Sunday, February 28, 2016

Presenting at LLA: Have you Made the Digital Shift?

For the past several weeks, I have been using free time to prepare for the presentation that I plan to give at the Louisiana Library Association's annual conference on March 9th. In past presentations, I have just touched on all the digital tools that I use when I collaborate with the teachers at my school, but this time, I wanted to be a bit more specific. I wanted to give concrete examples of the types of collaborations that I do and exactly what kinds of resources I include in the various tools that I create to share with students. I am a blatant thief and love learning about new things when I attend conferences. Once I hear about something new and exciting, I figure out how I can incorporate it into my bag of tricks and make it my own. My hope with this presentation is that others will find uses beyond what I do to invigorate their own library program. I wanted to save you some time if you did not want to view the whole presentation. 

When I make a presentation, I usually use a lot of images in my PowerPoint and little text. Instead of sharing the presentation with attendees, I would use Wikispaces or Symbaloo to create a resource with all the links that I discuss during the presentation. This time I am trying something different by incorporating all the information within my slides. I used a bit more text to explain the images, and then I added two slides at the very end. One has the links to the tools that I discuss, and the other has links to several resources that explain how librarians need to be creating digital collections to meet the needs of the 21st century learner. Below is the slide show, and under that is a copy of all the information and links that I have on the last two slides. 



LLA Presentation 2016: Have you made the digital shift? 
Learn to create virtual shelves of information for your school library

Tools:
Collection of digital tools that can help support the school library program

Resources of articles  supporting need to create digital collections:

Monday, February 15, 2016

More Images from our Makerspace

I really don't know what the students did in the library before we received all the gadgets and tools for our makerspace. Every day at lunch students are engaged in making and creating in collaboration with each other. It is fun to watch the students so excited, and they are having a blast. 


Students who don't usually spend their time in here during lunch are visiting to have a go with the 3D pen. We bought the one from 7Tech, and it is working very well for us. I currently have only one pen, and we are waiting on delivery of two more. I think this is going to be a great tool for the kids to sit around, chat, and create together. 

Fun with the 3D pen

Students visit the library just to draw with the 3D pen, glad to have them



The students used the Bird Brain Robot Server to access Snap to program the Finch Robot. Scratch works too, but you need the Scratch offline editor downloaded on the computer to do the programming. We downloaded the robot server, but we accessed Snap online. I liked that there were different levels of Snap for the students to use from very easy to more complicated. 


Snap is programmed to run the Finch through the maze
Students program the Finch Robot

 
The Finch Robot in Action from Elizabeth Kahn on Vimeo.


The students continue building new constructions with the Lego WeDo kit. As soon as they get one built and programmed, we film it in action like the one below. Then they pull it apart to build something new. Today they programmed a prop plane to make the propeller spin and a crane to lift an object created out of Legos. . 

 
Students programmed the Lego figure in Scratch to move back and forth from Elizabeth Kahn on Vimeo.

Lego mini figures were finally added to the original Lego Station
They are a huge hit
I will say that more middle school students and mostly the 6th and 7th graders are engaging with the materials in the makerspace. Some of the high school students will try something out, but none seem interested in investing a lot of time. I hope this will change, or I hope that as the middle school students get older, they will continue what they started. 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Happy Mardi Gras 2016

Find pic online here
Today is Mardi Gras. I am not in New Orleans right now to enjoy it because I am taking advantage of the week off from school to visit my father in Maine. At school last Friday, we had our annual Krewe of Taylor parade, and I thought it would be fun to share some pictures and videos of the day. 

6th grade's streetcar rolls down the street driven by our mascot, a white tiger

The juniors portray Shrek

The class of 2016 and the dancing toys of Toy Story
After the parade, each class put on a performance tied to the theme of their float to try and wow the judges. At the end of the day, awards went to the middle school and then to high school for the best float design, best theme, and most spirit. 

video
8th grade rocks out as the Wizard of Oz

video
Class of 2016 as dancing toys in the toy box

video
Here are the freshman dancing their hearts out
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