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PD Book Round Up 3

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This post is week 7 of 8 in the #8WeeksofSummer Blog Challenge for educators .  I don't know about you, but I always have mixed emotions as we get ready to go back to school.  I am excited about all the potential each new school year brings, but I'm also feeling like summer passed to quickly.  Can you relate?  Throughout this summer I have been searching out my own training through my PLN on Twitter, PD books and other online resources.  I also stumbled upon some new to me blogs and podcasts that I felt like I could really relate to.  One thing all of these resources have in common is that they are focused on one or more of these topics:  how to engage students with high yield strategies a framework that allows students to represent their ideas in multiple ways and to provide students voice and choice in how they express what they know using backward design to choose technology tools after the learning objective has be set innovative teaching methods  effective coaching of teac

2021-2022 Keep, Lose or Try

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This post is week 6 of 8 in the #8WeeksofSummer Blog Challenge for educators.   This time I'm looking into what I will keep, lose or try in the upcoming school year.  I really liked this question posed by the Hot Lunch Tray blog: "What makes educational technology a keeper?"  To me this is an essential question to address because as we come back to completely in person instruction my goal is to help teachers feel empowered to continue using technology in impactful ways with students and not just say well we are back let get out the worksheets.  In order for educational technology to be a keeper for me it has to address the 4 C's- creativity, critical thinking, communication, and collaboration and it needs to be simple enough that we aren't wasting too much time explaining how to use the tool over and over again.   Which Tools Will I Keep? Canva - 100% yes!  This year I attended a session by Kristina Holzweiss, author of Hacking School Libraries and @lieberrian on

PD Book Round Up #2: EdRenaline Rush and Hacking Engagement

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I'm back again looking into some terrific professional development books. I don't know about you, but there are so many books I want to read and just not enough time to get to them all.  So what I usually do is keep a running "To Be Read" (TBR) list and I try to tackle those by purchasing them, borrowing them from the library or a colleague or even listening to them through Audible.  I thought it would be fun to help me gain as much knowledge as I can while narrowing down my reading choices by downloading free samples of PD books from my TBR to my Kindle.  Did you know that in Amazon you can download a free sample of just about any eBook they sell?  This is a great way to see if a book is a good fit for you! Let me also focus this by explaining what I am hoping to gain from reading these professional development excerpts and samples... I'm looking to shift from my role of school librarian to an instructional technology integration specialist.  While I already trai

Clarity and Engagement Key to Successful Communication

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This post is week 5 of 8 in the #8WeeksofSummer Blog Challenge for educators. This week's topic is all about the successes and challenges of communication during the pandemic.  It became crystal clear that during virtual learning the focus of communication needed to broaden to reach students multiple ways.  Without students coming to the virtual space of the library or classroom, I couldn't rely on signage on walls, tables and doors to spread the news of upcoming events and new resources.  Also I had to consider, how can I get my learners talking in a virtual environment? During this past year, communication had to get an over haul to meet the needs of the different learning styles of my learners and to ensure accessibility to make learning equitable for all.  When instruction was happening in person, many times I would give the directions and model how to do something.  I would include written directions for multi step assignments.  This strategy alone didn't work well for

Thinking Outside the Box with Tech Tools

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This post is week 4 of 8 in the #8WeeksofSummer Blog Challenge for educators.   As we settled in to virtual learning for over a year in my district, my technology integration expertise definitely grew.  I felt like I was in a constant period of growth and learning.  Which tools did I discover this year and which familiar tools did I branch out and try in new ways?  Today's topic is a fun one, but also a little overwhelming to answer.  I feel like, where do I begin?  I'm sure you probably feel this way as well.  The 2020-2021 school year was the year of "all the technology tools." The Familiar I think the most frequent tools I used were the Google Workspace platform.  Getting Google Trainer certified was the best decision I made in the summer of 2020.  It truly propelled me to be equipped to train my staff and students on technology integration.  I was able to start visualizing any task and connect which Google tool would be the right fit for the job.  I also was able

PD Book Round Up Part 1

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I'm always up for great book recommendations, how about you?  When it comes to fiction, I like to go in pretty blind and be surprised by the outcome.  With nonfiction, I'm pickier. I want to have a good idea going into it if it will meet my learning needs.  Today I'll share a few PD books I read during the school year and in future posts I'll share some I've started reading this summer.  There are so many great books to choose from and it was hard to decide what books to prioritize on my reading list (TBR).  So I thought I'd do a series on my first thoughts based on kindle free downloads to get a glimpse inside the titles on my TBR and narrow down which are a best fit for me. I've been adding to my TBR (to be read) list all school year, waiting for summer to come so I'd have some extra time to dedicate to improving my instructional practice.  I don't know about you, but as a high school librarian I am constantly reading to keep up with current trends

Building Engagement During the Pandemic

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This post is week 3 of 8 in the #8WeeksofSummer Blog Challenge for educators.     " We all needed to do different things to survive all the constantly changing demands of education."  I really connected with this statement on Hot Lunch Tray this week.  I think for all of us, we had to figure out how to keep our head above water and even thrive in the new normal we found ourselves in during the pandemic.  My learners this year became my focus.  Engagement was key.  I knew my students and my staff needed a totally different approach to ensure they were successful and supported this school year.  I had to think outside of the box (in this case the physical space of my library) to develop clear actionable goals for myself about how I could build engagement in my school community. Engaging Students During the Pandemic As a librarian, I had to figure out what my role looked like in a 100% virtual world.  It was a whole new experience trying to engage our students without the physi