Page 1

The Scanner In this Issue: Professional

Volume 2, Number 3

Page 2 Our Organization


Page 3 President’s Message Page 4 Professionally Speaking Page 5 Show Us the Love! Pages 6 and 7 Top Ten Tips for Conference Attendees Page 8 Come Out and Play!

What is SIGMS? SIGMS provides a support network to school library media specialists and others in leadership positions who are working to promote the use of instructional technologies to enhance student learning. It provides a forum where we can consider and explore ways in which we can best use existing and emerging technologies to improve and enhance teaching and instruction, student learning and management, helping students and teachers become competent, critical and ethical users of information.

Page 9 Newsletter Wrap-Up Pages 10 and 11 Online Ghost Town or Dynamic Learning Community? Pages 12 and 13 Tips for Making Online Professional Development Work for You

Keeping in Touch at ISTE 2011: Backchannels for SIGMS

Full conference schedule available at Official Twitter hashtag for SIGMS is #sigms11 Join the SIGMS group at the conference ning at

Our Organization Executive Committee

Committee Chairs

Lisa Perez Chair Chicago Public Schools Dept of Libraries

Advocacy Kathy Sanders Taylor Prairie IMC Director kathy_sanders@mgschools. net

Maureen Sanders Brunner Chair-Elect Pike High School MSD Pike Township, Indiana

International Librarianship Lesley Farmer California State University Long Beach

Shelee King George Vice Chair Peer-Ed

Newsletter Carolyn Starkey Buckhorn High School

Laurie Conzemius Communications Chair Pine Meadow Elementary School

Webinar Jennifer Gossman Holy Redeemer Andrea Christman Rosa Parks Middle School Andrea_L_christman@mcpsmd .org

Brenda Anderson Professional Development Chair Montgomery County Public Schools Joyce Valenza Member-at-Large Springfield Township High School Erdenheim, Pennsylvania

Technology Innovation Award Tim Staal Michigan Association for Media in Education

QR Code for SIGMS Wiki

Lisa Perez SIGMS Chair A Message from the SIGMS Chair Dear SIGMS Members: At ISTE 2011, I will be completing a two-year term as the ISTE SIGMS Chair. I would like to take this opportunity to formally welcome our incoming chair, Maureen Sanders Brunner. She has already been hard at work this year as our chair-elect, spearheading the planning of the “21st Century Media Center Playground” among other things. I know she will provide great new leadership for our SIG and I hope you will join me in welcoming her at the SIGMS Breakfast/Business Meeting. As I reflect back on the past two years, I am encouraged and uplifted by all we have accomplished in taking SIGMS to the next level. Shelee King George joined us as the SIGMS ViceChair two years ago. She worked quietly behind-the-scenes in many activities, including the development of this newsletter, now chaired by Carolyn Starkey, and our “Share the Love” contest. She also worked many hours at our playground and SIG Fair. Shelee is concluding her term now and I’d like to personally thank her for her years of service. I am happy to report that Laurie Conzemius, our Communications Chair, and Brenda Anderson, our Professional Develop-

ment Chair, have agreed to stay on for one more year. As SIGMS activities have expanded and our leadership grew, we felt it was necessary to move to a staggered schedule of terms to best support continuity in SIGMS activities. Watch for elections for these positions next year. Laurie continues to make great contributions to SIGMS, keeping us informed about SIGMS activities through the listserv, Facebook, Twitter, our wiki, our ning group, and LinkedIn. She has

sigms also chaired our proposal selection committee, helped coordinate the SIG Fair, and helped develop the “Share the Love” contest, as well as other things. Brenda has played an integral role in bringing together a committee to plan monthly webinars for SIGMS members on a wide variety of timely topics. I feel that SIGMS now offers some of the best, freely available professional development for school librarians anywhere –thanks to the team of volunteers that Brenda has assembled.

SIGMS has made other great strides in the past year. Notably, we now have an active advocacy committee, chaired by Kathy Sanders. Our SIGMS advocacy statement, posted at our wiki at, continues to help librarians to press for the support of technology in the library. An article in the March/April “Learning & Leading” magazine showcased the great technology integration of stellar school librarians. Lesley Farmer, our International Committee chair, has provided monthly Tapped-In chats on a wide range of topics for the past two years. Our Technology Innovation Award is going strong. And, Carolyn Starkey has greatly improved “The Scanner”, thanks to the contributions of many of our members. This won’t be a good-bye! SIGMS releases a survey each September to learn about its members and to solicit volunteers for the school year. I have reaped so many benefits from my experiences in working with SIGMS members that I know I’ll volunteer in some capacity again. I hope you’ll also consider joining a committee or contributing in some other way. I’ll look forward to seeing you at ISTE 2011 and in the upcoming year as SIGMS colleagues!

Brenda D. Anderson Professional Development Chair Professionally Speaking Ah‌..Summertime and the PD is easy What are you planning to do this summer to grow your professional practice? While I love the intensity of learning I experience at the ISTE conference, I also enjoy spending some time in the summer taking it easy and exploring all those links I bookmarked throughout the school year. Or relaxing with a cool beverage and viewing a webinar I was not able to attend in real time. So if this sounds enticing to you, remember the SIGMS webinar resources on the SIGMS and the 1 Tool at a Time wikis are great places to visit for your summertime PD. All the webinars have been archived and accessible when it fits your schedule. As you take this relaxed learning journey, think about what PD offerings you would like SIGMS to sponsor next school year. Gather some ideas so you will be ready to share when we survey you in the fall. Also check out the latest addition to our webinar offerings through our partnership with the Australia series. This part-

nership allows us to offer events in a wider variety of time zones to meet the needs of our international members. These webinars will focus on topics related to educational technology for school, community college, and higher ed librarians; teachers, administrators, and other members. Learn more about the offerings here.

ISTE SIGMS Webinar Series

The 1 Tool At a Time: Build Your Toolbelt webinar series is brought to you monthly by ISTE's SIGMS and SIGILT. Each webinar lasts for 30 minutes and focuses on a particular tool. Classroom integration strategies are highlighted and there is time for discussion.

Upcoming Event

June 15th, 2011 8 PM Eastern, 7 PM Central 6PM Mountain, 5 PM Pacific

Previews of the upcoming 1 Tool at a Time events as well as archives of previous events can be accessed at

Topic: Ready, Set, Go to ISTE11 Presenter: Laurie Conzemius

ISTE SIGMS Events Calendar

Archived Events

2010-2011 and 2009-2010 Webinars are available on the SIGMS wiki at http:// Webinars.

To stay in the know about all the useful, professional development that SIGMS provides, just bookmark the SIGMS Events calendar:

Shelee King George Vice Chair Show Us the Love! ISTE SIGMS is holding a contest to have you show us you love SIGMS. Take a picture of yourself with the SHOW US THE LOVE sign and use the "Comment Wall" to add it to our SIGMS group http:// on the ISTE 2011 Conference Ning. Be creative! Clever comments or captions welcome.

Week 1 Winner

Week 2 Winner

Colette Cassilli

Peggy George

Using a random numbering tool, one winner will be chosen each week from May 9 -June 24, 2011. Each winner will get a SIGMS selected publication from ISTE. Whether your picture is indoors or out, in a city or rural setting, at school or not, we are looking for UNIQUE images! Post today... and next week... you must post to win! And yes, please share this contest with your friends. To access the sign and to stay up to date on the Winners List, go to the SIGMS wiki http:// Show+the+Love+SIGMS.

Join in the fun with the official ISTE Show Us the Love contest too! Take photos of items you love with the Love Statue and upload them to our Flickr group for a chance to win fabulous prizes.

Week 3 Winner Gwyneth Jones

Week 4 Winner Lynne Phillips

Laurie Conzemius Communications Chair Top Ten Tips for Conference Attendees 1 Use the conference planner The planner allows you to add both conference and personal events. It is a great way to maximize your time by viewing the program ahead of time and selecting those sessions and activities that you don’t want to miss. One tip I’ve learned: the conference planner doesn’t always add the exact room number or speaker name. Type those in yourself so that you have all the info you need when you view your planner.

2 Register for SIGMS events and watch for SIGMS picks The SIGMS breakfast and forum are ticketed events: you must register for those ahead of time. Search the program for SIGMS picks (sessions of special interest to media specialists) and other SIGMS

events (like the 21st Century Media Center Playground on Monday).

3 Prepare your pc or portable device Download any apps or software listed in the program before you get to Philly. Downloading during sessions can affect network speed for other attendees and can keep you from participating. If you know you’re attending a session that requires special software, make sure you have it ahead of time. In addition, verify that your computer is wireless network ready and doesn’t require any passwords or over-rides that you don’t have.

4 Be QR Code ready QR codes will be huge at this year’s conference! Make sure

you have a device with a QR code reader installed so you can take advantage of the technology right away. In addition, if you don’t have a social bookmarking account (such as Delicious or Diigo) set one up right away. You will run across many interesting new links and if you can bookmark them right away you don’t have to worry about saving a scrap of paper or remembering a url. Bookmark and tag everything!

5 Be fully engaged for networking Bring current business cards with you. Break out of your shell and network with your fellow conference goers while you’re in line at the airport, on the shuttle, waiting for sessions to begin, between sessions, and all other times. You never know when the right connection may be standing by your side: say “hello!” In addition: volunteer! A well-

ISTE 2011 Important Registration Dates June 17 Web/phone/fax registrations close June 25–29 Onsite registration at Pennsylvania Convention Center

(and a few for people who can’t attend, but want to!) kept secret is that conference volunteers can register at the early bird rate! There are many jobs to do, and most require little in knowledge or skill. One of my personal favorites? Volunteer to do “seat drops” for a keynote session (place flyers and coupons on conference seats). The big perk is you don’t have to wait in line and you get to sit as close to the front as you want!


7 Participate in the back channel There is a conference going on in the hallways (and across the country at ALA). Your participation is needed to keep the conversation going. Set your RSS feeds to your favorite ed tech bloggers and begin reading their conference previews. And don’t just read: respond!

Be prepared to work through lunch Throw a box of your favorite granola bars into your suitcase and carry a few with you each day. It might be lunch. Bring a reusable water bottle for quick fills at the drinking fountain, and some of those little packets of drink mix if you don’t like plain old water. Wear good comfy shoes, carry a backpack so you don’t break one shoulder, and scope out a good grocery or convenience stores where you can pick up some fresh fruit and snacks.

limits for yourself, and use it as a great break.

9 Take advantage of free food Watch for invitations prior to the conference from your favorite vendors. Be open to free meals (especially breakfast), but don’t just be a freeloader. Only attend those you actually would consider purchasing, and listen attentively to the sales pitch.

10 8 Don’t get lost in the exhibit hall This is from experience. The exhibit hall is a wonderful place, but it is a bit of a time warp. Don’t pick up more than you can carry, set time

Continue the conference after you get home We’ve all experienced conference overload. A wonderful ISTE concept is ISTEvision: recorded sessions you can watch on your own time after you get home. My favorite way to share? Open a few cold drinks and invite your coworkers to attend a great conference session with you.

Maureen Brunner SIGMS Playground Chair Come Out and Play! clude presentation on and practice sessions using tools in digital animation, image, video and audio production, cloud-based research and organization software, creative presentation resources, mobile and interactive hardware, and many others. There will also be a station devoted to helping you discover ways to incorporate a “learning commons” approach into your teaching and learning activities. Stations run from 8:00am to 4:00pm and are designed to

School is almost out, but the playground will still be hopping in June! Throughout the month May, many of your SIGMS colleagues have been working hard so you can play hard at the our 21st Century Media Center Playground event scheduled all day on Monday, June 27 at the ISTE 2011 conference in Philly. More than 40 different leaders, greeters, and presenters are planning eight themed stations of our playground. Our “play” stations will in-

be causal and stress free! Presentations will be planned in short 5 to 10 minute segments, and there will be plenty of computers available for you to try new tools. Even if your conference schedule is busy on Monday, you still can swing by for a few minutes of high tech play. Schedule your play-date reminder today by visiting the ISTE Conference website and adding the 21st Century Media Center Playground to your conference planner ( ISTE/2011/planner).

Schedule of SIGMS Activities Sunday, June 26: Join us at the SIG Fair! The Time is Now!! Stop by our booth and say “hello”. Have your picture taken and join in the fun!! We want to see you all!

Monday, June 27: 21st Century Media Center Playground 8:00 - 4:00 The playground is the place to play! Visit with media specialists, check out some great tools and get ideas on how you can integrate them into your school’s curriculum!

Monday, June 27: ProQuest Social ProQuest is inviting SIGMS members to an evening social! This is a chance to network with other media specialists, so watch more additional info on time and location!

Tuesday, June 28: SIGMS Forum Title: A Dawning Era For School Librarians: There’s no better time for school librarians Doug Johnson is heading up an all-star cast: Amy Oberts, Anita Beaman, Buffy Hamilton, Cathy Jo Nelson, Gwyneth Jones and Shannon Miller. This is one session you won’t want to miss!!

Wednesday, June 29: Breakfast and Business Meeting Will Richardson Title: Swimming in the Flow: Succeeding in the new Information Landscape. Although this session is sold out, watch for it on ISTEVision following the conference!

Carolyn Starkey Newsletter Committee Chair SIGMS Newsletter It is with a great sense of satisfaction that I look back over the three great issues we have collaborated to publish this year. Thank you, Newsletter Committee, Executive Committee, and authors for your contributions to the newsletter.

Jeannette Shaffer National Center for Teacher Education

Online Ghost Town or Library media specialists often struggle with the perfect time to offer face-to-face professional development (PD) because teachers’ daily schedules vary greatly. As a result, librarians, like other instructional personnel responsible for PD, are exploring online formats for content delivery. As you move to the online environment, it is important to explore whether your PD resembles a ghost town or dynamic learning community. Is there evidence that people were there but no indication of online interaction? Do participants attend one PD opportunity never to return again? What can you do to actively and continuously engage teachers in your chosen PD environment? This article lists seven lessons learned from eight years as an instructional technologist and online facilitator. Lesson #1: Create It and They Will Come Just because you create an online PD opportunity does not mean teachers will participate. Market, market, market. Teachers may not realize the opportunity is available if you do not promote it through various mediums and events. In addition, teachers may be timid about par-

ticipating in PD in an online environment, so highlight the benefits of online learning.

Try, try, and try again. Some teachers will try online PD for the first time and will not succeed. Be patient; online PD is a new way of learning in a new environment for teachers. Teachers love the convenience of working at their own pace and on their own schedules, but may be unsure of how to be successful in a Web-based environment. Lesson #2: Meet Them Where They Are Teachers signing up for online PD come with a wide range of technology skills and understanding of online learning environments. Facilitators must be prepared to meet teachers where they are by providing support through additional resources, one-to-one instruction, and extended time to complete assignments. Build in support when designing the PD and consider online mentors for teachers wanting extra guidance and support.

Lesson #3: All-inclusive Experience

Online PD must contain more than content. Many teachers will complete online PD during planning periods or personal time so there must be a trade-off for sacrificing the time. Covering content alone is not enough to keep teachers coming back for more online PD. To facilitate an allinclusive experience, provide opportunities for teachers to build their professional network. Generate and encourage engaging conversations and collaborative activities where teachers get to know one another. Activities might include live chats, reflections, polls, and collaborative mind mapping. Make the learning experience more robust for teachers by connecting the PD content to teachers’ classrooms. Initiate conversation around teachers’ ideas of how they can immediately implement the content learned. Finally, an all-inclusive experience provides teachers with more than they need. Enhance the PD learning experience with related links, blogs, ebooks, Twitter hashtags, videos, and social bookmarks. Lesson #4: The ART (Automatic Response Technology) of Response

Dynamic Learning Community? Start the PD with a personal welcome message. Ask teachers to respond to a particular question when they receive the message. The question should focus on previous experience based on the PD content and what concerns they may have about participating in online PD. Reply with a personal comment to each teacher’s response and concern. This interaction begins the development of an online relationship and trust with the facilitator. In addition to personalized messages and responses, make yourself available to teachers. Encourage teachers to stop by the library during school hours if they have questions and maintain virtual office hours. Always respond to inquiries within 24 hours! Even if it is a quick message to say, “I received your email and will respond to you when…” Finally, be active in the course as a participant and facilitator to make the learning environment more dynamic. Complete assignments with your teachers and encourage feedback on your work, or help teachers find resources (i.e., links, videos, blog posts) related to their assignments. Lesson #5: Under Construc-

tion Teachers do not want their online PD content to be “under construction.” Their time is valuable (along with the facilitator’s time) so the content of an online PD must be complete, accurate, and organized. If the content is not complete, teachers will discontinue the online PD and think twice before signing up for another online PD opportunity. Does this mean that the facilitator needs to understand and be able to use every feature of the online PD environment? No. Decide what features will be used and master those features. As the facilitator becomes more experienced with the environment, more features can be utilized to make the online PD experience more dynamic. Lesson #6: Out of Sight, Out of Mind Teachers are busy with job responsibilities and the demands of home life. In order to keep them connected to the PD, communications from the facilitator such as a “gentle reminder” email about an assignment due date or a tweet highlighting conversations or ideas shared within the online PD are essential. Facilitators may also want to attempt to encourage more

teacher interaction in the PD environment by requesting early drafts of an assignment for community feedback, a reflection on content learned, or response to a poll mid-way through the PD opportunity. Requiring teachers to interact with the PD as they work their way through the content makes the learning environment more dynamic and keeps teachers engaged. Lesson #7: Instant Gratification Teachers must be able to immediately implement what they learn. Make it is as easy as possible for teachers by creating lesson ideas that can easily be adapted to their classroom while PD content is fresh in their minds. Provide support beyond the online PD opportunity as they implement these lesson ideas and other learned concepts or applications. Hopefully these lessons learned will help you, as librarians and online PD facilitators, to avoid creating an online PD ghost town. Like any PD, it takes a creative and knowledgeable facilitator to create a dynamic learning community in an online environment. Contact Information:

Jennifer Hanson Librarian, Primary Source Tips for Making Online Online professional development is a great way to hone your professional and technological skills. As a librarian, I have had different roles in online courses, starting out as a learner, then moving to developer and facilitator. Over time, I have identified several basic practices that are integral to a positive, successful online learning experience. Set time aside for the course. When you attend face-to-face professional development workshops, you block those hours out on your calendar. Most online professional development is asynchronous, meaning you never have a designated time that you have to “attend� class. This can be one of the greatest benefits of online learning. However, you should still make time in your schedule to do your coursework. It is too easy to let a week go by and not sign in to your course. Online professional development opportunities will often include details about how many hours of work are expected each week. Try to designate days of the week or times of day when you will log in to your course, read the discussion forums, and complete assigned readings and activities. Decide what type of online professional development is

right for you. Online professional development comes in a range of formats--self-guided, webinars, courses, and more. Deciding which kind of professional development is right for you can be tricky. Do you need professional development points or continuing education units? Do you need graduate credit? Do you just want to learn about new books, a new Web 2.0 tool, or new library technologies? If you do not have a lot of time to commit, self-guided professional development or webinars might be right for you. Each week you probably receive emails about webinars hosted by book vendors, library magazines, and professional organizations. I frequently sign up for webinars knowing that if something comes up and I cannot attend, I can get the recording a few days later. Self-guided professional development usually comes in the form of videos, such as the new interactive modules from the Library of Congress (http:// professionaldevelopment/ selfdirected/). Online videos can be paused and revisited when necessary, and they provide content in short amounts of time. For those seeking graduate credit or continuing education

units, there are longer online courses available that can meet your needs. Online courses typically run from 3 or 4 weeks to 8 or 10 weeks. The more credits available, the longer the course. Online courses often carry a tuition fee. Webinars and selfguided options are frequently free, but some organizations charge small fees for this type of professional development. Post early and check in on your course often. If you are taking an online course, you will most likely be asked to post regularly to discussion forums as the primary means of communication. I always tell online course participants that they should post early in the week in order to facilitate an active discussion. If you wait until the last minute to post discussion forum responses, you might find that others have already articulated your ideas or that the amount of discussion forum posts to read can be overwhelming. It might be tempting to skip a post if you feel like you have nothing to add to the discussion. Be sure to log in to your course two or three times a week to keep up with discussion forums and make time to craft thoughtful responses to discussion forum prompts.

“Online professional development is a great way to hone your professional and technological skills.”

Professional Development Work for You Be sure to have the proper equipment. Just like you would have paper and pen with you for a face-toface workshop, be sure you have the necessary tools for online professional development. At the very least, you will need a computer (mobile devices are not always optimal for webinars or online courses). For a webinar, you will need either computer speakers or a telephone. If a webinar or course is really interactive, you might need to have a microphone available in order to talk with your colleagues. Online courses may use Flash-based applications or require you to download readings that are PDFs. Be sure you have the permissions necessary on your computer (or talk to your school’s IT person) to download any software or applications required to complete course assignments. A good online course provider will provide a “tech check” or tell you ahead of time about any technology requirements. Have fun! Don’t be afraid to try something new. Online professional development is a great way to connect with school librarians across the country.

Online Professional Development Opportunities ISTE SIGMS Webinars The Media Specialist Special Interest Group of ISTE offers monthly webinars for members. Archived recordings of past webinars are available through the SIGMS wiki. Library of Congress professionaldevelopment/ The new Teachers Page from the Library of Congress includes self-guided interactive modules that librarians and teachers can use for professional development. In addition, the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Project at Waynesburg University offers a five-week online course about finding and using primary sources in the Library of Congress collections. Primary Source onlinecourses Primary Source provides professional development for kindergarten through twelfth grade educators, including librarians. Online programs include graduate credit bearing courses like The Enduring Legacy of Ancient China; Changing China: History

and Culture Since 1644; and Thinking Like a Historian: Primary Sources for Primary Students. One-hour webinars are also provided throughout the school year. Graduate credit and professional development points are available. Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science Continuing Education ceweb/ Simmons College provides month-long online courses on topics for young adult and school librarians including Graphic Novels for Young Readers, Building a School Media Center Website, and School Media Center 2.0. Continuing education units and professional development points are available. Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) divs/yalsa/profdev/ professionaldevelopment.cfm#learning YALSA offers one-hour webinars, webinars on demand, and online courses on a variety of topics about libraries and teen services. Contact Information:

ISTE SIGMS The Scanner Volume 2 Number 3

The Scanner V2 N3  

The Scanner is the newsletter of the ISTE Media Specialist Special Interest Group (SIGMS). This issue is Volume 2, Number 3 and serves as th...

The Scanner V2 N3  

The Scanner is the newsletter of the ISTE Media Specialist Special Interest Group (SIGMS). This issue is Volume 2, Number 3 and serves as th...