The following post was submitted by CMLE scholarship recipient Nancy Lorentz, Media Specialist at Becker High School
The very first session I attended this year was “Tech Tools for Reading and Writing in Content Areas,” by Laura Gudmundson. Using a very organized Google Site, Laura shared many ways to use technology to improve instruction. One of the ideas that jumped out at me immediately was using Animoto for vocabulary–our students could certainly do the same using iMovie trailers. How exciting for students to have to demonstrate the meaning of a word and not just copy a definition. I’ve never been very impressed with teaching students to blog — unless they really have something unique and creative to say. However, teaching students to comment properly on blogs on the New York Times website or CNN.com–now THAT’s a lifelong writing skill that everyone could use! Laura also has many, many resources on her presentation site that I will use when I have more time to explore them all.
Sally Mays and Dawn Nelson were an awesome presentation team with their session, “Be Essential: The Role of Librarians and Media Specialists.” They very energetically gave us tips on how to make ourselves and what we do visible to administrators, students and parents. They have every student sign in when they enter the media center so that they can keep statistics for their weekly report to the administrators. Sally reminded me of several tools that I know are great to use, but are great to hear about again. We all joined their class in Today’s Meet–a great tool that I can use when doing staff development. They talked about collaborating with our staff, offering resources, making literature connections, teaching research skills and having outside connections so that we are best able to support our staff. These are things that I do all of the time, but they emphasize how important it is to make sure our administrators KNOW that we’re doing it. I can definitely do a better job of that.