Sunday, March 8, 2009

Moose Range Map

Fellow hikers and skiers check out the new map to the Moose Range and the new website

That is the Moose Range in the Matanuska Valley- Alaska

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

Is Google Making Us Stupid?

This was one of the articles we read in the Library Leadership Academy in Anchorage last month. I forwarded to my principal in hopes to share with the staff. We do a lot of professional reading, and I am trying to insert as much information literacy reading as I can. If, as Carr says in this article, that his thinking attention is changing due to the Internet then what does this say about our students who spend hours online... reading? Is the definition of reading changing?

As a school librarian I am wondering how we bring students who spend hours reading on the web to at least begin to appreciate a good book. It feels like a reference interview maybe with this scenario... student needs to read a mystery book for an assignment; doesn't like to read; the questions begin- What do you do with your spare time? Do you go online? Are you a gamer? How about MySpace? Do you use the Internet for research? Then you read! We still have to know the best books to hook them.

Then too, we need to know when to draw on this expertise when searching for info on the web, and let these guys be the experts.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Ch 9 - New Schools - vision and reality

Web 2.0- New Tools, New Schools by Gwen Solomon and Lynne Schrum.

As I read Chapter 9 I thought it would be a good place to start for people new to Web 2.o and unaware of the urgency (at least I feel) that schools and teachers really need to jump in. The phrase that is everywhere in these Web 2.0 discussions is -- if we don't start teaching with the tools we will loose the kids. This is better said by Jeff Utecht as quoted on page 184 -

"If we want to motivate students to create something, something that will last beyond the lesson and the school year, then we must find ways to use these social networking tools in our classroom. If we continue to fight them, I'm afraid it is a battle we will loose."
I love the reference David Warlick's article The Day in the Life of Web 2.0 where he describes a very connected middle school. Connected in the sense of communicating all the way from teacher to superintendent. Here's what he envisions for the librarian!

"The school librarian subscribes to all of the teachers' Monday report blogs and uses a shared spreadsheet to maintain an ongoing curriculum map of what's being taught in the school as a way to support teachers." (p. 180)
A shared spreadsheet curriculum map... sounds good!

There's a new look at professional development too... all online. Take a look at I don't know if I can do all my PD online, but it is a good source and supplement. I wouldn't mind doing online training with a group of teachers at school... we too are social!

Finally, the big debate is gaming and education. I recently read an article where a public library started a game development club. They installed simple game development software and found a total success with tremendous learning going on. I'm thinking about it.... See my previous post
for link to article from Ebsco (available to all Alaskans by our Digital Pipeline statewide databases) and links to game sites.

Ch 7 - Online Safety and Security

Web 2.0- New Tools, New Schools by Gwen Solomon and Lynne Schrum.

This chapter covers many aspects of these issues and gives some good resources. There are suggestions for teaching, surveys, and policies. Mat-Su district has policies that are used, so I will take some of the suggestions for redefining acceptable use policies to them. I usually help teachers to write custom permission slips for projects where students will be publishing on the web and have students and parents sign them. I can see now that these web based projects are becoming more popular the district policy needs to address this too, because not all teachers think about permission or choices in web publishing. I see it more as keeping parents informed because I want them to know that I care about student safety, and that I have taken the steps needed to keep students safe yet help them publish their work.

On page 149 is a list of restrictions/questions posted by administrators. This is a good list both for us to consider, and to share with administrators who may not have enough personal knowledge or experience to know what to look out for.

Finally, I never thought to look at MySpace for their safety policies. I learned that they have a page for parents and users on safety tips. This will join my list of references that I share with teachers and students.

Ideas and Thoughts from an EdTech � Blog Archive � My own interesting snippets

Ideas and Thoughts from an EdTech � Blog Archive � My own interesting snippets: "Dean Shareski"

With all of the time we have spent looking at Flickr tools and ways to present, share, promote, teach, communicate and increase visual literacy... take a look at this 'modeling' of the thinking process around creating a snippet or quote with image.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

chapter 1-- not a one way street

Web 2.0- New Tools, New Schools by Gwen Solomon and Lynne Schrum.

Chapter one generally is a great recap of the new world as presented in The World is Flat and other writings about our connected world and how it is changing work and society.

As the authors say, the Internet is no longer a one way street where information just goes out. Today the web is participatory. It is easier than ever for anyone to produce content, collaborate with others, create mulitmedia - and from all over the world.

The big question that is posed is how are schools in America ever going to catch up! Other leading tech countries such as India, Korea, Japan are all using Linux operating system (which is opensource... cheap). Korea leads the world in broadband connections and the US was in 20th place in 2006.

With the rise of Web 2.0 we need new ways to approach teaching and learning. The authors talk about using collaboration, communication and project based learning (18.) I hope just how we do that with teachers across the country remains to be seen. I do think there is a ripple of new teaching practices that are embracing the web 2.0 philosophy and really changing teaching. Hopefully that ripple will grow and infect others with its success.
"We used to talk about reading, writing, and arithmetic as the essential skills for literacy. To be literate today involves acquiring new skills, including those of using technology, understanding science, having global awareness, and most important, having the ability to keep learning, which involves gathering processing, analyzing, synthesizing, and presenting information as well as communicating and collaborating. Free online tools can play a large role in helping students acquire these skills." (20)
I see American schools spending tons of money and not taking advantage of the free stuff... while the rest of the world is rocking on a computer with a browser... hmmm

#23 Week 9 The course

I think this is the best online class ever! I had ready access to others in the class to see their thoughts and send out mine.

The course is very well organized and easy to follow each step of the way. I never had a question!

Most of all, I learned a lot! I've been playing with most of these web 2.o tools for a few years already, and I discovered many updated programs, new resources and lots of great new ideas.

Thanks to all who have put this together and kept up with us through all the 23 +1 things.

ps... I know I still need to do my chapters in the book too.