Saturday, April 27, 2013

Who Needs a Librarian When You Have Google?

This just popped out of my mouth when I was doing the question & answer portion of my keynote last week at the AISL Baltimore conference. And I like it! What do you think?

Librarians are the Key 
to Information Mastery!

There's a lot of talk out there that it's the end of librarianship because of Google and the Interwebs.  I know other states getting rid of their school librarians - but I gotta say Nay, Nay! Let us not give up the good fight!
things are seemingly dire and bleak for our profession, what with California &

Now, is when the world needs librarians the most! With SO much information out there who else better than a librarian to decode it, curate it, interpret it, organize it, authenticate it, and integrate it?

Who else but the librarian is going to teach attribution and Creative Commons? Who else but the librarian is going to be able to filter through millions of research results, then curate and create a playlist of amazing resources in just a few minutes for the eager student? We are vital and we are valuable! Now let's go out there, steup up our game, and & spread the word!
[drops microphone & steps off soap box -- for the nonce]

Oh and the main graphic above I created with PicMonkey using a lovely background by Valeriana Solaris and is Creative Commons (of course!) Take, Use, Share
The AISL Baltimore conference kicked off on the beautiful campus of the St. Paul's School in Brooklandville MD.  I was honored to be presenting with my sister from another mister, the Digital Diva herself - with our entourage & manager extraordinaire .  I gave my updated 10 Ways a Librarian Can be a Marketing Genius Like Lady Gaga preso which meshed very well with Joquetta's Passion for the Profession preso.
Good times!

 AISLBalt2013 on PhotoPeach
   
Thanks to everyone who made my Baltimore tour of education conferences AWESOME! At the MSET & Common Ground conference at the Baltimore Convention Center #CGMD13 where we were trending #2 on Twitter I got to re-connect with my Maryland peeps & tweeps!
  LOVING the super fun, informative, & connecting Digital Sandbox we ran as a team where we had deep conversations, PLN building and a Learning Tools Smackdown (though sadly greatly hindered by the craptastic wireless at the conference - don't get me started on THAT!), 
the WINNING presentation & gave on Gaming,  & of course the Tweetup! 
I'm also supporting my dear friend for MSET President, if you're a member of MSET please vote!
(AWESOME graphic by Matthew Winner!)  
Librarians: What do you think we should focus on to preserve our professions?
What was your best conference experience?
Your comments are always welcome & eagerly received!


Resources:
Libraries of the Future
A Nation Without School Libraries - the Map
A Nation Without School Libraries -The Bob Edwards Show

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Big Rich Mt. Olympus: Legendary Drama!


The Task:
"You've moved to the upscale neighborhood of Mt. Olympus, rubbing elbows with the big shots, the wealthy, the divine - yes the Greek Gods. To fit in you better know who your neighbors are! This playlist will help you find out all about their habits, attitudes, and yes...their powers!"

During testing season we have a challenge to support student research with limited access to our computer labs and mobile labs. So, teaming with my 7th grade English teachers, we've re-worked our usual Greek Mythology research unit & adding a Reality TV hook for engagement. (Confession: 2 of my 3 seventh grade English teachers & I are also all huge Bravo fans & and our shared guilty pleasure is the Real Housewives franchise) Since we didn't want to do "Real Housewives of Mt. Olympus" for fear that our guy students would be turned off by that, we thought Big Rich would do the trick! PS. This lesson also would work for our good friends in the Social Studies Department! (Hellooo NCSS!)
Horrible Histories: a Video Engagement Hook!
Let's also combine the fun of the BBC Horrible Histories & Rotten Romans to inspire the kiddos and start them to see the gods & goddesses with individual personalities!


Challenge: Limited Technology, Time, & Maximize Engagement
A simple shared library book cart loaded with World Book Encyclopedias, pulled mythology books, a MentorMob playlist (embedded below),  a Wikipspaces page, and a few MacBooks can  = meaningful mythology research!
A MentorMob playlist helps students focus their research without being distracted (hopefully!) by unrelated links. The playlist includes curated and vetted web pages that are specific to the task at hand and guide them through the steps completing the research phase of the project. A MentorMob Playlist is also perfect if you want to FLIP the Classroom & have students go through the steps at home! (But please, being mindful of our digital divide - always provide classroom time for those students who might have no access to the Interwebs at home)
Students will be choosing their god or goddess through a random drawing (they will have 30 seconds to switch & trade) then they will research their divine being!
Check out our:
Big Rich Mt. Olympus: A Legendary Playlist

Create your own Playlist on MentorMob!
 
Mt. Olympus Problems - Brainstorm!
Before they start the project and after they've had time to do some research their god or goddess - have a Mt. Olympus Problems - Brainstorming session with your kiddos about what they could be! (see & feel free to use my included graphics for inspiration)


The Big Rich Mt. Olympus Product
We will be giving studetnts a variety of projects to choose from including a Fakebook Page, a Wanted Sign, a PSA, and a Weebly web page. 
A Fakebook page is a project that combines social media engagement with creativity but can be low tech in execution.  Whether the kids choose the PPT template by Nick Provenzano - The Nerdy Teacher or the updated one Facebook Template from Lindsay Cesari’s blog, No Shhing Here (downloadable on my Wikispaces page), the Google Docs Preso version by Meghen Ehrich (Go to FILE > Make a Copy for yourself!)  or the online version, or my adapted & transformed downloadable "old skool" pencil & paper version. Whichever mode you decide, each encourages students to think of the gods & goddesses as real people with, personalities, character traits, flaws, habits, attitudes, and abilities and combines them with the engagement of social media.  
Make is Social! 
Let kids randomly or in small groups "be" their divine being & write on other peoples walls AS their god or goddess. (Make sure they initial content for attribution & ownership) Have them trade "papers" or walls to make blog comments, join groups, draw pictures, etc. Do a gallery walk at the culminating class to "grade" with post it notes or score pads giving out points for those whose additions were the most creative, fun, amusing, & accurate. Talk about which god or goddess would you rather be friends with,  (or enemies!) and why!



Wikispaces Research Page
Also feel free to check out my Mythology Research Wikispaces page! Copy the whole page if you like including the graphics (remove captions)  - Take, Use, Share - just please make sure to give attribution.
What other products do you use with your kids researching Mythology and Gods & Goddesses? 

When technology is limited, how do you transform high tech options into low tech products?
As always, your comments are invited, appreciated, & celebrated! YAY! 


Resources:
I added Big Rich Mt. Olympus: Legendary Drama! to My Myths page:

How to Create Links
How to make a website using //weebly/
Mrs. Cullison's Mythology Weebly pages examples

BONUS! 
We were mentioned! NCSS Smart Brief: How to conduct a research project with limited computer time   Super thanks for that kind shout out from our NCSS & Social Studies friends!

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