Thursday, October 16, 2008

Learning and Technology October 16, 2008

We have spent the day together, our first of the year, looking at our Computer Technology Acceptable Use document, reviewing the exciting things teachers are doing in their school, looking at some new web applications and considering out roles as teacher leaders.

It's always exciting to hear what other people are doing. The uncomfortable part is the little voice in the back of my head comparing what I've done to what others are doing. I am so impressed with how people are using technology as an instructional tool. My list of accomplishments is not as impressive. At the best, I hope I have been able to support the accomplishments of others in my school.

I want to be excited about the possiblities and not overwealmed by feelings of what I should be doing. That will be my personal goal - to only for opportunities for using technology with students and teachers both as a teacher-librian and as an administrator.

Library Automation

The school year is well underway and I feel caught up with the automation process in the library. Most afternoons you will find me in the library attaching barcodes to books, if you want to help, just give me a call.

I am very excited about what students will be able to do with the new system. Those students who have been introduced to the L4U system caught on very quickly and were using the system immediately to find materials in the library. Having lived with out a card catalogue for most of this year, perhaps we got rid of it to quickly, it is very exciting and useful to have a data base for finding books, especially one which is so responsive.

Attaching barcodes has given me the opportunity to learn more about our collection and that's the silver lining in an otherwise tedious process.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


There's nothing like going to an inservice where everyone is functioning well above your skill and knowledge level. Certainly it has been exciting and daunting to be at TLt.
Yesterday, I heard George Siemens speaking and one of the points he covered was the changing role of the teacher and students in connection to technology. He believes that education looses its transformative role in society if teachers are unable to mentor students with technology. I thought he was saying that if teachers don't engage in technology and use technology with students, then we are doing a disservice to our students. It certainly inspires me to learn more and transfer that to what I do with students.
Some of the other sessions I attended help learn more about Web2.0 tools. I am already putting these into practice. Ask me the next time what I have done with my students using those tools.
It was exciting to meet with other teachers from our division and see what they are doing in their classrooms.
I believe that teachers who believe in their own learning and transfer that learning to students will see students learn. I learned alot these days, I need to play and transfer that to what my students are learning.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Reviewing My Progress in the Library

On September 29th I questioned what success in the library would look like for me and I wrote I was seeing glimmers of what I wanted to happen in the library. That was September and it's now April.

We finished up our Dr. Seuss unit and it was exciting to see students signing out his books and enjoying them all over again. I like what I see with the grade one students as they read to each other and read a book together. I am also very pleased with the connections students make with the books we are reading. I just read Anthony Browne's book Into the Forest to students and enjoyed hearing the comments and connections made by students from grades 1 to 4. It was everything I had hoped for in September.

The inflexibility of rigid timetabling really limits how I prep and work with students. I look forward to more freedom next year. So much of what I plan is based on the thirty minutes I have to work with each class. Blogging in half an hour and then not getting to them again for another week has not been the best situation.

My use of technology remains a constant concern. I am excited about a lap top project which will be housed in the library. This should make it easier to integrate technology into the library program as well as make learning more personal for students.

I am busy prepping a unit on pirates that I will use with students from grades 1 to 3. I plan to focus on identifying the sources of our knowledge about pirates and then to to use fiction and nonfiction books to develop student's understanding of the world of pirates.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

On Being an Old New Learner

I have been working on a project with both the grade seven and eight students using the comiqs site. What a great site and for those students who completed the activity it was great.

1) I realised that I have a higher need to control the learning environment when I am unsure of my skills and understanding of the project. I don't find it easy just to roll with the situation. I want to type out the steps of the project rather than allowing students to "play" with the site. I also found that as my stress transfers to the students.

2) After several periods of working on the project I realised that there was something wrong with our school's ability to upload to the site. I had just assumed I was doing something wrong and had not instructed the students correctly. It find it frustrating to want to try new things with students and find that the system is not supportive of that learning.

3) It was easier for the second group of students who worked with the site. We worked in smaller groups, they seemed better able to work through the steps. And oh yes, Donna came out to help us!

4) Students need to have an email account for so many projects which can be done online.

5) Students whose parents have not said there pictures can be on the internet quickly phone home when they want to use photos of themselves and their friends.

So, as an older learner, I am going to need to be sure of the site I am using, ask questions of the tech department when I have questions, and trust that it will work.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I'm Back!

I have been back for a while, but this is my first post. Well...

1) In January I introduced the students to the reading comprehension strategy, making connections, as outlined in Reading is our Business written by Sharon Grimes. The students loved using the sticky notes. And I enjoyed hearing their comments and connections. Some students made the most incredible and meaningful connections. I have to say I was most impressed with a grade three student who made the connection between the illustrations in Owl Moon with a local artist, Allen Sapp. The older students found it the most difficult to make connections, or enjoyed the process the least.

2) I worked on a small unit introducing students to author's purpose. Which has gone well. I used a much simpler format than the one on making connections, and I felt it was more successful. I am mulling this over and looking at how I plan my next units. I want students to enjoy their time in the library and I want it to be a meaningful learning experience.

3) Today is the birthday of Dr. Seuss and I am excited about the unit I am going to introduce to students on Tuesday. It is amazing how many ideas and web sites are on the net for teachers to use. My website is small, but I am pleased with the links I found.

4) I continue to work on helping students to find books they will enjoy reading. We are putting out more buckets of books and hope to rotate these so there is always an easy way to find a book. I am developing genre author lists which we will post. As much as I want students to use these they are useful for me as well. I don't know the collection as well as I would like to. I also want to have a web page on the library web page which always have a list of the new books with a bit of a summary.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

What Do Students Know About the Internet?

I am using the web site Welcome to the Web with students in grades seven and eight. This web site leads students through 5 main topics: 1) the internet, 2) guestbooks, 3) web browsers, 4) searching the net, and 5) researching on the net.The information is presented at a very elementary level. I find the graphics used to be very child like, for example one of the graphics used is a clown.After working though the first section I find that students need to be slowed down to read the information on the page, there is a lot of print on the pages. It seems that they are not used to reading all the print, but just want to find the link that leads them to the next page. As I listened to the students talk, they used each other to support their learning, as not all students knew what a hyperlink was.At the present time I think students know how to use parts of the internet but may not understand its structure and format. Then again, do I?