13 ways to turn talk into action

In a FB discussion yesterday, a number of us (Buffy Hamilton, Diane Cordell, Beth Friese)  were interacting in a post about the frustrations of collaboration–  feeling the lack of an understanding  between ourselves as librarians and the teachers we work and plan with(a lack on both sides), a wondering about what the balance is with our instructional role, and exploring the contrast between what library schools teach librarians about collaboration and teaching as a integral part of their roles and what new educators (or even […]

What a difference a day makes

This week our school began our first 1:1 iPad deployment to all juniors and seniors.  (Teachers had received their iPads during the summer.) It’s been so energizing to watch the transformation sweeping through the campus and watching changes that perhaps it was hard for us to really envision until we saw it happening. Suddenly, we can be almost paperless, the internet is everywhere in the building, and students can have the tools they need for the jobs they are doing.   They can work, explore, play, […]

Time to change the “narrative”?

In my previous post, I was lamenting the ‘pre-packaged” approach of NBC’s Education Nation programming, due to the bias that seemed clearly present in the selection of summit leaders, and descriptions of the teachers who are presenting. Teacher Anthony Cody(of Oakland, Ca)  has written an impassioned piece regarding this whole “packaged narrative” that  many of us find ourselves so frustrated about. He writes: “That narrative goes like this: Our schools are failing. The only way to save them is to expand charters, remove due process […]

What will happen in the “blur”

In Mexico there is an area known as the “blur”– the rare area where the water from caves underground mingle with water from the ocean.  A recent post by Jon Becker, “Who are the Thought Leaders in Educational Leadership?” reminds me of that rarified space where two  entities mingle and create something new. In his post, Jon challenged education leaders and scholars at the university level to connect with the social network of educators around the country.   Partly why I haven’t been able to quit thinking about  his post […]

Stepping out of the bubble

Chip and Dan Heath point out in their influential book Made to Stick that we suffer from the “Curse of Knowledge”—“Once we know something, we find it hard to imagine what it was like not to know it.” This is a key dilemma facing educational leaders, from Arne Duncan to campus level principals.  How do we step outside of what we know so we can experience it in a new way?   And how can we get new ideas when we are so immersed in day […]

No heads in the sand here

Whither are libraries going?   Just this week a colleague suggested to me that librarians might be a dying profession.  However, I don’t believe that, nor do I think that librarians have their heads in the sand about the evolving nature of their profession, clients, or facilities or materials. Not only are we hearing this message from outside of the profession, but we are also hearing it in our own messaging within the profession.  I think my biggest objection to this line of thinking is that it […]

Why? One answer

When we wonder why our students should be connecting globally–I have an  answer right now- Haiti. Following the devastating earthquake, it has been social networking that has facilitated so much of the information and help that aid agencies needed to know to help survivors. Amazing stories abound, from the man who saved his life during the earthquake with an iPhone, to the amazing photographs tweeted out by @photomorel in the first hours after the quake, to the posts to Twitter by @RAMHaiti each day, to the […]

And the children shall lead them?

How often do students not want an assignment to end?  In the blogosphere, we often talk about the transformative power of assignments that ignite student passions and connect them to a global audience, and the importance a tool like blogging can play in that.  In this case, Christian Long’s Alice Project  wasn’t just about blogging but allowing students to discover, write about, and share their ideas and understanding with one another.  What tremendous power in giving students the reins to discover their own understanding.   But who […]

NetGen Teachers?

” . . . These employers know that for Net Geners, work should be fun.  Net Geners see no clear dividing line between the two . . . .”     Don Tapscott,  Grown Up Digital “Our research suggests that they expect to choose where and when they work; they use technology to escape traditional office space and hours; and they integrate their home and social lives with work life.  More than half of the Net Geners we surveyed online in North America say they want to […]

Which way do we go?

This morning I saw a new website twittered– BooksFree.com –which allows you to “rent” books like you do Netflix videos. Demise of library services as we know them? Will people still want to go to a place if they can get the item via their mailbox? (of course, it’s not free, you have a monthly fee, so the library is still a better deal ;)!) Similarly, I read in the NYTimes several articles relating to the demise of newspapers and/or magazines, including a touching one […]