Future Vision Project Blog #4: My Submission, Reflection, and Celebration

Image by Lee-Ann Ragan via Flickr.

Wow!  What a journey this course has been.  When I first started the course, I was unsure where it would lead me or what I ultimately wanted to learn.  The initial brainstorm for our Reading Review led me down a path of inquiry focused on motivating students while developing their literacy skills.  Too often, I see students, as they get older, lose interest and excitement in learning.  Thus, I wanted to find ways to reignite that spark that seems to have dulled with time.

My Reading Review inquiry led me down a path of strategies, such as digital storytelling, transmedia storytelling, and multimodal texts, to teach students that were fun, engaging, motivating, and full of literacy learning.  It left me feeling excited and inspired.  I had so many ideas percolating in my mind and so many projects that I can now integrate into my teaching when I return from my maternity leave.

Image by Got Credit via Flickr.

Our Inquiry phase was also another interesting and inspiring journey of learning from ways to foster reading to ICT and professional development to world libraries.  I learned tremendously from every single inquiry and from each of my peer’s blogs. I loved seeing how each of us interpreted the inquiry in our own unique ways, and I have emerged from these readings more knowledgeable and empowered and, as a result, a better teacher and teacher-librarian.

When it came time to narrow down my Future Vision Project, I spent a great deal of time reflecting on my learning throughout the course.  I honed in on what I originally wanted to learn from my early brainstorm and what was a common theme throughout my blogs.  In the end, it became quite obvious that I wanted to 1) motivate students in their literacy learning and 2) help my staff see the teacher-librarian (me) as an instructional leader.  The best way to meld these two concepts together, in my eyes, was to lead a professional development workshop for my staff on something that would motivate students in their literacy learning.  Originally, I thought I would do something around Inanimate Alice and transmedia storytelling.  However, after much reflection, I realized that I wanted to do something that would reach more of my staff (I felt that Inanimate Alice would be more geared towards upper intermediate students).  Although I plan on using Inanimate Alice in the future and would like to share it with staff members, it didn’t feel like the right “fit” for this project.  While I looked back on my learning, it became quite obvious that conducting a workshop on book trailers would fit the bill.

Image via LRMS Library.

Why book trailers?  Well, book trailers can apply to every student and teacher in my school.  By conducting a workshop on book trailers, I will get my staff to create ones that we can present to the entire school in assemblies and in the library.  This will excite students to not only check out new books (that their teachers love nonetheless!), but also get them motivated to create their own. In order to foster a love for reading, we need to model reading.  Showcasing books we love via book trailers is one avenue to get these creative juices flowing.

Because I plan on leading a workshop, it will help the staff view me in a new light – not just as the “manager” of the library, but as an instructional leader and collaborative partner.  The workshop will provide me with the opportunity to offer my assistance and collaboration in implementing these book trailer lessons with the teachers’ classes where they can reinforce their learning not only of how to make book trailers but of the technology they use (Windows Movie Maker).

When students create their own book trailers, it requires them to truly know and understand the books they have chosen.  They have to know the plot, characters, and setting in order to “sell” their book. Not only that, but it requires creativity and persuasive writing and it incorporates digital and media literacy skills. Although it seems like an easy, “fun” project, it actually requires a lot of thinking, knowledge, and understanding.

Image via Emaze.

Of course, I didn’t want to limit myself to just my staff, so I decided to create my Book Trailer Presentation on Emaze, which is online presentation software. In this way, my presentation will be available for others to view and use, which will consequently benefit other teachers and adults/students who want to learn how to make book trailers with Windows Movie Maker.

Before I got started on my presentation, I needed to make sure I knew how to use the program to actually make the book trailers.  After doing some research, I knew there were many different options that I could use (such as Animoto, Powtoon, iMovie, Photo Story 3, and Movie Maker).  Knowing the restrictions for online tools in my district, I decided to stick with programs that teachers could use on their laptops, which narrowed my options down to Photo Story 3 and Movie Maker.  After playing around with both programs and creating some simple book trailers with them, I decided to use Windows Movie Maker for my project.  I liked that it provided some extra features and felt that the user interface was a little more friendly and flexible.

Image by Emaze via Venture Beat.

Creating my presentation on Emaze was relatively simple. The free program is actually really easy to use and navigate.  They provide a large number of templates and although it is somewhat similar to Power Point, it offers quite different features and options. I like that it has more interesting templates to use and automatically provides transitions.

Along with the presentation, I decided to create a worksheet for staff to use with students and a handout for them to reference if they decide to play around with the program at home.  I created the worksheets and handout with Microsoft Word.  I, like most of us, am quite proficient with Microsoft Word and have been creating my own worksheets and handouts for year, so this was a relatively easy thing for me to do (once I had figured out what I wanted on each of them).  For images in the directions, I simply took screen shots and used Paint.net to crop/edit them (again, I’ve done this before, so it was simple for me to do).

Image by Icecream Screen Recorder via Softonic.

One aspect that was new (and a bit intimidating) to me during this project was taking screen capture videos. I had never done this in the past, but was game to try something new.  After a cursory search on Google, I ended up downloading CamStudio, a free program.  It was easy to use and seemed like a good fit.  However, after experimenting with the program for a bit, I discovered that it had issues when saving longer videos.  Therefore, I decided to find a new program and came across IceCream Screen Recorder.  This program, also free, was actually easier to use than Cam Studio, had a friendlier user-interface, and allowed me record videos up to 10 minutes long.  I used this program to record my videos and edited them in Windows Movie Maker. Although I don’t have extensive experience using Movie Maker, because I had been using it to create book trailers, using it to edit/combine/split my screen capture videos came relatively easy.

With all my pieces completed (the worksheets, videos, book trailer samples, and slideshow), I compiled them together for my finished product, which you can access below. Unfortunately, because I have the free version of WordPress, I cannot embed my Emaze presentation directly, but you can access it via the link. Please note that I was having some issues with viewing the presentation in Chrome (it was cutting off some of the title slides), so you may want to try view it in an alternate browser, such as Firefox, if you have this issue.

 

Book Trailer Tutorial Workshop Presentation

Book Trailer Worksheets

Book Trailer Handout

 

All in all, I am extremely happy with how my final project turned out.  I feel confident in my ability to not only make book trailers, but to present a workshop on them, to use the different technologies involved, and to meet my initial goals (to motivate students in their literacy learning, to foster a reading culture, and to demonstrate my role as an instructional leader and collaborative partner). I look forward to conducting this workshop in the future (and for sharing it with those around the world).

References

Emaze. (2015). [Image of Emaze Logo]. Retrieved from https://www.emaze.com

Emaze. (2014). [Image of Emaze templates]. Retrieved from http://venturebeat.com/2014/11/03/cloud-based-presentation-software-emaze-david-throws-2m-at-goliath-aka-powerpoint/

GotCredit. (2015). [Image of Inquiry Keyboard Button]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/jakerust/16226078303

Icecream Screen Recorder. (2015). [Image of Icecream Screen Recorder]. Retrieved from http://icecream-screen-recorder.en.softonic.com/

LRMS Library. (2015). [Image of Book Trailer]. Retrieved from http://lrmslibrary.wikispaces.com/Book+Trailers

Ragan, Lee-Anne. (2010). [Image of Journey Life Lens Necklace]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/36611372@N08/5346376267

Advertisements
Posted in Future Vision Project, Libe 477B | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Final Vision Project Blog #3: Contents

Image via Logopedia.

My Book Trailer Project is well on its way and I am pretty excited with my progress thus far.  As I discussed in my last post, I was debating on what program to use for creating book trailers – Photo Story 3 or Windows Movie Maker.  After playing around with the programs, I finally decided on Windows Movie Maker.  Photo Story 3 definitely had some benefits (i.e. it has music you can use, it’s very step-by-step, very simple, etc.), but ultimately I found Windows Movie Maker more user-friendly (for me) and with more flexibility and options.  I liked that Windows Movie Maker had everything all on one screen in which you just used the tool bar at the top of the page to navigate and make adjustments.  Photo Story 3 required you clicking next and back if you wanted to switch things up.  Movie Maker also had the option of adding in title slides and blank slides, which Photo Story 3 did not (you’d have to upload a black picture to make a black slide).  In the end, I think I am happy with my choice and I think my staff (and students) will feel comfortable using it.

Even though Windows Movie Maker is a relatively new program for me to use, because I have used iMovie in the past and am familiar with a variety of Microsoft programs (i.e. Word, Excel, Power Point, etc.), it was fairly easy for me to navigate and figure out. I spent quite a bit of time playing with different features (AutoMovies, animations, visual effects, captions, narration, music, timing, etc.). The trickiest aspect, to me, with making book trailers is simply timing the slides right (to go with narration, music, emphasis, etc.).  It was easier adjusting the duration of each slide after I had done the narration and music. Having spent time playing with it, I would definitely feel comfortable using the program with students and in leading a workshop with staff.

Image by Michael Becks via Wikimedia Commons.

Now that I had figured out what program I was going to use for the book trailers themselves, I needed to figure out how I was going to present the workshop. Initially I thought about using Power Point, because I am comfortable with the program.  However, I wanted to challenge myself, so I thought about using Prezi or Emaze.  I used Prezi for the first time during this course for one of my Reading Review Blog posts.  It was relatively easy to use, but one thing that frustrated me was that it limited videos that I could upload (it seemed to require me to only use youTube videos) and hyperlinks were a bit of a headache to put in (you had to type it out and press enter, thus limiting you from adding it to a different word).  Emaze, on the other hand, seemed a bit more flexible (you could easily add any media and can hyperlink to whatever you’d like).  I also preferred the templates that Emaze provided over the Prezi ones. I actually tried out Emaze before Prezi (I used it for one of my LLED 462 curations) and when I thought back to which one was more user-friendly and fun to use, it was definitely (in my mind) Emaze.  Thus, I decided to make my presentation on Emaze.  This way, too, I can publish it publicly so that others can use/view my presentation. Plus, I can literally use any computer for the workshop, as long as it is connected to the Internet.

I know that this blog is also supposed to depict any struggles we have had with the technology thus far, but, in all honesty, I really haven’t struggled much.  I’ve been using a variety of programs since I was in high school and have grown to be quite comfortable with technology (I was even the [.1 fte.] Computer Resource Teacher one year at my school), so any hiccups that came up, I simply used a Google search to troubleshoot.  Thus, creating my presentation on Emaze has been quite easy.  Like I mentioned above, it’s very user-friendly, has clear tools and directions, and is easy to navigate. In addition, because I have made a TON of Power Point presentations, it was an easy switch to Emaze (they share many similar features).

Image via Ramond.cc.

At this point, I am mostly done the slideshow aspect of my project, except I still need to embed my screen capture videos (which I have yet to do).  I know previously I was unsure if I wanted to create a standalone video tutorial, but I’ve decided to instead embed screen capture videos directly into my workshop slideshow.  When I am actually doing the slideshow, I will likely be modeling live (as opposed to using the video), but then I’ll be sure to provide my staff with my Emaze link so that they can go back and review the videos if they decide to tinker on their own and forget certain parts. In this way, whoever views my slideshow can also follow along to the video tutorials. At this point, I plan on doing three screen capture videos.  One is simply modeling how to create a folder on your desktop, one is how to find and save images, and the last one is how to make the actual book trailer. I have started playing around with different screen capture recording programs.  Originally, I thought I was going to use CamStudio.  It’s a free download and is fairly easy to navigate.  I liked that it gave the option of recording a specific area, a window, or the full screen. However, while playing around with it, I discovered that anytime I tried recording a longer video, I was having trouble saving (not fun!). After doing a Google search, I saw that it was an issue many people had dealt with. There is some potential to fix the problem by installing additional codecs, but I decided to take the opportunity to explore alternative programs instead.  During my exploration, I came across IceCream Screen Recorder. The free version allows you to record for 10 minutes at a time, which should be sufficient for my recordings. It also had a friendly user-interface and seems to be easy to use (so far). I have played around with it a bit and it definitely has promise. I also plan on using Windows Movie Maker to edit any of my videos. In the meantime, I am organizing what I will include in the videos (i.e. what steps, what I’ll say, etc.).

Image via Softonic.

Finally, I’ve also been working on my Book Trailer handout and Book Trailer worksheets. For these, I am simply using Microsoft Word.  Again, it is a program I am extremely familiar with and can navigate easily.  The handout itself is a beginner’s guide to how to make book trailers using Windows Movie Maker.  As such, I have been taking screen shots and using Paint.net to edit them to point out different features and steps. Again, I have used Paint.net to do this before, so I have had no problems doing this and inserting the images into the book trailer handout. The worksheet is quite basic and was created solely with Microsoft Word (text, drawing, and table tools).  You can view my Book Trailer handout here and my Book Trailer worksheet here.

Image via Clipart Panda.

Overall, I am quite pleased with how my project is going so far.  I’m getting very excited to see the end result.  The only aspect I am a bit nervous about is the screen capture videos (in particular the editing of them).  I have never done them before, so I am not as confident in my abilities as I am with other programs. I will be using my headset with microphone for the recordings. I know if I have issues that I will use a Google search to troubleshoot. If I am still stuck, my husband is a computer programmer, so I am confident that between the two of us we can troubleshoot anything that comes up.  I am looking forward to the challenge!

References

Becks, Michael. (2014). [emaze logo]. Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Emaze_logo_2014-02-09_19-45.jpg

CamStudios. (n.d.). [Screen Capture of program]. Retrieved from https://www.raymond.cc/blog/free-online-screen-recording-with-screencast-o-matic/

Clipart Panda. (2014). [Image of Smiley Face with Thumb up]. Retrieved from http://www.clipartpanda.com/clipart_images/thumbs-up-smiley-clip-art-33272228

Gnome Icon Artists. (2008). [Image of computer]. Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gnome-computer.svg

Icecream Screen Recorder. (n.d.). [Image of Icecream Screen Recorder]. Retrieved from http://icecream-screen-recorder.en.softonic.com/

Microsoft Windows. [Windows Live Movie Maker icon]. Retrieved from http://logos.wikia.com/wiki/Movie_Maker

Posted in Future Vision Project, Libe 477B | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Future Vision Blog #2: Rationale

As I mentioned in my last post, my Final Vision Project on Book Trailers is primarily geared towards my staff, students, and school as a way to foster a reading culture and to help my staff view the teacher-librarian as an instructional leader.  Due to lots of teacher-librarian changeover and dwindling resources, the library has been somewhat neglected and, as a result, lost a lot of its “flair.”  People have, to a degree, forgotten the various roles a teacher-librarian encompasses and how he/she can help benefit the school in different ways.  Thus, when I was deciding upon a final vision project, I knew that I needed to do something that would help to showcase the teacher-librarian in a new light and that would demonstrate how the teacher-librarian can contribute to the school.  My Final Vision Project, therefore, emphasizes the teacher-librarian’s role as an instructional leader, because I envision using it to lead my staff in a workshop (during a professional development day or a curriculum meeting) on how to make book trailers with their classes. As part of this workshop, I would also offer my assistance in doing this activity with the teachers and their classes throughout the year as a collaborative teaching experience. By doing this, they can see that I am not only capable and knowledgeable with technology, but I am an instructional leader and collaborative partner, not just a person who manages the library resources. Furthermore, it will help teachers gain a stronger grasp of their learning and, hopefully, inspire them (and others) to participate in more collaborative units and teaching with me.

Yet, my Future Vision Project doesn’t just end with my staff’s workshop.  Yes, it will help them to see me as an instructional leader, but it serves much more of a purpose than that. It will benefit my students, as well.  As part of the workshop, I plan on having the staff create their own book trailers that we can showcase at assemblies and in the library for students to view.  In this way, it helps foster a reading culture in the school, because students are seeing that teachers value reading, too.  It models to students that reading is important while also providing them with new books to explore that they may not have heard of before. In addition, if teachers decide to try this activity in their classrooms (with or without my assistance), then it provides students with a motivating and engaging activity that demonstrates their understanding of books (i.e. plot, characters, etc.).  If students make book trailers, then they can be displayed at assemblies or in the library to further motivate others to read new or different books.  It may also motivate other teachers to try the project out in their classrooms.

Because I’m planning on incorporating screen capture video (either as a standalone or as part of my presentation), then I’ll be able to post my workshop/tutorial online for others to use.  Teachers across the world could potentially use it to teach themselves how to make book trailers with students, which will not only benefit them, but also their students. Teachers, however, may not be the only ones using my video, as I see potential for others to view it and try it out.  My audience, therefore, could expand to students, young adults, or whoever else wants to learn how to make book trailers or how to use the technology in a new way.  Just because my project focuses on book trailers, does not necessarily mean that others could not view it and adapt it to their own projects. The beauty of the Internet is that it can reach so many more people than a small workshop can.

As for working on my project, I am still in the planning stages.  I have spent quite a bit of time just familiarizing myself with different ways to make book trailers using different programs.  In order to do a workshop, I need to ensure that I am confident in my ability to work the program. Through my exploration, I have read of people using iMovie, Animoto, Photo Story 3, and Windows Movie Maker to make book trailers.  Because we have gone PC in our district, iMovie is out.  I liked the idea of using Animoto, but I just discovered that my district has some new regulations about using Web 2.0 tools (from Christine’s blog post) and I do not believe Animoto is currently “approved.” As such, I narrowed down my search to Photo Story 3 or Windows Movie Maker.  I did confirm with my school’s IT guy that both programs are on the laptops at school (which is pretty important if I’m going to do a workshop on using them!). Plus, my staff would probably feel more comfortable using a program that is already on the computers, as opposed to one that requires the Internet to operate (in case we have any wireless Internet glitches, which often happen).  With that information in mind, I did a little digging around on the Internet to see some tips/feedback about both programs.  I came across an article by David Hall where he compares Photo Story to Windows Movie Maker.  In the article, Hall compares such things as the image quality, file size, music, and transitions.  His article leaned towards Photo Story, but I am still playing around a bit with both programs to decide which is a better fit for me and my school.  My goal for this week is to continue to experiment with Photo Story and Windows Live Movie Maker in the creation of book trailers to see which I am truly more comfortable and confident using (and which would better meet the needs of staff and students in terms of quality, usability, user interface, etc.).  Photo Story, at the moment, seems a bit easier to use, but I like that Movie Maker has a bit more options in terms of playing around with features. Below is a sample of book trailers created by Diplomat Elementary School students using Photo Story 3, courtesy of Michelle Harclerode (2012):

 

I like that they are relatively simple, but still interesting to view.  I’ve also included three mock book trailers I created below (while experimenting with the programs).  The first is one I created using Photo Story 3:

The second two I created using Windows Movie Maker. The first is with narration, the second is without.

At this point, I think I am leaning towards using Windows Movie Maker. There are aspects of Photo Story 3 that frustrate me a bit (I’ll expand on that in the next post) and I like the extra options and versatility that Windows Movie Maker has.

Overall, as I work towards my final vision, I am getting more and more excited to see how it turns out.  I’m looking forward to seeing how everyone else’s projects are going!

References:

Bass, Bill.  (2013). From Inspiration to Red Carpet: Elementary Book Trailer Project. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/film-festival-elementary-book-trailer-bill-bass

DeSantis, Barbara. (2013). Making Book Trailers with Animoto. Animoto Blog. Retrieved from https://animoto.com/blog/education/book-trailer-videos/

Hall, David. (n.d.). Photo Story vs. Windows Movie Maker. Retrieved from http://techwisekids.com/lessons/yearbook/photo_story_vs_wmm.htm

Harclerode, Michelle. (2012). Student Book Trailers Examples. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1emxcttgKE

Holland, Beth. (2013). Projects to Engage Middle School Readers. Retrieved from:http://www.edutopia.org/blog/projects-engage-middle-school-readers-beth-holland

Unknown Artist. (n.d.). [Image of Book Trailer]. Retrieved from http://en.community.epals.com/book_club/b/clubhouse_activities/archive/2013/01/22/video-book-trailer.aspx

Unknown Artist. (n.d.). [Image of Planning]. Retrieved from https://sites.google.com/site/ilahcmc2/co-planning

Unknown Artist. (n.d.). [Image of Workshop Sphere]. Retrieved from http://jdh.tldsb.on.ca/2014/10/02/conversation-cafe-workshop/

 

 

Posted in Future Vision Project, Libe 477B | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Future Vision Blog #1: Future Vision Project Scope

Image by Ruby Wang via Wikimedia Commons.

After 2 ½ months of learning, my “Vision of the Future” project has definitely transformed from when I first started embarking on the course.  When I read the course outline, the idea of the final vision project seemed a bit overwhelming.  I had no idea what I was going to do or, better yet, what I wanted to do.

At first, I thought about creating a School Library website. I had just taken LIBE 465 this summer and as part of the course we could make a website as the final assignment.  I really enjoyed the assignment and thought about extending the website I had created to make it more of a learning/collaborative space for staff, students, and families.  However, my district has recently changed how technology is being integrated and, at the moment, I have little to no control over my current library’s website.  Plus, we would likely be required to use the school district website template, which is somewhat limiting. Although I would like to do something about my school library’s website, I do not feel that it would be the best fit for this project.

With our Reading Review assignment, my mind began to wander in the direction of doing something that would motivate students. It was an overriding theme in my initial brainstorm and something that will forever be important. Specifically, I wanted to use technology to motivate and improve students’ literacy skills. With my initial research, I came across a variety of ideas, including digital storytelling, using multimodal e-books, transliteracy storytelling, creating book trailers, podcasts, and choose your own adventure books, among others. My initial excitement stemmed from Inanimate Alice and transliteracy storytelling. After spending time exploring the website and reading the articles (here, here, and here), I thought that this would be an amazing tool to incorporate into my teaching. In fact, after doing the research, I was fairly confident that I was probably going to do my final vision project around Inanimate Alice. I was envisioning myself teaching a workshop to my staff on how to use Inanimate Alice (and transliteracy storytelling) in their classrooms. However, when I started to think about my audience, who would benefit from this workshop?  Upon further reflection, I realized that the people who would mainly benefit from this activity were upper intermediate teachers and their students.  This was not necessarily “bad,” but I was hoping to perhaps reach more of my staff and students.  Ultimately, I decided I’d rather try Inanimate Alice as a collaborative project in my school first, and then teach others about it in the future (after a tried and true test run). Perhaps there was something else that could benefit almost everyone in my school.  My second initial reaction was to then look at possibly doing a presentation or workshop on multimodal texts.  It could apply to most students and staff in the school.  Yet, I still did not feel passionate about the topic.  I kept wondering, wasn’t there something better? More exciting? More applicable?

With the final vision project on the back burner in my mind, I decided to focus, instead, on the inquiry project blogs. I really enjoyed the first inquiry about fostering reading cultures in schools.  Having grown up an avid reader, this was one of my favorite inquiry projects. I love reading and sharing this love with others, so finding more specific ways to do this was fun for me. I began to think about how I could connect this with my reading review and my future vision project.  Ideas started percolating and I started to realize that there was an overlap in this inquiry and my reading review blog.  One of the things that hooked me with my reading review assignment was Beth Holland’s various technology projects to motivate and engage students in their literacy skills (as opposed to book reports). The one thing that really stood out to me when I read her article was her Book Trailers.  I thought they were fun, engaging, and an excellent way to motivate students.  The idea of Book Trailers re-emerged in my inquiry blog post on fostering reading cultures. Not only could book trailers get kids excited about stories, but they also incorporate persuasive writing, digital literacy, and seeing what students know about plot, setting, theme and main characters.  Furthermore, I could present book trailers created in class at assemblies to promote reading. With this in mind, I flagged the idea of book trailers and moved on to review the other inquiry posts (in case other ideas came up).

Image by Howard Rheingold via Wikimedia Commons.

I found Inquiry Blog Post #2 on developing ICT skills and pedagogy useful for my future professional development and growth.  With this in mind, I considered potentially using it to lead some sort of workshop or create some sort of blog or website outlining ways to cultivate a personal learning network. I’m sure that my staff could use the tips and suggestions and it could possibly be something that other teachers could use. As a result, it would consequently benefit many different students (as their teachers will develop more complex learning networks that will undoubtedly improve their teaching). However, I didn’t quite feel the passion that I did when thinking about book trailers and motivating students. Although this had potential, I wasn’t hooked.

Reviewing my third inquiry blog post made me realize how important it is that I get my staff back on board with the teacher-librarian being an “instructional leader.” It really emphasized to me how important it is that my future vision project somehow include this aspect – reinventing the teacher-librarian role at my school.  To do this, I knew I would have to somehow incorporate collaboration, team teaching, and sharing ideas with my staff. Whatever topic I ended up deciding upon, I knew it would have to include these areas in some way.

Image via EIFL.

Finally, I reviewed my last inquiry project.  This was probably one of the most interesting inquiries for me, because it was something I probably had the least knowledge about.  Although I learned a great deal, I still wanted to use something that could highlight the teacher-librarian role as instructional leader and motivating students’ to read. Although world libraries are important, it didn’t feel like the right area to lead my future vision project (although it is something that I would like to pursue in the future).

With this in mind, I was fairly certain I was going to do something with Book Trailers and showcasing the teacher-librarian as an instructional leader.  What was the best way of doing that? Immediately, I thought about leading a workshop for my staff on how to make book trailers with their classes.  This way, I would be showcasing my role as instructional leader, while also providing teachers with a tool to motivate and engage students in their literacy skills.  As part of the workshop, I would like to offer my assistance in collaborating with staff members in implementing the activity with their classes. In this way, the teachers will have a stronger grasp of their learning because it will be in an authentic situation and in which we can reflect on their learning together. This could also encourage some staff to collaborate and work with me more in the future (or get excited when they see the positive results of my collaboration with others). As Cooper and Bray (2011) state, “When we see one of our colleagues with something new, something that appears to hold promise for making our teaching more effective and perhaps easier, we want to acquire it for ourselves and our classrooms” (p. 49). I figure one of the simplest ways to do this would be through a step-by-step Power Point presentation (with a handout) that I could do with my staff in which we could physically make book trailers as part of the workshop so that the teachers have hands-on learning with the activity. In addition, we could then play the book trailers at assemblies to get the kids excited about books their teachers like and in creating book trailers. With this idea in mind, I decided to check in with Aaron to make sure I was on track.  Via email, he suggested that I expand it to include some “screen capture” video of key steps and actions. In this way, my presentation is no longer limited to just my staff and students (and potentially to other staffs at other pro-d events), but I could expand it so that I reach more teachers and students by making it available online for others to use.

At this point, then, my future vision project is tentatively a presentation on how to make book trailers with students.  I envision it to include a power point presentation and handout in addition to some screen capture video.  I’m trying to decide still if it should have different parts as video or if I should make the entire thing a video as a stand alone for others.  I’m beginning to lean towards the latter, but I have a feeling that as I begin to build my project that it will naturally lend itself to one or the other.

References

Cooper, O. P., & Bray, M. (2011). School library media specialist-teacher collaboration: Characteristics, challenges, opportunities. TechTrends, 55(4), 45-55.

Electronic Information for Libraries. (2015). [Image of Children Using Tablet]. Retrieved from http://www.eifl.net/eifl-in-action/tablet-computers-improve-childrens-school-marks

Fleming, Laura. (2013). Expanding Learning Opportunities with Transmedia Practices:Inanimate Alice as an Exemplar. The National Association for Media Literacy Education’s Journal of Media Literacy Education. 5(2), 370-377.  Retrieved from:http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1124&context=jmle

Holland, Beth. (2013). Projects to Engage Middle School Readers. Retrieved from:http://www.edutopia.org/blog/projects-engage-middle-school-readers-beth-holland

Hovious, Amanda. (2014). Inanimate Alice: “Born Digital.” Teacher Librarian. 42(2), 42-46. Retrieved from: http://search.proquest.com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/docview/1637635961?pq-origsite=summon&accountid=14656

Pierce, Tim. (2007). [Image of Boy Reading]. Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Child_reading_at_Brookline_Booksmith.jpg

Rheingold, Howard. (2013). [Image of How to Cultivate a Personal Learning Network]. Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PLN.png 

Story, Kate. (2011). Who the heck is Alice? Practically Primary.  16(2), 6-7.  Retrieved from: http://web.b.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=29b9a9a7-38d8-48f8-9eba-e2cbee260efc%40sessionmgr111&vid=1&hid=107

Unknown Artist. (n.d.). [Image of Book Trailer]. Retrieved from http://en.community.epals.com/book_club/b/clubhouse_activities/archive/2013/01/22/video-book-trailer.aspx

Unknown Artist. (n.d.). [Image of Inanimate Alice]. Retrieved from http://elacata.ca/praise-for-inanimate-alice

Wang, Ruby. (2013). [Image of Rory the Tiger, Confused]. Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rory_sketch_-_confused.jpg

Posted in Future Vision Project, Libe 477B | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Phase 2 Summary and Discussion

Wow, Phase 2 has come and gone quite quickly! I really enjoyed this phase, particularly because not only did we explore on our own, but we also got to spend time reading each other’s blogs and reflecting on what we each wrote and how we each interpreted the inquiry prompts. Learning from our peers and colleagues is probably one of the biggest takeaways I have gotten from this inquiry process. The power of the Internet, Twitter, blogging, and PLNs is truly amazing. We have so many resources at our fingertips, so many ideas, that it is a shame that I have been neglecting this part of my learning and growing. Will Richardson’s book first brought to my attention how sharing your own learning with others brings value and learning to yourself. As Richardson (2012) states, “We can raise the teaching profession by sharing what works, by taking the best of what we do and hanging it on the virtual wall.” I realize now that I can really grow and prosper much more if I share what I am doing.  Not only can it help others, but also it can further grow and expand on my ideas, making them better.  I suppose, then, that the inquiry topic that resonated the most with me was Module 6 (Developing your own ICT Skills and Pedagogy). It really opened my eyes to the many, many ways that we can develop our ICT skills and continue our learning, both in person and throughout the world with the assistance of technology. By creating a PLN that is online (and in person), we reach so many more minds and get so many more new and innovative ideas. Because I used Piktochart to map out my possible connections, I already have a starting point and an idea of what to use as I build and grow. The module helped set me up for my future growth and learning, which will forever impact my teaching. It, in a sense, has paved a road map for me (starting with Twitter, blogging, Facebook, and Social Bookmarking) in my future professional development, which is ultimately one of the most enriching aspects of being a teacher. This actually reminds me of a video that was shown at one of our administrative days in our district called “Pep Talk from Kid President to You” (below). Very inspirational, it emphasizes how important it is to believe in yourself (which is critical for our professional development and teaching). As he says, “Create something that will make the world awesome” (Kid President, 2013).

 

Ultimately, however, I really did learn a lot from all the different modules.  Module 5 reminded me how powerful a reading culture is and how great of an impact I, as a teacher-librarian, has on the culture in my school. I came up with many new ideas to build and foster a reading culture that I look forward to implementing when I return to work after my maternity leave. Not only that, but I got some great ideas from my fellow bloggers (i.e. Natasha’s Twitter Hashtag for Sharing Books and Principal’s Book Club; Jena’s reclassifying fiction books; Christine’s VoiceThread recordings; Jessica’s learning common tips; and Yvonne’s unique reading incentive programs to name a few).

Image by Jonny Goldstein via Flickr.

Module 7 inspired me to really focus on getting disenchanted teachers back on board with the true purpose of a library learning commons. I am not the most outgoing person in the world, so it ignited a fire in me to really focus on getting teachers motivated and excited about collaborating and learning with me, as the teacher-librarian.  I would really like to try and get more collaboration going with my staff and start sharing my ideas through workshops and by piloting ideas with keen staff (in hopes to motivate others).

Module 8 helped open my eyes to the libraries around the world and moved me to want to make a difference.  I would really love to get involved with my school’s leadership club and educate them on libraries around the world and hopefully inspire them to make a difference (perhaps with Students Helping Students).

These are just some of the ways that these modules have inspired me moving forward. The power of inquiry, collaboration, and networking is formidable.

 

References:

Goldstein, Jonny. (2012). [Image of Collaboration]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/jonnygoldstein/8161551606

Montague, Brad, and Kid President. (2013). A Pep Talk from Kid President to You. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-gQLqv9f4o

Richardson, Will. (2012). Why School?: How Education Must Change When Learning and Information are Everywhere. TED Conferences Publishing.

Real Clear Politics. (n.d.). [Image of Internet Connections]. Retrieved from http://www.realclearpolitics.com/2015/02/09/the_great_internet_power_grab_350856.html

Posted in Inquiry Project, Libe 477B | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Inquiry Blog Post #4: Developing World Libraries/Mobile Devices

Image via Room to Read.

When starting my exploration into this week’s library topic, I came across lots of really interesting articles and blog posts on developing nations and libraries.  It truly emphasizes how fortunate we, North Americans, are to be surrounded by such abundant resources and opportunities while developing nations struggle to have anything.  This is the bleak reality in developing nations (in this case, specifically, Bahundanda, Nepal): “A room labeled ‘Library’ in which no books [are] visible…they [are] locked in a cabinet – all twenty of them – to prevent damage at the hands of the cash-strapped school’s 450 students” (Bernard, 2008). Fortunately, there are many special projects on the go to help support these developing nations. Although it is not “equal” or creating freely equal access across the world, it is a step in a positive direction of helping bring literacy to others in the world. Below, I have described several library projects that I have come across throughout my inquiry. The first few are mainly focused around print materials, but it shows how my inquiry led to discovering projects that involve technology.

Room to Read

My first foray into this inquiry project led me to Room to Read. John Wood, a former Microsoft executive, was the one who visited the school in Bahundanda, Nepal in 1998 that was mentioned above (Bernard, 2008). Inspired by what he saw, he left Microsoft and founded Books for Nepal which later developed into Room to Read (in 2000) which is an international literacy non-profit organization that helps build bilingual libraries, schools, and computer labs in developing nations (Bernard, 2008). Here’s a brief video that explains Room To Read, what they do, and why they do it (Room to Read, 2014):

 

 

…and here’s a more in-depth look at their work (Room to Read, 2014):

 

 

As you can see, Room to Read focuses on literacy and gender equality in education.  They work with governments and communities in 10 countries in Africa and Asia, where they focus on early primary school for gaining literacy skills and secondary school for girls’ education (Room to Read, 2015). They assist schools by providing teacher training, support, and reading materials (such as by creating local language materials), and by repairing and improving learning spaces (Room to Read, 2015). Room to Read also has a program called Students Helping Students which encourages students to take action by organizing fundraisers and learning about the inequities around the world (Bernard, 2008).

The technology component of Room to Read is called the Computer Room in which they provide computers, software, a printer, voltage stabilizers, Internet connection, furniture, and teacher technology training to libraries (Room to Read, 2015). It is/was meant to have a “life-changing impact” on students, whereby it would provide core job skills and incentive to stay in school (Room to Read, 2015). Unfortunately, after doing a bit more exploration, I have come to realize that Room to Read has had to temporarily suspend the program (due to the economic forecast and past research), so although they will continue to provide support to existing Computer Room projects, they won’t be launching any new ones (but will continue to focus on their other reading programs) (Room to Read, 2015). I really wish they had provided a bit more explanation as to why they stopped the technology aspect (what was the research and feedback that prompted them to shut this portion of their program down?). Regardless, at least they have provided some technology to some libraries (and, hopefully, will continue to do so in the future).

 

Kitengesa Community Library, Uganda Community Libraries Association, and The Friends of African Village Libraries

I came across Kate Parry’s 2008 article “It Takes a Village – and a Library: Developing a Reading Culture in Uganda” after reading about Room to Read. In her article, Parry describes how young rural Ugandans and their teachers must learn in a foreign language (English) and struggle to have any books (generally one textbook for every ten children if they are lucky!) (Parry, 2008).  Consequently, few children continue onto secondary school or higher education (Parry, 2008). Parry, after hearing from a director of a secondary school near Kitengesa, in southern Uganda, that he dreamed of having a community library, gave him a box of books which grew to become the Kitengesa Community Library (Parry, 2008).  With assistance from the One Per Cent for Development Fund (a la the United Nations’ employees), they constructed a building for the library equipped with solar panels (so it could be open in the evening).  Donations from the United States helped buy resources (books and newspapers), pay two librarians, and pay school fees for seven “library scholars” (students who help run the library) (Parry, 2008). In 2008, through a UBC connection, the library was offered a grant to create a computer center, which was then completed in 2009 (with solar electricity) (Kitengesa Community Library, 2013). The Kitengesa Community Library has inspired other villages to open libraries, which has resulted in the formation of the Uganda Community Libraries Association (Parry, 2008). Below is a video by Lily Hartling providing a snapshot of the Association:

 

 

The Uganda Community Libraries Association, which provides training for librarians and distributes small grants, is also associated with the Friends of African Village Libraries (FAVL), which is a not-for-profit organization in the United States (Parry, 2008).  The FAVL helps set up libraries, works closely with these communities, refurbishes community-donated buildings, helps train librarians, provides librarian salaries, and helps stock the libraries with books (by local authors and in local languages) (FAVL, 2015). The FAVL “is inspired by the vision that libraries throughout Africa will enable rural people to take charge of their own education and will provide a vital infrastructure for educational and developmental innovation” (Parry, 2008). Below is a short video introducing FAVL:

 

 

Electronic Information for Libraries

The Uganda Community Libraries Association (and the Kitengesa Community Library) have also recently partnered with EIFL (Electronic Information for Libraries) to help improve Internet and provide support for camps (FAVL, 2014). EIFL is a not-for-profit organization that works with libraries in over 60 developing and transition countries where they help organize training events, develop tools and resources, advocate for access, and initiate pilot projects (EIFL, 2015).  They recognize that billions of people are unable to glean the knowledge from technology and the Internet because of barriers such as high subscription costs, legal barriers to accessing, using and sharing information, and lack of accessibility to technology (EIFL, 2015).  Their vision is to have “a world in which people have the knowledge they need to achieve their full potential” (EIFL, 2015). This brings my inquiry from the above projects that are largely based on books to more technology-inspired projects.

Clealry, EIFL has a large number of projects on the go that support libraries, but I wanted to highlight a few examples below:

EIFL Project: Using Tablet Computers to Support the Learning of Kibera Children 

In Kenya, the schools are under-resourced and children often have to learn in rooms that lack electricity, computers, or internet access (EIFL, 2015). The EIFL Public Library Innovation Programme (EIFL-PLIP) provided a grant in 2013 to purchase seven tablet computers and a wireless internet router for the library in Kibera in partnership with the Kenyan educational agency eLimu (EIFL, 2015). eLimu customizes tablets for the Kenyan student learning by creating digital content in engaging ways, such as with animations, songs, games, and video (EIFL, 2015). eLimu not only created the digital content, but they also taught librarians how to integrate the tablets into the learning program and how to teach the children (EIFL, 2015). After a year of piloting, over half of the students felt that they had improved their learning in English, Math, and Science (EIFL, 2015).  As result, the project is getting replicated in three more libraries in Kenya. See the video on the project below (EIFL, 2015):

 

EIFL Project: Tablet Computers Improve Children’s School Marks

Similar to the above project, the Busia Community Library in western Kenya also partnered with the EIFL-PLIP in 2012 in hopes of helping children pass the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams, which allows them to enter secondary school (due to the high numbers who struggle to pass) (EIFL, 2015). Together, they introduced a pilot project called Watoto kwa Watoto (Children for Children), which includes the use of six pre-loaded tablet computers in partnership with eLimu to help children learn the school curriculum (EIFL, 2015). Again, eLimu helped train the librarians to use them properly and the results were a success (EIFL, 2015). Not only did the children improve their school results, but they were also reported to be “more socially outgoing, well-mannered and curious about the world” (EIFL, 2015). Consequently, the Watoto kwa Watoto service is still being used in the Busia Community Library in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Maria’s Libraries (a non-governmental organization) (EIFL, 2015).

EIFL Project: Library’s educational e-readers programme improves rural children’s reading skills in Kenya

Image via EIFL.

“Dr Robert Ouko” Memorial Community Library, which serves Koru, partnered with EIFL to provide e-readers pre-loaded with textbooks in all school subjects to children in southwestern Kenya who typically have no access to textbooks (EIFL, 2015).  Initially, the Gordon Family (from the USA) donated 46 e-readers in 2012, which led to donations from other international donors resulting in over 200 more e-readers, school textbook, African author book, and reference book downloads from Worldreader, and free lunches for children (EIFL, 2015). As a result, academic performance increased, the school saved money using digital books (which was then put into the school’s infrastructure), and children were inspired to participate in other activities, such as drama and poetry reading (EIFL, 2015).  The library is planning on expanding the program to include more schools in the future.

EIFL Project: ICT-Based Local Language Literacy Lessons for Children

The Fountain of Hope Lubuto Library in Lusaka, which serves vulnerable children such as orphans, teamed up with EIFL-PLIP in 2010 to create the OLPC Zambian Language Literacy Programming Project with the goal of teaching children to read and write (EIFL, 2015). Together, they created 100 literacy lessons in seven local Zambian languages using open source software, Etoys, which they then put on computers to use in the library (EIFL, 2015). Because of its success in helping children learn literacy skills in their mother-tongue, these lessons, as of February 2015, will be distributed across the country by the Zambian Government (EIFL, 2015).

 

These are just some of the projects I came across as I researched for this inquiry blog post. I actually had 15-20 more tabs open on my computer that I could have added in. However, I soon realized that my blog post was getting quite long, so I thought I should probably wrap it up.  It’s actually quite amazing, to me, to see all these projects, partnerships, and initiatives. To imagine schools having no books and for students to struggle to pass even primary school is quite disheartening.  However, projects, such as those above (and many others), bring some hope.  Nevertheless, there are many things that can interfere with projects, such as cost, structural issues (i.e. no electricity), and maintaining ongoing support. The goals and drive of these organizations, such as EIFL and Room to Read, are honorable. Hopefully the more people who learn about them, the greater support they will receive. It would be an interesting topic to explore with older elementary or high school students (or school leadership clubs), perhaps even connecting them with Students Helping Students. It is definitely an area I’d like to peruse and think about further.

 

References:

Bernard, Sara. (2008). Room to Read: Building Libraries, Schools, and Computer Labs in Developing Countries. Edutopia. Retreived from http://www.edutopia.org/global-education-libraries-developing-countries

Electronic Information for Libraries. (2015). Electronic Information for Libraries. Retrieved from http://www.eifl.net/

Electronic Information for Libraries. (2015). [Image of Children Using Tablet]. Retrieved from http://www.eifl.net/eifl-in-action/tablet-computers-improve-childrens-school-marks

Electronic Information for Libraries. (2015). Library’s Literacy Lessons to be Distributed Across Zambia. Retrieved from http://www.eifl.net/news/librarys-literacy-lessons-be-distributed-across-zambia

Electronic Information for Libraries. (2015). Supporting Education: Innovation Award. Library’s educational e-readers programme improves rural children’s reading skills in Kenya. Retrieved from http://www.eifl.net/eifl-in-action/supporting-education-innovation-award-0

Electronic Information for Libraries. (2015). Tablet Computers Improve Children’s School Marks. Retrieved from http://www.eifl.net/eifl-in-action/tablet-computers-improve-childrens-school-marks

Electronic Information for Libraries. (2015). Tablet Computers Support Learning of Slum School Children. Retrieved from http://www.eifl.net/eifl-in-action/tablet-computers-support-learning-slum-school-children

Friends of African Village Libraries. (2015). Friends of African Village Libraries. Retrieved from http://www.favl.org/index.html

Kevane, Michael. (2011). Friends of African Village Libraries and Sumbrungu Library in Ghana. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmtOml25R0c

Lily Hertling. (2012). Uganda Community Libraries Association. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVnQTrwVDsk

Parry, Kate. (2008). It Takes a Village – and a Library: Developing a Reading Culture in Uganda. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/global-education-uganda-community-library

Room to Read. (2015). Room to Read. Retrieved from http://www.roomtoread.org/

Room to Read. (2012). [Untitled Image of Children Standing]. Retrieved from http://www.roomtoread.org/students

Room to Read. (2015). [Untitled Image of Girl Reading on Board]. Retrieved from http://www.roomtoread.org/OurPrograms

 

Posted in Inquiry Project, Libe 477B | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Inquiry Blog Post #3: Supporting Teachers’ ICT Curriculum and Pedagogy

To start us off, I thought I’d share this little video from Colorado State Library that I came across while exploring for this inquiry blog post:

 

Seeing the students shocked that the teacher-librarian was leading the staff in an inservice reminds me a bit of when I run into primary students in a grocery store (teachers exist outside of school?!  Mind blown.).  Nevertheless, what stood out to me in this video was when the narrator states, “The school librarian is viewed universally by the school as instructional leader” (Colorado State Library, 2011).  That is, ideally, how I’d like my school and staff to view me, as the teacher-librarian.  However, because of the massive changeover in teacher-librarians at my particularly school (and district) for the past 7-10 years, the staff no longer necessarily views the teacher-librarian in this light.  I remember someone jokingly telling me last year (my first year at my school) that they didn’t care what I did in the library as long as I was actually there when they brought their kids down.  That stung.  I know the comment was not directed at me as the teacher-librarian or my particularly skills, but was said in context of how they perceived the library (and their experiences with it). Thus, in order for me to support my teachers, I need to get them back on board with the importance of a library learning commons and the skillset of a teacher-librarian.

How do I get teachers back on board and how can I support their professional development?

From my readings, I have come up with the following ways that I can do this.

  1. Collaborate, Team Teach, and Participate in PLCs (Professional Learning Communities).

 

Many of the articles I came across (as well as the video above) emphasized the importance of collaborative learning and ongoing professional development (Ellis, 2010; McInnes, n.d.; Vega, 2013). According to Vanessa Vega (2013), “When teachers receive well-designed professional development, an average of 49 hours spread over six to 12 months, they can increase student achievement by as much as 21 percentile points. On the other hand, one-shot, ‘drive-by,’ or fragmented, ‘spray-and-pray’ workshops lasting 14 hours or less show no statistically significant effect on student learning.” She further emphasizes that effective professional development is job-embedded and provides teacher with five critical elements, two of which are collaborative learning and sustained learning over multiple days and weeks (Vega, 2013). In my mind, this fits in perfectly with a library learning commons. Being a teacher-librarian, I am ideally capable of collaborating with teachers on units that span periods of time.  This would be an ideal opportunity for me to present new ways of teaching using ICT. Not only is it a great way to introduce a new skill or pedagogy, but it allows me the time to work directly with the teacher in an authentic situation where s/he can apply his/her learning immediately and in which we can reflect on the practice and learning together. As Kris Johnstone writes, “Rosemary Horton (2007) sees one-on-one PD as the most effective way of reaching teachers. They receive PD they need when they need it.” Collaborating and team teaching provides ongoing support as teachers learn new strategies and techniques.  As Bradley Lands (2012) states, “There must be on-going support to help teachers implement what they have learned.”

Image by wonderferret via Flickr.

In a similar line of thought, it is, therefore, very important that I, as a teacher-librarian, participate actively in my school’s Professional Learning Communities (PLCs).  According to Vega (2013), PLCS are “groups of teachers who share and critically interrogate their practices in an ongoing, reflective, collaborative, inclusive, learning-oriented, and growth-promoting way to mutually enhance teacher and student learning.”  Since PLCs in my school are held during assemblies in small groups (intermediate and primary), it would be an opportune time for me to observe what teachers are interested in learning and teaching while also providing support in their learning.

 

  1. Listen, Reflect, and Share Ideas (at staff meetings, in workshops, over lunch, etc.) and Pilot New Ones

Another way of passing on our knowledge to staff is by first listening to their and the school’s current needs.  Knowing what my staff needs and wants to learn will help get them on board for participating in professional development activities.  As Bradley Lands (2012) states, “Create a needs assessment…[and] Design a professional development program based on the needs and wants of the staff.”  Once I know what they need, I can share ideas, such as by making short presentations at staff meetings, chatting with colleagues at lunch or in the hallways, passing on tips and ideas through emails, or presenting workshops (whether at professional development days or at PLCs, curriculum meetings, or as optional lunch or after-school sessions) and pilot new ideas with eager staff members.  As Kris Johnstone (2008) writes, “Opportunities to provide PD can occur when there are changes in staff in curriculum-related areas, when there is a chance to work with teachers who are prepared to take risks and focus on skills rather than content, or when new curriculum directives are introduced by education authorities.” As mentioned earlier, if we listen to our staff, we will know what ideas to share that will help get them motivated, excited, and on board.  Furthermore, if we pilot new ideas with staff members and other members see the positive results, then we are more likely to pass on this knowledge and learning to others. As Cooper and Bray (2011) state, “When we see one of our colleagues with something new, something that appears to hold promise for making our teaching more effective and perhaps easier, we want to acquire it for ourselves and our classrooms” (p.49).

 

Image via Ageless Grace.

 

Other Tips and Techniques

I came across an article by Jason Margolis (2009) called “How Teachers Lead Teachers” that provided some quick and easy tips and strategies to use when implementing professional development activities with staff, which I have listed below:

  1. Use Humour
  2. Include all teachers and content areas.
  3. Explain strategies briefly and then give participants a chance to practice or observe them.
  4. Frame new approaches as easy and adaptable.
  5. Build from teachers’ existing work.
  6. Present yourself as a continual learner.
  7. Include samples of student work.

Margolis (2009) also listed the following strategies that don’t work:

  1. Talking too much.
  2. Talking and then asking, “Any questions?”
  3. Presenting too many strategies.
  4. Focusing solely on the leader’s own classroom.

If you’d like to read the tips in detail you can visit his article directly here.

I really enjoyed his strategies and tips, because it provides ways to reach the teachers we are presenting to.  I have definitely attended workshops where I simply felt drained afterwards and really did not retain anything from what I had heard. If I am taking the time to teach teachers, then I want to ensure that they are taking in what I am teaching.

Thus, what I plan on doing this coming school year is to collaborate, listen, reflect, and share ideas with staff. I need to get them back on board with seeing the library as an integral part of the school and in order to do this, I need to demonstrate how the library and the teacher-librarian can support their learning and their teaching.

 

References:

Colorado State Library. (2011). Highly Effective School Librarians as Instructional Leaders. Retreived from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gi8KWFxxACw

Cooper, O. P., & Bray, M. (2011). School library media specialist-teacher collaboration: Characteristics, challenges, opportunities. TechTrends, 55(4), 45-55.

Ellis, Ken. (2010). Teachers Support Differentiated Learning Through Professional Development and Collaboration. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/stw-differentiated-instruction-teacher-development-support-video

[Image of Quick Tips]. Retrieved from http://agelessgrace.com/positive-affirmations-ageless-grace-tips/

Johnstone, Kris. (2008).  Softly, softly: the library’s role in staff professional development. Schools Catalogue Information Service. Retrieved from http://www2.curriculum.edu.au/scis/connections/issue_69/the_librarys_role_in_professional_development.html

Lands, Bradley. (2012). 10 Steps to Leading Professional Development In Your Own School. The Landscape of Learning. Retrieved from http://www.thelandscapeoflearning.com/2012/03/10-easy-steps-to-leading-professional.html

McInnes, Sarah. (n.d.). Becoming An Effective Teacher Librarian. Sarah McInnes’ Professional Portfolio. Retrieved from https://sites.google.com/site/sarahmcinnesportfolio/EffectiveTL

Margolis, Jason. (2009). How Teachers Lead Teachers. Educational Leadership. Retrieved from http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb09/vol66/num05/How-Teachers-Lead-Teachers.aspx

Vega, Vanessa. (2013). Teacher Development Research Review: Keys to Educator Success. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/teacher-development-research-keys-success

Wonderferret. (2008). [Image of Stop, Collaborate, and Listen stop sign]. Retrieved from https://www.flickr.com/photos/wonderferret/2900631165

Posted in Inquiry Project, Libe 477B | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments