|Conference Roundup: Major Speakers|
Coordinated by Sandy Kelly; Photos by Richard Curran
As one observer stated, “It was as good as any national conference I have ever been to!” I would have to agree. The speakers were engaging, the authors wonderful and if you felt a bit overwhelmed and exhausted when it was over, you definitely got your money’s worth. I know what I will be doing on vacation, reliving the day by reading my notes, browsing through all of the handouts, previewing a myriad of websites and curating my new “School Library Scoop” website, thanks to Joyce Valenza. You can follow me at http://www.scoop.it/t/school-library-scoop.
If you didn’t make it this year, mark your calendar for March 3-4, 2013 in Sturbridge. We are already lining up another well known author you will not want to miss. A special “thank you” goes out to our members who took their precious time to submit the following presentation summaries. On our own we are good, but together we are fabulous.
I have always found Ross Todd to be one of the most inspiring speakers I have ever heard, and his talk, "Living the Dream: The Library Connects it All and Makes it Happen,” was no exception. The address focused on new trends in education and librarianship - transformations that are occurring at breakneck speed, and the school librarian’s role in integrating these new initiatives into the curriculum. Todd’s strength is in research, developing questions that go to the heart of our profession. His latest study focuses on student learning in New Jersey schools, and the contribution that quality school libraries make to education in the state.
Key characteristics of a quality school library program were identified through an initial survey. The most successful programs had similar attributes:
Ross’ research identifies numerous ways effective library programs engage students, teachers and contributes to learning. There is way too much information to relate here, in this overview. I would suggest that his presentation is required reading! http://www.slideshare.net/annperham/12handouts-todd
I would leave you with the qualities of Effective School Librarians as identified in this study:
Is this you?
Alan November described a lively and plugged-in future for librarians. With humor, asides, and many stories, he connected the numerous dots he examined in his anecdotes and challenged us to take a leadership role in 21st century information literacy.
The Internet has become a cut-and-paste, get-your-research-done tool; it has lowered critical thinking! Alan’s preference is to build and create content, to be an author (like early pre-Internet), not a consumer of content. The new role for the library is as a global publishing center for kids, creating meaningful content for the world. We should also work with teachers to do this. For example, screencasting software is really easy to use for broadcasting a message or lesson. It takes only seconds to create a tutorial. It is faster than note-taking. Librarians should teach teachers to teach kids to cover the curriculum that we the librarians will then tag in Diigo ! He also recommends Jing and Skype.
Because of the Internet we have the opportunity to find classrooms all over the world for authentic conversations. Epals is great; use it to collaborate with your choice of country. It is the largest student database in the world. The fewest participants are from US. The US has more connectivity than any nation in world, but Americans do not reach out because we have so little empathy. Empathy is the single characteristic that separates the great employee from the average, according to the CEO of the world’s largest bank, HSBC. Librarians to the rescue! Librarians can show teachers how to design assignments where kids must reconcile points of view.
Librarians have critical thinking skills. Librarians are more important than the databases in their libraries. Students do NOT know how to use the Internet, so they need librarians’ critical thinking and question-asking. Critical thinking on the Internet is the single thing Alan would teach every year. He gave many great examples that are covered in his book, Web Literacy for Educators. Conversation with /direction and input from the librarian is missing now that students go directly to Internet; the mad rush to devices such as iPads (with their incredible ease of use) bypasses real learning. What flows through the wires is more important than the wires. The real revolution is information and communication. Librarians can ask, “what information do you want?” A device does not ask. Kids need to ask the smart questions. That’s critical thinking. The teacher/librarian’s role is to pose smart questions (the Socratic method).
There is little tolerance for innovation or transformation in US schools; plenty of technology, but not real change in the US. Not so in China and other countries. CIPA The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) creates too much fear of losing control! Alan assured us that CIPA will be replaced with more critical thinking. He told us of the Clintondale School using the flip model of learning
We should apply video games to learning. Study them! The 4 strategies used in creating them are:
In one hour Joyce Valenza covered, in rapid-fire fashion, 10 Important Things Librarians must Teach using 320 slides! While addressing each of the “10 Things” Joyce introduced numerous digital resources that will help library teachers teach 21st century skills. To view the presentation and link directly to the resources she introduced, view her presentation on Author Stream .
1. Digital Citizenship:
2. Copyright Education, and 3. Best Practice and Fair Use
4. Research 3.0:
6. Keeping Up with the Search:
7. Gigo (‘”garbage in, garbage out”) or, Joyce’s words, “Developing a filter for crap.”
8. What is a Primary Source?
10. “The Network is the Learning.” (George Siemens)
11. And, New Rules for our Practice
Whew! Joyce covered a lot in a short period of time. I hope I have done justice to her presentation.
“Participatory learning is a lens to help us see the possibilities and create a context for crafting a shared vision of library in learning communities.”
How can being in the library be like an archeology experience where one excavates and discovers? Libraries are a catalyst for participatory learning and culture. They are communal places and the shared story of the human experience.
Confronting the challenges of participatory culture, we must develop empathy for each others ideas and work by sharing and publishing and exhibiting. Members of a participatory culture feel some degree of connection with each other and they believe their contributions matter.
Librarians can be the spark to larger change in the learning ecosystem. It is empowering for students and shows others what goes on in the library. Kids love it!
The librarian is an essential part in the student learning network. We can change students from being knowledgeable to knowledge able. Right now we have a system of education that devalues inquiry. Buffy is really focused on her role as a teacher.
Transliteracy is a “convergence of literacies.” Media literacy, digital literacy, technology literacy and information literacies become blurred when individuals become consumers of information to producers of content. Transliteracy focuses on the interaction among the different literacies. Characteristics of participatory learning include motivation and engagement, a learning ecosystem, co-learning, relevance and creativity. It encourages play, social interaction with home, school community and the world. This does cause resistance because students aren't used to this type of learning They are used to sitting there and regurgitating information. It makes demands on time. It provides opportunities to create and solve problems. It will not work without a strong bond between teacher and student built on trust, mutual respect, care and an ongoing effort to get to know each other. Social media and Web 2.0 tools can help develop conversations for learning.
There is not a “one size fits all” model for participatory learning. Students must connect by building on prior knowledge. Then develop questions and wonders by reading, brainstorming and collaborating. The next step entails research, gathering and organizing information, synthesizing and reflecting. Finally they must construct new knowledge and understanding. It is the act of creation that distinguishes the student from the scholar.
by Julie Farrell and Sandy KellyChris spoke with his usual wit, skepticism and broad knowledge of digital media.
The best take away from his presentation was, "People don't buy an eBook reader, they buy books." One of the hot topics in the ebook world right now is digital rights management. Access vs ownership, what should the model for libraries be? Currently there are three models. In local ownership the library owns the copy of the eBook but there are questions concerning how many times the book can be circulated before the eBook evaporates and must be repurchased. Some publishers will allow as many as fifty downloads at the same time and most only one. Some publishers stream the books which are hosted on the company’s servers. The eBook/econtent from Gale, Capstone and Rosen, among others are provided this way. This is the format generally used in a database. The third type of ebook is downloaded. This is what is done with Overdrive. There are pros and cons to consider when deciding what to purchase. Additional considerations include the selection of books, package deals, very expensive overhead. Two major library vendors have their own products. Mackin as VIA and Follett has Follett Shelf. Each company has their own interface for school libraries.
There are also concerns with different eReaders such as the Kindle or Nook.In our library we buy content and we loan out content. With ebooks we don't own anything. We have access to econtent but no ownership. That econtent can be altered or taken away. If the ereader breaks, we need to buy additional access to content.
Some questions to ask before investing in ebooks-
Michelle Luhtala did a brilliant job of presenting the issues facing school libraries when it comes to banning web sites. She opened the presentation by discussing the numerous ways to contact her or access her multiple resources on the web, http://mluhtala.blogspot.com/p/presentations_20.html
She then discussed her findings after analyzing the Common Core, ISTE/NETS, P21 and AASL standards to see what skills the four have in common. Her findings looked at which words most often appeared in each of the four. Her findings were charted using a word cloud and then further analyzed.
Michelle looked at the most common words and found that the most used words fell into four categories (the four C’s).
Michelle then focused on websites that allow students in the same school to achieve these “four C’s”. By utilizing web sites, students can collaborate without meeting in person. Michelle cited the example of Shannon Miller, a school librarian from Iowa, who utilized social media like Twitter & Skype to provide her rural students a much more worldly experience and bolstered class offerings as well.
Michelle was then quick to point out that the opportunities that Shannon provided her students in Iowa couldn’t be duplicated in many US schools since so many districts ban social media sites from students AND teachers. Michelle cited a recent survey of high schools that found 87% of schools block Facebook, 67% block YouTube and 15% even block the search engine Google! These bans obviously hinder the ability of students and teachers to collaborate, communicate, create and think critically.
Michelle was proud to point out that her current school, New Canaan HS in CT, allows their student access to all of the websites listed above. She screened a video that starred her outgoing seniors that was made for the incoming freshman. The main theme was that the school TRUSTED the students to make the right choices with these sites that had been banned in their sending middle school. What a novel concept, trusting kids to do the right thing instead of expecting them to do the wrong thing!
Michelle discussed numerous rich and authentic lessons she had done with her students and teachers that utilized web sites and that helped students complete the four C’s. She showed an anti-bullying video that students had filmed and edited using their smartphones and then uploaded to Youtube and Facebook. The video was then watched by other students who were able to offer critiques and feedback.
Another project about revolution utilized twitter feeds that related to tweets related to Arab Spring. The students looked at various tweets as well as news articles and analyzed them to look for bias and discussed the difficulties in finding the “truth” on the Internet.
Another project Michelle touted was examining gender roles using ads from Life magazines from the 1950’s. The students took smartphone pictures of ads that portrayed women very differently than today. The pictures were then uploaded to Facebook groups that were able to post comments and discuss how much had changed in the last 60 years. This was then incorporated into a Catcher in the Rye unit that the same students were covering in English class.
One prominent theme that ran throughout the presentation was “Banned Websites Awareness Day” which had widespread support from groups like the AASL, ACLU and NASSP. She was a big factor in getting this day into the national press. Michelle pointed out that schools should be helping students learn how to use sites like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube as effective tools for collaboration and innovation. If this is left up to the students and parents, the result may have an impact on the students’ choices after high school since 70% of colleges take a students Facebook profile into consideration before accepting them. She also noted that CIPA rules do not stipulate that YouTube must be blocked. Many tech admins do not want to take the time to sift through the regulations and prefer to just block with a broad brush.
Michelle’s main theme of using these banned sites to help students collaborate, communicate, create and think critically was well presented and clear. She is clearly passionate about her work and has done a great deal to raise awareness both at the school and national level.
|Last Updated ( Sunday, 29 April 2012 )|