Reflection Upon LIBE 477

In considering how to present the aspect of my Final Vision Project, I could not separate all that is being done for and with our School Library Learning Commons (SLLC) and expand upon that. Our SLLC is a project in itself; a project in which the sum is so much greater than its parts. I could not bring myself to divide it back into those parts and discount the energy or the people that have lead to it developing into where we currently stand by developing any one of those singularly.

Perhaps if this assignment was to come before I had invested so much into the development of our SLLC, or if I was inheriting or writing about years of facilitation and growth toward implementing the use of technology, then it would have been easier to focus on one aspect or portion of the technology that is moving us forward. But, this was not the case.

I also wonder if it would have been easier to spend the time to develop an oral essay or screen cast or some such thing that would guide the viewer of this blog in a fashion to be considered more inline with the special topic that it would otherwise be intended. Writing seems to be my natural engagement with thought and communication thereof, so a blog post with the inclusion of multiple aspects of technology and discovery, while time consuming due to my slow typing speed, was the way that I felt that I could best demonstrate my engagement with a Final Vision for our SLLC. Call me old(er) school.

Written from the place of embracing technology and incorporating it in the SLLC, I have to recognize the idea behind LIBE 477 and the Will Richardson reading, Why School? It is both of these things that inspired a holistic reflection on the direction and accomplishments that our SLLC currently has and has implemented over a very short period of time.

To this end, our SLLC is one that plans to move forward with technology and lead others to its advantages by providing opportunity and availability of expertise. I hope that through my Final Vision Project and this reflection, others can be convinced of this and that a solid groundwork has been laid to further its use in our school community.

Final Vision of the Tech-Sum Being Greater Than Its Parts

I will not lie, putting this together has been challenging. Considering where I started, a goodly portion of developing a final vision, specifically for the incorporation of technology, for our school library learning commons (SLLC) hinges on a great many factors. Not the least of which is developing a leadership plan for incorporating technology and taking steps to ensure that it is implemented effectively. No matter how glossy or great technology or its applications are, if no one is interested in using it, it goes nowhere.

Our school has really had consistent internet for a few years. Until very recently, teachers were hard-lining into the network via Ethernet cords into their district issued laptops for the hopes that they would get a consistent connection. Wireless was not even a thing worth considering until they upped the connections through the school and each classroom got its own node, with the SLLC getting two. So, it is only now, with consistent internet and Wi-Fi capacity that I really think that we can implement some of the technology that will make our learning commons and school more effective in what it is supposed to deliver. Continue reading

Another Piece of the Technology in Education Conversation – Inquiry Blog #4

My father-in-law was a computer geek long before that was a thing. He was with a phone company as they were looking into delivering things other than voices through their telephone lines and was a part of the crew than installed the first, 1.5-megabyte memory system at SFU that was basically a metal rod suspended in a vat of baseball sized magnets.

Before his passing 10 years ago, he was looking into the idea of Linux and getting excited about school districts perhaps looking into that operating system and alleviating some of the financial pressures that were coming along with Microsoft and Apple. Part of this was his research into the One Laptop Per Child initiative that was coming out of MIT. He adhered to the philosophy regarding the necessity of having a tool that was internet compatible and able to operate all over the world. The biggest areas at risk of loosing out were the developing world and the poorer areas of the developed world, creating a technology austerity.

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Leading the Horses – Inquiry Blog #3

There seems to have been a lot more winding up this June then winding down. There have been some pretty big changes proposed for next year, and staff have been asked to come together for input. There has also been the creation of the school calendar, where all staff members have been asked for input. The latter has affected me more, as the Pro-D chair, the committee has the responsibility to propose dates for the two school-based professional development days. These things have created quite a learning experience for me. Namely, that even with all our tools of communication, having a majority of people offer their opinion and input in a timely way seems to be impossible.

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Pursuing My Professional Inquiry

As I have been moving through the Teacher-Librarian diploma course, my professional curiosity has certainly undergone a sort of rekindling and metamorphosis. I have always been interesting in pedagogy, educational philosophy and ideas that would help me make my classroom better. At the beginning of this journey, I was worried about becoming overwhelmed with the information that would come with applying these considerations to the school library learning commons, a place that is responsible for supporting all curricular areas. What I have found is that while there is a plethora of information available, I have had an easier time processing what would be useful to me as it seems to be rooted more in place, all of this information is centered on the learning commons, not floating through the theoretical. Continue reading

Fostering Reading Cultures in Schools

I have been at the profession for a lot of years and I sometimes feel that I am no closer to figuring out how to get kids to read than when I started. What I do feel is that I have developed a better sense and explanation as to why we should read, especially as I let go of my snobby notion that only certain types of literature constitute viable reading material.

It was on the hunt of trying to communicate the answer to the question “why do we have to take English?” inevitably posed by a frustrated student, that I came across this video series hosted by John Greene, yes that John Greene. Though aimed at the study of literature, the reasons behind reading can certainly be more broadly applied. Continue reading

LIBE 477 – Reading Review Part B

The point of this post is to collect and present resources that could help investigate the topics that came up in Part A. I have to admit that in going back and forth with the criteria and considering the course outline, I started to doubt if I was on the write track. The main source for my doubt was the use of “keywords” in the Part A criteria.

Now, this has no reflection on the clarity of the instructor’s write-up or the course, it has everything to so with my own self-doubt. See, while writing my previous post regarding Part A, I was less concerned about discovering a “something,” such as an application, methodology or technique, so when re-reading it, I started wondering if I had missed the point. Continue reading

LIBE 477 – Reading Review Part A

It has been a number of years since I have tried to put so many aspects of technology together in a functional manner. In the classroom, I could try a Kahoot here, a backchannel discussion through TodaysMeet there, the occasional professional tweet, homework through RemindEdublogs (duh, English teacher), but my biggest experiment remains the implementation of Moodle. All met with various degrees of success and student buy in. Much of it was novelty I’m sure and, in a twist of technological irony, the easier technology and the more students accessed it, the less they seemed willing to participate in my experiments. The learning of and adapting lessons to incorporate technology became less rewarding and was not getting the results I was hoping for, so I used it less frequently.

Being off of the grid for a while was refreshing Continue reading

Well, I’m Back

In writing this I am in utter disbelief that it has been over five years since my last, true post. The shock was so much, in fact, that I pulled a couple of book reviews that I pasted up on another site that I was contributing to.

I am encouraged to turn a corner with this blog and incorporate more of my professional life into it. Well, through the schooling I’m doing, I am encouraged to bring my professional life into this blog. Currently, I am enrolled in UBC’s teacher-librarian diploma program and while our instructor has is desirous of use utilizing a blog to reflect upon and communicate our thoughts and learning of the material, it is probably about time that I admit what I have known for a while now; I love thinking, talking and writing about aspects about my profession. I feel as though I have lost myself in efforts to separate personal from professional in cyberspace by spreading the applications to thin and loosing focus between multiple forums, blogs, tweets and accounts in an attempt to facilitate my multifaceted personality. Continue reading