Session Four & Day Two of Summer Institute

I unfortunately had to leave the Summer Institute after the third session yesterday, and missed session four of Buffy’s talk on Tools for Transparency, Advocacy, and Instructional Leadership. Check out her LibGuide resources for Part Four to see what she covered. I will post a link to her slides here when they are posted online.

I left the Institute, because I went and picked up author and illustrator Mark Crilley from the airport. He was to speak today to the Summer Institute group about his books and his career as an author and illustrator. I had a great time visiting with him on the trip back to Emporia, and discovered along with his writing, he also has a YouTube channel where he demonstrates a lot of drawing tips. It’s worth checking out!

I also missed Mark’s talks today, along with Mickey Coalwell & Royce Kitts’ presentation on graphic novels, because I drove Buffy Hamilton back to the airport for her flight out. If I become aware of any online resources from either presentation, I will post it here.

Update: “The Cat” from the State Library of Kansas has a great summary post about day 2 of the institute up over on the State Library of Kansas news blog. The post includes links to the slides from Royce & Mickey’s presentations.

I had a wonderful time visiting with Buffy on both trips to and from the airport. Such an amazing and inspiring librarian. If you haven’t checked out her own online resources, or her school library’s resources, you really must! It was really great to have her in Kansas. I hope all the school librarians who were able to be at the Summer Institute enjoyed her presentations and the discussion times & if you weren’t able to be there, that these blog posts were helpful to you in some way. Here’s several links to those resources (but I realize it’s not everything).

Session Three: Tools for Transliteracy

Couple more things on Session 2:

Important to share what we’re all doing, so we learn from each other and find new ideas. LibGuide for Session 3 Tools for Transliteracy (wishing the entire Libraries & Transliteracy crew could be here, including Bobbi Newman & Brian Hulsey) Transliteracy term. Been around 20 years, but last 6-9 months lots of conversation around it. Librarian circles, language educators, especially.

  • “help our students learn multiple ways of reading and writing today’s world by acting as sponsors of transliteracy”
  • Transliteracy is the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tool and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks (not just technology).
  • “a sponsor of literacy includes any agent who enables, supports, teaches, and models, as well as recruits, regulates, suppresses, or withholds it” –Deborah Brandt, Literacy in American Lives, ethnography story about literacy. Libraries were rarely mentioned in this study, surprisingly; study from 10 years ago)
  • “Literacy is the energy supply of the information age” –Deborah Brandt
  • Bobbi Newman sees key literacy in next few months as the literacy of privacy issues (Facebook; Google; other sites)
  • Danah Boyd & Clay Shirky have been also writing a lot about literacy topics the past several months
  • “as new and powerful forms of literacy emerge, they diminish the reach and possibilities of receding ones” –Deborah Brandt
  • Doug Johnson, “Blue-Skunk Blog”, “Are we moving toward a post-literate society?”
  • Are we helping students learn these new literacies? Are we bridging the digital divide gap?
  • Henry Jenkins
  • “The idea that literacy is only print materials is about to disappear”
  • “We’re on the cusp of profound changes in what counts as “text” and literacy”
  • “Helping patrons and stakeholders understand the expanding definition of literacy is a muddy but playful endeavor”
  • “We have to make sure schools and libraries invite critical and active uses of media that strengthen our democratic potential.” –Deborah Brandt
  • Example of night school class researching and writing persuasive essays about the 2008 presidential election. Primary sources? Candidates YouTube channels, Twitter stream. Students suddenly engaged & interested. Also had side conversations about are these sources unbiased, accurate?
  • Knight Foundation recommendation 6: integrate digital and media literacy as critical elements for education at all levels through collaboration among federal, state, and local education officials.” (Link is to the full report)
  • As sponsors of transliteracy, libraries can close the participation gap; we may be in a better place of introducing these tools

What does transliteracy look like in a school library?

  • Privilege and support multiple containers and pathways to information; can’t just have books. Don’t throw away the books, but what are other alternative containers for info. Doug Johnson “It’s the content, not the container”
    • eReaders
    • fight the filter to give access to other sources of info like YouTube
  • Teach students multiple and dynamic ways of connecting with real world experts to help answer their questions
  • Teach students collaborate tools for creating and sharing knowledge
    • Voicethreads used in research projects
    • Skype
    • Blogging
    • Wikis
    • Social Bookmarking
    • Diigo
    • Evernote
    • Student created netvibes portal — definitely exhibits a multitude of these literacies
    • This doesn’t replace text literacy, necessarily. But if it enhances learning, and especially engages students, it’s worth it. Those that struggle with traditional text, might shine with alternative literacies and representing their work and resource.
    • Differentiating instruction and Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligencies
    • “Three Little Pigs” eBook iPhone app, written & illustrated by a 1st grader
    • Virginia and Her iPad (almost 100-year old woman reads again and publishes poems thanks to her iPad)
    • Using their phones to talk about books (Texting) — Wendy Stephens
    • Haiku poetry through Twitter (@AllieTweetTweet)
  • Instead of writing a reflection on a blog, record a vlog.
  • Tips for Writing an Email (and other things you assume students know)
  • Google has lots of pre-existing videos
  • Sue Thomas lecture on transliteracy video
  • Everyday Transliteracy video from Brian Hulsey
    • Blueberry smoothie recipe
    • Send info through email, share a link through Twitter, Facebook, write about experiencing the blueberry smoothie on a blog, call people about the recipe, telling someone in person, write it on a sticky note, print the recipe
    • Info was sent to multiple people through multiple tools.
  • Not saying we throw out traditional literacy, but there are multiple ways of interacting with information

Discussion comments

  • These new literacies, from touch devices to Facebook, it’s affecting all ages, from toddlers to the older folks
  • New research out on how the brain interacts with text
  • Chris Harris
  • Accessibility issues do come up. Assessment of using the tools.
  • Those who are reluctant learners might be more apt to read on a technology device (many tend to be gamers)
  • Gaming is becoming a new literacy “Libraries Got Game: Aligned Learning Through Modern Board Games” new book from Chris Harris and Brian Mayer

Session Two: Tools for Content Creation and Networked Learning

Wrapup comments from last session: Building tribe (Seth Godin’s book Tribes) — getting buy-in. That’s part of participatory librarianship. Helps students see that research in the library isn’t just for school work and homework that stops when you’re out of school.

Look at the resources on the pathfinder — lots of real-life examples are there, at different grade levels.

Part 2: Tools for Student Content Creation and Networked Learning: Media 21 Project

  • “learning is the process of creating connections and developing a network.”
  • connectivism learning theory (how do we help students connect the dots of learning
  • Michael Wesch at K-State was an inspiration for this. Digital Ethnography. Teach Web 2.0
  • Wendy Drexler second inspiration. “Networked Student” focus not on shiny tools, but how you apply them for practical learning.
  • Comment: Media 21 is a district level program
  • Lots of Goals: research is ongoing… (and other points) see slides later.
  • This was not a separate curriculum; it was identified and embedded into a sophomore English class.
  • Empowered students to become own information filters…
  • Two sections of Honors Literature/Composition; Buffy was a co-teacher. Conceptual model of librarian and classroom as co-teachers in the classroom setting.

The chemistry and collaborative partnership with the teacher. Interviews available with the collaborative teacher on the section page. Partnership worked because of teacher’s willingness to take risk & to share the classroom. For so long teaching is seen as a solitary act, but some of that is changing. Librarian can help facilitate this change for 21st century learning.

Beginning of program (august 2009)

  • introduction of concept of “networked student”
  • intro of essential learning tools and cloud computing (wikis, gmail, google docs, blogs) (digital native a myth? many of the students had never heard of these tools; even email attachments was a new concept; can’t assume background knowledge; must be willing to adapt to students’ beginning knowledge & do what’s best for them)
  • exploration of social media & culture at large, as an info source for research (evaluating Wikipedia, for example)
  • Focused on wikis, exploring tools; intro’d class blog.
  • Learned about Google tools
  • Learned you didn’t have to be tied to a flash drive – use cloud computing tools
  • Many students didn’t have computers at home or had software at home (like Microsoft Word)
  • Build in the time for teaching the students the tools; many students won’t pick it up intuitively. Provide the support. If you support them in the beginning, and spend time up front on learning the tools, it will really help with student buy-in and use of the tools.
  • Students brainstormed pros and cons of using social media in education
  • Reflections: time: more needed for this type of immersed learning for the students; For teachers: more time needed for planning, creating, reflecting; students were engaged; embrace the messiness & chaos; students were patient & open-minded

September 2009

  • inquiry into social media for social good (essay & conversations in class)
  • Book tasting Menu. An overall theme was there (Africa). Students sampled the books, reading for 5-7 minutes, and then rated the books, choosing which one they wanted to read in a group.
  • Student reflections were ongoing during the program.
  • “when I blog….I feel like people are listening”
  • students extended learning to real-world situations
  • Students loved the Google tools & blogging
  • Mixed feelings about wetpaint; switched to Google Sites
  • students loved group & collaborative activities
  • students indicated they needed help with certain writing strategies

October – November 2009

  • intro to research initiative
  • original content creation
  • reflection and transparency
  • knowledge building
  • lit circle meetings, maintaining notes from these meetings & reading
  • Diigo used to bookmark web-based resources, also Noodletools (Subscription)

Learning Artifacts: Issues in Africa

  • blog posts
  • lit circle
  • wikis
  • diigo bokmarks
  • noodletools list and notes
  • a written paper, required 3-5 pages, but many students wrote 10-12 page papers of their own free will; students really got into their research; flexibility given for resources.
  • five multigenre articacts and relcections
  • online learning portfolios built using google sites brought all of this together


  • Students loved Google news & Gale Global issues in context database
  • This project was the first time students could take ownership of their learning (Testing generation)
  • Some resistance to this type of learning.
  • Students couldn’t just read off their research; they had to embrace it as their own.
  • Students embraced the principles and concepts of presentation zen
  • Students overcame their fears of public speaking
  • Project was originally only for the semester, but students asked for this type of continued learning, instead of a return to the traditional mode.
  • Assessment felt murky. “New Assessments for New Learning” –Will Richardson post from yesterday.

Veterans’ Issues (March-May 2010) (took a two month break)

  • personal learning environments with netvibes/info dashboards to be shared publicly
  • social bookmarking with evernote
  • google sites portfolios
  • interviews with real world experts <– new requirement for the program
  • presentation zen
  • Class site
  • Students began creating information dashboards for their project. Visual way of telling the story of research. Videos; RSS Feeds from resources + from fellow students; Google Books; Databases widgets; several students went above and beyond, creating multiple tabs for different types of resources.
  • Real student work examples linked on over on the libguide
  • One student had a realworld expert get in touch with him via his project blog; engaged the person online & ended up interviewing him.
  • Most valuable research skill obtained was learning to come up with a realworld expert — letters of inquiry.
  • Students came in on lunch hour on their own free will; students cared about their topics & went above & beyond as a result.

Learned overall

  • baby steps are okay
  • anticipate pushback
  • learning isn’t linear
  • value collaboration and teamwork
  • building own personal learning network; teachers were the guides on the side. Students were taking ownership of their work. Saw fruition of the program’s vision through what the students were doing.
  • Trick is cultivating the partnership with the teachers.

This isn’t THE model, or the way to go. But this is one way to embrace those standards and guidelines for school libraries. More teachers have seen what the class has done, heard the kids talk about it, and now more teachers want to it.

Why Diigo, not Delicious? Diigo has a group feature. Some networking issues also were present. Students were given choice of Evernote or Diigo second semester, since there were mobile apps available for Evernote. If Firefox had been available, Delicious could have been used.

Blogathon: Louisville Public Library flooded; social media for social good being covered, and library world did an online blogathon to raised money for their efforts. Library Society of the World headed it up. Students wrote about why they loved libraries. “libraries are the places where dreams begin,” one student comment. Students were sponsored for their blog posts.

Presentation Zen: minimal text; pictures; not just reading slides word-for-word. Not “death by powerpoint”

Cell Phone Usage: how do you get past schools blocking them? Buffy started emailing principal articles & blog posts about cell phone usage in the classroom in spring 2009. Also talked to him a lot during the summer. He also saw his own kids using these devices. When the school came back in session, he told his teachers that it was permitted for education usage. Cultivated the culture to show why these tools should be used. Even if at first the ideas sound crazy, keep trying & feeding information. Very gently feed them pieces of information & back into it.

Summer Institute: Session One

Overall Theme of the Institute: New Tools for New Generations: Viable Tools for Effective Student Learning

  • creation of a library with fluid boundaries
  • focus on a flexible learning environment influenced by the interactive global community
  • respond to diverse learning needs
  • teaching multiple literacies

Featured books, a focus on Standards:

Dr. Jackie Lakin from the Kansas State Department of Education (Education Program Consultant — Information Management; Advocate for Kansas School Libraries & School Librarians), briefly talked about standards and the coming common core standards. She also briefly covered the latest with state assessments and upcoming changes.

Buffy Hamilton (The Unquiet Librarian, @buffyjhamilton) is today’s speaker. She’ll be covering:

  1. Tools for Participatory Learning
  2. Tools for Content Creation and Networked Learning
  3. Tools for Transliteracy
  4. Tools for Transparency, Advocacy, and Instructional Leadership

The day’s resources, and topics can be found at the LibGuide for the workshop.

Day’s plan for the different sessions: Buffy will share ideas, time to work in small groups, and then come back as a large group.

– Foursquare librarianship: unlocking worlds of learning

Foursquare: Some libraries using this as incentives to patrons.

Buffy’s school is “The Unquiet Library, Creekview HIgh School, Canton, GA” When the library first opened at the new high school, Buffy envisioned it would be place for conversations, and would disrupt the traditional library environment. The name based off Matthew Battle’s book, “Library: An Unquiet History”

Session One: Tools for Participatory Learning (aka Reference; this topic is covered in chapter 1 of empowered learners; it replaces “Information Power”.)

  • need to create and nurture a participatory culture that invites conversations for learning, multiple forms of literacy, and multiple modes of learning

– How to we spark conversations, face to face and virtually? values learning as conversation over objects; knowledge construction and creation.

(Trying to catch all her points but missing some; will link to the slidedeck when it is posted).

  • Heart of library is inquiry: asking question, and learning process.
  • Librares are in the change business. (changing needs of learners, education system, and learners); we can either embrace the change, in a “playful endeavor”. Must show students that learning is not static and can be positive.
  • “Why” AND “Why Not?” (funny, considering Will Richardson’s post this morning, Yeah, You’ve Got Problems, So Solve Them)
  • Go beyond the walls and barriers — getting beyond the obstacles to achieve a better learning environment for students
  • open doors to invite spaces for conversation and learning (Face to Face & virtually)
  • Nurture creativity and learning experiences (lose the joy when facing pressure of mandates & responsibilities)

Creating Conversations for formal learning

  • aasl standard 1 : inquire, think critically, and gain knowledge (Creating knowledge, also)
  • aasl standard 2: draw conclusions….
  • aasl standard 3: digital citizenship…
  • aasl standard 4: pursue personal and aesthetic growth (this one can get lost in the shuffle)

How to create conversations about info evaluation and social scholarship with research pathfinders?

Used to know traditional sources of information clearly. Now need to evaluating wikipedia, youtube, blog posts, twitter streams.

  • Research Pathfinders & subject guides: may be using pbwiki, frontpage, google sites, dreamweaver, wikispaces; regardless of the tool used, you’re creating an online medium for class resources, to help students know which resources are valid for that topic, and these can be accessed later. Teacher may not have their finger on the pulse of the changing landscape of information.
  • RSS Feeds into the pathfinder
  • Google Books (can point students toward good resources)

Collaborative knowledge building through wikis:

  • Speed dating interviews: students were reading articles, and students would then interview each other in pairs; the results of the interviews were posted onto the class wiki. Responses were then used as a springboard for a larger essay assignment on the pros and cons of social media, that was a persuasive essay all students wrote.
  • literature circle wiki: students were reading fiction and non-fiction; engaging in research on those topics/issues. Teacher used Google Sites to share the results & students were able to comment on their classmates’ work, even those in other class sections.
  • Wikispaces is most K-12 friendly; Wetpaint no longer as ad-free option for educators
  • Post-it-notes: Students read articles about Twitter and used post-it-notes to share their thoughts on twitter


  • not just posting about what you’re reading, but also blog about the research you’re carrying out. Talk about obstacles; successes; overcoming challenges, about resources used. It’s active reflection and metacognition.
  • Younger students could be video-taped and could talk about what they’re learning
  • Students at Buffy’s school said blogging was their favorite activity. Weren’t going through the motions, but had to think about the process, plus were able to see what other students were doing, comment on their work, plus opened up their writing to outside experts in the real world.

Digital citizenship and ethical use of information:

  • Alternative presentation methods: Presentation Zen: getting away from Death by Powerpoint (AMEN!)
  • Students had conversations about their searching for using images in their presentations. (Using creative commons Flickr photos, for example)
  • Presentations were then carried out; self-assessment through Google Forms.
  • Students talked about how they couldn’t copy & paste anymore, had to actually know the material, plus had to connect with audience

Alternative ways of creating/sharing/organizing knowledge

  • Multi-genre elements (Tom Romano pioneered this)
  • voicethread
  • video (One TrueMedia for remixing)
  • glogster (interactive electronic posters)
  • possibilities are endless
  • songs; original artwork; interpretative dance; Facebook page for a character
  • Google Mashup
  • Book trailer
  • Games
  • Made the element public in a research portfolio; helps other students be inspired and shows alternative methods of knowledge creation & sharing.
  • Netvibes: personal learning environments and learning artifacts

Shared knowledge construction (learning transparent)

  • Cloud Computing: Google Docs (Writing and editing document together)
  • Social Bookmarking: Diigo: Group Bookmarks
  • Diigo: Sticky notes/highlighting
  • Evernote: another notetaking resource
  • Blog comments — engaging in conversations

Creating conversations for community

  • give students a voice and ownership
    • book displays (even simple ones make teens stop and pause)
    • book/genre promotion (ntl’ poetry month)
    • cozy reading areas and displays (Ex. Shakespeare center: have traditional resources + graphic novels and anime versions — students suddenly start reading MacBeth & Romeo and Juliet & talk about it)
    • use of physical space — shows library isn’t just a place of silence
    • collection reflecting student needs (Graphic novels & anime)
    • gift cards and giveaways
    • materials request (suggest library materials)
    • book/magazine requests (Personalized service)
    • poetry slidecasts/podcasts (Supporting student work)
    • student poetry/student favorites (clothesline)
    • Flickr
    • Collection Remix

“Play is the only way the highest intelligence of humankind can unfold.” –Joseph Chilton Pearce

  • Reader’s theatre
  • Pokemon cards & gaming
  • Asked students to share their knowledge about these “play” tools on the library blog.
  • These students are often the ones who are marginalized suddenly are looked up to as experts. It speaks volumes to them; they get the sense that the library is a place where they are valued.
  • Get students talking & sharing their expertise.
  • Board games & puzzles
  • Teachers love it too — mind-candy & stress-busters
  • Build report with them & relationship; builds opportunities for collaboration
  • Musical events & performances
  • Trivia days; pizza parties.
  • Students sharing their passions.
  • Promotion: Library Secrets promotion by both students & teachers
  • Polls — voting tools
  • Mobile learning through cell phones
  • Going to where the kids are at.
  • Physical space

After break, look at the resources for Participatory Librarianship, especially the examples on the left.