Thursday, September 26, 2013

Dear Librarian: It's me, not you...

Dear Librarian: It's me, not you....



Over the years, I've had a lot of experience installing discovery systems in a lot of libraries. Many of those experiences have involved all too common themes.  As a result of those experiences (or maybe it was something I ate), I sometimes have disturbing dreams.   One of them is recurring and involves librarians receiving "Dear John" letters along these lines:


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Dear Librarian:

I’m so sorry to tell you this, but I’ve decided to find fulfillment with another; I’m leaving you to find information and knowledge with someone else.  Not as sophisticated or even as smart as you, but it's just so much easier.  I know, I know. I begged and I pleaded for you not to change. Even though I knew your search screens were cluttered and hard-to-use I knew how to work with them, especially for finding books. I begged you not to change them. Yes, I remember that I complained even more bitterly when you didn't listen to me and put in a discovery, one-search-box solution. I moaned and groaned and asked you to return to being what you were. I didn't want you to change!  It's just that I had come to know you so well.  I was so comfortable with that somber and serious face that always greeted me each time when I entered into the library. And I was still comfortable with you even though you confused me  with that look of dismay you gave me when I said I’d searched in your discovery interface and had found something I thought would work, but you replied: “No, no, no! You shouldn’t use that discovery interface. Instead you should come to the library and ask: What is the best database in which to find such information?” Then you would show me that search interface for that best database source. But then it even got more confusing, you had to walk me through it and explain it in detail. If we switched to another database, it used a different and equally complex search interface and you’d have to explain it all over again. However, you did that with such patience and such knowledge. I was in awe. You were wonderful. You were a constant in my life, one of the few in a world that is spiraling out-of-control with rapid change outside of the library doors.

But, I succumbed to temptation and I sampled searching for information and knowledge on the Web (I confess, I even used Wikipedia and Google Scholar.). The interfaces were so attractive, so simple, straight-forward and easy-to-use. I often could find so much with just one search interface! No one scolded me for doing so. I could FIND all kinds of information and knowledge.  Even more important I could do this everywhere I went, no matter what device I used, and I could do it all by myself. Why… some of the new interfaces I used even injected humor into the exchanges. I recently got a new smartphone and I can talk to it and ask it to find information for me and it does. If I get silly with it, it gets silly back. It is great fun and so very useful. And then I realized: I have other options in where I find information and knowledge. Oh, I know, you told me: "It's not as good, it's quality information that matters."  Yet, I realized, you taught me well.  I can take what you’ve taught me about evaluating information sources and apply it -- on my own. I don’t have to come ask you what database to use. I don’t need to have you explain how to search. I can just find information by typing my questions and keywords and see what comes back, and then evaluate it and select, or try again. It’s so easy, so simple. It’s hard to explain, but I just fell in love with it.

I feel terrible and I realize I’m being the fickle one here. You did just what I told you to do, and now I’m leaving you because of it. I’m so sorry. I hope we can remain friends. When I long for the smell and touch of a book, I’d love to be able to drop by and see you again. But it won’t be often, I promise (although I’d still like to sleep on your comfortable sofa and chairs occasionally, if you don’t mind). But when it comes to finding information and knowledge, my heart now belongs to another.

So very sorry.

Your former,
End-user.

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This does not have to happen, nor should it, but what I describe above is based on individual events we've all seen happen.  I hope this post will help some to  step back and critically analyze what they're doing, from the end-user point of view, and then make some adjustments.  In the next post, I'll talk about that.
(P.S. A huge thanks to those librarians who reviewed/commented on this before I posted it.  My posts always benefit from your comments. You know who you are.)


This article was a repost.  Click here for the original article:  http://thoughts.care-affiliates.com/2013/09/dear-librarian-its-me-not-you.html

4 Powerful Sites That Will Improve Your Teaching





Sharing teaching resources is not news by any stretch of the imagination. New teachers might receive materials from veteran teachers. One teacher might be passing off a class to another teacher who hasn’t taught it before, and passes the materials they found useful to the next teacher.



via Pocket http://www.edudemic.com/improve-your-teaching/

World's oldest newspaper to end print edition, go digital only





After nearly 280 years in print, the world's oldest continuously published newspaper is stopping the presses in favor of a digital presence. Lloyd's List, which was founded in 1734 as a notice posted to a London coffee shop's wall, announced Wednesday it will cease its print edition in December.



via Pocket http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57604715-93/worlds-oldest-newspaper-to-end-print-edition-go-digital-only/

Scientists Created a New Form of Matter and It's Like a Lightsaber





The latest science news out of Harvard and MIT sounds like a joke, but it's not. A team of physicists were fooling around with photons when they managed to get the particles to clump together to form a molecule, one that's unlike any other matter. And it behaves, they say, just like a lightsaber.



via Pocket http://gizmodo.com/scientists-created-a-new-form-of-matter-and-its-like-a-1387420181

Every Sci-Fi Starship Ever, In One Mindblowing Comparison Chart





Holy hell, that is a LOT of starships. This comparison chart, compiled by DeviantARTist Dirk Loechel, presents what he says is an accurate size-comparison between famous sci-fi starships.



via Pocket http://kotaku.com/every-sci-fi-starship-ever-in-one-mindblowing-comparis-1391608737

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

15 Pieces of Advice from Former First-Year Principals





“There is some very valuable and heartfelt advice to be had in this article from Ryan Thomas on ASCD Edge about the experiences of being a first-year principal. In addition, the link he provides to ASCD's free principal coaching guide is definitely worth a download.



via Pocket http://fluency21.com/blog/2013/09/24/15-pieces-of-advice-from-former-first-year-principals/

Taking a stand: Union High coach suspends entire football team in lesson about character





ROOSEVELT — Matt Labrum believes football helps create great men.



via Pocket http://m.deseretnews.com/article/865587020/Taking-a-stand-Union-High-coach-suspends-entire-football-team-in-lesson-about-character.html

Changing Conversations Due to 1:1 Learning Environment





While these conversations are not new, access to the Internet at any time creates a heighten sense of urgency to understand and act upon these topics. Doing all of my homework no longer felt realistic.



via Pocket http://www.ryanbretag.com/blog/?p=4371

90+ Twitter Tools Teachers Should Know about ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning





Twitter is the topical theme of my MAED thesis and I have been assembling and compiling several resources and academic papers on this topic.



via Pocket http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/09/90-twitter-tools-teachers-should-know.html

12 Roles For Google Drive In The Classroom





The technology formerly known as Google Docs continues to offer opportunity for teachers attentive to its potential.



via Pocket http://www.teachthought.com/technology/12-roles-for-google-drive-in-the-classroom/

Five Upsides of Generation iY





Most of you who read this blog are familiar with the challenges of teaching, coaching or parenting this emerging generation of students, the ones born since 1990 that I call Generation iY.



via Pocket http://growingleaders.com/blog/five-upsides-generation-iy/

How to create nested folders on iOS 7





Nested folders (or, folders within folders) are one of the most useful features of iOS 7. Unfortunately, it's more of a glitch than anything Apple intended to include, so there's no official guide from Apple on how to do it. But don't worry; we're here to help.



via Pocket http://www.tuaw.com/2013/09/24/how-to-create-nested-folders-on-ios-7/








via Pocket http://www.cultofmac.com/247168/microsoft-is-so-desperate-for-you-to-ditch-your-iphone-it-will-buy-it-off-you/

No more multiple account frustration with Google Chrome





Editor’s note: I asked Chris to write this post after he taught me something that has saved me so much time, energy, and frustration because I have personal accounts, professional accounts, and yes, even an account for my dog! If you have multiple accounts, this post is a must read.



via Pocket http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/2013/09/no-more-multiple-account-frustration.html

LinkedIn and the Growing Field of Teacher Networking





When LinkedIn Hit 100-million members, independent photographer Nan Palmero compiled a list of what those numbers translated to. His findings show almost a million teachers with LinkedIn profiles in 2011, and with a growth rate of one new user per second, that number has no-doubt expanded since.



via Pocket http://gettingsmart.com/2013/09/linkedin-growing-field-teacher-networking-2/

Access Thousands of Public Domain Docs on Media History Digital Library ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning





The Media History Digital Library digitizes collections of classic media periodicals that belong in the public domain for full public access. The project is supported by owners of materials who loan them for scanning, and donors who contribute funds to cover the cost of scanning.



via Pocket http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/09/access-thousands-of-public-domain-docs.html

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Role Of Empathy In Learning





Learning has to starts and end with the self: What do I know, and how can I relate to the world around me? If successful it should, by design, result in personal and social change through a combination of self-direction, reflection, and collaboration with ideas and the people who have them.



via Pocket http://www.teachthought.com/learning/the-role-of-empathy-in-learning/

‘App(yness)’ In Learning





In this little virtual speaker’s corner and on my very own little ‘soapbox’, let me have a little ramble on how technology – specifically the iPhone – has had a huge influence on the way I think, work, play and learn! You‘re thinking “Yeah, yeah sure, everyone says that”….



via Pocket http://www.upsidelearning.com/blog/index.php/2013/09/24/appyness-in-learning/

How to Motivate Adult Learners





I was going to help my son build a computer game using Kodu. I like the app because it’s a simple way to introduce visual programming. I was prepared to sit down with him, watch some tutorials, and then practice. But he was already messing around with the application.



via Pocket http://www.articulate.com/rapid-elearning/how-to-motivate-adult-learners/

World's oldest bog body hints at violent past





Cashel Man has had the weight of the world on his shoulders, quite literally, for 4,000 years. Compressed by the peat that has preserved his remains, he looks like a squashed, dark leather holdall.



via Pocket http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-24053119

Why Shocking a “Flat-Lined” Heart Can't Get It Going Again





Myth: Shocking someone who has flat-lined can get their heart started again. It never fails. You’re watching television and someone is circling the drain, in the toilet that is their life. The noise from the heart monitor affirms they’re still alive, with its consistent, rhythmic beeps.



via Pocket http://gizmodo.com/why-shocking-a-flat-lined-heart-cant-get-it-going-ag-1376053985

Google "Henry VIII wives" : Jane Seymour reveals search engine's blind spots.





Google is getting pretty clever these days. Increasingly, when you enter a common search term on the site, it's so confident that it knows what you have in mind that it gives you its own answer before it even lists any search results.



via Pocket http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/09/23/google_henry_viii_wives_jane_seymour_reveals_search_engine_s_blind_spots.html

21 Cooking Tips That Will Change Your Life





Wrap a small bowl in a paper towel (to keep it from slipping) and set upside-down inside a big bowl. A bundt pan works great for this too, if you have it. Sounds weird, but it works! Soak the pasta in water in a sealed bag for a couple hours or overnight.



via Pocket http://www.buzzfeed.com/rachelysanders/cooking-tips-that-will-change-your-life

How To Redefine Your Classroom By Connecting Students





Do you remember the days when you had to pay to get online access at places like Starbucks? Well those days are over, and we all connect very easily at any of their thousands of locations.



via Pocket http://www.edudemic.com/connecting-students/

My Insane Homework Load Taught Me How to Game the System





A year and a half ago, I was fully immersed in the routine of being a high-school junior. On an average night, my Internet tabs looked something like this: page 2 of a desperate Google search on “Differential equations easy examples,” a vocabulary list on Quizlet.



via Pocket http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/09/my-insane-homework-load-taught-me-how-to-game-the-system/279876/

Listening: The Forgotten Skill Necessary for Effective Collaboration





Margaret Wheatley (2002) states, “I believe we can change the world if we start listening to one another again. Simple, honest, human conversation. Not mediation, negotiation, problem solving, debate, or public meetings.



via Pocket http://www.allthingsplc.info/wordpress/?p=4017

6 Proposals for Improving Teacher Morale





Teacher morale isn't a popular topic, and that makes sense on the surface. Teachers are professionals, like engineers, doctors, farmers or business leaders, and no one is going out of their way to make sure that engineers are "keeping their head up" or that farmers "feel good about their craft."



via Pocket http://www.edutopia.org/blog/proposals-for-improving-teacher-morale-terry-heick

10 college presidents on Twitter who are doing it right





The amount of attention focused on how technology impacts education in (or out of) the lecture hall often overshadows its affect on its impact behind the scenes. Take, for example, the university presidency.



via Pocket http://www.educationdive.com/news/10-college-presidents-on-twitter-who-are-doing-it-right/174296/

Teching Out the Novice Writers





We are using tech in a lot of great ways in the classroom. There’s an app for everyone and everything. One group that often gets overlooked, though, is our young writers.



via Pocket http://gettingsmart.com/2013/09/teching-novice-writers/

Friday, September 20, 2013

6 Good Ways to Create Online Learning Spaces for your Students ~ Educational Technology and Mobile Learning





Some social media platforms provide good places to create a collaborative space for your students.



via Pocket http://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/09/6-good-ways-to-create-online-learning.html

A framework for inquiry





On Monday at the Inquiry Hub, when students come to school this Points of Inquiry image is going to be in all classrooms and learning spaces. Here is where the image comes from: The Points of Inquiry – A Framework for Information Literacy and the 21st-Century Learner – BCTLA.



via Pocket http://pairadimes.davidtruss.com/a-framework-for-inquiry/

Why I Took Facebook and Twitter Off My Phone





I am proud to call myself a connected educator; however, I am not proud to say that being connected distracted me from my students… and my kids. When I first joined Twitter in 2008, I was skeptical and was trying to use it to try to figure it out to help my wife use it for her business.



via Pocket http://chriswejr.com/2013/09/19/why-i-took-facebook-and-twitter-off-my-phone/

15 more free resources for teaching classroom language





TweetAs a new academic years begins, many of us are now experiencing the joy of starting out with new classes of learners.



via Pocket http://www.teachthemenglish.com/2013/09/15-more-free-resources-for-teaching-classroom-language/

So Long, National Gallery of Writing





I suppose this was inevitable and not at all unexpected. But the National Council of Teachers of English is closing the virtual doors on the .



via Pocket http://dogtrax.edublogs.org/2013/09/20/so-long-national-gallery-of-writing/

Examining the Four-Day School Week





With a growing number of districts, particularly in rural areas, moving to a four-day school week, a new Education Week story takes a closer look at how one Iowa school system is approaching the change, and finding new ways to extend and improve learning opportunities.



via Pocket http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/learning_without_limits/2013/09/examining_the_four-day_school_week.html

Five Good Options for Creating Mind Maps on Your iPad





I’m a big fan of mind mapping as a method for organizing thoughts, connecting concepts, and visualizing the big picture of concept. In fact, I think that the mind mapping process is so valuable that I created an entire workshop about it. I’ve tried a lot of mind mapping tools over the years.



via Pocket http://ipadapps4school.com/2013/09/20/five-good-options-for-creating-mind-maps-on-your-ipad/

Should I Stop Assigning Homework?





What if my students think my class is too easy? And how will we ever get through A Tale of Two Cities? I have written in the past about my hatred of homework from the perspective of both a teacher and a parent, so when I heard about a teacher who had ditched the practice of assigning homework altoge



via Pocket http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2013/09/should-i-stop-assigning-homework/279803/

How to Post to Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ at the Same Time





Google doesn't make it easy to crosspost from other networks to Google+, but that's okay—turn it around and use Google+ as the feed for your other social networks instead! Here's how to funnel all of your Google+ posts (or just the posts you want) over to Facebook or Twitter using IFTTT.



via Pocket http://lifehacker.com/how-to-auto-post-to-facebook-or-twitter-from-google-wi-1352124886

'Online tests to replace paper exams within a decade'





Traditional exams will die out within a decade in favour of online assessment, predicts a private schools' leader. Pen and paper exams will be a thing of the past by 2023, David Hanson of the Independent Association of Prep Schools will tell its annual conference.



via Pocket http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-24174535#sa-ns_mchannel=rss&ns_source=PublicRSS20-sa

What Online Teachers Need to Know





The majority of us teach the way we were taught growing up (Southern Regional Education Board, 2009). This presents a challenge for online faculty, who most likely received their education in a traditional, brick and mortar school. Online instruction is much different from face-to-face instruction.



via Pocket http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/online-education/what-online-teachers-need-to-know/

How Evolution Works, Animated in Minimalist Motion Graphics





From Darwin to your dog, or why DNA copying errors explain blue eyes. “Creationism is a small, dogmatic minority, legendary science writer and evolution-illuminator Stephen Jay Gould proclaimed, “and they make more noise than their numbers.



via Pocket http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/2013/09/20/how-evolution-works-animated/

12 Responses to “How to: Live a paperless life with Mac, iPad and iPhone”





Remember those promises we were made, about a paperless world? Everything electronic, everything online? Since the world was failing to deliver, I decided a couple of years ago to do an experiment to find out whether it is possible to live a truly paperless life.



via Pocket http://9to5mac.com/2013/09/20/how-to-live-a-paperless-life-with-mac-ipad-and-iphone/

Classroom Technology: Does it Really Make a Difference?





Public school teachers have a lot on their plate when it comes to measuring achievement. Student success is determined through assessments, graded materials and even technological savvy.



via Pocket http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/education_futures/2013/09/classroom_technology_does_it_really_make_a_difference.html

Wednesday, September 18, 2013









via Pocket http://www.cultofmac.com/245928/paperback-turns-the-back-of-your-iphone-into-a-notebook/

How to Find Everything That's Moved in iOS 7





iOS 7 is out today and while it might at first look like a new coat of paint, a bunch of things have moved around too. So, before you waste hours trying to figure out how the heck to find everything, here's where everything's moved to.



via Pocket http://lifehacker.com/how-to-find-everything-that-moved-in-ios-7-1335503918

Eight Leadership Essentials





The beginning of the school year always renews my focus on how to improve my leadership skills. Each year I critically analyze ways I can improve as well as what I feel I am doing well. To my mind, we all have the capacity to lead.



via Pocket http://esheninger.blogspot.com/2013/09/eight-leadership-essentials.html

Monday, September 16, 2013

Are Digital Technologies Hurting Student Writing





One of our schools has a literacy goal that includes transliteracy. It is both encouraged and expected that we explore what the vast digital tools do (both positive and negative) to various forms of expression including the written word.



via Pocket http://www.ryanbretag.com/blog/?p=4348

Link and Leave: The junk mail of social media





As more and more people are becoming comfortable with social media, an unfortunate new trend has developed. I call it "Link and Leave." Here's how it goes. You’ve written a blog post, started a crowdfunding campaign, have a photo or video you’d love to share....



via Pocket http://theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com/2013/09/link-and-leave-junk-mail-of-social-media.html

Ten crucial steps for implementing new technology in your classroom





So, you want to use that new app, site, web tool, gizmo, or doo-dad in the classroom? That’s great! Now what? Using a process to vet, research, and test a new addition to your repertoire is crucial for approval and success with students, parents, and administration.



via Pocket http://clouducation.wordpress.com/2013/09/15/ten-crucial-steps-for-implementing-new-technology-in-your-classroom/

How to Survive the Zombie Librarian Apocalypse: Begin With The End In Mind





Zombie Librarians do the same old thing - year after year after year after year (after year). Their motto is "hey, even if it IS broken, don't fix it." Times change. But they don't.



via Pocket http://www.librarygirl.net/2013/09/how-to-survive-zombie-librarian.html

How online learning is going to affect classroom design





I have an unusual occupation. A couple of weeks ago I attended a meeting in an office furniture warehouse in a small industrial park in Vancouver. The purpose of the meeting? To explore how online learning is going to change the design of campus classrooms.



via Pocket http://www.tonybates.ca/2013/09/15/how-online-learning-is-going-to-affect-classroom-design/

Life of an Educator by Justin Tarte





My district recently purchased 90 Chromebooks for our middle school to pilot this year.



via Pocket http://www.justintarte.com/2013/09/why-every-kid-needs-chromebook.html