Tag Archives: CMLE Scholarship

Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) Classes Start Soon!

Here is an update about some interesting training you can take to build your skills in working with kids! Remember: CMLE offers up to $200 in scholarship money to members to help you attend these kinds of opportunities.

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) encourages participants to sign up for Spring 2017 ALSC online courses. Registration is open for all courses. Classes begin Monday, April 3, 2017.

Continue reading Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) Classes Start Soon!

TIES 2016 Conference Summary: A CMLE Scholarship


Reflection on TIES Conference
Brad Scherer
Instructional Technology Specialist
Sartell Middle School

I love going to the TIES conference! It is so refreshing and helps motivate me to constantly be pushing forward for our students.  I have two main takeaways. The first being more about paradigm than practice; I need continue to strive to bring joy to my job and the school.  I want to get to a place where, as Dean Shareski (Monday Keynote) stated, ‘Learning is a joyful act all by itself!’ Shareski points out that this can be done by living in constant wonder, embracing play, and eliminating busyness. I love these tips, as they seem such practical steps to making life more joyous. I have already tried to implement this. We have embraced place in the Makerspace and have even upped the use of Spheros in curriculum since TIES!

My second takeaway is learning about the use of drones in education. This is really fresh and new technology. I learned how some schools are using the drones to teach coding and also explore other applications: videography, photography, agriculture, and more. I plan to explore this more and see how we can incorporate this into our Makerspace and other areas of curriculum. I think there are lots of opportunities to engage students with drones and potential for them to explore this new technology.

I am grateful for the opportunity to attend TIES! Thanks to CMLE for allowing me to go and connect with other passionate educators and better my practice!

ARSL Annual Conference: A CMLE Scholarship

Reflection on 2016 ASRL Conference
Kirsten Vaughan
Chisago Lakes Area Librarian
East Central Regional Library

This fall I attended the annual conference for the America Rural and Small Library in October. It was a fantastic conference, and I recommend it to any small library that struggles with “doing it all” with limited staff and time.

A session that stands out to me is the first I attended, which was “Top Tips for Patron Technology Training,” which was led by Crystal Schimpf and Cindy Fisher. I chose this particular workshop because I struggle with finding a balance with my patrons. At times I cannot keep up with the technology my patrons want help with, other times I am too familiar with the technology which results in my explaining the tech quickly.

Here are the three tips Crystal and Cindy provided that I found the most helpful:

1) Self-Identify as a Technology Trainer—this means you should be intentional about seeking out opportunities to interact with technology on a regular basis. This way you add to your knowledge base just a little at a time rather than all at once.

2) Take Slow Deep Breaths– when a patron asks you an overwhelming tech question, or you don’t have the time to assist the person step-by-step. Slow breathing will help you stay calm and keep your explanation of the tech at a reasonable speed.

3) Focus on Quality, not Quantity- When it comes to one-on-One training it is OK to find the “teachable moment” which is the one thing the patron needs and concentrate on that. Sure the patron will not have all the information, but they will have gained one piece of information they did not have before whereas if you provide the patron will all the information, they may retain none of that training.

CMLE Featured Service: Scholarships!

273/365: 09/30/2013. Money, Money, Money!
Apply for a CMLE Scholarship


Did you know that CMLE offers scholarships? Since our main priority is helping libraries be successful, we know that sometimes additional money is required to make that happen! We want to help you get the professional development you need in order to bring some new ideas or skills to your library or media center.

CMLE offers scholarships of up to $200 per fiscal year per individual for staff affiliated with any type of library in Aitkin, Benton, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wright counties in Central Minnesota. The scholarships can be used to attend workshops, conferences, library meetings or task forces, and other library-related activities to promote engagement and/or professional development. We encourage you to use the scholarships even if it can’t cover all of the costs. And, if you use our scholarship to help with costs, tell your administrator that you have used our program!

Keep in mind that two great library and technology conferences are quickly approaching: the annual MLA conference from September 29 – 30th in Duluth and the ITEM conference from October 13 – 15th in Brooklyn Park!

Whether it’s a conference, workshop, a way to learn new skills or teach others, being able to interact with your peers can be a great way to increase your energy and excitement about the library world. CMLE wants to help our members and their libraries or media centers continue to learn and grow. For full details, see our Scholarships Page for our easy (really, we promise!) application.

Need ideas for professional development? See our Continuing Education Page or visit the MN Library Continuing Education Calendar.

Guest Blogger: ISTE 2016, A CMLE Scholarship Report

ISTE photo 2The following post was submitted by CMLE scholarship recipient Angie Kalthoff, Technology Integrationist at St. Cloud Area School District. You can also view the post on her blog

This blog post is my reflection for the CMLE scholarship I received to help cover part of my cost to attend ISTE 2016. I am sending a big THANK YOU to the Central Minnesota Libraries Exchange (CMLE) for your support. 

The two questions I will reflect on include:

  • What were your favorite takeaways or new things learned?
  • As a result of attending this event, can you identify and explain a few things you can use/apply to your work or practice?

BreakOut EDU

Who is ready for something different?! I am, and I am excited about BreakOut EDU. James and Mark created a box with locks that correspond to numerous lessons you can pick for your students to solve and break open the box. It has been really neat to see their journey and BreakOut EDU grow over the past year. If you were one of the lucky attendees who got to participate in the challenge, you got to experience their new BreakOut EDU bus. I was not one of those lucky people but have had the experience at a few Google Summits in classrooms.
The two games I got to experience were Time Warp (where players are lost in time and need to navigate the history of communication in order to return to the present) and Decoding the War (where the war is at its peak and the only way to get an idea of what’s going to happen next is for the team of codebreakers to decipher the encrypted messages from Germany). Check out their site for more games and information.

While participating in the game, I was part of a team of educators who all had the same goal, to solve the puzzles to break open the box. Each time I participated, my role in the game changed based on the other personalities in the room. One time, I was a leader in helping others figure out what to do. The next time I was a worker and was assigned a task to figure out with a small group of people.

I now look forward to leading my first BreakOut EDU in August at a workshop I am leading for Innovative Educator Consulting as a team building activity. The website shares that “Breakout EDU creates ultra-engaging learning games for people of all ages. Games (Breakouts) teach teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, and troubleshooting by presenting participants with challenges that ignite their natural drive to problem-solve.” Exactly what I am looking for!! I hope the participants are inspired, like I was, to bring this back to their schools.

I challenge you to try it and share your experience on social media with the team: http://twitter.com/breakoutEDU

Computer Science for All is an effort many are participating in…

Sunday afternoon I participated in the Computational Thinking Playground. As people walked towards the auditorium with the keynote, they passed the playground. Many stopped in to see what it was about. I was able to lead a few unplugged activities.

  • Happy Maps (Course 1)
  • Real Life Algorithms – Dice Race (Course 3)

Throughout the week at ISTE, we had a challenge for people to share how they are using Computer Science (CS) in their classrooms. You can see how people responded by checking out #wecancode on Twitter.

Tuesday morning there was a surprise appearance by R2-D2 and Hadi Partovi, founder of code.org, where he explained how important it is to expose all students to CS. Code.org would like educators to know:

  • “Anybody can learn” (whether you’re a student or teacher)
  • It’s about “computer science,” not “code,” and our focus is on schools
  • Computer science is foundational – for EVERY child
  • Improving diversity is core to our mission
  • This is a teacher-powered movement

Hadi showed how easy it is to get started in your first plugged activity by creating a game in the Star Wars hour of code course. My poster session took place right after the keynote finished and many people stopped by. My topic was on how kids can code and the many ways to approach it. However, many people were interested in Code.org since Hadi had just spoken about it. Since I am obviously a huge fan of code.org, I was happy to talk a lot about it and answer questions.

I was able to connect with many teachers that are implementing CS into their schools. My role at technology conferences has evolved over the past few years. At first, I would attend to consume information. Now I attend to share information, empower educators in their practice, and make connections that last beyond the conference.

**At my code.org workshop last week an attendee shared the following link: bit.ly/ISTE16tote. This document has each day of the conference broken down with resources for each session. Yikes!! This is a great tool. **