TLA Takeaways

Tech Camp Presentation

I was honored to present with my #superlibrarianhubs, Aaron Graves, at TLA’s Tech Camp! We had a fast and frenzied presentation on the library as a makerspace at this awesome preconference to the epic Texas Librarian Association conference.  We were able to present our ideas on research and makerspaces to almost 600 librarians through four dynamic sessions! Click this thumbnail to visit our Tackk:

See on
My biggest takeaways from Tech Camp:

(These are my thoughts from presenting all day and then hearing our ideas reiterated in Matthew Winner’s Keynote)

  • When we let our kids fail, we teach them perseverance.
  • We need to teach students how to use social media by modeling effective use.
  • Our research instruction methods need an update so we can reach all students (including the 50% of Texas HS graduates that do not go to college.)
  • A library makerspace allows us to teach our students authentic research skills.
  • Through challenge based learning we can teach students crowdsourcing research methods by:
    1. Incorporating keyword searches
    2. Advanced Google searching with operators
    3. Authenticating sources (including on Youtube and social media)
    4. Sharing learning through social media (See my lamar_library How to Vines)

Thanks to Sparkfun and the awesome Bev, we had a mobile makerspace set up outside of our day long session.  Check out the pics below! Ardusat even came out to share info on their cubesats! Plus, Mod Robotics sent us a Cubelets set to demo and Chibitronics even donated a circuit notebook as a giveaway!

On top of all the learning, I met so many awesome authors and I can’t wait to see the collaboration that will unfold from this epic TLA!

TLA Sessions and Authors

TLA is an amazing place to chat with superstar librarians, book bloggers, and great authors.  I was able to meet up with my National Writing Project buddies Kerri Harris and Donalyn Miller (Whom I realized I’ve known for almost a DECADE! We all ordered the same lunch and realized we are all reading the same book! Look for a collaborative post on The Nerdy Book Club blog in May.)

As we sat down to wait for a lunch table, we ran into Tom Angleberger of Origami Yoda fame, John Rocco Caldecott winner for Blackout and Percy Jackson Illustrator, and Chris Barton picture book author extraordinaire. Our casual conversation about the ease of connecting students with authors through social media got me thinking about how great TLA is for making connections and how inspiring the 21st century has become!  I’m hoping to find out more about John Rocco’s research when creating mythology illustrations to tie in with my 8th grade student mythology research project. Plus, I’d love to learn more from Chris Barton about his research methods for his entertaining and informative picture books. I think my students could learn a lot from these great writers’ authentic research processes!

I even stumbled upon YA author Lindsay Cummings at TT4L ! We’ve been chatting about a dystopian author panel to meet with my 7th grade students in the next few weeks. Our History students are working on a PBL (Project Based Learning) about the next civil war and we are wanting to discuss Dystopian and political aspects that could change the future of America.

Lastly, I spent my final day of TLA running a makerspace for teens at TT4L. They loved learning simple circuits with the Makey Makeys, driving the Sparkfun Redbot with Arduino libraries, and of course racing Sphero and Ollie.  (Note, if you haven’t bought Makey Makeys or Spheros yet, YOU NEED TO! Get a class set of both!)

Now it’s time to get back to reading graphic novels for the School Library Month #shelfchallenge! What are you reading?

Digital Flyers for Library Advocacy, Research, Digital Presentations, and Teaching

Digital Flyers as Library Advocacy

Screenshot 2015-02-27 20.57.47

I started using S’more last school year as a way to share all the awesome “goings-on” in the library.  My first S’more showcased some lessons I taught with our LEAP students, a hilarious video of me as Lady Gaga for our Contemporary World #Aid4Africa project, and a request to teachers to have me help with planning. My main audience was for teachers at my school.

See Spring Break Smore

Then spring got really busy and we Skyped with middle grade/young adult author Claire Legrand, had a ton of fun with Mozilla Popcorn Maker, and celebrated National Library Week with the  #LMShelfie!

See April Edition Smore

This school year I started using Tackk to create my library advocacy flyers and I love the way it embeds social media tools like Vine and Twitter.  My fall edition discusses International #DotDay, #readfortherecord,  Origami #makermonday madness, brushbot madness, and pathfinders for research. My new audience is now parents of our students, my Twitter librarian BFFS, and anyone who has been collaborating with the library.

See fall 2015 Tackk 

Digital Flyers as a 21st Century Research Tool 

I also found S’more to be an excellent tool for creating pathfinders for students.  Last Spring I started utilizing the Google Apps Add-on Doctopus to create and copy research Cornell Note forms for students.  I simply embedded a link to my S’more Pathfinder on the Cornell Notes, so that students would ALWAYS have access to the pathfinder and database resources.

Screenshot 2015-02-27 21.14.16   Screenshot 2015-02-27 21.14.26

Another thing I loved about S’more, is that I could put all of the teacher created resources in one place along with a visual guide to navigating a database!

Students would then take their notes in Google Docs and color code their notes with their sources.

You are a Witness Gdoc Template

You are a Witness S’more Pathfinder

Digital Flyers as Presentation of Teaching

During another Inquiry project this year, I created a PBL Google Site and then used the Google Apps add-on Site Maestro to copy and share individual Google Sites for my students’ 8th ELA All Songs project.  A lot of planning and co-teaching was involved in creating this incredible strategic design music-driven unit. During the whole PBL, I was tweeting, vining, and documenting every step.  Near the end, I realized I could streamline the entire PBL on Tackk so it would be easy to share with others.  You can learn more about the whole project a couple of episodes back!  This project was also showcased on our district’s 1:x blog.

Digital Flyers to Teach Students

I really enjoyed the presentation at TCEA by @sue_fitz and @kjrvaldez where they used S’more to present lots of amazing apps and ways to utilize them in their session “Take it Beyond an App for That!” Because of that experience, I decided to utilize a digital flyer (Tackk) when my Science teachers asked me to help them create a lesson about creating a Public Service Announcement whilst showcasing new tools for students to use in the presentation of their PBL.  I love how you can scroll through a presentation. For the last two days, I’ve been able to teach 6th graders about Public Service Announcements by showing them all of the different ways they could make one! The most enjoyable aspect was listening to them buzz about which #edtech tool they enjoyed the most!

See PSA Presentation for Students

Digital Presentations

So, I’ll admit, I’m having a bit of a love affair with digital flyers, and when I present #makerspaces at SXSWedu in a couple of weeks, I bet you can guess what I’ll be using?

Check back soon for that presentation!