The world beyond our schools, or a research journey

A research adventure One of the real joys of my work this fall was a real world research trip I had the opportunity to take with our Art History Independent Study students.   Inspired by last year’s Independent Study students’ fascinating final presentations, their teacher and I had the brainstorm to take this year’s students to the Library of Congress and Smithsonian museum libraries for some real world, close-to-the-art research.   It was a bit of a pipe dream getting from Texas to D.C., but […]

Designing Collaborative Learning Spaces — Webinar!

Join Shannon Miller(moderator), Georgia’s amazing Andy Plemmons and yours truly for a Future Ready Webinar on Tuesday, August 15th!  We’ll be talking about designing collaborative spaces for students, particularly libraries, and have lots of suggestions!  I’ll also be talking about how to involve students. More details here!  Sign up online here!

Becoming a better leader — Joining the Lilead Fellows

We know librarians are leaders, both in the library and “beyond the library” as the Future Ready Framework points out.  But we all need help to improve our leadership skills.  I’m fortunate to be part of the The Lilead Fellows this year, a program that pulls together library leaders from around the country to build their leadership skills and to tackle an important project in their own districts. I am part of the 2017-2018 cohort of librarians, who met last week at Old Dominion University to […]

Welcome to Texas, ISTE!

San Antonio is one of my favorite Texas cities and there’s lots to see and do there!  The weather should be cooler than normal and there may even be a little rain from the tropical storm on the coast. San Antonio has a brand new section of their convention center which will surprise those who have attended ISTE there in the past.  The old convention center and new convention center connect in some quirky ways, so allow a little extra time to get places.  (For […]

Welcome to Austin, SXSWEdu & SXSW!

Welcome to Austin if this is your first SXSWEdu!  As a native Austinite, of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t say that conversation over food is one of our central tenets of life, so I wanted to share some tips about the conference and of course, some foodie tips!  This is by no means an exhaustive list, but a few suggestions as to where to grab food downtown and some conference tips, too. SXSWEdu is a fascinating blend of K-12 educators, librarians, administrators […]

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, […]