Final post–Class reflection






I think the semester is over, so I am not even sure if this will count towards my grade, but it was a requirement, and an important one at that, so I feel the need to share.  This class was different than many others for me.  Being in the school library media program means that I only have three electives to choose from.  I take the picking out of these classes very seriously; mainly because I want to make share that they will assist me as a school librarian.  I had heard great things about Michael and his class, but I wanted to make sure I could use this in real life strategies.  Could web 2.0 affect a middle school?  Or an educational facility?  A teaching environment with more rules and structure than I even know what to do with?!?  Michael took care of all of those concerns.

This class made me see things in such a different manner than what I was accustomed to.  It is more of a way of thinking than just doing.  Most of my classes have been extremely educational and helpful, but they involved projects, work, papers, etc.  This class had all of that as well, but also a way of thought process and realization of differences.  It was an eye-opener.  I would hate to have fewer electives offered for those in the SLMP, but I feel that this is a class that should be required for incoming librarians.  It is what our world is turning into, so why not?

Group Reflection

ning_logoI remember when Michael told us that there would be a group project.  I was a little nervous at the fact that part of my grade would be determined on working with people in a class where I hardly saw anyone.  To try and work with someone else is already a weakness of mine, but to do so when communication and procrastination would factor into the situation had me sweating bullets.  I must say, that would be the last time I woulddoubt Mr. Stephens.  The openness and thought behind all the ideas were liberating and infectious in excitement!  Once our group and plan was brought together, there was no worries in my mind about what we were doing and even if we could do it, and do it well.

This project was not only eye-opening and wonderful to work on, but I felt that we did a good job reflecting on what a YA student would want from their library and school.  I worked with three enthusiastic people who truly felt passionate about that agelevel and what library services could do for them.  I enjoyed this project that we chose immensely.  Working with the Ning was interesting and had me thinking about the possibilities of things I could do in my building.  It was truly bringing web 2.0 services to the masses who were already so comfortable with what Ning had to offer. 

If I had the chance, I would not change anything regarding my project.  I felt that we all participated greatly, learned from each other, and had a good time.

Examples of Effective Web 2.0 Services-#8

I am always happy when I see Web 2.0 & Library 2.0 services being offered to teens and tweens.  The middle school age always seems to be neglected in the library.  The libraries that service the school I work at is the Roselle and Bloomingdale libraries.  The Roselle library just hired a new youth services director last summer.  She really seems to know how to service students and understand what they want from their library.  Gaming nights at the library are very popular with the students.  Rock Band, Mario Kart, Super Smash Brothers, and other games are played while students enjoy free snacks (another way to bring kids into the library).  Along with giving kids what they want, she also makes things easy to access. 



The newly designed Teen Scene website is extraordinary.  Designed with teens in mind, flashy colors, bright pictures, and short bolded phrases, this website has all the information at their fingertips.  You can link to pictures of events and see the activites that ran.  She has even created a facebook page for the students.   You can be a fan and leave comments.  An online calendar also helps students make sure that they don’t miss any events.  The youth librarian is definitely making sure that web 2.0 is accessible for the digital natives who reside in the Roselle area.  This is so promising to see and I always encourage my students to participate as much as possible.

Brand Monitoring

I decided to check out Gail Borden Library in Elgin, IL.  This is not my library, but I frequent it quite a bit.  My library is very small, and it usually does not fit my needs.  Gail Borden, however, is larger and seems to use their budget wisely.  Personally, I did not know what to expect when starting this project.  Would I find lots to report on or is GB quite in the technological front?  They seem to have some things on the right track, they have a chocked full, friendly website.  You can certain things emailed to you, but they also have things on RSS feeds.  However there is no specific blog that I could find, and their main page of the website says nothing about a twitter, myspace, or facebook account.  They do however have a link to flicker and a youtube page!  How much is GB getting chatted up in the internet?

Twitter Logo

I first checked out GB on Twitter.  This was kind of depressing.  There is only one tweet discussing them.  The NSLS (library system had this to say about the library:  …the Marketing Award goes to Gail Borden Public Library District for their creative “Dr. Torres’ Library Card Challenge”  The direct link is as follows.

 Technorati logo

After that I hoped that people were at least blogging about them a bit more, so I searched with Technorati and 3 hits are coming up.  One discussed how GB is seeing user services increasing in difficult times.  This may be the case with many libraries, but it is definitely the case here.  Knowing the community that GB serves in Elgin, I can see people being hit in these hard economical times.  I am glad that they are taking advantage of the library.  Another blog post was about the baby-friendly environment that the library has.  I agree with that.  I always notice tons of kids in the craft section, by the puzzles, or playing in the indoor playground.  Looks like tons of fun!  Lastly, there was a blog post about a meeting being held at the library.  Good to see that they community is using the library for all types of things, even meetings on butterflies!

facebook-logoThe library has a Facebook page that you can be a fan of.  There are about 60 fans.  You can discuss things, such as favorite books, and they post library information.  It does not seem that interactive as of yet, not too much going on.  It does, however, have its flicker account hooked up to it.

flickr-logoGB has a flickr account, but many other people have posted pictures of the library as well.  There are pictures of kids in programs, the building itself, speakers, activities, different exhibits, and more.  It seems as though people are more than happy to share their experiences at GB.


youtube_logoFinally, a place I did not know I would see the library.  YouTube!  I was happy to see videos of the library on youtube.  Many of them were posted by the library itself, but there were pulled from all types of places, such as Elgin today.  Ratings and comments are being made on the videos as well.


I was pleased at what I saw regarding Gail Borden Library, but I do think that I could see more.  There were no glaring complaints, and most stuff was informative, yet positive.

Implementing L2 in a middle school-Post #7

Even before taking this class I have always been fascinated with bringing technology into the classroom when I was a teacher, and now into the library as the school librarian.  I always felt that it was the educator’s job to adapt and change their style for the learners who live in a different world than we do.  Instead of making the students slow down and change their processing skills to work with our speed, we should instead be creating different stimulating ways of educating them.  I believe this, my technology coordinator believes this, and even a few of my fellow teachers think this way as well.  It makes things harder though when those that do not see the value then question all that you do, and why you even want to do it.

A language arts teacher and I decided to create a book review project using photostory to create movie style book trailers.  The goal with this is that we would then post them on the library website that I am in the process of creating.  I am not sure if I would create a separate blog with links to the website (we also use wordpress) and therefore have a blog on book trailers.  I would love to do something like this that would perhaps have students creating them for fun and using upgraded technology such as windows movie maker (we have no mac’s at our school, so imovie is out) that they would never get to use in class.  The idea just spun into a conversation of  “oh we could do this, or this, or this!!”  Unfortunately, I have some opposition from a teacher that uses photostory for another project, and feels that they have control of this program.  I must admit that this was not one of the hurdles that I thought I would be faced with when trying to bring in L2.  Nevertheless, we are going forward, and that is just the beginning.  I am creating the IMC website and would love to have links to movie, music, and book reviews from the students.  Ownership of the library by technology driven forces seems like the best way to get students into the library and using it the way they want to, not how we think they should.

Brief Literature review for Paper-Post #6

I have decided to go with option #2 for the paper because I think it will really assist in focusing my topic.  Core ideas will be taken from the book Digital Natives along with the following journal articles.  I am not sure if I will be using all of these articles, and I am still looking for more, but I did think they worked with my paper and the ideas that I have; it is a good start to a working bibliography.  I feel that my subject is a relevant and good one, but can easily be something that can spiral out of control if I let it!  Hopefully, choosing option #2 will prevent that!

Barack, L. Digital Textbooks for Digital Natives. School Library Journal v. 52 no. 2 (February 2006) p. 24

Stucker, H. DigitalNatives‘ Are Growing Restless. School Library Journal v. 51 no. 6 (June 2005) p. Special Report9-Special Report10

Stephens, M. The Read/Write School Library. School Library Journal v. 52 no. 12 (December 2006) p. 24

McHale, T. Portrait of a Digital Native. Technology & Learning v. 26 no. 2 (September 2005) p. 33-4

Mahoney, L. C. Educational Technology Leadership Conference Helps Digital Immigrants Understand Digital Natives. Momentum (Washington, D.C.) v. 38 no. 1 (February/March 2007) p. 44-6

Haugen, J. Public Podcasts: A Superintendent Reaches the Digital Natives. School Administrator v. 64 no. 5 (May 2007) p. 16

Bennett, S., et. al., The ‘digital natives‘ debate: A critical review of the evidence. British Journal of Educational Technology v. 39 no. 5 (September 2008) p. 775-86

Sheffield, C. C. Technology and the Gifted Adolescent: Higher Order Thinking, 21st Century Literacy, and the Digital Native. Meridian: a Middle School Computer Technologies Journal v. 10 no. 2 (Summer 2007)

Mason, C. Y., et. al., Bridge the Digital Divide for Educational Equity. The Education Digest v. 70 no. 9 (May 2005) p. 25-7

Prensky, M. Listen to the Natives. Educational Leadership v. 63 no. 4 (December 2005/January 2006) p. 8-13

Eglash, R. A two-way bridge across the digital divide. The Chronicle of Higher Education v. 48 no. 41 (June 21 2002 supp) p. B12

Social Networking Post #5

Being on the cusp of digital native and digital immigrant has me wary of adding things onto sites like facebook and myspace.  Maybe because I still don’t see the real point to them.  But other social sites such as flickr, ning, librarything, and delicious have me jumping into them full force.  Perhaps, because I see the true necessity of it all.  I know that I need to get over that thinking and quick for my students to relate with me, but it is taking some time.

I love my librarything account.  It fuels, encourages, and excites me.  I still love changing a book from ‘to read’, to ‘reading’, to ‘just finished’.  I love it and I always link people to it in hopes that they will explore my library and perhaps make their own account.  I also love adding myself to groups that I have in common with others, such as the ‘Hogwarts Express Group’, ‘Librarians on Librarything’, and others.   Finding friends, finding people who have similar libraries, and connecting our libraries gets me excited about the possibilities on what I can do regarding books and my school library.  I have shown many students this social site and their excitement and interest in it is apparent.  Social sites like this, I understand.  Facebook, well that leaves me confounded….

Check out my library and what I am reading at

Book Report for Adults


Sometimes I wish I could still make a diorama for my book reports.  Alas, I don’t think my book choice of Born Digital could be compacted in that way.  Born Digital:  Understanding The First Generation of Digital Natives by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser is the book that I chose.  I was daunted at first with the size, because even though I am a voracious reader, non-fiction is not my forte.  I chose this book though because the topic jumped out at me.

As a teacher turned into a teacher-librarian, I am always looking at ways to make things easier for the staff, yet bring in what needs to be for the students.  Born Digital opened up my eyes to aspects I have never realized.  We go to school to become educators and learn methods of teaching, but they have not changed the way the students have.  These digital natives are immersed in technology from sun up to sun down.  Unfortunately, when they step into the classroom, they are made to turn that part of them off.  I always knew that this was integral to the way they learned and perceived things, but I was not aware of how strong that connection was until I read through Chapter 2 and we learned about Andy. 

Andy who is born as a digital native has his digitsal dossier growing from the first moment of his life.  It really made it clear to me in how he truly has no choice but to live in this digital age.  I tried to then think about the students I teach and how these particular students were born in the late 90’s.  And how they are going to school and learning from digital immigrants for the most part.  It seems unfair in some way.  Like we are cheating them out of something.

Another part of the book that struck me and seemed to encompass this whole idea of digital natives and how we teach them was when they discussed digital native entrepreneurs.  Facebook, Napster, and YouTube were all created by digital natives.  But these were items, jobs, careers, whatever you may call it, that were not around when the creators were in school.  As I read this section of the chapter, I kept thinking about how we are preparing our students for success in a community that we don’t really have a handle of understanding on.  To be honest, that thought still scares me.

The digital natives are different learners than we are used to.  They can IM online, check their email, and finish their paper at once time.  Teachers are overly concerned with reining them in and having the student multitask makes them uneasy.  How do we get over this and do what is best for the students, learners, creators, activists, and the natives of the digital world?  How does the digital immigrant overcome their fear and lack of understanding to make sure that we are doing all that is necessary to make sure our students survive in the future?  This book was extremely powerful and really made me think about how we are teaching, and what we are expecting, from the students.

Just like my cat!

I haven’t written a paper since…

So, I know exactly what I want to do for my paper.  I am extremely excited at the thought of exploring technology in the school.  How we are now using it, how we are not using it, and how we expect our students to change their learning habits instead of the teachers changing their teaching style. 

Let me back up a bit and explain why I am so anxious.  After the first class weekend, I was emotionally and physically wiped so I took Monday off.  It was good to sleep in and energize myself .  But when I went back to work on Tuesday, I was so energized and full of ideas that I really needed to share my excitement with someone.  I ran to the technology director for the district, who is very easy to work with, extremely knowledgeable, and helpful.  I gushed about my weekend, told her about the book Digital Natives (which she immediately ordered herself), and we discussed all the opportunities that we are missing out on in the middle school.

From this conversation, I feel that I want my paper to be something along the lines of why we are not using technology in the schools when it is available, how we can use technology with our students (who use it everyday in their lives out of school), and how we can encourage teachers to see that they are the ones who need to change and that they are the ones who need to adapt, not the students!  I am not sure if this is to broad of a subject or if it is to specific.  I guess I can always adapt once I start.

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