Advocating for Makerspaces in Libraries Since I first started my Makerspace at Stewart Middle Magnet School in January 2014, I have received a lot of positive feedback. I’ve given talks, presented at conferences, and shared about our experiences through my blog and through social media. Some of the questions I am most frequently asked are: Why should makerspaces be in the library? The Unquiet Librarian I rarely write posts about tech tools in recent years, but I thought I would briefly share some of my “go to” resources that have become an integral part of my work since coming to Norcross High in August of 2013. These apps and devices are essential to the work I’m doing related to teaching and learning, especially for capturing student work whether it is for archival purposes, assessment, collaborative work between classes, or to merely document learning activities and experiences in our work with teachers and students. They also help me collect qualitative data, celebrate all aspects of student learning, and interact with both students and teachers. I’ll also share our essential non-technology oriented tools that we can’t live without here in the NHS Library Learning Studio. These tools and mediums are also helping me document the ways we and our students are using writing and composing multiple kinds of “texts” for thinking, processing, and creating in the library. Vine
Opinion: Dear Congressman, Research Shows Closing School Libraries and Cutting Certified Librarians Does Not Make Sense Last April, after I’d criticized my congressman—Jim Himes of District 4 in Connecticut—in a column, he asked if we could meet for a “deep dive” on education issues so he could understand why they have become so polarizing. His response was to ask me if there is research to justify the salary of a media specialist. My answer was a resounding “Yes!” There is ample research, and I gathered much of it myself from existing studies while also conducting my own informal online research questionnaire for school librarians and librarians. It tells us children in poverty grow up with fewer books in the home and less access to bookstores and public libraries than their higher Supplemental Education Services counterparts (Neuman and Celano, 2001).
Top 50 School Library Blogs One look at the titles of blogs narrated by school librarians reveals the evolution of a profession within an institution that is at a pivotal point. Charged with the vital duty of promoting digital literacy, today’s librarians are daring, unquiet, sassy and definitely e-literate. This list features the top school library blogs ordered by website popularity metrics and social media engagement including the number of websites that link to a blog and number of followers on Twitter. We commend these school librarians for taking the time to share their ideas, experiences, and advice with the school library community.
There’s No Such Thing as Library Leadership There’s leadership. Then there’s library leadership. Or is there? Is being a leader in a library so different that it is a leadership entity unique unto itself? Designing a School Makerspace Makerspaces, STEAM labs and fab labs are popping up in schools across the country. Makerspaces provide hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent as they deeply engage in science, engineering and tinkering. A makerspace is not solely a science lab, woodshop, computer lab or art room, but it may contain elements found in all of these familiar spaces. Teaching Blog Addict: Welcome to TBA! Let's Get Started! Read about how Teaching Blog Addict got it's name and was started. You just may find yourself nodding in agreement and laughing over just how much you are an addict too.
LibGuides: Pedagogy to Oppress? You have to be a pretty tenacious researcher to find any criticism about LibGuides, the practical and convenient tool that librarians use to create online guides to research. My search for “LibGuides and critique or criticism” taught me a great deal about how to interpret literature, while keying in “LibGuides and problems” merely returned information about the occasional scheduled downtime. It was not until I limited my search to wordpress.com and then traced a bunch of links and pingbacks that I could even start to gather a sense of the conversation round the topic.
The Best K-12 Education Technology Blogs If it takes a village to raise a child, how many people does it take to train an educator? It’s hard to say, but 50 helping hands seems like a good place to start. In the spirit of community, collaboration and information sharing, EdTech: Focus on K–12 has rounded up 50 ed-tech blogs that we deem must-reads for the K–12 community. We launched our first Must-Read IT list last year to great response so we hope that you all enjoy this year's batch of blogs as well. These blogs are a mix of voices and include blogs authored by teachers, administrators and technology vendors. They share real-world classroom experiences, offer inspiration and distribute valuable best practices.