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I am happy to report that the following from my nominations have made the voting cut for their respective Edublog 2013 shortlists:

Color me stunned to just discover also that my own blog is on the short list for “Top Individual Blog.” But let me go ahead and burst my own bubble by sharing that this “short list” contains 53 nominees, and my blog is numero 36. Is that a short list? Yep, takes a little of the the shine right off of it, doesn’t it? No matter though, I’m still honored to reside on the list at all. and I will sport my badge PROUDLY. It should already be there! Not only that, but eight of the twenty librarian nominees are true face-to-face friends. Yay for my friends and all school librarians everywhere! Feeling so inspired by the nominees this year. I know there are those who poo-poo such lists, but to me THIS is the one that means more, as it is peer reviewed, selected, and voted upon.  But I am HAPPIEST to see the ones I nominated make their respective “short lists.” I encourage you to visit and vote. I will embed the voting for my own nomination, though, to enable voters an easier path to vote.  Happy voting everyone! And congrats to all the nominees who made their shortlists.

Best Individual Blog 2013 - Edublog Awards
Best Individual Blog 2013 - Edublog Awards
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Edublogs

Best Individual Blog 2013 - Edublog Awards

Source: http://edublogawards.com/2013awards/best-individual-blog-2013/

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    This adorable winter-themed game focuses on Following Directions, Basic Concepts and Pronouns-all goals making up a lot of my younger caseload.

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If you missed this past Monday night the TL Cafe, here is the crowd sourced presentation with the tools shared:

Here is our TEXT CHAT ARCHIVE PDF – EduTech_Smackdown_Chat.pdf

TLCafe Webinar ARCHIVE (opens in Blackboard Collaborate)

UnSouled (Unwind, #3)UnSouled by Neal Shusterman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

View all my reviews

 

I don’t know how Neal Shusterman is so capable of churning out novels that just suck me right in!! I truly dislike sequels and series, but I now cannot WAIT for the final installment in the Unwind series (er, I mean, um, new word–>”dystology”) to come out. Best, this is a series my high school guys can truly get into. Thanks, Neal for forcing me to read against my will. I think it will work for the guys in my teaching context too.

I have been seriously considering this Follett Challenge each year that it has been out, and this year I even have ideas swimming around in my head ready to spill out into a video and an application!  I’ll keep you posted on my progress. A lot of my ideas actually happen next week, so I’m charging up the camcorder to video document as we go. Two awesome projects happen with collaborating teachers, one using Destiny and Destiny Quest, (the previous link alludes to my idea, which I’ll talk about Monday evening, December 2 on the TL Cafe Annual Smackdown) and the other using Popplet with a science class research project. Actually, the Popplet project might even be a better project for the Follett Challenge. So very thankful for willing collaborative teachers at my school! They make it easy to consider these kinds of opportunities. So, tonight I add a link to sport on my sidebar, in hopes of encouraging others and myself to follow through. Who else is planning an entry in the Follett Challenge? Read about previous winners’ projects here.

 

My slide contribution for the TL Cafe 3rd Annual Tool Smackdown

That’s right. I’m stepping up to the virtual mic on Tuesday, December 2, 2013 at 8PM for the 3rd annual TL Cafe (Teacher Librarian Cafe) EduTech to share the tools I used to do a recent Book Speed Dating activity. It’s open-mic night. Will you be there??

by Gwyneth Jones


Who, What, When, Where?

It’s all online of course. Grab you headset with a mic, slap a slide in there, and step up.

In the words of the moderator herself:
It’s a rich, crowd-souced presentation/book. So grab a fresh slide (or two!) and share your Learning Tools tips, info, or resources! (Gwyneth Jones)

I hope to see many virtual friends in attendance AND participating.

Our school is experiencing an Innovation “grant,” and I’d like to thinks we can move in this direction. Thanks Scott for sharing this.

Screenshot from my Feedly account

Yesterday I worked on my #Eddies13 Nominations. Of course I had to visit my reader to see which ones stick out for me before making my nominations, looking for the profound and memorable. I have so much in my reader sometimes things get lost. That happens when there are 273 feeds there. And daily I find myself adding to the group. Usually when I add something lately, I go in and remove a few. That happens. My interests change or those in my reader have for whatever reason stopped sharing.
 
What RSS reader to use?

Screenshot from a recent staff development.

Today in the SLS Cool Tools Facebook Group I belong to a question was posed about preferred readers: Do any of you have an RSS reader you like? Still mourning Google Reader here.  It reminded me of earlier this month when I visited a neighboring district to spend time with them for staff development where I used a portion of our time to explore some readers. These are the ones we explored:

  • Feedly
  • BlogLovin’
  • Feedspot
  • Netvibes
  • FlipBoard
  • Zite

 
Taking a brief look

I had around 25 school librarian participants, so I just allowed them to group up by grade level band, with two groups being elementary. I gave them an overview of each reader via YouTube, trying desperately not to be biased (since I am a Feedly fan.) I explained that some of these were definitely more tablet-friendly while others were more web-friendly. I even shared that some of these are both web-based AND have a tablet format (like Feedly.) We watched short YouTube videos that gave a brief overview of each service, then separated into our groups to get busy using one. Here’s my playlist link for exploring the ones groups could choose.
 

The task

Their task was to as a group select a feed reader, and using some links I had provided, subscribe and read in the chosen reader. They were to then report back to the group their ah-ha moments regarding the service they were trying out as well as new voices they’d discovered for inspiration. You see my staff development had been titled “From Information Literacy to Information Relevancy” and this portion of the 2.5 hours was focused on how to stay relevant and on the cutting edge of everything, and I was trying to make the point that being well-read is one way to stay on top of new literacies, helping librarians stay one step ahead of their students (if possible!)
 

Not enough time!

While we ran out of time and never did get to the part of sharing (poor planning on my part perhaps) I can distinctly remember reactions, discoveries, struggles, and even frustrations expressed from my groups. A few in the group of 25 were well versed in using a reader, so I asked them to try a different one for the task, even if it meant moving to a different group. Half of the group was using a laptop of some kind, while the others were using a tablet of some kind.  The iPad apps were the ones that caused the most frustration, but based on my experience, one just has to give it a little time to really understand it and then channel your feeds into it. Time was one thing we did not have as a group.
 
20/20 looking back

I am thinking readers and finding inspiration is probably a workshop topic all by itself in hind sight.  Oh well. Or next time I’ll provide the links to the videos and reader services ahead of time, and do a “flipped PD approach” asking them to first research the reader, choose one, and then use it, all so we can have the discussion my workshop attendees missed here. Maybe at their next after school get together they can revisit this discussion on their own.
 
In summary

For those still looking for a reader, I leave you with these tips. If you’re more comfortable on a tablet, then you’ll probably like the ones that are showcased in my playlist with a tablet. If more comfortable on a computer, then those above that are shown on a computer screen are probably best. If you’re looking for a Google reader like experience, use my choice, Feedly, though Blodlovin and Feedspot also offer a similar experience.

So what reader do you use?

Love all these I’ve listed here!!

Time to nominate some favorites for an Eddie! I didn’t do all the categories, but it’s not required. Many of the other categories I just could not pick a single nomination. They are all good! Many of these are personal acquaintances and friends, which makes it even more special, and all are a very important part of my PLN.  There is also a “lotta” teacher librarian love here!

Screenshots of my Bests

Now please do your nominations. Here are the rules/guidelines.  To nominate your favorites:

  1. Write a post with your nominations for the different categories on your own blog (or a website – anywhere public) – here is an example of a nomination post from 2012.
  2. Send us the link to your nomination post by completing this form here

So go nominate your favorite blogs, twitterers, community sites, videos, podcasts and more… for 2013:

Here are the categories in full – nominations are open from now through Sunday, December 1st

  • Awards_170px_02Best individual blog
  • Best group blog
  • Best new blog
  • Best class blog
  • Best student blog
  • Best ed tech / resource sharing blog
  • Best teacher blog
  • Best library / librarian blog
  • Best administrator blog
  • Most influential blog post of the year
  • Best individual tweeter
  • Best twitter hashtag
  • Best free web tool
  • Best educational use of audio / video / visual / podcast
  • Best educational wiki
  • Best open PD / unconference / webinar series
  • Best educational use of a social network
  • Best mobile app
  • Lifetime achievement

How To Nominate

  1. Write a post with your nominations on your blog, link to them and link to this site
  2. Use this form here to send us a link to your nominations

Nomination tips:

  1. Nominate in as many categories as you want!
  2. You can’t nominate yourself ;)
  3. Nominations must be made somewhere public – your blog, a forum on a ning, a school website, etc.
  4. Even if you see your favorite has already been nominated, it is best to nominate them again
  5. Categories are competitive, and only the most nominated will make it to the voting round
  6. Share your nominations using twitter (#eddies13), facebook, Google+ and email

Add your nominations here:

Enter your nominations using this Nomination form here. You will need to complete the form from home if your School District blocks Google Forms.

Remember to be a valid URL or link it starts with http://

 

DISCLAIMER: Parts of this post originally appear here.

Image Attributions:
Amore a Cliche. Jackeline Roque. 12 March 2009.
Edublogs Nominations are Open.  Form the Edublogs Awards original post.
My own screenshots stitched together using fotor.com

 

My favorite art teacher is t it again! S. Eleazer has been scouring the library and school closets looking for outdated, discarded books. Amazing things are going on down the hall in that room, as she has cast a vision for what her sculpting class can do with our weeded library books. My collection age is (how painful to admit!) right at an average copyright date of 2000. So you know we have plenty to share with her when she and her students get inspired. I can’t wait to see how this turns out, and I hope she will allow the library to feature these projects when they are complete. Even as they repurpose, build, sculpt, and mold, it is easy to see that the students are into this project, and it’s no where near done. I can’t wait to share the finished products.

 

 

Just in case the slide set is not playing for you, click here to see the pictures of the project that is coming to life.

After such a LATE evening the night before, I slept in, missing the first session. When I arrived I went back to the E-Learning Commons to hear a PLN memnber Francey Harris leading a discussion on teaching digital ethics! Glad I got there in time to be a part of that! This is also where I reconnected withPLN member Karen Kleigman, a fellow librarian from Long Island, NY. It’s so great to see in person these people you have conversed with only in onine spaces.  

 
Be Essential and Convince Others You Are

I then went to Sally Mays’ and Dawn Nelson’s session “Be Essential and Convince Others You Are.” Many great tips shared and yikes, it’s going to be available in the AASL eCollab too. I went to support my friends, and it was awesome.  Loved the way they allowed the audience to be part of their presentation–lots of sharing and crowd-sourcing in this one! Nice balance and not all sit and get. There were some awesome ideas and first hand testimonials shred by session attendees.

 
Time for Lunch

Returning to the Learning Commons, I met up with SCASL peeps Anne Lemieux and Diana Carr, and we walked through the city to the Public Library where there was a restaurant inside! What a novel idea! Too bad for us the Kitchen at the Hartford Public Library was closed though, as it is only open in the evenings Monday through Friday, so we walked across the street to a true community market/deli.  It was fantastic, and the owner was really nice to us.  He was sharing some city demographics, letting us know we were only a few blocks from a rough area of the neighborhood, and not go any further away from the convention center than where we ate last night (Peppercron’s Grill) which was just another block away.

 
Time to Wind Down

Returning to the convention center, I gave the exhibit hall one more walk through, sitting in on two Exhibit Hall short vendor-sponsored sessions, one by CredoReference and one by Follett.  At 1:30, I returned to the Learning Commons to hear Joyce Valenza talk about FlipGrid, Mentor Mob and Popcorn Maker, tools I will definitely check out. We closed down the E-Learning Commons with a very informal LC Tool SmackDown, and I participated by sharing about Socrative and how we are using it in our BYOD environment. I wish I had thought to share that I featured Socrative in one of my “One Tool at a Time” PD sessions for school. Hindsight’s always 20/20.

 
Time to catch the bus

Cheapest transportation ever to and from an airport–$1.30 Hartford Bradley Flyer, you rock!!

This is when I had to go catch the Bradley Flyer Bus to the airport.  So sad to leave all my friends, but I had such a wonderful time!  I cannot wait for the next AASL conference, and I hope I can figure out a way to return once again.

 
Highlight of the Day / Lowlight of the Day

Highlight of the day: Learning Commons, and I really didn’t want to leave it today!

Lowlight of the day: Having to leave way too early.  At least I didn’t get stranded at the Hartford Airport like many of my library friends though. The weather later after I was already home turned from bad to worse, with thunderstorms canceling flights and folks camping out waiting for the reassignment of flights and what not! Silver linings!

 

Picture Attributions:
All pictures in this post are from my own picture feed in Flickr.

 

Special Thanks:

I am appending to this post a special thanks to the South Carolina State Library and Kathy Sheppard, who tuned me in to and accepted my application for a funding source for travel and attendance at this conference, the American Association of School Librarians 16th Annual Conference and Exhibition.  My funding is directly attributed to the Library Services and Technical Services Act and the U.S. Institute of Museums and Library Services.  I am deeply appreciative of the opportunity these entities have afforded me.

 

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