Colette Cassinelli's visionary use of information literacy and educational technology

Recent Posts

Encouraging Curiosity

Encouraging Curiosity

As a Librarian, I am often asked to help with research projects with my high school students.  Some projects are truly great and engaging but too often I wonder just how interested are the students in learning something new or are they “just doing enough” […]

TLchat:  new faces and new voices

TLchat: new faces and new voices

Last December, fellow Librarian Tiffany Whitehead put out an all call for some Teacher Librarians to step up and help bring some new blood to the TL Virtual Cafe — which had been on hiatus.  I said I would help out and two months ago […]

12 Ways Librarians Can Promote Digital Literacy

12 Ways Librarians Can Promote Digital Literacy

I am doing some research for an upcoming publication and ran across this excellent list of ways that Librarians can teach and promote digital literacy, including digital citizenship, within the community.

  1. Serve on curriculum development and professional development committees

  2. Contribute to school and district technology plans (which, among other reasons, are required for e-rate discounts).

  3. Survey the school community about their physical access to technology

  4. Provide in-school and remote access to digital resources

  5. Circulate technology, such as e-readers, cameras, and mobile devices.

  6. Produce and disseminate webliographies about digital literacy, including digital citizenship.

  7. Provide face-to-face and online instruction on the evaluation and selection of digital resources.

  8. Provide face-to-face and online instruction to the school community on using technology as a learning tool.

  9. Explain to the school community about intellectual property and ways to give people credit for their ideas.

  10. Promote the Creative Commons ( and contribute to its database of documents.

  11. Teach the school community about cyberbullying and ways to respond to such bullies.

  12. Support and supervise youth social networking and podcast productions (e.g., book talks, library promotions, tech tips).

From Lesly S. J. Farmer.  Information and Digital Literacies (c) 2016

For me personally, the most challenging aspect from the list above is to get involved in the instructional lesson very early in the planning process.  This requires attending grade level meetings – offering resources – tracking curriculum – offering a variety of instructional strategies for integrating technology — be available to co-teach or help — the list goes on and on.

Luckily I am very involved in the professional development planning for our faculty and my staff sees me as a technology leader but it’s developing that consistent scope and sequence of informational literacy skills and lessons that are essential at the high school level. The key is to meet with department leaders, determine grade level indicators for research, develop assessments to check for understanding, and create a comprehensive 9-12 curriculum map for our school.  This takes time because you need to build trust and relationships with the faculty, and it takes administrative support to make it a priority.  I have been at my school for 1 1/2 years now and I am just beginning to get a grasp on our curriculum map and this will be my priority for the remainder of the year.

Do you have a curriculum map that you can share?  If so, please share — and stay tuned — I will publish mine when it’s done.

First Look:  The NEW Google Sites

First Look: The NEW Google Sites

When I first looked at the NEW Google Sites last Fall I wasn’t overly impressed.  I was used to CLASSIC Google Sites (comparison chart) and loved the ability to create templates for class projects.  I had created my Library website at my previous school using Classic […]

Student-Centered Learning Experiences

Student-Centered Learning Experiences

Student-centered learning experience I want my students to work collaboratively together on a project and get the benefits of common knowledge, process and critical thinking Use collaborative Google Apps for Education tools (Drive, Docs, Slides, Sheets, Drawings) where every group member can work on the […]

Digital Workflow Options

Digital Workflow Options

With all the equipment coming to our school in the coming month, teachers need to decide how they are going to push out digital information to their students.  Below are some options whether you want a complete digital solution for daily use — or use some ideas for occasional use.

Complete digital solutions:  Google Classroom, class website, Canvas LMS, Seesaw

Google Classroom (simple):

If you want the ability to post daily announcements and/or share assignments to your students, then set up a simple Google Classroom.  In Google Classroom, use the announcement feature to post the activity of the day or a reminder of the homework.  The announcements will appear in chronological order but not show up on the calendar because there are no due dates attached.  You also have the option to post an individual question to the class where students can respond to each other after their initial post.

Google Classroom (All Features):

If you want a online blended classroom with the ability to push out individual copies of Google documents, to students and have them turn them in digitally, then set up Google Classroom.  In addition to the announcement feature you create assignments in Classroom where you push out the assignment and it requires students to turn in the assignment digitally using Google Docs (See:  Understanding the Assignment Flow).

If you already have a classroom website (made with Google Sites, Weebly, Wix, etc) where you post assignments, and you want students to have copies of Google documents to work on but you don’t necessarily want them to turn in assignments digitally.  Open the document and select SHARE.  Create a “Shareable Link” but replace the end of the URL to /copy to force students to make a copy of the document for themselves.  Note:  It renames the document “Copy of TitleOfDocument” but the student can rename it if they choose.

Note:  Students could always “turn in” these type of documents with you by sharing the doc to your email address.  

If you want a complete digital solution for your class with digital handouts, multimedia options, online rubrics, annotations, etc then participate in the Canvas LMS pilot and talk to Colette or Terry if you want to participate in the Canvas pilot.  Please note:  the district LMS has NOT been chosen yet.

If you want students to have a digital portfolio where they upload copies of assignments, set up SeeSaw.  Seesaw empowers students to independently document what they are learning at school by creating a Seesaw Journal. Students can “show what they know” using photos, videos, drawings, text, PDFs, and links. Learn more …


Simple digital solutions:  shared folders, save to Drive, URLs, email, playlists

If you want a simple solution for sharing “view only” copies of documents or pdfs that are stored online then create a shared Google Folder.  Directions:  Access your Google Drive.  Go to New / Folder and name your folder.  Move the digital files that you want students to have access into the folder.  Right click on the folder and choose SHARE.  Choose “Get Shareable Link” and this will give you a long URL that students to can to access your share folder.  Hint:  Use a URL shortener* to make it easier for students.

If you want to “print” copies of database articles or websites and save them to Google Drive, then access your chosen database article or website but make sure you are logged into your GAFE account and use the Chrome browser — one of the printer options will now to “Save to Drive”.  This will create a pdf of the article that you can post in Classroom or put in a Shared Folder.

If you already have paper copies of a handout and want to convert it into a digital format then visit our school copiers and choose the SCAN feature.  “Copy” your documents with the scan feature and it will email a PDF of your handout to you when you provide your email address.

If you want a simple way to share long URLs with you students then Go to the Chrome web store and install the URL shortener Chrome Extension to your browser.  Visit any website then select the icon on your toolbar and it will provide you with a short URL (and QR code!).  Another option is to use or for custom URLs.

If you want the ability to send email to students in a class period  go to and create a Group with all of your student’s email for each class period.  Send email from your GAFE email account for this to work.  Other options: Create Outlook group or use Synergy.


  • Digital workflow:  The process of providing (and possibly receiving) digital content to students who are using Chromebooks or iPads.
  • GAFE – Google Apps for Education (docs, drive, etc)  Teachers use
  • Chrome Web App –  Applications you can run inside your browser with a dedicated user interface
  • Chrome Extension – Extend the functionality of Google Chrome and the websites being viewed in it.  More about Apps & Extensions…
  • URL shortener – A website that will take a really long web address (URL) and create a short URL that will redirect users to the correct link.  Two popular ones are:  and
What Is A Chromebook?

What Is A Chromebook?

ThingLink Project:  What is a Chromebook?     Chromebook 101   Chromebook Benefits: No hard drive, start up fast, work in constantly being saved, get another one, easily convertible from other platforms, touch screens Chromebook Disadvantages:   Limited software on the laptop, requires wifi,  must […]

Student Engagement With Technology

Student Engagement With Technology

This year the World History 9 Learning Team is investigating how technology can play a part in student engagement.  We are looking at the 5D indicators and trying to see how technology can enhance or impact the student’s experience when they are using Chromebooks in […]

Google’s Chrome Browser vs. Chromebooks:  Whats the difference?

Google’s Chrome Browser vs. Chromebooks: Whats the difference?

A Chromebook is a different type of laptop. Instead of Windows or Mac OS, Chromebooks run Google’s Chrome OS. These machines are designed to be used primarily while connected to the Internet, with most applications and documents living in the cloud.

Google’s Chrome browser is a fast, simple, and secure web browser that you can use on any type of computer or laptop. Signing in to Chrome brings your bookmarks, history, and other settings to ALL your computers. It also automatically signs you into all your Google Apps for Education (GAFE) services.

What is the Chrome Web Store?  You can find apps, extensions, and browser themes for the Google Chrome browser in the Chrome Web Store. With these additions, you can do more with your Chrome browser or Chromebook.

  • These are a few of my favorite extensions:

    • URL shortener — This is a Chrome extensions that installs a small icon next to your search bar.  Click on it and it will shorten any long URL into a short one and even provide you with a QR code for the link!

    • Tech Smith SnagIt – This Chrome extension will allow you to capture a section of your screen or even a video of your screen to save as an image or movie

  • Favorite Chrome apps to use with students that can be installed directly from the Chrome Web Store

    • Newsela – published news articles with various reading levels

    • Canva – Simple templates for graphic design

    • Haiku Deck – Simple but visually stunning presentation templates

    • Socrative – Formative assessments with quizzes, polls & exit tickets

So, if you use the Chrome browser on your laptop, save bookmarks, add extensions and apps – then when you log onto a Chromebook – your browser will look the same!  This makes it super easy for our students and staff to transition back and forth between devices.


Great Features of Google Docs

Great Features of Google Docs

With Google Docs, you can create and edit text documents right in your web browser—no special software is required. Even better, multiple people can work on the document at the same time and every change is saved automatically.  If you are new to Google Docs […]

One Drive To Rule Them All

One Drive To Rule Them All

As part of our Google Apps for Education (GAFE) account, the online version of Google Drive  is the ultimate cloud storage document sharing solution.  Think of Google Drive like a giant online file cabinet where you are able to upload and keep documents, photos, […]

Science News magazine on EBSCO

Science News magazine on EBSCO

Besides academic journals, EBSCO has some magazines in their results and I saw that Science News is one of them.

  1. First I went to the Sunset Library Resource page and chose Academic Search Complete
  2. You are automatically logged on when on campus; off campus needs your username and password.
  3. I chose Advanced Search but didn’t put anything in search (but you could) and just checked full text and wrote Science News for the publication and chose Search.
  4. This gives results from the magazine.  Then I changed the Relevance drop down menu to Date Newest and it displays all the Science News articles in reverse chronological order and most are PDFs from the magazine.
  5. You could also filter it by Cover Story if you only want more in depth stories.
  6. When you open the PDFs of each issue you can advance through the issue pages a few at a time and easily switch to a different issue.

Nifty tip:  If  you use a Chrome browser and are logged into your Google account you can “print” the articles directly to Google Drive – either the PDF or the HTML version.

Note:  Not all sources have original PDFs from the magazines – some are just the article text.  Some other science sources I found when searching (beside academic journals):  Popular Science, New Scientist, Science Now, Current Science, Scientific American, plus Time, US News & World Report, and Newsweek.

Accessing Electronic Resources

Accessing Electronic Resources

One of my #1 goals this year as a LITT is to expose faculty and students to the wide variety of electronic resources available through Beaverton School District. Research shows that one area college-level students are lacking is in their ability to locate, access and […]

What can a LITT do for you?

What can a LITT do for you?

Every so often I will send out an email to my faculty with helpful tips and resources.  All information will be archived on my resource site: 9/8/15   What Can A LITT Do For You? LITT stands for “Library Instructional Technology Teacher” and my role is […]

Colette’s Future Ready:  News You Can Use

Colette’s Future Ready: News You Can Use


I’ve been gathering some of my favorite resources for a new website that I am creating for my new position at Library Instructional Technology Teacher at Sunset High School.  Here’s my initial shares.


Google Apps for Education

  • Google Apps for Education – Training lessons and educator-created materials from Google.
  • Google Classroom resources from Alice Keeler – Math teacher and Google Classroom guru.
    • Alice posts great Classroom resources from her book:  50 Things To Do With Google Classroom and is a wealth of knowledge on all things Google Apps for Education.  Follow her on Twitter.
  • TimelineJS 3 from Knight Lab at Northwestern University uses a Google Spreadsheet to create an easy to make an interactive timeline with text, images, videos, sound files, etc.

Information Literacy

  • OSLIS for Secondary Teachers: OSLIS is the state funded Oregon School Library Information System that provides access to electronic databases for every Library in the the state.  This site also provides ideas for teaching research as well as an easy to use Citation Maker.
  • Purdue OWL (Online Writing Lab).  The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University houses writing resources and instructional material. Teachers and trainers may use this material for in-class and out-of-class instruction.



  • Oregon School Library Standards – A strong school library program includes instruction to support student achievement of standards in: Information Literacy, Reading Engagement, Social Responsibility and Technology Integration.
  • YALSA (Young Adult Library Services Association) Book and Media Awards and Lists for Libraries.

Subject Resources

Social Studies
  • Gapminder – Gapminder is a non-profit venture promoting sustainable global development and achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals by increased use and understanding of statistics and other information about social, economic and environmental development at local, national and global levels.
  • The Racial Dot Map – This map is an American snapshot; it provides an accessible visualization of geographic distribution, population density, and racial diversity of the American people in every neighborhood in the entire country.
Video Editing