Reflections on Instructional Technology and Media

Google Reader October 19, 2006

I am at a workshop for LearnNC on blogging and RSS. While most of what we are learning I already know, I find that I have yet to attend a session like this one where I do not learn something new. Today I learned about a new RSS aggregator, Google Reader. While I have been a die hard NetVibes fan, Google Reader has some really cool features that I think make it an exciting tool for teachers.

  • You can STAR blog articles that are particularly meaningful and then choose to view only the articles you have starred. Wow – how many times have I read an article and want to go back to it a week or month later and have trouble finding it because the blog has been updated so many times since I read it last!
  • You can choose to SHARE articles. A link is created that can be emailed or posted on a teacher’s web page to blog articles that are relevant to a class. I LOVE THIS FEATURE!!! Google Reader will also generate script for you to actually post clips of these articles.

Blogging from New Zealand October 10, 2006

I am so excited. One of our middle school teachers was selected to particpate in the Southeast Ocean Sciences Education Excellence Leadership Institute and join an Oceanography research project in New Zealand this month. She is blogging her trip for her students and peers. What a wonderful way to stay connected!


Conference Conversations October 5, 2006

I am on day 2 of the NCSLMA conference. I have attended several sessions at this point which discuss the use of Web 2.0 in its various implementations in K-12 Library Media Programs. No matter how many times I attend sessions like this I always learn something new – and what is so comfortingnis that, from my observations, so is everyone else – including the presenters!

For example, the last session was on using iPods in education. The presenters were sharing their experiences and when questions were posed by session attendees that they could not answer, someone in the audience would pipe up with their knowledge! This evolved into a discussion session rather than a presentation session with everyone sharing their individual experiences and ideas – the result being that I walked away with a much richer set of information to take back to my schools than if I had only had access to the info the presenters brought to the table.

And then it occurred to me – this is what Web 2.0 is all about!  David Warlick talks about telling the New Story and I have heard him “tell” this. But sometimes it takes an emersion experience really get it!


NCSLMA – Impact for Administrators

Filed under: Instructional Technology,library media,technology,tracyweeks — tweeks @ 5:51 pm

I am in Winston-Salem, NC today and tomorrow for the NC School Library Media Association Annual Conference. Today is full of pre-conference sessions and tomorrow the concurrent sessions begin. This morning I am in a session called “Impact for Administrators.” NC developed the IMPACT ( guidleines for school media and technology in 2000 as a model for collaboration between the media and technology programs in a school and for flexible scheduling of media and technology resources.

Clearmont Elementary Principal – discussed his school’s adoption of IMPACT
Went directly from fixed schedule to flex Cold Turkey
 Test scores went from 6 yr avg of 79.9 to 4 yr avg of  95.7   WOW!!!   WHY?
 Old school building (built in 1937) – LCD ceiling mounted in each classroom

Future Ready Students for 21st Century
 This will become our number one goal in NC
 SIP should align with this
 Need to begin to have conversations this year to get ready for this
 Comparing “old” ABC model with “new 21st century model
IMPACT: Media and tech coordinators collaborate with teachers to create Project Based Learning environment that is resource rich
 Integrate technology
 Tech literacy for students
 impact on academic achievement

10 schools: 70% Free/Reduced Lunch
EOG scores improved greater than comparison schools
Higher schievement in 20 technology skills measured
Significantly more positive about working with computers
Technology Facilitator models technology use more often
Staff development based on needs assessments (differentiate the instruction of the teachers)
Media Center Use
 Impact Schools had:
 larger collections
 higher circulation
 47% more classes visiting in 1 week period
 40% more students visiting in 1 week period

The more transformational a leader is, the more teachers improve their skills
 MC+TF becomes change agents with support of the principal

Top 10 Benefits of IMPACT model
10. Staff Development
9. Fosters Collaboration
8. Differentiated Instruction
7. Reduction in TEacher/Pupil Ratio
6. Access, Access, Access
5. Better Consumers of Resources
4. Improved Performance
3. TEachers emerging as leaders
2. Technology not taught in isolation
1. Positive and engaging learning experiences!
Workshop in a Box
IMPACT Website –
Flexible Access
 Gave grade levels 2 arts, musics, or PEs – so the teachers did not “lose” planning time
 Grade level common planning every day of the week – use TA to cover class time when not in art, music, PE
Change Adopters
 Early Majority
 Late Majority

Stages of Concern – Handout