a file sharing site, and allows members to share their files. I gather from discussions today in class that kids just about everywhere are using the site to download their favorite songs free of charge, and they are under the impression what they are doing is legal. I decided to search myself about the legality of the site, and here are a few links:
Limewire: About using P2P Software Safely (see “copyright”)
[Updated 9-25-7] Lori A. offerd these links in an email today:
More found on my own:
As a teacher librarian, I am called upon to teach the ethical use of information. So I suddenly see a need in middle school for students (and even some teachers, and teachers who are parents of youth) to learn the difference b/w “legal” file sharing and “illegal” file sharing. As I shared where I get my music choices for my iPod, all the kids new and understood iTunes. But the discussion bandied about was how easy it was to share and copy CDs that one person owns, and the ease of joining and downloading music from Limewire. So for the last class (where the conversation came up) I realized suddenly my students need to know. I may even ask to speak at a future PTO about the concept, as a teacher came to me confessing that their own child uses Limewire, and had led her to believe it was all legal.
Since I only have a few sites to point to, I am asking any readers if you have specific sites I can point to or even better, specific cases where offenders have been prosecuted. What other examples or comparisons can I make to impress upon my youth that file sharing can be illegal, especially coprighted material like music?
“100_1041.” Troy McClure SF’s Photostream. 24 February 2006. 24 September 2007 <http://www.flickr.com/photos/troymccluresf/103916029/in/datetaken/>
“Lime.” Libaryman’s Photostream. 27 December 2005. 24 September 2007 <http://www.flickr.com/photos/libraryman/78337046/in/datetaken/>
September 4, 2007
I read MANY blogs. I have a folder called classroom blogs, and most of the blogs in this folder are blogs whose target audience is not necessarily the world wide web, but instead the students that attend that class daily. Mr. K’s 21st Century Learning Center is one like this. I’m glad he lets us peak at the assignments he makes. And I have to admit I have gotten some great ideas for activities or spin off projects from content posted for his students to read. So it was with mild interest that I read about an assignment for his kids to build web pages. They are asked to find picture of their favorite band, and make it a link to a web site about this band.
Without knowing what instruction the class has received about the use of pictures from the web, or where for that matter his students will be directed to get these pictures, it begs the question: Will the pictures be from legal sources? Since we are only allowed a sliver of information (namely the assignment) judgment cannot be passed here.
But it does make me wonder. Should these kids be told to use pictures w/o a warning about copyright, obtaining permissions, citing sources, and all that ethical stuff we are supposed to teach? Is there someone on the staff who collaborates with Mr. K., say, like a library media specialist, who can co-teach about the ethical uses of pictures from the web?
Great opportunity here for co-teaching and collaboration. I certainly hope he’s getting both. Thanks Mr. K! This is another example of how we as information and research specialists can impress upon students (and teachers) why those silly and complicated citations (that are pretty much required for most middle school and high school research projects) are necessary and required. But in a modern, fun, and up-t0-date project! Kudos to Mr. K. for another great idea for a project where I can seamlessly integrate some of my standards from the library into classroom standards, that of ethical use of information.
“Cornerstone Monitor.” Nic’s Events’ Photostream. 16 July 2007. 4 September 2007 <http://www.flickr.com/photos/nics_events/833388930/>.
September 3, 2007
I know a lot of professionals get paid to create logos and such for just about everything, and that probably includes the Discus logo too. Have you seen the new logo? It’s really cool and pretty. It needed an update, and I like it too. Now I need to find my brochures and pages that contain that home access login and password and update their looks too–and include the new logo. My hope is that at first glance of the logo students will know and understand there is a place of solid information that can help them get their school work done.
Recently at EdTech Talk, the program Teachers Teaching Teachers had a one-hour show three weeks in a row about how to improve student research strategies using database subscriptions. A lot of what was discussed centered around the complexity of searching with the tools, and why students want to first use Google. I think when I make my brochure and handouts, I will include a Discus logo like I’ve never seen before. Of course I’ll use the one the state is using too, but I think in order for kids to make the connection that this can be their first choice for information, it needs to have that look if not feel of Google. So I google-ized a log0 (wonder if I’ll get in trouble?) and I’m thinking about using it on my material too. When I get my own webspace–I’m waiting on the district who is transitioning out of what they use now to something new–I may use the googlized logo too. What better way to help kids make that connection?
Just in case you weren’t aware, Discus now has a community log in too. There is a discussion board, and a place to network (so very web 2.0 of them) and I am not 100% sure, but it may be open to students too. Go check it out!
August 23, 2007
Database. Such an intimidating word. Most states provide a portal to a list of subscription databases, and I have colleagues who SWEAR by them (Joyce Valenza, Boris Bauer). I can remember sitting in a SCASL conference session several years ago and hearing Boris say, “If you are not offering your users databases, you are doing them a huge disservice.” Edtech Talk webcast show Teachers Teaching Teachers had a three week discussion on the virtues of databases, and how to get our users to utilize the resources. the consensus was we need to make the db sexier to our students. I agree with this, and do feel that if our state subscriptions had the look and feel of Google, they would NOT be such a hard sell. I also think if we sell them to teachers too, perhaps the trickle down effect will transform the students into devoted users. So HOW do we do this? I think the answer is in collaboration with teachers, and our educating our teachers on the usefulness of the clunky, cumbersome tools. Since we cannot convert the subscription databases to a “sexy” mass-appealing simple look and feel, we can create pathfinders that list all the resources for a topic of study that includes books, videos, persons, places, and egads, “databases” (along with search strategies for those databases) in these pathfinders. The homepage of the actual pathfinder can have lettering and simple white backgrounds with the familiar plain lettering in googlized technocolor–a way to surely GRAB the attention of our google freaks everywhere! Soon my school district is changing over to a a new web interface for creating online presence. I am waiting patiently to have web presensence. I am going to googlize the whole concept of pathfinders. Wait and see.