Monday, January 5, 2009

Best Wishes, Professional Reading, Online Resources, and Calendar

Happy New Year and Welcome Back
If you didn't get to this before or over the Holidays, now is your chance. Please check the upcoming events which I will keep current until posting again on January 16.
Bay Window
Hudson's Bay Company, 1916
Library and Archives Canada / PA-122005

Best Wishes

... for a restful and joyful holiday from the staff "downtown" who support strong school library programs in our diverse school communities:

ME, Diane, Maryann, Irinya, Thyrza, Donna, Jesse,
Fay, Ingrid, Mike, Larry, Sharon, Frank, and Val.

Where's Santa?
Google for Educators is a great place for new ideas for information and tools to empower students and expand the frontiers of human knowledge. Or how about enabling kids of all ages to learn about geography as they follow Santa on his Christmas Eve journey around the world. Google works with NORAD to track Santa's progress (in six languages) on December 24, with daily updates and surprises until the 24th.

Mark Your Calendar:
The busy season is coming so you will need to rest up! New professional development opportunities for January are now online. Many more events to choose from as well.


Resolve to attend one or more of the following:

January 21: Assessment For Learning and Descriptive Feedback, part 2 of the Provincial Webcast Series, 2008/9, at DT, 3:30 to 6:00 pm.
Each session will include the webcast program with experts and facilitated discussion, electronic copies of all materials, and handouts. Archived materials from earlier webcasts are available here. Assessment is a hot topic in the district so be sure to share this with your colleagues. Register online.

January 23: Family Literacy Day; consider registering your school. Break the Guinness World Record™ for Most Children Reading with an Adult, Multiple Locations by reading Robert Munsch. See email notification sent December 18.

January 27: After-school workshop at Gladstone: Strategies for Reducing Plagiarism; see Miscellaneous and register online. Invite colleagues.

January 28: TL Studio 1, Kerrisdale. Register online.

February 3: 4:30 to 7:30 pm -- Dr Leu on The New Literacies at the Italian Cultural Centre. For more information, contact Meredyth at $65 includes dinner.

February 4:
TL Studio 2, Gladstone. Register online.

February 10: Winter Tonic, Tupper. Watch for flyer and email details.
February 20 (am) Of particular interest for TLs at District Day:

Literacy Day at Killarney (check link from online registration under Literacy to view program and get registration information)

Technology Day at Magee. Alan November, keynote speaker. More information about sessions and speakers, will be available in January. Registration will be online.


NEW! Online Conference for TLs: 21st Century Learning: Transforming school libraries with Web 2.0 tools -- 1 pm to 2 pm at Magee.

After Technology or Literacy Day events, you can attend the official launch of the 9 days of online sessions and discussions amongst TLs from Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and elsewhere. James "the Guru" Henri and Sandra "Web 2.0" Lee will be hosting more of what we saw in August. If you missed them at the VSB Summer Institute, or if you want more of the same, watch for details of how to pre-register in January. I will let you know when registration will be available online. Cost for VSB TLs ($60 per person) will be subsidized, and lunch will be provided.

February 25: TL Studio 1, Kerrisdale. Register online.


Some Professional Reading for those Quiet Times

Linking into and from the BCTLA's Virtual Bookmark provides TLs with lots of reading for professional development in the quiet moments of the holiday. Here are a couple of articles posted by online editor and Kelowna TL Al Smith, with links to deeper reading on the topics:

Students Struggle with Information Literacy, by Justin Appel, Assistant Editor, eSchool News:

For additional relevant articles on eSchool News, check here: Measuring 21st Century Skills

Strategy for Overcoming Resistance to Technological Change, by Tom Haymes, Director of Technology and Instructional Computing at Houston Community College Northwest

If technologists just build it, they (the users) won’t come—you need to shape users’ behavior by acknowledging their world view rather than your own as a technology implementer; here is the link for the complete with the 3E strategy (that is, those charged with technology change need to build user awareness that the innovation is evident, easy-to-use, and essential) in EduCause.

Educational Leadership (Dec 2008/Jan 2009): Data: Now What? The New Stupid, by Frederick M. Hess.
An interesting read about assessment and accountability trends in the US, interesting in light of the recent FSA vote! "Educators have made great strides in using data. But danger lies ahead for those who misunderstand what data can and can't do." The New Stupid, writes Hess, is characterized by "an enthusiastic embrace of data [that] has waltzed us directly from a petulant resistance to performance measures to a reflexive and unsophisticated reliance on a few simple metrics—namely, graduation rates, expenditures, and the reading and math test scores of students in grades 3 through 8."

Launch of A Great New Online Digitization Project:

The British Colonist (1858-1910)

A great digital resource became available last week: The British Colonist Digitization Project is a joint effort by the Times Colonist, the University of Victoria, and a consortium of British Columbia libraries. The website covers the period from Dec. 11, 1858, to June 30, 1910, and offers 100,544 pages. Because the digitizing is only as good as the original or microfiche, you can try searching on the site but may also want to use the Index of Historical Victoria Newspapers.

NCTE (National Council of Teachers of English)

INBOX blog:

Most read blogs for 2008 Inbox on NCTE were about effective writing assignments and strategies for teaching nonfiction along with the summer series on 21st century tools for the classroom. Check out the IRA's ReadWriteThink Resources linked here too. For the rest of this excellent NCTE newsletter, click here. You can subscribe and get this every week.

Great Science Resources to Pass Along

Learning Science:
Here's a really useful site for online tools for teaching science. Collaboratively developed by teachers and Eucation faculty in Pennsylvania, it features the best science interactives and resources from around the world. SFU site-reviewer Linda Hof writes that Learning Science is divided into seven sections: Physical Science, Life Science, Science & Society, and more. Browse through teaching resources: web-based lessons, pedagogical tools, and links to external resources. Particularly good, says Hof, is the "Tools to Do Science" section: find printable rulers, a printable protractor, a stop watch, and printable graph paper. Or search the entire site via a convenient search engine and send along comments.

YT or no YT?

The New Media Literacies on YouTube is a video explanation of how various literacies enable students to have more skills and confidence that will prepare them for the 21st Century.

New Literacies for a New Age on YouTube is the history of how heffalumps brought new technologies to the education system and caused havoc as standardized testing benchmarks and students' abilities to memorize began to falter.

Education from the Outside on YouTube makes the case to bring the images from popular culture into classrooms to teach our students to read them and to learn ourselves.

Web 2.0: Cool Tool for Schools is a wiki full of social networking software programs that can be integrated with classroom learning processes and projects.

And finally, Teachers: Is There a Place for YouTube in the Classroom is the product of the research of a Toronto-area TL on the pros and cons of using YT in the classroom.

Storytelling and Booktalks
From the Honorary Ambassador for the IASL!

This list of suggested resources was compiled by Margaret Stimson, Retired Library Media Co-ordinator (Manitoba), and received via IASL post from Gerald Brown, Honorary Ambassador of the IASL:

Totlol. Developed by a Vancouverite, this video directory is intended for use with younger children, although more senior users like us will enjoy many of the selections. The site is moderated. It's powered by YouTube.

Book Video Ning. Visit or join the ning to find or share videos about books. The ning
was initiated by Joyce Valenza on December 12, 2008. As much as anything, the
ning serves to show us what is possible in the area of booktalks.

Speakaboos. If you like Storylines, you'll love this site as well. There you'll find online books, celebrity readers, teacher resources, and technology that enables kids to make their own recordings.
CogDogRoo Story Tools: This blog is more about making digital stories (or booktalks). Alan Levine offers 50+ web tools you can use to create your own web-based story. He provides several samples that have been made with each tool. In fact, the story of Dominoe the dog is told repeatedly using all of the tools.

Also from Gerald Brown in Winnipeg:

"I wish you a day of ordinary (library) miracles and little things to rejoice in.

Eight hands that go up to request the title you've just book talked.
A computer that goes for an entire day without crashing.
A less-than-successful baking experiment taken to the teachers lounge, gratefully
eaten before 10 am.
A child asking for another book "just like this one."
A software installation that does not cause another program to crash.
A parking spot close to the school door.
The principal saying a sincere thank-you.
An unexpected larger amount on your paycheck or a smaller amount on your mortgage payment.
A new book just published by your favorite author.
A student who is actually concerned about the quality of his work.
A dozen doughnuts as "thanks" for service above and beyond the call.
A quick and pleasant response from a technician.
A kid who wants to help you.
A human voice on the phone when you expected a recording.
A student who wants to become a librarian when she grows up.
A chance to show a tech-tip to a teacher who thinks you are a "guru."
A library with windows and sunbeams in the winter.
A request to use the library for a meeting because " it is the nicest room in the school."
A smile of accomplishment from a student who shows you how to do something on the computer. A quickly-answered reference question asked by a teacher.
A library aide you like and who likes you.
A student so absorbed in a book, he doesn't hear the bell ring.
A call from a parent about a lost book found while cleaning.
A student who wants to hold your hand.
Students who give genuine praise to each other.
A small space of time to read for pleasure!

What strikes me, says Gerald, as I read this list of "ordinary" miracles, is how we, ourselves, often make them happen. It is by treating others well that good is returned to us.


Blogging off now for a rest from the pace.


Anonymous said...
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lisa said...

Thanks for the mention of ReadWriteThink! We are very proud of what we have to offer on the site. If you are interested, we pay educators to publish lesson plans and share teaching ideas with the site. Let me know if you would like more information!

meredyth kezar said...

Time for a new post, Moira, as your fans will be waiting to hear from you...