Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Future demands culturally competent educators



For this year's TASL conference I was pumped about the theme  "The Future is Now! I knew that I would learn about the latest tech tools, apps, and websites. But what I didn't know was that there was a thread in the conference theme that addressed the future and the need for Cultural Literacy.  The two keynote speakers brought in the theme of Cultural Literacy. 

Focus on Strengths of Cultures



On Monday, in her Keynote address, Sandra Hughes-Hassell encouraged librarians to flip the script and focus on strengths instead of what is wrong. She challenges educators to stop saying "at risk" and stop having low expectations for students.

She discussed the LibFive concept—Five Key Foundations for Building Inclusive Libraries
http://yalsa.ala.org/blog/2018/07/21/libfive-five-key-foundations-for-building-inclusive-libraries/





The Tuesday keynote was from Alvin Irby.

Alvin is the founder of Barbershop Books, "The nation's most innovative solution for inspiring young black boys to read."

Alvin's message was that Educators need to have cultural competency.  But then he asked the seemingly simple question "What is culture?"  It is influenced by many things like geography, generation, gender, nationality, race, and ethnicity.

He called for us to engage with students. He explained that environments matter and that we need child-friendly reading spaces.  Alvin had some philosophical questions for educators. How do we get to decisions and outcomes? Work with the student's assets instead of focusing on their weaknesses. How about consulting the students? Create transformative experiences for students that expand their realm of possibilities.

Check out Alvin and Barbershop books on Twitter
@AlvinIrby
@BarbershopBooks




Resources for Strength-based curriculum


Dr. Lea Waters on strengths-based school culture
https://www.school-news.com.au/education/dr-lea-waters-on-strengths-based-school-culture/

Teaching to Strengths
by Debbie Zacarian, Lourdes Alvarez-Ortiz and Judie Haynes

Friday, August 31, 2018

The Future is Now!

It's Happening!
Libraries of the Future are being realized.


This week I toured a new completely digital branch of the public library in my county.  The staff were helpful and discussed all of the features of the new branch.  This location is a great place to work and have meetings.  I hope we see these technology-rich branches pop up more and more in the near future.

See this article with all the details
Rutherford County's new library to fulfill needs in a 'digital desert'
Nancy Degennaro, Murfreesboro Daily News Journal Published 7:37 a.m. CT July 18, 2018 | Updated 8:48 a.m. CT July 18, 2018





Here is a great story about public libraries in Australia

Technology hasn't killed public libraries – it's inspired them to transform and stay relevant
Danielle Wyatt and Dale Leorke
August 20, 2018, 5.51am AEST

Monday, August 13, 2018

What's next for Libraries


10 Ways That Edtech Has Transformed Libraries
https://www.thetechedvocate.org/10-ways-that-edtech-has-transformed-libraries/



Not Your Mother's School Library: Transformational Thinking and Innovation to Impact Learning for the School Community.
https://knowledgequest.aasl.org/not-your-mothers-school-library-transformational-thinking-and-innovation-to-impact-learning-for-the-school-community/


Traditional Library model compared with the Learning Commons model

Wednesday, July 04, 2018

Reading Innovator's Mindset by George Couros


One of the 8 Things to Look for in Today’s Classroom - critical thinking #futurereadylibs #InnovatorsMindset


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Culture Code


My self-development book of the week from the author of The Talent Code, @DanielCoyle is The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups. c2018 
Highly recommend! Great for educators at all levels. 


Vulnerability doesn’t come after trust—it precedes it. Leaping into the unknown, when done alongside others, causes the solid ground of trust to materialize beneath our feet.” @DanielCoyle 
Image result for culture code

Friday, June 15, 2018

Access to Technology, Intellectual Freedom, and 21st-century education

Library Stats

Students completed 4,237 research sessions this school-year in the LibGuides platform.
With 1,263 sessions on an iPhone, this is still the top access vehicle for LibGuides.

We currently have 53 LibGuides with 6,521 views between August 2017 and May 2018.

Here are just a few:


  • The Senior Capstone Project had 939 views
  • Harper Lee had 247 views
  • The Biome Project had 179 views
  • Mark Twain 87 views
  • Muscles Project 64 views
  • Democracy Research Project 48 views
  • Spanish Articles 29 views

Education Best Practices

Common Sense Media recommends several Device-Free Zones.
Guess what, the classroom is not one of them!


Ed-Tech Reviews and Resources from Common Sense Media

Friday, May 25, 2018

The End of Year Library Survey

If we want to prepare students for college, career, and life we must begin inserting more technology into our classrooms not less.  Our students need to use tech for more than recreation.
When asked - 
Where do you hear or read about Webb School news?  We found that students are not using online resources, instead, they are relying on Chapel Announcements and Word of Mouth.  
The results for Local and World news were not surprisingly the opposite.  In fact, 17.6% of our students get their Local and World news from Snapchat.  You might think getting your news from Snapchat is horrific, however, the Snapchat Discover section offers articles from Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, and National Geographic just to name a few.

Where do you hear or read about Webb School news? 



An overwhelming majority of students completed the Library Survey on their phone. 


Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Designing a Research Symposium for High School Research


Preparing the Research



LibGuide for Resource Sharing
We placed links to Research and Resources on our Senior Capstone LibGuide

Visiting the University Library
For the past few years, we have visited MTSU or Trevecca University Library.  The Librarians were so helpful and it has been a great help.

Collaborating with English Faculty
We rely heavily on our Senior level English faculty.  In the research phase, students are using the GIST worksheets to do journalistic style research.



The Presentation Teaser OR Elevator Pitch
Seniors prepared 1 slide to be an advertisement for the research presentation. We attempted to group topics and had multiple [4] presentation venues across campus.

The Presentation
Presentations were 10-12 minutes in length and should:
Explain the research question or thesis statement, Show extensive research and critical thinking, provide appropriate and supportive details, has good transitions and is memorable

  • INTRODUCTION
  • ORGANIZED, RELEVANT, COHERENT EXPLANATION OF IDEAS
  • AMPLE RESEARCH APPROPRIATELY CITED [Background] approx. 3-5 slides [This is a research paper and not an opinion piece]
  • PERSONAL ENGAGEMENT WITH TOPIC [Primary Research] 3-5 slides
  • CONCLUSION [this is a research conclusion - not a list of "thank yous"]
  • Q&A - Questions and Answers


Answering the Frequently Asked Questions


What about attendance? How will we decide which venue to attend? 
Advisory groups voted and then attended a session together.  Advisers reported absentees only.  We used Google Forms for advisory group voting

What about technical difficulties?
We assigned one tech person to each venue.  But the independence and change helped the students to be more flexible and many figured out the tech on their own.

What if a student has a sibling or especially close friend in another venue?
A student was allowed to apply for a waiver to attend that venue.

What about announcements?
We assigned an emcee for each location to read brief announcements only.

Why the change?
This is a recommendation from the Academic portion of our school strategic plan.  This is a more authentic presentation and is in keeping with the initial creation of the Senior Project in that it allows for Q and A and a defense of the research claims.  Finally, the student body has grown to the point where all-school presentations would consume the spring calendar and interfere with other coursework.

What about FOMO?
We worked to arrange a designated student or faculty member to make a video recording of the presentations.  These will be uploaded to the cloud.  [Cloud is coming soon]


Giving a Professional Feel

Students presented in a very "real-world" way.  We also promoted the symposium each day on social media.  We also made signs to hang around campus.





Thursday, January 04, 2018

What Do You Like to Read?

We are a work in Progress!

We are working on a new way of organizing books in The Webb School Library! We have organized the books into genre categories. Many of our patrons have asked for books in specific genre categories and now we will be able to serve patrons better in this way.   Right now this is a work in progress so please bear with us as we organize using this new method.