Tuesday, March 29, 2011

QR Code Quest: a Library Scavenger Hunt


(UPDATE: This is the original post about this mobile media digital discovery lesson but I've also updated it recently in Part Deux! Pls. check it out! :-)
I remixed this awesome scavenger hunt originally created by Joyce Valenza and added a QR Code Twist!
I re-worked some of the questions for a lesson with my adorable ESOL kids (we have 35 right now in our ESOL program & one cute be-freckled girl just came yesterday & speaks no English at all but she LOVED scanning the codes when I handed her my Droid Fascinate!) The rest of the kids have varying degrees of English proficiency but still will benefit from a few visual clues. So the scavenger hunt questions are intentionally simply & clearly worded combined with pics I created as QR Code Hints.
You can also use this lesson for special needs classes, Library Media orientation, or even re-mix the questions, QR Codes, & hints for just about ANY subject area!
To create the hints I used a combination of Photoshop, Flickr, bit.ly and my favourite QR Code generator, Kaywa.
First I created the Hint. For my kids who are just learning English I thought it would be better to combine the hint with pictures. So I combined Creative Commons images with clearly worded (simple) hints - but I also wanted to add in some key words that we've been working on like genre, fiction, nonfiction and title.
Multi-step clues & questions were important, too. To give a little insight on how this lesson was created I'll go through questions 6-8 which all had to do with Italian cookery.
In Question 6. I wanted them to find two of our Italian cookbooks in the 641 section of Nonfiction. I found online pics of the exact two cookbooks we have in our collection, combined them with a sporty red & white checkered cloth jpeg, a pizza, and the hint. Putting this all together with photoshop, I saved this as a .jpeg & uploaded it to Flickr.
Taking the Flickr .jpeg URL of this pic I pasted it into Bit.ly to get a shorter URL (that makes an easier to scan or read & prettier QR code - more on that below in the Tech Tip section!) Now with the shorter URL it was time to open another tab on my browser and go to my favourite QR Code generator, Kaywa which makes terrific codes in S, M, L, & XL sizes of any URL, text message, phone number or SMS!
Back to the Italian cookbooks - I taped the laminated QR code hint with the pics of the cookbooks really close to the 641 shelf & they had a great time finding it by both number & sight!
Question 7. Then I wanted the kids to locate and use our big unabridged dictionary on the swively stand & while we were there point out the other dictionaries (including all the foreign language ones we have!) I chose Risotto for them to look up because it was a word covered in both of my Italian cookbooks, it's not obvious like Pizza, and I thought some of my kids would recognize a risotto & translate it to "arroz con camarones." The QR code with the visual hint was taped on the globe next to the dictionary. The kids identified it right away!
Question 8. Now using that new word, I asked them to find a Risotto recipe in their Italian cookbook index and write down the pages of that recipe. I loved that this lesson combined good old books, traditional reference materials, and our PAC catalog with spanking brand new QR Code techie fun!
Want the whole lesson?
Visit my Daring Steam-Powered Wiki to download the MS Word Worksheet in both .doc and .pdf format with the QR codes or visit my QR Code Quest Flickr Gallery for all the .jpegs and pics of the kids scanning & learning!

The codes that the kids scan are NOT the ones on the side of the worksheet next to the questions...those are just for purty! The QR Codes are on pages 2-4 - I also created a test scan page for fun & to get them used to focusing and grabbing the QR Code. During the class we scanned the codes using our iPod Touch Gen4 and my cell phone as our other iPod Touch was loaned out. With larger classes I ask the kids to bring in their own smart phones or iPod touches & ask them to download a free barcode scanner first. I really like the i-nigma FREE barcode scanner available on both the Apple & Droid markets.

Tech Tips!
1. Why do you need to use a URL shortener to make a QR Code? See the example above. Same URL - with bit.ly the code is clear & easy to read and without it's more complex. The more data you have in your code the more complex the 2D barcode. Oh and when you're making a QR code message with text you can't use a QR code shortener - I tried! LOL

2. Not only is Bit.ly great for shortening URL's they keep stats on the links you share! All you have to do is to click on Info Page+ and you can see how many people followed your link & when. Another COOL tech tip! Add a .qr on the end of any Bit.ly URL and you will get a QR code! Now these aren't big enough for me - that's why I use Kaywa which offers XL codes which are better for posting around the library....but still it's neat!


BEST Presents in the World! Thank you notes from my adorable ESOL kids! I'm keeping these for a rainy day!!!!
Here's the slidedeck from my recent MSET preso!



Sunday, March 27, 2011

Social Media Ed, Sex Ed, & Digital Responsibility


So having Library Journal use a version of this quote above in the Movers & Shakers article and having had my beloved School Library blog blocked this week has made me super sensitive to the challenges & responsibilities we have teaching our kids digital awareness and responsibility.
People, teaching Digital Ed is not OPTIONAL. It's not a frill, and it's not about blocking & filtering it's all about teaching kids ethics & then trusting them to be responsible. According to a recent study & Mashable:
"About 80% of children between the ages of 0 and 5 who use the Internet in the United States do so on at least a weekly basis, according to a report released Monday from education non-profit organizations Joan Ganz Cooney Center and Sesame Workshop."
So my Sunday mornings are for sipping my favourite Jet Fuel coffee and catching up with my PLN on the Twitters and the afternoon is for blogging. This Sunday the amazing Kathy Kaldenberg or as I follow her on Twitter@scsdmedia posted several excellent articles on social media.
Two articles I'd like to share with you - the first: The Pitfalls and Promises of Social Media and Kids By Tina Barseghian quotes the amazing Eric Sheninger, principal of New Milford High School in Bergen County, New Jersey who thinks privacy and cyberbullying issues are a red herring and that:
“Schools aren’t teaching kids to be digitally responsible,” he said. “We can’t fault kids for doing something wrong on Facebook or Twitter because we’re not teaching them. We need to have digital citizenship curriculum in schools.” - Eric Sheninger
Of course I had to comment - This is one of the BEST articles I've ever read about this topic! It puts (more eloquently) what I've been preaching for years! From 1999-2006 I preached privacy, safety, net nanny & stranger danger - now I realize it's their peers that are most likely to harass & bully. I did, however, always say that "The most effective, reliable, Internet Safety Filter is an Involved, Informed, and Aware Parent and an Educated and Ethical Kid." Do I get points for that? Because really? It's now more about Internet Awareness than safety because I truly believe that it is the kids who are already "at risk" in real life who are most at risk in their online life. I also strongly believe that Digital Ed for teens is as crucial as Sex Ed for teens - we know they're gonna do it anyway - better with knowledge, discernment, & ethics. Like you said in the article, we must let kids make mistakes & discover for themselves what it means to be a digital citizen.

The other great article was pointed out by Kathy and was written by CoolCatTeacher herself, Viki Davis: Facebook Friending 101 for Schools I would also add Teachers, Kids, Parents & Principals.

Again, I had to comment: This is a brilliant posting! And though "listing" & the new privacy settings can totally tailor your FB experience as Kari said in her comment, I just don't trust Facebook to change, drop, or totally FAIL their interface. Thus, I have a professional FB page I don't visit much plus I started a community page for my Middle School because I want my kids, parents & the community to be able to find our school wherever they might look. Twitter is my PLN home but yeah...If we mean to teach Facebook we have to understand Facebook. But we don't have to love it. LOL

I'm shamelessly gonna snag Viki's excellent related articles

Slides & Photos by Gwyneth Jones

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My Blogs are Blocked-Life is Not Filtered


Posted on Blogger Help forums:

Could Blogger re-consider allowing nudity & sexual content? My school library blog is now blocked in my district.


I am a librarian, I believe in free speech, & I am against censorship. However,
My school district just blocked Blogger for EVERYone because Blogger allows Nudity & Sexual content.

I've had my Daring School Library blog for 5+ years - It's a conversation between my students, community, and the world about our library program & practice. We highlight student achievements, new books, web 2.0 tools, QR codes, and the cool things we do in our awesome school. This blog you're reading...I didn't start this until I got inspired after NECC09 - my MHMS school library blog is my first love my oldest child!
YouTube blocks nudity & sexual content, why not Blogger? If Blogger just took the same tact "YouTube is not for pornography or sexually explicit content. If this describes your video, even if it's a video of yourself, don't post it on YouTube." Then all the educational blogs out there - including mine - would not be blocked. Also taking off the "next blog" button would be very helpful since some of the next blogs are NOT appropriate. I've been a Google educator since 2004 I love me my Google! I've been championing my district to have a Google Server & use the Educational apps! Now this.

The Blogger Content Warning does not say anything about age... just "I understand and wish to continue" or "I do not wish to continue" - This is just not good enough if a student stumbles across pornographic material WHILST researching in SCHOOL. If they at least had a warning about being over 18 then we could say the student - if they chose the content - was breaking the Acceptable Use Policy but as it's worded - no such luck. I can't even defend that. And my students deserve more.


If you can't change your business strategy in this matter - can you give me any advice on how to ask my District to consider unblocking our Library Blog? When a blogger designates their blog as having "adult content" can filters just block THOSE sites & leave other sites clear? I don't know much about that kind of higher level of coding or filtering (html sure but I'm really a software girl) but I can pass along any suggestions you might have.

UPDATE: From the Technology Security Analyst - Technology Department
Howard County Public School System

"Take a look at the server name that hosts your screen shot of youtube's policy (1.bp.blogspot.com). If you were to look at the server name of "questionable" content you would notice that the server name is the same. This is why we can not allow one without the other. The server name used to call adult content is the same as your non-adult content."
------
So apparently can't block the bad without blocking the good.

I ardently believe in teaching without a filter. Life is not filtered. We need to teach digital citizenship so that students can evaluate web content with knowledge, discernment, & ethics. We also need to teach with effective classroom management. BUT websites have to meet us halfway and not make it REALLY easy to see pornographic content. Also, some districts are not there yet. I need ammunition or a change of heart on this issue.

'Cause really, isn't there just enough porn on the Interwebs as it is?

Thank you!
~Gwyneth Jones
The Daring Librarian

Will I post this on my school blog? I don't know. What do you think? I think I'm gonna sleep on it and talk to my principal. Who, IRONICALLY just this week wanted me to work with him to get his first Blogger blog going! I really try and keep political stuff out of my school blog cause that blog has a different mission...it's all for the kids. Hmmm Well, if I do...post it... I guess I won't be doing so from school! Will I be moving THIS blog? Nahh I already bought the domain name and this is for my peers not my kids.

Photo By stephend9 Stephen Durham

DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed here are my own - not my employer. I might not always be eloquent, I am often immature and snarky but I am passionate about serving my students, school, & community and trying to do the best job I can.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Friend Me on Fakebook.uk


A few weeks ago I blogged about the AMAZING Fakebook Powerpoint Nicholas Provanzano created in PPT & shared on Slideshare. I even purchased the Discovery Teacher set of Farcebook blank posters & fictional characters examples that I mentioned in the blog - SWEET!

We laminated the blank posters so that kids could write on them with dry-erase markers or yes, overhead pens [gasp!]... There are times in our school (like right now) where getting into the iMacLab or using the MacBook mobile labs is difficult due to standardized & computerized testing. These high engagement low tech alternatives are GREAT!
But I wanted MORE! So, I re-imagined and re-worked the framework, changed the name to Fakebook, changed some of the text & wording.

Created in ComicLife in I exported the image as a .jpeg and inserted into a MS Word doc. You'll need LEGAL SIZE paper to print it but I think it looks real cool! I showed it around to my super cool teachers & they liked it!
In a few weeks Mrs. Cullison's & Miss Buerger's 7th grade English classes are coming in to the library to do Mythology research & we're gonna have the kids create Fakebook pages for their chosen gods or goddesses!
Fakebook Wall Entry: Page - Apollo's Page
Aphrodite wrote on Tuesday at 3:20am
"Oh Apollo, you're so talented..I love how you play your lyre but boyee why do you have to play so hard to get? I know you can see into the future so can't you see I'm tired of Ares? I'll be at Delphi tomorrow - we need to talk! Bloop!"

Visit The Daring Librarian's Steam Powered Wikipage to download! Yes, this is old school draw, cut, paste....with GLUE kinda stuffs but you know... sometimes you need an old skool alternative! Sometimes the network goes down, or you need a cool sub plan...whatevs, I LOVES it! What do you think?

If you already have ComicLife I included the Comicdoc version for you that you're welcome to tweak to your heart's content - It's Creative Commons so just keep the attribution please!

Oh...and why Fakebook.uk? Well, being of Welsh & Celtic descent - I'm a tried and true hardcore BBC America, Torchwood & Dr. Who loving, Brit-ophile, & delightfully pretentious git, OR any excuse to write "favourite!"
UPDATED! Page two! (also on wiki!)
Fakebook project page2
View more documents from gwyneth jones

Just gotta have an online version? Try this!



Sunday, March 20, 2011

I Want to Thank the Academy & Library Journal!

I'm incredibly honored & humbled to be named as an Innovator and one of Library Journal's 50 worldwide Movers & Shakers for 2011!! This is like the Oscars of Libraryland!

"For ten years now, LJ's Movers & Shakers has been spotlighting librarians and others in the library field who are doing extraordinary work to serve their users and to move libraries of all types and library services forward. They hail from all corners of the library world and several nations. Nominated by their colleagues, friends, bosses, and just plain admirers, they are just the tip of the iceberg." - Library Journal

Honestly, last Monday I was stunned. Mouth unbelievingly agape, eyes wide & blinking, and most likely resembling some kind of redheaded goldfish. The tweets got to me first and when I saw the posting & the amazing 49 librarians I was listed with ... I said - out loud - a Scooby Doo "Zoinks!" I also felt like just doing a Wayne's World "I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy!"

So, being quite stunned, and unusually speechless, I really pondered all this past week whether or not it would look like shameless self-promotion or gratitude to blog my thanks. Being thankful won. I felt squirmy... happy...but squirmy.
Of course I called my Mom & Dad straight away when I realized it was real and that I wasn't being punked but that's about it. So yes...SQUEE! I am so excited I can't believe it! Or to quote another of the Movers & Shakers Mr. Ned Potter, thewikiman: "I’m thrilled, delighted, proud, giddy, grateful, a little intimidated, honoured and above all excited." Yeah! What he said! Speaking of Ned - his thank you video was just brilliant...no really..watch this!

Gratitude is Good & Pay it forward. For fear of sounding very Californian & New-Agey I do believe that everything good that comes towards you is in direct relation to how much good you give out. I plan to keep giving, sharing, teaching, and paying it forward. I don't think stuff like this will go to my head, if it seems like it - lob an apple at me (or tweet or comment) Being able to make fun of myself is both a blessing & habit.
I want to thank my peeps, my tweeps and my amazing worldwide PLN! I've been touched by so many amazing educators in the past several years - I can't list them all here because I'd be crushed if I left anyone out - but you know who you are! Those who have been sharing, supportive, & who have brought me along on this amazing roller coaster ride of ed tech library goodness! I also want to thank those who nominated me for this recognition & took their time to write about my work & practice! But at the risk of looking like a celebrity name-dropper... I must thank good friend and my official mentor (appointed by Gale/Cengage & SLJ!) Dr. Joyce Valenza for her nomination, her continuing inspiration & for her amazing generosity! I also want to thank Diane Cordell for her staunch support & friendship.

It is also an amazing honor to be named with fellow Geek Tribe members and teacher librarian pals John Schumacher (or Mr. Schu) and the Unquiet Librarian herself (long overdue!) Buffy J. Hamilton. Both of whom I consider amazing teachers and librarians and who are a constant inspiration to us all! Buffy has even generously offered to be a guest on the TL Virtual Cafe in may with Jennifer LaGarde on EBooks!
Also on this "2011 class list" is the amazing Librarian by Day Ms. Bobbi Newman who I have admired for years and whole-heartedly endorse for ALA Councilor-at-Large!

With her permission I'm going to re-post her excellent list of all the Movers & Shakers below...plus - you can also subscribe to all the blogs in one click! Thanks to the Google Reader bundle from Micah Vandegrift!

Congratulations to everyone!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

ISTE Board of Directors:
Let your Choice & Voice be Heard!


ISTE Board of Directors Election Now Open!
VOTE & Let your Choice & Voice be Heard!

Voting Ends-April 11
I was surprised recently to learn that with over 20,000 ISTE members worldwide only about 10% exert their right to vote for the association leadership. Being voted to the ISTE Board of Directors just last year I take a whole new view on my responsibilities and the honor to represent our membership. You!
I am your voice to ISTE! I am in your corner & here to make sure some of the corporate types in the boardroom remember the classroom teacher (and the teacher-librarians) who are actually out there in the trenches! I serve you at your pleasure. If you have a concern, or something you want me to convey to the board - email me! (links on the right of this blog) Baby, I keep it real...cause you know that's how I roll.

ISTE board members are regular people from around the world who volunteer their time to speak up for all of us - so that every area (hopefully!) can have representation. I was elected to represent PK-12 teachers - truly an honor and one I don't take lightly.

"ISTE, as a membership organization, is represented by members from different ISTE communities. To keep ISTE’s leadership strong, it is now your opportunity to help select new board members. We urge you to review the candidate profiles and VOTE." - ISTE

If you are an ISTE member all you have to do is to login to the site & go to the Election Page and read about all the positions & candidates and click to vote! I also Google each candidate to see what their web presence is like, what kind of things that they have done, if they are are on Twitter, and how web savvy they are. Because you know IMHO...this is ISTE...if you're running for the board don't you think that when Googled you should have more than a Linkedin page? Just sayin.

From a recent ISTE email:
The clock is ticking!
"Register by March 31 to get in on the last days of Super Early Bird registration—the lowest conference rate! Just $330, or $235 if you’re an ISTE member current through June 29 ($70 savings off the full conference price).
ISTE 2011 is the premier ed tech event of the year, with hundreds of sessions that will get you crowing. Search the program and see what we have for you.
Be an early bird. Save some money. It’s super!"

Learning Tools Family Feud - Crowdsourced Edition
Battle of the Sexes & A Whole New Game Show!

Oh! And don't forget to register for ISTE11! I'm already getting SOoooo excited for that! If you're planning your conference schedule already don't forget to add:

ISTE11 - Philadelphia:
Scheduled: Monday, June 27, 2011 - 12:45pm–1:45pm
Gals Side:
Dr. Joyce Valenza - Teacher Librarian, NeverEndingSearch Blog- Springfield Township High School Library, Pennsylvania
Gwyneth Jones - The Daring Librarian - Murray Hill Middle School, Maryland
Shannon McClintock Miller - Teacher Librarian Van Meter Library VOICE, Van Meter School, Iowa
Guys Side:
Chad Lehman - IMCGuy, K-5 Library Media Specialist, Wisconsin
Matthew Winner - The Busy Librarian, Teacher Librarian, Howard County, Maryland
Nicholas Provenzano - The Nerdy Teacher, Grosse Point South High School, Michigan

Top Photos taken on ISTE Island in Second Life.
All other graphics from the ISTE website and the bottom one from our preso in Philly!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Creating A Comic Life


So, I get this Tweet & email question a lot..."How do you make those At-A-Glance Comic Tutorials!?" I've mentioned it before but here's more..it's Comic Life! The above comic was probably my first - I created in 2007 for my Daring Tech Wiki about Comic Life (with classroom ideas!) and the below comics (all 3 pages!) were created by the awesome Media Specialist & my colleague & friend Mr. Adam Yeargin (he also does rockin video book review blogs!)- and he graciously gave me full permission to tweak them a little bit adding some pics (dear readers, you know of my graphic design addictions) to share with you & add them to the Comic Tutorial collection. Thanks Adam for your amazing talent & generosity! Everyone Enjoy! Creative Commons 4evah! (OOooh what a great tattoo that would be!) And Yes, I am ADD - what gave it away? O00 Shiny!



Comic Life also helped me make my Comic Mission Statement!

Want a choice of sizes? They're in my Comic Tutorial Flickr Gallery 


Buying Information:
Comic Life 2 just came out - in MAC & Win! It's only $19.99 to download!

Ps. Changed the name of this blog post because of the AWEsome Justin Tarte & his lovely tweet!!


Justin Tarte
Creating a "Comic Life" by @ - gr8 step by step instructions
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...