Sad Life Moment

Today I learned that a good friend, Ellen Nugent, who worked for 17 years as a Shanghai American School middle school librarian, passed away.  It has saddened me in so many ways.  Of course, just losing Ellen, who loved her job, has stunned me.  The other thing that saddens me is that it has been months since we talked or “chatted” on-line.  I just was caught up in my life.

Ellen did live her life.  She traveled a great deal, enjoyed her friends, and went back to her home state of Montana every summer.  As all of us do, she was making plans about retirement but couldn’t quite decide on when to do it.  She will be greatly missed at SAS.

This is the second friend that I have lost this year.  Both younger than me.  I am going to take this as a wake up call.  I intend to call, write, email, or go visit friends and family – at least for this week.  I hope to continue making contact with my friends around the world more often.  I am so blessed to have so many wonderful people to call friends.

Don’t let any more days pass you by.  Get in touch with that friend that you have been meaning to call.  Make a date to have lunch together this summer.  Plan a reunion of international friends at some wild location or tame one.  Celebrate your life and your friends everyday.

Clever AUP teaching tool

My friend, Tara Ethridge, is a super librarian.  She works at ISB (Bangkok) in the elementary library.  Apparently they were having some AUP violations and struggling with how to deal with it.  She and her tech integrationist, Chrissy, came up with a two clever ideas – both of which I will use in some way.  Check out Tara’s website, TLC, and read AUP Ups and Downs.  This is a perfect example of all that we have talked about with AUP implementation and follow-up.

A bit of work avoidance

OK, I admit it, I am in the midst of work avoidance.  Not that the work is sitting here, staring me in the face – but ……

As I was reading some of the cohort blogs I noticed the cool tag cloud thing going on.  Hmmm, maybe I could do that.  Bet it will take HOURS, thus avoiding this heap of work on my left.  Rats, it took about 45 seconds.  Still it does look cool.  I like the idea that the e biggest fonts come from three librarians.  May they lead the way!!!!

OK, back to this heap that is beginning to look dangerously like it may tip over.  If you don’t hear from me in the next few days, I am on the floor with the heap on top.  (Does that sound like a case for CSI:Tunisia?

READ this article as soon as possible!

“Are you suffering from FOMO?”  I insist.  Read this blog now.  Share it with your friends.  If you are suffering from FOMO, it is not too late.  Put down that cell phone.  Step away from the computer.  Smile at the next two people you see.  Actually talk to someone face to face.  Go through an entire meal without connecting to any technological device.

Have heart, it is not too late.  Do this immediately after reading this post.

;)

AUP creation and reflection

Tech Babes at Work

Julie Bredy and I collaborated on this project and asked Kristi Lonheim to contribute ideas to our work.  We also met with Rick Park, our IT Director, and Paul Welsh, the secondary tech integrationist, to look over the document and get input from them.  Rick explained that our AUP is part of our Student Handbook, which covers school policies, thus it ia separate, signed document is not created.  Since the handbook for the next school year is currently at the printers, our document will not be used for a revision soon.  Both Rick and Paul suggested we look at using our document as a basis for review next year.  We will have a new IT Director to bring on board as well.

When Julie and I first met, we discussed who we wanted our “audience” to be for this document.  Both of us, as elementary teachers, felt we needed a document written in language the children could understand.  We didn’t want it to be overly long or wordy.

We gathered several AUP’s from around the world:  Singapore American School (where Paul Welsh worked until this year), International School of Bangkok, and International School of Aberdeen (where our new IT Director currently works).  Kristi sent us copies of AUPs from YIS, Woodbury School District, and South Brunswick School District.  After looking at each document, we compared what was common to all the versions, and what each offered that others didn’t.  Then we built a “skeleton” and met to discuss how to flesh it out and what to discard.  We invited Kristi to have a look at this point.  She made a brilliant suggestion.  Our first – er second draft still contained statements starting with “Don’t ….”.  Kristi suggested to make them more positive in nature.  This was consistent with ISB’s version.  I think it works well.

The hardest part of this project, for me, will come next school year.  Julie and I agree that we want to start the year with discussions on being Digital Citizens.  Though she is moving to Middle School, I think that we can work together to make lively discussions happen.  I want to work with my students, teachers, and parents on this.  Making each group aware of the AUP and making them a part of Digital Citizenship responsibilities will give us much more success.

Rick and Paul agree that it would be a good idea to pull together both librarians, the tech group, and admin to put together a focus on Digital Citizenship for the entire year.  Bringing teachers on board by showing them how to model for their students, as well as giving them resources to use with their own work and that of their students.  I also hope to work with parents on this as well.

I appreciate that the nature of this assignment was to devise a workable document, one that could become our school’s policy in some form at some time.  Just as we strive to find “real world problems” for our students to tackle, having one of mine own felt good.  Not just another task to finish to get to the goal line.

Below is our finished product.  I am looking forward to seeing what is posted from all of you.  Thanks again to Kristi who gave us some great food for thoughts.  And I would like to thank Julie who was gracious with her time, right in the midst of preparing for student led conferences (and having them) and all the other time consuming chores a 5th grade teacher has.  She is a pleasure to work with and I am so fortunate that she wanted to take these courses with me!

ACST Elementary School

Acceptable Use Policy – Course Two Final


The school provides computers and other technology services for you to use and they are a powerful tool to help you learn and communicate your learning.   They are for everyone to share so we have to take proper care of them so they are available all of the time.  Also, because they are school property, we must use them in educational ways and with the same respect we give to books, equipment, and the school building.   Using computers at school is a privilege, not a right.  These are the school rules and also the laws, both Tunisian and international, we expect all patrons to follow.

Equipment

  • I will treat the equipment with respect.  I will not damage, disable or otherwise harm the operation of the computers.
  • I will not install any software on school computers without the permission of the technology director.
  • I will be careful that any files brought in on removable media (i.e. CDs, DVDs, flash drives, etc…) have been checked by antivirus software and are virus-free.
  • I will not connect mobile equipment (i.e. personal laptops, iPads, PDAs, etc…) without permission from the IT Department.

Security and Privacy

  • I will never reveal my home address, picture, or phone numbers, or those of my classmates or teachers, when on the Internet.  I will use school email and phone numbers, only.
  • I will only use my account and password and keep my password private.
  • I will not change individual files that don’t belong to me and will never change system files.
  • I will respect the security settings on the computers and will not attempt to bypass or change them.
  • I realize that computer storage areas (the school hard-drive) are like cubbies or lockers.  Teachers or administrators may inspect them from time to time to make sure they are being used, properly.
  • I will report security problems or anything that makes me feel uncomfortable to my teacher, principal, or technology director.


Internet

  • I realize that computers may only be used for educational purposes during the school day.
  • I will not download, or use the Internet, or save any files that are obscene, pornographic, or offensive to others.
  • I will obey copyright laws and respect the work that belongs to other people, both at school and on the Internet.


Email

  • I will respect the viewpoint of others.  I will not reply using language that includes swearing or other offensive language.
  • I will not open attachments to email unless they come from someone I already know and trust.
  • I realize that all email must be appropriate for students and may not display information or images that are violent, dangerous, racist, or in any other way, inappropriate.
  • I realize that email is not private; it can be read by teachers or the technology director.