Sunday, December 5, 2010

Inspiration to Share....

With the list of the 2010 Edublog Awards containing so many library media specialists/teacher librarians, I thought I should stop being so silent in the eduverse. I do want to take a moment and highly recommend the TL Virtual Cafe webinar series for your vote in best webinar series. The webinars are always the first Monday of every month and are very timely in their topics. The #tlchat twitter discussion is also a nominee.

My Geek Tribe buddy gwyneth jones, the daring libarian's blog is up for The Best Educational Use of Video/Visual. She knows that I am admirer of all her visual images. Both images in this post are hers. The list of nominations goes on for the great voices in our field, so check out Diane Cordell's blog post where she lists all the librarian nominations.

Now check out a new webinar series that is a collaboration between ISTE SIGMS and ISTE SIGILT - 1 Tool at a Time. These 30 minute webinars offer a fast and fun way to add great web 2.0 tools to your instructional technology tool belt. Flickr Fun is the tool for the next webinar on Thursday, December 9th at 8 pm. Margie Gaudino will highlight how to create Flickr galleries and slide shows to share with your students. Learn how to Geo-tag your photos. Here's how to connect:

Friday, June 25, 2010

ISTE10 Denver - SIGMS Events

I'm in Denver, ready for ISTE10. SIGMS will be very active during this conference and whether you are here with me, or thinking about participating virtually, SIGMS has a variety of events planned. Visit the ISTE SIGMS ISTE10 wiki page to find out about the SIGMS Playground both in RL and SL. Many of us will be blogging and tweeting so follow the hashtag #sigms10. Here's information on the Second Life SIGMS Playground. It all starts tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

ISTE SIGMS Webinar - Gaming in School Libraries

Webinar for April
Gaming in School Libraries

Thursday, April 22nd at 8pm ET/7pm CT/6pm MT/5 pm PT
Presenters: Kelly Czarnecki, Christopher Harris, and Brian Mayer

Join SIGMS for a free, winning webinar on Gaming in School Libraries. Authors Christopher Harris and Brian Mayer reveal reasons why modern board games need to be a part of your collection from their new book on gaming in school libraries. From curriculum alignments to the creation of socially networked learning, the games that make their top lists are proven hits in K-12 libraries.

Kelly Czarnecki, Technology Education Librarian in Charlotte, NC. will share ideas on how to host gaming events for all different types of users from her new book, Gaming in Libraries. She will discuss how to incorporate problem solving and content-area learning in K-12 classes by using modern board games, video games and virtual worlds. Learn how librarians have already found success using games as instructional resources and a surefire way to draw students to the library.

Directions to join the SIGMS webinar event
1. Check that your computer is set up for Adobe Connect by visiting Adobe Connect Pro Connection Test
2. Use this URL to enter the webinar room 10 - 15 minutes before starting time:
3. Enter as a guest and type your first and last name.
4. Here is a link to a Visual Quick Start guide (pdf) to help you if this is your first webinar event.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Nation Without School Libraries

Check out this map. It marks the cities, towns, communities, and states that have made the decision to either eliminate certified school library positions (indicated in blue) or require one school librarian to work with two (2) or more school library programs throughout the week (indicated in red).

And then visit my friend gwyneth's blog post (the daring librarian) to read more details.

View A Nation Without School Librarians in a larger map

Sunday, March 21, 2010

“Constructing New Learning Landscapes: Evolving Practices in Education”

Make plans to attend the ISTE SIGMS webinar “Constructing New Learning Landscapes: Evolving Practices in Education” hosted by Joyce Valenza, Doug Johnson, and David Loertscher.  It will take place on Tuesday, March 23 at 5pm ET/4pm CT/3pm MT/2pm PT.  Visit for more information and to register.
About the webinar:
With the evolution of dozens of powerful Web 2.0 tools, new learning frontiers are opening every day. The new emphasis is on building knowledge rather than mastering the tools. How can emerging technologies be leveraged to create transparent, interactive online spaces that promote collaboration, critical thinking, and accountability? How can schools manage their web presences to facilitate student learning? What role should trans-literacy information skills play in the development of Common Core standards? Attend this webinar to discuss how you can support your students in their quest to explore these new frontiers of learning.
Space is limited; register today!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Virtual SL Chat with Sara Kelly Johns

Make plans to join your colleagues on Tuesday, March 16th at 8pm ET/7pm CT/6pm MT/5pm PT for a very special event, “A Chat with Sara Kelly Johns”. Sara is a candidate in the election for ALA President and she will speak to librarians about her platform and her vision for ALA. Just as voting opens, this will be your opportunity to inform yourself and share your priorities. Join us at or IM Elaine Tulip for a teleport. Please forward this message to other appropriate listservs.

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 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.)
7. Fifteen minutes prior to the scheduled meeting, log on and IM Elaine Tulip for a teleport to the meeting location or use provided SLURL.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

ISTE SIGMS Free Webinar - Peer Coaching Coast to Coast

Have you been wondering what Peer Coaching is all about? Looking for a way to engage in meaningful professional growth and leadership that will support you in transforming your classroom into a 21st century learning space? Come join the next FREE ISTE SIGMS webinar on Wednesday, February 17th at 8 pm E.S.T.
Hear how Florida's Broward County Schools empower district media specialists to create dynamic and vibrant 21st century media programs that engage learners as producers of information and creators of innovation. Discover how teachers from Arizona's Isaac School District collaborate to promote best practices for lesson improvement and technology infusion. Learn about available resources to build your own Peer Coaching Program that develops coaching skills, builds teacher leaders, and adds value to existing district and/or school initiatives.

You do not need to be a member of ISTE to attend the webinar.

I know that this is going to be a very inspiring and informative presentation. Last summer I had the pleasure of working with Michele Rivera (Broward County), Lynne Oakvik (Broward County) and Shelee King George, EdLab Group. We were part of the team that planned the ISTE SIGMS Playground at NECC09. They brought their energy and innovative ideas which helped to create a very successful playground. I am looking forward to meeting and learning from Ann Lumm (Issac Elementary School District).

You can check out the presentation information at this wiki:

To attend the webinar, just use this URL to enter the meeting room: Enter as a guest and type in your first and last name.

To view the previous ISTE SIGMS webinars visit the webinar resource page on the wiki.  Buffy Hamilton presented insightful ideas on "Fighting the Filter" and Gwyneth Jones dazzled us with "Library Media Marketing Through Easy Animation."

Monday, February 8, 2010

Book Trailers: Seen Any Good Books Lately? SL presentation with Bernajean Porter

Second Life: AASL-SIGMS Virtual Learning Community
Feb 8:  8pm ET/7pm CT/6pm MT/5pm PT
Guest facilitator:  Bernajean Porter
Book Trailers: Seen Any Good Books Lately?

Book trailers are NOT book reports. Similar to movie trailers, video book trailers are short, minute and a half to two-minute videos that introduce the basic storyline in ways that arouse your audience interest to read THAT book. Engage students in the artful video advertisement or PSA of a book with techniques and creative decisions being made by the director that tells enough to interest but not to spoil the plot. Merging the technology of books with digital tools is an engaging adventure for students – explore resources, ideas, tools, and processes for starting your own book club theater! Join us on Monday, February 8th, 8:00 PM ET/5pm PT @ Atlantis Underwater Paideia Colluseum. SLURL Location:

Bernajean Porter is a nationally-recognized expert in educational technology.  She is a well-respected consultant who specializes in curriculum, facilitation, and consensus building.  For more information, see her DigiTales website at

Friday, February 5, 2010

From Buffy Hamilton: An Indecent Proposal

An Indecent Proposal

Dear Mr. President:
Today I learned through the American Library Association and the American Association of School Librarians that your FY 2011 education budget does not include any additional specific funding for school libraries, additional school librarians, or statues mandating certified school librarians for every state.  Equally disappointing is the news that the Improving Literacy for School Libraries grant program has been all but put out of reach for school libraries with the FY 2011 budget proposal that will absorb this grant program into a variety of other Department of Education programs.
In October of 2009, you issued an official proclamation celebrating and affirming the importance of information literacy with the declaration of National Information Literacy Awareness Month.  In this proclamation, you stated,
Our Nation’s educators and institutions of learning must be aware of — and adjust to — these new realities. In addition to the basic skills of reading, writing, and arithmetic, it is equally important that our students are given the tools required to take advantage of the information available to them. The ability to seek, find, and decipher information can be applied to countless life decisions, whether financial, medical, educational, or technical.
In your proclamation, you privilege information literacy as being equally important to the  traditional literacies and mathematics, yet you are providing no additional funding to provide all schools the primary teachers of information literacy, school librarians.  Why are you providing funding for additional resources and teachers to support reading, writing, and mathematics, yet you ignore funding for the experts who are most ready, willing, and able to teach information literacy to our nation’s students in grades K-12:  school librarians.  Are you aware that not all states legally mandate a fully certified school librarian?  Did you know that many school libraries do not have a full time certified school librarian?  Do you think students can become informationally fluent in the absence of rich, current,  and diverse collections in their school libraries or appropriate access to digital content?  How can we as a nation provide students the instruction needed to help students cultivate “the ability to seek, find, and decipher information” without fully funded libraries staffed by highly qualified, certified school librarians?
In this same proclamation, you assert:
Though we may know how to find the information we need, we must also know how to evaluate it. Over the past decade, we have seen a crisis of authenticity emerge. We now live in a world where anyone can publish an opinion or perspective, whether true or not, and have that opinion amplified within the information marketplace. At the same time, Americans have unprecedented access to the diverse and independent sources of information, as well as institutions such as libraries and universities, that can help separate truth from fiction and signal from noise.
Information evaluation.  Authority.  Social scholarship.  Digital citizenship.  Content creation.   Self-filtering.   Mr. President, I teach these concepts and skills regularly in my school library.  School librarians are your go-to team for teaching these valuable life skills, skills that today’s students need to grow into citizens who can fully participate in today’s society?  Do you think we wait until they are age eighteen or older to suddenly explore these concepts of information fluency, the very ones you declared to be of national importance?  Is this charge left only to our public and academic librarians?   While our public libraries certainly do an outstanding job in teaching these skills, our most disadvantaged learners often do not have physical or virtual access to a public library, nor can a public library provide ongoing instruction in these skills on a regular basis as part of a child’s daily learning environment like the school library.  Ultimately, I feel the instruction of these skills has the most value when taught in the context of the school curriculum and when driven by student’s own inquiry.  If you say you support information literacy as the cornerstone of a democratic society and informed citizenry, then you must not marginalize school libraries and librarians, and consequently, the students we serve.  The very fact that the words “library, libraries, and librarians” are missing from the Department of Education budget speaks volumes about how you perceive our role in educating today’s youth and that you do not have an authentic commitment to helping today’s young people acquire this form of literacy capital so vitally needed for today’s world.
I find it demeaning and insulting that within a span of less than six months, your actions and your budget betray the very values you purported to support through your presidential proclamation.   Change we can believe in?
I think not, Mr. President.
Buffy Hamilton,  School Librarian

Friday, January 29, 2010

What's in a Name: A Discussion about identity and vision

Enjoy the animation from Gwyneth Jones

Come join in what will be a lively panel discussion about the recent AASL decision that settled the matter of our names. We are "school librarians." But is the matter settled? What do we really want to call ourselves? Did the recent AASL decision settle the matter? In what ways do labels matter?

The TL Cafe hosts its very first webinar in our monthly series as Mike Eisenberg, Sara Kelly Johns, Gwyneth Jones, and Joyce Valenza lead us in the discussion. So are you a  school librarian, teacher librarian, a library media specialists, or a chief information officer? Come share your ideas.

Here is the link to access the webinar:

Read this article in School Library Journal to hear one perspective.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Beginning of the Journey

My ed tech learning journey seriously began when I enrolled in the JHU/ISTE A&S certification program in April of 2007 and arrived at NECC in Atlanta in late June where I met Liz B. Davis. Through Liz’s mentoring, my world shifted, my eyes opened and I was hooked on all the cool Web 2.0 tools and the ways to virtually connect with like-minded educators. I remember sitting with her and sending my first tweet. It was through that simple act of face-to-face friendship and sharing that I found myself walking a different path in my professional career creating my personal learning network.

As a library media specialist in an elementary school in Montgomery County Maryland, I thought I was pretty tech savvy by having students use the subscription databases for research while using Kidspiration or Inspiration for their note taking and concept mapping. Every student wrote and illustrated a book using technology and fourth and fifth grade students were sharing and commenting on each other’s book reviews within Blackboard discussion threads. The TV news crew used technology to create animated credits and edited their videos with digital editing software, even though we had to convert the footage back to analog for the non-digital studio equipment. We worked with what technology we had, and took full advantage of it.

Then in the summer of 2006, I left behind my young students, the books and technology of my library media center and moved on to a district level instructional specialist position. My students were now the district’s library media specialists, adult learners, and I was developing curriculum for all of them. My focus broadened and my professional learning needed to be stepped up a notch or two, one of my reasons for enrolling in the JHU/ISTE program.

The yearlong program was phenomenal, rigorous and just what I needed. I truly experienced and came to understand the power of life-long learning as the online program forced me to take charge of my own learning. I was free to explore my interests as they related to the concepts of the courses and more importantly, I learned how to reflect on my learning. I developed lasting friendships with many of my cohort members, content for another post.

So why did I wait until now to start blogging? Fear of putting myself out there for one, time constraints for another, and not sure I had anything more to add to the ed tech blogosphere.

A very practical reason I’m starting is that I am asking my UMD iSchool’s School Library Media program graduate students to use blogs to reflect on their learning in their “Integrating Technology in Learning and Teaching Course.” Have to model what I ask the students to do!

Yet, there is another stronger reason. This past year I started playing at the national level expanding my PLN even more. Being part of the ISTE SIGMS playground at NECC09 and now serving as the professional development chair for ISTE SIGMS, I’ve been inspired to contribute and add to the professional growth of library media specialists. Lisa Perez (SL: Elaine Tulip) SIGMS chair, has challenged me as we develop the SIGMS PD programs. Check out our webinar archives at the ISTE SIGMS wiki  or join the ISTE Community NING and participate in the SIGMS monthly article discussions.

 Always an admirer of Joyce Valenza,  I jumped at the opportunity this past year to be part of the AASL Geek Squad and Joyce’s “Smackdown.” This powerful group of library professionals continues to grow and develop ways to share our collective knowledge, all in support of student learning.  We will be sponsoring monthly webinar gatherings in the TL cafe through the generosity of Steve Hargadon.  More on this in another post.

It is through this involvement that I do sense the need to add one more voice to the ed tech blogosphere. I do believe in the power of words as an effective method for forcing change, using words to champion for the needs of students to have access to quality library media programs, using words to share with other library media specialists and professionals the strategies and resources we can use to implement change in education.

I’ll write this blog like I make my quilts, pieced together by imagining the message I have to convey and letting the ideas, tools and relationships reveal themselves through the creative process.

It is through the collaborative, creative efforts of my PLN buds, Andrea Christman (christman26 for tweeters)  and Gwyneth Anne Bronwynne Jones that this blog is now in the virtual landscape. They both said I could do it, and Gwyneth gave me the final inspiration to start the journey, as she took pieces from one of my quilts and created the masthead image. Awesome!

There is more, so much more to learn and share and there will be more, but it’s my first post. Enough, I did it!