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EdTech Update

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Thursday
Oct272005

Jolt of Java - Revisited

Last month I posted the findings from a request sent to librarians asking about coffeeshops in school libraries (A Jolt of Java @ Your Library). Below is a very nice follow-up and one of several pictures included with the e-mail. Thanks, Sara!

________________________ 

 Hi Doug,  I am one who was searching for info last year on cafes in the IMC.  I just wanted to let you know that I followed my gut instinct on this one and am happy I did so.  Things were getting a little stagnant in the IMC and this has brought students and staff in and only been positive.  Our cappuccino/hot chocolate cafe area has been in business since school opened and things have gone very well.  (We have a very small 1970 IMC.)  Our new cafe is the one area that I never have to address behavior in.  The kids have risen to the occasion and are acting very mature and seem to love it.  This week we added checkers and chess and that too, is working well.  I am enclosing some pics-most taken when the room was empty in order for people to see how it looks.  So my word is, if anyone is so inclined to try it, they should go for it.  I am so pleased.  Thanks for listening, Sara

Sara Johnson, IMC Coordinator
D. C. Everest Senior High IMC
Schofield, WI  54476

 cap in IMC 1.JPG

Wednesday
Oct262005

More on librarians' shoes

Just a quick update to an earlier blog posting on librarians' shoes.

From an e-mail received October 10. 

I am attaching a photo of my shoes.
Sincerely,
Deb Logan
Librarian/Media Specialist
Mount Gilead High School

 6008DebShoes3.jpg
Deb, these are truly stunning.
I am now more glad than ever that I am a guy. I would never be able to match my shoes to the rest of my ensemble as well as you.
 

 

Tuesday
Oct252005

What IT Skills Should Teachers Expect of Incoming HS Freshmen?

At a recent district curriculum council meeting we discussed how we might be able to determine the level of technology proficiency of our incoming 9th graders. While we have a fairly good handle on what we teach all students grades K- 6 through our library media program, we still find a huge disparity among students as they enter high school. Much of the difference can be attributed to the varying levels of teacher enthusiasm for reinforcing skills in the classroom and, of course, levels of home access.

A paper and pencil test on ICT skills seems shallow. A full-blown performance assessment would be a huge time commitment. A self-assessment rubric would be unreliable.

There are the inklings of some online “performance tests.” ETS is designing one for college students. (You can look at a flash demo at <http://www.ets.org/Media/Products/ICT_Literacy/demo/index.html>. But I have seen little work done on how we accurately measure the skills of incoming high school students.

Here is my very modest proposal: we pick the top 5 “ICT skills” that classroom teachers should be able to expect of all students and design short, authentic “tasks” that can be easily assessed. If each core classroom teacher gives and evaluates one skill at the beginning of the freshman year, a profile of every student can be compiled and remediation can be provided through classes taught by the library media specialist.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been a classroom teacher, but I will start the conversation by suggesting that these tools and skills are essential for all students if they are to be able to do basic work assigned by classroom teachers.

  1. Word processing
  2. Spreadsheet use and graphing
  3. Multimedia presentation software and digital image handling
  4. E-mail use
  5. Internet-enabled research
My list of skills and assessments. (Moved from single entries.)

I'll let you know what the curriculum committee thinks.  You are very welcome to suggest an alternative list of skills!

Oh, because of the magic of the Internet, I am happily being productive from home this morning, waiting for the Sears repairperson to come and determine why the water softener no longer seems to be removing rust from our water. Everyone and everything seems to be taking on a lovely orange hue lately. One definite advantage of working from home is looking over the lake instead of the parking lot at school…
octlake.jpg