Thing 20: Final Reflection & What’s Next?

What did you learn?

  • There have been many tools I have learned this year and that I now use. This includes Google Drive (especially Google Forms), customized settings for the Chrome browser and adding Delicious as a bookmarking tool.
  • I have created more resource guides for the district and my school using LibGuides. I love the format and usability of this site. At first, it was difficult to navigate, but not anymore. I already have some guides teachers have asked me to create for the fall that I will work on over the summer.
  • There are more ideas I have gathered for my library’s website. I need to have more students contribute to the site through book recommendations. I want to update the ebook section this summer
  • I tried Google Earth again with students. I like the tool and will use it per teacher request for a Google Earth field trip, but for some reason I have not clicked with this tool

What’s next?

  • This summer and next year, I want to become more proficient in providing ebook resources for students and teachers. I want to download the OverDrive app to the iPads and show students the available ebooks sites we have available to them. I plan to have a lesson on this for students in 3-6 at the start of school.
  • For social reading, I want to dedicate a few classes a year where students write a book review to post to the library’s Shelfari page. It will be neat for students to submit book recommendations to this site.
  • Also, I want to develop another blended learning course on Schoology. This year, I made one for digital citizenship and plan to enhance it next year. Besides the digital citizenship course, I want to create one for my fifth-graders called “Weeding Through The Internet.” I want to introduce my third-graders to Schoology, as well.
  • I’m taking a few summer PDs about Smart Notebook Exchange and more about blended learning

Did you like learning this way?

  • I loved the format of this course. With a busy schedule, it’s helpful to complete blog posts on my own time. It was not hard to schedule time to complete these. I enjoyed reading other posts, and I know I need to do a better job of commenting on colleagues’ posts
  • It was helpful to have dozens of articles and resources for each topic. We were not tied down to any one tool
  • Thank you, Polly, for another great session of Cool Tools
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Thing 19: Social Reading and Book Stuff

For this week’s topic, I selected to explore We Give Books. I have never heard of this website, and it was interesting to see that students could read ebooks for free. I signed up for an account and read many of the Llama Llama and Jan Brett books. In the site, there are many books that I use for lessons throughout the year.

I forwarded this link to my teachers at school, and a few have come to see me about the site. One teacher has started to use it in her class for independent reading time.

I reviewed the teacher resources page, and decided to use one of the lessons about the introduction of non-fiction to students in Kindergarten. We are about to finish a unit in that grade, so I hope to utilize it soon. I still need to read more of the ebooks to see which would work best for my students.

Also, now that my school has an iPad cart, one of my goals is to introduce more ebooks next year. I want to download the Overdrive app and place the We Give Books link on the iPad for students. I plan to spend a few classes at the start of the year going over the available ebooks options on free sites, the Overdrive app and the school’s databases.

This week’s post also had me thinking about ordering more ebooks through my vendors. I have thought about purchasing a few Kindles to download some popular ebooks for students to check out. Maybe initiating a BYOD policy for certain grade levels to download the reading apps so they can access the ebooks my school has available. I have not been too active in the ebook department the past two years, as we have been weeding and analyzing circulation data from the print collection. All of this should be done by the end of 2015.

Finally, I have a Shelfari widget on the library’s website, but I would like to encourage students to write book reviews on its account. I think I might try this with a grade level before the end of the year. Definitely next year.