Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Very Busy!

Wow-this has been a busy week!
First of all, we are starting to get started on the google docs page. It was funny, since this was supposed to be on online collaboration, that the first email I get from the other students was if we could all meet face-to-face! That is not going to work out, so we have a date on google chat!
Second-we are starting to work on our powerpoint presentations. Unfortunately, I have never worked on powerpoint before, so this seems a bit overwhelming. I would like to present to teachers about blogs-but that topic is huge! Why blog, literacy standards blogs meet, what students gain, what teachers gain, how to create a blog. I am trying to create the scope of what the powerpoint will teach but there is a massive amount of information available. I am also trying to think of the covert reasons for this presentation-maybe to form connections with teachers and show them that I (hopefully) am a resource for technology. Anyway, I will post later on how it is going!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Internet Safety

Internet safety is a key issue nowadays. Since restricting access to information because of the inappropriate activity online is not feasible, allowing access and teaching Internet safety is a plausible solution. It was news to me that the SLMS is responsible for teaching this to student and staff, but on reflection, it made sense as the SLMS is responsible for the information literacy and Internet safety is a tool that needs to be used to obtain this information. I think within the LMC, a SLMS can direct students to databases and the computers are filtered to a certain extent. However, at home or elsewhere, the student may come into contact with bullies, predators etc and due to their naivete, not realize the proper course of protocol. Internet safety is a life skill, since even adults should not be giving out personal information online as well as the fact that once something is posted online whether a picture or information, it is then always accessible. I am in midst of taking the I-safe course and I will post when I am done as to what I think about its efficacy.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Information Overload!

Whew-So many databases, so much information, so little memory. Wow-alot of these LMC have access to a lot of databases that have so much information. When I was observing at School of the Arts, the SLMS thoughtfully arranged for the Worldbook salesperson to come give a demonstration. It was fascinating to see how the information was arranged and the access it has for students-and this was one part of one database. It was called Worldbook Discover and was specifically created by Worldbook for students who read below grade level, reluctant readers, and ESL readers. It's visual dictionary, for example, showed the whole skeleton mapped out with the name of the bones on it. It had a cool text-to-speech option which spoke the highlighted segment when clicked on, and could read the whole article. It has the same information as Kids Worldbook, but the interface was on a higher level and a older student would not be embarrassed to use it. It also had a video series and could be translated into 14 different languages.
I am hearing about how NOVEL and other sources for free databases are limiting/cutting their access, but I think there will still be enough information available to students-as long as we teach them how to access it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Running Book List

1. I Capture the Castle - Dodie Smith
2. Watchmen -Alan Moore
3. The Amnesiac - Sam Taylor
4. The Last Apprentice - Joseph Delaney
5. What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day - Pearl Cleage
6. An Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes in New England - Brock Clarke
7. Gentlemen of the Road - Michael Chabon
8. Nightwatch - Sergei Lukyanenko
9. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz
10. The Elephant and the Dragon -Robyn Meredith
11. The Host- Stephanie Meyer
12. The Life of Pi-Yann Martel
13. The Lord of the Rings
14. The Stand -Stephen King
15. Water for Elephants

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Observation

Today, I observed an SLMC* in the Nathanial Hawthorne School in Rochester. It was a lively and bustling SLMC, with fixed and flexible scheduling as well as a computer lab located inside.
It was a dose of reality, since when I asked the SLMS if she uses Web 2.0 tools in her class, she said no as the students did not have access to computers outside of school, so it was pointless for teachers to use blogs and wikis for homework. She also mentioned that the teachers had so much curriculum to cover and with such a heavy emphasis on reading, that they simply did not have the time to cover Web 2.0 tools.
We discussed databases, which were sponsored by the district (of Rochester) and included Culture gram, WorldBook encyclopedia, and WBKids. A neat trick that they used was access to NYPL (which was free) and allowed them access to many additional databases at no charge-such as Grolier, etc.
For their school library catalog, they are using Destiny and that was a really neat catalog since it had the accelerated reader feature on it, allowed use from home, and students were able to use it themselves for Interlibrary loans! (pending approval from the librarian). It also had the standards that the teachers need for every grade.
But it was disappointing that they are not able to take advantage of the Web 2.0 tools :(
*SLMC =student library media center