Tech Tuesday videos with Tiff!

This week I debuted a video series that I’m creating for my teachers called “Tech Tuesday videos with Tiff.” I’m always looking for ways to share fun tech tools with my teachers, but finding common time to be able to do that is nearly impossible. By sharing something in video format, they can check out the tool when they have time. And I’ll build a collection of tutorial videos that the teachers can always access. In this week’s video, I shared SlideStaxx. You may find it useful as well!

ISTE11 Reflections

So I’m a week out from my incredible ISTE11 experience and my head is still spinning. I’m trying to take my experiences and decide how I want to apply them in the coming school year — plus I’m getting ready for EdCamp Louisiana this Saturday AND working on my grad courses. It’s no wonder my head is spinning, right??

ISTE10 was an eye opening experience for me. I was *sort of* of blogging and tweeting, so I knew some names and recognized some faces. That conference really opened up a whole new world for me. I was green in the area of Web 2.0 and that was where I got my roots. I was a sponge and I absorbed so much.

I was looking forward to a completely different experience this year. ISTE11 was all about the people. It was like I was deeply breathing in both excitement and comfort for five straight days. I was able to connect with people I follow, respect, and admire. But this year it wasn’t just me sitting there freaking out about meeting my library idols, it was a chance for me to meet and connect with people that I interact with and learn from constantly. It was refreshing.

I know I sound like a cheese ball, but it was totally awesome. TOTALLY. AWESOME.

I did attend some awesome sessions, learned about some fabulous tools, took away some great new ideas. I even got a FREAKING LIVESCRIBE PEN! But the way I learned at ISTE11 was completely different than how I learned at ISTE10. And for the place where I am professionally right now, it was exactly what I needed.

Now don’t get me wrong, I left with some sweet tools that I plan to use, including Evernote (why did I never try this before? do I use it to replace diigo?) and I’m excited to share Edmoto with some of my teachers. And, did I mention, I now have a Livescribe Pen? 🙂

I think the most important thing that I received from the conference was a renewed sense of passion about what I do (and need to do). And it was much needed affirmation that what I’m doing and my way of thinking is valid. It is my job to be a curator of resources. And an information and research ninja. And the creator of a place where students feel safe and welcome. And I love what I do. And I LOVE my people…you know who you are! ::MUAH::


Twitter: Have I told you lately that I love you?

I just love Twitter. It has helped me so much to create my PLN and in turn has changed my professional life. I wasn’t much of a Twitter user until I attended ISTE last summer. Then I really “Got It” and threw myself completely onto the Twitter bandwagon. If you would have asked me what the single most important source for my professional development was last year, I would have said my Google Reader — hands down. I still use my reader, but not like I use Twitter — CONSTANTLY!

While taking a little break from processing a cart of beautiful, brand new books (I have a rough life, I know), I ran over to Tagxedo to create a little tag cloud  from my Twitter account. It sums up my Twitterverse well!

I LOVE: books, reading, students, teachers, gwynethjones (naturally, she’s my hero), ISTE, sharing, and feeling happy 🙂

Plus I overuse the words “seriously” and “yay.” But seriously…YAY! for Twitter and Tagxedo!!!

And if you don’t follow me on Twitter, then start now: @librarian_tiff


  • I want my district to use Google Apps for Education.
  • I want to make a Facebook page for my school and my library.
  • I want better websites for the school/library/district.
  • I want the filters to stop choking us to death.
  • I want more teachers to come to me for collaborative projects.
  • I want to be able to share what my students create online.
  • I want my students to share their learning experiences with the world.
  • I want my district to really understand the importance of having our students create positive digital footprints NOW.

Basically, I want everyone to think like I do. Or at least listen to me and understand. But I really just want them to think like me, because OBVIOUSLY I’m right.

This has been my basic thought process up until this past week. I spend a lot of time thinking about how I want to change the world (or my school and district) and how I can get what I want. Unrealistic, I know. I sometimes have inflated ideas of myself and what I’m capable of. I chalk that up to my upbringing, which I’m extremely thankful for. I have the best parents ever — they gave me the best opportunities and extremely high self-esteem. Anyone who spends a lot of time around me knows I’m pretty spoiled. I don’t think I was overly spoiled as a child, but as an adult I’m used to things working out in my favor. I think this is why I have the expectation that I can force things into working out the way I want them to. Over the last few days, I’ve come to the realization that I need to change this way of thinking.

Realization – the state of understanding or becoming aware of something (as defined by Merriam-Webster’s Learner’s Dictionary)

Now I’m not saying that I’m about to stop plotting and pushing for change. That just isn’t going to happen. Instead, I need to focus the bulk of my thoughts and planning on ways that I can help my teachers and students. I need to focus a lot less on what I don’t have but desperately want. Instead, my focus needs to be on working with what I have to support my students and teachers the best way possible.

  • I will help my students and teachers find success with the tools we have available.
  • I will show my students and teachers ways they can use these tools to create and share.
  • I will find ways to incorporate digital citizenship and making a positive digital footprint into as many activities as possible.
  • I will share our accomplishments and successes with the administration to show what we can do.

Obviously, I can’t just forget about my “wants.” What I hope to do instead is to focus on what I can do — what I WILL do — and use that to support what we could do.

I’m a Green Screen Machine!

First of all….OMG I got a new green screen!!! It came in last week and we are LOVING it! I reorganized my “office” – as if I have time to be in office, what a joke! – and transformed it into a filming studio. Check it out:

Pretty sweet, huh? And those big black cases are full of cameras! We have sets of both digital cameras (with video feature) AND a new set of Flip cameras, which rock my socks. Plus we have tripods and all that good stuff that makes life easier. Yes, I know how lucky I am.

I also know how lucky I am to work with such great teachers. They know that nothing makes me happier than having them come by and want to work with me to plan some awesome tech project with their classes. I had the chance to show a quick little example of how the green screen works at our faculty meeting last week, and now the ideas are flowing freely.

The reason that I decided to buy the green screen was for my 7th grade ELA’s poetry projects. Last week, they spent a good bit of time in the library researching a poet. They used the information gathered from their research and from analyzing their poets work to create a Fakebook page for their poet. This “Fakebook” is the best I’ve seen, and I learned about it on Kelly Tenkely’s AWESOME blog.

The next phase of their project was to create a music video relating to poetry concepts or the poet they chose to research. Enter the Mighty Little Librarian — green screen machine! Each group came to the library, did a little practicing, then we recorded their music video in our new “studio”! The following day, the whole class came in to the library computer lab to do their editing. I introduced the students to JayCut to use the chroma key effects. They did such a great job! You can check out my two favorite videos here. I did do some touching up in iMovie since these are the ones I decided to share…I just couldn’t help myself. Isn’t it great?? I could watch this over and over and still laugh every time. This is why middle schoolers are the best.

I put my favorites in the Friday video today, and now everyone wants to use the green screen! We are going to have some fun projects throughout the rest of this year!