Tag Archives: #futurereadylibs

#FutureReadyLibs #BlogChallenge Week 3: Designing Collaborative Spaces

6 Apr

Image courtesy of futureready.org & Samantha Mendenhall

A lot of libraries are adding Makerspaces. In my library, I’ve started acquiring “maker” materials, but “space” is an issue. I can’t do anything but cram the stuff into already crowded/limited storage and drag it out for activities. There’s no place for works-in-progress/iterations. However, if our academy’s capital campaign is successful, I may be gaining additional space. The Future Ready Librarians framework asks us to consider how we provide flexible spaces “that promote inquiry, creativity, collaboration and community.”

Hare & Dillon’s book will help you redesign your learning space.

For anyone who has the opportunity to redesign their learning spaces, I recommend The Space: A Guide For Educators (EdTechTeam Press, 2016) by Rebecca Hare and Dr. Robert Dillon, two educators who are part of my local ed tech community.
The book leads you through the process of designing learning spaces that amplify learning. One of the key tenets of the book is that student voice should play an important role in the planning of the learning space.

As I’ve been thinking about library expansion, I’ve asked my students to complete the sentence starter “I wish my library had…” on a Do Now, and I’ve also surveyed them about specific things they might like, such as comfortable seating, places to work on group projects, and a green screen. While the info I’ve gathered is useful, Hare & Dillon suggest actually taking it a step farther by making the activity more visual/collaborative, such as this illustration from the book.

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Have you asked your students to collaborate on their wishes at your library?

Have you thought about the following:
How does your library space promote inquiry? How does your library space promote collaboration? What is available in your library space to encourage creativity? Is your space accessible for the school community?

I’d love to see your answers to these questions and more!

Check out this padlet created by Linda Dougherty, who recently redesigned her library on a shoe string budget.

Please join in on the conversations by posting your own blog responses and by joining the Future Ready Librarians Facebook group, where a new weekly blog challenge will be posted every Wed. through May 24.

Started by Dr. Kristen Mattson, the FRL Facebook group has over 4,500 members and growing and “seeks to support K-12 Future Ready Librarians as they support administrators, teachers, staff and students in Future Ready Schools.” You can also join in the conversation on Twitter through the hashtag #FutureReadyLibs and subscribe to/join my FutureReadyLibs Twitter list.

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#FutureReadyLibs #BlogChallenge Week 2: Curation/Strategic investment in Digital Resources

31 Mar
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image courtesy of futureready.org & Samantha Mendenhall

According to the Future Ready Librarians Framework, the librarian “leads in the selection, integration, organization, and sharing of digital resources and tools to support transformational teaching and learning and develop the digital creation skills of others [and] leverages an understanding of school and community needs to identify and invest in digital resources to support student learning.”

To me, our role as librarians is as “Curator-in-Chief.” I want to the person in my building who is most knowledgeable about what resources are out there to support students learning. I may not “know everything,” but like references librarians before me, I want to be the go-to person who can help you find the resources you need.

As much of the content shifts from print to digital resources, this role as Curator-in-Chief becomes more challenging and the need for good curation becomes even more vital. As the #GoOpen movement has gained traction, openly licensed educational resources (OER) may begin to replace pay content, and schools want to be positioned to make the best decisions possible in terms of investing in digital content. If you want to learn more about OER and how librarians can lead the way with this movement, you should check out Shannon McClintock Miller’s blog post, Future Ready Librarians Hold The Key To #GoOpen & OER…Here’s One Idea For Curating and Sharing These Too!

For more info about this wedge of the Future Ready Librarians framework, also check out this padlet created by Linda Dougherty, who has been a mentor to me in the area of curation.

One of the most interesting aspects of having so much information at our fingertips is that students have the opportunity to work with real data and make observations in real time from across the globe. Crowd-sourcing of scientific discovery is fascinating to me. I love listening to the BBC World Service podcast Crowd Science each week, where they “take your questions about life, Earth and the universe to researchers hunting for answers at the frontiers of knowledge.” You should definitely give it a listen!

So,  are Open Education Resources included in your collection development plan? How are you as the  librarian involved in the district planning for digital resources? Does your selection and reconsideration policy include collection development information and processes addressing digital resources and tools?

I’d love to see your answers to these questions and more!

Please join in on the conversations by posting your own blog responses and by joining the Future Ready Librarians Facebook group, where a new weekly blog challenge will be posted every Wed. through May 24.

Started by Dr. Kristen Mattson, the FRL Facebook group has over 4,500 members and growing and “seeks to support K-12 Future Ready Librarians as they support administrators, teachers, staff and students in Future Ready Schools.” You can also join in the conversation on Twitter through the hashtag #FutureReadyLibs and subscribe to/join my FutureReadyLibs Twitter list.

Kicking Off the #FutureReadyLibs 10-Week #BlogChallenge

22 Mar

image courtesy of futureready.org & Samantha Mendenhall

“This sounds awesome—I took the Pledge!” was the enthusiastic reply I received from our Deputy Director last week. With that email, I had the go ahead I needed to begin leading my academy on our Future Ready Schools journey. As Technology Committee Chair, I will serve as the project manager for the 5-step evaluation process outlined in the initiative.

I was worried that our administration had seemed a little skeptical when I first broached the idea. It’s been a school year filled with both successes and setbacks when it comes to technology at our independent, nonprofit charter school.  Over the summer, our technology infrastructure had gotten a major boost, thanks to upgrades made possible by E-Rate and with fiber internet finally becoming available in our area. We’ve also been able to improve our student-to-computer ratio in the last couple of years since switching from laptop carts to less expensive Chromebooks. So, the challenge is to leverage these improvements to impact student learning opportunities. Technology committee work has stalled a bit this year, though. A change from full Academy pd days to separate early release times for middle school and high school has been great overall for our staff as they have more time for professional development and collaboration, but it has not afforded much time for the technology committee, which includes members from both staffs, to meet and plan together. And, our Technology Coordinator, who is also a full-time teacher, had to step back from her role earlier this year. This school year also marked the end of our current 3-year technology plan (which is no longer required by the State of Missouri).

Taking the Future Ready Pledge gives our academy direction and a new sense of purpose to continue to strive to meet the needs of our 21st century learners. My next step as project manager will be to gather stakeholders—students, parent, staff and community—to begin this process of defining for ourselves what it means to be a “Future Ready” School.

I hope to reflect upon this process in the coming year through blogging. This post also kicks off the start of a 10-week #FutureReadyLibs #blog challenge, where librarians are invited to reflect upon the different cogs of the Future Ready Librarians Framework. Please join in on the conversations by posting your own blog responses and by joining the Future Ready Librarians Facebook group, where a new weekly blog challenge will be posted every Wed. through May 24.

Started by  Dr. Kristen Mattson, the FRL Facebook group has over 4,500 members and growing and “seeks to support K-12 Future Ready Librarians as they support administrators, teachers, staff and students in Future Ready Schools.” You can also join in the conversation on Twitter through the hashtag #FutureReadyLibs and subscribe to/join my FutureReadyLibs Twitter list.

So, how did you get involved in the Future Ready Schools/Future Ready Librarians initiative? Are you involved in the district strategic planning process? What is your vision for a future ready school? What makes you a Future Ready Librarian?

I’ve begun to pull my ideas together about “Leading Beyond the Library” and Future Ready Schools here in this padlet.

I’d love to see your answers to these questions and more!