Sunday, October 27, 2013

iPad pilot program discussion

Lauren Frederick

Westervelt, E. (2013, October 25) Rolling out an iPad pilot program, with eyes wide open, MindShift. Retrieved from 

This article was sent to the class via Dr. Loertscher, and he asked the question "What would you do if a roll out were imminent in your school?" I have a few thoughts on the article and then I will answer the question.

There were a few pieces of this story that I found to be forward-thinking, and beneficial to the growth of technology in the schools. I think it's great that this school district wants to supply their students with iPads. It will give the students who dont have access to them on a normal basis the opportunity to learn on them, and be on an even playing field when it comes to technology in the classroom. I think that there are likely a lot of great learning tools that can be provided using the iPad, and syncing it to the Common Core Standards would be great. 

I tend to agree with the geometry teacher and the librarian however, and think that many students will think that the iPads are toys, and treat them like they do their text books. This seems like a lot of money to allot to iPads, especially if they are going to be sent home with the kids. Maybe, if the 7th and 8th graders also had them locked up at night this might be a program better equipped for a school district. Especially since the article mentioned that much of this community doesn't even have access to the internet at home, the benefit is lost and the digital divide remains. I like the idea of contracts being signed for the internet behavior, and a similar one should be signed to allow for proper care of the iPads.

I think that if a roll out were imminent in my school (even though currently I am not working in a school or even a library), I would do my best to make sure that it went off smoothly. The librarian claims that there is no procedure for this roll out, and thats part of her worry. As a librarian, I would make myself a part of the process. The article states "And it’s not clear how the district will integrate the curriculum with its ambitious tablet plan. Coachella Valley wants to make the iPads a central part of efforts to meet new Common Core state standards for math and English, and there are new Common Core apps coming out regularly. But the head librarian of Desert Mirage High School, Rebecca Flannigan, wonders which ones the district will use, how well it will work and how it will all be integrated into coherent plan." This would be a great opportunity for me to do research on Common Core apps and communicate to the teachers and district which apps have the best ratings, success, could be best used in the classroom, etc. I would try and become one of the "technology experts" in the room and do my part to make the roll out as smooth as possible. I'd also see what I could do about opening the library up for access to the internet, and suggest additional places that the students could use working internet if they don't have it already. I do think that the most important part is just being part of the conversation.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Promoting eBooks in School Libraries

Jessica King            

McCrea, B. (2013, March 14). Making digital libraries work, with or without BYOD. The Journal. Retrieved from

            In this article McCrea examines the attempts of two different school districts to bring eBooks to their schools and their students. The two school districts approached the idea from different standpoints and received varying results. In one school district the schools gave the students the devises preloaded with the books and received issues when students took those devises home and hooked them up to their personal computers. This, of course, resulted in a number of the devises having their data removed, which led the school to realize that devises are very personal. So, while letting the students use them at school could work, this did not transition to at home use because these devises were not the students. After that attempt the district tried a new approach through a school account on OverDrive, to allow students to access the eBooks on whatever devise works best for them. 
Another school brought eBooks to their students by creating a school Amazon account that they supplied school owned Kindles for and that allowed students with their own Kindle’s to borrow from. This school took an interesting approach by also engaging in patron-driven acquisitions with their eBooks and Kindle account. They encouraged students to look at the eBooks that were available for purchase as well as the ones the library already owned. Instead of focusing their eBooks on just curriculum support this district really dove into the recreation aspect. Although this system is working for that school now, they do caution that they have not done enough research to determine the long-term feasibility of it.
I found this to be an interesting article to read through because of the examples on how these schools are approaching eBooks. Most especially, in regards to how they were really pushing for their students to use the eBooks. It is one thing to purchase the books but another entirely to make students aware of them and involve them in the process. There is this idea that just because the book is electronic, a student will want to read it and this has led schools to purchase those strictly curriculum driven eBooks. I really liked the idea of having the students be involved by having that patron-driven aspect. This is not something every school can do or should do, but it does involve the students and makes them want to look through the collection to give their ideas on what needs bolstering. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

'Personal learning environments' emerging as K-12 trend to watch

Lauren Frederick

Ash, K. (2013, May 22) 'Personal learning environments' focus on the individual, Education Week. Retrieved on October 22 from

While I wasn't able to retrieve this whole article from the Education Week website without a subscription, this article links to the New Media Consortium's 2012 K-12 Horizon report which lists Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) as a trend to watch for 2013. There is a lot of information emphasizing the path toward implementing them in all K-12 schools. It is a process that aims to visualize and organize the influx of information and resources that students are confronted with daily.

PLEs focus on self-directed and group-based learning, designed around each user’s goals, with great capacity for flexibility and customization. Students help create their own path to learning. The conceptual basis for PLEs has shifted significantly in the last year,from online ePortfolios and browser based PLEs to a handful of applications being used on smartphones, tablets, etc. Many free tools are making it easy to support individuals social, professional and learning activities.
"While the concept of PLEs is still fairly fluid, it is clear that a PLE is not simply a technology but an approach or process that is individualized by design, and thus different from person to person." They enable students to determine the style and pace at which they learn while exposing them to technologies that they may not otherwise encounter in traditional classroom settings that will help prepare them for university and the workforce.

I would recommend reading the report, especially to help pull together your own PLE. If you have access to the subscription, I recommend reading the whole series that this article is part of, called 'Digital Curricula evolving.'

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Governor signs bills to expand broadband in California

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The importance of making instruction accessible to all learners.

Nicole Myerscough

Peters, A.  (2013, October 7).  Video tutorial: The importance of making instruction accessible to all learners. Retrieved from

To allow all learners the dignity of an equal education, regardless of limits to their physical or mental abilities, should be the standard that all school district professionals strive for. In this time of nearly infinite technology, there should be no reasons or roadblocks that would prevent educators and administrators from taking advantage of Assistive Technology tools and trained professionals making instruction accessible to all learners. With such technology and willing professionals experienced in implementing this technology, the dignity of an equal education for all could be realized.

This video is a moving testimony to the difference caring professionals and Assistive Technology can make in the lives of students with disabilities and their families. To realize how far we have come, that students, once limited in what they were able to achieve because of the limits of their physical disabilities, can now participate much the same as their peers, allowing them to succeed with an equal education as a result of educators striving to make instruction accessible, is an incredible achievement.. To know that this technology and these tools are available for all students, would, I hope, compel school district officials to use all resources possible to make Assistive Technology the norm not the exception in their schools.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Transforming the learning experience, without technology

Jessica King

Davis, J. (2013, October 15). How a radical new teaching method could unleash a generation of geniuses. Wired. Retrieved from

     Davis recounts the experiences Sergio Juarez Correa, a teacher in Matamoros, Mexico, had in 2011 when he reinvented the way in which he taught. He drew his inspiration from the “emerging educational philosophies... that [apply] the logic of the digital age to classroom” and the ideas that Sugata Mitra developed after his experiments with supplying disadvantaged children with technology.  A majority of the article is spent on supplying the background information on those new ways of teaching and engaging students with technology. The focus of Correa’s teaching was very much in line with the ideas of inquiry-based teaching; he would engage the students with open-ended questions and let them work through the concepts until they supplied an answer. Although Correa drew inspiration from Sugata Mitra, he was not able to grant his students access to technology in the way he would have hoped. The school he worked in was very disadvantaged and technology classes occurred once a week and usually involved pictures of technology instead of actual technology. This article, though, speaks of the accomplishments that teachers and students are able to make even without the technology present. It reinstates the idea that bringing the technology to the students is not enough, we have to alter the way in which students are ‘taught’ by bringing them to the forefront of the process.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Incorporating Technology in to the Classroom

Tiffany Brook

Marcoux, E. (2012). Best of the best planning. Teacher Librarian, 39(4), 69-70. 

Linking the digital resources of the library and exploring avenues for incorporating technology into the classroom, Marcoux (2012) provides concrete examples for how the library and content teacher can work together in a collaborative effort to increase students’ comprehension of content material while also developing informational literacy. The article is filled with questions for teacher librarians to consider as technology and digitization is incorporated more and more into the K-12 setting. Excellent resource to explore the factors that need to be considered before transitioning to a digital library.

eduClipper - for Teachers & Students

Nicole Myerscough

Bellow, A.  (2013, September 18).  Increase teacher effectiveness with eduClipper.  Retrieved from

Yes, eduClipper is another social, collaborative, and sharing website for content curation. If used as an entire class the ability to collaborate on individual assignments and offer anytime assistance to the students from their teacher or fellow classmates improves. Collaboration has proven to be highly successful in learning in addition to other skills necessary to succeed as members of our society. eduClipper meets many of the AASL standards necessary for the 21st century learners and even uses the Charlotte Danielson's framework for teaching (see The Danielson Group from more information) The article nicely charts components of the education framework used to design eduClipper and how this free online tool meets each component as well as providing an information video trailer.

eduClipper can also be used to set up or improve upon current personal learning environments/networks.

Teaching Kids by Getting out of their way.

Nicole Myerscough

Davis, J.  (2013, October 15).  How a radical new teaching method could unleash a generation of geniuses. Wired, 21(11).  Retrieved from

"That logic is inexorable: Access to a world of infinite information has changed how we communicate, process information, and think. Decentralized systems have proven to be more productive and agile than rigid, top-down ones."

This is a very informational article that not only not only exemplifies the success of elearning but how using recent trends in technology is beneficial and empowering for students no longer interested in their education. 
But, school that for many of the students in this article was viewed as a punishment, they learned to enjoy their learning the format in which it was given only needed to be changed.

The article also provides a timeline of alternative education, and the concept that our traditional educational design is in need of redesign goes back all the way Socrates, became more mainstream with the Montessori schools, and still we hold steadfast on a design proven several times to fall short of success. In the right environment, a student that was assumed as uninterested may then have an opportunity to  thrive.

Content Curation

Nicole Myerscough

ELC 012: Content Curation for Learning from the eLearning Coach Podcast

Collaborative curation is definitely used in a variety of ways. It can be used to supplement basic textbooks/materials provided by the schools and go beyond the basics of common core to promote intrinsic learning. Curation is a way to help other and/or ourselves and encourage collaborative work. This idea is a part of a personal learning environment/network. Content curation probably comes natural to most students, particularly the millennials, but maintaining organization of what we curate is essential so that it can be accessed with minimal effort when needed.

This podcast explores ways in which different groups curate, and provides an extensive list of tools available (free and paid) for individual and/or collaborative work (ie. images, lists, archiving). I found the suggestion if curating for others (ex: classroom of students), that the topic for curation is of just as importance as the intended audience. One needs to take into account preexisting knowledge, often the case with different age groups, and this will then determine the variation of materials curated.

Value of Daydreams & Videogames

Nicole Myerscough

Kelley, T., & Kelley, D.  (2013, October 12).  How Daydreams and Videogames Can Make Us Confident In Real Life (Yes).  Wired, 21(10). Retrieved from

This article has an interesting perspective regarding the value of videogames and daydreaming for younger children. The latter of the two, daydreaming, I've always considered important in regards to developmental growth (ex: imaginary friends), but using it as a way to work through problems makes a lot of sense. As adults we often say we need time to think or ponder an issue we're presented with, but never have I thought of it as a type of daydreaming. The though process of an adult and a child may be more similar than we realize, and another example as to why it is necessary to provide students with freedom to choose how best they learn. We can't assume that age can easily define the necessary thought processes required to learn and grow and why their voices are necessary in educational design.

This is an interesting article that offers out-of-the-box thinking that parents/educators may want to consider since confidence building and problem solving are important characteristics necessary to keep students engaged and eager to learn.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Rene Hohls
October 16, 2013

DISCUSSIONL: October issue of THE Journal

For those of you who already receive this monthly eJournal, I apologize for duplication. For thos eof you who have not seen it before, this is a really important voice in the overall technology discussion in education - for librarians and anyone else involved in planning and implementation in our k-12 schools.

This edition has some very interesting discussion on the trends in tech but also looks at implementation successes and failures of tech in the school settings. There is a lot to be learned from the trial and error currently going occuring. Some school districts (like mine) are moving too slowly; others (like LAUSD) have moved too quickly. The explosion of technology has created a new predicament for educators, parents and students: tech in (and out of) our schools is a moving target - for many, it is similar to jumping on a moving train. Sometimes you just have to pick the best option available at the moment you are ready and then JUMP ON!

THE Journal - October 2013

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Collaboration with school librarians as mentors to student teachers

Lauren Frederick

Hunt, R., & Luetkehans, L. (2013). The Insider: School Librarians as Part of a Blended Professional Learning Community for Student Teacher Development in Technology Integration. School Libraries Worldwide, 19(1), 13-27.

In the last decade, state professional teaching standards and federal mandates have required teachers to enter the field proficient with technology integration skills. Concurrently, the American Association of School Librarians urges collaboration between teachers and school librarians. Based on previous research recommending teacher-school librarian collaboration begin as early as student teaching, this study looks at the contributions of school librarians as members of a blended professional learning community established to mentor student teachers as they prepare for a technology integrated lesson.

Results revealed that  the  definition of collaboration was consistent between librarians and teachers. Briefly stated, collaboration was defined as “shared thinking, shared planning, and shared creation of something new” (p.150). Using this definition, this investigation explored how school librarians and pre service teachers might collaborate in a blended professional learning community during student teaching.

The data showed many trends in supporting student teachers with technology integration by bringing together their peers, university faculty, classroom cooperating teachers, and school librarians in a blended professional learning community.

Notably the data found that School Librarians offer a value added in the blended professional learning community by having the contextual advantages of the Classroom Cooperating Teachers; knowledge of curriculum requirements; and the skills to integrate technology into the curriculum, making them a potentially significant participant in the professional learning community.