The Technology Edge: Leading Innovation in Our School from the Olathe East HS Library

Note: Her slides will be posted to slideshare. I’ll embed them here when they’re uploaded.

Lori Franklin, Olathe East HS Library, Olathe KS [Also Ph.D. student, working on dissertation on 21st Century Learning, I believe]

Library Website


  • We know what is availble to us in terms of hw, sw, and experiences
  • What we actually do not know is where we could actually end up on our journey…

The questions…

  • Whose job is it to determine the journey’s end point and success level?
  • The Teacher?
  • The Student?
  • The Team?

Talking to students. Filters are insulting to the students. If they’re filtered on the school computers, they won’t use them. They have their smartphones, that have no filters and are private.

The Box

  • Educators and those who rule education like to say they are thinking outside of the box
  • Most of the time, they are in the box

Carol Kuhlthau’s Guided Inquiry: Learning in the 21st century, discusses third space, where school & home come together and make learning meaningful.

It’s easier to think inside the box, be in your comfort zone. Change disrupts that.

What’s good about the Box?

  • knowns
  • tangibles
  • baselines
  • comforatble

What’s not so good about the box?

  • Missed opportunities
  • Growth
  • 24/7 ed experiences
  • 21st century student-centered learning
  • Affects desire for lifelong learning
  • if you always do things in the same way you’ve always done them, you’re missing out connecting with the way kids are doing things today: want info instantly, without boundaries, teacher is no longer expert. they want to be the expert. they know experts are out there and want to reach them.

Did you know?

  • In many schools, we still ask students to sit for several hours a day at desks, listening (or not) to a teacher as he or she lectures? Pump and dump, without any meaningful connections to the real world.

Boys physical activity and learning research.

Participatory Learning

  • Chen’s many to many model
  • Leaves the “sage on the stage” model
  • requires group collaboration
  • needs new assessment tools
  • should be frequently evoloving to meet needs
  • Henry Jenkins

Olathe East HS, Lost Boys of Sudan, student Peter, documentary.

2200 students in her building now.

One-to-one Palm initiative: usage varies from word processing to using temp probes attached to the Palms.

Current scenario

  • 500 PCs
  • 250 laptops stored in mobile carts
  • Minimum of one PC in each classroom; some rooms have more; labs typically have 25 PCs
  • Average class size is approaching 30.
  • Gets a little hairy.

Budget effects

  • time/personnel constraints
  • purchasing power
  • reduced spending per student

NCLB effects

  • teaching to test
  • less personal investment in subject matter
  • lack of context across subjects
  • focus on end point, not the learning process

Used Aniomoto to build a video overview of her library. PR piece for teachers who can’t make it to the library and since Lori can’t make it to the whole building.

Teacher/Librarian Immersion Levels

  • Isolation
  • Semi-isolation
  • Semi-immersion (PC lab)
  • Immersion: wants full collaboration; you’ll both cover your standards. Real-world; group collaboration; peer review; evaluation.

Can’t do that with everyone.

Immersion looks like

collaborative planning

multi-standard driven

real-world problem solving…

Example: the “country report”

  • put the focus on building a knowledge base
  • no PowerPoint allowed — used Animoto; images had to be copyright free/Creative Commons-licensed
  • Student collaboration and peer review
  • Made the student the expert
  • Constructive comments expected
  • This project provided frustration, exhilaration, and student learning beyond note memorization of facts
  • Had to stand up and talk about the project and his peers reviewed it.

Thinking outside The Box:

  • College Prep English IV — blogging about the novel Frankenstein with a partner school; wiki creation, meting in person to share results; effects
  • Algebra III, pre-Calculus — all classes podcasted; use of cell phones as “clickers” (Teacher at OEHS who wrote on Numb3rs loves to do this)
  • Edmodo

Some don’t..

  • Used assignments from 5 years ago
  • Isolated teaching
  • Not reaching out with online resources (eBooks, databases, Skype with experts, Edmodo, wikis, pod/vodcasting, Moodle)

Special learners lose out

  • Boys better served by breaking up instruction with physical activity each hour
  • ELL learners left behind
  • SPED students receive modifications, but not necessarily modified teaching, which should include a continual assessment/modification cycle to determine if learning is occurring.

Horizon Report: K-12 Edition

  • The New Media Consorium
  • Updated annually
  • ?

Horizon Report Findings

  1. Technology is: means for empowering students; method for communication & socializing; ubiquitous transparent part of student lives.
  2. Technology has a profound affect on the way we work, collaborate, communicate and succeed. (In her research, she’s seen lots of kids leaning together, socialization)
  3. Increasing interest, in just-in-time, alternative, or non-formal avenues of education: online learning, mentoring, independent study [Topic where you’re immersed, forming opinions, reflective pieces developed, creating interactive product others can learn from]
  4. The way we think of learning environments is changing


  • The Horizon Report outlines several challenges. Especially telling is this statement
  • Stuents are different, but ed practice and the materials that supportit are changing very slowly

Thinking outside the box

  • The horizon report describes how today’s learning and education must happen outside of physical walls and time/distance constraints
  • Students expect to seek out expert opinions other than the teacher who is in the room with them!

Speak Up Study — 2 million informants

  • Students identified as “free agent learners”
  • School buidling, teacher, and textbook no longer have a monopoly on knowledge, content or  the educational process
  • Students seek personalized learning

More from Speak Up

  • Social-based learning
  • untethered learning
  • digitally rich learning

Digital disconnect

  1. Haves/have nots — no connectivity
  2. Proficient to the point they think they know everything, when they don’t. Don’t have searching skills.
  3. Want to mess around with the goodies and then not allowed to go to these sites or take tools home. Turns off students, disengages them.

Speak Up report:

How to be there 24/7

  • LibGuides
  • Databases
  • eBooks
  • eMail
  • Web presence


  • Helps you reach out to everyone, even those who never come into your library
  • always available
  • includes collaborative ability for teamwork
  • multi-functional
  • VERY easy to use


  • Have functionality that meets the needs of lots of students


  • Available 24/7 for varied amounts of check out time
  • Personal assistant example
  • Flexibility for assignments (requirement print and electronic sources)
  • ABC-CLIO eBook Collection
  • Gale Virtual Reference Library
  • Not allowed to loan out Kindles to students yet


  • You can help students outside of school hours
  • Gmail student accounts
  • Google Docs and other GOogle tools
  • File transfer from home

Web Presence

  • up to date info available immediately
  • links to other items just discussed — integration
  • Library Thing
  • Podcasts

Questions in [Lori’s] my head (after reading Chen’s book)

  • What do we need to learn about students in order to best meet their needs?
  • How can tap into students’ love of their cell phones in order to help them learn more?
  • Can we mesh cell phones use with classroom instruction?
  • How can I make my own library program into a better fit with student learning processes?