I went to this daylong conference developed by the Massachusetts Library Association expecting to hear college professors critique the information literacy skills of incoming freshman, and that I would come away with a list of ways to improve the same.
I was shocked to discover that college professors are afraid they do not provide active learning experiences like students get in high school. Also, it seems like educators at every level are afraid of the tech skills of rising students.
A productive half hour. Five sophomores showed up and were surprised more people weren’t there. The kids’ main concern is getting a critical mass of 15-20 people to play which would make a fun game.
Most of our potential members are in the Anime Club which meets during activity blocks like us. We can’t move to after school because kids’ schedules are too busy.
Also, no freshmen showed up which I attribute to their being mad at me for the frustrating research and technology class I taught at the beginning of the year. I hope that that will change, but if it doesn’t there is a large group of minecrafting freshman arriving next year.
Since Minecraft is drama filled, there was discussion about barring entry to players who were likely to be trouble. The club decided everyone would be innocent until proven guilty. Also, since this server is donated by a student who has used it to play with kids in town there is a history associated with it.
We are thinking of starting with a high stakes, fast, super dangerous kind of game to get things moving.
I am charged with getting the software downloaded on three computers in the lab. I will give more details on that later.
I’m starting a Minecraft in my school. I’ve been anxious about the idea because I feel like I don’t know enough about the game. Why did I feel I had to do it? Because I’ve been reading Minecraft posts by Sarah Ludwig and I admire her practice. And, most important, there is a Minecraft club at our middle school—and I’ve got to keep up with them!
by Alida Hanson
By now you should know that I’m interested in new media and how we can use it in schools. I researched and wrote an article about school librarians and social media which was published in the winter 2013 issue of Young Adult Library Services. YALS is the journal of the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association.
The main things I learned were don’t expect perfection, be realistic, and anticipate and validate the anxieties that most stakeholders have about using social media in school.
Thanks to Linda Braun for asking me to write the article. Now I’m interested in learning more about how educators construct Acceptable Use Policies, so maybe that’s next.
Can We Talk: How school librarians discuss social media with stakeholders
I signed up for this free online Google course and took the first lesson last night. I’m sharing my notes here with you. There are five more lessons coming, I think. If I pass the midterm and final I will earn some kind of certificate. Wish me luck. Notes follow after the jump.
I played around with the free iPad app Haiku Deck tonight and think it’s an excellent way to present a short lesson. It’s also a nice summarizing tool for students. You must create presentations on the iPad but you can view them in any web based browser.
The presentations have a fresh design, and great pictures to choose from. It’s not completely intuitive, but after a few tries I got it down. I suggest making nonsense-trial slide decks until you figure out how it works. It took me about 45 minutes to figure out how to use it and make the following presentation. (Just click on the picture to advance to the next slide.)
Sounds boring. It is hard for me to believe that these mundane tools have the most impact on my daily life—with big implications for the school library.
Genius Scan for iPhone
Kamishibai, a traditional, low-tech form of Japanese storytelling, has magical effects on your audience. I fell in love with it last month thanks to Deborah Abner, my friend and wonderful librarian at Lincoln School in Brookline, which has an ELL program for its large Japanese student population. She asked me to use it for library lessons during Sakura Week when I subbed for her. It’s easy, fun, and totally engaging. Yes, that’s me up there, having a great time!
I’ve had a Kindle for almost two years and have used it once or twice for a total of one hour. Does that mean I’m not “ereading?”
I’m always signing up for new platforms online. Sometimes it’s like shouting into the void ( Visual.ly?) but usually I learn something exciting that has applications to education.
I signed up for Vook a few months ago and heard back from them earlier this week about getting a beta tester account and taking training. I just finished the training and am impressed with the ease and flexibility of this tool.
- standard ebooks
- enhanced ebooks
- custom CSS templates