Brief Business Update
- The last Watering Hole was at 4pm on March 10th at J Gray’s Tavern in Cumberland. We had 8 members attend. We discussed successful lessons, advocacy, the upcoming conference, PARCC woes, and more over drinks and apps. Deanna Brooks has volunteered to organize the April Watering Hole in the East Bay area. If anyone would like to host a future Watering Hole gathering, please contact Katie O’Kane at email@example.com.
- The Advocacy Committee requested that Governor Gina Raimondo proclaim April 2015 as School Library month. They have created an Animoto that celebrates school libraries: https://animoto.com/play/1N8wfMJzx0dj0uVjeeE1PA
- The webmaster has been busy working to ensure that our domain continues forwarding from our old website.
SLRI Board Member Spotlight: President Jane Perry
When asked to write a bit about myself, I did the math and realized I have been a librarian for 33 years!! How did that happen? My previous jobs include being a technical Librarian at Navel Underwater Systems Center, a ‘toy librarian’ at Hasbro Industries, a Reference then a Young Adult librarian in Newport Public Library. One thing I love about being a librarian is the diversity of jobs that are available. What I found missing in public libraries was a ‘captive audience’ and there was so much I wanted children to know about libraries. I went back to URI and got certified as an Library Media Specialist and have been a school librarian for 17 years.
As my four children grew older, I had more time to devote to librarianship and joined the SLRI Executive Board starting as an At-Large member, then Secretary, then Vice-President and now I am finishing up my term as President. I have learned so much!!
They say change is not easy and that is what I found as I began my work as a board member. We had to change the name of our organization, eventually becoming School Librarians of Rhode Island. We needed a new logo, and we now have a beautiful new logo representing our organization. We needed to toot our own horn more, to get the word out about the great things happening in our libraries. Our face book page is more active and we now are on Twitter. We needed a new website that would accommodate membership and conference registration and after much research, the conference, webpage, and membership committees decided on Wild Apricot. Our new site is wonderful, for the first time conference registration is now on line and our membership renewals are also online. The site also hosts this great newsletter, has an area to create forums and the website can also be used as a source of revenue. Finally, brand new to our organization, we held our first virtual board meeting from several locations throughout the state using Google Hangouts. We also use Google docs to share agendas, minutes and committee reports.
Now I would love to take credit for all these great things happening in SLRI, but the reality is: this is a totally collaborative effort. I never tweeted, used google docs or “hung out” before. Each member of the board, the standing committees and the affiliates had a hand in making positive changes happen for SLRI. My hope is that the addition of virtual meetings will enable members who have time constraint issues to become more involved in SLRI Board. There is still much to be done, but as our logo shows, we truly are sailing forward into the future. Please jump aboard; you will learn so much while helping grow an organization that helps school librarians grow. Yes, change can be difficult at times, but in the long run, change is good!
AASL Hotlinks Resources
The implementation of a one-to-one program doesn't mean all students need to have the same device, writes Bob Nelson, superintendent of schools for Chawanakee Unified School District in California. In this blog post, he highlights factors for a successful one-on-one program.
Tips to Help Educators Wade through Technology Options
Rapid integration of technology can leave some educators confused about how best to proceed in their classrooms. In this commentary, Denise Jaffe, a technology integration facilitator at West Hartford Public Schools in Connecticut, shares tips to help overcome this challenge, inspired by an interaction with an educator in the district.
How Poetry Can Enhance Reading and Writing Skills
Studying poetry is an excellent way for younger students to study language patterns and focus on writing at the sentence level, educator Matthew James Friday writes in this blog post. He shares a two-week poetry unit in which students read model text, analyze lines of verse as well as write and share their own poems.
How School Leaders Can Make the Most of Technology, Social Media
School leaders should strive to do more with technology and social media such as Twitter, school principal George Couros writes in this blog post. Instead of simply using Twitter or learning how to blog, education leaders should be encouraged to use those tools to build relationships, connect with the community and drive change, he suggests.
Tips to Lead and Support Innovation in Educational Technology
Educational-technology leaders should find a balance between legacy-technology programs and adoption of newer systems, writes Jean Tower, director of technology for a Massachusetts school district. "To lead ed tech well, we have to find the balance between nurturing innovation and maintaining legacy systems; between keeping the current systems operating smoothly and igniting and leading change," she writes.
What to Consider before Launching a One-to-One Program
Ann McMullan, former executive director of educational technology at Klein Independent School District in Texas, recently shared 10 questions that educators should ask before launching one-to-one device programs. She also highlighted the need for professional development in such programs. "Professional development has to be about more than the device itself," she said.
Tips to Help Schools Navigate Legal Aspects of Ed-Tech
Social media, mobile applications and other digital technologies can help transform teaching and learning, but they also come with potential legal complications, according to Bradley Shear, a Maryland-based lawyer who counsels educational institutions about technology law and policies. In this commentary, he shares five ways that schools can help prevent social media from becoming a "legal headache."
How Flipped Instruction Could Change the Future of Education
Flipped instruction can help maximize class time, personalize learning, excite students and teachers and build 21st-century skills, said education consultant and author Kathleen Fulton. She recently shared ways that flipped instruction can change learning.
Tips to Create Connected-Learning Communities
Communication between teachers, administrators, students and parents is a fundamental step in creating a connected-learning community, asserts Paul Cuthbert, superintendent and CEO of the Evergreen School Division in Manitoba, Canada. In this blog post, he shares four guiding principles to help school leaders launch the process.
Simple Policy Can Help Form BYOD Programs
Policy should form the foundation of bring-your-own-device programs, writes Deborah Karcher, chief information officer for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. In this blog post, she shares the district's "simple policy."
AASL Hotlink Association and Education News
A new PSA featuring Academy Award® winning actress and bestselling author Julianne Moore is now available from AASL as part of the 30th anniversary of School Library Month. In the PSA, Moore speaks to how school librarians empower students to succeed in school and beyond. The PSA and instructions on how to embed the video on school library websites can be viewed at www.ala.org/aasl/slm/2015/psa.
Education Business and Associations Want School Library Funding Increased
A coalition of more than 20 education businesses, associations and media groups are calling on Congress to support dedicated school library funding in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The coalition, which includes Scholastic Inc., EBSCO Information Services, Inc., and the Association of American Publishers, is asking Congress to expand federal investment in school libraries. Specifically, the coalition wants the Strengthening Kids' Interest in Learning and Libraries Act, which was introduced in January by Sens. Thad Cochran, R-Miss. and Jack Reed, D-R.I., to be folded into ESEA reauthorization.
House Proposes to Eliminate IMLS and Library Funding
The budget resolution released last month by the US House Budget Committee proposes to eliminate the Institute of Museum and Library Services, the agency that administers federal funding support for more than 123,000 libraries in virtually every community in the nation. American Library Association President Courtney Young on March 25 released a statement in response, saying: “Through grant-making and federal funding, IMLS aids libraries in supporting lifelong learning and equitable access for all."
The Promise of Technology and Digital Media
Digital technology in the classroom, when properly integrated, is helping American school children stay competitive globally, and on track to compete successfully in the 21st century workforce, according to a study released by the Center for Promise. The paper, titled “Wired to Learn: K-12 Students in the Digital Classroom,” explores digital learning as a promising strategy for improving students’ educational experiences and highlights the efforts of five school districts across the country focused on reshaping the traditional learning environment.
Teens More Likely to Post First, Ask Questions Later
Teenage students are more likely to post information online and then evaluate the potential consequences, according to a recent study by researchers at Pennsylvania State University. For some adults, this is difficult to understand, researchers found, because adult brains are more likely to evaluate the potential risks first.
Active Learning, Not Flipped Learning, Leads to Positive Outcomes
Active learning may be the key to positive student outcomes, according to a recent study. Researchers examined active learning in flipped and nonflipped biology classes and found that the flipped classroom doesn't produce higher student learning outcomes than a nonflipped classroom when both use an active learning approach. Whether instructors flip their classrooms or not, the key to improving learning outcomes is to involve students actively in the learning process, constructing their own knowledge rather than just passively listening to lectures.
Instructional Model Unlocks Ed-Tech’s Potential
A recent report identifies an instructional approach that could help educators make the most of educational technology. A study of 100 countries by the World Economic Forum and Boston Consulting Group found that a "closed-loop" model could help harness the full potential of technology, and it could help close skills gaps