Course 5 Project: LIS Reads – LIS Lê Game On!

Well, I don’t have any fingernails left, but the movie is finally done.  Be kind, world. Course 5, it’s been real.

If you’re interesting in visiting the sites associated with this project, check out the LIS Reads – LIS Lê posts on the LIS secondary library blog and the short-lived LIS Reads – LIS Lê House competition tumblr.

I would like to note that approximately 2/3 of the way through Course 5, my iPad was stolen (I am actually still hoping that I just hid it from myself somewhere in my library, but that is seeming less and less likely) and I lost a lot of the media I had intended to use in this video. I think it turned out all right in the end, but I apologize for the occasionally heavy reliance on screenshots.  You can see my UBD “unit” plan below.

Moving towards SAMR-fication

Like other COETAILers, the Mark Presnky article about doing New Things in New Ways with technology has had me continually reflecting since Course One on the validity and effectiveness of how I am using technology as a librarian.  While I am using a lot of technology (blogs, wikis, Diigo, Google Drive, podcasts, Glogster, and iMovie for starters), only some of these have transformed learning in a way that couldn’t be done as effectively without the technology. I do not think, however, that I have done anything truly new. On the flip side, I feel like I am going a long ways towards transforming the use of technology in teaching and learning at LIS.  With that in mind, here are my thoughts on our movement towards SAMR so far.

What We’re Doing

Library as a Virtual Space

Screen shot 2013-09-14 at 3.30.22 PMHaving an effective website is one of the most important parts of being a librarian, and I am pretty pleased about the current state of our library website.  There are lots of things I can and will still do with it, but I think this is the key thing I’m doing that can be checked as at least an M if not partly an R on the SAMR scale and transformation on the Technology Integration Matrix , particularly in terms of making resources available to all students simultaneously.   Students are able to access a wide variety of resources to support them in their literacy, research and technology pursuits 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Also, there is opportunity for exchange and sharing of resources. Students have been added to the library blog as student bloggers (to add recommendations and reviews), but no student posts have happened yet.

What I would like to do is figure out how to make it a more interactive site, where students can contribute content without having to make every single kid at school a guest blogger.  My gut feeling is that means I need to push the content towards the students through automated posting of the information on multiple social media platforms, meeting them where they are and asking for the feedback. Any thoughts? Does anyone know of a library website that is truly transformative in terms of patron use and engagement?


Lots of our secondary students are blogging now, compared with the total of Zero when I arrived here. Interestingly, I’ve seen some teachers basically copy and paste their old paper activities onto their class blog and have students respond in that manner.  Other teachers have completely revolutionized the way their classroom works as a result of their class blogging, with students creating, sharing and exchanging in a way that was previously impossible, particularly in second language classrooms.  I enjoyed reading about Julie Lemley’s evaluation of her school’s student blog use, and I am looking forward to trying to move my school in the direction of blogs being portfolios as well as active working spaces.

Web 2.0 Tools

Public Domain

Public Domain

As I mentioned in my laundry list, we’ve played around with a variety of Web 2.0 tools over the last year, but my favorite results in terms of transformation have been GlogsterEdu and Twitter.  Our Humanities and Spanish classes have both used Glogster, the interactive poster program, as a tool for communicating learning, and the results have been pretty exciting, if at times a little busy.  Just the fact that students are embedding video, linking to further reading, sharing photos and turning their final products into portals to more information instead of dead end paper posters makes me know there’s transformation happening.

Photo by Flickr user mkhmarketing under CC BY 2.0

Photo by Flickr user mkhmarketing under CC BY 2.0

Starting this past Monday, I am working with the Year 11 English B class on their unit about how social media is impacting our communication.  We are starting our unit by investigating Twitter specifically and students are sharing their thoughts and ideas through using the hashtag #listech11. I was SHOCKED at how many of them have never used Twitter and thought it was strictly for navel gazing. Anyways, I am looking forward to returning to the subject of our Twitter unit  later in Course 4.  I hope I will be able to say we transformed teaching and learning and that I’ll have a Twitter feed filled with examples.

Where we’re going!


Minecraft Cosplay Riminicomics by deviantART user zinghi under CC BY 3.0

Minecraft Cosplay Riminicomics
by deviantART user zinghi under CC BY 3.0


We are headed there! It’s been nearly six months in the works, but it’s finally going to happen. I’ve got a team of teachers together who want to upskill themselves a bit in MineCraft prior to unleashing it as an educational for the students.  We’ve got tons of MineCrafters in our student population, and I am looking forward to seeing them build effective communities in Humanities, use blocks to teach scale and breed virtual bees to teach genetics. I really think this is going to transform our teaching in a way that could not be done before.

Skype in the Classroom

Skype Pony by deviantArt user 10art1 under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Skype Pony by deviantArt user 10art1 under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

Well, I want to make this happen…in theory. In practice, I’ve let the everyday stuff of my job keep me from engaging in it. I’ve joined and I’ve lurked, but I need to dive into a project like a Mystery Skype and just give it a go. Skype is the ultimate “R” in SAMR!  Connecting with experts, breaking down classroom walls, putting my students in the interviewer seat: there’s so many ways this could transform teaching and learning at LIS. I just had my first request from another Skype Educator, and I have put them in contact with a classroom teacher at my school.  If Skype Pony, can do it, so can I!

What do you think?

I’m tired of typing, dear reader.  What do you think?  How can I help to move my school closer to the R in SAMR?

All a Twitter: Professional Learning at LIS

Learn by Flickr user Mark Brannan under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Learn by Flickr user Mark Brannan under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

This is an exciting year at LIS, as our secondary school is embarking on developing a new vision for professional learning.  In the past, our professional learning committee has primarily managed the professional learning budget, deciding whether or not teachers get their PD applications funded.  This year we have a professional learning team (I’m on it!) which consists of our deputy principal, our MYP and DP coordinators and two teachers. We will still evaluate and approve funding applications, but we are also charged with promoting a culture of life-long learning amongst the secondary school faculty.

We’ve accomplished quite a bit in our first few weeks of existence, but the thing I am most excited about is our new professional learning blog.  I’m not excited about its look (I promise I’ll do something visually pleasing soon!) but I am excited about the move to get teachers developing their own PLN (Personal Learning Network). I believe that empowering teachers to direct their own professional learning, rather than wait for school funded PD once a year, is at the core of school growth and success.  I’ve been a longtime PLN promoter, and COETAIL has only continued to grow my faith in my PLN.  One of my favorite tools is Twitter, which is why I decided to make our first “Your PLN” resource page about Twitter.  Amongst other resources on that page is the Twitter for Teachers infographic from the USC Rossier School of Education.

Twitter for Teachers Infographic

Twitter for Teachers

There are a ton of infographics out there about Twitter for Teachers, but this one struck me because it’s clear, clean and accessible to not so tech savvy folks.  After all, not so techie teachers are probably my most important target audience!  Hopefully a few Tech Tuesdays, a lot of encouragement and this infographic will help my teachers to feel like this bird:

Photo by Flickr user mkhmarketing under CC BY 2.0

Photo by Flickr user mkhmarketing under CC BY 2.0

Setting My COETAIL Goals


I am writing this post after spending a delightful Saturday morning, struck by how “plugged-in” I’ve been so far today.  I was reading the Living and Learning with New Media report, tweeting about what I’m reading, taking notes in my COETAIL project on my NoodleTools account, switching over to read What is the What on my Kindle, texting on my iPhone with a friend from work about plans for this evening, and playing Lexulous online against my brother  (who lives in the United States while I live in Angola).  It’s an amazing thing that I can have such deep relationships with people who I rarely see in person anymore or have never met, all because of our networked publics (Living with New Media 14).

My hyper-connected self should come as no surprise, really.  I just finished my MSLS in 2011, and part of working my way through UNC’s program was developing a PLN and immersing myself in the amazing online network of librarians. Seriously people, librarians are no joke. Check out #tlchat on Twitter if you don’t believe me. So, I’ve got it all when it comes to a PLN… well, maybe not all, but I’ve got a whole lot.  As a result, I often feel completely overwhelmed by all of the opportunities and information in front me. There’s just so much to do!

At first, I was going to post about the need to strike a balance with myself as I work my way through this COETAIL program.  In the last week, I’ve gone to bed later, tweeted more and read more online than I have since I was in grad school. This morning (actually, it’s now early afternoon in Luanda), both constantly Ju and I have been on one electronic device or another.  Of course, as I got concerned, I got on Google Reader and read Jeff’s post, What Does It Mean to Disconnect?.

It has occurred to me that my problem is not that I spend too much time online but how I am spending that time. I am more a vicious consumer than a creator.  I have been overwhelmed by everything in front of me partly because I am not giving enough back to the online community of librarians and educators who are giving me so much. So my COETAIL goal is to become a more effective participant and a more prolific creator. Creating this blog is the first step, but the next step is making sure that as I develop amazing lessons and unit and materials at LIS with the likes of Sheila, Chris, Chloe, Oscar and Tim, we share these materials (and license them with Creative Commons!) online to do our tiny bit to make the world more awesome.

YouTube Preview Image

As Kid President says, I need to stop being boring. “It’s time to do somethin'”. That something is my COETAIL goal: more creation, less consumption.

Works Cited

Living with New Media: Summary of Findings from the Digital Youth ProjectDigital Youth Research: Kid’s Informal Learning with Digital Media. Digital Youth Project, 19 Nov. 2008. Web. 9 Feb. 2013. <>.