Monday, June 30, 2008

371.3 NECC08: Wonderful World of Wikis

Adam Frey, co-founder of Wikispaces and Vicki Davis, Cool Cat Teacher
Here is the link to the information from the presentation
Overflowing room…people were standing against the wall...laptoppers were sitting all over the floor!
They set up a back channel for is place for participants to chat while they talk! Also , they took questions from the back channel crowd...more about back channeling in a future post when I get some info together!

Frey asked and hands were raised
50% of audience are teachers
About half never used a wiki and about half of that group don’t know what they are
They want to know what it is & how to start

1.Webpage with edit button
Standard..but can be changed
Removes barriers to publishing on the web

2.About history…every change is recorded
More open than closed usually (ours in my circle aren't really open...yet!)
There is a history tab to see all these changes

3. for groups essentially…collaboration for groups large and small
Ease of editing makes this possible discussion forums helps with communication

4. monitoring --see what is going on without going there
Can be emailed or rss subscription

5. easy!
If it is hard you won’t use…easy to start…no cost…doesn’t require email or signup
Doesn’t need fancy computers

Wikipedia…causes a bad feeling
Wikis don’t have to suffer same issues
Can be locked down or not, behind firewall or not

“Bring all things together”—glue in like a scrapbook…[I consider them a "parking lot" for information, resources]

Student accounts system easy from them…special stuff for teachers…

Vicki Davis

Project-based learning environment is where she works
Global projects examples

History tab records who is doing what...
In classroom her wikis are not open…students are protected

Wiki-centered classroom
She has outline online…she embeds student files on her wiki
Assignments and templates

Create a page and create template…under manage space
Better to name pages without spaces

She tags assignments “turning” –work to be graded.
The optional note box she has them use for more info about the assignment turn in, etc.

The bottom feeders can be tracked and they HAVE to participate…

Netvibes –uses this for her personal learning network…it is on atomic learning

Connect to the world…changed their world view

QUESTIONS/Back Channel

Override…two ppl editing…can be done, but you may not want to!
If same word is changed last one saved overrides

Edit wikipedia---how to do it responsibly

**Technopersonal skills are as important as interpersonal skills—administrators often ignore!

Lots of student monitoring—

Permission settings---manage space---permissions; protected can be viewed ; private only invited can see

Lock assignment pages...Vicki does work with administration to deal with technopersonal skill issue

Adam answered:
Blog— is journal format…opinion, 1st person writing
Wiki –evolving content due to changing..for facts, assignments collaboration tool…
kinder teacher who has numbers project (she also was awarded a prize by SIGMS for her project)

371.3 NECC08: Sunday Evening Opening Session

Theme of NECC -- Convene - Connect - Transform
The size--12,000+ in attendance! (the largest TLA conference has been 8,000)
50 countries represented...I have talked with folks from Australia, Scotland, England, and Japan that I know for sure!

I briefly talked about connecting with others (in another post) because of my extension cord. There are various opportunities for visiting...I ran into someone I taught with almost 30 years ago!...waiting for doors to open afforded me a delightful opportunity to talk with a woman who turned out to be a San Antonio librarian. We had a long discussion about many things library and had a good laugh about how librarians are drawn to each other! On the bus, I met a man from California and we share thoughts about what we had learned at conference, the fires in CA (not close to his home), and it turns out that he has only been in the States 6 years...from Scotland originally. A nice sidebar to an interesting conference...meeting interesting people!

The opening session was typical Texas-style down to the cowboy hats everyone was given, the singing of Deep in the Heart of Texas and lead by an appropriately dressed Texan...sequined vest of the Lone Star flag! And then the high school mariachi band that was SO good...of course, I teared up...I always do for the school groups!

On to the business of the evening:

Trina Davis, President, Board of Directors, ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education®)(she is a professor at Texas A & M-- lots of "whoop -ing" over that!)

We need to be change agents...passionate people who are able to connect with others to transform teaching and learning.

Her major points:

1. Be an advocate for change. Educate those in charge. What needs to have attention--student achievement, teacher quality, and school redesign

2. Share your knowledge and your passion.

3. Showcase the work of students/yourself in innovative ways...increase the circle who sees the showcase...spread it beyond the school walls, particularly with business to show what students are capable of achieving and doing.

4. Dream big...have high expectations for your students...[and my thought...yourself?]

5.Use all available resources to affect these important changes


James Surowiecki, Keynote Speaker:
his book-- The Wisdom of Crowds

Collective wisdom of the group, whatever the group may be
A group that works well together can do important things.
The technology tools help this to happen.

Examples of the collected wisdom
Popular game show Millionaire...the audience correct 91% of the time!
Odds at the race track...popular horses for whatever reason (color, name) win

Prediction Markets
One of the most popular Iowa Electronic Market from 1988-2004 have figured the elections 75% more correctly than polls
Google has a prediction market to predict things within their organization

Wisdom of crowds - collaborative intelligence
Flickr - tagging, taxonomy...collective intelligences of people who select what their pictures represent for the
de.lic.ous - again the tagging...thoughts of the masses
Google itself - collective intelligence of the internet users

What conditions make a group smart?
1. Aggregation method- individual thoughts meld into group thoughts; algorithm, simple average. The 2.0 tools allow for fast and wider range of place and time

2. Diversity - most important factor in collective wisdom; cognitive diversity; different people and their knowledge, culture, etc. look at problems from different ways. random groups offer more choices, make different mistakes, errors cancel themselves out. There is a danger is only groups where everyone enjoys, likes each other...think alike. The more they talk..they get dumber!
Role of devil's advocate is essential...but it can not be the same person all the time. Different people must take on this role.

[personal note: the scene in Apollo 13 where the box of stuff was thrown on the table and the collective minds present had to come up with the solution to get those guys back...diversity was necessary there...lots of thinkers outside the box!]

3. Independence - own knowledge, intuition, less imitation of thought, willing to argue, defend stance.
speak in reverse order of seniority...from the bottom up. look out for talkative people...ones who like the sound of their own voice and always have something to say. they influence the group's results because they become the hub.

more independent (often quieter)...feel uncomfortable or do not express their thoughts. this a key reason for the 2.0 technology...the ability to speak out anonymously or from behind a screen of sorts...we have seen it in our blogs! "wallflowers" can speak thru technology...think how this will benefit the wallflowers in the school!


After the keynote, we milled around picking up the flavors (in more than one way because we grabbed some tasty food) of the crowd and the conference. It was good to find a few minutes as well to share impressions, thoughts. This whole experience is overwhelming at this level [for me!] and it is only the first evening of the first official day!

more to come!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

006.7 EdubloggerCon08: Mission Accomplished!!

In the excitement of who I was around and what I was learning, I completely forgot to tell you, I accomplished my one and only pre-set (i.e. before I got here) objective...

didn't have to run...didn't have to tackle anyone...didn't have to wait in line...didn't even have to resort to bribery or out-bid the highest bidder!!

I AM a part of the Revolution...and I wear it proudly!

006.7 EduBloggerCon08: Reflections

Being at the unconference yesterday was quite a treat! About 200 or so educators who blog and use other 2.0 technology to make students successful! A roomful of people who "get it" and don't let roadblocks get in their way. Not that they ignore the roadblocks...large chunks of time were spent taking about how to get others to "get it" too, or at the very least, get outta the way!

The sitting around talking was the best part of the day...yes, most of the day I spent on the fringes (anyone who knows me well, knows that is my favorite spot) watching and listening. But even I ventured forth and struck up a few conversations...usually because of my power... my power connection, that is! The best $7.00 I have spent in quite awhile. Yes, community is created if you have an extension cord. Daisy-chaining increases the size of your circle!

Everyone deals with the same problems. Everyone is eager to share the successes. And everyone, for the most part, wants to hear what you have to say...their successes and problems are no more important than yours.

One of the things that was almost totally absent (at least in the conversations I was privy to) was the question of $. No one really blamed their problems or shortcomings on the lack of funds, or used it as an excuse for not doing something. these folks are masters at figuring out ways to do almost anything and not allowing anything or anyone to stop them.

Yes, people who get in the way, was a big discussion whole session on what to do with administrators who don't "get it" tells you what is considered an big issue! Parents were mentioned a little, but most said that parents were easy to convince...the kids usually got their parents on bother by simple "kid begging!" Trying to bring colleagues or teacher groups on board was also discussed, but again, the idea of starting small, grabbing hold of risk-takers and friends willing to jump off unknown cliffs, usually was the solution.

It's the people at the top of whatever level of heap you find yourself on that seems to be the one rock that is hard to push out of the matter how successful you are in some cases. For me personally, I was so glad to be able to say, that is no longer a problem where I am. Critical, key leaders (not just administrators) do get it ...and let me tell makes the road to success so much easier and better. Our students are lucky!

Yes, there is a difference between leaders and administrators...a single person can easily be both, but quite often, it is two different people and that causes problems. Leaders will let you do what you feel is a way to success, whether they themselves can or can't do...and usually they can. Administrators spend lots of time managing, and often, to give up any of that management control, makes them nervous, so they don't.

Overall, this dynamic group does not accept "no" and pushes forward. The results speak for their effort. It was a privilege to be among them for a day. I am in awe of many of them...a little bit of hero-worship is probably a good description. I have added some new names, if not faces, to my list and I look forward to what else they give me as I explore their online warehouses of information. I still can't believe the 2.0 world lets me play in their playground. Yippy!
Here are some of the leaders I hung out "around"

Steve Hargdon EduBloggerCon is his idea another place of his Classroom 2.0

Cool Cat Teacher Vicki Davis

TechnoTuesday Cathy Nelson, SC school librarian

Not So Distant Future Carolyn Foote, Austin school librarian reveiw 1 review 2

Kevin Honeycutt KS ed tech specialist who was hugely genereous with one-on-one conversation...the key ring thing is his...more about that in another post later. his podcasts
Chis Lehmann Practial Theory SLA

Paul Gates, the 2nd grade teacher from San Antonio who talked to me about the great things he does with his young children...and who is looking for someone to blog with! filmclip of one of his adventures

I KNOW there many, many others...I just didn't know who was who and couldn't keep up with the lightening flashes of names and ids. I learned from you too and will look for you around the "neighborhood"

Pictures: part of group on the stairs for photo op; David Warlick; C. Fooote & C. Nelson
I have a few more pictures that need "fixin' "...will include them later if I can get them light enough.
Ok...gotta finish getting ready to go checkout what's going on this afternoon!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

006.7 EdubloggerCon Unconference -- Saturday AFTERNOON at NECC in San Antonio

1:00 If the administration doesn't get it ...then no one else will be able to use these things!
LEADERSHIP--Scott McCleod facilitating

SLA Chris Lehmann: managing up...we don't teach them how we want to be managed
At his school, they spend lots of time telling leaders what they want...which leads to student success

From a ms/hs principal:
kids multitask and we turn around and departmentalize them and we wonder why they are disengaged.

We need leaders who see themselves as can we help them accomplish be learners

Also have to deal with risk-taking and all that is involved for the takers and the administration that supports it...or doesn't!

One of the speakers talked about a conference called Leadership 3.0 - administrators in small conference where they got this info. how to integrate technology. [could not find info about this--was hoping could find a laundry list of what was presented]

What does education look like in 21st century? David Warlick asked how many administrators get asked this question...are they ever faced with deciding what this looks like. Could they give a decent answer, a correct least correct as we see it!

Why are leaders, leaders if they don't get it! Lots of noise around that comment.
As a result, it lead to this statement: leaders and administrators are really two types of people

The principal is often caught in the middle...teachers asking on one end, higher ups demanding on the other. Another chimed in...everyone is caught in the middle!

Scott McLeod: we get caught up in the minutia [my term] of school life and loose sight of what is important.

Everyone in the room agrees that "everyone wants kids to succeed"---HOW to achieve the success or even what success looks like is the problem that causes the conversation going on right now

How do we show administrators the right tools that will help with minutia and still allow other things to happen that need to happen?

Need leaders who say "I don't know what the value of the laptop in classroom is, but I trust that you do so go with it!"

If you are asking your kids to use the smartboard to give the answers to the question your read on pages 1-20, that is fiscal irresponsibility...we need transforming tools...not fancy old tools that perpetuate the old ways. I am reminded of the comments heard around my home circle about activeboards that were holders for butcher paper and markers because a few teachers had not bought into it as it should be used!

David Warlick: Showcase what the kids are doing 2.0 away from school to principals...even things like World of Warcraft [blocked in district]...which he said was even a bit of a stretch for him! I had an opportunity to see it up close and personal a while back and I know exactly what he meant!

Principals are no longer instructional leaders, they are managers putting out lots of little fires so far removed from what is going on in the classroom. I remember when they were specifically id'ed as THE instructional leaders on campus, but that designation hasn't been heard in a long time!

Scott McLeod--pointed out that he and another are only two of a few leadership trainers who get technology into their university preparatory programs...and there are over 500 programs across the country. The other college person said he is expected to attend only academic conferences and had to search for the $ to be here because his administration doesn't understand it either!

A Scottish speaker: American educators tend not to have empowerment..that is what he has noticed...there were several "amens" from Americans in the audience. [yes, it sounded beautiful with his accent...even another speaker said he hated to follow him!]
American educators who do empower are often seen as mavericks, scorned sometimes.

When the leaders are forced to live and die by tests..then we have to show them how this 2.0 world will help.

A long-time principal said he had to give up the idea that he needed to know everything.
but he also recognized that he also must model.

And then there was the "why should I change anything if all is ok"...i.e. my kids are scoring the top off the tests so why would I think I need to change anything. Sound familiar?

One of my favorite terms of the day: trojan horse it for one reason and sneak in some more

Get the leadership to look beyond the neighborhood...not just measure against the district next door. Must go world-wide.

Sometimes you have to jump to another level of administration and get the support there until the administration comes on board. Often there is risk in doing that!

To get teachers to buy-in make it a buffet of possibilities...choice for teachers as well as kids! I think the 23 Things accomplishes that to an extent.

One got up to say he disagrees with idea that leaders don't need to know the technology...would we accept leaders who only know assessment half way?

Side note:
Cathy Nelson, a blogger from SC and I finally met...power [strip] brought us together! Great conversation. Felt like I was talking to an old friend!

SMACKDOWN facilitated by vicki Davis (CoolCat)

[ok, this session is on battery so if it will know why! battery held fingers, ears and brain did not. I will include sources for the complete list]

Objective: in 3 minutes or less, present a tool. If you go past your time, you will get smacked down...only speaker to do was Vicki!

There will be a list of all this on the edubloggerCon wiki site. They are using all kinds of tools to get the info there. Vicki Davis is facilitating and she went so fast all I heard was Twitter.... alternative to the vote clickers! it was fast and he also told people to use their cell phone. classroom sizes up to 30 for free Cell phone users fact checking, research...1-800 - chacha # to call. she spoke into phone the question and the answer will be texted back. uses it a lot on field trips.
Similar to google 411

Animoto--an old friend. only about 15 people held up their hands that had used it.. I was surprised! For anyone interested, here is our list of examples...a list added to whenever someone lets me!

PicLens --bulletin board of pictures. One comment...satisfies i-phone envy! looks pretty coll. may have to investigate...not sure when! -- not sure the value of except to let adults know because kids use it!

Summize -- this one was mentioned several times all day as a way to get info, capture info? goes along with Twitter, compliments Twitter...hence me not understanding because I have not "learned" Twitter yet [scares me a little--not sure I will get it when I try to]

Cover it Live -- they talked about going to the back channel of this. very short demo of what it looks like. several people covered it live earlier blog this way... [mine is really not really live blogging!] back channel is a chat behind the scenes of something. Connected Classroom has several examples of what it looks like to the reader. Cool Cat also
[these tools make my pitiful attempt to blog "live" look......pitiful! o well] -- keep points for doing things. demonstrator uses it with her two kids for chores. turns it into a talking session with her kids, a good end of day conversation starter. special needs kids --good for them in certain circumstances, especially with parent support. there are activities on the site that can be used outside the point system I believe.

diggo -- use tags to create auto posts.

Peggy Shehan, Second Life -- new project on Second life...multimedia , foreign language and ? islands.

Key ring of staff development --the least techie thing of the day...and one of the coolest...a way to help teachers get it! picture forthcoming! cartoon creator site...doesn't require an email address. 3 panel was demonstrated.

Doodle -- no login or profile required. way to find time to do something, schedule a meeting with a group of people. Note: not won't end up in right place!
Timebridge is similar..can sync with google calendar, works with outlook

tag -- mines pictures from flickr based on tags

webkins in the classroom -- kinder teacher uses especially for teaching being digital citizens ...uses the website to accomplish this.

back channels -- chats for quieter students who won't speak up . chatter us is an example.

plurk -- similar to twitter..real conversations available


Another Afternoon session...

facilitated by Steve Hargondon who put the day together (with lots of help, I'm sure)

I stayed in a room that had power...saw it was going to be a small group and decided I would just sit and reflect and not really participate. Wrong...I got involved simply because it was a small group...a bunch of friends just sitting around talking about "life" in the education world.

There are no ceilings for the kids today--David Warlick
[he sat right in front of me--he is much younger than his pictures portray...he's no kid, and still is sage age....and has very nice skin and blue eyes...i told you, he was sitting right there....I couldn't help noticing.]

Long history of non-respect of learners...we don't honor the children as learners. Think how we treat adults who are "nerdy"--life-long learners.

A first-year teacher said she had to teach this way because it is what she knows..she has had the internet since 5th grade. she is using a lot that she learned outside of school as her teacher program did not promote her learning 2.0.

A facilitator of learning is very different from the traditional teacher model. Is perfectly ok for a teacher to say I don't will we go about to find out the answer.

Interesting point...haven't we been fighting this issue for a long time...the changing position of the teacher...even before 2.0

Democratic classroom...allowing the children to choose their learning..they have had choice on the internet..participatory ..they get to choose there too.

The kids are very good at play; we have to show them how to be very good at work--david Warlick


WOW! what a day...and all for free!

006.7 EdubloggerCon Unconference -- Saturday at NECC in San Antonio

and the fun begins...

[Warning: this a rough copy at this point...lots of typos, few links, missing names...I will clean it up and add some pictures later this evening!]

am in the room with David Warlick...still admiring from afar
Vicki Davis is here too...Judy Lindsey

had a great chat with a 2nd grade teacher from SA who has been blogging with his kids for a few years...last year his big thing was movies...his objective for this is find someone to blog with...another class

there are a whole bunch of 2nd Lifers...real ones! (as in they don't crash and they always remember how to sit)

the group is voting about the sessions they want...I don't care. I'm a lurker here so I will find a nitch to fit in. besides i can't blog and vote at the same.

Track A
social networking for pd 9:30 MY choice
social networking in classroom 10:45 MY Choice
1:00 if the leaders don't get it, it won't happen My choice
2:15 Web 2.0 and Teacher Education
3:30 designing global learning

track B
9:15 filtering policies
10:45 digital storytelling..change agent
1:00 diving deep into google earth, maps
2:15 web 2.0 smackdown My choice

track C
9:30 google classroom
10:45 shirky booktalk
strategic teacher tools
who me? researcher
hands on byol


Did this live and they were moving fast so it is full of snippets!

discussion of value of Facebook, easy, don' know what they are going to do with it..some profs worry about that
Net1...contained environment part of IsTE...has purpose...better than Facebook idea

tools in general...asynchronous and synchronous is a need
having as much as possible together in one place
self-organizing networks...let them organize the way that works best for them...choice!

creativity, build your own is a key ...once it becomes constrained, then many feel they need to move on!

any form of email, google, blog group gets people started and then as they become more comfortable they can move on to things that appeal to them more, fit them better.

assessment, continuity....not same in every class and how to measure learning

There are podfaders....are there social network faders as well
What keeps you coming back?
the feedback! commentors for bloggers keep the blogger blogging!
Creating a sense of community is essential....a ning (one example) can provide this

immediate purpose...creates need for response which helps keeping it going
nervous in group at beginning is normal.
immediate feedback when someone joins whatever...we welcome students in our schools as quickly as possible, we need to do that in these communities also

digital repoire....greet them at the door (the Wal-mart model)
intellectual speed dating !!
When you say something and no one says something back...discouraging

The site Classroom2.0 has gone beyond critical mass...hopefully ppl use it as entry and then go off to form own group

web2.0 helps us do our job..hence the success of it
DW used "simize" (sorry--new to me ; will have to research) to find a topic...
unreliable tools often cause ppl to "quit" the was mentioned that Twitter is unreliable in many respects..interesting comment, want to follow up on that at some point

instant with people in your already created network!
the right people as opposed to lots of people
they need a connection of some kind!

Risk-taking do we get people to come out of their shells
we ARE digital we play that part...bringing those that do together with those who don't
don't think of technology type things as separate courses...infuse

When did teachers stop being learners?
the emotional response was high from the group on this one! THE tests got a lot of the blame
principal--permission to fail, allow them to be risk-takers
just-in-time learning

GA college professor...trying to get professors to show these things to their students
risk-aversion seems to be prevalent in a lot of places because "scared" of so many other things

Carolyn Foote
tools different your bldg vs working on a world-wide network
repository necessary for the ones for those now, but necessary
let them decide what they need to know...more choice

Don't do it to ppl it with ppl
r u an educational detached retina...are you looking for a community, support, etc. Start small
Be still my heart---Vicki Davis, THE Vicki Davis is sharing my extension cord...of course, she has already been pulled away so I will continue to admire from afar...besides I am dumbstruck...i have absolutely nothing of any consequence to say to these this point!

SOCIAL NETWORKING in the Classroom - Session #2

online h.s. isolated community
hardly every see each other
next semester 725 students...first network for teachers!
started small..tutoring groups, raised funds for wildlife fund

open source use
project k-6
cross-connect for the kids..district-wide
doing assignments form other classes because they think they are cool!
authentic is open to parents, aunts, uncles, grandpa, etc.
teacher chooses what goes public, what stays private
"a walled garden"
specific case...boy who writes book about WWII..a resource kid...get comments from others

Vicki Davis
students have to learn how to be a professional student...this is how you need to behave in this safe space...mentioned the language issue...she does not consider this a "social" network...facebook is don't behave the same way in the classroom ning...she had to kick some off until they learned to behave.

give students a place they are comfortable...ning--so familiar to them. gadgets--need rating system. summer assignments...talking all summer assignments.

the president's rule about pictures...

Judy does a project together
digital citizenship model safe, secure, private
created lessons to use with younger kids

digital citizenship vs pedagogical model
provides vehicles to teach certain things

one teacher (didn't get his location but his accent is Australian) finally mentioned animoto! talked to a few who had not heard about it!
The kids will tell other others---bring it back to the will self-correct

The power of the back channel
the recorded learning...the kids can go back and see their thoughts, etc.
the side stories that come about

some teachers won't learn in front of kids...some teachers won't learn in front of other teachers.

mentoring kids to live in this world
the story about the art group k-12...and having to ask the older kids t change avatar.
moments of grace...complimenting other kids...

how to handle language issues...if you heard bad language in your you close your school?

we learned them in our professional lives...they learned in their personal they have to be taught how to deal in the "professional" world..the school.

what is the acceptable risk tolerance level.

it is not a technology is a behavior problem, issues.
strong library of best practices will also counteract the issue of not allowed.

teachable moments...lots of learning takes place outside class because of the coolness of the tools.

educating the parents, teachers, parents about the safety of the

example of the car marker with team name and number

much safer than mall or at the convenience store.

there are no rule books...unlike education 1.0

what are classroom practices that work..specific examples, stories are creating the rules.

kinder teacher...she has responsibility to teach the kids, but feels as much responsibility in educating the parents as well!

it is so exciting sitting here talking and listening to people ...from Australia...their accent is totally fascinating..I forget to follow the thread of the conversation because I'm listening too hard!

The gang is breaking to take a picture..wee will see where it shows up

Friday, June 13, 2008

025.1 TASLA The Last Day: The State of the...

Gloria Meraz
We have foothold in two agencies...State Library & TEA. Policies about school libraries may be the next step. Encouraged by Karen Kahan's statements.The barriers are loosening...still a tough battle. Not a simple solution/

State mandated librarians on every campus is the dream, but there is a lot to do to even come close to that.
Work through the two agencies as to what is best...maybe a tiered approach to the change.

On the question of getting librarians classed as teachers..have to take the good with the "bad"..example--same assessments!

The big issue--resistance to this change...both on control and financial

The Humble ISD issue...the general attitude of the powers that be: I don't want to do this, BUT they are not manadated, yada yada...

The power of the grassroots...and the strength of these groups

She & P. Smith recently met with a regional PTA group on some topics and broached some of these topics along with the planned agenda...630,000 member strong across the state.

Advocacy happens at home...behind the scenes. One-on-one relationships.

Having TEA look at research that positions us in the mainframe is a HUGE thing! They now "recognize" something we have known all along

Different type of Legislative session...all hinges on the database program and how to prove its success. The vehicle to showcase the survey, etc. will be the key essential ingredient in making our point. " gonna take it for a spin and see how far it goes!"

Audience:Do we know the process for the writing of the report? key people from each agency plus a task force including Librarians

Report needs to become a strategic plan for next 10 yrs--audience comment

Audience: Any premlim data on which agency would be best fit for us?

Most said TEA (beyond the local entity)

Online resources are integrated into curriculum, fabic of instruction tends to make it fall under TEA. fundng issues could lean towards State library, but she doesn't feel it really matters
Audience: ELA new standards...the research piece will be a good arguement for the need for databases. description almost makes them a "mandate" so to speak.

Gloria: Is there a group connecting this group with TASL? we are essentially the same people wearing dfferent hats.

Report will be turned into Legislature in Dec. 08...prelim copies probably in October that will circulate for point and counterpoint talk.
Need for Libraries and certified Librarians issue is bigger than just us...need supt organization, principal group AND parents! Legislature needs to hear other voices than just us!

Going into the "transforming business" will be tough...some sacred cows may need to be sacrificied. Relationships with lots of groups will be necessary.


Region 1 ESC

Maria Elena Ovalle

The need to showcase books reflecting the culture of the area.

655,000+ students speak Spanish

Basic practices for ELL..."instruction that incorporates students' cultures and language"
Oral profiency [only] in the first language is not sufficient. Most be totally literate in the first language to be successful in the second language.

Dual language is best policy, but the problem is there are not enough qualified teachers!

So this reading program covers all these points (and others I didn't capture!)

Interesting comment she made...the books are windows to the worls, but they are mirrors as well! not a new thought, but I really haven't thought about the mirror part in awhile!

The authors do not need to be Hispanic, but must be immersed...Joe Hays is an example. Just being able to write in Spanish is not enough.

2007 winner
Juan and the Chupacabras/Juan y el Chupacabras by Xavier Garza

The newest list for 2008-2009. voting will be in February.
Cost is free. Rules and Forms

La fiesta de las tortillas ...she is going to use in a science integration...they are going to make torillas as the activity...the science behind it! article with chemical reactions oftortilla [ need to getthis information!]

Rene the boy...jumping off point for early research...researching people with your name!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

025.1 TASLA Day 2, Afternoon

The SBISD team showed Student Products for the 21st Century and talked about Library2Play 23 Things. Despite the slow Internet, a fun time was had by all...we think!

Comments and ah-ha moments...stay tuned! here you go!
Thanks Dr. T T for handling this for us!
  • ooh, I have to show my librarians this!
  • I’ll be ready for the first of school now!
  • Give kids cameras and let them go out and take pictures to use for this.
  • This is way too cool.
  • Where are you trying to go? Can I go there, too? How did you get there?
  • Let’s GO! I figured it all out.
  • It takes awhile loading, but is worth it.
  • I’ve seen this before.
  • This would be great for beginning of the year library orientation…If we take pictures of every point of interest, you can go back and narrate it all in this Photo Story. I begin to say less and less because I get tired.
  • I could add to this every year.

Ideas you would have your students use? Things you are doing with technology in your district?

  • Our senior English kids do Renaissance magazine covers. I framed some and put in the library. When Dr. Alan November did recording of kid who never would talk, they posted it on itunes and shared it with friends.

  • Research Vietnam War, do citations, videocast themselves as newscasters.
  • I use Photostory and sent out questions and got librarians to speak and put it on google so new librarians can meet everyone.
  • Best practices from veteran librarians.
  • We have 5 year technology switchout and teach teachers the new downloads so they can use these in classes.
  • Creating your own 23 Things
  • Place in Florida has how to use and why you would use these.
  • If teachers need 12 hours, we could copy and paste and create our own? YES
  • This is a big, huge opportunity for those teachers who have dragged their feet.
  • Christine McNew says we can offer credit in the fall. Barry will work out the details.

The book that Liz showed on podcasting
Podcasting at School by Kristin Fontichiaro
ISBN: 1-59158-587-2
ISBN-13: 978-1-59158-587-9


David talked about TEKSLink
It will be a community effort. We need to share our knowledge. "No one has time to do this all anymore."--a quote from David!
It is in the form a wiki making updating easy and an easy way to see who is working on what!

Then we went into the business meeting...and it was just!

Of course, our day will end with a nice dinner and lots more bonding, discussions, and wonderful story-telling moments. Life is good!

025.1 TASLA Day #2 Morning

A High School Program -Engaging YAs
Northwest H.S., Justin, TX

We were shown an Animoto and a Photostory as ways to increase interest in YA books.
The presenter discussed the value of blogging...and how fun it is when authors leave you a message on your blog. We listened to some podcasts that she has done on some new titles. She showed Shelfari as a way to display your collections or genres on line. She talked about the Gale Books & Authors program...there is a free trial. [I can't seem to find info on how to "get there"...stay tuned!] Her deaprting activity... the 212 Degrees motivational video. [didn't take time to find embedded version..hopefully this comes right up]

The link at the top will take you to her library page and you can see the activities, the book lists, etc.

It's break time...guess what we are doing!
TEA Report Karen Kahan

Karen discussed the reorganization structure of TEA and those divisions that may affect our group.

Celebrating Where We Are
  • Support standards
  • K-12 databases
  • Good news reports...various media pieces
  • School Libraries Work!
  • Leaders with technology !!

Audience comment: this needs to be shown to administrators (superintendents).

Setting The Course for Where We Can Go

  • TSLAC/TEA Study and the survey
  • Requests to the Legislature...funding TLC resources for equity...Rider 88!
  • Cooperation with State Library, Region 20
  • Long range plan for technology...progress report due in Dec 2008 ...we need to help with documentation on how databases are making a are they they have affected student achievement (success stories)...have you met the recommendation in the plan

Providing Resources to Help Us Get Where We want to Be

Reminded us we want !00% activiation and 100% regualr usage!! of all those databases. it is critical we have the proof that they are used to be able to keep them!

New format to TEA website...starts in July...there will be portals...buttons viewable on the homepage

she finished up with more resources...will have to wait for the PPt to be sent out...I will try to update when it comes out.


During discussion time, Dr. Bishop talked to the group about the upcoming Administrator's Conference next April during TLA 2009. Start talking to your principal, etc. about attending. The date is April 1st.

What do you wish your principal can hear? other ideas to make it better
  • need to have saying this stuff...not self-promoting speakers (which they really weren't)..we clearly need more administrators
  • problem with the date...we know, but we have no choice
  • time format changes becasuee of adminstrators who leave
  • lots of theory..need more practical stuff like today's presentation, the principal/librarian from yesterday...less theory
  • stats are very important...keep Keith Curry Lance...the impact of collaboration, we are the 5th content
  • a local adminstrator from local area becasue majority will be from there...TASL winners have been used before
  • dynamic librarian telling principals' what they need to do (non-$ support especially!)
  • think of yourself as principal.....should it be divided by grade consensus, yes.
  • how to take advantage of your librarian..Use, not Abuse
  • the new LA/Reading standards might need to be focus; using databases as starting point
  • Involving PTAs, PTOs, ...the parent influence
  • the new LA/Reading standards might need to be focus; using databases as starting point
  • evaluation needs to be more important...not the last day of school, may have to get a new one!
  • include TEA rep, National Board Librarians
  • video cnferencing or vid-cast for those who could not attend
  • what did the principal say about wanting their librian to do
  • need for critical thinking skills...using databases as way to accomplish this, how they are helping to them (the admin themselves)
  • having a strand for non-campus administrators
  • communicating to the 1/3 of the campuses that are not in this room!
  • share what is being talking about with the librarians at some that they can be aware what is needed...maybe a reporting or fact sheet that comes out of there...many of the speakers have sites with all their points
  • pinpoint specific sessions, booths they could go to ...principals' guide to TLA...please go with your librarian
  • Coordinate with TASA maybe?
  • using kids' presentations

It's lunch time!!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

025.1 Day 1, Part 3, The Afternoon: TexShare & Transformation

What Is TexShare? Ann Mason
Sharing resources, joint purchasing, staff expertise
1988- resource-sharing with academic libraries
1994- funding started
1997- 150 members...academic and community colleges
1997-responsibility given to TSLAC...missed some!
membership to 700+ with public libraries added as of now

Amigos, UT Austin, ESC20 are strategic is due to UT that the address is a edu

actually 8 programs...databases and 7 others, including ILL, communications (about databses mostly now), TexTreasures grant

TexShare Database Program
50 databases..EBSCO being part of that
supported through participation fees

Library of Texas
federated search tool of catalogs (125 libraries) and databases..if you are a member.
some free resources (like access to view records)

Card Program
500 libraries NOT the database program
Public library members love to be able to go to academic libraries (like UT Austin)

Education Services
train mostly public librarians how to use databases, etc.

only members may participate.
there is a protocol

TexTreasures Grant
digitization of State "treasures" so they can be viewed virtually by "virtually" everyone!
[SBISD--we have some links to some of these projects on the LRP under Texas]

K-12 Database Program Update
for little 2.2 million we get the databases and Ency Britannica for almost every (98%) school library in Texas...over 4.4 million students!

20+ million EBSCO searches as of May 31st
2.7 EB searches (we haven't had it as long!)
ESC 20 Help desk 13,000 email messages

Outreach plans:
parents and administrators and community
some "training" videos- be on agenda for 10 minute...highlights
ESC20 instructional recipes

Information from ESC20 concerning the databases
Lesson plans etc. there are training sessions available...consult their calendar
20 minutes to 6 hours training time available to you? use these materials no matter the time!

By the way some info is available on TeacherTube--search TexShare

time to change gears!


Transforming TX Libraries - Julie Todaro

Briefly reminded about the big meeting that occurred in January
60-65% of the attendees were to be in the business under 5 years
A slogan that came out of it..What's the Big Idea? your idea for changing libraries.

the wiki's purpose:
provide plans for transforming in general
provide plans for transforming by type (and size)
provide content to re-purposed by transformers...interactive "clearinghouse"
provide a forum to share the big ideas ...some are a literacy guru, portal for content to go thru, statewide data, marketing/PR campaign (logo), p-16 literacy curriculum--seamless!

Before You Do Anything? go learn a few things!
Check out lots of other things on the right side bar! dinner speech, elevator speech, etc.

There is a space for YOUR Big Idea for transforming Libraries?...again on the right side bar of the wiki

How should a school librarian/school library administrator begin the transforming discussion for their library/libraries?

What content do you need in order to transform and get your "big ideas" for school libraries?

Group ideas
  • cards where students can give their ideas for transforming
  • The Transformer movie as a theme..maybe a prize
  • contest --design a transformation, either in print or as a video
  • A Day in the Life... video compare with that old video
  • A video from the kids' point of own thought ..isn't this like what TLA speaker Joyce Valenza had her kids do...MySpace/My Library click and take a look!
  • some groups saw it from the bigger picture...transforming the leadership--principals and other administrators
  • the issue of small schools/districts who do not have library administrators
  • need to share basic change strategies to help those who might need to start "smaller"
  • problem and solution video...
  • alignment and partnerships...
  • data might be a charting of the hits by month
  • mapping to the TEKS, TAKS
Closing the Gaps--how do we get people in (our Libraries)... and then out (of school) successfully. I really like this statement that Julie used.

a pretty good ..for the first one!

now onto more bonding over food later and then the late night discussions in the hospitality room...if I can make has been a long day

025.1 TASLA Day 1, Part 2: Texas State Library & Archives Commission

Peggy Rudd, the director, is back to give us a report on the State Library and its role of supporting all Libraries, including those of us in school Libraries. She began with the state-wide resource sharing that now includes a component for us in schools.

[please excuse the informality of this trying to keep up as best i can!]

50th Anniversary of the Reading Club...for elementary children, pre-school reading program and for the first time ---Game On! for YA readers. There are lots of promotional materials. There was a big celebration yesterday at the Capitol.

The renovation of the deZavala building on the Capitol is underway...grand re-opening, May 2010. A learning space will be available for educational programs. A conservation lab with picture window where you can see it happening. [sign me up for that for sure!]

Federated search engine: The Library of Texas

The issue of the union catalog that we used to have...there was a question about that..will it becoming do we start that discussion, who do we bring together?
A discussion ensued about this issue regarding how it would look, improving ILL across the state and who would take on responsibility be it Auto-Graphics or not. Possibly, membership in Tex-Share could move from law to rules...don't have to wait for Legislature to make changes.

A passionate discussion of where we (school libraries) belong, who we belong to, and how are we going to get the recognition from the Legislature..and who needs to spear-head this change. One audience member brought up the need to get parents behind the idea that unstaffed Libraries is not what should be happening as maybe a way to change the focus of this drive.

The Legislative budget request to be submitted in October for the next year was also a topic.
One audience comment: Use 21st Century sKills, Tx college Readiness Skills and AALS standards when trying to accomplish these tasks

sorry..this really rough..will try to clean up

Lunchtime! More bonding...and eating!

025.1 TASLA Day 1: The Fun Begins

My fifth year at what has turned out to be one of my favorite things to do with regards to this fun job I have (and my second year to blog it). State-wide Library administrators, lead librarians, and generally all-around good folks who work (and work hard) to bring good Library experiences to kids! We are having an ice-breaker to meet each other. It is good for me because I am terrible with names. I know all these people's faces, but names escape me. I will try to "know" my clock buddies from this point forward. I really will try! Thanks Mary, yes, I grumbled, but it was important for us (and me especially) to do this.

I will expand on the results of our first small group session later. It is worth its own post!

Collaboration & Curriculum - A Principal & Librarian's Story Corpus Christi ISD
Josie Alvarez, the principal, spoke first. It does need to be a partnership. It is a team effort made up of many people. But the Librarian has to be part of the team. Physically, in their school, the library is the hub. It is in the center where everyone see the action!

The Librarian, Molly Wyatt, is well-trained in flexible scheduling and open access. At first she was worried about the wide-open-ness of the new facility. Now she calls it heaven...a perfect place to work and learn their skills for the kids. The kids do their own book check out. 5-6 classes at a time! The kids are not bothered by open is part of the culture. It has taken 8 years to get to this point.

Principal Alvarez : "People without a vision, perish."
She talked about the book Rainbow Fish...the primadonna fish had lots but didn't share. Her first librarian was not what she expected. The old "this is MY library" philosophy. It took her five year to find the right person at her first school. Molly is just the opposite!

In her new school, the campus did some work with inquiry-discovery learning. Together as a staff they took a class over this. All must become facilitators in the kids' learning. The Librarian is part of the instructional planning committee, learns the scope and sequence as it changes.

Science was an issue immediately. Among the many things the Librarian did was to go thru her opening day collection and looked at what would work for science. She also has developed a professional collection that has basically been paid for from extra funds, not the regular library budget.

A portion of the library became the needed science started on how to use and respect. There is a science parents' night. Molly talked with the parents about how to work with their kids for the science fair.

In math, Molly did a lot of work finding literature tie-ins for math lessons. She also models lessons. Instead of tutoring a few kids in reading, Molly did enrichment with the larger groups of successful kids, while the classroom teacher works with the struggling students. She did an collaborative lesson with art over the Little House books and quilting. Her Wildflower reading program brings the parents into the reading circle of success as well. They also have Treasure reading lists of classics for every grade. 60,000 books circulated for 500+ kids.

Molly has had a assistant off and on..not every year...300 parents are patrons and a strong volunteer group.

Principal Alvarez was asked: what happened to you that made you aware that this is what you wanted in a Librarian? She first said the bad experience of having to work with someone who would not change and not be open. Then she spoke about what does an administrator want to have happen in their on collaboration and vision.

Basically, listening to this presentation, it boils down to the people involved...a principal who recognizes the essential place of the Librarian and a Librarian who is willing to do what it takes to make success happen!

Ok, it's break time...and in this group...that means food!.....and now even more bonding with these fine people.