Taking Baby Steps

My principal and assistant principal have been amazing in supporting me in trying to gain access for our students to some of the great web 2.0 tools that we are currently not allowed to use. I met with them yesterday to talk about our strategy. I’ve made my opinions known and shared some ideas, but they advised me to get more specific and start small. So here is the plan that I sent out this morning:

Technology Integration Proposal:

Goal: Allow students the opportunity to share, collaborate, and build relationships with a class in another area of the country

Tools: Edublogs and Skype

  • Edublogs is a free, safe, well-known blogging service created specifically for educators. The teacher will create a private account that students will post from so that no student accounts are created.
  • Skype is a free service that allows video conferencing.

Safety: Teacher will create and closely monitor the private blog used by the students. This blog will be password protected and not available for anyone to view without a password. Parents will be required to sign a release to allow their child to participate in the blog and Skype activities.

Concept: One 2nd grade and one 3rd grade class will be selected to pilot this program. I will work closely with these teachers to train them on these tools, set them up with a partner class in another area of the country, and lay out activity plans. Each class will blog at least once a week to share what they are learning in class, personal interests, and regional information on news and weather. Once a month, a Skype session will take place between the classes where they will have a discussion on a predetermined topic. This will allow students to interact with other students/cultures and share their accomplishments with peers. This will also provide teachers with the chance to collaborate with colleagues from another area of the country.

I’m hoping to get moving with this idea pretty soon. If you know of a 2nd or 3rd grade teacher who would be interested in connecting with these classes, please let me know! I think this will be a wonderful opportunity for all involved.

On a completely different note, I went to the library yesterday đŸ™‚

I have SO been out of the middle school literature loop for a few years now, and I need to get my edge back. My goal is to read 20 YA books before the end of 2010. It’s a pretty ambitious goal considering grad school is sucking the life out of me (in a totally good way), but I’m going to try my best. If you have any books that you know 6th, 7th, and 8th graders are LOVING right now, please share those titles with me!

Mighty Little Librarian!

My first post on my new site! How exciting is this?! So I figure it’s going to take some time for me to get settled in over here. I’m trying to figure out things on my own with as little help from my web designing professional of a husband as possible. It’s going to be a work in progress for a while!

In case you’re wondering where the name “Mighty Little Librarian” came from, here’s the scoop. I’ve been wanting to “brand” myself like the cool librarians are doing. My plan was to be The Lively Librarian, but that domain in all possible forms is taken. So I went back to the drawing board. I posted on Facebook for some assistance from the people who know me best. My best friend from college, who I talk to several times a week as we share about our separate school happenings, has been calling me Mighty Mouse for quite some time. She knows how I am — when I get something in my head, I’m fighting for it and I can be fierce! I don’t look intimidating (when asked for a word to describe me for my blog, my friend’s husband said “skinny”), but I can hold my own.  There was a general Facebook consensus that “Mighty Little Librarian” was a fitting name, so I went with it!

I’m off to play around with making this little spot on the web my cozy new home. I love WordPress, by the way. It’s not nearly as intimidating as I thought. Plus I found some great videos on YouTube to help me get started. How did people figure out how to do anything before the Internet and YouTube?

I’ve imported my old posts from my old Library Ramblings site. I’m going to go through and re-organize my old posts soon, but I think things are looking pretty good so far!

The changing world of libraries

My assistant principal rocks. He’s pushing our school to move forward technology wise, which I love. And he sends me great articles to read! He sent me an article today about the ways that libraries have to change to keep up with our world: Things That Keep Us Up at Night.

I read articles like this one, and get excited and anxious all at once. I’m excited about helping to move my school to a place where our students are learning what they need in an incredibly relevant way. Finding the path to get there is what freaks me out. There’s so much out there, so much that I want to do, so many ideas and programs that I want to incorporate. I get all pumped up with these ideas, then reality sets in because all I have time to do is shelve books and see my fixed schedule classes. For me, the hard part isn’t the fear of the uncertain future. It’s the frustration that I can’t just get there right now. I know that the reality is that it will take an infinite number of small steps (and some leaps thrown in at some point, I’m sure) to get there. And we’ll never actually “get there” because the envelope is always being pushed farther at a rate faster than we can keep up with. Phew, that’s all my brain can handle of that for today!

 

And as a side note – I’ve signed up for the Take One! program to help prepare myself for working toward my National Board Certification. I think that working toward earning my Certification is really going to push me professionally. I’m very excited (and a little scared, too).