Final Project & Reflection

As mentioned in a previous post my final project was to work with the middle school digital citizenship team on a 6 – 8 grade scope and sequence.  My partner, Katrina Brown and I were responsible for 7th grade Advisory lessons using Common Sense Media as our main source for guidance.  These lessons will be implemented next school year so unfortunately we were not able to try them out with the students, although Katrina was able to experiment with one lesson and get feedback.

We planned 4 lessons in total, two of which I responsible for:  cyberbullying and safe online talk. Both Katrina and I followed the same format, which was to use a standard lesson outline for drafting the class, including:  lesson objective, introduction, procedure and application.  Once the lesson outline had been finalized, we then used PowerPoint to create a Teacher presentation for teachers to use when teaching the Advisory lesson next school year. Below are links to the two lessons I was mainly responsible for.

1)  Cyberbullying – Students learn about the difference between being a passive bystander versus a brave upstander in cyberbullying situations.

Cyberbullying Lesson Outline

Cyberbullying Teacher PowerPoint Presentation

2)  Safe Online Talk – Students are made aware of inappropriate online talk and how to handle this situation should it arise.

Safe Online Teacher Lesson Outline

Safe Online Teacher PowerPoint Presentation

Once we had drafted the lessons, Katrina and I shared them with each other and also met face to face on a regular basis to review and comment on each other’s lessons.  It was wonderful working with someone else and getting input. We both tried to make sure that we incorporated technology where appropriate and that we mixed up the lessons to so that there was a variety of activities.  I was surprised that although we have a phenomenal curriculum to follow in Common Sense Media, it was harder and more time consuming than I expected to tweak the lessons to make sure that they were right for our particular 7th grade.  For example, I modified the cyberbullying scenarios, to better reflect our international students.

As this curriculum will be implemented next year, we were unable to reflect on student learning in a traditional way for our final project. Instead of going through each lesson and describing what we will do we decided to do something fun and review the process through a story.  If you would like to see the specific lessons I developed, please click on the links above or go to the AES digital citizenship site. We chose to do an iMovie 11 using MacBook Airs. We know that it is easy to do on an iMovie on the iPad, but we wanted to learn how to do it using a MacBook Air as it is more powerful and the HS is going 1:1 MacBook Air next year. In addition, instead of picking a fancy template where all you have to do is plug your own images etc., we started from scratch.

This was a great learning experience mainly because of all of our mistakes…….It confirmed in mind that you don’t really learn anything properly unless you do it yourself and you learn the most through trial and error.  Because……when you finally figure out how to do something after ages of frustration….it sticks! Biggest tip –we story boarded the iMovie before we started, but if you are going to do it from scratch, it would have been better if we were even more thorough in our story boarding to the extent of knowing exactly where you want each transition between slides or video clips.

Initial Story Board Ideas

Final Presentation

In conclusion, I learned a great deal about digital citizenship and iMovie through this final project.  Doing Coetail has been a very rewarding experience – my grasp not only on a variety of new technologies is far better than it was but I also have a much better understanding of how it can change and enhance learning.  It is not always transformative but more often than not it can enhance learning to make it more collaborative and efficient.  I look forward to moving ahead and hopefully do a far better job of incorporating technology in my teaching and will be a lot braver about experimenting with new technologies.


Seeking opinions – Overdrive

Dear Librarians

I am considering purchasing Overdrive and was wondering if anyone has used it or subscribes to it. Our MS recently went 1 : 1 with iPads and next year the HS has decided to go with MacBook Airs. I have purchased both Kindles and about 120+ ebooks on FollettShelf (mostly fiction). However, I am a little disappointed with the selection of fiction ebooks on FollettShelf as many of the more popular MS and YA titles are not available for sale outside the US and Canada. I have just set up a trial with Overdrive and I am leaning toward purchasing this and promoting it before the summer vacation. I have a few questions with regards to managing an ebook collection.

1) I was thinking that I may continue with FollettShelf for non-fiction and continue to develop my ebook collection on Follett to support specific curriculum units. This way the students can use Destiny to look for both print and ebooks.

2) If I focus my non-fiction ebook purchasing through FolletI then think that I may use Overdrive primarily for fiction as Overdrive appears to have a better fiction selection than Follett.

I am trying to think of ways to make it easy and simple for the students. I can introduce Overdrive as a place to go for fiction ebooks and then use Destiny including FollettShelf when I am introducing both print and ebook resources for a particular research unit. Many of the databases also have ebooks but FollettShelf provides enhanced features such as note taking etc.,

The kindles were popular when I first purchased them a few years ago, but I am now noticing this has dwindled with the students, but they are still very popular with the Faculty and Parents.

I would welcome any thoughts or advice you have on this matter.

Warm regards



Are we heading toward an iPlanet…?


Image from

Over the winter vacation my family and I went to London for a couple of weeks.  I went to boarding school outside of London and wanted to show my two sons my favorite city.  Take them to shows, museums, art galleries and of course as they are both avid soccer players and big Liverpool fans a live soccer match.  One of the highlights of the trip was a seeing a musical  “We Will Rock You” using hits by Queen.  The story is set in the future, the iPlanet, where digital music reigns as musical instruments and live music is banned.  Everyone dresses the same and individuality and freedom of expression are a thing of the past. The hero of the story…yes, you guessed it…… Galileo and his love interest, Sacramouche with the help of ‘the Bohemians’ are destined to find the last instrument, an electric guitar and bring back the ‘age of rock’ and defeat the Killer Queen and shake up the insipid and conformist Ga Ga World.

Not only was it a fabulous show but it also made me think about Globalization in relation to mass consumerism and creativity.  I am in the process of collaborating on a digital citizenship project with a number of other middle school teachers for our final Coetail assignment.  We have met in large and smaller groups to review the scope and sequence and begin planning specific units.  Everyone in this group is using some kind of Mac product, a MacBook Air, iPad or iPhone to perform various tasks.  In addition, to a Mac product we are also using a variety of Google functions, especially Google drive, but also Google presentation and calendar etc. Collaboration is so much easier than it would have been say 10 years ago.  As we began planning we could all see and edit the same document, it is also very simple to share what I have created with my partner.  It has made working together efficient and effective. Mac and Google have ensured that collaborating on this project is a piece of cake.

It is not just the fact that we have recently become a Mac school, most of my friends and family in the business world have some kind of Mac product and use Google.  Consumer globalization is evident everywhere, from computers to coffee.  Why have these companies become so successful globally?  Maybe it is because in our chaotic lives it simplifies things and ensures that I don’t have to make yet another decision.  I can have a Starbucks in Delhi or Minnesota and know exactly what to expect.  Any Mac product I pick up has a similar feel to it.  Certainly it has promoted collaboration and learning in a school setting but what is the down side?  At the moment I believe it makes my life a lot easier and has certainly enabled me to work with my colleagues more effectively.  There have been some great benefits to the world due to globalization, but I do sometimes wonder about consumerism and globalization and what it means for the future.

I hope the small designers, original artists and non-franchised coffee shops with their signature recipes and local contribution to the community continue in a world of shopping malls and global companies.  As much as I appreciate the ease of being able to work more effectively I also like having a choice and enjoy the originality of non-franchised products. But…….. for now I am going to continue working on one of my assignments on my MacBook Air, using Google presentation, which I will share with my partner using Google Drive for her to review and edit as necessary as my youngest son takes the dog for a walk listening to Queen on his iPod :) We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre

Guided Inquiry for students of all ages……

Image Source:

I have used the Guided Inquiry model by Carol Collier Kuhlthau for many years.  As stated in her article titled Guided Inquiry: School Libraries in the 21st Century. “School libraries are about more than information literacy.  Information literacy is important but there is more to education for the 21st century. The latest AASL (2007) standards expand information literacy to incorporate inquiry”.

As I review my last and final assignment for Coetail, I find myself in the same position I have discussed with my students about many times.  During the Information Search Process, there are six stages of inquiry, which include both feelings and actions.

Due to the time restraints and the fact that as a librarian, I do not have the same autonomy to create or modify a unit on my own, but usually work on a research unit in collaboration with a teacher, I decided to join the MS team in further developing the middle school digital literacy curriculum for next school year.  This is an exciting project, which will broaden my own knowledge and understanding of digital citizenship.

When we were first given the assignment (Initiation) I was in Stage 1, feeling confused and uncertain.  What should I do?   There were many options:  1) Create a Facebook site focusing on YA and Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction as a way to use social media to promote reading with my patrons, 2) Modify one of my existing units, 3) Create a new research unit if possible with 8th grade science, 4) Join the MS team to develop a digital literacy curriculum for next school year.

The MS digital citizenship team began by meeting as a group and dividing up the tasks.  As this decision was made and I knew who I would be working with and what I would be focusing on I moved into Stage 2 of the information search process and felt optimistic and ready to explore further.

On reflection, although I did not know which avenue to take in the beginning when I was searching for a topic it was a good exercise to brainstorm a variety of ideas and made me reflect on my practice.  In addition I had a better understanding of how the students felt, some have no trouble deciding on their overall topic, others like me have a harder time.  The information search process is a very individual experience but it is important to go through each step of the process and although I decided to join the MS digital literacy team, brainstorming other topics made me review other areas that I would like to focus on at another time.  For example, I plan on creating a MS/HS Library facebook page next school as an additional way to promote the love of reading push and advertise a variety of books.

Final Project – Indian Studies Independent Research Project

For my final project I decided to flush out a project that I have been discussing with some of the Indian Studies teachers.  Indian studies is a semester long course, my proposal was to end the semester with having the students pick a topic of interest to them not related to history and explore it further.  India has such are rich heritage, for example, they could explore art, food, dance, architecture etc. We wanted to give the students the opportunity to learn more about something in India that inspired them.  Final Project – Indian Studies.

Indian Spices – From Flickr by Frenkieb



Libraries of the Future – To buy print books or not to buy?

In order to answer this question, I need to ask myself “what will libraries be like 5, 10, 15  years from now?”  Our library will be moving to a new renovated library space at the end of the month.  I have spent literally hundreds of hours working with the school architect, our overseas consultants, design expert, Kevin Hennah and reading books on future library design.   I hope we got it right, at least I can take comfort in a quote by Doug Johnson in an article on his blog The Blue Skunk titled 10 questions about library facility design “…And I always say, design for the technologies that are available NOW, not those just over the horizon. The horizon might be further away than you anticipate”.

Our new space has light airy shelving, but there is no room for growth, if anything, the nonfiction section will shrink and  the content will shift to include more popular interest titles, this is will allow more space for the front facing books advertising their content. Think book store display.  I do not see the fiction section changing, instead I will keep adding print, however, in order to accommodate the new titles , instead of buying multiple volumes of popular books, I will have one print copy and additional copies will be ebooks.  All multiple copies of books will be weeded out.  The design incorporates  our classroom with the Harkness table at the center for teaching with the two additional tables in the room, so students can break out into group work.  The main change in the new design is the creation of 6 small individual study rooms with a flat screen TV where students can work together on group projects and share their work.  The new space also includes an area of individual study carols and two additional areas where there are tables for students to work on their own in or in groups.  The new design incorporates many more places with comfy, cozy furniture for students to read, work and think.  Lastly, a big part of the design is the additional display space for front facing book displays as well as flat  a screen TV which will have scrolling banners advertising books and library promotional information.

You may think that this new space is not that different, and perhaps apart from the addition of numerous small study rooms it isn’t that different.  But the space will allow and encourage student collaboration on projects and it is significant that the shelving will remain static.  However, the biggest change isn’t so much in the physical space but rather in the virtual space.  More and more of my budget is being transferred from print to digital sources.   Student can access my virtual library from anywhere and so search for a variety of information needed for research outside of school.  My next step is to increase the ebooks for research and especially for reading.  Right now students have to come to the library to check out a fiction book.  I anticipate that 5 years from now students will have the choice of renting it online through a device of their choice.  It will take time and funding to develop this collection, but it’s already on its way.

From Wikipedia – H. Ryder Hagard. Allan Quatermain orders his men to fire in this illustration by Thure de Thulstrup from Maiwa’s Revenge (1888)

I can’t write about the future without hoping some parts of the past never die.  In any discussion about books I have to add that although the advent of ebooks has allowed to search the contents quickly and efficiently I Kindles mean I can take 100’s of books on holiday with me. I really deeply and sincerely hope that print books never go away altogether.  Books represent more than just their content and knowledge, they represent people and memories.  Every summer when we return to our home in Minnesota as I walk through the house and pass various book shelves from the living room to my boys bedrooms which contain books that represent chapters of our lives.  We all revisit our old favorite friends every summer, dust them off and enjoy their smell, familiarity, memories and emotions they invoke.  When I look at at the old faded copy of She by H. Ryder Hagard that my dad put in my hands with I was 12 years old, not only do I remember those golden days of my childhood spent in Africa but also my dad, who like Hagard’s most famous character, Allen Quartermain also went to African for adventure and to hunt the big five.  The world would not be the same without books, old photographs, childhood drawings and scrapy bits of paper from ES school with first poems and stories! Of course the future is digital, but I hope some things remain hard, solid and tangible.  I know my youngest son, Riordan loves his print books and will keep them for many years and perhaps like me, will be able to share them with his children one day.

How will the role of a librarian change 5, 15, 20 years from now?  I believe that students will still need to find, evaluate and use information, however more and more of this information will be in digital form, and not just text, the choice of formats will incease.   I I also believe that the librarian will continue their role a teacher, collaborator and in collection development.  In fact, collection development may take on a more important role as more platforms become available, the librarian will need to able to effectively evaluate which service or platform best meets the needs of their patrons. Evaluating products and distribution of library funds will take more research and planning to provide the best service. Lastly, the librarian will use technology to a greater degree to enhance their teaching, promotion of literature, research techniques and presentation tools.

Obviously technology is a powerful change agent to the future of education.  But will it be mandated or will it naturally occur as teachers are motivated to achieve mastery.   In the Youtube clip The surpising truth about what motivates us we watched by Daniel Pink, he discussed  how human motivation had been misinterpreted for years, and that money is not always a motivator but rather mastery and purpose provided greater innovation when humans are given the time to play, think, reflect and create.  Perhaps if we want education to move out of the industrial model to a one that is looks more like the TPACK model, you need to not only provide technology experts but TIME as well.  Wouldn’t it be great if we had extra professional development days, and those extra days were solely allocation for teachers to play with technology ?  Personally, there have been so many Professional Development Days spent where I got very little out of it, mainly because as a specialist topics covered have not been pertinent to me.  Instead, if I had been allowed to pick just one or two apps or programs to play around with, it would have been time far better spent in moving toward my future as a librarian.

Libraries of the future will be places of learning, thinking, reflecting and reading.  Students will collaborate on multimedia projects using the latest technology.  But I hope that they are also filled with both digital and print sources.  What if there were no book shelves to browse or books displays to peruse?  What if you couldn’t pick up and hold, feel and flip through the pages of a design, cooking, art or photography book?  I can’t actually imagine a world without any books at all…..can you?


Integration and Management of Technology – Research and Reading

As a librarian I can break the integration and management of technology into two parts: research and reading.  In addition there is classroom management with regards to the actual device.


Integration – The majority of my classes come to the library for research.  Prior to the class coming I usually conference with the teacher to discuss what I am going to introduce the students to for that particular research unit.  In almost all cases this involves the integration of a variety of technology, including databases, collaboration and presentation tools. Most classes use either one or more database depending on their information requirement. The students then have the opportunity organize their information using Evernote or some other method like Google Docs. The classroom teachers normally specify what collaboration tool they would like their students to use.  Finally the presentation of information runs the whole spectrum from research papers to poster to powerpoints to i-Movies.

Currently the students who come to the library have thirteen databases at their disposal to search for information. I have also begun a small collection of non-fiction ebooks for specific research units.  In some classes we also talk about how to search the internet more effectively and efficiently.  In addition to digital sources they can use Destiny, our on-line library catalog to look for and create lists of books to support their research and Destiny has the capability to create citation information of the books in one click of a button. The students love this feature as it is a huge time saver and means they don’t have to transfer the information to web based citation machines.

Last year I began creating pathfinders on my library blog for all classes that came into the library, these include lists of a variety of suggested sources that can be used for that particular project.  I also used Jing to create video tutorials for specific databases.  Research units can take anywhere from a few day to a few months.  By creating digital pathfinders students can refer back to make sure they didn’t miss a source or use the tutorials to review how to search one or more databases etc. The presentation of information usually takes places in the  classroom under the guidance of the teacher, after the research has been concluded.  However, if they are expected to use images or other multimedia, I will provide links to sites or help them find multimedia information during their research time in the library.

Management:  It takes time to manage the databases, create pathfinders and create tutorials.  However I love organizing information and am constantly reviewing new databases to see if they bring anything new to our existing collection.

Conclusion:  I am taking baby steps, I integrate technology, but I know there is a lot more I can do.  My biggest challenge to be more open and receptive to new tools and not expect that I have to be an expert on them before I can incorporate them into my lessons:  My goals are as follows:

1)    Learn how to use more tools and be more creative in ways they can be used to enhance the research process.
2)    Get my RSS reader set up on my school gmail, and be more conscious about keeping up on new trends.
3)    Take existing research projects and enhance them with technology, however this also take persuading the teachers to make changes, which I know from experience is better done slowly and kept in their comfort zone.
4)    Get more involved in the presentation process.
5)    As Rick Kiker mentions in his article titled 5 strategies for 1 : 1 classroom management, I need to move everything I need to the Cloud and promote students in doing this for research.  Therefore a big part of my future learning is to learn more about the various Google apps.


Integration:  I created the library blog last year as a way to not only organize information but to also have a quick and efficient way to change book covers on the front page.  I push information out about new books by using technology in the following ways:

From Flickr – Kali avatar of the eBook by Kandhinski

1)    Changing book covers on front page every two weeks.
2)    Keep up to date lists of new books and books by genre on the Destiny home page
3)    Create PowerPoint presentations of new books by grade level, which are on the Blog and linked to Google Docs.  These are sent out once a month.  Rationale : Teachers often do not have a chance to bring their classes to the library to find new books once a month. By taking 10 mins at the end class to share the powerpoint of new books with their students, this brings the library and new releases to them.  Students can also access these themselves at any time.
4)    Kindles – I have 30 devices now, 12 for MS and the rest for HS and the community at large.
5)    We now have a little over 100 ebooks on Destiny and I am slowly introducing the Follettshelf app to students as they come to the library.

Management:  Keeping up the blog, lists on destiny, powerpoints to promote books and the kindles up to date is extremely time consuming and you have to be very organized.  In addition, just putting together a library book order takes a long time, but I over the years have gotten more efficient as I use a variety of sites and online tools to help me.

Conclusion:  I think I have done a fairly good job of using technology to promote reading.  Is there more I could do?  Always, but I am going to focus on the following areas:

1)    Overdrive:  the selection of ebooks on Follett is turning out to be disappointing, so I am going to look into Overdrive, one of the largest ebook vendors
2)    Kindles:  Kindles are now beginning to rent books, I am going to pursue this.
3)    Social Networks:  Not sure how to go about this and will research this further.  Should I create a Facebook page for the library, not sure yet? Perhaps twitter would be a better option and more time efficient.
4)    In the new Stein library I will have a flat screen TV in the magazine area, which I am going use to display slide shows to advertise books,


How to effectively manage technology or laptop use in the classroom is partially determined by the age of the students and the classroom setting.  In the article Managing Laptops in the Classroom, the author recommends a rather burdensome set of procedures a teacher could implement.  Perhaps this is necessary with university students, but I have found with middle school and high school students I have a few simple rules, which work well. At the beginning of class while I am introducing them to something all laptops need to be at 45 degrees and all eyes on me, and I don’t start until I have everyone’s attention.  If they can’t help touching their computer I tell them to sit on their hands, this usually only applies 6th graders.  I rarely speak for more than 15-20 mins. When I am finished they are free to begin their research at which time I walk around and help them individually.  Sometimes the high school students are off task and are somewhere they shouldn’t be, so I will remind them that any research they don’t get done in class will only mean they have to do it for homework.  Most students are grateful for the class time to research and ask for help. At some point students, especially high schools have to take responsibility for their own learning and how they spend their time.  However, I think it is important for regular classroom teachers to establish a set of classroom management policies, and my job is support and reinforce them while they are in the library.


On reviewing the Technology Integration Matrix, I am pretty much all over the place but usually Adoption or Adaption.  Once I have introduced the resources I let the students go where they want, but I am still providing them with a list of suggestion resources.  Again, the learning environment for the students is all over the place depending on the age of the students and the research project.  The Horizon Report gave me a lot of food for thought, especially the fact that apps are replacing suites of software.  I need to become a lot more comfortable with using the iPad and apps and how they can enhance information literacy.  However, I am currently at a place where I just wish the MacBook Air and iPad would have baby or even an ‘egg’ because both have strengths and weaknesses, and I have to decide where to best use my time for new learning.  Do I focus on the iPad or continue to use what I am comfortable with but become a lot more proficient? In addition, the report talked about how the business world is increasingly collaborative and this is recommended for student projects.  I wish more teachers would assign collaborative multimedia projects and persuading them is tough.  However, the new Stein library will have 6 small separate study rooms, each with a flat screen TV specifically so that students can work in groups on multimedia projects and all see the product on the screen as they work.  So…. my biggest goal is in collaboration with the technology integrators is to get the rooms used for their intended purpose.

Bringing India’s Sights and Sounds Alive – Integrating Technology

The first assigned reading for this blog:  “ISTE 2010: TPAC Radio/Video Show!” mentioned TPACK.  My first thought before I even continued reading was “what is TPACK?” Before I went any further I searched for a definition of TPACK, and the light-blub when off! Of course I know this is what we have been doing all along, but for some reason seeing the TPACK model clarified the fact that there are three distinct areas to teaching: content, pedagogy and the integration of technology.  However, I would like to add that information literacy could be included in this.  Learning how you as an individual learn best through print and digital media includes all three areas.


I am glad I sort clarification on what TPACK was before I watched the radio/video show. They illustrated their main idea by creating an advertisement of a lecture, which used technology to broadcast that same lecture through a variety of methods. They then created a mash-up of the same lecture to emphasize their point that “a lecture is still a lecture” and that technology can be used to do things the old way or in new and creative ways. Their radio/video show was a lecture, but it incorporated visuals and audio, which enhanced the understanding of what the lecturer was saying.

The article titled:  “Too Cool For School:  Using the TPACK framework” continued the discussion that a teacher has to be a master in three areas: content, pedagogy and technology, but not just technology in of itself, the teacher needs to be able to transform technology or repurpose it for educational ends.   In order to do this you have to have a deep understanding of your content area, pedagogy and be able to think creatively about technology.  I wonder how many of us possess all these skills or how many years of teaching it takes before you really know your content and pedagogy?  The minute you change jobs, from say teaching 6th grade humanities to 10th grade World History, although you can transfer knowledge, in some ways you are starting from scratch if you are unfamiliar with the new content and how you teach middle school students will differ from high school students.  Teachers have a lot on their plate, it is more important than ever to support each other, share knowledge and ideas and have technology integrators and  administrators support the integration of technology to enhance learning and 21st century skills.

The website on The Technology Integration Matrix is well organized but complex, on going through the difference parts of the matrix I understood the points but as the descriptors did not include examples, I had a hard time grasping exactly what, for instance, authentic learning at the transformative end of the spectrum looked like.  It was not until I went to the digital tools index on this website and reviewed some of the examples that I really understood the matrix.  The examples made complete sense and helped me realize that maybe this is not as complicated as it first appears.  For me the hard part is being creative with technology and seeing the various ways I can use it.

We have covered a lot of material this week from a variety of teaching theories to TPACK, the Technology Integration Matrix, and NETS.  As a librarian I do not teach specific content or reading strategies but rather I use the content from specific subject areas to teach the students information literacy, which is more skills based, such as the location, selection, evaluation and presentation of information when researching.  In addition to research my role is also to encourage the literate life of students. Being information literate asks the students to learn how to learn:  Pose questions, think critically, draw conclusions, share knowledge and continue growing through the use of prior knowledge, skills, initiative and reflection.   As information literacy is integrated into subject areas, part of my job, as a librarian, is in collaboration with the classroom teacher, is to identify which research model and technology is best suited to a particular project.  Many of the learning theories discussed work for research, especially project-based learning, however I think that Gagne’s Nine Events of Instruction can also be applied to various projects.

Every semester the 9th grade students in Indian Studies come to the library for one period and research a particular state in India for which they create a travel brochure or poster for that state.  They use the internet and books on various States in India to find information on the cuisine, transportation, monuments, historical places, festivals etc., of a particular state. You could apply either project-based learning or Gagne’s Nine Events and integrate technology to enhance this research project.

One way to modify this project and to encourage 21st century skills is by incorporating technology.  Instead of the students creating a poster on their own, the students could collaborate in pairs and create a virtual travel guide using a technology of their choice, such as Glogster or i-Movie.  On completion, these guides could be linked to our school website and shared with the AES community and used as a resource for information on travel in India.   By creating a digital travel guide they are integrating technology in an active way, which will enhance their understanding of the state as they can incorporate a variety of digital sources such as photos, movie clips and music.  This brings the sights and sounds of India alive for them as well as their audience.  Information literacy now also includes digital literacy so not only would students have experience is using print sources but also searching for digital sources, whether it be print or other media.  By posting it for the larger community to access they are sharing their learning.

Gagne’s Nine Events – Indian Studies State of India Digital Travel Brochure.

1)   Gain attention:  Tell the student that from now on they will be planning their own WOW trips somewhere in India!

2)   Goal: As India is such a large country that you want them to dig deep into one particular state and create a virtual travel guide.  Not only will they learn about the rich culture of a particular state, but also in’s and out of planning a trip, and how use technology to create a visual presentation to share their knowledge.

3)   Stimulate recall or prior knowledge:  Most of our students are well traveled, they need to recall all the procedures involved, from transportation to hotel bookings to sites to see.  They may not have done this themselves but they have observed their parents making travel plans. If someone was visiting their country or state what kinds of historical sites, cuisine and festivals take place.  Review travel sites on the web, how are they organized and what kinds of information do they contain.

4)   Present the material to be learned:  Model the information expected using a trip to from Delhi to Agra.  Review what they have learned about India to date with reference to history, geography, culture and various religious and ethnic groups.

5)   Provide guidance for learning:  Review research skills to locate, select,  evaluate and present information. What sources will they use for print and digital information keeping in mind copyright.

6)   Elicit Performance or practice:  The students will present their Glog or iMovie to the class for evaluation, they will then be able to modify based on feedback from the class.

7)   Provide informative feedback: Tell the students what they did well and point out areas where they could improve based on the presentation feedback from their peers and the content of information presented.

8)   Assess performance test: Grade the project based on rubric handed out at the beginning of the class.

Source: Flickr - India by robyneyjay

9)   Enhance retention and transfer:  Students should be able to remember what makes a particular state unique in addition what it means to organize a trip as well as the creation of a digital presentation using photos, text, audio to present key points.



Visual Literacy – Final Reflection

A library by its very nature is full of images. Of course there are books covers, but also magazine covers, posters, Dewey signage and student art. My goal after taking this class is to take in up to the next level, whether it be through visual displays or in my teaching. It is important to recognize that for educators, Web 2.0 tools can be used in a variety of ways to enhance how teachers present information to students. If design concepts and eye-tracking movements are kept in mind, new ways to present information can be very powerful. During the class we were introduced to Infographics, using Presentation Zen when creating Powerpoint presentations; Pecha Kucha for imparting a big concept in a short amount of time and finally digital story telling. I believe all of these methods, if used correctly will greatly enhance how I can get information out to the students whether as a teaching aid or perhaps more importantly as a librarian for awareness, advertising and marketing.

My first Infographic was an illustration of particular aspects of the Guided Inquiry Research Model. In this situation I used it as a way to review the model that the students were introduced to the previous semester. I also left it up on the screen during the class so that they could refer to it while they were going through each step in the research process. I think that Infographics can be particularly useful to a librarian when presenting a model or concept. I also think that Infographics could be used in the library as a reminder about things, such a copyright, plagiarism, digital citizenship and general signage. There a numerous posters I could create to display around the library. I could even do this to promote a particular genre either fiction or non-fiction. This year I have a table in the library which I use to display books from a particular category; every month I change it and put up a simple sign. For example, in January I displayed Diet, Health and Fitness books, this month I have Craft books as well as Man Booker and Pulitzer Prize winners. In future, along with the books, I will try to add an Infographic to go with the display and as we develop digital citizenship in the school, school wide Infographics can be created to promote and reinforce this, similar to the one Dana did for Social Networking.

Presentation Zen is fabulous and so much more enjoyable to watch. As a librarian I can see using this style of presentation when promoting reading and presenting a particular genre to the students. I also think I could this in promoting new books, by just having the book cover, title and author and maybe one or two words about the book that would peak interest. In the blog post by Garr Reynolds titled From Design to Meaning: a whole new way of presenting? He discusses 6 new areas to consider, including: design, story, symphony, empathy, play and meaning. This made me reflect on when I do book talks, they are a) so much better when I have read the book as my presentation is far more personal and b) it does help if there is a great book cover, especially with the younger students.

Pecha Kucha was a fun, but for me, an extremely hard form of presentation. It certainly made me think about what I wanted to say and about being far more succinct, however, having each slide be the same length, did not work well for me. I found there were slides that lent themselves to more dialogue than others. I think the premise of keeping the presentation short is good but I would prefer to allow myself more flexibility.

Digital storytelling has so much potential and can be used in many ways. I decided to use a screen casting tool to do a database tutorial. As a librarian it is a great way to show the students how to use either a database or our library catalog and post it so that they can refer to it at any time. I could also use it to make short announcements and send out reminders. The students could use digital story telling for book reviews or even explaining a historical situation, like “Causes of World War II”.

In the article titled Becoming Screen Literate by Kevin Kelly he discusses how we are becoming ‘People of the Screen’ which made me reflect on a skype conversation I had with Kevin Hennah, a library design expert we consulted on our new library renovation project. He talked about marketing in libraries and how some new libraries now have flat screens which advertise books and other media. Visual literacy can be used in a library through screens, signage, Infographics and also as a teacher/librarian I can modify my own teaching. Finally any library blog or website needs to be designed well and updated on a regular basic and can include a wide variety of images, including Infographics, digital stories and changing screens all as a way to capture attention.