I Heard it on the Radio

Thanks to listeners who tuned in to EduTalk Radio on January 20th, 2011 to hear about the impact school libraries that use social media can have on student learning. Many links were referenced during the interview so I am providing them below.

I am running for the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Region 1 (CT, AM, ME, NH, RI, VT) Director Elect. My statement to the AASL membership is available online at http://bit.ly/aasl2011R1. The election is open to the AASL membership. Polls open on March 16 and close on April 22.

I talked about a facebook survey during the interview. Here is a link to the New Canaan results. And here is a link to the survey. We are trying to get as many students as possible to take it. Please distribute http://bit.ly/yfilter to students as widely as you can. We also have a companion survey for teachers that my colleague Cathy Swan put together last year http://tinyurl.com/yfilter. Feel free to take and share that one too! You can learn more about the survey on my blog, Bibliotech.me.

Here is my contact information. We just changed a few things, so don’t be alarmed if this is different from what you heard on the broadcast.

My email: me@bibliotech.me

New Canaan High School Library: nchslibrary.info

THE ANNEX@ New Canaan High School Library (a blog, kind of): nchslibraryannex.blogspot.com

My blog: bibliotech.me

Emerging Tech community on edWeb.net: edweb.net/emergingtech

I will be speaking at several upcoming conferences, my professional activity calendar is open to the public. It also includes the schedule for the Emerging Tech community on edWeb.net.

A couple of things I didn’t mention:

I added a vignette to a David Loertscher and Carol Koechlin article about our hybrid instructional delivery model that will appear in the February issue of Teacher Librarian, a journal for school library professionals

The Taft Education Center (TEC) will run a week-long workshop during the last week of July that will help educators learn how to use emerging technology to facilitate compliance with now federally mandate Response to Intervention (RTI). I will facilitate that. Here is the blurb:

11E15 Send in the Clouds: Technologies for Tier 1 and 2 Response to Intervention (RTI)

Dates: July 25 – July 29, 2011
Location: The Taft School, Watertown, CT

The pressure is on. The new federal mandate for RTI requires educators to ensure that all students are demonstrating measurable growth, and to provide documented interventions when they aren’t. It’s a daunting task, but there is a plethora of free Web 2.0 and 3.0 technologies that can help engage learners, develop their 21st century learning skills, and help teachers build top-notch assessments and interventions into their instruction. In this workshop, teachers, librarians and administrators will explore practical, and arguably necessary K-12 applications for social and collaborative technologies. Related topics will include district filtering, instructional use of portable electronic devices, and online professional development. In this hands-on workshop, participants will build universal screenings and set up an inventory of interventions that address their own instructional objectives. Time will be divided between presentation, discussion, and collaborative and independent work.

Instructor: Michelle Luhtala, New Canaan High School, New Canaan, CT


Presentation on Hybrid Online/Face-to-Face Library program Delivery

I am contributing a 10 minute segment to a panel discussion on why and how we provide digital instructional companion to our IRL (in real life) program. The panel is part of Converge and the Center for Digital Education’s quarterly special report which focuses, this time, on Digital Content and Learning Management Platforms.

I was asked to address the following points:

What influenced your decision to move to Digital Content/Learning Management Platforms?
How have Digital Content and Learning Management Platforms changed instruction on your campuses?
What devices are your students using to access these resources? iPads, laptops, eReaders, etc.?
Were there any barriers to adoption?  If so, what were they?
What are the benefits/drawbacks you are seeing?
Where do you foresee these mediums going in the future?

The full presentation will become available the week of 12/13/2010 on the Converge and the Center for Digital Education website.




Have you visited edWeb.net/emergingtech?

I facilitate a free social webinar series in a professional learning community called Using Emerging Technology to Improve Your Library Program.

It is hosted by edWeb.net. You must register, but it is absolutely free and you can participate in real time or asynchronously. You can also earn professional learning credits!

The community is 950 members strong and membership includes librarians from over forty different countries. The conversations are amazing. Just in the last week, we’ve been discussing the use of Wikipedia as a research tool and cloud-based calendars for education.

I just posted this preview to the community, but I thought I would share it here as well, just in case you aren’t yet in edWeb.net.


PS This blog isn’t even close to done. I just started two days ago. So if you start looking around and come up with a bunch of blank pages, subscribe and stay tuned. I will populate it as soon as I can. One step at a time…one step…

Hi Everyone!

We’ve got an exciting session coming up! We are going to look at evidence-based practice  – not just data collection, but analyzing data for federally mandated Response to Intervention (RTI) and embedded 21st century instruction across disciplines.

We’ve looked at data collection in some of our earlier sessions (#3: Best Practices, and #4: Collaboration & the Cloud), but in this session, we will pull apart assessments, explore ways to analyze responses and identify strategies for using the evidence to innovate instruction. We will look at new data – culled from this year’s assessments and investigate methods of comparing data longitudinally – Is it relevant if we are comparing two different cohorts?

Some questions to ponder for next week:

1.     Are you assessing Information and Communications Technology (ICT) learning?

2.     What tools are being used to measure 21st century learning at your school? What changes might improve that measurement?

For those of you who have been with us for a bit, these questions may sound familiar. I pulled them both from the Emerging Tech discussion forum. The first is about assessment, the second about tools for assessment. Take a peek at the posts when you get a chance. There is a nice conversation in the Tools for Assessment thread.

We will talk about the work of Ross Todd, Carol Kuhlthau, David Loertcsher and Keith Curry Lance.

In case you haven’t seen this, this is a great read:

Todd, R. (2008, April). The Evidence-Based Manifesto for School Librarians: If School Librarians Can’t Prove They Make a Difference, They May Cease to Exist. School Library Journal, 54(04), 38-43.

Have a great week! Love the calendar talk! “See you” next Wednesday at 4PM, Eastern! Erin will post the link.


eReaders: An A-Z list of things to consider when comparing print to digital books

  • Accessibility
  • Break-ability
  • Convenience
  • Durability
  • Eco-friendliness
  • Focus, impact on
  • Glare & back-lighting
  • Hearing text
  • Instant purchasing
  • Jacket privacy
  • Kinetic experience
  • Learning tools
  • Multimedia delivery
  • Note-taking & highlighting functions
  • Open-source compatibility
  • Portability
  • Quality
  • Recycle-ability
  • Search-ability
  • Transferability
  • Updatability
  • View-ability
  • Weight
  • X-pense
  • Yoke-like eBook retailer behavior
  • Zoom factor

This emerged from a presentation I was working on for our district’s technology council meeting on November 30th, 2010. I was assigned a couple of readings – one about eReaders and one about netbooks. I’d been following the eBook cyberconvo closely. Our library was awarded a cash prize last year, and I was considering spending the money on eReaders and eBooks until I surveyed my students. I was underwhelmed by their responses. They just didn’t really seem to care much about eReaders, and aside from one request for a water slide in the library, their justification for not wanting them was pretty compelling.

So, I’d been pondering all this when I came across these two articles today – the one about the eReader, and the one about the netbooks – and I thought, “What if I bought netbooks and used them as eReaders among other things?” Right? Not bad, eh? That way, kids get their extra computing power (that’s what they wanted), I get my eReaders, they are cheap, the iPad theft temptation becomes a non-issue. All the proprietary concerns with specific vendor devices  disappears. The problem is that our netbooks are really really really slow. Did I mention that they are slow? Yeah. That. So this article about open source operating systems really intrigued me, and I asked around. Popular belief it that our netbooks would run a lot faster with Ubuntu. So I tried it. Sure enough, without complex operating systems and software applications, they are pretty zippy. Great, right? Problem solved. Only there is no Kindle app for Linux. Ugh. So if I bought eBooks on Amazon, they can’t be read on the Ubuntu netbooks. Back to square one.

But wait. This really bugs me too! Why is Amazon so library unfriendly? Why aren’t ALL k-12 textbook publishers offering digital books? Why can’t I read my other 742 eBooks (Gale, ABC-CLIO and Follett) on a Kindle? Why is this taking so long??? We all want this, right? Don’t we? Is the tail wagging the dog?

That’s it. I’m out of time. I’d try to wind this baby down gracefully, but it’s late, and I’m tired, and Pandora is playing a dreadful tune. That’s my rant for today. Please comment.

Gotta (re)start somewhere!

I’ve done this before elsewhere, but it’s time to start again. I just need a portal. Most of my blogging occurs on edWeb.net, but, I am learning that I need a public place too. So consider this a landing page where I can index what’s happening elsewhere – a hub.

I’ve been mulling this over for weeks now. Really, do librarians need another blog to follow? I sure don’t! I struggle to process what I am already trying to ingest. There are some amazing bloggers out there! Check’em out over there on the right. If you follow the right ones, you don’t need me. I sound like Dave Eggers now, don’t I?

But here’s the thing. There are a bunch of things happening in education that are very cool. Then there are a bunch of things that kind of bug me. Let’s just start with three of each:

Way cool stuff:

1. There are amazing interactive online learning tools available.

2. There are countless ways to converse about what we are learning.

3. Learning is participatory. The more you participate, the more you learn

What’s bugging me:

1. Blocked access to amazing interactive online learning tools.

2. Blocked access to portals for conversations about learning

3. I’d say “passive learning”, but the problem is more teacher-driven than that implies. It’s pedagogical.

So why today as opposed to November 11th when I begged a former beer distributor to relinquish the TEAM21 blog name and assign it to me? Because I have extra time on my hands? Uh…no. Because I am procrastinating? Possibly. Because I am really, really intrigued by what librarians are talking about? Ahah! That’s it. Today, it was eBooks and eReaders, but last week, it was Wikipedia. And, of course, there is always censorship.

Today also marked the first day of a two week self-imposed challenge. I will post 5 original (not re-Tweets), library-related Tweets per day for the next 10 school days. I know, I know. This is nothing by most libloggian standards, but it’s a big deal to me.