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:  https://sites.google.com/a/beaverton.k12.or.us/sunsetpd

9/8/15   What Can A LITT Do For You?
LITT stands for “Library Instructional Technology Teacher” and my role is to be an embedded resource at Sunset High School to help us move forward with the Future Ready initiative.  I am a certified School Librarian and technology evangelist!  I love to work with teachers in designing unit plans, locating print and digital resources for students to use and offering suggestion of how technology might engage students to impact and deepen their learning.  So what can a LITT do for you?  Here are a few ideas …

#SunsetReads

  1. Invite me to a Learning Team meeting — especially when you are planning out an instructional unit. I might be able to suggest electronic database resources or offer to help co-teach a technology lesson.
  2. I can locate and evaluate print and electronic resources to support your curriculum.  Give me a heads up and the Media Center staff can pull books onto a cart for you or I can peruse websites or our database collections and narrow down resources to match your curriculum.
  3. Struggling with a tech issues like building a Google Site or setting up a course in Canvas and you need someone to help you out?  Invite me to sit with you 1:1 and we will work on it together.
  4. Invite me into your classroom to promote the #SunsetReads program.  I can booktalk my favorite YA books, bring along interesting non-fiction titles to match your curriculum or take a #SunsetReads photo for the display.

Cross posted:  https://sites.google.com/a/beaverton.k12.or.us/sunsetpd/library 

Colette’s Future Ready: News You Can Use

FutureReady2

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.

Chromebook

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.

iPad

Library

  • 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

100 Day Plan for a new job

The Prompt:  Before interviewing for my new position, I was asked to outline my 100 Day Plan for starting the school year as a new Library Instructional Technology Teacher. Planning my first 100 days gave me time to really reflect on the responsibilities of the new position and make concrete plans of how I would implement it.  I even searched “100 Day Plan” online and found examples from business and educational leaders.

30/60/90 day milestones: Below are my initial notes and now I am going through my calendar and intentionally scheduling reminders to meet with specific people, follow up on goals, checks for progress. etc.  I plan to check in with key stakeholders at 30/60/90 days and review goals and adjust as needed.

You don’t need to be starting a new job to put together a 100 plan.  The beginning of the school year is a great time to intentionally set goals and make adjustments.  What’s your 100 day plan?


 

For my 100 Day Plan I decided to focus on 4 areas:  Build Relationships, Information Literacy & Technology Curriculum, Professional Development and Promoting Literacy.

 

Build Relationships

  • Be visible, be positive and communicate :  eat lunch, hang out, attend department meetings, compliment teachers on success, get to know my Library Assistants, secretaries, IT, custodian
  • Meet with key stakeholders:  admin team, department chairs, student leaders, tech teachers, potential teachers for Technology Integration team, PTO.
    • As you reflect on this year, what has been the greatest success?  What has been the greatest challenge?
    • *What looks different in your classroom this year compared to last year?
    • *What skills/talents do you think you possess that you would feel comfortable sharing with other staff members?
    • *As we think about our journey over the past three years, what will take us from great to exceptional?  What next steps will help us continue to move forward?
  • Listen learn & observe:  Identify current/previous successes and challenges,   These conversations and a staff survey (before Day 50) will guide planning for next steps to ensure a culture of learning that is supportive of students, staff, and the community.
  • Lead with integrity and professionalism.  ‘EQ’, emotional intelligence, is more important than IQ when it comes to achieving success in the first 100 days

Information Literacy & Technology Curriculum

  • Gather information about current tech & library skill projects:  BSD Innovation Grant about information literacy & digital citizenship
  • Begin building a matrix that show these projects across grade levels & disciplines & track their goals, resources, time & outcomes.
  • Work with District Library & Technology  team on current implementation plans; providing a variety of current print and digital information resources to best match student inquiry needs.providing a variety of current print and digital information resources to best match student inquiry needs.
  • Align these projects with the Oregon State Library Standards & Common Core
    • Core: Information Literacy, Reading Engagement, Social Responsibility and Technology Integration  Because research literacy constitutes the backbone of the CCSS, students who master library standards can expect to experience greater success in reaching academic proficiencies.
      • Reading of complex text, attentive reading and reflective reading help students reach greater understanding & develop the stamina necessary for addressing complicated problems.
      • Learning to work in small groups, share information and evaluate a work for authenticity and clarity, help students to develop standards for improvement and achievement.
      • Learning to be an ethical user of written, digital and social content help students become responsible participants in a democratic society.
      • Learning to navigate and integrate a variety of technology leads to competence, confidence and creativity.
  • Talk with STUDENTS!
  • Seek out collaborators to provide digital resources for underserved populations/ diverse cultures or backgrounds or those who speak limited or no English.

Professional Development

  • Develop a core technology integration team that’s primary focus is to develop ideas of how technology can support curriculum and impact student learning
    • Use survey results to assess faculty needs:  “Needs Assessment”
    • Determine best manner of implementation:  informal or formal
    • Be intentional about developing a strong collaborative school culture:  Praise for innovation, risk taking, continuing development & effort.  Emphasize effectiveness, not popularity. Showcasing exemplars for grade-level expectations and progressions
    • Find collaborative teams that want to move forward in a specific area:  Teachers who use collaborative tech tools, teachers using a common assessment with backward planning, remedial tech skills, Multimedia projects (narrated speeches)
    • Use technology as a way of formative assessment, making thinking visible, differentiating instruction, performance assessments, evidence-based learning
    • Create a feedback loop channel & evaluation.  Are your needs being met? What other assistance can be offered?
    • Utilize Professional Learning Communities as Data Teams to monitor progress and respond to the effectiveness of instruction.   Is there strong evidence that it is directly related to improving student performance?
  • Use fun & creative technology for faculty meeting programs.  Example:  Use GetKahoot to review student policies, dress code, tardies, etc.
  • Tech Tip Tuesday style newsletter, website, dedicated hashtag – share & archive resources
  • Schedule dedicated informal tech:  Breakfast Club, Appy Hour, Tech Tuesdays. Invite staff and student volunteers to showcase their learning

Promote Literacy

  • Meet with current assistants and student book club to get input about how to promote literacy
  • Create the library to be an inviting space with creative book displays, shelf talkers, QR codes, book lists
  • Make connections with non-fiction literacy connected to Common Core subjects
  • Promote literacy programs:  Banned Books Week,  Teen Read Week, #SunsetReads:  involve staff in displaying what they are currently reading.
  • Participate in OASL Battle of the Books, voting for ORCA (Oregon Readers Choice Award) and other community based programs.

By 100 days — Be ready to begin long term School-wide Technology Integration Plan.

Role of Teacher Librarian and literacy

Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/grade6kms/5181031372/sizes/m/in/pool-858082@N25/

Literacies as defined by Loertscher (2008), are the skills necessary to function successfully in school and the world at large as a “literate” citizen.  Literacy skills are lifelong learning skills that include reading, writing, listening, communicating, media literacy, visual literacy, information literacy, ICT literacy, and emerging literacies (124).

The primary role of the teacher librarian in a school’s literacy program is one of advocate and collaborator.  First and foremost, the teacher librarian must know their library collection and understand how it supports the school’s curriculum.  The print and electronic resources in a library are dynamic – always changing and growing to support the learning of the student community.  The teacher librarian is not only passionate about reading and writing, but involving students in all kinds of activities, such as listening to novels on CD, using collaborative technology tools to support group work, and using databases for research and evaluation.  They must be knowledgeable about all types of resources and be the “go to” person in the school who keeps up on current research, who takes the time to learn about and practice emerging technologies, and who collaborates and encourages teachers to try new strategies – especially when it comes to information literacy.

The teacher librarian should be part of curriculum teams.  Because they work with a variety of classroom teachers and with a variety of subject areas, they are in a good position to share best practices and strategies that have been proven effective.  They are they to support, offer advice, and be positive and encouraging of those who are trying new strategies.  They should always been on the lookout for new resources and take time to share what they’ve discovered with their community.  Teacher librarians are the ultimate coach – co-teaching the necessary skills to be successful – and directing and encouraging from the sidelines.

The teacher librarian can have a significant role in content reading skills.  Especially at the higher grade levels, content reading can be quite challenging for some students.  There is a huge jump in the readability of the material and it may contain a lot of technical and unfamiliar terminology.  A teacher librarian who is familiar with content reading strategies can assist classroom teachers in suggesting effective strategies so students have better comprehension of both print and electronic resources.

Image source: http://stingraytales.wikispaces.com/file/view/cornell-layout.jpg/31020865/cornell-layout.jpg

When planning a collaborative Social Studies assignment, the teacher librarian can suggest note taking strategies.  The Cornell note taking system encourages students to take notes while reading a selection from text sources or listening to a lecture and or watching a historical movie.  Students take notes on one side of the paper.  On one side of the page, the student writes “cues” – which are questions which the notes answer.  The page summary at the bottom of the notes provides a concise review of the important material on the page.  This activity reinforces many informational literacy skills and assists the students in understanding the “bigger picture” that is being presented.

Too often in Social Studies, students don’t see the connections from one event to another or they get confused by all the names and dates that are presented.  Encouraging use of a concept map or graphic organizer allows students to “show” the connections and gives them a visual representation of events, people and dates.  The teacher librarian can also provide background reading material that helps make sense of the social studies content.  They can suggest fiction books about the time period being studied.  They can provide access to multimedia collections in databases.  They can encourage individual exploration of interesting websites or DVDs.  Surrounding the students will all types of resources makes understanding social studies content reading much more manageable.

Loertscher, D., Koechlin, C., & Zwaan, S. (2008). The New Learning Commons Where Learners Win!: Reinventing School Libraries and Computer Labs. Salt Lake City, UT: Hi Willow Research

Changes in education have influenced library media programs

Blanche Woolls describes in The School Media Manager (2008) how changes in education have influenced and affected library media programs over the years.  Due to economic difficulties or teacher shortages, libraries were staffed by untrained professionals and plagued by loss of funds (Woolls, p. 5).  That was my experience back in the 1990’s when I took on the role of the first paid librarian at a small private Catholic elementary school in Portland.  I was the classroom teacher with the reading endorsement and good technology skills- wouldn’t that be a good fit for a Librarian?  I learned by trial-and-error, lots of research, helpful mentors and was assisted by enthusiastic parent volunteers.  I remember reading Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning (1998) in those early days.  It gave me guidelines and directed me towards helpful resources.

Progress in school library media programs is reflected in the development of the AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner (2007). These standards are based on the idea that learners use skills, resources and tools and having an effective library program is essential to the development of informational literacy skills of students (Woolls, p. 7). Today, librarians are encouraged to take a stronger leadership role in their schools by collaborating with classroom teachers and placing the resources of the media center into the curriculum (Woolls, p. 11).  I believe this is a critical aspect of our job – to support student learning – otherwise librarians are left with the role of becoming “glorified babysitters” whose primary objective is to manage and check out materials from a “archival museum.”

Today, school library media specialists are also responsible for information literacy.  With constant technological advances, librarians are challenged to help students access, select and evaluate the vast amounts of resources student’s have at their fingertips. Information literacy is defined as the ability to find and use information and is “the keystone of lifelong learning” (Woolls, p. 23). Librarians collaborate with classroom teachers to make sure information literacy skills are taught within the context of the curriculum and not as isolated library lessons.

This is a crucial role of mine at my current school.  Luckily, I teach at the school that values the collaborative relationship between librarian and classroom teacher.  Our school already has developed a scope and sequence of information literacy skills and has identified specific classes where the instruction is integrated within the curriculum for each grade level.  These research projects give students opportunities to practice skills in a variety of subject areas.  Students do not see these skills only belonging to English class because other curriculum areas also require MLA citations/Works Cited, reference databases and consistent use of note-taking among all 9th grade teachers.

Woolls (2008)  describes the development of technology/digital literacy.  I do not distinguish the difference between information literacy and technology/digital literacy. I believe they are one in the same.  Accessing and evaluating information is the same whether you are using a print or electronic platform.  This notion is the same for plagiarism and copyright infringement.  Plagiarism is plagiarism.  The difference today is the ability to access so many more resources and the ease of copying and pasting and declaring it as your own.  What this means for librarians, though, is that they must have and use effective technological skills themselves.  It is no longer acceptable to be digitally illiterate if your primary responsibility is to assist students in accessing information.

Having the school library specialist involved in the development of the school technology plan is essential in order to maintain a technology-rich environment in the library (Woolls, p. 27).  Focusing on curricular outcomes and student learning is the determining factor whether this plan includes online databases, a library catalog, communication links, a library web page, Internet filtering, LAN/WAN or wireless networks, and/or teleconferencing (Woolls, p. 29-31).  There are so many factors to consider and though the librarian doesn’t have to be an expert in all of them, they should be aware of their uses and implications in the library or classroom. This is one aspect of library media specialist where my technology background gives me an edge.

The list of qualities for an effective school library media specialist is quite comprehensive:  outstanding teaching skills, enthusiasm for learning, service orientation, creativity, and leadership (Woolls, p. 39).  Its an exciting role.  I love being a part of all aspects of the school curriculum and become excited when I work with enthusiastic teachers who love what they do and their students love to learn.

I read with interest the AASL position statement of the Role of the School Library Program (1990).  Even though it was written two decades ago I believe it still holds true today.  One aspect that was mentioned in this article was that school libraries  “provides a mechanism for choice and exploration beyond the prescribed course of study”.  Yes, our job is to support the school curriculum but also to foster the love of reading and life-long skills that students will use everyday.  The statement goes on to remind us that books and other materials need to be selected to meet the wide range of students individual learning styles and of interest to ALL members of the community.   This is an important aspect of collection development and that’s why we include graphic novels, ebooks, books on tape, etc, in the library.  I love the idea that the library is the symbol of freedom: “the freedom to speak our minds and hear what others have to say”.  Having just celebrated Banned Books Week, this idea is even more important than ever!

Faye Pharr, Principal  from Lakeside Academy of Math, Science, and Technology describes how their school transformed their media center with the Library Power initiative in the article, Reflections of an Empowered Library (n.d.). The goal of the Library Power initiative was to enhance student learning by  improving library services.  They moved to flexible scheduling and the library became a center of instruction, exploration and learning.  Pharr reported that the key to change was the collaborative planning between the library media specialist and the classroom teachers.

I find this as the most rewarding as well as as the most challenging aspect of my new role.  It takes a concerted effort on my part to connect with classroom teachers.  I find that I need to seek them out and ask them how I can support the student learning that is happening in the classroom.  Just because you want it to happen … doesn’t mean it will happen.  I think that it is great that Lakeside Academy reported that “there was a direct link between library usage and test scores in the reference study and reading comprehension” and that circulation of non-fiction books doubled in the last two years.  Results like this should motivate librarians everywhere to evaluate their current library program.

References

Information power:  Building partnerships for learning. (1998).  Chicago, IL:  American Library Association.

Pharr, F. (n.d.). Reflections of an empowered library. Retrieved October 3, 2010, from http://www.laurabushfoundation.org/Pharr.pdf.

Position statement on the role of the school library media program.(1980).  Retrieved October 3, 2010, from American Association of School Libraries: http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/aaslissues/positionstatements/slmprole.cfm

Standards for the 21st century learner. (2007).  Chicago, IL: American Association of School Librarians.  Retrieved October 3, 2010 from http://www.ala.org/aasl/standards.

Woolls, B. (2008). The school library media manager. Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing Group.