Although sad, we are in a dire situation. The budget cuts set today may be cuts forever.
How are you advocating the need for continuous support of YOUR library?
Alrighty! This is a follow up to the first post sharing my adventures in facilitating Skype with two classes. If you want to learn more about how we set up the session, read more here! Do you like the photo to the left? I
This was an invaluable experience for us! The students were so excited and impressed that the other class met with them. They practiced really hard and both classes were on time, the cooperating teacher was enthusiastic and had great organization with her classes. We could not have had a better experience. I thought I’d share some things that made it awesome!
Things that made it awesome…
Participation! Students on both sides of the Skype connection had “tasks” they were responsible for. We took the time for the students to introduce themselves and they responded really well to that. Both classes shared books they cared about and were really excited about that!
Enthusiasm! The students were genuinely pumped to be sharing the books and meeting the class. Period.
Big Books! We used big books, like those REALLY big ones you only thought the teacher could use. They showed up on the camera and it was easy for them to hold them. I thought maybe the high school kids would think they were silly, but not so.
Interaction! The more planned interactive activities we had, the more excited the students seemed to get. One of the classes performed a sort of “camp” story with hand motions that were easy to follow. It was cool to see the high schoolers play along
Notes to self for next time…
For some reason my computer would not connect to the super, mega huge TV screen in the teacher’s classroom for the first presentation. This would have been helpful especially if the class on my end was bigger. We’ll need to get that figured out. Also, we need nice speakers connected not just the computer speakers. We started to get feedback once the sound was turned on if ours was up too high. We fixed this for the next class and it was a huge improvement!
Other reflections and ramblings…
I worked on one of the first videoconferencing projects that used Flash a LONG time ago. We had 5 classes meeting NASA scientists and the San Francisco Art Institute working together to create a project. Macromedia was the first to create videoconferencing that wasn’t constantly having to rebuff and run down your bandwidth. Remember back in the day where there was a room that was designated for videoconferencing? So long to those days. Anyways, all I can think of is how overzealous this project was then! It’d be a HUGE project now even. Baby steps…
I can’t see wait to see what the next projects involve! Our Library Breakfast Club is still looking for a class to collaborate with. If this sounds like something you’re in to, let me know!
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A good, catchy read! Couldn’t stop reading it from page one. While digging through various award lists, I found this recommendation. It’s a quick, easy read. Students and adults will relate to the perspective of the young adult. The most amazing “take away” from this book was how often our words come across as a burden to those receiving them. Kyle, the main character takes you on a riveting journey through the choices that got him where he is. Covered in blood…
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I must admit that at first I dreaded embarking on yet another dystopian world book. After a while they can become a little formulaic. However, I was pleasantly surprised by this one! Matched is the story of a future world where all information is controlled. Condie does an interesting job building up the characters and weaving in enough romance for the reader. The main character Cassia starts by trusting the system she is living in. The story begins with her attending her “match” ceremony where the powers that be announce her future husband. Soon though, she uncovers a secret and embarks on a journey to figure out the truth. Although the ending was a little weak and disappointing, I would definitely recommend this book to fantasy/romance readers.
Alright fellow librarians! This is an all call.
We are in the process of creating a campaign to promote our card catalog online. While organizing our library by genres is nice for browsing, it also makes it hard to find a book when it is not where you expect it. Fortunately we no longer have to drudge through the drawers on the right.
So, we have created a Card Catalog Kiosk. It looks like this.
Students can access the computer any time the library and find the books they need. We have created “how to” guides and are beginning to create a campaign within the classrooms to teach students how to access it at home.
How do you promote your online catalog?
If you’ve been in our library, you know it’s almost entirely windows. It’s beautiful to look at-however it causes difficulties for the technology viewing inside. The area of biggest concern is our classroom space.
-Projector display is too faint
-Inactive spaces-tables where students are repeatedly off task
-Empty walk way to allow space for projector
-Focus-noisy with multiple classes, difficult to focus if too far away, creative “hand shadows” disrupting presentation
One of the coolest things about being a Library Media Specialist is problem solving. In the library you get to problem solve daily to create spaces that work for your staff and patrons. After much discussing/collaborating/researching we came up with the following solutions.
1. Replace the projector with a 70″ TV. This eliminates the faint display issue and will pull students in closer to the speaker hopefully increasing focus. We are lucky to be part of a pilot project for installing interactive TVs to replace projectors. Projectors are cheaper up front, but $$ over time due to yearly upkeep and bulb replacement.
2. The TV is INTERACTIVE. Ok…so we’re not sure just how cool this will be, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to be cool. The TV has a huge screen that is touch screen. We are also part of a pilot project (more to come on this…) to incorporate iPads in the library for librarians to become Roving Reference Librarians. These bits of technology hopefully will help us create more interactive presentations.
So here’s where we are now! You can see where the TV will be installed and the open space. After the wall is patched and painted we will hang the TV and replace the tables. Look for updates to see the next steps. In the mean time, tell us what cool things you have done to refresh your teaching space in the library!