Monday, March 21, 2011

One True Media

A great tool to create a short little montage...30 seconds is free.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

We Need Less/We Need More

Doug Johnson at Blue Skunk Bloghas a great post of the things we as educators and Librarians need less and more of...
We Need Less / We Need More

Testing / Context
Right answers / Good questions
Attention on teachers / Attention on students
New technology / Well-used technology
Hardware / Staff development
Whining / Problem-solving
Entertainment / Engagement
Whole group / Individualization
Reading-listening / Making - doing
Focus on failures / Focus on successes
Basal readers / Children's-YA lit
Required classes / Electives
Pundits / Research
Helicopter parents / Involved parents
Disengaged parents / Involved parents
Data / Diagnostics
Leaders / Managers
Filtering on the network / Filtering between the ears
21st Century Skills / Skills
Memorization of facts / Development of dispositions
Textbooks / Bandwidth
Worksheets / Games
Restrictions / Responsibility
Lists / Essays
Labs / Personal student devices
Standards / Relevance
Competition / Social learning
Evaluations / Encouragement
FRP Lunches / Living wage jobs
Polarization / Balance
Your turn.

I think it's a great what can we add...


my you have any??

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Digital Life: Content

Digital Life: Conduct

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Day 2: Contact with the Internet

Another good day, but I ran out of time!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Digital Life at Mid-Prairie Middle School

Today was the first day of my Digital Life lessons at the Middle School. It was a great morning - we me teaching four classes - two 8th grade and two 7th grade. I will have them every day this week. Then next week I will have the other two 8th grade and 7th grade classes.

I embedding the prezi from today. It was a general overview of what digital life is. I am also including a compilation of the webspiration webs we created. Students werew to list the tools and actions they use in their digital lives. They also listed words describing their feelings about technology and their parents. It was a great way to start talking about digital 'natives' and 'immigrants.'

I am using much from the Common Sense Media lessons - Digital Literacy and Citizenship. They are filled with lots of great ideas and professionally created videos to illustrate. Because I have only 5 days and there are TONS of lessons - I am combining and cutting and creating sort of hybrids. I would recommend these as a great place to start though!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Online Safety

The presentation to Mothers of Preschoolers went very well this morning.
The theme was "Safety" and the Moms were divided into four groups. Each group visited me for 20 minutes. It was sort of a rush to get through everything. But, I looked at this as a way to begin the conversation.

It was fun and rather energizing to present to them.

This is my prezi for the presentation.

This is the handout I gave to the moms.

Now it's time to focus on the 7 and 8 grade classes I'll be teaching next week!

Monday, March 7, 2011

I'm a little excited!

I am excited about some upcoming events in my library life.

Starting Monday I will be teaching Digital Citizenship for 5 days of 45 minute lessons to 7th and 8th graders at my MS. This is part of their health curriculum. I am creating lessons to take them through different aspects of Digital Citizenship.

I am putting a lot of pressure on myself - this is the first time I've been asked to teach stand alone lessons. Just me and me alone. And I want it to be significant and make an impression and connect to them and and and. You get the picture. So - I've spent a lot of time searching for just the right thing. It's time to get down to the details.

I posted a hit on LMNet (a librarian list serv) about this and got some really good suggestions...the one that made the big impact was sent by Mark Moran the creater of Finding Dulcinea

My strong opinion is that if you want students to learn and retain the right message here, you MUST let them create the lessons themselves. If you create the lesson and give it lecture style, all they'll be thinking in their heads is "yada yada yada."

(see this article, which launched me down the path to realization that kids today learn best when they teach themselves, particularly when it comes to life's lessons: )

Ask them to create a 3 minute video on why you are never anonymous online, write a series of posters on cyberbullying (such as how the bullied students and his/her parents should respond), conduct a debate on whether children should be allowed to have a Facebook account before high school or ever use Formspring, etc.

If you do this, you should publish your materials. I'd be happy to assist you further with it.

Excellent advice...

And as weird as this seems I've also been asked by the local MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) to present about internet safety for families. They have asked me to do 4 - 20 minute station stop lessons. (Moms will move between several different stations.) I have no idea if they knew about the lessons at the MS - or if I was just a name someone mentioned. Anyway - many of these moms will home school their kiddos, so I want to be significant, make an impression and connect to them and and and.

I will post my final ideas/plans/brochure as I get them finished.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Google Earth and World Cultures

I am so excited about the Google Earth project we are finishing at the HS. This is a collaboration between the World Cultures teacher and myself. She came to me with an idea of an alternative to classroom reports using Google Earth.

We brainstormed what the project might look like and who was responsible for which parts. I used onenote to keep track of that.

The classroom teacher led them through the research process and the requirements for the content of the Google Trip.

I worked out the technical parts of Google Earth and created a handout with the details. I taught the how-to in the lab and then was a resource as students had questions or problems.

The final step of this project will happen in a week...we will email the trip to the teacher's email account. Because this is Google Earth - gmail is the email of choice. Students do not yet have email accounts - so the teacher and I will log in and carry out this step. Then the teacher will have the trip to view on her own computer.

What we Learned
Through this process we discovered some glitches with Google Earth and limitations to our own knowledge.

For example, we wanted the pictures to be larger or smaller than the ones they were importing. One of the students knew a little about code and helped us add a bit more code to the image properties and the pictures were sized accordingly. We also discovered again and again how very touchy code extra space or period in the wrong place and pictures don't appear.

Another major discovery wasn't as easily remedied. There are two World Cultures classes - two different blocks. Google Earth saw these different log ins as the same person. So the pins and information for both students was intermingled in the Google Earth Application. It was easily organized via folders, but that was tricky for some students. Especially the one in the world did we happen to have two people, both studying Germany on the very same computer??

There were also the common issues of Google Earth or computers freezing, problems with content and appropriate pictures. But, these were minor. We did discover that as long as your pins are in correct folder - they are automatically saved. If they are not in a "Places" folder - there is no retrieving them after the program is shut down.

Did it work?
It certainly worked from my perspective. This was a great way to bridge the technology/content gap. Each teacher was responsible for a part of the final project, each was involved in the planning stage and the tech work went so much better with two adults in the lab. This even worked with my scheduling issues - the teacher 'taught' the final step to one section because I was not able to be in the lab that day.

Will we do it again? I hope. Although this classroom teacher could easily do this on her own, I hope she will invite me to participate again next year... and we will work to improve the parts that were a little clunky.

This is why I wanted to be a secondary librarian!!! Yippee!!