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!

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