Friday, October 29, 2010

EduTecher's Help Change the World,
Free Rice, and Zombies!

At ISTE10 Denver I met a LOT of great people... one of them was ISTE Emerging Leader and EduTecher Adam Bellow. Funny story, I was hanging out in the Butterfly Lounge with Joquetta Johnson waiting to hook up with Joyce Valenza & the Geek Tribe when I got to talking to this guy there - Adam Bellow. Turns out I'd already been visiting his EduTecher site for a while (Ok, I'm really bad with names!) and was thrilled to meet him F2F! Now I call him a friend and part of my PLN here and on Twitter!
This new easy to participate crowdsourcing charity project of his is amazing! You don't donate money, you just click. (similar to ....The EducTecher site isn't commercial...its' a FREE site that gives awesome tech tips and classroom & library resources. Learn more about how you can Change the World with just one click and get involved - by clicking the logo above. I also modded the badge to fit my blogger sidebar, grab it if you like for your own widget!

NomNom Addictive FREE Rice!
What is you may ask? Easy addictive educational vocabulary game that kids get a kick out of after they finish their work in the computer lab ......OR
It's a non-profit website that donates 10 grains of rice for every answer right they get to the World Food Programme (and they're legit!). Their partner is the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University.
FreeRice has two goals:
  • Provide education to everyone for free.
  • Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.
Still hungry? How about some BRAINS?!
Occasionally I will get unsolicited email me to blog about a certain product or site. Now, being the lazy languorous piratical lady that I am you would think I would jump on such fodder. But no, dear reader! I am also oppositional defiant & take my blogging responsibilities seriously. But then sometimes the stuff I get is pretty interesting and cool and after due investigation - it's worth a mention.
Thus I bring you the "Zombies in the Library". "In 12 beautifully rendered scenes the calendar covers such topics as the role of the Zombie in reference, the frustrations faced when the Undead hog the photocopier, and for cataloguers, poses the eternal question: 299.675 or 398.21?"

This delightfully cerebral (heh heh, get it? Brains!?) and messy calendar is brought to you by the "South Australian Library & Information Network (SALIN) Committee. We're a grass-roots, unaffiliated group which creates networking and professional development opportunities for people in the Library sector in South Australia (especially for newer graduates)."

Now being a Zombie fan and having a very well-thought out and prepared Zombie Emergency Plan (and also the proud owner of both the Zombie Survival Handbook & World War Z) I just couldn't help but snicker at this bloody great calendar!

Love those Australians! ....Hey! Someone invite me to speak over there...I'd love to visit and see your lovely country! I'm sure some of my Welsh ancestors can be traced there, for reals! /shamelessselfpromotion


edutecher, freerice, zombies, SALIN, South Australian Library & Information Network

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Bob Edwards Show Visits MHTV & MHMS!

We were SO excited & flattered to host the Bob Edwards Sirius XM show a few weeks ago! They were doing a month long series called Shhhh… Libraries at Work!” (of course I HATE the Shhh! part!) and chose my school, Murray Hill Middle School to represent school libraries. (I, WOW!) They found us through this blog and the interview focused on the future of school libraries, digital literacy, creating a positive digital footprint, research strategies, creating student assessment products, audio books, and how we always push the love of reading to our kids!

In Part 1 (#6 on the iTunes list) you can listen to the Bob Edwards XM Show Podcast featuring my MHMS kids, MHTV crew, & our school library! It starts with Mrs. Singleton's 6th grade reading & research class visited for seminar book selection & talked about the kind of books they like, transitions into our MHTV crew creating our news show, and finishes with...Mrs. Cullison's class coming in for the Book Pass: The Power of Choice orientation lessons, and more about books - in all kinds of formats!

From his blog: "We start today’s show off with a visit to a model, modern-day school library. Gwyneth Jones, aka The Daring Librarian, has pulled out all the stops to make her library the coolest place at Murray Hill Middle School in Laurel, Maryland. And it’s hard NOT to feel excited about school libraries after spending a morning with her and the students at Murray Hill. Jones has embraced technology— even (gasp) television – to get kids interested in reading and learning. Forget the stereotype of a matronly, bunned, button-upped librarian trying to maintain silence and order —- Jones likes her library a little rowdy! She speaks almost entirely in exclamation points, and her enthusiasm is liable to convert anyone to her cause."

But it's true, we have learning going on but there's also time for fun, teaching, research, & inquiry that is not always.... hmmmm silent! So, if I couldn't be the daring librarian the rowdy librarian woulda fit, too!

Also during the interview I talk about our Playaway audio book program so I wanted to show a few pics of how cute these single digital audio books are!

Part 2 is #5 on the iTunes list and it's an interview with yours truly about school libraries and the importance of digital literacy and creating a positive digital footprint. a cringeworthy aside, after listening to both parts of the podcast I do realize I say AWEsome a bit too much! And yes, I both speak and type using an overabundance of exclamation points! But gee, I mean we've got AWEsome kids and an AWEsome school! So there! Elaine Bennis would be proud! (points for that reference!)
A couple corrections: we changed our top news story that day to a cooler NASA one about the IBEX spacecraft that also meant we could play "She Blinded Me with Science" by Thomas Dolby song \\FTW!//, is sponsored by Britannica NOT World Book (Oops sorry!) For the Book Pass: Power of Choice activity we didn't have a dozen books out...we had at least 200! (more than a dozen on every table) ...AND we only have 1 media specialist in our school (part 3 said we had 2) ...though my media assistant the AWEsome Mrs. Black and I have worked together now for 19 years, and really when it comes down to it...we're a true team it's like having 2 librarians! Woohoo!

OhEmGee! Look at this email we got!
Hello, Ms. Jones! My name is Michelle Nichols, and I work for the Adler Planetarium in Chicago on NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) mission Education and Public Outreach (E/PO) program. One of our VP's here at the Adler heard the Bob Edwards radio show this past weekend that featured you and your wonderful program to have kids report the news. I listened to the spot this morning and we were so proud that the news clip that the radio show used to illustrate the news program was about IBEX! The students got the science just right, too. We are thrilled that they thought that the story about IBEX's recent info release was worthy of inclusion in their program. They did a great job! Thanks, again, and please tell the kids thanks, also, on behalf of the IBEX E/PO team.

Michelle Nichols,
Master Educator - NASA Forum Programs

The Adler Planetarium

1300 S. Lake Shore Dr. Chicago, IL 60605
Visit the Adler Planetarium Website

Final Note: Since we're sorta bragging here why not trowel it on? As I bloged last, I was chosen by Gale/Cengage Learning and School Library Journal to be one of 5 national library New Leaders Program for the SLJ Summit in Chicago. AND WOW! What a great time it was and more about it soon! Below is the scanned version from the program - I promised to post it for the other award recipients for their family, friends, and administrators. (and for my Mom, Dad, Gramma, Aunt Lynnie & Family!)
Thank you again for this honor, I'll strive to continue to be a library leader & change agent within my school, community, district, and state. Click below to view a larger size.

Thank you SO much!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

SLJ Summit: The Future of Reading

Tomorrow morning I leave for Chicago. I've never been there and I'm SO excited.

I'm honored, humbled, floored, & flattered (and frankly gobsmacked!) to have been asked to come to the School Library Journal’s 2010 Leadership Summit! As the summit starts today I think I can safely announce why...and it makes me squirmy, happy, and strangely bashful to do so! GAH!

20 days ago I got this email out of the blue...
"On behalf of Gale, part of Cengage Learning, and School Library Journal, I am pleased to inform you that you have been selected as one of five people to attend SLJ’s Leadership Summit as part of the Cengage Learning /SLJ New Leaders program. The Cengage Learning/SLJ New Leaders program is designed for school librarians who are new to the profession, and have already displayed leadership within their building, district and/or state; are advocates for students, libraries, and 21st century learning; and are actively engaged in sharing and collaborating with colleagues through social networking and other venues. After reaching out to prominent leaders within the library field for their recommendations, you have been selected by School Library Journal and Cengage Learning to participate in this exciting new program."

What the what!? WOW! Pinch me!

"At the event, you will be paired with a mentor selected by School Library Journal who will introduce you to key individuals and leaders in the field, and who will be available to help guide you during the next year as you move forward in your career." - and guess who that's gonna be?

Who is my mentor? I just found out and Squee! She's been my unofficial mentor of the last year and a half (heck, she's a mentor for us ALL, right?!) and an inspiration to me since I started stalking errr avidly attending her presentations since the Atlanta NECC conference, then the AASL Reno, I could go on! ...non other than our own hip, awesome, generous, & amazingly inclusive - Dr. Joyce Valenza! (For proof of my admiration see how often I've quoted or mentioned Dr. V in this very blog - heck, I'd say I'm an acolyte! What's going to happen at the Summit? I don't know! But I'll share it with you, dear reader! YAY!

The Future of Reading and the Future of Libraries

Speaking of inspirational mentors... Buffy J. Hamilton is another voice out there that I constantly am turning towards. On Facebook there was this note Rethinking the Third Millennium Library to Foster Connection and Flexibility by The Third Teacher that was published about the physical future of the library and whether books will be included in it. Buffy replied to it....and it's definitely worth reading! Here are my thoughts.
In the library of the future - will there still be books? Great question! I think there will always be a place for print media. Yes, there will be digital readers, audio books, electronic tablet, and formats we have not even dreamed of. Will there be Immersive book experiences with glasses or helmets that let you enter the virtual world of the book and watch the characters play out the story? Who knows!? But what I do know, is that books will be there on a shelf - because there will always be those who want to hold, smell, and read a book page by page.
Besides, Jean-Luc Picard shows us that they will always be prized. "Make it so!"

Collaborative, comfortable, and creative learning areas will be also be there. Perhaps overstuffed sofas, digital reclining chairs with surround sound headrests, and comfy ottomans that can be pulled in and gathered together for impromptu collaboration. Hard, sterile chairs - no. Cold impersonal "electronic stores" of information - I don't think so.
What I do that I can't wait to see! And....bring it on!
I love books, I love reading, and I love my personal learning network. (That's YOU!) Thank you all so much and stay tuned!!
Photo from: Cannon Design embraced this ideological shift in their design for the new Adlai E. Stevenson High School Student Learning Center.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Don't Hate the Hashtag: A Social Media Revolution for School Librarians

Being asked to be the keynote at MASL was a huge compliment, and I'm honored to speak to my fellow Maryland teacher-librarians. My tough-love message is one that is a little hard to hear, one that doesn't accept the "yeah, buts" and excuses of county filters, the locked net monster, and draconian IT departments but hopefully one that will offer a lot of easy ways to make the digital shift that will solidify our position as invaluable and undeniably the EdTech and literacy leaders in our buildings, communities, and districts. And one that hopefully won't be as long winded as that last sentence.

Resources for this keynote can be found on my Don't Hate the Hashtag Sqworl group.

Resources for this session can be found on my Animation Studios & Sites wikipage and my Animation Sites & Education Resources HUGE group of Links Sqworl group.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

ISTE Unveils 2 New Sites and a Sweet APP!

Now, I know being on the Board of Directors of ISTE means I'm a wee bit biased...But they don't pay me and I've been an avid ISTE association fan & member since I attended my first NECC conference in 2007 - Atlanta - where Kathy Schrock first introduced to me the virtual world of Second Life!

I'd been presenting every year at my state affiliate MICCA now MSET since 1996 but had never had the $ or the gumption to go to the "big show until 2007...when I finally decided that saving all year for the conference was the best investment in my professional growth...and yeah, I think it has worked out pretty well! [grin]

ISTE is committed to being a vibrant vehicle and support for change agents & EdTech professionals around the globe. As leaders of the cutting edge they keep adding cool new stuff that makes being a member of the LARGEST EdTech association in the WORLD even better!

A brand NEW re-vamped website....with all kinds of great new features! Live! Chat with ISTE Oregon Staff (who, by the way, are AWEsome!) AND you know what else?

From their newly re-designed site:
They've Got An App For That!

"Have an iPhone? Download ISTE’s new iPhone application by clicking here or searching for “ISTE Mobile” in the iTunes App Store. Have another Web-ready smart phone? Visit to surf our mobile Web version. Network with fellow ISTE members and get up-to-the minute news, blog posts, and educator resources."

Download the Application

Are You an ISTE Learner?

"An ISTE Learner is

• An active contributor to a professional learning community that focuses on the power of educational technology
• An engaged educator passionate about teaching, learning and leading with educational technology
• An advocate for the ubiquitous use of the NETS as a vehicle for students, teachers and administrators to obtain 21st century skills

Become an ISTE Learner to

• Engage in conversations about the application of educational technology
• Learn and share innovative approaches to building digital-age skills
• Gain access to experts and peers from around the world

It’s easy and free to become an ISTE Learner. Sign up today! ISTE - Search for the Future of Ed Tech by gwyneth

So if you haven't joined ISTE....or don't know about ISTE... I encourage you to check it out!

And thanks those of you who voted for me to be on the ISTE board... I really am passionate about serving you & the PK-12 teachers of the world! Leave a comment if you have a suggestion or an idea! YAY!
ISTE - NECC 07 Photos by ME!!
Other photos from - Thank you!
ISTE Unveils 2 New Sites and a Sweet APP!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Cartoonerific! David Lanham is a
Bucketfull of AWEsome!

I found out about David Lanham - the amazing & talented artist from the Iconfactory who created the Ollie the Twitter bird (now available to purchase as a collectible toy!) on Mashable: FaceTime + $50 = Awesome Personalized Avatar & Wired: Geek Artist Making $50 Caricatures Over FaceTime this summer and just had to fearfully indulge in a custom cartoon avatar! I loved his style and he's got all kinds of geek hipster street cred! My geek greed demanded to be satiated!

It took over a month to get an appointment - Here's the outfit I was wearing

A Mini Tophat from, monocle on a black satin ribbon, babyphat black crotchet sweater, Steampunk Louise Black orig antique doll part necklace and lots of goth makeup!

We connected via Skype and had a lovely convo for about 20 min or so while he sketched (and showed me a super cute puppy he and his wife are fostering) and this was the result! Very cool and SO worth it!

Funny, I think it looks good...I look like a sweet dotty Steampunk English lady here! OMFG!* What a hoot! I'm OK with that.

He's even given me permission to tweak it as needed or desired (he understands my near pathological addiction to Photoshop) So I made a version that was super bright and of course...POSTERIZED it!

Check out the David Lanham Flickr Gallery.

@dlanham [Twitter]

Dave’s website home-page [Dave Lanham]

*OMFG: Oh my fairy godmother

Like Us! The MHMS Facebook Page &
Concrete Digital Footprints

Re-posted from my school blog as an example of what I share with my community:

We here at MHMS want our families and the community find us everywhere! We want to model savvy social networking practices... So with Dr. D's permission we started this Facebook page for our students, parents, & the community of Murray Hill Middle School! Please like us! But we also love & acknowledge all the alumni pages, group, & fan pages started by our AWESOME kids both past & present!
So please "Like Us" on the Official MHMS Facebook page!

The FB page features our school hours, links to our official school web page, digital photo galleries, wiki's, updates, and more!

Though this Facebook resource page was created for parents, students over 13 are welcome to like it, too. Or under 13 - with parent permission. That's COPA folks! Because please kids, we want you to be web savvy digital citizens. Yeah, yeah...I know, I blog a LOT about digital awareness....'cause it's like HELLO? Really Important! So here's more!

Start Your Positive Digital Footprint - NOW.

I've been teaching/evangelizing Internet safety awareness since 2000...I was first asked to do so by Maryland Public Television and then the Horizon Foundation...and through their patronage I created an early website called Internet Safety for Parents & Teens that covered a lot of common sense information about how to be more AWARE of the pitfalls and dangers on the Interwebs.

There is no safe, there is only AWARE

We have to encourage our kids to be self-aware of their own digital footprint. To be mindful of what they post and how they can cultivate a good positive Internet profile so that when they apply to college, or a job, they already know how they will be perceived by those people who will be digging for information ...and dig they will.

Though I really love the dollie pics above by jessi.bryan it's deceiving. What is posted - even once - can be found. Not likely, but can. The tides and time of the Internets don't wash away all the bad mistakes. Now that's not to say it's not a GOOD idea to delete things that you regret posting - you should! I even sleep on something before I post it....I never post in anger or annoyance. I also don't want y'all to get paranoid. Just be aware of that BEFORE posting.

Footprints in Concrete - NOT Sand
As a kid, did you ever press your hand into a drying cement sidewalk?- ignoring all the caution signs and knowing full well that we shouldn't? Ever write your name, date, or sign it? (not me!) The Internet is sorta the same way.

Kids need to know that embarrassing or inappropriate pictures posted are there online and can be found. That texts and pics sent through the phone can be downloaded or passed on willy nilly. Now don't get me wrong...Social networks are NOT inherently bad and they're not going away - hence our new Facebook page's more about using ethical & wise choices than being scared of the Bogey man out there - though they exist - it's more likely that teens will be harassed by other teens that they know than some stranger. Sad but true fact, teens who are at-risk in general will most likely be at-risk on the Internet.

Parents: What you can do

  • TALK to your kid, establish expectations, and tell them that you trust them but you also are cautious about what they share online.
  • Don't make the discussion combative, make it continuing & comfortable!
  • Make sure that ANY social network they belong to is set to private
  • Guide your kids foot (and hand) prints on the Internet by also not posting things you'll regret on FB or social sites. I've heard more than one sorry story where a parent had an embarrassing pic found by their kid! Eeeep! But - at least it's a teachable moment!
  • When in doubt, know how to check the history of your family & kids computer
Kids: What you can do

"Hemanshu Nigam, the chief security officer at News Corp. provides advice about the compassionate and kind use of social networking:

  • Post with respect: photos are a great way to share wonderful experiences. If you're posting a photo of you and your friends, put yourself in your friends' shoes and ask would your friends want that photo to be public to everyone. If yes, then you're uploading photos with respect.
  • Comment with kindness: compliments are like smiles, they're contagious. When you comment on a profile, share a kind word, others will too.
  • Update with empathy: sharing updates lets us tell people what we think. When you give an opinion on your status updates, show empathy towards your friends and help them see the world with understanding eyes.
from: Back-to-school advice for safe & ethical social networking - CNET News

Play the Friend Finder Game! Interactive fun game testing your social networking skillz!
Net Cetera
NetCetera - In Net Cetera: Chatting With Kids About Being Online, OnGuard Online gives adults practical tips to help kids navigate the online world. - created by the FTC -
For Parents, Teacher Librarians, & Technology Educators: AWESOME FREE Bulk Brochures & Bookmarks for home, schools & libraries!

Social Networking Sites: A Parent’s Guide
The Parents' Guide to Social Networking Websites
Social Networking Sites: Safety Tips for Tweens and Teens
Blog Sites, Profile Sites, Diary Sites or Social-Networking Sites
Safe Teens: Texting, Dating, and Safety

Photos from Flickr Creative Commons: Cool River Blythe dollie photos by By jessi.bryan, Signed foot and hand prints found & photographed By ww_whist Jerry


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