Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Take action NOW .... vote!

Have you VOTED yet?? If you're an ALA member, you have the power to make history by electing a school librarian to the position of ALA President! Sara Kelly Johns is that school librarian -- she is a former AASL President, current ALA Councilor, Associate Editor of Knowledge Quest, and a practicing school librarian at Lake Placid Middle/Senior HS. You can find more details about her platform & qualifications on her website at http://www.skj4ala.com.

If you have not received the e-mail from ALA with your ballot, please call ALA membership at 1-800-545-2433 and choose option 5. Don't delay! Voting is open now and concludes at 11:59pm on April 23rd.

Less than 9% of eligible ALA voters have cast their ballots so far. AASL members have the numbers to make a difference in this election IF they exercise their right to vote! Please vote and encourage others to vote in person, with phone calls and online.

connecting - learning - leading

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Take action -- VOTE!

I am reposting this important message from Gail Dickinson. She originally sent this message to the AASLForum & has given her permission to repost.

This morning I found in my morning email the opportunity to do one of the most important tasks to further the cause of school librarianship that I could ever possibly do. I did it with alacrity, crossing my fingers that it would be successful, and the result would hold all of the possibilities that the promise teased. I paused before I hit submit, picturing all of the others around the country reading the same email, and hoping that they would be moved for the same result. And what did I do that was that important? I voted for a building level school librarian to become the president of the American Library Association. I voted for Sara Johns. As a group, our profession is dynamic, vital, and energetic. By its nature, we are also at times contentious, argumentative, and sometimes belligerent. And that is how it should be. Calm and peaceful water is sometimes also called stagnant. I prefer the energy. I understand and sigh as well at the problems and issues we face. Secrecy in a volunteer organization is abhorrent to me, and AASL as well as ALA has far too many closed doors and secret spaces. Important issues are decided behind the scenes and launched on the membership as a finished product. The designated river channels are sometimes concrete canals we cannot break out of to do the best for the organization. But in spite of all that, I want a school librarian, sometimes who speaks for me, at the head of the organization, in those meetings, and privy to those discussions. So when you receive your ballot email, make your clicks, do your part, and keep your fingers crossed when you hit submit. Go, Sara!

Gail Dickinson, Associate Professor
249-6 Education Building
Old Dominion University
Norfolk, VA 23529

Monday, March 8, 2010

Reading without limits

How many books are enough?

If you ask 20 school librarians in North Carolina, you're likely to get at least 15 different answers. The topic of student check-out limits "circulated" on our NCSLMA listserv, and it generated lots of interest along with a surprising variety of responses. One of those responses not only got my attention, it's still got me reflecting on my long-held ideas about how many books are enough.

Here's a link to that powerfully reasoned message... it now appears on the Wild Patience blog of Dr. Gail Dickinson. Gail has graciously allowed me to link to her post. Please read, mull over, and feel free to respond here or on Gail's blog. As Dr. Dickinson suggests, letting our students read without limits might be one of the best things we could do right now to advocate for our role in student learning!

connecting -- learning -- leading

Thursday, March 4, 2010

NCTIES Conference: Are You Here?

The NC Technology in Education Society (NCTIES) conference is happening in Raleigh, March 3-5, 2010. Are you here?

If you're not in attendance, then you are missing out on some great sessions on instructional technology: Google-free searching, wikis in the elementary classroom, web 2.0 tools, web gadgets, E-rate, online professional development, video in the classroom, student response systems, 3D virtual worlds, and a host of other topics.

If you're not in attendance, then you are missing out on some great speakers: Gail Lovely, Hall Davidson, Kevin Honeycutt, Leslie Fisher, Clif Mims, Kathy Schrock, Alice Yucht.

And Ron Clark. Yes, Ron Clark. You know, the former Disney Teacher of the Year, subject of biopic movie, and founder of The Ron Clark Academy. That Ron Clark, the eastern NC boy making a difference for kids.

What does he have to do with instructional technology? Well, not as much as I had expected. But man, is he infectious and inspiring and enthusiastic and passionate....okay, he's like an educator on speed to hear him speaking about children and teaching. And his reminder: if you don't like kids, you need to quit teaching!

While you may not be willing to get up and act "the fool" for the sake of education with your students, it's his out of the box thinking that makes the difference. And for many of our colleagues using instructional technology tools is out of the box thinking. The problem is if you are not a school librarian who integrates technology tools to enhance instruction then you might need another job. To paraphrase Ron, if you don't like technology, you need to quit being a school librarian in the 21st century!

Ron reminded us that technology motivates, inspires, and engages kids. And folks, remember that good teaching is still good teaching. But enhancing that instruction with technology tools can be the difference for some students.

Ron's best advice: "We don't have time for fear, and we don't have time to be afraid. We gotta go for it, live for it."
If that means trying some new technologies, taking a risk with your students, making a difference for kids, then you need to step out of the box and try it.
It will make all the difference in the world!