What’s PD got to do with it? 10 ways to improve teacher PD

This week I struggled through a particularly ineffective inservice day.   As I sat in the room looking out across a sea of teachers who were just doing their best to endure the experience, I reflected on my own somewhat low expectations over many of my teaching years regarding PD.   Having worked in multiple districts, I thought about all the times I had endured experiences like this week’s. Being more on the delivery end in other schools’ PD  efforts now, I’m more mindful of […]

Big Ideas Fest 2014 — Innovating around education

Big Ideas Fest is a unique conference.   When I first saw tweets about it, even the name intrigued me.   Who wouldn’t want to talk about the big ideas? More workshop than conference, actually, it allows attendees to become artists, idea builders, and potentially, innovators.   The conference provides a mixed format to spur innovation and team building — from speakers to an artist in residence to improv — all combining to help further the agenda, which is learning to use Design Thinking to […]

The art of paying attention: media in a media rich world

Watching recent events in Ferguson and recent tweets about the immigration debate reminds me how important it is to address visual literacy with our students in the media-rich environment they live in. The last two years I participated in couple of amazing sessions at ALA with Tasha Bergson-Michelson, Debbie Abilock and Kristin Fontichiaro, one on Slow Thinking, and one on Visual Media, which changed how I think about images I see and work with. (I wrote about it here).  They dug deep into the details behind the graph […]

Giving thanks with Edublogs Awards

Reflecting back on the last few years of my professional life, I am so very grateful for all of the colleagues I have met through blogging, tweeting, Skyping and finally, in person, who have deepened and enriched my own work.  I’m thankful for the friendships, the camaraderie, and the knowledge and wisdom of those I am proud to call friends.    So along with my nominations for the annual Edublogs Awards, I want to send a shout out to all those of you who have influenced […]

Digging into the data: ebooks and students

Are high school students eager to use library ebooks or ebooks in general? Working at a 1:1 campus, I’m curious about their ebook habits and have decided to spend this year investigating our students’ habits more deeply. As we enter our fourth year of 1:1 devices, it’s clear some students are using them for classwork, some for leisure reading, but how many? The buzz around ebooks has been hot, but are our school library statistics showing high usage?  And if not, is it because of […]

It’s about the human connection..databases part two

I’ve been reflecting further on the frustrations with databases that I vented in my previous post.   I realized that what is crystallizing for me is the point that… Research tools are not about the tools.  They are about the people who use them.    Each student brings a human story and experience to their research process but most of all, they come to it as a person.   When you look at sites like Flickr or Instagram or Twitter or Tumblr, all of them center […]

Consumer intelligence…or…do databases realize they have student customers?

After my annual frustrating experience working with database companies and iPad apps in our 1:1 school, I feel that it is high time that database companies start stepping up to the plate to make products easier for their k-12 consumers (and beyond). Have you ever tried to 1)interest high school or middle school students in using a database instead of Google?  While it is a skill they need to develop particularly if they are college bound, at best, it is a hard sell.  What high […]

Edcamp DOE summed up

(Better late than never–sharing my experience at EdCamp DOE!) Getting started What happens when an EdCamp happens at the U.S. Department of Education?   That was the unknown question when fifty educators came together in Washington, D.C. in June for the first ever EdCamp DOE.  Thanks to the efforts of the Edcamp crew, Emily Davis, and Director of the Office of Ed Technology Richard Culatta, among others, the challenge became a reality. We didn’t know if the DOE would actually be sending staff to participate in […]

Librarians Sharing New Ideas across Globe

(Note:  This is cross posted on the White House.gov website in honor of Champions of Change.) Providing our students opportunities to be prepared for the future is crucial.  Across the nation, thousands of dedicated educators and librarians are leading the charge to help students investigate, create, collaborate and communicate effectively, and to reach beyond the walls of their own schools. I am honored to represent a large community of connected librarians across the nation who play a uniquely significant role in assisting teachers as they […]

Libraries from Now On– Summing up the Summit

Continuing with the liveblogged notes– Consultant and future-thinker Joan Frye Williams closed out the conference by summing up the themes she heard emerging throughout the Summit.   Throughout the two days, she circulated through the tables, looked at the brainstorming boards, and gathered some threads together for the closing statements of the Summit, and discover “what is the library ‘from now on?” Below are my liveblogged notes from her discerning comments:  (many of these are direct quotes…or my summary of her words) Summit is an opportunity […]