February 2014, Volume 6, Issue 1
Check Your Calendars!!
Digital Learning Day
Read Across America Day
Teen Tech Week
PLA Virtual Spring Symposium
School Library Month
National Library Week
World Book Night
Featured e-Resources of the Month
Welcome, Learning Express Library 3.0
School Library Chats are Feb. 4
The next School Library Chats will be on Feb. 4 at 4:00 p.m. CT and again at 4:00 p.m. MT. Join the chats for one or both hours with School Library Coordinators Marta Stirling and Joan Upell. Come and go as your schedule allows. Chats are a chance to talk with others, share ideas and ask questions about the latest trends and issues in school libraries.
Participants must have a phone and a computer with Internet access. Registration is not required. Find further details at library.sd.gov
Let the Prairie Bud and Prairie Pasque voting begin
South Dakota's Prairie Bud/Prairie Pasque Book Award contest voting survey is now open. All SD students in grades K-5 who have read or have had read to them at least five of the titles on the list appropriate for their grade level are eligible to vote. Voting (online only) concludes March 31; winning titles will be announced during National Library Week in April.
Visit library.sd.gov to submit all Prairie Bud/Prairie Pasque votes by the end of March.
21st Century School Library Award 2014 application process begins March 1
The State Library formally and annually recognizes schools with libraries that meet the characteristics of a 21st Century school library through its program, place, and professional. Awards recognize the status of the library as Effective, Enhanced, or Exemplary based on the South Dakota School Library Guidelines.
Applying for the award takes just three steps: online submission of the completed self-assessment tool, providing consent for all photographs submitted and emailing supporting evidence. Complete details and all forms may be found at library.sd.gov
The South Dakota State Library 21st Century School Library Committee, comprised of SDSL staff, a representative from DOE, and three previous year awardees, reviews all applications. Award announcements are made in early September. Awardees are recognized at the Systems Change Conference in October of each year. Award applications and required supporting materials will be accepted from March 1 through May 1. Award status is valid for a two-year period.
Digital Gizmos: Device Advice
Chrome Books, Tablets, iPads, Kindles, Nooks, whatever devices your school/district chooses, here are some helpful things to consider while making 1:1 and other device decisions.
- Are you ready? How prepared is your infrastructure for management and usage? Consider the following areas:
- Bandwidth: Will your bandwidth support the creation and delivery of large media files.
- Strong and secure Wi-Fi: Will students have a reliable signal throughout campus?
- Safe and secure device storage: Will students be allowed to take devices home? Where will devices be stored if they are kept at the school? Some schools that store their devices in a central location for student checkout get creative at naming that space; "Chrome Home" and "Pad Pad" are two examples.
- Policies: Have you defined "appropriate use"? Do you have the tools and means necessary to monitor these policies?
- Privacy and security: Take into consideration that some devices are meant to be personal (or 1:1) in nature and cannot distinguish from one user to the next. Security of students' personal information and files should be taken into consideration
- How will management of devices work? Here are some additional considerations that will help you plan for the management of your devices:
- The selection, purchasing, and deployment of apps.
- Management of user profiles: one common student profile or vary by class/group.
- Management of system and app updates
- Pros and cons of students managing their own devices
- What is the purpose of the device? Clearly define how the use of the device aids in students accomplishing educational goals and objectives. How will the device's usage help you meet your mission as a school/district as well?
Instead of focusing on technology as a means to making daily library and classroom practices easier or more efficient, you should look at how technology empowers students to take charge of their own learning. The use of devices provides the opportunity to address 21st Century learning strategies and higher order thinking skills. Embrace the multimedia, project-based learning and collaboration opportunities you can give your students. They will amaze you with what they can create.
No matter what the purpose of your device, school-wide use involves a change in the culture of your school. Plan ongoing staff training opportunities where staff can share and learn from each other. Staff should also be encouraged to take advantage of the many resources online that can help them get "connected".
Source: Sam Gliksman "iPad Implementation: 10 Vital Elements of the Planning Process" [PDF]
Standards, standards, standards—which ones do I use?
School librarians are asking many questions about the South Dakota School Library Standards, the American Association of School Librarians Standards for the 21st Century Learner and the Common Core State Standards. Which ones do they use? How can all of these standards be integrated? When will they find time to cover all of them in the K-12 local library curriculum? Which are the most important?
Luckily, the answer to all of the questions is easy. As leaders, team members and co-teachers school librarians need to begin with the Common Core State Standards. All three sets of standards contain the same major skills and processes that are essential for college and career readiness.
"Implementing the Common Core State Standards: the Role of the School Librarian" is a recent action brief published by the AASL and Achieve that addresses these questions. It presents a three-step plan and outlines ten initiatives for school librarians to focus on to impact teaching and learning in their schools. Examples of projects and collaboration are given throughout the 31 page document which ends with an extensive bibliography. Free copies of the brief may be downloaded at www.achieve.org.