Sunday, September 15, 2013


Building the Learning Commons

What was a library is now much more....
A meeting space
A place to create
A place to interact
A place to explore
A place to collaborate
A place to share

This was a hallway.....
...this was, too.

The inset spaces were a part of a very weirdly shaped office. 
This is well on it's way to being a greenscreen studio. (photos soon)
The view from the 3,4,5 hallway.
The door was here!

Much nicer than the checkout station that was here before.
I've meant to share long before now but it has taken alot of time and energy to get it this far. We are still a bit "in progress" but it improves every day. It's exciting to see our kids and teachers discover that the space is theirs. Friday I had a kindergarten class reading a big book at the same time a 2nd grade class choose library books. Not long before, 2 4th graders sat under the "tree" and worked together on a project. My class is more technology based this year so teachers are bringing the kids for checkouts on a more flexible basis. We are a work in progress but I'm excited to see what's to come.

Blog coming soon on the Discovery Hub...our ugly white room transformed into 3,4,5 library and tech central.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Taming the mess

My desk is a mess.

It has reminders of another successful school year and hopeful signs of more to come. It has clues to the demolition and rebuilding that are occurring in my library this summer. It has proof that Caleb had a successful 6th grade year along with momentos and awards for school, band, Church, and scouts. It's got the swag of a wonderful time at ISTE13. It has the promise of presentations yet to be shared and blog posts yet to be built. And under there's got a flat wooden surface.

Friday, June 28, 2013


I'd begged my way to attending the International Society for Technology in Education conference (ISTE) about a month before it began. Being one to jump in with both feet then panic later, I immediately made a bid to do an Ignite session. I'd presented locally at both the Region 11 Library Harvest and at Lone Star Technology Integration Academy as well at for the state Technology conference (TCEA) at 50 minutes a pop so I jumped at the chance, figuring "how hard can it be to present for a mere 5 minutes". Yeah....right!!! 

I turned in my 20 images 2 weeks prior and had it basically laid out in my head but when it got to be my turn those slides really moved FAST! You can see my slides here: 
Everyone said it was great and I felt like it went well but I sure could have talked longer. Ok....those of you that know me are going "duh!?!?!". It was a great experience presenting alongside so many others with awesome ideas. I already "knew" Todd Nesloney @techninjatodd from my Twitter PLN and was honored to present right before him. I made several new Twitter friends right there so we will be able to follow each other through additional share-worthy experiences. 

One thing I knew I wanted to see was LEGO WeDo. Since I will be charged with covering  the technology curriculum next year as well as library skills, I wanted a fun and engaging way to teach coding skills (and a large dose of following directions won't hurt either). I REALLY had a blast playing with these guys....bye bye book fair profit! 

One thing I really didn't want was to fall in love with things I couldn't afford. That's very hard in a place as tempting as this!!!!!

At TCEA one year, I made the mistake of admiring the pricey stuff....and ended up bummed out. That really wasn't a problem at ISTE......because it's not really about that.

What?!?   A technology conference not about technology?!? Well, it was...and it wasn't. What it was about was connections (although they forgot to pass that memo to the WiFi). It was great to meet people I only knew online. I was amazed by teachers and kids sharing about how they used technology to connect themselves with others. I was inspired to dust off this blog and get sharing. And I was also inspired to step outside my comfort zone....

I'm NOT a fan of parties. Being hearing impaired kinda does that to ya. It's a bummer to go somewhere and be in constant fear of not hearing the directions or answering the wrong question. My cochlear implants have mostly eliminated the risk...but not the fear. Having walked approximately 187.3 miles up stairs carrying a backpack containing not only a fully Griffin-decked iPad but also a Surface tablet didn't help either. But I went anyway...and actually had fun. ;) I was just about to chicken out when Krissy Venosdale @venspired flagged me down. We thought we followed each other on Twitter but then realized we didn' was on Pinterest. I also had to go watch Holly Davis, our new Tech director singing Karaoke. 

The pictured (above) list is from the opening Keynote by Jane McGonigal @avantgame and shares the positive emotions gamers experience. In looking at that list, it pretty well covered my ISTE13 experience as well. Counting down (and probably counting my pennies) till ISTE14.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The Library before....

The library before....
Non-fiction down the middle....
Picture books, fiction, poetry and fairy tales lined the walls....
With a lot of wasted space outside...
...and a great big room of nothing down the hall.

Coming soon..... The Learning Commons (k-2) and The Discovery Hub(3-5). 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Time to get back to it....

The intense vibrating alarm clock has been turned back on. After sleeping in for 2 weeks, tomorrow is going to be hard. I'm excited to head back though. I've found some exciting things to share with my kids...especially think tank.