Happy New Year

As we near the end of 2011 and approach the beginning of 2012, it might be a good time to get thoughtful, or at the very least intentional. We all need to work hard to change how libraries are viewed by our communities. Change is happening so very fast, and we need to be willing to change how we have been operating over the years. Change is hard but necessary.

Roy Tennant’s blog post at http://www.thedigitalshift.com/2011/12/ebooks/the-longest-night/ reminds us that “Libraries are a societal good” and “ Access to information is not ubiquitous, nor equal, nor (still) as easy as it can or should be.”

It is a short read and well worth your time. Happy New Year everyone!


TIES Conference Recap: A CMLE Scholarship

The following was submitted by a CMLE Scholarship recipient. 

Submitted by: Holly Pringle, Becker High School

 For a first-timer at the TIES conference, overwhelming isn’t a strong enough word.  I spent two and a half days taking in knowledge, meeting new people, commiserating about iOS devices, talking with vendors, and realizing how much I’ve learned about technology in my first three months as a media specialist…..and how very, very, very much I don’t know yet.

 The theme of the conference was “It’s Personal!  Transforming Pedagogy with Technology”, and transformative it was!  Sessions were offered for a plethora of needs & interests, and my only disappointment was that there were so many concurrent sessions, I had to choose not to see some sessions that looked like they’d be great. I hope the whole technology integration team from my school can join me next year and we can divide & conquer to get even more out of the many sessions offered, because each session offers something, even if it’s a little something, that can come back to our district and make an impact.

Working in an “Apple” district made me interested to talk with the folks from Apple regarding mega-management of iPads/iPods and iOS devices in general, which is something that we’re constantly trying to learn more about.  Evidently, many folks around here are trying to get some of the same questions answered, and it showed me that in Becker we’re going about things in the right way.  I also had the chance to see how other districts and teachers are using iPads and iPods in the classrooms for more than just substitution, but for true and deep learning with their kids.  The most eye-opening presentation of the conference for me involved a fourth grade teacher who showed off the kinds of work his kids had accomplished using various technologies.  I was blown away at what we can help kids create with an iPad.

In all, the conference was worthwhile for me on many levels, and I’m so thankful CMLE made it possible for me to attend.

What’s New in Children’s Literature Workshop Summary: A CMLE Scholarship

The following was submitted by a CMLE scholarship recipient.

Submitted by: DeAnn Redfield, St. Cloud Christian School 

Do you love children’s books and anxiously wait for each year’s new books to be announced? Are you looking for a great professional development opportunity to find out about new children’s books? Peggy Sharp’s program “What’s new in Children’s Literature and How to use it in your Program 2012” offered through the Bureau of Education & Research is highly recommended. The program includes an extensive resource handbook that contains annotated bibliographies of new children’s literature. The handbook has book sharing ideas, student activity resources, and “Top Ten Picks of the Year”.

Benefits of attending this seminar include previewing new children’s books, both fiction and nonfiction; learning about trends in delivery of stories and factual information such as e-readers, apps, trailers, and social networking sites; and exploring teaching strategies to help students get the most out of a book without destroying the joy of reading.

My library will benefit because I learned so much about new children’s books and instructional strategies to incorporate them into the school’s curriculum. Having a resource book to take with me is an added benefit. While I was learning about Peggy Sharp’s top ten books of the year, I made my own list of ideas to use in my library program. Librarians are encouraged to have a wish list of books to order if extra funds find their way into the budget. I am prepared with a list of twenty great books to add to my collection – Peggy’s favorites and my own.

More information about this event can be found at the following site: http://www.ber.org/seminars/CourseInfo.cfm?seid=BE22F1-STC

CMLE Thinkfinity Webinar

CMLE Thinkfinity Webinar 

Are you interested in learning more about Thinkfinity — or perhaps you’ve never heard of Thinkfinity? Well, you’re in luck! Thinkfinity Trainer, Kate Bessey, from CMLE, will be providing an overview of Thinkfinity via webinar on Thursday, December 8th from 3:00-4:00PM. Kate attended a Thinkfinity “Train the Trainer” 2-day workshop this past summer, and is eager to present what she has learned to you!

Learning Outcomes:

  • Participants will have new awareness of this powerful website that provides free high-quality K-12 Internet content for educators, including lesson plans, cross-disciplinary resources and interactive student tools, many of which are mapped to Minnesota Academic Standards.
  • Participants will be able to begin using Thinkfinity for their own teaching/educational purposes.
  • Participants may find that they wish to train other educators in their school to use this valuable resource.

If you’re interested in attending this webinar, please send an email to Kate Bessey at kmbessey@stcloudstate.edu to register.

Kate will send you a confirmation email and additional information on December 6th. You’ll just need a high-speed internet connection and a flash player (it’s likely that your computer already meets these requirements) – if you’re not sure, the email Kate sends on December 6th will allow you to test your connections/system.

We hope to “see” you at our first CMLE hosted webinar!

Using Tablets for News

Pew Research Center reports that tablets are one of the fastest growing technologies ever. Though the iPad has only been available for a year and a half, already 11 percent of American adults report that they own an iPad. The publishing industry, sensing a huge opportunity in this new market, has begun pumping out apps to support the reading preferences and interests of this quickly growing market. Of the 11 percent of adults that own an iPad, roughly 53 percent say that they use the device every day to get their news. A full 79 percent of tablet users claim that they are now using the tablet for their news rather than using a desktop or laptop. Another interesting statistic is that 41 percent of iPad users say they enjoy reading books about the same in both print and on the tablet. Interested in finding out more? Check out Pew Research Center’s Infographic!

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