24 Mar

Great Podcast! “An Educators Guide to Google Hangouts”

See on Scoop.itEducation Matters – (tech and non-tech)

Welcome to the 11th  episode of the Tech Educator Podcast hosted by Jeff Bradbury, Sam Patterson, Jeff Herb and Jon Samuelson.  The Tech Educator Podcast

KB…Konnected’s insight:

Very helpful insight into Google Hangouts, how they work and how to use them. (1 hr. podcast) Resources too.

“The Tech Educator Podcast is a weekly round table discussion about current topics in educational technology.”

See on podcast.teachercast.net

19 Mar

SCASL13 Conference Reflection

This past week we had our annual state library conference in Columbia, SC.  SCASL: Impact @ Your Library‘s primary focus this year, under the leadership and excellent planning by Anne Lemieux, SCASL’s president-elect. The conference focused on how we as librarians can impact our learning community and prove it.


Travel Evening

fireplaceatCRGThe conference began for me with a ride down to Columbia, SC Tuesday, March 5, 2013 right after school. This year I could only attend two of the three day event. Since I’ve had so many professional days prior to this IMHO “must attend” event, I either had to take my last personal day to attend all three days, or opt for just two. I attended Wedneday and Thursday, saving Friday for my upcoming trip to the TLA conference in April. THAT Friday is my last personal day. Decisions, decisions. So hard to choose sometimes. Because I decided so late to actually get a hotel (thank you Priceline for finding me a great hotel in the Harbeson area for $50 a night!!) I decided I’d go on down Tuesday afternoon.  The plan was to head to the Convention Center and help set up. Ha! I arrived just in time to be kicked out at closing time. No great loss though. I went to dinner with Heather Loy, our SCASL current president. It was great to catch up with her, as she has been a close friend for a number of years. We ate dinner at a Copper River Grille, and they seated us right in front of a fireplace.


Wednesday – Day One at Conference

Side trip to the Gourmet Cupcake Shop!!

I began my morning by hooking up with my friend Jennifer Tazerouti, fellow board member and “AuntieLibrarian.” As part of the SCASL Board, we had to set up displays representing each of our committees. So we scurried around getting all our gear inside and set up. We found out that Kevin Merritt (an honorary conference husband is what I like to call him) was celebrating a birthday, so Jennifer and I went to a gourmet cupcake shop (Cupcake Down South) to get him a birthday cupcake. (Of course this was conference planner and SCASL pres-elect Anne Lemiuex’s idea, so I must give proper attribution here.) Anyway a group of SCASL Board members and conference planning committee presented him with a candlelit gourmet birthday cupcake along with a serenade of “Happy Birthday to You!”  I had a chocolate mint cupcake that was divine!!


Kevin Merrit – Your PD Credit Tracking Expert

HBTU Kevin!

Who is Kevin Merrit, you might ask. Kevin is a technology specialist who works for Greenville County Schools, but each year helps SCASL out with its tracking system for conference attendance. He programs the scanners, dessiminates our tracking cards, makes sure each session has a volunteer to tack attendance, and once conference is done, downloads the data so that each attendee can receive a personalized record of the sessions attended at conference each year. A group of us always arrange dinner out with him. This is why we like to call him our conference “husband.” It’s wonderful that SCASL has devoted people to help us each year. Kevin is a dream come true. When we return to school, early next week we will receive in our email the session attendance record to turn in for documentation and recertification credits. Kevin, I hope you had a wonderful working birthday!!


Board of Directors Working Lunch

Midday Tuesday we had our annual board meeting at conference  which was a working lunch. Heather, as president, presented us with a gift of thanks that will come in SO VERY HANDY at future conference-like events. It’s a badge holder pouch that can clip onto the belt, the bag, or be worn around the neck. It can hold a few personal items too (like a cell phone!) Score! It’s a great gift that will be used for a long time (at least for me.)



Preconference Session With Keith Curry Lance

Next I attended the Pre-conference session presented by Keith Curry Lance. It was slam full of data and statistics, and it along with the online discussions the group had engaged in left me thinking I am not doing enough to show I impact my school. I need to make more connections numberwise, and make sure my administrators know what I contribute to the numbers they count on! So much to process from this session. Inbox me if you want to get access to his slides and such. Very thought provoking. I know my money was well spent to attend this, as we learned at conference that South Carolina (through SCASL and hopefully some other funding sources) are in talks with Dr. Lance to do a South Carolina Study of Library Impact.


The Grand Opening

At the opening of the Grand Opening of the Exhibit Hall, we committee chairs and board members hung out near our displays, trying to encourage visitors to become more actively involved in SCASL through committee volunteer efforts. I was excited to have several sign up for Regional Network. I am ecstatic to report I was able to fill a vacancy for the Regional Network. Now I am GLAD I made a display and talked it up to visitors.

Near closing for the Grand Opening, we had an adventurous crowd engage in a SCASL version of the Harlem Shake. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out this video. Special thanks to Valerie Byrd-Fort (aka Library Goddess) for organizing and leading it, and Marty Fort (hubby) for recording it. It’s a Youtube sensation!!



Wednesday’s Dinner with Friends

A view of the Capitol while walking to dinner with friends Wednesday PM.

Wednesday evening I had dinner with many friends, including Steven Reed (and wife), Heather Loy, Fran Bullington, Amy Conkleton, Ellen Bunch, Jennifer Tazerouti, and more. We had a larger group that included Tamara Cox, Kim Hearne, Monique German, and more, but our group was too large to be seated together. We ate at the Blue Marlin down in the Vista area (walking distance from the convention center.) I had the yummiest Shrimp and Grits ever! It wouldn’t have mattered if we had gathered around a hotdog stand, the fun comes from gathering with friends and like-minded, job-alike educators. We had a blast. The funniest part of our evening was when one shared about some potential censorship happening in their library, all over ads that have caused a stir from the Sports Illustrated magazine. They actually appear in several magazines, but have taken notice in this library. After looking them up on our phones, we laughed until we cried. I won’t post any pictures here, but you have to go look at them yourself. OMG, how do we as school librarians squash censorship, yet protect our innocent students! Anyway, some of us laughed until we cried and caused quite a commotion at the restaurant. Can you say librarians gone wild?


Thursday Begins – The Eye-Opener Session

For my eye-opener session at 8AM, I attended Michael Giller’s session “You want to stick that where?”  Michael really knows how to grab the attention of the audience through titles–did that one grab your attention? His session focused on the many databases his school offers to students, and promoting them to us. I tweeted out how much I love to hear students and teachers say how they use them, and Michael provide the perfect balance of this in his session. I must confess I left with an immediate desire to talk to a rep at ArtStor. With Common Core coming, this will be a nice addition to our digital collection AND I know the art department will be ecstatic.


The Daring Librarian “Replacement”

Jennifer Tazerouti performed beautifully to the tune of Comic Life, GoAnimate, and Edmodo as she amazingly pulled together a last minute session to replace Gwyneth Jones’ early morning session. Gwyneth was slated, but unfortunately for SCASL, was snowed in by the latest snow storm to slam the east. Jennifer talked us through the cool applications, even pulling directly from Gwyneth’s flickr pictures to show us samples of the resources. With such a lively red head leading a session, I’m not sure those who popped in late realized we didn’t have Gwyneth. Jennifer was AWESOME. I’m thankful she volunteered to fill in for Gwyneth. I have to share a COMIX that Jennifer says I inspired. You see all the time I am sending messages via our SCASL networks about links, websites, and more they might  try out. I also promote the TL Cafe, even though lately I myself have been too busy to virtually attend (so glad they are archived!!) Jennifer showed this in her session, telling everyone I was in the third caption–that was me letting everyone know about a TL Cafe that was featuring Gwyneth and Comic Life! LOL. I love it, Jennifer. Click the graphic to see and read it. I am in square three!! Just like me!

Screen shot 2013-03-10 at 8.48.08 PM


First General Session

Keith Curry Lance led us in his keynote through the various library studies. How awesome is it that SC is endeavoring to engage him in a Library Impact Study in our state? Stay tuned to SCASL for details. Fingers crossed that it comes to be.

SCASL Annual Business Meeting at Conference

Several things were addressed in the business meeting, and I hope I don’t misrepresent anything. Memorable were the motions that carried unanimously:

  • SCASL has decided to waive membership fees for students who must join to be on the book award committees.  
  • We also changed some terminology in the bylaws; most memorable is that the Executive Board for SCASL will now be known as the Board of Directors.  

Second General Session

Since Gwyneth Jones didn’t make it to SCASL (and I hope we are already in talks about next year!!) we were lucky enough to already have on site Dr Linda Karges-Bone. She gracefully stepped right in when asked, even though she hadn’t come prepared to lead a keynote. NONE of us left disappointed. Her research and books were well received, and having her lead a surprise keynote got many excited to have her at our author signing later after the genreal session.  SCORE.  SCASL really lucked out with Dr. Bone there to help us out. Be sure to read about her using the link above, and if you want to see her content on Edmodo, the group code to join is amt12g. In her folder on the Edmodo group, she has many resources shared there. These would be awesome to show any administrator or to use to lead a staff development, but it would probably be BEST just to invite her to your school or district. She was awesome and very thought inspiring. Here’s a link to a much better summary of the keynotes.


Other Fun at Conference


After the Second General Session, attendees were given time to go to lunch (on own or at the Awards Luncheon), explore the exhibit hall, head over to the Author signing area, and attend the University of South Carolina’s Alumni Tea. Surprise visitor’s included Cocky and the retired Dr. Dan Barron, who led the keynote at the Awards Luncheon (which I didn’t attend.) Attendees were delighted with the visit.


My Final SCASL Session

My final SCASL session was my own, a meeting for the SCASL Regional Network.  I shared what I would like to call “The State of the State Address” for the Regional Network.  It’s been a bumpy ride this year as I took the reins of the Regional Network, but overall I am pleased with our accomplishments. Here is the slide set I used in our meeting, which was very productive.


A final get-together

I did go to dinner with so many friends before leaving. We all went to Long Horn’s, another short walk from the convention center. Best, Long Horn’s WAS able to pull enough tables for us to sit together. I sat within good talking distance of Heather Loy, Fran Bullington, Kelly Knight, Jen Chesney, and visiting authors Heather Birch and Sophie Jordan. It is so enjoyable to interact with author’s as they talk writer’s craft. Also at our dinner, friends who joined us included Susan Meyers, Michael Giller, Tamara Cox, Kim Hearne, Carla Nash, and Kevin Merritt.  (I think I’ve included everyone.)  We had a blast, and I’m sure our waitress did too.


Homeward Bound

At that point I drove back to Spartanburg so I could reunite with my much missed family (at least the ones at home: hubby, two cats, and a dog) and prepare my body and soul for a normal day of school Friday. I was sort of dreading returning to work Friday when my heart wanted to be back in Columbia, but thanks to Twitter, Facebook, Edmodo, and good friends, I felt like I was able to enjoy it some, even from my little spot in the upstate (at Dorman). Best, during that before school time when we have around 120 students in the library, I had a few ask me where I’d been. So there. That tells me I was missed.

14 Mar

Best of the Web 2012

I have to confess I haven’t kept up with my feeds as much this year as years past, but I know the ones I read first when I do venture in to open it.  I also have some favorites from some of the other categories as well.  So today, I take time to make a few nominations.  Many of these have DIRECTLY impacted my skills as an educator, honing them to make me better at my chosen profession! With that said, here are my 2012 Edublog Award nominations:
  • Best ed tech / resource sharing blog – Free Technology for Teachers – Free Technology for Teachers
  • Best group blog – The Nerdy Book Club
  • Best library / librarian blog – Teen Librarian’s Toolbox
  • Best individual tweeter
    My friend and neighbor to the north, @AuntyTech (aka Donna Baumbach)
  • Best twitter hashtag  #wonderofwonder
  • Best free web tool
  • Best educational use of audio / video / visual / podcast   & Best use of an educational wiki
    K12 Online COnference 2012
  • Best open PD / unconference / webinar series & Best Educational Use of  a Social Network
    TL Cafe every first Monday of the month. folowed by a Twitter chat the second Monday of the month.
12 Mar

My #TXLA13 Breakout Session

I traveled to Fort Worth, Texas April 25-27, 2013 to the Texas Library Association Conference for the purpose of sharing the AASL 2012 Best Websites for Teaching and Learning.  Here is my slide set used.

In my presentation, I started on this PowerPoint, then moved over to one of the winning tools, Projeqt, and finally returned to my Powerpoint.  Hindsight, I wish I had just put the remaining slides planned after the “Projeqt” in the actual BWTL projeqt I created.  I was so happy with my projeqt set, I never even went back to my powerpoint slides where how to nominate a site, how tog et in touch with me, and the rest of the sldies were. Sigh.  I don’t think my audience noticed.  But I was really mad at myself when I realized I hadn’t included that.


Some additional related links:

A special thanks and shout-out to AASL BWTL12 Committee Chair Heather Moorefield-Lang! Heather allowed me to use her “Projeqt”  from our ALA session.  While in the end I created my own, I did base it off much of the one we used at ALA< including some of the videos.

12 Mar

Get your #Creativity Groovin’ with Disney Create free online…

Get your #Creativity Groovin’ with Disney Create free online apps! (50+)  Create art, comics, flipbooks, animation, song/video mashups and more.

  #digtalstorytelling #artchat #literacy #edtech

Disney Create Apps are terrific! You can paint, create comics and mashups, animate your art work and if you register you can add your work to their online gallery.

Quality tools!

Below are just a few of the 50+ apps..

Manga Digital Painter

Manga Comic Creator

Flip Book Creator 

Avengers Motion Comic Creator

All included in  Paint/Draw/Create Online 

You may also like…

NGA for Kids (awesome!)

Artsonia (great for project ideas)

Keep Calm and Get Your Craft On!

 Cool Paper Crafts for Kids

01 Mar

Strange Matter

See on Scoop.itKB…Konnected’s Kaleidoscope of Wonderful Websites!

Play and learn online with the Strange Matter of Materials Science.

KB…Konnected’s insight:

“What’s materials science? You could call it the study of stuff! Just about everything you use every day – the shoes you wear, the dishes you eat from, the CDs you listen to, the bike or skateboard you ride – it’s all made of different kinds of stuff.”

This is a really interesting site geared for kids gr. 5-8. “Strange Matter” features online interactives as well as fun things to do in the classroom.

Downloads and guides included for teachers.

See on strangematterexhibit.com

You may also like…

Science: Interact with Your World


Science: Interactive Body


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