Empowering Grassroots Educators — a real legacy

This morning, still busy inspiring educators, the Office of EdTech sent out a tweet about today’s summit.     As the Obama administration begins to wind down, the Department of Education’s Office of Ed Tech is still working–hosting a Teacher Preparation Summit today with participants who are grass-roots innovators in teacher education. It reminds me of the true legacy of the Office of Ed Tech during President Obama’s administration.   Through their willingness to throw open the doors of the Department and even the White House to teachers, technology educators, […]

How libraries can provide a forum for civil discourse

This fall,  I decided to start lunchtime sessions to discuss the debates and politics and to promote civil discourse(see previous post).  Honestly, I primarily started this as a means of sharing more of my personal passions with students at our large high school, but it’s turned out to be unexpectedly important example of how libraries can provide a forum for ideas. To my surprise over 40 students showed up for the first lunch meetings(over the course of two lunches).  I set some ground rules for civil […]

Why elections like this prove that info literacy matters

This particular election has polarized the country perhaps more than normal.  It has also been somewhat fact free. (I am using statistics not my personal opinion in that regard.) What message do we need to take out of this as educators and librarians?  And how can this speak to the importance of information literacy and the role librarians and teachers take in taking it seriously? 1.The polarization and way people are getting siloed online is why it is so extremely important that teachers work with […]

Designing with intention

Our campus is six weeks into our furniture pilot, testing out 25 classrooms with new mobile furniture configurations.  But we know it’s not just about the furniture.  It’s about ways that the furniture can support mobile learners and student centered learning. Those intentions are ultimately the most important thing when redesigning a space–identifying and understanding what your intentions are for learning.  Do you want more student-centered classrooms?  Do you want flexible spaces?  Do you want to enhance creativity? The design drivers mentioned in my previous […]

Piloting Classrooms: Matching Intent with Design

As our district continues their focus on the impact of 1:1 technologies on creating more student-centered learning, we began looking at how we could start creating classrooms that resembled the teaching we wanted to happen.  Too often, we are asking teachers to empower and engage students in new ways, but to teach in antiquated, uninspiring and inflexible spaces. Over the last few years, a handful of teachers have begun informally experimenting with revamping their classrooms.  But for there to be real change combined with our 1:1 iPad program, […]

Becoming Future Ready — Taking the challenge

The Dept. of Ed’s Office of Ed Tech has rolled out a initiative recognizing librarians as key players in the Future Ready movement.   Now the challenge is up to us, librarians around the country, in schools large and small, urban and rural, to step up to the plate. The Future Ready platform defines areas where librarians can lead across the board. It’s a good framework to use as a starting place for our conversations (as are other sources on this Padlet.)  So how can […]

Supporting a Future Ready Librarian

In my previous post, I suggested a number of ways administrators can support and build a Future Ready library.  Check out the U.S. Office of EdTech Future Ready site for a full look at areas where Future Ready Librarians can lead, as well as their “Fact Sheet.” And here’s a little infographic summarizing  my previous blog post about ways that administrators can help!

Unleashing the power: Future Ready Libraries

This bold question is at the center of the Office of EdTech’s new Future Ready Librarians plan. With the backing of Follett’s librarian centered Project Connect, this initiative defines the role of librarians in leading and leveraging school change. Imagine at the center of your school, supporting your vision as an administrator, a powerful, knowledgeable and connected ally who can help accelerate change. Librarians can lead change Librarians are too often pigeonholed in the school change movement, either by themselves, or by school leaders who don’t realize the powerful role they play […]

Goal setting: of distractions and staying yar

Joyce Valenza’s recent post on NeverEnding Search, A Belated Confession, really resonated with me and I appreciate the courage it took to share her thoughts.  She wrote about her challenges balancing her work and the ensuing guilt at not being able to do everything she wanted. “I don’t think we can really rock every aspect of our jobs at once, however much we aspire to do it.  And if you don’t realize this, it can drive you kinda crazy. It’s a tough job.  It’s a […]

Hacking education through libraries

Schools face change Schools face issues daily as they work to change and meet the needs of students.  Some problems are systemic and some are unique to each campus.  School leaders do have a powerful but sometimes overlooked ally in dealing with these issues–their teacher-librarian.   At SXSWEdu, Joyce Valenza, Miguel Figueroa and I examined some ways that libraries/librarians can hack these problems for their schools in our session Hacking Education through Libraries. Issues like equity, access, technology adoption, information overload, and digital literacies, and trends facing schools […]