Saturday, June 25, 2011

Lady GaGa Librarians Unite!

I was asked recently for a quote by a N.Y. Times editor for their opinion page: Here's the question: "School librarians are on the chopping block as states and cities seek to cut their education budgets. Do superintendents and principals see librarians as more expendable than other school employees? If so, why?" Here's my response:

"From the Daring Librarian to Teacher Librarians everywhere with love, albeit tough love - but full on love! Times are tough all over for education. Superintendents and administrators are making some hard financial decisions. Any position that does not have constant student interaction, testing expectations, and direct grading is vulnerable. Librarians and school libraries are at a crossroads. This is one of the most exciting times to be a teacher-librarian in our country and is also the scariest. A revolution is at hand, and we need to be nimble, daring, digital and shift both our practice and the way the world thinks of school librarians and libraries.
Some revolutions compel you throw everything out. This revolution is easy...keep what you love but just make a shift. Seth Godin recently said “A librarian is a data hound, a guide, a sherpa and a teacher.” I like that metaphor it resonates with me! We NOT expendable because we are guiding the minds of our students to lead them to become life-long learners, curious searchers, and good digital citizens. Librarians must teach Google ed and social media ed because we know kids are gonna connect and create online, better they do it with knowledge, discernment, responsibility, & ethics. We must shift our language, adding words like attribution, tagging, widget, Creative Commons, transliteracy, and authority.
"I've always been famous, it's just no one knew it yet."
Lady Gaga
Shift perception! We need to be more like Lady GaGa than Lady Bird Johnson. We need to establish a clear, pervasive, vibrant, and involved presence in their school, community, and on the web. The more visible librarians are the less likely that they’ll be taken away. Those teacher librarians who are hiding their brilliant programs under a bushel, that’s when they’re most likely to get cut. We need to stay positive, be proactive, and always be professional!"

Why Lady GaGa?
She loves her "little monsters" and so do we! She has style & doesn't apologize! She doesn't ask for permission - I bet she doesn't even ever say she's sorry (I do, though!....on rare occasion!) She is innovative, a risk-taker, a change agent, an early adopter and dag she's COOL! She also is all about self-empowerment! And I'm SO not saying that we all need to start wearing meat gowns or Steve McQueen sky high pumps...but to paraphrase my mentor & super hero Dr. Joyce Valenza...We need to step up our game, get fierce, throw off the pumpkin sweaters and be damn awesome at our jobs & fight the good fight! They got the library in Alexandria, they're not getting mine! Booya!

One last thought - I really like the idea of us Teacher Librarians and Geek Tribers creating some kind of hand gang sign! More like the monster claw than the Nancy Pearl Shushing action! Any ideas peeps!? If you think of one - take a pic & either post it in comments or email me!

"‎Do not allow people to dim your shine because they are blinded. Tell them to put on some sunglasses, cuz we were born this way b**ch!"
Lady Gaga

"I just I felt like a freak, I guess what I'm trying to say is
I want to liberate them, I want to free them of their fears and make them feel that they can create their own space in the world"
Lady Gaga

Q. What can a librarian do
without admin & staff support?

A. Not much!

I'd like to thank my principal Dr. Donyall Dickey who has been amazingly supportive & encouraging these past 4 years – I have grown SO much under his inspiring leadership. He has given me the opportunity to do some cutting edge things in our Library Media Center with mobile media (QR Codes & iPods touches, etc.), joined me in expanding our Social Media web presence, and allowed me to be on the ISTE Board of Directors & represent our school and district presenting out of state.
I’d also like to thank Mrs. Carol Fritts my district supervisor and friend who is officially the Coordinator of Career and Technology Education and Library Media. Carol has for many years supported cheered me on – giving me opportunities to represent HCPSS and the state of Maryland. Thank you so much Carol! my AWEsome MHMS staff: I can't do anything without a great staff of teachers who try new things, are open to new technologies because really, it's the hardworking classroom teacher who makes all the difference!
"I am focused on the work. I am constantly creating. I am a busy girl. I live and breathe my work. I love what I do. I believe in the message. There's no stopping."
Lady Gaga
Since the NY Times article was only a taste & not a treatise of what I think & believe check out this recent more -in-depth (but still delightfully shallow!) interview by the amazing M.E. Steel-Pierce!

How Teacher Librarians Can Save the World (and maybe their jobs) Posted by M.E. Steele-Pierce
I also would like to thank of the Washington Post for picking up this article!
Librarians the Edge of Glory!
Images via WENN and Perez Hilton
GaGa Daily

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Get Your Free ISTE11 SIGVE Virtual Worlds Badge!

Every year I look forward to going to ISTE Island and taking a snap for my Virtual Worlds Name Tag! Yes, I blogged about this last year..but it deserves a fresh mention! It's important that those of us who learn and teach on the grid show our SIGVE allegiance! It's also important to represent my Steampunk aesthetic by wearing my most fetching Steamy Victorian tophat by famed milliner Miss Reghan Straaf of Hatpins! I'm also wearing Miss Punktuality gown by Cutea of Grimm Bros. with out of control grid breaking metal overskirt & matching rusty clock bedecked collar. Go big or go home, folks. I also gotta admit I photoshopped my Avatar...which frankly is just a bit odd.
Get your own ISTE SIGVE Nametag!
"If you're heading to Philly next week for ISTE 2011, don't be left without your avatar name badge. Come on over to ISTE HQ's and follow the directions at the photo booth.
Thanks and see you soon! -Louise" Here's the SLURL to the Photobooth!

Visit the SIGVE Playground to pick up your badge and experience all that Virtual Worlds have to offer the digitally shifted educator! "All Philadelphia sessions will be mirrored into Second Life at ISTE Island and all sessions originating in any virtual world platform will be mirrored into Philadelphia and shared in Second Life as technology permits! "
Also be sure visit the SIGMS playground! Wonderful presenters and super fun topics! Featuring some of my favourite friends & amazing Teacher Librarians like Brenda Anderson - @brendaanderson, Linda Dougherty (aka Eleanor Anderton of SL!), The Digital Diva herself- Joquetta Johnson and of course The Mighty Little Librarian - Librarian Tiff and more of our Geek Tribe! YAY! Last year it was a jumpin place to be!
I was also truly flattered that Brenda continued Sir Bolt's example and friends created a great animation for ISTE SIGMS with Xtranormal!

Want to join Second Life?

From the SIGMS Wiki:

If you are new to Second Life, set up an account to join us:
1. Go to the Second Life website at several days in advance to set up your free basic account.
2. Verify that your computer and connectivity meets the systems requirements at
3. Click on the orange “Get Started!” button. Go through the subsequent screens to create your avatar account.
4. Download and install the Second Life viewer software at
5. Open the software and log into Second Life using your avatar first name, last name, and password. Watch your avatar “be born”. Complete the orientation activities to learn about how to communicate, move, search, and edit your appearance.
6. When finished, search “Places” for locations such as the Community Virtual Library, ISTE, or the American Library Association. Teleport to a favorite location, explore, and become acquainted with Second Life. (When searching, make sure the “search mature places” square is checked.)

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Rebecca Black, Justin Bieber, & Zombies

It's that time of year again! Time to beg, cajole, tease, torture (audibly), and plead to get our Library Media materials back. With 27% of our students on free & reduced lunch I know that we have a large group of kids that probably can't pay for their lost books...and I've made peace with the fact that I'm never gonna get ALL my books, digital playaways, & CD's back. I shoot for a loss of 30 a year. Sometimes it's more - sometimes it's less. And, That's OK! That's the cost of doing business. Some of my kids might not return a book because they LOVE it and they can't buy it to keep for their personal libraries. So, if that could possibly EVER be the case I only push so far.
BUT... I do everything I can to get those materials back because though I'm understanding, I'm still trying to teach responsibility, respect for property, and accountability! That's why I have lots of creative ways to get our books back. And yes, I also make 80 or so phone calls every year - to every number I have of moms, dads, aunties, grandmas, whoever is our primary caretaker to get that super hero help from our awesome grownups - some of whom don't even know that their kid has an overdue book! Muuwaaa! I'm gonna share the videos & Blabberize animations that we've made for this time of year for the last few years. The above video was mad with Blabberize with Guest Zombie voice of 6th grader the Cool Master Z Ricky! Funny how these videos are also a snapshot of pop culture - what's funny, hip, groanworthy, despised, or basic fodder for parody a the time - therefore their shelf life may vary! PS. Zombies Are ALWAYS in Style! (see end of post for more brains!)

Last year we focused on our buddy Justin Bieber...and funny, one of my classroom teachers complained to my principal that they thought the video defamed Canada! What the what!? I LOVE CANADA! (esp. my Saskatoon peeps! Holla!) You can ask anyone aboot that! ;-)

Twilight's Bella & Edward have also been the object of our parody! Which I blogged about more last year and about how Bella is a typical MARY SUE trope fan fiction wannabe!

And in 2003 a very talented special group of MHMS filmakers Inuksuk Studios & I created this iMovie video called Bookfellas. We wrote the script thinking about of course Goodfellas and we were inspired by the music of a certain Guy Ritchie film. The quality is so, so,...a little jerky..but still the AWEsome comes through! That's their graduation pic in 2007 -- I'm still so proud of these kids & they even come back & visit!!
PS. Inuksuk is a "stone landmark or cairn built by humans, used by the Inuit, Inupiat, Kalaallit, Yupik, and other peoples of the Arctic region of North America." Where did they come up with it? It was a nonfiction book on display in the library that was near their editing Macintosh. It also sounds funny.. as in heh heh "you said suk" heh heh. You know I'll NEVER be able to weed that book! I know, right!?
Video Hosting
I load my videos of course on my YouTube channel, but because the YouTubes is blocked in my school and if they're under 90 seconds I host them on the Flickrs, and if they're longer I also upload them on TeacherTube. But honestly? Embedding on TeacherTube has been sketchy lately for example, it seems like every video I've ever loaded there- even years ago are only a month old! WTHeck? Also irksome about TT is that Vids I've put on my wiki from TT can't be played sometimes. Sheesh. Annoying. Always fighting the filter and dodging the locked net monster, ninja's good to have the same vid in lots of different places! ZAP! Where do YOU host your videos? I'd love to hear from you in the comments with other video hosting suggestions! Thanks!
Want to learn how to Blabberize? Check out my earlier post with Comic Tutorial and Wikipage!
Search This Blog for Directions
Oh and darlings? Not to sound irksome myself...can I make a request? Before emailing or tweeting me asking for directions on how I do some of the stuffs I do (like Blabberize) can you please search this blog first? I don't wanna be repetitive and re-post directions & comic tutorials over and over. How meh-worthy would THAT be, right?

And though it's not Halloween yet...It's ALWAYS a good idea to be prepared for the oncoming Zombie horde! Of course I have a Zombie Survival plan....don't you!?

Photo credits:
Rebecca: Screenshot from Video
Zombie & Zombie Puppet:

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Survey Says! ISTE11 Philly is the Place to Be!

Only 3 weeks until the ISTE11 conference kickoff with Mario Armstrong! OhEmGee, I am SO excited! Besides being super busy with with ISTE Board service, meetings, poster sessions, Blogger cafe hanging, and playgrounds - I'll be presenting twice on two exciting (but very different!) panels!!!
Game Show Learning!
Learning Tools Family Feud: Crowdsourced Edition with Geek Tribe pals my dear mentor the amazing Joyce Valenza, super cool & smart Shannon M. Miller, slick Chad Lehman, hilarious & high-energy Nick "The Nerdy Teacher" Provenzano, and the wonderously sweet & funny Matthew Winner! With our special game show host the AWEsome Steve Dembo! Survey Says! This is gonna be GROOVY! We're gonna re-visit the favourite 70's Game Show with a Twist! We've crowdsourced the survey with over 100 of our PLN answering questions using a Google Form and will be going head-to-head boys against the girls to see if we can guess what the top learning tools will be AND give on the spot examples of how to utilize those learning tools in the classroom! And yes, we will be in COSTUME! Thanks to Shan, Some of our favourite vendors have even promised to donate some cool swag for FREE PRIZES! Including stuff from: Shmoop, Edmodo, SweetSearch, FableVision, EasyBib, Discovery Education (Thanks Steve!) Safari Montage, Terinery Brothers, Snag Learning and I scored a Livescribe Pen to give away! (Thanks Janet!) Please add us to your planner! Monday, 6/27/2011, 12:45pm–1:45pm PACC 103BC We've had some very generous donation from some vendor friends to have some prizes to give out during the "Game Show" This preso will be also be broadcasted on ISTEVision! So, if you can't be there in person you can catch it virtually by visiting via ISTE Remote or our TL Family Feud Wiki! Oh and to keep things honest and to ensure the integrity of this event our game show judges will be Diane Cordell and Paul Wood.
A New Dawn
I was dead flattered & honored to invited by the amazing Doug Johnson to sit in on another all-star line-up panel of amazing educators and teacher-librarians! Join us at the SIGMS Forum: A Dawning Era for School Librarians with Lisa Perez and Doug Johnson. The session is FREE but tickets are required (and 30 are still avail!) Tuesday, 6/28/2011, 10:30am–12:30pm PACC 108 This preso also will be broadcasted & saved for later streaming on ISTEVision! Following the Tedx style of presentations this panel will feature:

Anita Beaman: The E-volution of Books: Ebooks, E-readers and the Future of Reading or, Where Are We Going and Do I Have to Get in That Handbasket?
Buffy Hamilton: Libraries as Communally Constructed Sites of Participatory Learning: Creating Conversations and Connections Through Enchantment
Cathy Jo Nelson: The Blind Leading the Blind: Be the trailblazer for newbies, veterans and students alike modeling the use of new tools for professional development and student learning.

Gwyneth Jones: Viva La Social Media RevoluciĆ³n! Make a daring digital shift for your practice & the community.
Shannon Miller: Be the change you want to see: Empowering students with a VOICE in education.

Read Doug Johnson's blog about this forum on his Blue Skunk Blog! (it's a fav of mine!)

You PLN Comes Alive & Together at ISTE!

If you're going to ISTE please join us for the learning fun! If you're a reader of this blog I'd love to meet you face to face! If you see me (and forgive me if I'm ISTE blind -where my ADD kicks in and I seem oblivious because I'm too over stimulated! LOL) make sure to come up & say HI!!!! That's my favourite part of ISTE is meeting people F2F I've only "met" virtually here...or on the Twitters!

Attention all ISTE Newbies!
As a member of the ISTE board lemmie officially say that I hope all newbies to ISTE feel welcome, get all they can out of the many awesome offerings at ISTE, and have FUN doing it! I'll be posting soon about my advice to get the most out of the conference experience and packing tips! If this is your first ISTE do make plans to drop by and hang out in the Newbie Lounge on the 3rd floor -it's a great chance to meet other newbies & veterans, learn about cool receptions and events and make friends!

PS. to my ALA peeps... I am SO disappointed that I won't be able to join you in New Orleans & go to the Movers & Shakers luncheon (Waaaaa!) ...WHY OH WHY do they schedule these two conferences ALWAYS the same week every year!?? At least next year in CALI we'll be physically closer together so maybe I can hop over! But being on the ISTE board I do have responsibilities and I take those seriously because I'm so honored to represent and serve ISTE members the PK-12 educators! So ISTE will always come first....Cheers dears!!

a dawning era for school librarians, Buffy J. Hamilton, Doug Johnson, ISTE11, joyce valenza, lisa perez, Philly, shannon miller, sigms forum, the nerdy teacher

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Tweeting Ulysses-Eyepatch Required!

I have great friends! Even people I don't get to see all the time or have met only once - I'm richer for having known them! My PLN is the same - richer for (virtually) knowing them... Sarah Koski, a bright, bubbly member of our ISTE staff from our Eugene OR ISTE office - even though she's working hard on the upcoming ISTE conference sent me this from The Daily Good - a really cool site with quirky (love!) news items that is of course blocked in my district!
"So you want to read James Joyce's famously impenetrable modernist masterpiece Ulysses, but you can't seem to take your eyes off the Internet? We've got the solution to your problems. This year, for Bloomsday, an annual celebration of Joyce and Ulysses, there's an effort underway to recast the novel and publish it in its entirety in a series of tweets. The experiment, called "Ulysses Meets Twitter 2011," will use volunteers, who will each take a section of the book (it's been divided into 96 parts), and distill it into four to six tweets that will go out on the @11ysses account. In this way, the entire book, or a crowd-interpreted version of it, will be broadcast, 140 characters at a time, on June 16, starting at 8:00 a.m. Dublin time. (of course!) It looked like the "Ulysses Meets Twitter 2011" organizers were struggling to find enough volunteers to pull it off. A recent publicity blitz, including a post in The New York Times, may have solved that problem, but there are still a few days to get involved if you want." Here's how. Oh and Eyepatch Optional!
Thanks Sarah!!!
Classroom Classic Connections!
Now think of the classroom implications of this! Think of how cool this would be for students to take chapters...or parts of chapters of ponderous novels and using the Character Counter I talked about a few weeks ago, boil down classroom or classics for other students!

Write your Review in FRONT OF the URL & Emoticon
external image 5723027377_504fe35335.jpg
Cut out words that are unnecessary - re-word, re-think, re-write, re-mix, & be creative! Hints: use "&" rather than the word AND, dashes as breaks, but try NOT to write in leet speak. Like "4sqore &7yrs ago" OR.....should We? Hmmmm That's a conversation for you and your teacher!


Joyce's Ulysses set for Twitter translation

Joyce Meets Twitter: Boiling Down 'Ulysses'

Joyce Flickr Creative Commons photo By: Max Braun


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