Monday, November 1, 2010

027.8 District 8 Overview: A Worthy Gathering

Ok, I'm going to do my best to get back on track with my blog. I actually have missed writing and so many good thoughts and ideas are gone because I simply had no time.

So, let me begin my renewal with a short review of our TLA District 8 meeting that was held this past Saturday.

I was charmed by the author Gwendolyn Zepeda, a native Houstonian who has written both adult fiction and children's books. Her children's titles include Sunflowers/Girisoles and Growing Up with Tamales/Los Tamales de Ana, both bilingual books for children from 3-8. She shared wonderful little personal vignettes about her experiences in libraries as a child, a young mother, and as an author of children's books. It was was delightful! Being from the area, she might be someone you might consider for a visit.

The District 8 program offered a variety of things. Two colleagues presented sessions that turned out to be quite popular. As soon as I get their permission, I will link to their topics. I did a review of five things you can do to quickly become 2.0! Much of our time was discussing the difference between copyright and credit and how in an educational setting you have access to many things, but you still must credit them! That and the importance of hyperlinks..or making the info hot! such a simple thing, but o so important in adding depth to the online world.

Update: here is one of the sessions: Making It Work Together: Integrating Reading, LA, and 2.0 Tools

It was quite a memorable day for us. One colleague was asked to serve on a TLA committee and
the other was recognized for her length of service in libraries...36 years so far!! (and that doesn't count her many classroom years!) Yours truly...well, I have been to so many District 8 meetings no one (including me) can remember.

A good day, but I think for me personally, the highpoint was running into so many of my library school students...the ones who are working on their certification and degrees to become great school libraries. The eagerness and ethusiasm that registers on their faces and comes out in their comments really does me good. I am glad I have had a tiny little part in creating their readiness to take on one of greatest jobs, if also not one of the hardest jobs, in the world. They certainly helped me remember why I do it!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

371.3 ISTE 2010: SIGMS Smackdown

Ok...after a little rough start (some folks have never dealt with a hallway FULL of Librarians on a mission) we are all in and getting ready to hear a laundry list of resources and ideas given at lightning speed!

I am going to attampt to blog this forgive the typos, etc. I will attach any links that are needed to make things clearer....Joyce is here, David Loertscher is here, and...

I have typed this much and my battery is already at says 4 hours, ha I won't make 4 minutes at this rate! No power source available (see first sentence!) [update: the battery did last, but I am now sharing a plug with a lovely woman from NZ just in case for further needs this p.m.]

oh well... have the paper/pen back up ready!

while we are waiting for the fun to begin....

everyone is signing up for to participate behind the scenes. You create a wall and then can share with another wall...that is how they are going to share ideas today. Not sure I understand the concept at this point...but I'm listening carefully.

Joyce Valenza regarding wikiness (the twitter chatter)...the smartest in the room is the room itself rather the people at the front table.

On being a tribe - shared interest and way to communicate...stronger when we share...we built a geek tribe ...SIGMS, 2nd Life, School Library wiki...etc. we will survive because we are a tribe!
The tribe needs leaders, not just managers... web erases geography issues.

Th e panel presents these:
Reading 2.0 - using Technology to promote books - not replace them
Blabberize - web application create talking avatars from photographs
Google Search Stories
Voki - using to tell student story
Zooburst - virtual pop up books
Prezi - look at Maximum ride example to see how is used to do storytelling


For phones:
Gale mobile apps - you have to have subscription!
Tag readers - red lazer, shot savvy ---loooks like 3 dimensional bar code (more on this )

And then others online...
Google Apps - all on a Glogster that Joyce created.
Google Timeline features - sample is whole bunch on the oil spill from all newspaers
Mashpedia - wikipedia + other resources in real the oil spill as!
Pathfinder Swap - join and share
Build your own information space on iPad using Pulse...put your library there!


Get Your License - PBS
Mike Ribble book entitled ...
Digital Citizenship webquest
Brain pop free things on etiquette...district (Ed Tech) has subscription can get more
Digiteen from Flat Classroom Project...several things on NetEtiquette - shortcuts for texting....might be useful to look at to see what certainthings mean
Plagarism -proofing assignments by Doug Johnson
The disney video explaining fair use!
Creative Commons!! - it is hard to believe lots of people (librarians) don't know about it
21st Century citizenship - everyone is a copyright holder
and more that didn't get up before the time whistle


Twitter - worth lurking...more in another post about Mario Armstrong

TweetDeck - to manage what you follow...can make columns...more in another post. ha

Wikis - any product; keeping directions for teachers you don't repeat the same thing over & over

Google Reader and other RSS readers - helps you keep up with what has been updated!

DEN - Discovery Educator Network ..we already have the subsciption. take advantage of what is there

TL Virtual Cafe - transformative conversation

Social bookmarking like Diigo and delicious

Audience participation: is THE Link you need


everything contributed on the left under the various catagories

Others for books:

tagxedo! - wordle with a twist I think this is the winner! In fact, I tried to get in and the site was almost crashing! You need to look at it!

David Loestcher CLOSED

The Big Think time...

watch the game for patterns and will you win next time....

"So powerful voices out there saying all this is just fun and games...doesn't contribute to learning."

His challenge to us...what is learned. We must document the learning.

Use this and post it after every lesson, project, etc.

Because I used ______ I learned ___________.

More details later...

Monday, June 28, 2010

371.3 ISTE 2010: Overview So Far

Have disappointed some folks because I haven't blogged live...have disappointed myself!
The nature of the conference for me this time just hasn't allowed for it.
Then when I got back to the hotel I have been pulled in other official ways. Tonight I promise details, pictures, and video!

I am waiting for a session to start on leadership...will do my best to capture highlights (in rough form).

In the meantime, I am experimenting with doing the day only with the far so good and the battery life is great
Caught the tail end of informal session on how to bring administrators to the bold statement...bold for me anyway: "What are you doing to hold your school back? The ideas being too locked down; not allowing risk-takers to try things; not being users,much less consumers themselves...
Can say we have made great strides away from this issue, but we all have lots of work left to do!

Ok...have found it hard to go back and fix my text. Needed space between the two thought!
session starting
They have put the tweet deck up for everyone who will be following that way

Innovative leadership. 21st C Innovations That Matter
Cheryl leek

Note: I lost the post and ability to type in it so I took some notes that I will add later.

David Warlick next!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

006.7 EduBloggerCon 2010: The Fun Begins

I am so glad they don't measure how often you post before they let you in this thing!

I'm here...already reconnected with a couple of people from 2 years ago! It's like a big family reunion full of happy family members. And to do it in beautiful downtown Denver is extra special...although the mountains in the distance keep pulling my attention away!

I drove up yesterday with the top open and the AC off. It was great. I got out last night and wandered around the 16th Street air street fair and shops. It was lovely. Then I looked at the weather and all they talked about was how hot it was ! Huh? All a state of mind...yes it was 99 but not the same kind of 99 that those who share my normal physical space encounter!!

Anyway...the take so far is mostly catching up, but the tech word so will be great to hear what all these talented folks have to say about it.

More later...

P.S. when you read the time, it's actually one hour earlier here!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

028.9 TeenBookCon 2010: Some Reflections

Enjoyed a nice day this past Saturday volunteering for a good pal at the TeenBookCon 2010. Got to hang out with some fun librarians from the local area, folks from our favorite neighborhood bookshop and some creative and clever authors!

I had a variety of little jobs that allowed me to interact a bit with teens who love and appreciate good stories. It was fun seeing their enthusiasm for the event and their excitement over the anticipation at being in the same room with the likes of Sharon Draper. All the buzz about "how good her books are " and "I don't think I could just say one is my fav" gave my librarian's heart a good jolt of "feelin' good!" One district Librarian colleague and I checked in some of the 400 students who attended and took their lunch orders. Who knew choosing between pizza nad Chic-fi-la would be so hard a task at 10:00 in the morning? Sometimes we had to revert to reference interview techniques to get an answer and get the line moving! (KR, enjoyed working with you as always...and solving several of the world's problems as well! :-))

One of my favorite duties of the day was monitoring the authors' break room and making sure they had plenty of coffee, food, cold water, food, sodas, food, ice, and did I mention, food! And the ever-so-important chocolate, of course! (My pal and I had had a fun adventure a few days earlier wheeling a cart thru Costco's aisles picking out just the right things.) Another Librarian in my circle allowed me to move into her slot in the break-room while she went off to serve pizza to the teens (Thanks CL, I owe you in more ways than one.)

Her generosity allowed me to have that few minutes of up close and personal where, among the delightful conversations I overheard, was the discussion four authors were having, not over the finer points of book writing and publishing, but the latest and greatest in oversize scanners. It made me laugh that they were deep in discussion about technology at a book convention! But I also learned something...the scanner is important in the working with large graphic panels that they create for their novels! (The weirdest little things just fascinate me.) They assured me they were having lots of book talk too! L to R: Terry Moore, the Fillbach Brothers, and Jimmy Gownley.

AND I also got to meet a blogger (& author)that I have been following for all the years I have been messin' with blogging...and if you want the skinny on anything bookwise, you should follow Cynthia Leitich Smith's blog . You can also read her take on the day. Yes, I feel connected online with all the folks I follow, but a f2f encounter is a grand ol' cherry on top of the hot fudge sundae.
Here's the whole wonderful group of authors and info about them!

Photo credits:
Pizza Handlers - from FlickrCC by libraryink
Registration - from FlickrCC by libraryink
4 authors - by VWB
CLS - by VWB
Author group - from flickrCC by

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

940.5318 The Diary of Anne Frank: A Classic Retold

On April 11, 2010, Holocaust Remembrance Day, PBS and Masterpiece Theater will present a new version of the classic coming-of-age story The Diary of Anne Frank.

Click on the picture for access to a video preview.

The Great Books Foundation, a partner with WGBH, has created and gathered together all kinds of support materials to use in conjunction with this new production and the Holocaust in general.

One of the most interesting things is a VoiceThread where students, teachers, and others can go in and comment on the production and project. Voice Thread has given free access to this sample, but there is a registration involved to make comments.

Ciick HERE to go to VoiceThread.

Here is another brief preview through YouTube .

In researching this new production, I also came across the only know movie of Anne Frank herself. It is a brief few seconds of her in an upper window watching her neighbor's wedding departure. There is no sound!

And of course , with the recent death of Miep Gies (at age 100), the last survivor of the real-life members of the history-making event, there has been renewed interest in the story and will likely spill over to the new production. Here is a portion of an interview where she talks about the diary and giving it to Anne's father.

In our district, the book and the time period have always studied and discussed on several levels so we have some long-time resources that also will probably come to the forefront again with this new production. Check our "cool new"catalog for other resources.

The message remains timeless.

Monday, March 22, 2010

352.7 Census: Where's the Interesting Stuff?

I did my duty over the break. I filled out my census form. took me less than 10 minutes for me to fill out the 10 questions...mostly because it is just me these days.

I was asked my name, age, date of birth, race and whether I lived in an owned or rented property and how many people resided with me.

What I miss are all the interesting questions found in previous census records. Being a family historian who has poured over old census records looking for facts about my family members, I was often drawn away from my primary task looking at interesting things I found on the old sheets and interpreting the spellings and handwriting of the day! I loved it...but then I am weird that way.

One of my favorite finds was on a family sheet of mine. For many census years, folks were asked their occupations. That was always very interesting and I would eat up lots of time reading what folks did for a living. Children were often listed as "at home" or "at school." The wives were usually "keeping house" as one would expect. Imagine my delight when I read that my Irish immigrant great-great-grandmother Annie's occupation was "kept tent!" It turns out that in 1880, she and her teamster husband and four daughters (soon to be six girls!) lived in a canvas tent with wood floor near the horse barns at Ft. Concho, Texas. WOW!

I later found out that they were able to move into an abandoned officer's house because Francis, the teamster, was retired from active duty and the fort was losing population as it was beginning the process of being shut down. I have seen a replica of the house...and yes, it was an improvement over the tent, but still was a tight fit for a family of eight!

Another interesting tidbit...Francis' job as a teamster...was to move the soldiers buried in the fort cemetery to the military cemetery in San Antonio...a part of shutting the fort down. No that was not found in the census forms, but there is so much that is.

If you have never looked at an old census form, the 1880 census is available on the internet for free at several locations including
I bet you a dollar you will find some interesting stuff!

I am really sorry that 72 years from now when the 2010 census becomes public record, the information will be so sterile and clinical and even missing the handwriting and ink spots of the day. I can't wait to see the 1940s records (and the gems they may contain) when they become public in 2012!

Here is a video about the 2010 Census and how to fill it out.

Census form
1880 form screen shot from personal collection

Sunday, March 21, 2010

538 Magnets: Apps Fun!

These are SO cute...magnets that look like I-phone/I-touch apps!
The company is currently out of stock...not surprised based on all the bloggers who are writing about them. They even come packaged like the front of a device!

At the rate I'm going, I would probably get more use out of these magnets instead of the real thing!

Images: from Jailbreak Toys

Friday, March 19, 2010

153 Thinking...on Many Levels

Take two minutes (and a few seconds) and watch this...

Now react...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

741.5 Make a Wimp of Yourself!

Go here and "wimp" yourself!
Stay on the site a few extra's fun watching yourself!

My wimpy self in action

A trailer of the movie coming out on March 19th is also available here.
Included at the site are some other fun things related to the movie and book.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

027.8 Libraries: The 12 Steps to the Future

Some people make things SO easy...
and Doug Johnson, the Blue Skunk guy (and one of my virtual mentor heroes) does it AGAIN with his latest post where he lists 12 differences in the libraries of yesteryear and those of the future! Go there and read them for yourself...all signify the changing, transforming libraries that I am seeing around me.

He DID ask us to "join in" so here's my thoughts...

#9 regarding organizing by a set of rules vs organizing in ways that make sense to users. Makes the cataloger's compartment of my little heart skip a couple of beats...YES, I want to be good to my users, but I also want them to be successful in any library they go into and if we get "too" creative in our arrangements, I fear we will suffer from the grocery store syndrome (why can't grocery stores adopt similar arrangements---I hate hunting for canned mushrooms in some stores!) Please, please, think thorough creative arrangements c-a-r-e-f-u-l-l-y...especially if you want your users to be independent users who can go from the catalog, take the address (call#) and actually find what they want and need without the librarian being the traffic cop!

#8 I definitely want whole-school ownership of the library. It is fabulous where I see it in action. But I still want the professional librarian there...and in my dreams, I wish for more than one professional librarian, but unfortunately dreams aren't coming true in these economic times so I will be content with one (and extra adult hands please?) Unfortunately, administrators and powers-that-be, because they really don't understand our purpose and our contributions to student success, often think they can eliminate the professional librarian because "everyone" and "anybody" can hand out books and equipment. This one worries me a lot because of how it can be interpreted.

I will take his six descriptors and last statement and put them right here where you can read them quickly and easily

Change IS tough, but if we want to be around to take part in the excitement of the future, we must!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

027.8 Libraries, Librarians & Kids: Outta the Blogs of Babes!

Super Star #4 paid homage to her Librarian and the excitement in her school library in a recent blog post
"The library is the BEST place in the history of the world!!!!!!!!!!!"
This young 5th grade girl likes everything in her library...the books, the technology, the contests, the freedom to explore what interests her. How lucky she is to have that kind of place to visit.

Her blog reflects her many interests in and out of the library and school. But I can tell that reading is a big part of her life because of all the attention paid to books in her blog posts.

Yes, she celebrated the addition of new MACs, but truly reflects the value of the technology she likes by U-S-I-N-G it to tell her stories! She makes Animotos like some of us make grocery lists...all the time! Sometimes to honor books, some times about her favorite animal--dogs, or her favorite sport--soccer.
I don't ever think she stops to wonder what she should be doing...she just does it because the opportunities are available to her...and her Librarian creates the atmosphere of choice.

But you know what jumped out at me...because of her Librarian (and other teachers involved in her learning,) this 5th grader has been telling her story for THREE school years...3rd, 4th and 5th in a blog! For one-half of her young school life, she has had a place to tell her stories to authentic audiences. She has had a place to come to experience all kinds of new experiences, be they thru a book or a keyboard. And she has had the support and safety net of the Librarian who wants her to reach for the stars in her path.

Super Star #4 is lucky indeed...and I for one can't wait to see what other adventures she shares with us!

028.6 Cybil Awards: Round 4

The 4th set of Cybils Awards list is out.

For those who may be unfamiliar with this book award, all of these winners have been selected by a panel of bloggers who took extensive lists of nominated titles made by blog readers! All books were published with in the last year since the previous contest so these are the latest and greatest out there!

Here is a list of the top nominees in each of the catagories for 2009. If you are looking for new additions to your collection you may want to take a look at these choices and see if they meet your needs.
Past winners for 2008, 2007, 2006
Artwork: used wth permission by Cybils

Monday, February 15, 2010

551.5 Weather iMovie: Another Adventure with My MAC

I had an opportunity to work with iMovie and have some expert help around while I doing it. I used an idea from D#1 as inspiration for the project. It isn't the best example, but did allow me to start understanding the process. Although it is more intense than PhotoStory, it helped that I had experience with the Microsoft product.

I was able to import a series of images from several sources and add sound effects and music from iTunes to fill out the project. Nope, no voice over yet...time ran out. Yes, I know I have said I don't like to record, but this time I really was going to do some, but the unit will be over if I take anymore time with this...and I have another much more important project to create. So voice-over will have to come later.

I did save the project several ways so that it could be played in on a MAC or PC or directly from my channel on YouTube. Again for practice. Also the reason for adding it to my blog...practice, practice, practice!

One thing I did notice...when saving images, save them at the largest file possible. I usually save Flickr CC images at medium size or around 500 psi, but I noticed some of these images were blurry when I viewed it in full screen. So I will check that out on the next one I do.

P.S. If you have suggestions for better productions, please share.

UPDATE: I took the YouTube version down becasue too much was cut off on the right side...and this version, an mp4 upload makes it hard to read some text...o, well...I'll do better next time!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

741.6 Another Image Generator: Seasonal Fun!

002 Print vs. Digital: A Contest or a Matter of Choice?

Take a look: Do School Libraries Still Need Books?
Five people's thoughts. You decide for yourself.

Me...I think the advantage is being able to provide choice in this age of multiple formats.

Do some things make more sense?
A digital encyclopedia updated almost instantaneously vs. a printed version that is practically out-dated the day it comes off the press?
The multi-tasking approach of audio books vs. a spiffy little paperback that fits in a pocket?
The sterile look of sheets printed off an online file vs. the visual stimulus of beautifully photographed images or cleverly created characters?

I think it comes down to what works for you in the moment.

O, by the will NEVER convince me that picture books meant to be used in a couch cuddle with parent and child or between two school buddies on the carpet in the corner will ever disappear from the school library shelves.

That 's one Librarian's opinion.

Photo Credit: Flickr CC by John-Morgan

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

371.33 Blog Anniversary: Three & almost 2/12 Years & Counting

Yes, this anny post is WAY overdue...any post on this blog is now way overdue. I hadn't meant to let things go this long. I REALLY meant to post my anny review post during the Thanksgiving weekend as usual. I had several postings I wanted to share that now will remain forever locked in my brain because I let too much time and brain cells escape to make sense out of what I wanted to share.

I really can't point anything in particular that lead to ignoring my little piece of the blogging world. I still have 24 hours in every day like always. My job is still as busy as ever and not really any more demanding that it always has been at its high points. My family issues remain the same and their long distance relationships haven't gotten any longer or farther. My dog continues to demand his meals at the same rate as always and his outdoor visits no more than normal. And I still mange to sleep 6-7 hours a day, whether it is on my couch or in my bed.

So, let's see what else could have steered me in another direction the last few months...
the transformation of our libraries has occupied a lot of thinking time...we deployed (the district's term, not ours) lots of MacBooks and iTouches to our 39 campuses...have been fielding lots of questions and sharing how-tos because it is has been a long while since Apple products were part of our resources. I was re-learning right along with everyone else.

Part of my "free" time was taken up with Facebook. The district opened it up last Spring and we initiated some professional development opportunities for librarians, teachers, and others. I have a small group of friends and family and I continue to explore the finer points with them...admittedly a little more since Daughter #1's wedding this summer...used Facebook to share adventures and have continued playing around with the tool more than I thought I would.

And I have techno addiction that HAS robbed some of my free time...I have always played a few word games on the computer, but I got hooked on online Scrabble and I do know it did use some of the time I used for blogging! I guess I could say that it is a technology application that I have gained knowledge of, but really and truly it has just become an obsession. I am working on cutting back...I really am! Hey, I'm writing this blog post and I have not played one game of scrabble this evening or checked the last hour or so. :-)

Ok, enough ramblings. As with my other anny posts, let me quickly review some of the high points I found in my little corner of the tech world.

Animoto continues to amaze me...with the new pieces it adds and the various productions people in my circle create with it.

The new fun thing in my world is Glogster...if anything can bring about the demise of posterboard projects, this glitzy, colorful, razz-a-matazz, cool tool could be the one to do it! It is a great way to bring lots of things together in one place and the structure prevents the "death-by-PPT" syndrome of a presenter reading too much text and boring an audience to "death."

Clay Sharky's TED presentation "How Social Media Can Make History" is worth 17 minutes of your time, maybe more than once!

I wonder what the next year will bring!

Photo credit: Flickr CC by Pink Sherbet Photography D Sharon Pruitt