No longer on an island

What is the value of being networked? Yesterday during my Hill Country Librarian Presentation on “How to be a Networked Librarian,” I threw that question out to my twitter network. The responses from my network were so varied and tremendous, that I wanted to share them as a resource when we talk about the power of being part of a learning network. Thanks tweets! John Maklary’s comment that he is no longer an island is such a significant one. We are no longer islands, nor […]

Seeing is believing, part two

   No one who watched the ads on the Superbowl doubts the impact of a well-designed visual.   But in schools, we often neglect that power.   It is  harder to make a striking visual, because it takes more time to make a well-designed handout—or a powerpoint that is thought-provoking—or a digital video that has impact—or even a well designed sign for the hallways. And it takes longer for our students to be ‘producers’ of content rather than ‘recipients’ of content, as Marco Torres puts it.  It also […]

Learning from our students–the roving librarian

Yesterday, I took the library to the students.  As those of you who read my blog may know, we’re closed for a renovation, and I’m currently working out of the ninth grade center library, which is a trek from the main high school.    I So in an effort to bring services TO the students, I’m experimenting with various methods of outreach. We’re deep into a major project on Vietnam, and students are involved in creating a digital biography of a soldier from the Vietnam wall, […]

Your wild and precious life

When it’s over, I want to say all my life I was a bride married to amazement. I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms. When it’s over, I don’t want to wonder if I have made of my life something particular, and real. I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened, or full of argument. I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world. –When Death Comes by Mary Oliver Yesterday, while live blogging with Maura Moritz’s class at […]

The peanut butter cup effect

How do you empower students to engage with a text in such a way that they can come to their own understanding of it?  I just participated in a fascinating live blogging experiencewith Maura Moritz’s and Karl Fisch’s students at Arapahoe High School.   The students were using the inner/outer circle discussion method in their classroom to discuss the book.  While the inner circle held a discussion in the room, the outer circle was live blogging their discussion and holding their own with a few of us from […]

Learning from peers

This summer, at the NECC conference, I was sorry to have missed the first “Educon” — an informal gathering of educators/bloggers who had only previously met virtually –who were meeting in Atlanta to talk informally about education.  Tomorrow I’m leaving for an experience I am very excited about–and the seeds of which were planted at that first meeting.   If you aren’t familiar, I’m heading to Educon 2.0, which takes place at the Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, and is composed entirely of conversations about education (and I […]

Keeping it real

Quite a bit of conversation has been circulating around the blogosphere lately about personal learning networks and how to move them into the professional practice of teachers. Scott Schwister pushed at that idea in a “must read” recent post, asking “How do we show the learning that happens through personal learning networks?”   He concludes by asking, “What is it going to take to bring professional learning networks in from the cold? Can the learning that occurs in a PLN be shown in a way that […]

Lock, stock, and barrel

I don’t often write ‘inside info’ kind of posts, but in the last two days, I witnessed an amazing example of a learning network in action. Twitter, a site I’m a huge fan of as many of you know, announced it would be going down for maintenance for most of Saturday.   Since a number of us rely on twitter to keep us “in the loop” with a network of colleagues, a plan spontaneously hatched on Twitter for our whole network to “move” for the day to a different […]

Fifteen minutes

What kind of difference can fifteen minutes make? Yesterday, I was delighted to chat via Skype with David Jakes, Patrick Higgins, John Maklary, Robin Ellis, and Joel Adkins during a workshop for Teacher/Leaders in our district.  The theme of our workshop was connections and how teacher leaders in a school help begin epidemics, springing off the idea of connectors, mavens, and salesmen in Malcolm Gladwell’s book The Tipping Point.    During the conversation, we talked about the benefits of connecting with other educators, but also some of the obstacles.  David […]

Beginner’s mind

Garr Reynolds writes thought-provokingly on Presentation Zen about the concept of beginner’s mind and how we learn. Reynolds writes: The meaning of the beginner’s mind does not mean to retreat to the naiveté of a child. It is not about being simplistic or ignorant, it is about approaching life and its challenges with curiosity and enthusiasm. . . . The point is that we adults should maintain our curiosity and that sense that anything can be done, that sense that anything is possible. A sense […]