My course4 final project: How would you get yourself prepared for the natural disasters?

Here is my unit-planner for the course4 final project.


Not enough infos ready at my district
I do not want to be negative for unpredictable situations you might come across, yet this is something you could not expect to know how it would be like when it happens. How much you prepare for those days might not make sense at all , in particular, in such days.

Yet we would not want to regret that the preparation is not enough. I am sure that there are tons of situations possibly thinkable depending on whenever/wherever/however you are on those coming disaster days. This is not something you could prepare for yourself and other people perfectly, yet at least sharing various simulations ready for the natural disasters would  help students to get more confidence to confront the tough situations.

When we had the huge earthquake disaster on the 11th of March, it terrified us a lot in many ways. The earthquake evacuation did not work so much. Some of students and faculties could not follow the emergency rules the school had set up. We had the meeting right after the 11th of March in 2011 to review the day. We realized that we could not follow our emergency procedures exactly, yet since we had practiced so many times, intrinsically we knew that where we should go, what we should do and how we should behave.

However there could be possible occasions, which you might be at off the school campus, and officially in our schools any other possible cases have not been shared with each other.

Since the course 4 is all about how we could urge ourselves to learn in this hyper-connected society, the possible  natural disasters would let us be proactive for creating the strategy to deal with the unpredictable situations. This might be something we could work together and/or collaborate with outsiders, who could be official people/experts/peers.

The reverse instruction and/or flipped classroom

First of all, I would like students to have the basic information or brief idea of the consequence of natural disasters at home via watching a short video/slideshows about how other institutions/organizations prepare themselves for the expecting natural disasters. By the time we have the first session, they should have the rough/fundamental idea to think ahead the strategy.

On the second/thrid/forth sessions at home/school, they will start researching their living area(for instance, Minatoku district, Shibuya district and Chiyoda district). I would suggest that they should go for the homepage of according district to find out the current status of the qualitative/quantitative release of information since a student/s is/are appointed to be a civil servant/s to improve the risk management of an area. For instance, Bunkyo-ku does not seem to have enough info of the case of emergency.

It would be great if they could find a way to collaborate with outsiders (, one of whom might be a real appointed director of his/her area). Since this is more likely to be challenged based learning leading to project-based learning, they should be expected to find their own strategies/solutions to their living area. It is totally up to them that they could make a video to show the citizens of a particular area of the district  the safe ways or tips to evacuate their living area. For instance they can take an advantage of the utility of Google Maps.

They could also think as realistic as possible how it would be like if they were in some sorts of situations such as sleeping at night, going out for dinner and staying at their friends’ houses.

On the final day, those simulation videos created by students will be loaded to the voice-threads, which could be shared and make other groups comment/feedback on their opponents’ simulations. This opportunity would give students other inspirations/approach/unknown- useful information.


I hope that this topic itself is dynamic enough to urge students to learn autonomously, collaboratively and enthusiastically. At the same time, this would involve their physical field investigation on their area, which would not let them sit in front of lap-tops or i Pads all days. Hopefully this topic makes students find their own balance to get strong concentration on their work.


‘Are You Ready for an Earthquake?’ by CollegeoftheCanyons. Youtube. 2012/03/15. Online. Youtube. 2012.

Reflection on Course3 Final Project: What does acceptable use of technology look like in your grade/subject?

Here is course3 final project created by Jeff in Shanghai, Naho and Carl at ASIJ and me at ISSH who also edited/finished.

Here is Connecting Presentation Slides.

Here is Learning Presentation Slides.

Here is Maintenance Presentation Slides.

How/where does this idea come from?

Jeff from Shanghai, Naho and Carl at ASIJ and myself at an EARCOS Weekend Workshop led by Andrew Churches and Kim Cofino, 4 – 5 February 2012
decided to do our  group project : ‘ What does acceptable use of technology look like in your grade/subject?’.
I remember that since each of us belongs to several grades( from kindergarten to ES/JS/MS/HS), with which we interact as teachers/staff members, we were interested in creating a resource for both professional development and classroom use relating to ‘Authentic Assessment and Digital Media in the classroom’.

Mainly Jeff took an initiative to have led this project since his school would need to launch a certain type of project leading to an acceptable use of technology for his whole school. At the same time I also felt that sooner or later our school would proceed with a new shift toward a hyper-connected age (one to one program). Coincidently a few weeks ago we had a meeting to be announced that we should be getting ready for that trans-media era.

In addition, I wanted to do a project, which could be applicable to the scale of the outside of a school since the issue of an acceptable use of technology should be also considered together by outsiders of educational fields( such as business area, entertainment and civil service).

The whole process

We did initial brainstorming together and developed our collaborative ideas to be relevant enough for all teachers grades K-12. Right after the key terms in this project; Connecting, Learning and Maintenance, all of which are interrelated closely with each other were decided, we split our roles/tasks to try to complete our project.

Since another highlight on the topic for the workshop on the weekend was how we could think of authentic assessment applied to the trans/multimedia era, Jeff and Naho consulting with Andrew Churches created both holistic rubric and categorically defined rubric for acceptable use of technology. Carl and I committed ourselves to creating a presentation, which we only managed to finish one of three umbrellas as ‘connecting’.

The first slide as ‘ Connecting-How?’ could be put in this way: ‘What/how do you use technology in acceptable ways/manners to connect?’.
As we created a presentation to teachers, I was thinking that if this could work for a case study of emergency like an earthquake project based on this concept behind. This is something, with which each of us is always concerned and which could be developed by a whole community. (I have just noticed that has already taken an initiative. Sorry, this site is only available in Japanese. This site could be accessed to get all relevant information and tools to be proactive to any kinds of crisis.)

How were two other key topics of our theme on PowerPoint designed by me?

The methods for designing slides for two other key topics(Learning and Maintenance) have been influenced by Carl at ASIJ and the blog by Garr Reynolds. In particular his blog post on the 20th of December, 2011 Steve Jobs: “People who know what they’re talking about don’t need PowerPoint”
stays at my heart.

Since two umbrellas such as ’Learning’ and ‘Maintenance’ were unable to be done on those two days, they were completed as I followed our original framework and went back and forth the holistic rubric to make sure the rest of presentation created on my own was not out of the orbit.

In order to make it communicative enough for teachers, visual photos and sub-holistic key sentences/words under two big words of ‘Learning’ and ‘Maintenance’ were considered, yet they could not be understood fully for viewers and audiences without any attendant presenters since they are not movies or films.

Should a presentation take a role of the discussion board? In order to do so, our presentation was designed to be as simple as possible. However I could realize myself that all ideas and thoughts should be kept/developed in our minds constantly even during our presentation time. When you are actually on a stage for a presentation, it looks to me that you yourself would have to be multi/trans-media(, which means that all the information you have prepared for your presentation could be always changeable or edited/renewed according to the reaction of audiences and if you could come across any relevant ideas, they could be added to the content spontaneously.)

Some revisions made

In the case of ‘Connecting’, ‘Being respectful with others’ was replaced by ‘Use your technology being respectful with others’ and ‘Use your technology being sure you know who are connecting’ was revised in the same way. If you could start with ‘use your technology…..’, I believe this could help us to direct our thinking process. There could be constant changes in those slides  since everyday is changing bit by bit and they need to be refreshed.


Steve Jobs: People who know what’s is talking about don’t need powerpoints” by Garr Reynolds. Prezentation Zen. December 20, 2011. Online. Prezentation Zen-Garr Reynolds’ blog on issues related to professional presentation design. February 2012.

Another report after the implementation of course1 final project.

First of all, please let me give my best thanks to Ms. Kirsten Gallagher as our library teacher to have implemented my original unit plan on behalf of my course1 final project !

November10, 2011(The 1st session)
Overall it worked well thanks to Kirsten’s teaching. Right after she delivered the lesson to the 1st class of 4th graders(, which was 4Green), I was sure it would work. Kirsten as our library teacher and I had a meeting to discuss with the content  of the lesson/unit  planner I had created, and went through the process together so that we could not have any misunderstanding about the meaning of this unit.

This preparation was good enough for us to have the same picture, and of course her way of implementing or conveying the lesson made this unit alive. Both classes(4Green and 4Yellow) of the 4th graders seemed to have understood the introduction fairly enough to start finding out  information in order to respond to the survey questions as they took notes although some students found it difficult to think of the 2nd question ‘what does the 21st century mean to you?’

The time line also worked well although the latter class 4 yellow had a few minutes less than the former class 4 green. Regardless of the fact, because our library teacher  could do the presentation a little bit quicker than she had done for the former class 4 green, 4 yellow managed to have followed the task more smoothly than I had expected. They had better understanding than what I had expected.

When I took a look at the process of their survey task, I had good feeling about what they had written so far although some students could not get to the whole questions yet. I could see more creative answers than I had imagined, yet Kirsten’s reaction to their answers were more realistic or severe than mine. I was sure I was more optimistic than authentic teachers!

Although some of their answers were superficially creative, they did not mean to be constructive answers, which were true. I thought there were no problems for them to have less constructive answers at this stage since the note-taking was only draft. I would like to see them complete their task by the next lesson, in which they are supposed to submit their answers on-line during the next class time.

November18, 2011(The second session)
Kirsten began this second lesson by re-explaining a few key terms of the survey questions, which were difficult for some groups to understand fully enough. I was also sure that the 2nd question would be too big theme for them to write in a few sentences.

Overall, both classes did very good job replying to the online survey directly with the limited time given to them. This time they started filling out their answers straightforwardly into the online form as they referred back to the note that they had taken last week.

They had more heating up conversations or discussion during that time within each group according to Kirsten. Someone did take an initiative replying to those questions on-line, and others had more discussions for those questions. I was excited to see them engaged in thinking those questions, evaluating their answers and collaborating their on-line survey form together.

When I looked at all collected answers online, all hope to have both digital and non-digital resources in our library. They also hope to have librarians in the future too yet two of groups wish to have robotic librarians.

One thing that my preparation was not good enough was observed in my positive assumption, which google doc survey form should have been accessible to all people without any google accounts. (I ended up logging-in my account again to all google online survey forms in each lap-top pc, which had been embedded in our library website.)  Does anyone know any kinds of on-line survey forms, to which everyone could access to reply without any logged in accounts necessary?

December 01, 2011(The third session)
When they shared their survey answers, which had been posted by students one week prior to the third session, I managed to see some responsive reactions from some students. Although others were nervous to present their survey answers to their friends, they seemed to have enjoyed sharing their points of views, which helped them to have designed their layouts of our new library. Their designs appear to have been reflected on their thinking process for last three weeks.


Reflection on Course 2 Final Project (Five Laws of Nonprint and Multimedia Resources)

Here is my final project.


Since we knew we were moving to our new library in a month, we have weeded so many books since the last school year to get ready for this year’s big movement. As we don’t want to bring over any library resources, which are no longer suitable to our updated collections, to our new library, the evaluation of our resources were one of our big assignments before the moving day. One of our collections; non fiction area is mainly utilized by teachers for their classroom use. Not many students and parents do check out non fiction resources.


Attribution: By unit_editions. No real name given on Flicker. Image: 'Fact: Designed by Herb Lubalin'.

Certainly picture books and chapter fictions are popular categories. However once IPC topics are studied within their classes, some of students start showing their interest in non fiction books relating to the topic and so do parents although that category is still not as popular as that of fiction books.

One day I saw students come to our library to do some research about samurai.

Hijikata Toshizo

Attribution: By algrennathan Philip De Sesto. Image: Hijikata Toshizo as the vice-commander of the Shinsengumi.

Although we have physical book collections for Japanese culture in English, there are not enough collections for them to find out the specific particular topic about Japanese culture. What we have in physical formats are books covering the general topic of Japanese culture. In this case, what we could do is to guide them to look for the most updated, specifically data found through the internet. Hence I encouraged them to refer such information to the online resources via search engine tools, which we have been subscribing since I assume that they provide us the most recent or the most updated information, which electrical publishers monitor.

Not only Japanese culture topic but also other non fictional topics, about which they want to find out I recommend that students should go online since those information could be very transformative especially if they want to find out the statistics or any other scientific facts/data.

Non-print materials or multimedia resources

Attribution: Myths and Mirrors Community Arts on Flicker. Image: mythslogo0 copy

This is the part of reasons why we weeded so many out of dated non fiction books this/last school years before we move to our new library.

After the clearance, I can see now that we only have the limited or minimum collections of that category. We try to keep books, whose information could be sustainable enough to stay. However this area will be a big challenging area for especially the 21st century since nowadays we have and rely on so much on/off line non-print and multimedia information. They certainly do on-line research more than ever since all in-print published physical non-fiction books could be less reliable resources than electrical materials in terms of ‘on live’ format due to the constant variable scientific information in this world, and I have realized we do not have any specific guidelines for those non-print and multimedia resources.

Simple is the Best.

In fact, I wanted to join in ISSH group of COETAILers, whose project was about creating the publication policy for our school. However I missed the very important meeting, where most of the content had been done. That meeting was something you could not have missed if you had wanted to be a part of it. Although I gave up joining in the team, Gary and Mitch showed me kindly what they had done so far for their project.

Soon after I looked at the draft, I loved the way they had done it. The guidelines created in their publication policy looked simple enough for students to understand and apply to their hyper-online lives. The simple is the best, yet I know that to make it simple is the most difficult thing. What I came up to my mind was ‘five laws of library science’ by S. R. Ranganathan in 1931. These laws have been appealing and attracting to me since I took the qualification of a librarian, and they are dynamic enough to be adaptable to this digital information society too.

What I did was Remix.

The course 2 was all about learning the relation of intellectual property and its effect/cause on the society. In particular the copyright and the fair use were the issues of this course2 theme. We had the workshop last Saturday, and Madeline in our table mentioned her very interesting comment on the copy right issue.

‘From right from the start, our constitutional laws in all kinds of nations have been more or less influenced by each other…This is a kind of remix.’

Her mention also reminds me of my insight into Japan, which has been influenced by so many countries such as China, European countries and USA.

The original: Magna Carta

Attribution: By How I See Life No real name given on Flicker. Image: Magna Carta

The big turning point, to which our Japanese society now could attribute was the shift from Edo period to Meiji era, and our constitution has been influenced by the legal policies of German, French and American societies since Meiji. It was certainly around that time Japan had started realizing its modernism. I created ISSH Library Media Center’s Policies for Dealing with On/Offline Nonprint and Multimedia Materials (For Faculties) thanks to so many already existing policies/guidelines/laws, which were good examples to instruct or guide me to create another policy.

Since our library media center’s policy needs to be adhered to our school policy, I collaborated ‘five laws of library science’ with the policy for dealing with on/offline nonprint and multimedia materials, which I referred to guidelines by NCTE(National Council of Teachers of English). The mixture of five laws of library science and guidelines by NCTE were then integrated with our school goals(,in particular, Goal Two). I revised, ‘remixed’ and (re)created policy, which was categorized into elements of our school goals(Goal Two). In this way our library media center’s policy can always go back and forth to our school goals.

Confronting Challenging Missions

I have created this for our library media center getting ready for more expected incoming multimedia resources for the coming age, yet at the same time I have realized that implementing NO.5 guideline is challenging as to how effectively or efficiently they could be monitored and reassessed. I hope that ‘five laws of ‘nonprint and multimedia resources’(replaced by ‘five laws of library science’) could be dynamic enough to cover all presumed aspects of media and communication in the 21st century.

Reflection on Course1 Final Project : Libraries for the 21st century!

Here is my final project unit planner.

What a hard / a lot of work a teacher confronts!

This was my first adventure for the whole concept of all about education. Since I had created neither a unit planner nor a lesson planner, and never thought about ‘what education was’, this was more than just the course1 final project for me. To put it another way, I needed to start from thinking ‘by the way what is teaching? ’. Since I am not a teacher,  I cannot offer any lessons to any students basically. Hence I asked our library teacher(Ms. Kirsten Gallagher) to give lessons  based on the unit planner that I had created to our 4th graders.  Before I started planning, she had advised me that I should consult with all the 4th graders’ teachers to find out their students’ current academic standards( if students have got enough knowledge or skills to follow the content of my unit planner, from which I would expect students to learn.) According to them, they should be good enough to enjoy the unit. The preparation is the everything!

Our new library in a new building.

Coincidently as I talked to our library teacher what I intend to do for the course1 final project, my big theme as ‘libraries for the 21st century’ was the part of what she has been thinking of to do for them since kindergarten and junior school students including K/JS faculties will move to a new building at the end of this year. It is a perfect timing for both students and the whole community of our school to think about our libraries for the future. My dominant attention to the unit however I created does not necessarily confine our library in a new building, where we are moving this December, but emphasizes on whatever libraries in the 21st century our students could think of.

The summary of this unit planner

It will take about approximately one and a half hour lesson for a teacher to implement this unit, which is split into three stages. The goal is that students will be asked to design or lay out their thinking libraries in the 21st century by means of giving their imaginative or creative views based on off/online research for their theme/vision working as their own group. Off-line methods refer to our physical resources or collections in our library and on-line research will be based on our OPAC system, which could also offer filtered web-based contents provided by our system, Google search by image and possibly  searchasaurus hosted by EBSCO, with which we have been contracting. They could mainly do image search activities since they have not been taught how to research topics on authentic search-engine tools. Yet they know or understand how to search things by images, which will help them to have ‘big ideas’  to lay out their thinking I hope. Those ideas will be filled out in open-ended Google doc survey format by students, and they will be later on shown to other groups of students(, which refer to both the same class and the other class )on the screen, and their views could be shared with each other (group) and reflected on together.

The first stage

On the first stage, students will be introduced by some current/past images of library entities or objects in the world, whose timeline will be back and forth and they will see some connections between the past and the present, which could be extended to the future thinking. The underlying concept I would like to deliver to students is the whole vision, which stays at the heart of an organizational body. This unit based on the bottom-up theory was made to motivate their thinking rather than just give contents to them. Therefore this introduction is the mixture of the past, the present, the future and the different time scale or other dimensions set in other planets. Visible images of libraries plus their resources ,which libraries normally/abnormally own and short-cut scenes from ‘Episode2’(, which, if you like, could extend to studies of anthropology: what defines human life and society? ) will be shown to them by following some ‘guess what?’ methods. In the last part of the introduction, we could go through all questions prepared for the survey, on which they will start researching, constructing and laying out their own thinking freely.

The Second and the Third Stage

In the second stage, each group will start answering to the open-ended survey questions on line. Thirdly all views designed by every group of the 4th graders will be shared to the each class of the 4th grade students and reflected on together. If time is allowed, they will draw their imaginative libraries on the copy of the layout design of our new building as they refer back to their own constructive plan based on their answers to the survey.

Since this is the first unit/lesson I have ever created in my life and is going to be delivered to students, I have no ideas how this would be realistically or practically going to happen. We are planning to implement this unit in November, which is just another month before to move to our new building. To what extent is this unit embedded into or integrated with the efficient use of technology?  Will what I am thinking to want them to learn from the unit be applied to their enduring inquiry curiosities? Could this unit planner help them to lay out their bottom-up constructive views? How far away from the approach of ‘new things in new ways’ and “I’ll never go back” as well as “Mapping the Journey” from ‘Reinventing Project-Based Learning’ (written by Suzie Boss and Jane Krauss) would this unit be?

Finally…although I have not implemented this unit planner in lessons yet.

Finally creating this unit has also highlighted the quantity of my uncertain/unknown areas or knowledge or techniques for serving for libraries in the 21st century. There are certainly so many tasks or assignments to be caught up with ahead of me. Another thing I have noticed so far is that we have not made the best use of our database search tools efficiently enough to be paid off.

Image Sources:

Cambridge University puts Europe’s oldest printed books online  

From Project Gutenberg, the first producer of free e-books.

Off the shelf.

Jedi Archives.