Media Shelf

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Student Book Reviews


Here’s the place for student book reviews

Maud Hart Lovelace Book Club


Here’s a link to the Maud Hart Lovelace Book Club. Read reviews of current nominated titles for the Maud Hart Lovelace Book Award.

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Slice of Life Entries


slice-of-life_classroom-image-blackWelcome to the place for our Classroom Slice of Life Entries.  Use Google Classroom to find your weekly journal log. Write in your journal daily.

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Thing 1 for 23 Mobile Things

Getting ready for 23 Mobile Things.

Getting ready for 23 Mobile Things.

Well, here’s a Thing or 2.

Last week, I ran across this statewide program being offered by Minnesota Multitype Library Systems. My multitype area is  Metronet and the self paced learning program is called 23 Mobile Things.


Since I’m not currently in any tech cohorts or classes, this seems like a good way to brush up on the tech skills and learn a thing or two about some apps and the inner workings of my iPad. The focus is on mobile devices. I’ll be using my iPad to complete the 23 mobile things I will be learning about.

Off to view suggested YouTube videos related to my iPad and ios7.

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Getting busy…again!


Bee & Flower - Up Close (Explored)
I’ve been pretty busy updating this blog and creating some new blogs as well lately. It’s time consuming, and I’m not sure the effort will pay off for some of them, but we shall see.

Here’s what I’ve done so far:

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Signs of summer’s end…


Yellow flowers in a blue pot.

Here are just a few of the signs that my mind is coming back to the media/teaching world and summer’s end is not too far away:

I read a thought-provoking blog entry today at Doug Johnson’s Blue Skunk Blog titled Censorship by omission. It has to do with internet filtering by school districts and how it affects teaching and learning in our classrooms in very real ways. This was evidenced by several twitter responses Dr. Johnson quickly received when he asked for examples of the effects of internet filtering from his colleagues. He asserts that the constant erosion of intellectual freedom is “because individual teachers, librarians, techs, student and parents don’t speak up, take action or ask questions. Internet censorship is a sin of omission because too many of us are just willing to let it happen”. For me, one constraint is the time factor. If it isn’t easy to fix, it stays broken and I usually move on to something else. Food for thought as I near the start of the next school year.

I was checking out the call for volunteers for the K12 Online Conference 2009. The theme this year is “Bridging the Divide”. This is a fantastic resource for any educator who wants to learn more about integrating technology into their classroom. It is free, and the conference is run entirely online by volunteers who are on the cutting edge of new thinking in the digital education world. Here’s a clip from the conference home describing the offerings: “This year’s conference begins with a pre-conference keynote the week of November 30, 2009. The following two weeks, December 7-11 and December 14-17, forty presentations will be posted online to the conference blog (this website) for participants to download and view.” One summer I received graduate credits for attending the conference and then writing and reflecting with others on the great presentations that year. This is an amazing and extremely worthwhile event! You will share ideas with people across the globe!

I shared a great resource I came upon recently with a good friend and colleague Sheila ,  called James Patterson’s READKIDDOREAD.COM. While there are many talented people involved with this great resource that is “dedicated to making kids readers for life”, the two that I immediately recognized were James Patterson (Maximum Ride series)  and Judy Freeman, a well known children’s literature consultant. Definitely worth checking out this website for excellent book suggestions for boys and girls, author interviews as well as a social network component that all can join. Good stuff here!

I took another class on Dreamweaver at TIES last week, and then made plans to get together with another media specialist to explore ideas, tips and tricks to develop and improve our school websites.

Finally, I’m writing a post on my media window blog, but lucky for me I am lounging in my porch swing on a perfect summer Sunday while doing it. Thankfully, summer is not completely over!

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K12 Online Conference 2008!


Participate in the free K12 Online ConferenceAmplifying the possibilities! This is the theme for the K12 Online Conference. I participated in the conference for the first time last year. This past summer I earned graduate credit for “attending” the conference months after it had finished. The beauty of K12 Online is that it remains online well after it actually happens! Here’s a link to an earlier post I wrote about taking the class for credit. I learned so much doing that, and would highly recommend it to anyone thinking about it. Remember that you can do it later, you don’t need to enroll for the course until you are ready to do so. Here’s the link to the information on attending the conference for credit.

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FotoViewr for Flickr


FotoViewr is a cool new tool that I ran across while reading the contributions from the  diigo educator’s group I belong to. Fred Delventhal contributed this link, and it’s a visual treat so thanks!
You can create a variety of 3D slideshows from your Flickr sets or tags, and then email a link for friends to see or grab the code to embed in your blog. Here’s what the “floor” effect looks like. Just click on a photo to view it:

Try it out yourself at their website.
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A Few Comments on Recent Articles


Here are some brief comments on recent School Library Journal articles that I have read.
Copyright Questions?
One excellent feature of School Library Journal is the column Carrie on Copyright. In it, the author takes reader’s real life copyright questions and helps them to determine whether they are copyright compliant or not. In education there is the “fair use” component of copyright, and that is also taken into consideration. As a media specialist who comes across many “gray areas” that make me wonder whether they are legal or not, it is really helpful to be able to read her thoughts on these issues as she writes them so clearly and in language that “regular” people can understand! Carrie Russell is the American Library Association’s copyright specialist, and SLJ is careful to note that “ Carrie’s comments are not to be considered legal advice.”

Election 2008!
In the current issue of SLJ there is an article titled Fab Websites on the 2008 Presidential Election. What more teachable moment could you have? This election will be historic no matter what outcome it has, so I really appreciated Eric Langhorst’s article that suggests several good websites and resources for teachers to use before the November election.

Picturing America (NEH)
The article in SLJ is to notify public schools and libraries of a program from the National Endowment for the Humanities called Picturing America. They are expanding this program which gives 40 posters depicting American art and history to schools and libraries around the country. The link to apply to receive the posters is here. You may also see the wonderful artwork that is included in this project at the NEH website. Hurry, the deadline is October 31st, 2008.

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Take a Look at these Four Websites!


You may already know of these websites, but even if you do, I have discovered lately that it really can pay off for me in terms of my own educational knowledge base to find new websites to learn from and also to revisit those that I already know about. Good educational websites are dynamic and change with the educational times! With that in mind, I am taking a look at four particular websites today to see what they are about currently and to possibly locate good information for me as a media specialist and teacher in an elementary setting.

International Society for Technology in Education
According to their website “ISTE provides leadership and service to improve teaching, learning, and school leadership by advancing the effective use of technology in PK–12 and teacher education.” It is a resource place for many useful publications, finding jobs and job seekers, getting technology education, and learning the recommended standards in technology for students, teachers and administrators. ISTE is a nonprofit organization and benefits from becoming a member can be found here. I have appreciated this organization for the guidance NETS provides, and as a place for me to learn more about education and professional development throug their Second Life presence on ISTE island.

Library of Congress
According to James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress, “The Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections.” It is a vast website that you can wander around in for hours. I love best the Digital Collections area, where you can find old newspaper articles, wonderful collections of historic photographs, maps and so much more. There are separate resource areas developed for kids and families, teachers, librarians, publishers, researchers and visitors in this website and each of them is specially designed to meet the needs of that particular group.

American Library Association
The ALA website is getting a makeover and you can see what it look like here. As they complete the changeover this fall, you can still access their old website. The ALA’s mission is “to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.”
the ALA has provided many scholarships and awards over time, including the prestigious Caledecott and Newbery awards that are given to authors and illustrators each year. I use it professionally as well when making careful purchases from my media budget as I usually scan  the Children’s Notable Lists for good ideas for our media center.

School Library Journal
SLJ is not only a wonderful print journal, it also has a great online presence as well! All of the current school library news, current trends, interviews with authors and illustrators will be found here. As a media specialist, SLJ is one of the resources that I can rely on for excellent reviews of current titles that I may purchase for my media center. It’s just one of the best!

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