Today was particularly challenging for me. I noticed that many of the participants in class were busy at their laptops applying and trying out many of the new technologies we have been introduced to. Now is the time to go from those small steps to the moon, I thought. But wait, who said I signed up to be an astronaut? I don’t really even like flying on a plane never mind a rocket ship! So Rachel suggested QR codes and I’m going with that. I’d like to ultimately pick an essay or poem and digitize it with some educational interactive graphics and links, which I am determined to do and share with these experts, but for now QR codes. Here is a list of the ones I have made so far. I hope those of you with QR apps will click on the codes and learn a little more about NHLA Flume initiatives as well as my library, Josiah Carpenter Library, in the cozy little town of Pittsfield, N.H.
“The Testing” trailer
In today’s class we did a lot of exploration as Rachel encouraged each of us to explore new tools, apps and websites that would best serve us individually in our personal learning environments for ourselves or for our students. We started with a visit to the Global Read Aloud and then enjoyed the wonderful book by Peter H. Reynolds, “The Dot” animated on You Tube. How wonderful that Emily Arrow wrote a song and played music to this book. This is something that I will definitely need to share with my children’s librarian.
After the fun introduction we attended a Ted Talk and all made comments on “Today’s Meet.” The Ted talk was about “Happy Maps” and made me think about literally “taking the road less traveled.” It was interesting how the speaker was able to apply math and science to a sociological principal about what makes people happy. It is not always the easiest, shortest routes that bring us the most enjoyment. It also made me connect thinking out of the box with becoming more tolerant of the diversity in our culture.
After the break we broke out into three different mini EdCamps to see how they worked. It was amazing that so many topics were offered. Something for everybody at least three times. These short intense breakouts were bursting with collaboration and learning. In one session I was able to establish the tools needed for making QR codes for my library! Thank you!
Aside from the nice lunch, punctuated with leisurely and internationally flavored discussions with classmate Beth Powers, ( @HavercampPowers ) the discussion about our book, PowerUpEd and the exploration of its corresponding web resource was the most enlightening. It was a privilege to be a part of these hard working and dedicated teachers’ conversations about their challenges and their passions. I was reminded of how rewarding it can be to be an educator and help others so selflessly.
I am loving just about all the aspects to taking this course that there could possibly be. The weather, which has been just as I remembered it during the summer when I took courses at UNH many years ago, the quiet walks behind the library and the view of T-hall. Today I was pleasantly surprised by at least two other things. First, the work in progress at the back of my favorite building, Hamilton Smith. When I stopped and fumbled with getting my phone out of my purse to take a picture (see below) , a student stopped to ask if I needed help. I was juggling, along with my purse; a laptop, two Georgia Heard books and my water bottle. Nothing surprising about that, students at UNH have always been polite, with each other and to their teachers, peers, and other UNH workers. The UNH spirit was prevailing today like the fine summer weather, even better, like the flags flying at full mast, which they haven’t been for such a very long time.
The other surprising detail about today was the confidence I felt during the writing prompt led by Georgia Heard, which was more of a brainstorming technique focusing on the writer within. So much more than that though because she tied it to our “hearts” which brought out so many of the reasons I love to read and write and help others to discover books that work for them. However, it was no surprise that Georgia was from West Palm Beach, as I attributed some of the feeling of comfort I was feeling to her southern style and professional ease of presentation. I was like surprised- but not, it made sense somehow. I immediately was drawn to her book “Awaking the Heart; Exploring Poetry in Elementary and Middle School.” I felt it was perfect for helping me with the small group of writers I work with in Pittsfield. For three years now we have hosted a Poetry Night where writers in the community can come for an “open mic” and read either their favorite poem or ones they have written themselves.
I have always enjoyed reading and attempting to write poetry. Maybe this will help me just as much as the writers. Thank you again for another great class, Rachel!
Today was the first session of my “Best Practices in Literacy Education with Technology” class taught by librarian leader and teacher, Rachel V. Small. We have a nice group of teachers, media specialists and librarians who started by posting to Padlet our “Hopes and Dreams.” Then signing on to Twitter and learning how to use TweetDeck. There was a lot to learn about using Twitter including how to best write a tweet using a minimal amount of characters and using Twitter etiquette when quoting a speaker by using quotation marks when quoting ideas from someone else that we want to share with our followers. After lunch we opened up our Google plus accounts and created a community with our class members. Finally we explored Google blogger and learned how blogging in the classroom can help students not only share their writing with each other and the teacher but also to showcase it for the school community to illustrate how technology is being used to teach expression and writing in a paperless environment. Way to go! A lot was covered and I am still absorbing a lot of it.