Saturday, June 27, 2009

006.7 EdubloggerCon: One Year Later

Gosh, one year ago today...I was attending one of the best educational gatherings ever (for me anyway)... EdubloggerCon08 that was held in San Antonio. I learned SO much on several levels about working in the virtual world, learning in the virtual world and just how much fun all of it can be. The big plus was meeting and talking and sharing with like-minded people! I was floating and didn't need Second Life to do it!

The whole week (as it moved into NECC 08) was so overwhelming...all the things there were to see and learn and all of the people who wanted to share.

If you click here, you can review the posts I wrote while there.

The results from my attendance:

1. After seeing almost EVERYONE working on a MAC, I was determined to bring MAC back into my life and I did and I love it just like I knew I would!

2. I AM a part of the revolution and PROUD of it.

3. I came away even more convinced that I must be an agent of change and do as much as I could to bring about change in my own little circle of influence. In my mind, it is not that education (and school libraries right along with the bigger picture) need to change ...they HAVE to change...and not everyone involved believes it...yet!

and I almost forgot one of the most important things I learned...

4. be sure and bring the power...the power strip that is! If you have an extra plug or two available, you get to meet the coolest people up close and personal. That is Cathy Nelson of TechnoTuesday who shared a bit of power time with me! I really enjoyed the 2-3 brief encounters we had thru the week.

I came across the pictures while searching for something else in FlickrCC and just decided to mark the anniversary by showing you I was there! :-)

Here is the link to this year's EduBlogger Conference...including the traditional "stair" picture and notes from the discussion.

To everyone there, have a grand time...I am definitely there in spirit! And I will be checking in as much as I can.

Credits: The Edubloger08 pictures are from kjarrett

Sunday, June 14, 2009

428.1 Save the Word: Vocabulary Builder of Out-of-Fashion Words

This is the coolest vocabulary site: Save the will want to adopt a word or two...or many! The words call out to you, begging you to select them and save them from old word extinction.

Try will NOT be able to resist. I dare you!

909.08 Iconic Photos: Another Collection Worthy of Your Time

Spent some time this weekend catching up with the thoughts of some of my favorite bloggers and David Warlick at 2 Cents pointed me to this photo collection found at WebDesigner Depot.

It is another group of 100 historically significant portraits/photographic portraits of individuals who have impacted our world for many reasons over the last several hundred years. Yes, most of them are from the last 100 years or so, simply because of their photographic format, but there are classic portraits of much older, and no less significant, historical characters.
I am not here to debate the whys and wherefores of some people being included and others being left out of the collection. Just look at it for who is there and the shear beauty of many of the visuals themselves. As for uses in the classroom and library-related projects...please, there are SO many!

Now, the nagging question is, can these be used for educational purposes? I think you will agree with me that many of them are available from other copyright friendly locations (some are in the LC collection and some are found in the recently uploaded Life/Google collection) so I am assuming this one is as well.
What is the significance of the 4 photos I have chosen to included here, you ask?
Anne Frank -- I have been haunted by her eyes ever since I read the book at about the age of 12 (and many times since then). I have NEVER been able to put myself in any situation, real or imaginary that I assume she encountered. I C-A-N-N-O-T imagine, pretend, or even dream...

Migrant Mother -- this picture simply represents what the Dust Bowl/Depression looks like to me....and after becoming a mother almost 30 years ago, I have learned to "see" other things in her face as well.

Afghan girl -- I remember when she came out on the cover of the National Geographic magazine back in the mid-80s. I remember holding onto that copy for a long time and returning to look at it many times...not knowing that the true significance of the photo was not her green eyes (which really was the focus of the story), but the fact that she represented so much in a region of the world that captured our attention so completely a few years later. I followed the story also when the photographer/reporter went back to find her and see what fate had dealt her. I can't help trite as it sounds...she is hauntingly beautiful on many levels.

And the final photo--Buzz Aldrin on the moon reflecting back a smaller image of his partner (and photographer) Neil Armstrong...a pinpoint of time frozen in my mind...the Apollo 11 moon shot is a HUGE marker on my personal timeline....I can close my eyes and remember vividly historical details of those few scary, and yet, exciting days...both inside and outside my own house!

Ok, enough nostalgia for now...go hunt up some of your own.

Friday, June 12, 2009

TASLA 3rd Morning Session Google Docs, legislative Update

Google Docs
Debbie Schwarz, Mesquite ISD, talked about using Google docs. They collect their end-of-year stats on Google docs. She opened up the presentation portion which I really never have spent time with. I was glad to be reminded of it.
She showed how forms could be sent, filled out and then the spreadsheet would be populated automatically. She created one as an example. It is under New, Form. You can give help for the blanks so they would know how to answer properly. you have different types of questions...short answer, paragraph, multiple choice, check boxes, choose from a list (drop-down), scale. You can even add a theme to it to "decorate." and you can save it to different formats including MSExcel.

I see lots of uses for this new (to me) tool! It is good that others explore so I can take advantage of their ventures.

Legislative Update
Jennifer LaBoon

Key Issues for Schools that did not successfully get all the way
K12 Databases
Full time librarian on every campus using counselors standard (1 per campus of 500 or more) -- would have been unfunded mandate. The timing was just not right to push any herder this time on this.
One of the issues raised was tying it to accountability that each campus has librarian...would solve issue of exemplary campuses who have no librarian.

two opps to help --can you help? Contact Jennifer or Cindy Buchanan
PTA Summer Leadership conference in Austin, Jully 24-25
TASA/TASB Conference in Houston October2-3

Julie Todaro
the results of the public survey on libraries

(FYI: If you want a source to lots of data go here)

SOME results of the survey:
strong, intense voter support
women, older and Hispanic voters, public library users most intensely support need for school libraries
essential because of opportunities to learn to read
under the funding part...concerns about cuts in hours and resources, do not want less available
the voters do see connection between student achievement and strong libraries
this the point she considers the point to use as the hook to all this info....

Question from audience: what was her perception of legislature receiving this data:
stunned looks that data exists
their curiosity was other data was put up also

It was a good conference. Yes, I learned some new things...I always do. But the most important aspect of this whole thing is the opportunity to get to spend time with people I admire, enjoy, and learn from each and every time I am around them.

TASLA 2nd Afternoon Session Training Librarians

Training new librarians

in Ft. Bend...they attend a summer course on electronic resources or information literacy as a participant because they will be expected to teach one of the course during their first year.

new librarians have separate meetings (similar to ours) in addition to regular monthly meetings

Dallas ISD...summer sessions 5-6 days, unpaid in fall 4-7:30, unpaid various courses cover a variety of classes

Overview of Librarianship--photostory format instead of a course.

have “notebook” as they receive info..put it in their notebook

Northside ISD...mentor program

established librarians did a think tank of ideas...

application process for the mentors...principals had to give permission so there would be no surprises

6 meetings with mentors/mentees $200 stipend

monthly checklist for mentors

orientation for mentors...create goodie bag for mentee

Denton ISD...

new program this year (based on Garland’s program)

5 days of training...3 unpaid days in summer, 2 during the year

veterans come in to talk about different topics

this is a day in the life of ....

how do you match a book with reluctant reader

database training

Round Rock ISD...

new librarians workshop 1 day unpaid

what kinds of things are on their mind?

contract between mentor/mentee

they have 4 meetings with each other...list of what to talk about each time

online manual with instructions

acceptable use , copyright, book selection are covered before school on the training day


training library paraprofessionals

Title 1 requirements

that Book Woman...the traveling librarian

uses Raganathan’s 5 laws of library science to generate discussion

Make Them Smile---customer service from Todaro


management of students -- routines

book selection

Thursday, June 11, 2009

TASLA 2nd Morning Session Part 2 Book Awards

Exploring State Book Awards - Janet Hilbin & Jane Claes

49 states have some kind of an award now...190 awards given, not including recommended reading lists...Mississppi is only one currently not giving one
does not include Lone Star, Tayshas type lists
some go back 60-70 years!!

children had some voice in nomination, selection or voting for winners

Bluebonnet is one of largest...used as collection development tool in the state

criteria for nomination varies greatly! purpose is more standard...encourage reading!

Pacific Northwest Young Reader's Award 1940
Kansas had first individual state award 1952

of 95 looked at
21 by adults only
11 chosen exclusively by children
rest are adult selections with student selection of winners

often winners of big awards like Caldecott, Newbery can not be nominated

since 2004:
Eragon 21 awards
Twilight 16 awards
Lightning Thief 16 awards
Tale of Despereaux 15 awards
Loser 12 awards
only picture book with 10 or more My Lucky Day had 11
in total 450 books received awards..76% of the books only got one award (vast majority being picture books)

question: how many have been banned...not sure, but thought only 3-4
top 5 winners are all considered fantasy/science fiction, magical realism
25 have add movies made or are in production

Kehert, Clements, Gutman are top winners but have never won national awards

only 5 awards given exclusively for nonfiction, but 41 non fiction books have won various awards

27 books about dogs won 47 awards
8 adult titles won 19 awards

this data can be important for collection development
they have be thru selection process
trends in student reading
librarians not necessarily using this info

they are publishing this in a book (Linworth) to be out in the fall Coast to Coast: Exploring State Book Awards by Janet Hilbin and Jane Claes from the beginning to 2008
there will be some author interviews included ..they talk about impact on them and how they feel about kids reading

Guess what! Lunch!

TASLA 2nd Morning Session

Reminder: live blogging = typos!  more links to come

k12 Databases program review --
 Marti Rossi, Region 20
all the wonderful online training materials including videos that can be embed on your own pages
survey results were positive regarding the successful use of the materials...opportunity to have things they could not otherwise have.  here is the link to all the materials regarding this resource
the graphs of usage will be added to the tasla wiki so they can be used in resource discussions.

TEA Report (no link available on wiki at this time)
Anita Givens, Karen Kahn 
good budget session for the agency at this point; however next go round may be different.
technology allotment was funded
k12 databases continuation of funding
TxVirtual School Network   20 million for 2 years
professional development dollars

HB 3:
changes to high school graduation plans
recommended/distinguished plan  4X4 is still there...6 electives, 5 electives of r distinguished
fine arts at middle school has been added as requirement
career/tech courses....what courses could count for 4th yr. math and science
opportunities for librarians to assist middle schoolers make decsions on what to take in high school based on future plans...

HB120, 136, 3643 all talk about prek education and full-day prek classes

must pass 5th, 8th grade TAKs to be promoted, can be retained at parent request

Funding  HB 3646...
added are these parts:
SB 197 personal financial literacy responsibility course for students...banking!
SB 199 provide training to teachers on financial literacy so they can work with students

SB175 top ten percent change for UT

lots of changes in health curriculum...impact on library resources?

textbooks, e-textbooks, instructional materials, tech equip
use textbook money to select electronic materials and equipment to use
possibly will be vetoed

HB 3646 
affects Virtual school network
funding for online courses will be the state's responsibility instead of students
count for ADA even if at home...pays district that proves course and district that must provide equipment to have courses...helps with 4X4 in small districts

HB4294 computer lending can provide computers for home
also having access until 7:00 3 nights a week!!  impact on thinking about this

holding students responsible for electronic materials/equipment just like print textbooks

new curriculum website
several empty spots for positions...especially in math
science TEKs PD being set up
Tech Apps writing team to be set up 

new tech apps will start being reviewed in the fall...this IS something librarians should be involved with

Federal Update
58 million from stimulus..addition to what state normally gets
Target Tech in Texas (T3)....21st century classroom grants
collaboration, one ELA target should be part of application
target focus area FOR libraries...learner-centered technology and info access (Tx School Library Standard III) for info:

Other Funds for Technology
NCLB website is good source

performance measures can be found on OMB website
percentage of school personnel who meet their state technology standards..librarians are a part of that count (librarians SHOULD be filling out star charts on themselves?)
percentage of students who meet state technology standards by end of 8th grade.

end of this is break time...more networking!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

TASLA Session #3 biblios and Speedgeeking

Remember: this was live blogging...there will be typos!!

David Schuster from Plano is talking about and how it could be used to create a state-wide database for all our records that could then be searched and downloaded!  He is demoing how records can be created and edited...of course we could import what we already have!

It sounds like something that could be possible. The discussion even went to thinking this program might be an alternative to things like Marc, no one in my district get too excited.  We are NOT changing anything at this point!!!!  This is a discussion of possibilities only.

There was also some discussion about ownership of the records and even parts of the records vs ownership of the database where records reside. This part hurt my head. Marc records are just records, for goodness sakes. Oops, my opinion is creeping in!

Back to -- it lives outside the firewall! That is a good thing.

The rest of the afternoon was spent in SpeedGeeking...a smorgasbord of 10 Library 2.0 tools...Animoto, Glogster, Flickr CC, flip camera, netbooks, ipod touch, kindle & sony reader, ning, voice thread,shelfari.

I did an Animoto  of the learning that was going on.

Ok, now on to more networking... the f2f kind...over dinner!

TASLA Speedgeeking

Groups of library administrators enjoying quick looks at 2.0 tools

TASLA Session #2 Peggy Rudd TSLAC / Second Life

This crazy picture will not move right is part of the Second life discussion you know who it is ? Answer below!! :-)

TSLAC Report:
Peggy is giving us the annual report ...the state of libraries speech so to speak!

Legislature info/results
increased funding for K12 databases...keep what we have and expand
state-wide catalog plan...share our librarians do naturally

Not successful!
thought we had 2.5 million dollars but did not move forward

people are still plugging away to bring about success.

creative budgeting (federal $) should protect the databases for now.
may have to scale back on support and training part which are important, but it may have to happen. 
more training comes more comfort

technology pupil allotment will help in some ways.

TEA, Higher-Ed got lots of stimulus $. wish some could have come our way.
maybe some resources from TEA could go into the database budget.

eligibility for k12 has not changed. can't expand to private schools..that did not happen.
they will continue to have to work thru service center program to get best price.

in 2010...TexShare database, k12 database bid will occur
since $ resources did not increase, probably won't increase database resources

k12 databases and teacher prep
this was the 2n
d most requested wish after funding
trying to get info to decision makers in the schools..they need to be aware of the importance of the database

online course...State library site
services to librarians tab

she talked about the state Library of Texas....some can't connect because of district restrictions. maybe larger k12 libraries could add their records

we saw A Starry, Starry Night presentation..actually saw the site being built...that was pretty cool! (o btw, she just said it is not there anymore!!)  there is a video of it.

Look who is here in Second Life at the ALA site...Barry BigBoots  (sorry, I shook as I took the picture)

Othe virtual worlds for kids
Habbo Hotel..teen
Webkinz..little kids
Gaia Online ..teens
Ty girlz 10-15 girls

machinima...machine + cinema; filming inworld

Why Second Life?
ALA has an island

another event
The Bookbinder's Ball...annual event

book discussions go on all the the Reader's Garden
a book she talked about Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson

global collaboration
California Library Assoc has had some
used Animoto to show us a virtual tour of one the events...good way to show it off (as youknow, I love Animoto!!)

virtual classrooms
feel the sense you are in the room with others at the same time!

the land of Lincoln...the details of the school room

sandboxes are available in SL for learning

she tried to show us around but of course, technology did its usually trick! but I will link ot her presentation later and you can see lots of "stuff"

p.S. forgot to mention..we still have those important breaks called ...eating !!

we back channeled this conversation at
we hope to have an archived copy if it later...cross your fingers!

TASLA Session #1 21st Century Educator

Remember these are ROUGH notes...P.S. it was very good and fun...will do some linking later!!

Kim Cofino, International School in Bangkok Always Learning

This is being done thru Skype and she will demonstrate screen sharing as well.

The power of personal learning networks...

The Networked Teacher...

traditional tools AND 2.O tools


24-7 learning

immediate responses/feedback during the learning process

can include personal interests as well as professional interests

interconnect but the groups of learners can change

global connections are possible

you have to build your own PLN, a community happens--you join that

it is your responsibility to go out and get the info and learning ---it DOES take time

Evolution of an educator

pre-PLN wasa time of isolation, a few colleagues

a list of books that was her start (Warlick, Richardson, Wikinomics, Long Tail)

K-12 online conference was another first that got her started


forming groups...and the personal connections that can be made

collaborations of a ling distance nature came next

joining communities (nings)

constantly connecting...Twitter

where are you in your evolution

Grow your own PLN

The steps she would follow if she could do it all over again...

start small...can’t do it all at once..

start with one tool like readers (RSS)

learn by lurking

it comes to look at it on your own time

you find your little don’t have to follow everyone

social networking

professional connections in Facebook maybe...broaden your connections

start sharing ...thru a blog!

develop your online identity...being anonymous is not always in your best interest...

personal conversations...with things like Skype

personal connections even long distance

online conferences...2nd Life and other events

as structure or unstructured as you want

be connected constantly...Twitter

tidbits of info over time tell the story of this person

she talked about Flickr Creative Commons as the primary source for her pictures because she has permission based the CC

She also talked about a site where you can select only things that can be shared

Presentation for making presentations better

Here Comes Everybody (The Power of Organizing without Organizations)...another book she recommends

Back Channeling at TASLA

The annual administrator conference for library leadership ...TASLA starts in just a few minutes. If you want to follow along in a back channel .... click this link, put up a name and join us!

We are using the service that we can save the info.
Let's hope I'll be successful at doing that...yes, this is my first time!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

028.162 Bluebonnets 2009-2010

For your viewing pleasure!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

004.165 MacBook Pro: Grab That Screen Shot

Slowly, but surely, I am getting more comfortable with MY fabulous MacBook Pro...I have spent one session at the Genius Bar (needless to say I was NOT the genius in the conversation) and got to spend two days with a Mac trainer trying to absorb as much as possible and remember as much as I could on how the Mac acts differently from the PC.

I have trouble with the smallest, most insignificant things with technology quite often and I continue to be flummoxed by the smallest details of  the Mac as well. Thought I would go out of my mind trying to easily copy URLs...duh, 1, 2, 3 clicks, command-copy!

Ok, now to the main purpose of this post. You know HOW much I love to use screen shots and how fun I think it is that on a Mac, you actually get to hear the camera "click!" In case you are missing the screen shot key from the PC keyboard, on the Mac it is command-control-3.

BUT if you really intend to use the screen shot, that is a whole 
other story! After piling up a bunch of junk on my pretty, clean desktop that were totally useless (on several occasions), I FINALLY clicked Help tonight and read about application that allows you to select the portion of the screen you want before clicking and allows you to save your shot in the format of your choice in iPhoto.

So ridiculously E-A-S-Y! Why do I insist on making things difficult? Help is on a computer for a reason!

GRAB is now is now a permanent resident of my Dock.

797 Water Fun & Games: Thinking About the Beach

School's almost out and thoughts turn to water fun. 

In looking for something else completely on a different subject (as I often do), I came across a notice for this new online game prepared by NOAA. Looks interesting.

Then I discovered that NOAA has a whole page of games ...and also links to two water-based sites created by National Geographic and PBS

Jump in and have fun!