Saturday, September 6, 2014

ED 7720 Thoughts about my Learning Hub

For many years, teachers in our system have been encouraged to maintain a website for the convenience of students and parents. Due to our network "complications" we have been encouraged to use certain websites and then banned from those same site providers in subsequent years. I have maintained a single-page, serviceable site on our School-run website. Please do not seek it out. It's embarrassing. It includes links to the Destiny library catalog*,, and a handful of other heavily-accessed services. Last year, I finally embedded pictures of students using the library.

Some of the schools in our system (not mine) are piloting a 1:1 (device to student) program. Thankfully, Abbott Tech is not one of the pilot schools. The devices were "air dropped" over the summer into the school library to be distributed. Teachers have had no training in 1:1 school culture or expectations. This year, my focus will be to get staff up to speed in case we are blessed with devices next year.

A benefit to this technology influx is access to Google's education tools and permission from those on high to use Google Sites for our webpages. I have started creating a website, soon to be Learning Hub, using a basic teacher template in Google Sites. Using G Sites is awkward. I am researching some of the glitchy parts and writing down some how-to's so I can walk interested teachers through the process. My new site, Henry Abbott Tech Library, will be linked to the Abbott Tech website.

In my Learning Hub, I would like to include
- student book recommendations
- new (to my library) books 
- vocabulary words (Tier II, of course)
- links to library resources and tutorials (screencasted and written)
- a calendar (library and lab reservations)
- and digital resources students and teachers can use in their classes.  
For a librarian in a school that uses Accelerated Reader, I finish a pitifully small number of books. I decided to list the last four books I am reading or have read below my photo. This will keep me honest... and reading. 

My website/hub audience will primarily be students, but I plan to include a link for teacher resources.  I live and die by my "red folder." It is filled with school-specific passwords, master copies of sign-out sheets, and how-to's for obscure pieces ot technology around the building. I will have to keep some of that information out of student hands, but the information that I regularly disseminate to teachers can be stored in the hub. Maybe I can find a password function.

*I always feel like I should be wearing a cape when I talk about the Destiny catalog.

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