Sunday, October 23, 2016

SLJ Leadership Summit 2016

(This posting is, in part, cross-posted from my posting on Mackin TYSL Blog.)

Last weekend, I had the privilege of attending School Library Journal’s 12th Annual SLJ Leadership Summit in our nation’s capital. This year’s theme was “Taking Charge in the New ESSA Era.” Two of the sessions -- one of a panel of superintendents and the other of state and national education leaders --  focused specifically on ESSA, the Every Student Succeeds Act signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015, and ESSA talk wove throughout the weekend. The speakers all stressed that the time is NOW for school districts and states to capture federal ESSA funding; it is our job to advocate with our districts and states to take advantage of language in the act allowing funding to support school libraries. For example, Dr. Pam Moran, Superintendent of Albemarle County Public Schools in Virginia, reminded us that librarians are connectors, curators, collaborators, resourcers of what teachers need to help their students. The summit sessions helped us to better understand the different parts of the act and funding options we can link to, such as leading and providing professional development in the use of educational technology and providing equity of access to all students.

Sara Trettin, from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Educational Technology, also helped us make the link between ESSA and the Future Ready Schools initiative, and the important role that school librarians can play in being the leading edge of the digital transformation of learning.

As noted at the summit, AASL provides a wealth of materials to support our ESSA efforts on its website along with sponsoring workshops in each state. School Library Journal will also be posting resources shared at the summit on the summit site.

A super high energy component of the summit was the “Hackathon” organized by Joyce Valenza and Michelle Luhtala. Participants broke into groups and brainstormed solutions to 11 selected important issues in school libraries. Each group also worked on how their challenges and solutions tie into ESSA. Check this video summary of the practical, as well as entertaining share outs. The hackathon even spawned some new vocabulary: librarians as “resourcerers” and “COLLABORACADABRA!,” a proposed web-based advocacy tool. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see these two terms enter our vernacular!

Another highlight of the summit were the author sessions. Shaun David Hutchinson, author of We Are the Ants, brought the room to tears reminding us of the vital need to support and share books that will allow students to find themselves in them and know they are not alone. But, nothing matched the visit of Congressman John Lewis and his co-author Andrew Aydin, of the March graphic novel series about the Civil Rights Movement. Lewis urged us to follow his lifelong example:  when we witness injustice, we need to find a way to get in the way and work to correct it. We need to do that in the political world, and on behalf of our students. 

Here is a photo with John Lewis, along with my summit buddy Deb Schiano, that I’ll treasure:

Many, many thanks to School Library Journal, all its staff, and the other sponsoring organizations for this gift of information and inspiration. If you missed this one, make it a priority to attend next fall!

On my home, I started reading Hutchinson's We Are the Ants. I knew from his talk that it wouldn't be easy reading. Rather, it is, as he explained, the kind of book that he needed to read to help him not feel alone when he was young. Henry, the main character, is dealing with the challenges of being gay, bullying, depression, his boyfriend's suicide, his father's abandonment of his family, his grandmother's Alzheimers, and more. On top of all that, he is repeatedly abducted by aliens who are forcing him to make a decision as to whether the world is worth saving from destruction. You can't read this book without rooting for Henry, and feeling empathy for his challenges. I really loved it! Librarians and teachers will definitely want to share it with students who will relate to Henry and come away feeling less alone in their own challenges.

Next on my list is Lewis and Aydin's March trilogy.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Leverage Library Orientations to Reach Students AND Teachers

(Cross-posted on the Mackin TYSL Blog)

If you are a teacher librarian, I know you are always learning about new ideas, skills, and ways of doing things that can enhance learning, engagement, and/or efficiency for students and teachers alike. But, it’s frequently a challenge finding the opportunities to share all we want to with either group. One way to expose both students and teachers to new concepts and skills simultaneously, thus getting double mileage from the time, is to introduce them during library orientations. Here’s an example from my high school  library.

When I attended a Google Teacher Academy in Summer 2014, I got to preview Google Classroom, which was about to be introduced that Fall. I wanted my teachers to learn about it and consider using it with their students. Also at that time, we all had access to GAFE accounts in my district, but there was no policy requiring that either students or teachers use them. Most teachers and students alike still used personal Gmail accounts, making sharing documents and communications much more challenging. I wanted to make sure both students and teachers knew about their GAFE accounts. So, I incorporated both logging into their GAFE accounts and a Google Classroom I set up into the Freshman students orientation. And, just in case some of my teachers were tempted to use the time for their own work instead of participating or paying attention, I included a “share out” at the end and made several announcements to each class that their teacher would be wanting to see their great work.

Of course, you will have your own priorities of what you want to introduce students and teachers to. But, feel free to use my orientation agenda as a template if you like. Here’s how it worked:
All the activities were set out in a Google Form, which walked students through using our library website, library catalog, and QR codes;  browsing the shelves; accessing Google Apps for Education accounts, Google Classroom, and Google Slides; and culminated with students each sharing a slide they created within a shared Google class slideshow. Their slides each shared something they were passionate about and book they found that could contribute to that interest I also incorporated validation into the Google Form so that for the couple of questions that had specific correct answers, the students would have to persist until they got them right. I provided very minimal instruction at the beginning and focused on empowering them to work together and read instructions to learn about all these tools and progress independently.

And, while some students did the minimum, many got excited about personalizing their slides and reflecting their personal interests and personalities. Their teachers then got to hear something about each of their students interests, and, at the same time, saw the power of using the GAFE accounts, Google Classroom, and Google Slides.

Here is a flowchart of how the activity worked:

If you want to use this as a template, but don’t use GAFE, you could skip the GAFE and Google Classroom sign ins and simply set a Google Slides show to be editable by “anyone with the link.”

Click this link to see the full form. For more information about this activity, see this posting on my library blog about the 2014 orientation, or this one about 2015, or, of course, contact me with any questions.

Whatever your priorities are for your library orientations, consider leveraging them to share new concepts, tools, and ideas with both your students and your teachers.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Navigating the New Google Hangouts on Air

I've been a big fan of Google Hangouts on Air since it debuted several years ago. It's been a great tool for connecting both our students and us educators in live video events that can both be streamed live for viewers and automatically recorded for later viewing. My colleagues and I have used it to:
  • Connect students with other students. I have used it for Mystery Hangouts, World Read Aloud Day, and our Somewhat Virtual Book Club. 
  • Connect students with experts in any field, authors, and more. It's often a whole lot easier to schedule a guest speaker virtually than in person.
  • Connect with other librarians and teachers for one-on-one virtual conversations, committee meetings, webinars, and the TL News Night newscast.
  • Record my conference presentations, interviews, and more.
  • Record lessons that can then serve as "rewindable instruction." (Thanks to Nikki Robertson for that term.)
Many of us were taken by surprise and concern to read headlines and articles earlier this month indicating that Google Hangouts on Air was going away. Here's an example from Venture Beat. The good news is that we - and some of the article writers, I believe - overreacted. Fortunately, it's not going away, it is simply "moving house" from Google+ to YouTube Live. Here is a link to Google's help page on the topic. If you like, you can stop reading this and just go to that link. But, for those of you interested, I wanted to share a bit more fleshed out instructions on how to set up a Hangout on Air in the new environment. So, after some testing it all out, here goes:

Set up your hangout

  1. Go to
  2. Click the "hamburger" icon, select My Channel from the left-hand menu that displays, then Video Manager.
  3. On the left side menu, you will now see Live Streaming as an option. Click small arrow to the right of that to display two options under it.

  4. Click Events under Live Streaming.
  5. Click New Live Event
  6. Fill in all the details on the Live Event Page. Change Public to Unlisted if you want to restrict viewing during the live hangout to just people you share the link with. For events like the Somewhat Virtual Book Club, we always keep it unlisted until after the event is over and we are comfortable making the archive public. Choose Quick as the Type. After you select Quick, you can change TODAY and NOW to any future date and time. Then, click Create Event to create your event.
Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 2.55.05 PM.png

You will now see a screen displaying upcoming events. If you have more than one, the new event should be at the bottom. It will look like this:

    When you click the Start Hangout on Air button, the hangout will open. In the hangout, hover your cursor at the top of the window until you see this line of icons:
    Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 5.17.23 PM.png

    1. Click the left-hand “Invite People” icon. This pop-up will display:

    2. Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 5.06.32 PM.png

    3. Copy the Link to share URL into your clipboard. Send this link to people you plan to have participate in the hangout. With it, they will easily be able to join the hangout as participants at the designated time and you won’t need to rely on creating last minute invitations.
    4. Close the hangout and go back to the event listing.
    5. If you want to also invite people to view the live stream of your hangout, click the link icon:

    6. When you click the link icon, it will open up the event information page again, but it now has a View on Watch Page option at the top.
    7. Click the View on Watch Page option to open up a viewing page:

    8. Copy this URL to share as an audience viewing link. This event page also offers the option of adding comments over on the right. If you plan to have people view the live stream, be sure to keep this event window open so you can monitor comments.

    Running a Hangout on Air

    1. To return to a scheduled hangout and start your broadcast, go to
    2. Click the "hamburger" icon, select My Channel from the left-hand menu that displays, then Video Manager.

    1. Choose Live StreamingEvents from the left menu, then find the hangout event in the list of Upcoming events.
    1. Click the Start Hangout On Air button in the event listing:
    1. Once you open the hangout, it will look exactly like Hangouts on Air created through Google+. All the same options are still available, with the exception of the Q & A and Showcase options. You can screen share, chat, add effects and lots more:

    Google has also just added a feature to cast your screen to a TV or other larger device. Check the announcement here. I haven't had a chance to test out this feature yet.
    1. At the scheduled time, start your video recording, by clicking the Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 5.27.00 PM.png button. (Note that you need to enter the hangout from the Events listing as described above; you won’t see it if you use the invite link you copied to share with others.)
    2. When the session is finished, click the Stop the broadcast button.

    After the Broadcast

    After you finish your broadcast, you can return to the event and change the public/unlisted/private setting if you like, get the link to share the broadcast with others, and use any of YouTube's other editing tools. To do that:

    1. Go back to YouTube, select Live Streaming -> Events again, and find the hangout in the list of Completed events. Click Edit:

    2. If you want to change from Unlisted to Public, click the Unlisted option, and select Public from the drop-down menu. Then, Save Changes, and copy the URL to share:

    1. YouTube auto-generates a thumbnail that will appear to identify the recording from one snapshot in the video, but you can change it if you want. You can select one of the other two automatically generated by YouTube, or you can screen capture another photo from the hangout and upload that for the thumbnail. You can also edit your description and add keywords on this screen.
    2. To crop out unwanted sections from your video, add annotations, and more, select the options at the top of the screen.

    Happy Hanging Out!

    Sunday, August 14, 2016

    Laguna Beach EdTechTeam Google Summit

    For a booster shot of of inspiration, use-tomorrow ideas and new skills, and great networking, check out the EdTechTeam's year round schedule of Google for Education Summits in your neighborhood and around the globe. Each of the summits last two days and include three keynote sessions and eight concurrent session slots.

    I was delighted to attend and present at the Orange County Summit in Laguna Beach last week (August 9 - 10). Roni Habib, our opening keynoter, kicked off the summit reminding us to always, always put our students' well-being first. He shared how people learn in a much deeper way when they are happy and that relationships are biggest predictor of happiness as well as longevity. He urged us to take the time for some play with our students and to attend to each of them individually. We even all took a few minutes to play during his talk, and went away in upbeat moods, more ready to learn during the rest of the day.

    I presented two sessions on Tuesday. The first was to get attendees up and running with Twitter as a must-use part of a personal learning network. Here are the slides:

    The second was on all things Google images - how to use Google to find, enhance, and create images, and guidelines on copyright, Creative Commons, and Fair Use to let you know what you can and can't use in classroom and published works. Here are the slides:

    My slides are never intended to be self-explanatory, so do contact me with any questions.

    I also enjoyed learning about WeVideo, a great cloud-based video editing tool, from Greg Gardner. And, Kevin Fairchild helped me learn what I can do with simple scripting in Google Sheets.

    We began Wednesday with a keynote by Jeff Heil, who asked us to consider what if every child believed s/he had the power to change the world? Like Roni Habib, he stressed the importance of building relationships. He urged us to go for moonshot thinking, not allow failure as an option for our students, and to help give the voiceless a voice to tell their stories and thereby transform their learning.

    I presented three sessions on Wednesday. The first was about Google Forms, including all the amazing ways they can be used to gather data and go paperless, how to create them, and how to take advantage of special features and add-ons. Here are my slides. Even if you weren't at the summit, you can see an example of using Forms with the great Publisher add-on if you fill out the form on Slide 2; you'll get an automatically-generated Google Doc back.

    My next session was about Google Slides, with a focus on its Research Tool feature and how to use it to easily introduce the concepts of Copyright, Creative Commons, giving credit, and respect for intellectual property with students:

    I also shared several innovative ways to use Google Slides beyond their traditional role of supporting presentations.

    In my last presentation, I shared some of the ways to take advantage of Google Hangouts and Hangouts on Air tools and the mechanics of setting them up:

    During my one free concurrent session time, I went to one by Tracy Poelzer on a wide variety of great ways to connect our students with the world. Many of her suggestions could be handled through Google Hangouts, and I urged attendees at my Hangouts session to visit her slides and resources for more help taking advantage of Hangouts.

    The summit wrapped up with a keynote by Tracy on how to overcome the imposter syndrome most of us teachers feel. She urged us to stop comparing our insides to other people's outsides, to still the voice inside us that puts ourselves down, and to be aware how contagious emotions are. We as teachers need to realize and celebrate that we are NOT "just" teachers; we are really big deals! A book she recommended as a followup, which is now on my "to read list," is Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brene Brown.

    What a super way to spend two days, learning and networking with other enthusiastic educators! It's also always great fun reconnecting with old friends. Here's me with Kevin Fairchild, one of my Mountain View Google Teacher Academy (#GTAMTV14) cohort members:

    And, here I am with my teacher librarian friend, Kat Tacea.

    And, of course, I met so many new friends! Here's a tweet from one of them, Shannon Bray:

    Thanks, Shannon! I should have had the camera out more often to document so many new friends!

    Many thanks to the EdTechTeam and Master of Ceremonies Kate Petty for a terrific summit!, to see more about what the EdTechTeam is up to, follow the #gafesummit hashtag on Twitter.

    Monday, August 8, 2016

    My recent trip and other adventures

    Yikes! I've now been officially "retired" for seven weeks. It sure doesn't seem like that much time could have passed! So ... what have I been up to?

    Well, definitely my most significant activity was my husband's and my two-week trip to Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. It was an incredible experience, enjoying the rich culture, history, and people of each country; witnessing how these countries support high quality, free education, social welfare, and health care for all their people; and enjoying some of the world's most magnificent scenery. Since we were on a Stanford Travel/Study tour, we also benefited from great lectures and discussions with Professor Ed Steidle and we enjoyed making friends with the other three dozen members of our group.

    A good chunk of the rest of these seven weeks has also involved the trip. I spent much of the two weeks after school was out getting ready for the trip. You know, deciding what to take, packing, and so on. Actually, I spent quite a lot more than two weeks, since I did a lot of both fiction and nonfiction reading over the last few months related to our destinations. The two books I think I enjoyed the most were The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia by Michael Booth, and The Redbreast by JoNesbø, translated by Dan Bartlett. In a very tongue-and-cheek style, Booth shares lots of insight into these countries and what is unique about their people. (It also made me want to go back and visit Iceland and Finland sometime soon!) Redbreast is a crime novel set partly in contemporary Oslo and partly during World War II, with the later focusing on the Norwegians who volunteered to fight with the Nazis against the Soviets and later tried as traitors. I was actually reading The Redbreast during the trip, and loved the coincidence of visiting the Akershus Fortress and its Norwegian World War II Resistance Museum on the same day that one of the book's characters goes to that same locale.

    And, what about after the trip? We all know it takes longer to recover from a long trip than to take it, right? But I have also been occupied making a Shutterfly scrapbook. I felt a real sense of accomplishment when I completed it last week, curating from over 600 photos I took with my iPhone. I can't wait to get the printed copy in the mail next week. I appreciate how rich, enjoyable, and educational the trip was all the more after reliving it in scrapbook-making mode. Here is a small selection of the photos I added to a Google Photo Album.

    If you want to see the full scrapbook, send me an email.

    I've also been busy preparing to present sessions for an EdTechTeam Google Summit in Laguna Beach, CA, starting tomorrow (August 9). I'm looking forward to sharing five different sessions tomorrow and Wednesday, on Twitter, Google Images, Google Forms, Google Slides, and Google Hangouts. I'll post my slides links in another blog entry right after I get back.

    And, finally, I've spent some time pondering my next steps: how I want to refocus this blog, what my new priorities will be with my new retirement adventure, and how to "rebrand" myself. Clearly, I need a bit more time for all this. With the summit coming up tomorrow, I did order new business cards, and decided, for now anyway, to go with Teacher Librarian now "in the wild" as my "title." I really don't think of myself as being retired; rather, I'm moving on to new ways of supporting school libraries, education, and educational technology. Here's what the cards look like:

    I guess I'll see over time if that new "title" works for me.

    I also made what was for me, a big, probably very overdue, change. I finally let my beloved avatar go on my Twitter account, changing over to a photo. I set up my Twitter account in 2007, and I really, really love the manga avatar I chose to represent me. Back then, I was still a bit wary of having my photo online. And, I was working at the middle school level, and I wanted to model to my students how having an avatar is a fun way to have an online personality while still protecting their identities. And, to be honest, I love my avatar because her hair is a much brighter red than my own, her eyes always stay wide open, and she has no wrinkles. But ... I've been teaching a number of classes and leading sessions on Twitter recently, and I always give the advice that it is best to use a photo so that, when you meet members of your PLN in person, they will easily recognize you. At long last, I've decided to practice what I preach, and am now represented by a photo on Twitter:

    As for the rest of my rebranding and refocusing, please bear with me as I take some time to work this "new adventure" all out.

    Tuesday, June 28, 2016

    Not at #ALAAC16 and #NOTATISTE16

    Every year in June it's a dilemma for teacher librarians: whether to go to the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference or to the International Society for Technical Education (ISTE) Conference. Those of us who thrive on conferences and all the wonderful new information, inspiration, networking, energy, and camaraderie they offer, can't help but feel torn between the two events. Some overachievers actually split their time between the two. I did that only once, when ALA was in Anaheim and ISTE was in San Diego. This year, I was saved the dilemma; instead, I had to make the hard decision to forgo both of them, since my husband and I are leaving on a trip to Scandinavia this weekend. 

    So, my focus this week is really supposed to be on getting ready for the trip, but, being me, I can't resist taking advantage of at least some of the opportunities to benefit from both these conferences from afar. Luckily, for anyone unable to attend either event, there are so many wonderful ways to take advantage of these conferences remotely. This posting is just a small selection of what I've enjoyed so far this week and that you, as a reader, can take advantage of as well, either live or after the fact.

    One of the exciting events at the ALA conference each year is the announcement of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) 25 Best Websites for Teaching and Learning and the 25 Best Apps for Teaching and Learning. It's always a great summer activity to work through these sites and apps and consider how to apply them to enrich our students' learning and, frequently, our own productivity. I've had the pleasure of serving on the Best Websites Committee for the least three years and enjoyed having a roll in the selection. You can learn about and start to explore the best websites here. And, be sure to also visit this page on the AASL site for link to the presentation, and Symbaloo and Pinterest collections of the sites. For the best apps, visit this link. Also, visit this great interactive infographic for the best apps created by the amazing Joyce Valenza. A good summer activity would be simply to get familiar with the 25 websites and 25 apps and decide which ones will work for you and your students.

    For more ALA information and inspiration, follow the #ALAAC16 hashtag on Twitter and the conference site.

    For those regretting being unable to attend ISTE, there are probably more resources than you will ever have time to explore! Jennifer Wagner has been doing an incredible job spearheading a Google+ "NotatISTE" community with  lots of lively discussion, fun challenges, resource sharing, and badge making and posting. (I'm even going to get points in the challenge for doing this posting. :-) ) As a part of the community, the phenomenal Peggy George has been curating useful resources in a LiveBinder. To follow ISTE on Twitter, check the #ISTE2016 hashtag. To follow the NotatISTE, community search both #NOTATISTE and #NOTATISTE16. And, did you know -- I just found out yesterday, during Tony Vincent's Periscope session (see below) -- that you can search for more than one hashtag in Twitter? Just include OR (and be sure to use full caps) between your search terms. I can't believe I've been missing that easy option all this time! You can do that both in Twitter and Tweetdeck. Here's my busy Tweetdeck, trying to track both conferences: 

    Here are a few of the #NOTATISTE activities I've most enjoyed: 

    Tony Vincent (@TonyVincent on Twitter and Periscope) has been Periscoping poster sessions and more around ISTE. Periscope is an iOS and Android app that allows you to create and watch very informal live streams of events. The connections can be unstable, but it has been worth the effort getting to follow Tony around sessions and hear him chat with poster presenters and more. In the course of watching, I've been learning how the Periscope app works, and I know I will want to try broadcasts of my own the next time I attend a conference live. The app allows viewers to send "hearts," indicating they like what they are watching, make comments, and share the stream to Twitter for others to view. And, the broadcasts are all recorded so people can view them later. Visit the link to Tony Vincent's ISTE page to view recordings of all his sessions. You will also see links to notes that various volunteers took during each session. You can follow people on Periscope to get notifications when they broadcast. Another person to follow whose been generously Periscoping the conference is #CraigYen. 

    The EdTechTeam has been an active group during ISTE, and has been having a whole series of lively, informative 20-minute presentations at the group's booth. Yesterday, all the sessions were streamed live and you can view the entire recording on YouTube. For example, I got to see Katy Perry share about how to create an unGoogleable question. Here's one of her slides with things to have students do rather than simply answering questions: 

    The EdTechTeam hosts summits all over the world, and I have heard Katy present on this same topic at a Google for Education Summit in Coronado, CA last fall. Some topics, though, benefit from hearing them and working through the concepts and ideas more than once, so I was delighted to view her session yesterday. To find out about the EdTechTeam GAFE summits, visit this page. I hope to present at the one coming up in Laguna Beach in August. 

    One of the challenge options for the #NOTATISTE group is to use Do Ink's Green Screen app, available for iOS on iPhones and iPads, to photograph ourselves at an ISTE location or event. I have been incredibly jazzed by how many students at my school have taken advantage of the green screen kit and the Green Screen app I installed on the library iPad for class projects. They have made films for Government, Chemistry, and English Language support classes, and more. Here at home, though, I don't have access to the green screen kit. So, to participate in the #NOTATISTE challenge, I went to the 99 Cent store, and bought a green tablecloth. Here's how I created the #NOTATISTE photo with me in the forefront you see up near the top of this posting: 

    1. I have Do Ink’s $2.99 Green Screen app on my iPad. (I could also have used my iPhone.)
    2. I downloaded the photo from the ISTE conference site home page.
    3. I used to add the “#NOTAT” text.
    4. I made that photo the second layer image in the Green Screen app.
    5. I hung my 99 Cent store green tablecloth over my couch.
    6. I sat on the couch and held the iPad as far away from me as I could. I made the camera the top layer in the Green Screen app, switched it to selfie mode, and adjusted the color and sensitivity as best I could, then shot the image.

    So … you can see that I’m too big and it’s not exactly “professional,” but for made all by myself without a camera person or a proper green screen, I think it will do :-) I tried setting up a tripod for the iPad, but couldn't get the angle right. Maybe I'll enlist my husband as a camera person for a second try today. Or, maybe I better just focus on getting ready for my trip, huh?

    Check out some of the other green screen photos from members of the #NOTATISTE16 community in this group slideshow.

    Friday, June 24, 2016

    Time for the Next Adventure!

    If you have been reading my school library blog, you will already know that I made a big life cycle change last Friday: I retired from my position as Teacher Librarian at Mira Costa High School. Here's a short summary of my "wrap up" at Mira Costa and my plans for the "next adventure."

    Throughout my six years at Mira Costa, I never felt like I was able to accomplish all I wanted to, but I know that I do have some things to be proud of. It was always my top priority to help students, both through lessons and one-on-one, prepare for college and career, become good digital citizens, find and pursue their passions, and be positive contributors to our society. And, nothing has been more touching than receiving some validation of that work when I was recognized as one of three Sandacre Teachers of the Year by the Senior Class at their Awards Assembly on June 1. "The criteria for this recognition," according to the letter from Denise Anderson, Sandacre Teacher of the Year Facilitator:

    is for senior students to nominate a Mira Costa teacher who has stimulated, inspired, and/or prepared his/her students for their future studies and/or other endeavors. You, as an educator, mentor, and friend have had a strong impact on your students.”

    You can read more about the award and my open letter to seniors in this blog posting on my school library blog.

    And, here is a short "report" of some of the highlights of this last year at the library I created to share with students, staff, and parents:,

    Each year, I have tried to experiment with and demonstrate different tech tools for compiling an end-of-year report. This film was truly an "apps mashing" effort.  I created the graphic slides with and the photo collage slides with Google Drawings. I used Animoto software and its built-in music to actually make the film. Then, I posted it to YouTube for easy embedding and linking. My Animoto "Plus" account limited me to three minutes. I had intended to use iMovie to make a longer film with variable-length slides, but that software has always defeated me! (It's on my "things I need to learn now that I have some time" list.)

    The three-minute length had pros and cons. The good thing is that it is short enough that I hope people were/are willing to watch the entire film. The bad thing, of course, is that I had to be so concise and leave so much out. And, since every slide needs to be the same length, I know that some of the slides go by a bit fast, making it difficult to read them. So, I also uploaded all the photos I used in the video to a Flickr album. I also included a lot of other photos I wanted in the video but couldn’t fit in the time allotment. Here is the link.

    So, what's next for me? I plan to enjoy more travel with my husband, more reading (of course!), more time with family and friends, and more exercise. I also plan to stay active in the school library and educational technology world both to learn and share. I already have the August Orange County EdTechTeam Google Summit, October School Library Journal Summit, and February CSLA (California School Library Association) Conference on my calendar. And, I am excited to have just been appointed co-chair of Social Media for the AASL 2017 Conference. That also means I will be at the next ALA Midwinter and Annual conferences for committee meetings. Of course, I will continue to be active on Twitter, and I hope to devote more time to this blog. I know the banner needs a facelift and I want to ponder some on its focus. Give me a bit of time to clear my head first. You probably won't see another posting until after the first stop on my next adventure, my Stanford Alumni Association trip next month to Scandinavia:

    This photo was taken with the library’s green screen and the Do Ink Green Screen app. For the background, I used a CC0 photo I found on Pixabay. Then, I added the frame and labels with Picmonkey.

    Wishing everyone a wonderful start of summer!