Saturday, April 30, 2011

The little Engine that Could

I am not sure if this a comment on how I feel after the Pennsylvania School Librarian's Conference this weekend or a lesson plan in development. But there is a very nice kit for the book "The Little Engine that Could on and I just found this very cute video. I think I may have to read the book to my students during our book fair this week. Wish us luck with the book fair!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Glogster State Reports

My 4th grade student just completed their State Report Glogs. It was a project that I had them complete in the library because there is just not enough time in a school year for teachers to get to everything and I wanted to give them another Web2.0 tool for their toolbox.

When we do a project in the library it always takes so much longer to complete because we only meet once a week and many times the students have other commitments during library special like band and orchestra or speech. If there is no school one day that puts us back even farther. Students have been working on gathering their information and pictures, and playing with the Glogster tool since mid January. The last class finished last Friday. What is a glog you ask? A glog is an interactive electronic poster. It has so many educational uses that one Glogster account is not enough for a librarian. The way it works is a teacher and/or librarian signs up for an educational Glogster account. Glogster then gives you 50 student logins. You can have your students create their login or you can do what I did, I had each student create a login with their first name being their classroom number and their last name being the classroom teacher’s last name. Not only did this offer an additional level of security for my under age-13 students but I will be able to use those accounts over next year with the same classes. It also provided an interesting grading outcome. I graded each glog against the same rubric not knowing which student did the glog. All I knew was their classroom teacher and their class number. When I was putting the grades in my grade book I noticed that many of the special education students had actually done better with the project than the gifted education students. Embedded here are several glogs, see if you can tell which students are gifted and which are in special education.

While this was not a scientific experiment by any means, I can’t wait to see if the results are duplicated the next time I assign a Glogster project. The students also enjoyed the Glogster network and looking at the glogs created by their fellow students. Great tool to introduce social networking in a controled environment, a walled garden so to speak.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

I'll Fight You For the Library

As most of us know, April is Poetry Month. Welcome to my new favorite poem to share for Poetry Month. I love my PLN (Personal or Professional Learning Network) on Plurk. I discover the most wonderful things when my Plurk buddies share. This YouTube video was shared by my Friend Scottie Miller from Oriental, North Carolina. Like me she is an elementary school librarian. Hope you enjoy this and realize that teachers care about the education of their students!

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Twitter Sheep


Who is following you on Twitter? Who are you following? What would your tweets and the Tweets of those you follow look like in a Wordle-like program? If you want to get a clear picture of what you are all about have I got a fun Web App for you! It's called TwitterSheep and it is a lot of fun even if it does not paint an accurate picture of you or your interests. I used the App on my Twitter account and got the results in the picture to the right. Hope you have fun with this! Bahhhh... Enjoy!

Google Head

I admit it, I am a Google Head. My students will tell you that. The day I took off to take my daughter to the doctor after she delivered my second grandson I was there at the doctor's office but my students thought I was at “Google Fest.” When I got back to school I had to check out what “Google Fest” was all about. Go Ann Arbor!

Hope you enjoyed your flash mobs and hope you get your Google Fiber!

Anyway, my students know that Mrs. Conger uses Google and GMail, and GoogleDocs, and they also know that Mrs. Conger teaches them how to Google and will be looking over their shoulders while they Google. Friday was Crazy Hair day at my school so since I am a self professed Google Head I made it real, Google Head real. (See picture above). Now Kathy Schrock has come out with this new picture of how Google and Google Apps fit into the new revised Bloom's Taxonomy. She has been getting wonderful feedback on Twitter and Plurk for what she is calling Google Tools to support Bloom’s Revised Technology. Notice that several Google Tools fit into more than one category and notice that Google Advanced Search is considered a tool under the category of Understanding. I have been teaching my students to search using advanced search and I have been thinking that I am doing such a wonderful thing and here we are only in the category of understanding. I got depressed when I thought of all the work my students were doing and the more I thought about it, the more I realized they were going beyond understanding and applying what they knew and transferring that knowledge to new situations. They were doing things that not only met the new AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner; they were becoming 21st Century Citizens. They were utilizing digital tools to gather information on things they wanted to learn about, they were emerging into life-long learners. Isn’t that what we want them to do? Ok, so some of them were checking the scores on the NCAA tournament but they asked my permission first! :-}

So, I am going out on a limb here and disagreeing with Kathy Schrock, but just a little. I believe that Google Advanced Search falls under more than one category. In applying advanced search principals my students are no longer using copyright sensitive materials, they are applying the skills I have taught them to make decisions regarding materials they are choosing to use in their projects and reports and for their own use. And if Google Advance Search can fit under more than one category can other Google Tools fit into more than the categories assigned? I am taking Kathy’s Google Bloom’s and using it with a grain of salt, realizing that it too is a tool!