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Why I like the Drudge Report.....

I tend to stay away from mainstream television media, but want to know what's going on in the world. I know some skeptics believe the Drudge Report is a rightwing media tool, however, I find that I am very interested in the obscure stories you can't find on the evening or morning news shows. Also, the Drudge Report is now one of the hottest places to check for new/breaking news....Matt Drudge (site author) updates constantly. Besides there are plenty of links to "bashing" stories on both sides of the political aisle!

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Stephenie Meyer books

I am the kind of person who reads and loves almost everything I read, but I was never a reader of horror fiction- vampires in particular. But students kept asking for the books after Twilight in the spring and since Twilight was on the Reading Olympic list for '08 I decided to take it home for the summer, read it and make up questions. Well, I am hooked! I read Twilight in July and I couldn't put it down, Meyer has a unique way of writing seductively and from the teen perspective. There is so much angst with Bella and Edward Cullen, you just have to keep reading to learn more about their very different, yet alluring love. My students never minded that the books were 400-500 pages long- they were clamoring for the next one and the next one! I am now halfway through New Moon and once again, the suspense, fear and unrequited love keep me reading! Now I am learning more about Bella and Jacob's friendship/realtionship and boy is this different. When I went to Borders last week to purchase New Moon, my neice told me I just had to buy the 3rd one because it was 30% off and I would be saving money so I purchased Eclipse as well. I don't really booktalk these books (because reluctant readers would see the size and not touch them), the students who are readers come and ask for them in groups so I am more than happy to get these vampire books for our library because they are very read-worthy! So if you have become an ardent fan of Stephenie Meyer, pick up Twilight and I guarantee you will be seduced!
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Gearing up for September--best ideas?

I would love to hear what brilliant ideas you are planning for this coming school year. What 2.0 excitement is brewing? What new bulletin board ideas do you have? How will you be greeting and orienting your new learners? Please share any special, nifty ideas for the greater good.
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It's Elementary!

Join us this Monday at 23:00GMT. Hear a special guest talking about Web 2.0 tools. Join the conversation by going to this link.
Typethe name you want others to see, no password required, and click"Login". Then type in the yellow box asking for where you can hear thelive show. Others there will tell you the location of the stream andhow to access it. During a show, you will hear live audio and be ableto interact in the chat room with others.See you there!

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Improving Your Tech Skills in Bed!

Have a laptop and wireless in your home? If so you are probably so tech savy already (or someone in your house is) that you don't need to improve your tech skills, but you can if you want to - even in bed! If you have a desktop at home, you can still improve your tech skills as well and you can do it in your slippers and pj's. So says a recent article from eSchool News: " Teachers gain tech skills while in their PJs ". Check it out. Sounds like this Louisiana district started out with a concept for homeschool professional development for teachers that has expanded to students as well and they are having record successes.

"As the teachers have done, students took tests to see how IT proficient they really were, and the same test will be given next May to measure their progress. Students also have been offered incentives such as meal passes and theater tickets for completed courses." They like it so much "one group of students has logged in over 128 hours during their summer vacation".

Susan Dupre, technology facilitator for the St. Mary Parish School Board said: "We're seeing an amazing jump in numbers in tech literacy, in teachers, admin, and students."

If you have investigated this resource, I'd love to hear your feedback on the pros' and con's of InfoSource Learning's Learn It! for use with teaching teachers as well as students.


"Teachers gain tech skills while in their PJs. Home-based professional development is big success for La. district" By Meris Stansbury, Assistant Editor, eSchool News. August 24, 2007. Contents Copyright 2007 eSchool News. All rights reserved.

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New to this

Hi. I'm new to blogging, nings, social bookmarking, etc. And I thought I knew a lot about technology as I am the library media teacher at our school and tech support for our teachers. I am learning about so many great resources as I participate in School Library Learning 2.0. I anticipate learning more from entries made on this Ning site. Denise
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“If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them” is an article in The Journal (Transforming Education Through Technology). The magazine was shared with me recently as there was an article about librarians becoming the technology experts in their school much like many have in our district. I referenced that article in my last post.

This article also caught my eye. It says that educators who recognize how much social networking engages and informs kids are creating their own sites designed as learning tools to foster collaboration among students, teacher, and parents. I believe we need to stay on top of the methods of doing this safely and move in this direction as a part of our five year plan. The article talks about launching a school-oriented social network. I believe it is worth thinking about, discussing and planning for the future now. “One of the roles of education is to help student learn to socialize” says Karen Greenwood Henke, Chair of the Emerging Technologies Committee at the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN). A recent study said in using these collaboration tools, part of the role of the school would be to help students understand how to use them effectively, with security in mind, to advance themselves instead of using the tools in negative ways. A secure school social network would enable students to make mistakes and learn what is acceptable online behavior. Check out “A Guide to four student-friendly social networking destinations” also on the link.

What are your thoughts for planning for this? How do we get principals to promote this and teacher to do this with only marketing from Instructional Technology and no added load on DTS?

Part of the Plan

"IT personnel need to make teachers aware of district policies and bandwidth limitations, which may affect how well the sites perform. 'It makes sense for a school district to have an overall strategy for this,' Karen says. "It's also important to have dialogue between IT and the teachers regarding district policies, bandwidth, and potential problems with blocked sites."

What do you think? I look forward to your comments.


Charlene O'Hanlon, "If You Can't Beat 'Em, Join 'Em," T.H.E. Journal, 8/1/2007,

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I read "The New Librarians" online in The Journal with excitement. Jack Strawn, school librarian at Sandra Day O'Conner High School in Helotes, TX, is using his strengths to "help usher in the technological changes that schools must address". Joyce Valenza, one of our industry's leading library information specialists of Springfield Township High School in Erdenheim, PA, says working with technology engages students and models how the tools can be used in your real life. Are you expanding the way people think about the service that we provide from not only checking out books and reading stories but to also what we are additionally doing today to help kids learn: we are the "portal" for our students to information. As Linda Miller put it, "we're information brokers". And I believe as she does that our kids are "never too young to learn how to do things the right way."

Are we teaching students and teachers about the resources we discover? Are you working with your school technology teachers to infuse technology into the curricula? How can you "not" use technology for technology's sake? What even low tech technology do you have in your school that you can use to help students learn in their core content and electives classes as well as in life? How do you work to meld the classroom and the library?

We have new tools in our tool box, but our job is still to help teachers teach and student's learn. Are you passionate about what you are doing?

Neal Starkman, "The New Librarians," T.H.E. Journal, 8/1/2007,

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Join this project!

Project Name: On the Trail of the First People


Description: On the Trail of the First People is an online, collaborative standards-based social studies unit that seeks to incorporate information literacy skills with communicative technologies for 4th and 5th grades researching Native Americans. Classrooms located inthe Northeast, Southeast, Plains, Southwest, California, Far PacificNorthwest, and the Far North are invited to research tribes indigenousto their area and then share their knowledge with all through the useof Wikis, Blogs and Social Mapping. Register soon - project begins in soon! Contact project coordinator, Karen Kliegman, to register.

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More things to learn

I registered for two grad classes today.... am I crazy to take two and work full time?!?! The courses are curriculum and assessment. I am actually looking forward to these courses as I am hoping to learn more. Maybe I can take an existing core curriculum and embed info media skills and create the "perfect" curriculum balance!

I am currently attending a SW Wyoming Tech / ELL conference in Jackson, Wyoming. The key-note speakers, Doug Johnson and Dr. Francisco Rios have been excellent. And, the workshops have been SO fun and informative! Today, I attended Jennifer Gingerich's Creating Digital Kits and Barb Sanchez' Using Camtasia Studio and document cameras for teaching and re-teaching.

More tomorrow!

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New to the network

I'm not new to the job, but I am new to the network. I'm looking for to becoming a part of and sharing ideas with this awesome group of educators.
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Learning new things every day

I spent the last two days with an incredible of group of Wyoming librarians gathered in Jackson WY for our annual Info Power. Doug Johnson was here and offered some wonderful insights on our role as media specialists working with the Net Generation. I'm pysched!
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Blatant Self Promotion!

If I can advertise myself a bit. I'm currently doing a series on creating documentaries in the classroom over on my blog. I provide a link to ALL my handouts, which should be a good resource to give your teachers.

Actually, on second thought, I'll just upload them here, (one of those Duh! moments!). Still, the blog posts give detail/background, and are too long to cross post, so I hope you'll check it out!


Download documentary.doc
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Behind the Mountains by Edwidge Danticat

What a wonderful, poignant story about a Haitian family whose father, Papa, now lives in New York, toiling for years to bring his family to live with him. Told in first person by Celiane in entries to her notebook, we meet her family who has remained in Haiti, Celiane's mother, Manman, her older, artistic brother, Moy and the many relatives who provide support as they wait for approval to make the move. There is government turmoil and Celiane and her mother are injured in a pipe bomb attack in Haiti. It is a wonderful Christmas present to move to New York to finally be with their father. Once there, Moy and Celiane go to school, which is difficult because of the language barrier, strange surroundings and no friends. We see through Celiane's eyes the joy, sorrow and harshness of being in a new land. We see the beauty of Celiane's house on a mountain and New York through a child's eyes. This is a great multicultural story of how families remain close during separation and make a new life in a new land.

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The View From My Window

*This is cross-posted from my personal blog,

When we woke up this morning, there was a goat on our front porch. That’s right—a goat. Now, a goat is not something you see every day, particularly when he’s camped out all night at your door.

Not knowing what else to do, we befriended him and named him Billy Boy. He ate dog treats and lots of leaves, we discovered. And he wasn’t exactly shy.

Pretty soon, we were the main topic of the local rumor mill. Neighbors greeted us, “Hey, I heard you adopted a goat.” And within a few hours, some of our friends called, “Can we bring the kids by to see the goat?”

People were full of suggestions. “Did you call Animal Control?” or “I have a friend who raises goats. I can call him to catch him for you.” Finally someone suggested that Billy Boy had been “let go” on purpose and should be “taken down.” But Billy had become a sort of pet for us by now. I hated the thought of “taking him down” and wondered what other alternatives there were. He did, after all, eat leaves and grass. Perhaps he could be trained to keep the grass cut.

As I reflected on this event later, I realized that I could learn a few things from the experience. Some people I know are like Billy Boy. They have camped out where they don’t belong. It is time for them to move on. Or they are just “Old goats” who aggravate folks around them. People around them think they should be “taken down.” Perhaps their usefulness is questionable to some. Perhaps others think they should move on, or that someone else should take them in.

Maybe you know some folks like that. Perhaps they are neighbors, or, worse, co-workers. In this age of productivity and data collection, Billy goats are no better than weeds or dead wood, even if their main function is as weed-eaters and hoppers.

If you are like me, considering retirement in the not so distant future, you have probably given your productivity an occasional thought. You have tried to keep the pace. You would cringe if someone considered you to be an “old goat.”

I challenge you to consider a rebirth of sorts. Take on a new skill and teach others. Dive in headfirst into the vast ocean of Web 2.0 tools and master at least one. Toot your horn a bit. What have you go to lose?

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The new Sunday Library=Borders!

Since funding is so low in Longmont and the surrounding cities, people are flocking to the local Borders to get their reading fix as well as their gourmet coffee fix. I know this is nothing knew, but for some reason I find this depressing today. How many of these people would be at their local library if they had the opportunity? Why should they go? After all, Borders has all the new releases in virtually unlimited supply. People were sitting in the cafe doing research, the same type of research that is typically done with the assistance of a librarian! How necessary are we? Are they finding the information they need at the time they need it? Probably a good percentage of them are doing just that. Someone, anyone please tell me that all the time and money I spent on this degree was not a total waste of time and lost hours upon hours of sleep.
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Web2.0 Tools

Thank you for welcoming me to TeacherLibrarian Ning. I found you by taking an online summer class called School Library Learning2.0 sponsored by the California School Library Association. What I have learned in the course will dramatically change my teaching next year. It is embarrassing to admit, but no one in our district uses blogs, wikis, tagging, or RSS. I have heard these terms at conferences and read about them in periodicals, but had no idea how powerful they could be and how easy to use until I experienced them for myself.

I would love to hear from others who have used any of these tools with teachers and students. How was the research process improved? Were there any challenges I should know about before I begin? Which tool would you suggest I try first?

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There is always so much new to learn! How exciting and how overwhelming at the same time. At least I have accepted the fact that I will never catch up and I am learning to be adept at "treading water" :) And we are all "in the same boat".

What at time we live in today and how wonderful are the opportunities to communicate on whatever level of depth we choose and/or can handle.

The world is ours for the taking. I feel powerful and weak all at the same time.

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