A presentation by Deborah Rinio
Watch the slides here.
Fake News (presented at the AkLA conference)
AASL Best Websites (presented during ASTE conference)
AASL Standards (presented at the AkLA conference)
A presentation by Jill Gann @ the 2018 ASTE conference
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By Deborah Rinio
Gwenyth Jones, the Daring Librarian, is a force to be reckoned with. Her style, passion, and sense of humor result in a dynamic presenter with a lot of great tips to share. During the ASTE conference, she presented a workshop for Alaska librarians on ways that librarians can be marketing geniuses. She talked about social media and she presented other technology related ways that all educators can engage their students in future ready concepts. However, there was one thing she said that made me pause. She said to always say “yes.” Of course, she didn’t mean all the time and in every situation in our lives. She meant that when speaking to your administrator you should always frame thing in the positive.
On the surface, this sounds like a great idea, but as I thought about it more I asked myself “what about when you can’t say yes because you don’t have the time, resources, or skills?” I asked her this at the conference, and the Daring Librarian say to say “not yet.” I’ll admit I appreciate the positive attitude, but I worry that if we always spin thing in positive ways we will undermine our advocacy efforts. If we don’t tell our principals that we can’t do something and more importantly why, we will never get the resources we need to be transformative and empowering.
Let me be clear, I am not criticizing Ms. Jones for having this perspective. We each have our own approaches to different situations. She was condensing her - most likely complex - ideas into a snippet for one slide in a presentation. I’m sure “just say yes” is more complicated than that in her own mind as well. But I feel the need to respond and present an alternative to that concept.
What if instead of just saying “yes,” or saying “not yet,” we say “let’s work together to solve this problem and find an alternative solution”? It may not be as catchy, but it creates a space where we are instructional collaborators, where we are working together to problem solve, not doing things for others but with them.
Let me give you an example. A few years ago one of the elementary librarians in my building was asked by her principal to teach keyboarding two or three times a week. Keyboarding is a technology standard, but is not connected to libraries in our district. To teach keyboarding would not only mean that she was teaching out of her content area, but also that she would not have sufficient time to shelve, repair books, order materials, and do all the other things that she does outside of instructional time. My suggestion was to ask her principal why he wanted keyboarding taught and find the shared value.
It's likely he thought that students need to be able to type quickly and efficiently to be more effectively learners. The librarian probably thought the same thing. The disagreement was with the how, not the what. So, I advised her to bring an alternative plan to him. Instead of teaching additional classes, why not have a laptop cart in the library (she didn't already) and involve more technology-based activities in her classes. Students would get more practice typing through natural organic usage and she would also get technology for her library and not lose important prep time.
She wasn’t saying no, but neither was she saying yes; because it’s never as simple as just yes or no, and not yet implies that someday you might be willing to engage in the activity. If it’s something exciting and transformative maybe “not yet” is the way to go; but if it’s something that makes you cringe, that sets your teeth on edge, that makes you question whether your administrator, or teachers, or parents really understand what you do, then try out “let’s work together to solve this problem and find an alternative solution.” It places you in a position of power, it situates you as a problem solver, and it gives you an opportunity to educate others about your role in the school community.
By Leigh Horner
As Alaskans, we’re pretty lucky to have the State of Alaska Library pay for us to have access to Brain Pop. Brain Bop is just one of the high quality databases that the State of Alaska purchases through SLED for all Alaskan Libraries. I’ve had teachers ask for our district to purchase Brain Pop and I would jump up waving the login and password and information that we already have it for FREE! However this year at ASTE it was revealed to me that Brain Pop is more than movies and quizzes. Currently when you login to Brain Pop with the state-wide login you can play games, take quizzes, build concept maps...but then you hit a wall. Unfortunately, you can’t save anything and there are many other tools and features that are not available through the single-user state login. To have full-access you need an individual Brain Pop account. Don’t be disappointed, your school district can get your own account for FREE. That’s right it’s still free for Alaskans! There are just a few steps that you need to go through. Have your IT admin or district administrator contact Cassandra Fostick firstname.lastname@example.org (Cassandra is our Alaskan rep). Your IT admin simply needs to ask to shut off the school IP authentication for Brain Pop. Brain Pop can then set up My BrainPop accounts for all the teachers and students in your school. They will be using Canvas or Google Classroom that’s why it’s important that they have permission from your admin.
Once BrainPOP has been activated in your school, you and your teachers can start using all of the features available. Teachers can track students’ work, provide feedback, create custom assignments. Using the full features available, teachers can provide game-based learning for their students and teachers can have playful assessment of their students learning. One example is Make-a-movie. Students and teachers can produce their own Brain Pop style movies using scenes, images and animations from Brain Pop. This easy-to-use movie-making tool (https://www.brainpop.com/make-a-movie/landing/?refer=/make-a-movie/) also allows you to add your own narration and drawings. Finished movies can be submitted to their teachers for feedback. All of this is available to you for free through the State of Alaska’s paid subscription.
Brain Pop is so much more than movies, games and quizzes. Educators have access to lesson plans, classroom aids, creative teaching ideas, and resources (https://educators.brainpop.com/). There are interactive games and informative movies that can be used with smartboards. Complete lesson plans and flipcharts are available for educators. Take advantage of this opportunity to have full access to this terrific database. Did I mention that it’s paid for through the State Library and won’t cost your district anything?
Using the Green Screen app Do Ink and the and Movie Maker app together
By Leigh Horner
Have you considered using a green screen in the Library? I’ve been using a green screen and the Do Ink app for a couple of years now. We started using the green screen and the Do Ink app to make book Bytes https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrYz7bVeuXg. I’ve also collaborated with the 4th grade class to make short videos using Do Ink and it’s really fun and easy to use (https://www.schooltube.com/video/dc3fddb7f859444db843/Frog%20Girl%20by%20Paul%20Owen%20Lewis ).
It never occurred to me to incorporate the Book Creator app until Charlotte Records, the 2nd/3rd grade teacher from Hydaburg School District presented at ASTE. Do Ink is a simple app to use with the green screen and bringing the completed videos into Book Creator is brilliant! By using these two apps together, our students will have a higher quality finished product. You can use the writing process of Writer’s Workshop and then easily film using these two interactive apps to make e-books. Blaire Anderson from Craig Elementary School has made award winning e-books that she entered into the idida contest http://ididacontest.org/index.cfm/1,162,0,37,html/About ASTE . Blaire Anderson has information on Book Creator and Do Ink available for you from her Google Slide presentation https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1FAnkk8QkiAgEtUPZ9Ut-BQx3Bjb132Jnf2L7X713SPg/edit#slide=id.g322021e154_1_269 . Blaire & Charlotee have inspired me to work with students to create something for the next iDida contest. Maybe we can make award winning videos or ebooks, too.