Saturday, December 08, 2007

Media Literacy & Technology

I just finished viewing Cat Ballou with my kids, who didn't stay for the entire film! I loved this movie but viewing it this evening I realized that what was once state of the art technology (albeit 40 years ago) is now something that anyone can produce in their own home. I feel old!

There are films of better quality these days on youtube! No wonder my sons left the room! It was interesting because the film studies critics at the end (it was TVO) were discussing morality and character in the film...they even got it wrong!!!

The more I learn about technology, media, the net and myself, I think I need to teach media studies! We have certainly evolved but our students only know what is.

Monday, November 26, 2007

You know you are a 21st C TL if.....

This is scooped entirely from Joyce Valenza's blog...where she compiled the following ideas:

Make sure your learners and teachers can (physically & intellectually) access developmentally and curricularly(?) appropriate databases, portals, and websites, blogs, videos, and other media.
Organize the Web for learners. You have the skills to create a blog or website or wiki to pull together resources to meet the information needs of your learning community. That presence reflects your personal voice. It includes your advice as well as your links. You make learning an engaging and colorful hybrid experience. You intervene in the research process online while respecting young people’s need for independence.
Are helping learners put together their own information spaces using blog widgets, and iGoogle gadgets, and browsers like PageFlakes. You seek ways to help students learn to use push information technologies.
Think outside the box about the concept of “collection.” That collection might include: ebooks, audiobooks, open source software, streaming media, flash sticks, digital video cameras, and much more! You lend this stuff.
Think of your web presence as a knowledge management for your school. This is collection too, and it includes student-produced learning objects, handouts, policies, and collaborative wiki pathfinders to support learning and research in all learning arenas.
Think Web 2.0. You know the potential new technologies offer for interaction–learners as both information consumers and producers.
Consider new interactive and engaging communication tools for student projects--digital storytelling, wikis, podcasts, streaming video as possibilities beyond the mortal powers of PowerPoint
(And you are rethinking what PowerPoint should/could be!)
Are thinking interactive service: materials suggestion forms, book review blogs, surveys, online calendars, etc.
Know your physical space is about way more than books. Your space is a libratory. You welcome media production—podcasting, video editing. You welcome telecommunications events and group gathering for planning and research and social networking.
Include and collaborate with the learner. You let them in. You fill your physical and virtual space with student work, student contributions—their video productions, their original music, their art.
Expanded your notion of searching. You work with learners to set up RSS feeds and tag clouds for research. Your own feeds are rich with learning content, evidence of your networking.
Are concerned that, when it matters, your students move beyond information satisficing. They make solid information decisions.
Are concerned about a new digital divide: those who can effectively find quality information in all media formats, and those who cannot.
Consider just-in-time, just-for-me learning as your responsibility and are proud that you own the real estate of one desktop window on your students’ home computers 24/7. (My website is used as much after school as it is during)
Know that one-to-one classrooms will change your teaching logistics. You realize you will often have to partner and teach in classroom teachers’ classrooms. You will teach virtually. You will be available across the school via email and chat.
Use new tools for collaboration. Your students create together, They synthesize information, enhance their writing through peer review and negotiate content in blogs and wikis and using tools like GoogleDocs, Flickr, Jumpcut, Voicethread
Are concerned about what you can do that Google or Wikipedia cannot. What customized services and instruction will you offer that will not be outsourced to Bangalore?
Are concerned about how information fluency changes as the information landscape shifts. What skills will you teach that will not be outsourced to Bangalore? How will you share new understandings of searching, and evaluation, and analysis and synthesis, and digital citizenship, and communication?
Read both edtech journals and edtech blogs, not just the print literature of our own profession. You learn by visiting the webcast archives of conferences you cannot attend. You visit David's Hitchhikr to discover new events. You visit sites like edtechtalk.
Consider your role as info-technology scout. You look to make “learning sense” of the authentic new information and communication tools used in business and academics. You figure out how to use them thoughtfully and you help classroom teachers use them with their classes.
Consider ways to bring experts, scholars, authors into your classroom using telecommunication tools like Skype and Internet2.
Grapple with issues of equity. You provide open source alternatives to students and teachers who need them. You lend flash sticks and laptops and cameras and . . . You ensure your students can easily get to the stuff they most need by using kid-friendly terms and creating pathfinders. You ensure that all students have access to audio and ebooks and databases.
Consider new ways to promote reading. You are exploring downloadable audio books, or Playaways. You (and your students) are creating digital booktalks or book trailers.
Model respect for intellectual property in a world of shift and change. You encourage and guide documentation for media in all formats and recognize and lead students and teachers to the growing number of copyright-friendly or copy left portals. You understand Creative Commons licensing and you are spreading this gospel.
Know this is only the beginning of social networking. Students will get to their MySpace accounts through proxy servers despite any efforts to block them. You plan educationally meaningful ways to incorporate student excitement (and your own) for social networking.
Are beginning to consider iPods as learning tools. You know that when you interrupt a student she might be in the middle of a chapter, recording a podcast, transferring data, taking audio notes.
Seek professional development that will help you grow even if you cannot get professional development for that growth. You can't "clock" these hours.
Understand that learning can be playful.
Don’t stop at “no.” You fight for the rights of students to have and use the tools they need. This is an equity issue. This is an intellectual freedom issue.
Unpack the good stuff you carried from your 20th century trunk. Rigor, and inquiry, and high expectations, and information and media fluency matter no matter what the medium. So do excitement, engagement, and enthusiasm.
Library is not just between the 4 walls of the building.
Library services are becoming more customizeable for your teachers and students. Greater empowerment of teachers and students to use the tools of the library.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


OK, now I am beginning to wonder where technology ends, life begins, TV is television and the internet becomes broadcasting???

Visit this is amazing! All boundaries have blurred here. Did you ever like watching thirtysomething, or My So Called Life on TV? Well the same producer has decided to broadcast his latest examination of life as a twentysomething today. This means these people are digitally literate. The main character is a serious blogger/writer. She observes life and posts her observations visually and textually.

The show is broadcast in segments online twice weekly. There is a social network associated with the show where viewers can interact, question and suggest plot ideas.

HOW COOL IS THIS?! Web 2.0 moving forward into interactive entertainment

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Another video from Digital Ethnography

This is another video that really forces us to look at information, how we use it, how we teach students how to use it and to think about where we need to head.

Really, the web has not top, no just is.


Was reading more blogs today and discovered one by a librarian who likens himself to a wizard I would think. His blog is called Infomancy and it is defined as follows:

Infomancy n. 1.The field of magic related to the conjuring of information from the chaos of the universe. 2.The collection of terms, queries, and actions related to the retrieval of information from arcane sources.

I like this combination of wizardry and information. Where is the technology in infomancy though? Is it all just smoke & mirrors??

Monday, November 12, 2007

50 Tools for Stories

OK so I am mucking about with RSS feeds and I link Will Richardson's blog to my feed. So of course I have to read for an hour and I he links me to this link which looks like loads of fun and a useful tool!

Thanks Will, I have succesfully avoided writing this paper I am supposed to be working on again!

Some interesting videos

I was reading David Warlick's blog and he posted the video I shared in the course with you but then I went looking for more and this is what I saw.

An interesting comment on technology and humanity.

He was also commenting on how the topic of "transliteracy" has been introduced to him. Here it is:

Transliteracy is the ability to read, write and interact across a range of platforms, tools and media from signing and orality through handwriting, print, TV, radio and film, to digital social networks.

Sounds like literacy to me....should I email our director of education?

Some additional bloggers Deanna Julie Cathy Lorna

OK so here you all and comment away

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Library Specialist Bloggers

Here are some links to TL's on a virtual journey.



Take time to explore this blog....I was very excited when one day I attracted a comment from Will Richardson, digital guru and hard core blogger!

Here is an example of a blog journal that I kept for my last graduate course:

The focus of this blog was to locate virtual resources that were illustrative of the use of the interent by Indigineous cultures. It was lots of fun.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Deb's return to the blog

I am posting this welcome to my York AQ Specialist candidates. I too will join you on this virtual journey. Enjoy blogging and post comments, resources as you learn.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Online Virtual Tours

Another resource for virtual tours online...

Videoconferencing resources for All

Vanderbilt University offers vc for educators for a very reasonable price.

Please check the confirmed VC online calendar for available spaces andtimes at
Most events follow the following format-
Target Audience: Students in grades 7 -12Time: 9:00 and 10:00 AM (CENTRAL time zone)Format: 45-minute videoconference: formatted into a 30-minutepresentation followed by 15-20 minute interactive Question and Answersession with studentsCost: $50 per siteRegistration Online at: Call administrative assistant, Chandra Allison, at (615)322-6511 or email Chandra at

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Wikipedia and Research

I have not been encouraging students to use wikipedia for pure research assignments. As a rule, I like to direct them to database resources, texts and ebooks to support any research they do in school. Still the wikipedia reference occurs.

I also read about how Richardson is reporting that repeated editing in a wiki does lead to accuracy and at our recent librarianship conference a presenter was pointing out how we know editors are blocked, how to identify recently edited entries and I am in a quandry. I understand the value of what is happening in wikipedia and I think it is marvelous BUT my job is to teach and assist students in appropriate research practice. Is it a good idea to cloud the issue with a "pop culture" type of resource????

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Blogs and Librarianship

I have been exploring the use of a blog as a means of discussing book club books with students. These kids are busy, they are on the move and they are reading. I want to engage them in discussion without pinning them down to a lunch hour meeting. They have not, however bought into the idea of the blog....what to do? I am going to post nags/reminders on the web page and some brief announcements as reminders. Hopefully it will take off soon.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Be Really Afraid

Stephen Heppell was a keynote speaker at the recent OLA Superconference. He was innovative, entertaining and charming to listen to. He also shared some wonderful examples of teaching and learning with technology without using fancy equipment. The video clips he shared of student projects for BAFTA called Be Very Afraid are fabulous examples of how technology can enrich learning for teachers and students. They are also a testament to teachers who are passionate about their practice.

Here is the link:

I wonder how I can encourage more teachers to get connected to learning with IT to use something from these strategies???

Monday, February 05, 2007

Will Richardson and Passion Based Learning

I've just been listening to blogger and technorati Will Richardson in an online conference about re-envisioning education and he makes some good points about how we have to begin changing education. First, we have to embrace change rather than fear it. Second, we have to reach beyond school walls to our students and understand that they are familiar with accessing information 24/7. Third, we have to understand that people will pursue their learning if they are impassioned.

My question do librarians tap into that passion, provide guidance and direction to students who are ready to go down that road????

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Blogging for Gold.....

I am a Teacher Librarian in a High School north of Toronto. I am very interested in learning about how other TL's around Ontario, Canada, N. America and beyond are integrating educational technologies and social software of web 2.0 into their teaching in the library environment.

I am very interested in podcasting and the possibilities for creating interesting and authentic learning for students. Here is a web site that was built by myself and some colleagues:

It was an assignment for a course towards my Masters Degree in Educational Technology. I plan to use it with a grade 12 class this semester. Feel free to use the site, feedback is welcome.