VMS Media Center

First Quarter 2016-17

Magazine Subscriptions on FLIPSTER

As you probably know our students and staff have access to both scholarly and popular magazines for research through our subscription databases. The Media Center staff help students learn to use these for their schoolwork. We also subscribe to some teen oriented print leisure reading magazines that are typically not found in the databases (Teen Vogue, Dirt Rider...). This year, all our leisure magazine subscriptions will become digital as well. There are four big reasons we chose the digital route for these.

  1. Students will be getting Chromebooks which will give them access to the leisure magazines anywhere and anytime they have their device.
  2. We are using a portal named FLIPSTER which also has an app, so students and staff can access leisure magazines on other devices.
  3. Unlike print magazines that can only be checked out to one person at a time, FLIPSTER magazines, allow multiple simultaneous users.
  4. FLIPSTER also archives issues so that the users have access not only to the current issue but to the previous months as well.

You may be wondering if there is value in the Media Center purchasing leisure reading magazines for middle schoolers, but the research supports leisure magazine reading as a tool to improve reading, especially with reluctant readers. Want to to know more?

Middle Schoolers and Magazines: What Teachers Can Learn From Students' Leisure Reading Habits

Good Morning VandenBerge

The VMS Report (called "Good Morning VandenBerge" this year) will be a little different this year than last. Here are the basics.

1. The group will meet during SOAR this year and will produce one show per week to air on the first day (typically Monday) of the following week in Rally.

2. The link to the show will appear directly below the link to the daily announcements on the VMS homepage, so that you can show it right after clicking through the announcements.

3. The first show will be on October 31.

4. The show content will be slightly different than last year. If you would like to know the rationale behind the changes keep reading otherwise that's it.

Rationale for changes to VMS Report:

  • Last year we met before school and attendance was sporadic. If students had other commitments before school they didn't come and this made it very difficult to guarantee a show each week, thus the change to SOAR.
  • Due to the time lag between when the students produced the show and when it aired, there would be important announcements that did not get included in the show making it necessary to still show the the TV announcements in Rally anyway and causing duplication.
  • Currently students who need or want information from the daily announcements, can easily access it on the webpage at almost any time. This will be even more true next year when they each have a Chromebook. I foresee a future where students get all the announcements they need through Schoology. I foresee the announcement feed to be unique to individual students and to be in real time. For example, only band students would get an announcement about a band event or only students signed up for the Washington DC trip would get announcements about the trip, or as soon as a baseball practice was canceled due to rain, baseball students would know this through their schoology feed. Consequently, the routine information is better delivered in ways other than by a video production and the students on the video production team can devote their energy to more creative products. Examples of these more creative productions might be things like: What is Veterans Day?, How do students at VMS show they are ready, respectful, and responsible?, What is the Book Fair all about? etc. So, you will see a shift in the content this year more in this direction.

Re-run: Schoology and Online Academic Discussions

Because more of us are using Schoology, I am including a re-run of a previous article.

Schoology has a very nice online discussion feature. As we move more towards the use of Schoology, I thought you might find some of these links about online academic discussions to be helpful. In addition, I put a link to the lesson I use that introduces students to their role in an online academic discussion. I am happy to do this lesson with your students before you ask them to participate in an online discussion, but the lesson is self contained so also feel free to just use it on your own if you like.

Student Lesson

Participating in an online academic discussion.

Why have an Online discussion and how to manage it.

Conducting effective online discussions

How to design good online discussion questions.

Developing Effective Questions for Online Discussions

Rubrics and grading online discussions.

Online Discussion Boards and Rubrics

Rubric for Asynchronous Discussion Participation

Online Discussion Protocols and Rubrics

Book Fair and Readathon

Our Scholastic Book Fair is scheduled for this fall. The fair runs from noon on November 28th through 1:00 on December 2nd including evening conference hours on November 29th. Some of this year's featured authors can be seen here http://goo.gl/OHibc9

The widest selection can be found by shopping online. Find our Book Fair at www.scholastic.com/fair starting November 8th. Books ordered online will be delivered directly to Rally classrooms.

Our Readathon is scheduled for February 6-17.

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Media Centers Will Focus On Digital Citizenship During 2016-17 SY

This year all middle school students will participate in nine digital citizenship lessons developed by the ERAS Media Specialists. One lesson per month will be delivered through Rally. The chart below shows the monthly focus as well as the key topics for each lesson. If you would like to know more, check out the tip sheets for parents on the VMS Media Center website. https://goo.gl/NLtyid


FOCUS for the Month

Key Topics

September: Acceptable Use and Technology Care

  • ISD 728 Acceptable Use Policies (AUP) and local school rules.

  • AUP (Policy 7049)

  • Technology Care

October: Digital Footprint

  • Capacity of the Internet to disseminate both positive and negative ideas.

  • Benefits and dangers of immediacy and permanency of digital information transfer.

  • Footprints we leave online.

November: Netiquette

  • Appropriate online discussions,

  • Personal VS professional use

  • Formal VS informal communication

December: Cyberbullying

  • Bullying/harassment can happen with technology.

  • What does it look like?

  • Cyberbullying: what it looks like

January: 21st Century Communication

  • Bias/Hate speech

  • Blogs

  • Social Media

  • Positive use of online communication

  • Text Messaging

February: Internet Safety

  • Passwords

  • Privacy

  • Phishing/Spam

  • Digital Health

March: Copyright

  • Purpose of copyright

  • Resources which can be used under the guidelines of copyright.

  • Understand and respect concepts of copyright materials

  • Fair Use

April: Digital Footprint

  • Showcase Digital Footprint

  • Use Checklist to evaluate their footprint

  • Summer Pledge (book blog, positive online experience, college portfolio)

Our Display Cases Are Amazing!

Our Media Center displays cases are amazing if I do say so myself. All of the credit however goes to Tracy. Thank you Tracy for all your work and creativity in making VMS shine, and for the sense of community you bring by enlisting and leading student helpers to make the best display cases ever!
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