Podcasting

One of the issues we have at school is student attendance.  It was hard for teachers to get the days assignments ready for absentees at the end of the day and send them down at the office. They often have to deal with the students who have returned form an absence and do catch up.  I had an idea.  I was able to help offer some input from the wonderful world of podcasting.  It works for me as a student, so why not post a podcast of the teacher’s lesson, along with assignments and discussions in the class.  Students who are absent can listen to what is happening at their convenience and not miss pertinent information when they are gone.   I do have a few teachers who do not want to use “technology.”  However, if this works, it will cut down on writing several emails and other questions that may arise when such a situation occurs.  I trust it!  I know this will work….

http://podbean.com/

The virtue of patience

Yesterday, I had a visit from the sophomores at my school. They are conducting research for their National History Day papers. Their outlines are due on Thursday.   The history teacher and I had been working together to gather resources for their topics for over a month, but so many students were still amending their topic as of yesterday.   I gave this class a little “pep” talk about conducting research.  It is not always easy. It is usually an idea that stems from reading about something.  My idea is not going to locate 50 resources based on “my” idea.  I have to take my time, read other articles and books, search reliable web sites, etc.   I love it when my students take it to heart.  Of course, there are those who come up to the librarian and say, “Do you have anything on credit cards?”  This is when the librarian has to be very patient and draw out those questions to actually find out the topic of their paper.   I know I must sound the same way when I do an online chat with a librarian to find good resources.  I have to always remember patience is a librarian’s best friend!

Is technology taking over education?

After watching a series of videos and discussing this issue with some of my classmates, is it possible that as educators we are leaving technology to teach our students?  Technology has grown so immensely and families are integrating a great deal of technology in their homes.  Parents use computers for work; new homes are being constructed with computer components that were unheard of a decade ago.  So is it wrong for teachers to use technology in the classroom?  Personally, I like the technology.  However, I also do not want to see my child come home and spend more time on the computer.  I would want some face-to-face interaction.  I want to hear about their teacher.  I want to hear about what they learned during the day.  As a teacher, I also would like to talk to my students and get to know them.  It may be only chance to leave my “mark” on this child.  How will they remember me? 

 

I remember my elementary teachers so vividly.  They inspired and encouraged me.  They also disciplined me when I stepped outside the boundaries.  They wanted me to think.  I found it difficult because I did not want to let them down.  Their care and nurturing helped me to appreciate reading and find those subjects, which would inspire me to want to learn more. 

Now that there is so much technology, I appreciate it.  Yet, because of it, I find that I have a responsibility to utilize it and teach how to use responsibly.  I cannot change the way life is moving forward.  I can only try to make sure that as an adult I implement it wisely.  Of course, just as my teachers taught me, I have to keep learning and watching for the sake of others. This is now my work as an educator. 

Death by Powerpoint

Death by Powerpoint

It has been a long week and creating a power point presentation has been so different in what I am used to doing. I have learned a great deal in such a short time, but I am scared that I have this information overload and I am going to forget it. It is almost like studying for a test and you freeze at test time (at least that is what always happened to me, ha ha). I look at what I am about to submit and ask myself, “Is it what I expect it to be?” “Is my audience going to enjoy or fall asleep?” I have had these flutters in my stomach all week. Can I prove it to myself that this will be good enough? Only my audience can decide. Of course, this is just the beginning. I hope to have many more years of working on presentations for those I serve. For now, I have to get through this one….

The NYPL vs. Hurricane Sandy

I have never been to the New York Public Library but I have viewed its images, seen video footage, and read about its beauty and marvel.  As I watched the devastation brought about by Hurricane Sandy, I thought of this building and its meaning to the community and the world.  It is more than a building with books; it is a piece of history.  It contains 53 million items and is 2nd largest library in the U.S.  There is so much value in this library.  My thoughts, as I saw the images on television, wondered what would happen if this building was destroyed?   I cannot begin to imagine. It is one thing to think we have all of this wonderful technology that provides an online library. Yet, there is something about walking into a building and seeing so many books. One cannot enter such a prestigious building and not want to read, research, or study every aspect of this library.   Even though there are so many libraries in the world, some which have faced devastation, this is just one of those libraries one would hate to lose.  Let us take pride in such a place that was designated to impart knowledge to those who entered its doors.  And know that this it is just one place that we all would love for our libraries to emulate. 

Search Engines

When one tries to locate an inexpensive flight on several airlines, I like to see all the varying prices each airline has to offer. Orbitz, Expedia, and other travel sites make this available so that one can compare prices.  I like the fact that search engines are now merging on to one page.  Websites like http://www.bjorgul.com/ or http://www.dashfresh.com/ are making this so much easier. Especially when students like to use various search engines for different reasons. It is nice that it comes now on one page…making things a whole lot easier. 

National History Day

I was a history teacher for many years and I miss it. The other day our 10th grade history teacher asked me to help him with resources for the students and also be a judge in selecting the top 5 to send the National History Day contest. I was thrilled!  I was working with history again.  I have been looking for so many resources.  Looking for what other teachers and librarians do when access to primary resources. It has been exciting to see students look at the Library of Congress online and see what they have to offer.  I love books, but right now technology helps us bring resources to those who can’t travel to every library and help them with their time. I am loving this!