Siglib newsletter 5 3

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The Scanner SIGLIB Newsletter Volume 5, Number 3

Summer Issue June 2014


Professional Development

In this issue: Message from SIGLIB President


Message from SIGLIB President-Elect


How I Gamified My 6 Classroom Cindy Etherton PD on Target: Librarian- 9 Led Professional Development

You may have known ISTE’s Special Interest Group of Media Specialists as SIGMS before they changed to the Special Interest Group of Librarians: SIGLIB. Following this year’s conference, this group will be known as ISTE’s Librarians Network. Through all the name changes, the group and its mission have remained unaffected. ISTE’s Librarians Network provides a community for school library media

specialists to gather and learn about technologies that improve the operation and programs of the school library media center, increase access to information and create a more effective and efficient teaching and learning environment.

Message From SIGLIB President Tiffany Whitehead SIGLIB President I’m so excited that it is ISTE Conference time

lounges, attending events/parties, and

once again! I have had such an incredible year

volunteering (even if it’s your first

serving as your ISTE SIGLIB (now becoming the

conference, get involved and VOLUNTEER!

ISTE Librarians Network) President, and I look

Our Playground is a great way to do this!).

forward to concluding this great year with lots of

And make sure you have some business

exciting events at this year’s conference. Our

cards handy for when you meet new folks!

Network works hard to provide our members with many conference events specifically tailored 2. Use the #ISTE2014 hashtag. This year the to support librarians.

official hashtag is #ISTE2014. If you are

In the conference

attending the

planner, we’ve also

conference, you MUST

highlighted some

take advantage of the

“PLN Picks” that we

power of Twitter

think would be of particular interest to our

before, during, and after the conference. And

members. As you’re making your final

if you’re not able to attend the conference

conference plans, here are my top five tips for a

this year, following the hashtag will give you a

great conference experience:

wealth of resources so you can still learn

1. Hang out and make connections. This is what

from afar!

the conference is all about! Of course, there’s lots of great information in the MANY sessions that take place during the conference, but I think the most valuable connections and learning take place through conversations and meeting new people. Great ways to do this include visiting the

3. Take in the city. I always make a point to do

some fun sight seeing when attending a conference. There will come a point where your brain is completely overloaded, so plan something fun that will help you recharge your battery! This year in Atlanta, I’m super

excited to visit the World of Coca-Cola and

5. Check out all of our awesome events with

the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library &

the ISTE Librarians Network! There is at

Museum (I absolutely LOVE a presidential

least one ISTE Librarians Network event


every day of the conference, and I hope to

see you at every one of them! We’ve created 4. Don’t forget to eat! I always thought this was silly when I saw it on conference planning lists…but then I realized that I never make time to eat at conferences because I just

a nice graphic that you can save so you can be sure not to miss any of these great chances to network with other library leaders at the conference!

get so BUSY! Plan some lunch and dinner dates with friends at the conference. Grab

I look forward to meeting many of you in

something to eat and drink anytime you

Atlanta! Again, it has been a pleasure serving as

have the opportunity. Bring snacks. And

your president this year.

water. This is just as important as wearing comfortable shoes and not forgetting your extra battery charger!

Have a great summer! Tiffany Whitehead ISTE Librarians PLN President 2013-2014

Swing Into the Digital Age Library Playground Donna Sullivan-Macdonald SIGLIB President-Elect I can’t think of a better way to start off an

location. There will be eight computer

ISTE conference experience than to visit with stations and your colleagues at each will be old friends and new in the Librarians Network happy to share a short, informal (formerly ISTE SIGLIB) Digital Age Library

presentation. Volunteers at the stations

Playground. Here, you’ll be able to chat face-

change hourly, so be sure to stop back often.

to-face with other fabulous teacher

If you’re interested

librarians that

in joining the group

you’ve come to

already sharing in

know through all

the playground,

sorts of social

please visit this link:

media as they

continue to share a

sJkjC3. Volunteering

variety of tips, tools

will give you a

and resources.

chance to share something with other conference

Playground hours

attendees PLUS

will be from 8 AM to

you’ll have bragging

11:30 AM on

rights that you’ve

Sunday, June 29th.

presented at an

Our location will be


in the Georgia


World Congress Center, Building B,

Here are a couple of

on the third level. The area is right next to the topics already planned for the playground: PLN (SIG) Lounge so it’s sure to be a popular

Augmented Reality,



Fiipping Your Library,

Green Screen Videos

and more!

We’d love to hear from YOU, too. There will be much to explore in Atlanta at the Digital Age Library Playground! Come have some


Images supplied by author.

How I Gamified My Classroom Cindy Etherton Greater Albany Public Schools Albany, OR


new culture has been developed through a new strategy that I have found surprisingly effective.

While engagement and rigor are the mainstays of any quality learning environment, I have

Before explaining my new strategy, I feel it

discovered a new tool that has contributed

pertinent to share some basic information about

profoundly: gamification. I recently received my

the schema with which our students operate.

certification in this area because I believed that it These are Generation Z students, typically born could have a positive impact on instruction but I

after 1995. They are technologically connected

was surprised to find out how much. I am talking students. While not all have access to technology well beyond PBL (points, badges and

directly, it profoundly impacts their cultural view.

leaderboards). This is a new strategy to develop intrinsically motivated students. Through this

These try-and-see students are motivated by

gamified structure, I have given students quick

facilitated learning where they get to find the

feedback, provided opportunities for them to give information and understand the process. recognition to their peers and delivered a rigorous structure for learning.

Knowing what drives this type of student, I took a

“Can I do homework?” or “I am going to do the

new approach to helping them learn:

harder assignment.” These types of questions

gamification. I recently received my certification

and assertions have become a mainstay in my

in this area because I believed that it could have

classroom. You may assume these statements

a positive impact on instruction, but I was

would be made only by over-achieving students, but this is not the case. This

surprised to find out how much.

How does gamification happen? I will outline three main strategies: asynchronous

they will learn them, all of us will learn more deeply.

learning, peer acknowledgement, and immediate

In my classroom,

feedback. These

students are directed to

strategies provide both

see pre-recorded

structure for rigor and

lessons in a video

engagement and offer

format (I rarely stand in

the flexible learning

front the class

environment that

anymore). Students

students crave.

then proceed to

practice what I have It’s important to ask

asked them to learn at

students about a game

their pace. I direct the

that they enjoy. Choice

traffic by providing

is one of the new

additional help to those

intrinsic parts of this

who need it and

game -- their choice.

assigning deadlines

The decisions they

accordingly. When they

make impact the game

are done, I give them

as they strategize.

access to a “secret folder.”

Asynchronous learning (not doing lessons at

I never dreamed it

the same rate and/or time as the rest of the

would be as motivating as it is! Students have

class) is all about choice. I am not advocating

to complete all of the practice and assessment

for students showing up in a classroom to tell

pieces at a proficient level in order to see what

the teacher what they should learn. I am

is in this “folder.” The folder contains a

suggesting that if we take the learning

collection of extension tools and activities that

objectives and allow students to choose how

allows students to practice more deeply what I

Images supplied by author.

have asked them to learn. It is individually

awarded as a public recognition of the

assigned and is only open for a limited

accomplishments that students have

time. This “prize” allows for students to be


rewarded for their extra energies and understanding while encouraging them to

The feedback reinforces the learning that is

learn well.

happening, and students are rewarded. While many online tools can help teachers

Peer acknowledgement is also key to this

“gamify” their classroom -- Schoology,

gamified approach. Students are given the

Edmodo, Classcraft, and soon-to-arrive

opportunity to write encouragements to

Google Classroom, gamification doesn’t

each other in recognition of help and the

have to be exclusive to these online

expertise that they have been provided. I

venues. Ensuring students understand

moderate these notes and sift out the

what is expected of them is not a new

extraneous comments, but overall students concept, but the use of rubrics provide a are motivated to become both the expert

more substantive approach.

and the guide. This method is not a situation where a teacher demands

As I look to the next year and the new

learning. Peers are motivated by peers to

students who will enter my classroom, I am

learn well.

struck by both the privilege and

responsibility that I have to help them as This generation of students also thrives on

they continue to prepare for their future.

immediate feedback. Rubrics and recorded Gamification has provided the framework to comments are key. Additionally, badges are help them with just that. *Images supplied by author

PD on Target: Librarian-Led Professional Development Tamara Cox, Librarian Palmetto Middle School Williamston, SC During the summer of my first year as librarian, I schools on technology topics such as Pinterest, was busy cleaning out closets and organizing. As Twitter and iPad basics. One of our most popular I began to unearth devices such as unused

sessions has been creating App Task Cards. This

Kindles, Flip cameras still in the boxes, and

idea can be applied to any app or web tool.

dusty student clickers, I realized that our

Create an App Task Card with brief how-to

teachers were in need of professional

instructions, ideas for the classroom and a task

development for technology.

that teachers must complete to master the app. These hands-on sessions go beyond the typical

Access to the tools wasn’t the problem, so what

app-sharing lessons because teachers get the

could I do as the librarian? Even though it

opportunity to use the app and brainstorm

wasn’t expected or required of me, I decided to

about how they can use it with their students.

plan an event that I called the Gadget Petting Zoo. This was my first official professional

Active Learning: Our professional development

development session and this aspect of serving

facilitators learned to avoid the strict lecture

my teachers has only grown since then.

method when designing their trainings. Instead of sharing a long list of apps, they discovered it

The librarians in my district have become

was much more effective to use a Web Tool or

technology leaders and have created, facilitated, App Safari instead. and taught many innovative professional development sessions. I hope that by sharing

This year, I created a page for each app that

some of our ideas you will be inspired to create

included the app icon and title with a brief

your own librarian-led PD.

description plus a QR code that linked to an example of the app being used in the classroom.

Face-to-Face Sessions: Many of our librarians

Instead of going through each slide, I printed

are leading monthly sessions at their respective and posted them around the room and sent the *Images supplied by author

teachers on an App Safari. Armed with their of them when we shared. This was great for QR reader, they were able to walk around

those teachers who are easily frustrated

and explore the apps. The slides were

when facilitators move too fast through a

shared with them later so that they had

list of tools. In addition, we invited a group

access to all of the links for exploring on

of our student “Tech Ninjas” to assist our

their own time. This was much more fun

app groups. Students were selected and

and effective than an overwhelming app

trained on the apps beforehand so that


they could be available to answer questions. Our teachers loved having the



option for a

“experts” and

training is to

asked that

group apps

the Ninjas

by category

attend every

and host a

meeting in

session on

the future.

the topic, not the apps.

When learning about digital storytelling, for example, our teachers were Differentiation: Teachers are on a variety of asked to choose from a list of 10 different

comfort and ability levels when it comes to

apps. When they came to the session they

technology, and these differences should

were seated by the app they selected. They be considered when creating a session.

were asked to create a product in that app, After a particularly stressful session on and we all shared the products at the end.

Evernote, we invited teachers to split up into a group that stayed at the same speed

Teachers had to learn the details about only one app, but they were exposed to all *Image supplied by author from her Flickr stream

for those who wanted to slow down.

We took those who wanted a slower pace into flipped school and embedded questions into a smaller classroom and went through the

the video. When we met face to face, we

next lesson one step at a time. They were not discussed the video, sharing pros, cons and stressed in a large group and were able to get ideas for using this method next year. We the one-on-one attention that they needed.

modeled the method we wanted to discuss.

Differentiation is standard practice in our classrooms, and we

Our iPad basics

shouldn’t forget that

session utilized a

our teachers need it

screencast of

as well.

instructions. Each teacher was asked to

Flipped Professional

watch the screencast

Development: Many

and then come to me

teachers are aware

on their own time to

of the idea of the

demonstrate their

flipped classroom,

proficiency of a list of

but they may not

skills like creating

have considered

folders on the iPad,

flipping their

syncing apps and


following district


policies. This method

Facilitators shouldn’t

could be adapted to

use those precious

almost anything and

after-school minutes watching videos or

is much appreciated by busy teachers and

reading articles when they can assign them

sports coaches.

as homework and shorten the meeting. Self-Paced Learning: Another idea for PD For the session on flipped learning, we used

facilitators is to use tools such as iTunes U to

the web tool Edpuzzle to share a video of a

build a course that teachers can complete on

their own time and at their own speed. We

involvement in professional development for

are in the process of creating a course just for our district, and I would love to see more our district’s core apps.

librarians in this role.

This year, our librarians offered a monthly

I would like to end with a few tips for making

online book club with built-in technology tasks librarian-led professional development a for each level (elementary, middle, and high


school). Each month had a

different theme such as

when you present, and

wordless picture books,

create an atmosphere of

state book awards or

enthusiasm while learning.

different genres and a

Ask your principal if he or

corresponding technology

she will fund prizes for the


event, or even use some of

Keep it fun! Be positive

your library supply money if We used Edmodo and

you can spare it.

Goodreads to lead discussion, and our

teachers earned technology

takeaway. Teachers want

renewal credits as well as

to leave feeling like they

Give the teachers a

gained exposure to books appropriate for

have something they can try tomorrow.

their students.

Handouts, cheat sheets, app instructions or other easy tips will help them to be

The professional development that our

more comfortable trying out the new

librarians have designed and taught has met


the needs of our teachers and administrators, placed us in a leadership role, showcased our

technology and teaching ability and has

you design your professional

helped our teachers better serve our

development, ask them what they would

students. I am so proud of our *Images provided by author

Poll or survey your teachers. Before

like to learn or areas where they feel

weak. After your session, survey them to get

Teachers benefit just like our students.

honest feedback for future planning. The teacher is the customer. We want them to


know that these sessions are tailor-made for

administrators if they will allow participants


to receive renewal or technology credit

Make it count. Ask your district

hours for attending. This will encourage your 

Remember to build your professional

teachers to attend your sessions and help

development with effective instructional

them to meet that requirement locally, tailor-

strategies. Too often we expect teachers to

made for their needs.

engage their students, differentiate and use brain research when designing lessons, yet

I hope that our ideas have inspired you. If you

we still use the sit-and-get method for their

would like more details about any of these

learning. We should be using classroom

sessions, please check my blog

strategies in professional development.

( or contact me

NOTE OF CAUTION Free online tools are also accessed by people who may post inappropriate things. Please make sure you are comfortable with the content of any site you plan to use with students. Librarians Network Newsletter Committee

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Do you have something to share? Would you like to write an article for the newsletter?

SIGLIB Newsletter Committee Shelley Friesen Katie Kotynski Larnette Snow Mary Carole Strother Jacqueline Liesch Elaine Lawrence

Enter your proposal in the Google form: Only accepted proposals will be contacted. Submit as many pro-

Next Edition: Fall Issue: November 2014 Tools of the Trade

SIGLIB Executive Committee Members Tiffany Whitehead President Teacher-Librarian Central Middle School Greenwell Springs, LA Donna MacDonald President-Elect Teacher Librarian Orchard School South Burlington, VT Jennifer Hanson Communications Chair Primary Source Brighton, MA

Elissa Malespina Professional Development Chair School Librarian South Orange, NJ Maureen Sanders Brunner Past-President Instructor and Doctoral Student Pike High School New Augusta, IN