Untangling the World of Books, Technology, and Instruction

Thursday, November 8, 2012

#NEBEDCHAT Leadership Books & Inspirations

Books recommended by the #nebedchat rockstars on leadership and inspiration:

Drive by Daniel Pink
Shifting the Monkey by Todd Whitaker
What Great Teacher’s Do Differently by Todd Whitaker
What Great Principal’s Do Differently by Todd Whitaker
Fish by Lundin, Paul, & Christensen
Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader by  Mark Sanborn
Fred Factor by Mark Sanborn & John Maxwell
Lead Like Jesus by Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges
Lincoln on Leadership by Donald Phillips
Why School by Will Richardson
Energy Bus by Jon Gordon
Wonder by RJ Palacio
Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom
Book of Ruth by Jane Hamilton
13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher
First Days of School by Harry Wong
Mind Gym by Gary Mack
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
Servant Leader by Ken Blanchard & Phil Hodges
Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin
Teach Like a Champion by Doug Lemov
Art of War by Sun Tzu
Servant Leader by Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges
Teaching Matters by Todd Whitaker & Beth Whitaker
Secret Solution by
Undaunted Courage by S. Ambrose
Ruby Payne’s Framework for Understanding Poverty
One Piece of Paper by Mike Figliuolo
Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson
The Shack: reflections for everyvday of the year by William Young
8 to Great by MK Mueller (Added November 24th)

#nebedchat, #nebedu, #tt4t Channel on Youtube 


Leadership Reading Favs  (Added November 24th)

Seth Godin E Book “Stop Stealing Dreams” http://t.co/VWIx6bLi
Chris Wejr Blog – The Wejr Board  http://chriswejr.com/
Whitaker Blog Post  http://t.co/knMvMnZE “When we get there, are we going to be happy we arrived?”

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Librarian Has Left the Building

Yesterday I attended my first librarian workshop. Last year, as a first year librarian, I felt like I couldn't leave my library. Too much work to do, too many this, not enough that. The place would crumble without me. By the end of the year, I was out of energy, ideas, and good humor. I attended a technology workshop in late May and also presented at that workshop. I came away from those two days with the realization that I may be busy, but I am a much better professional when I step away and recharge my batteries. The air was charged with ideas and creativity, and I felt like a sponge soaking up all the great stuff floating around.
One of my goals for this year is to take advantage of those opportunities, both personally and professionally. The Library Goddess is sending us weekly reminders to take care of ourselves, even though she knows we will probably still take care of everyone and everything before we do so.  I registered for two conferences this fall and promised myself I would NOT feel guilty for leaving the library in the hands of my capable helpers. Carving out time for some favorite Twitter chats (#tlchat & #nebedchat) is on the agenda, as well.  I also promised myself a regular visit to the Butterfly Pavilion at HDZ just to walk through and visit the fluttering beauties.
Yesterday was one of those conferences and today I am back in the swing.  I spent the day diving into great digital resources and stopped at the apple stand on the way home. The building is still standing and I have a calmer and lighter spirit.

Friday, June 15, 2012

It Was the Best of Times....It Was the Worst of Times

Sleep Well
Finished all of the end of year tasks this week and tucked the library in for a nice summer nap. Spent some time reflecting - in the dark - about the last months and my first year as a school librarian.  It was far greater and far worse than I could ever have imagined...but...there was NEVER a day that I didn't want to continue on my journey as a librarian, advocate for students and reading, and technology integration. I learned to teach from my feet - not my knees (thank you, Dr. Pasco). I learned to forgive and repair, and I learned that unexpected insights are found in unexpected young people (thank you, Lunch Bunch).

Sitting there in the dark, I thought about all the days I came into and left the quiet library and all the mistakes and victories. Each day was a new beginning and an opportunity to guide and support those kiddos in their endeavors no matter how large or small.  I met some of the most amazing individuals in my students.  Some that made me laugh so hard and some that nearly broke my heart.  All of whom I included in my prayers.

There were days I dropped all the stuff on my desk, left it in a messy heap, and went out to visit with the kids, check out books, and just be in their presence.  They kept me focused, grounded, humbled, and inspired without even realizing how much I learned from them. And it is there that I think I found the true gift of teaching - we learn and receive so much more from them - than they from us.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

STI 2012

Find links to my presentation resources from the Summer Technology Institute - 2012

Spicy Nodes Presentation - Retooling Lessons with Web 2.0 & Technology Integration

Technology Integration Lesson Plan


Bloom's Taxonomy

iPad Applications in Bloom's Taxonomy

Digital Bloom's Taxonomy

Kathy Schrock's  - Google Bloom's Taxonomy

Jamey Boelhower Bloom's Webmix

Tony Vincent App Infographic
Show What You Know

Technology Integration Standards Matrix

TI Standards Reference

Web 2.0 Tools by ISTE Standards
Model Schools Website

My Five - My five resources for no fail inspiration:

The UnQuiet Librarian - Buffy Hamilton

The Daring Librarian - Gwynneth Jones

Van Meter Library VOICE - Shannon Miller

Twitter - @CynthiaStogdill

Tech & Learning Magazine / School Library Journal (Yes, I still read print!)

Feel Free to Email me with any questions you might have!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

And I Got Here...How?

I can safely say that when I started this blog as a first year school librarian, I would never have predicted the twists and turns that I have encountered in the last two months. My journey took an unexpected turn personally and professionally resulting in an absolute nightmare. Through no fault of my own, the result left me unsure of myself as an educator and a person and my family in upheaval.  However, as my situation begins to move forward, I have learned a few things worth sharing.

Sometime we ask for guidance and get silence.

It takes more courage to be gracious than it does to be arrogant.

Integrity always outshines the darkness.

Individuals I have known and worked with only six months had my back, supported and encouraged me in the worst and early days of my situation.  My students reminded me daily that what I do matters and they stunned me regularly with their insight and knowledge.  Finally, my husband expressed his displeasure by drawing his sword in my defense in light of the events that took place. It is his faith and support that guided me through the first few week because I was quite simply emotionally wrecked. As an educator, he has always been my inspiration because of his integrity and passion for what is best for students.  As a person, he is my absolute best friend. I am not lucky to have him in my corner....

Quite simply, I am humbled.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Too Big to Know

In Response to the book: Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room is the Room by David Weinberger

As a new librarian, I struggle some days with what exactly I call myself and where do I fit – librarian, teacher librarian, media specialist, technology integrationist. After reading Too Big to Know, I have a better sense of what my focus should be.  The author discusses the concept of information and knowledge with regard our digital society. We have an overload of information from the Internet and other digital resources.  Alone, information means little, however, if we are able to take information and create knowledge, we have also found learning.  Information itself leads only to a low level of thought (Bloom’s Taxonomy). By creating knowledge from information, we move up the Bloom’s pyramid to authentic learning.  I learned that there is a huge difference between information and knowledge, and librarian’s can be the guide through the murky waters. This also fits with the concept of transitioning students from consumers of information to creating information of their own. It is also central to understanding who we are, how we got here, and what comes next. 
Too Big to Know impacts library service by guiding librarians in supporting patrons in their own information endeavors.  According to the author, libraries are blazing trails in information access, use, and transformation to knowledge.  We need to be able to discern what is good information and what is useless and guide our patrons in the same process.  The internet is a massive collaborative space where anyone can contribute.  This creates a problem with the accuracy and reliability of what we find.  We first have to determine what is useful, what is to be believed, and what is discarded.  I know my students do not always understand this concept. They do believe if it is on the internet, it must be true. 
Librarians have always been leaders in the information process. Today, we have found ourselves not only guiding patrons through the information deluge but supporting them in the climb from data and information to knowledge and wisdom.  Finally, my favorite passage from the book follows. “There’s obviously plenty of data in the world, but not a lot of wisdom” (Location 159). As a librarian, I hope I am guiding those who I serve toward wisdom. 

Saturday, February 4, 2012


I LOVE Pinterest.  I heard about in my UNO Master's class last December and immediately requested an invitation.  I also just recently found the iPhone app - so I added that, as well.  It’s one of the best things I’ve discovered since Goodreads last January.

Not only is it chock full of super great ideas and photos, but it really does provide some great information, both personally and professionally.  Professionally, I have found some inspiration for displays and activities.  Personally, I have discovered how to freeze crockpot meals and have collected images of styles I like (and  look good on me!) and how to make boards of things that inspire me and feed my spirit.  The second aspect is probably the most crucial this year as a new librarian.  I have to say it's nice to get lost in all the visuals and completely block out everything else for a little while. It turned into a visual gratitude list and I find myself winding down as I look at my pins and  the pins of other members.  

My favorite board  is Books Worth Reading.  Choosing books that really speak to me go on this board, and I have found another way to connect with librarians through the books I've read.  We are all busy, and sometimes overwhelmed, and Pinterest has provided a great way to get ideas and see what works in other libraries.  Some of the ways libraries are using Pinterest are so inspiring and out of the box. Creating dialogue and a rapport with our patrons is a huge part of what we do each day. Quick, easy and free are all a slam dunk! 

Beware, it will suck you in and you will resurface gasping for air hours later or when your family starts shrieking for food. 

NE Learns 2.0 - Lifelong Learning


Lifelong learning is something so important to me, especially over the last several years.  As I turned forty in the middle of working toward my teaching certificate, I asked myself many days what I thought I was doing.  I realized after viewing the presentation on the 7 1/2 Habits of Highly Successful Lifelong Learners, that I often got caught up in the whirlwind.  I had a hard time viewing the roadblocks as anything other than another crisis and really had a difficult time with confidence in my own abilities.  Those were huge struggles for me and I often wished I could make the whole process go away or that I had never started it. However, the ability to overcome those two  roadblocks are the wells I have drawn from  in my first year as a librarian.  My experiences have also taught me that it's not about the destination, it's about the journey.

I have found that a big part of my journey is knowing I will never be through learning.  Seeing me as a committed lifelong learner is crucial to students’ understanding that they must be committed to learning, as well. Communicating that concept and modeling it to my students is so important. I have committed myself to strive to be on the edge of what's coming in my profession and to never let myself land in a rut.  I won't short change myself or my students. Lifelong learning is a key aspect of our global society, and our students need strong models who are willing to stretch, grow, and stumble along with them.

Part of that process is participating in the Nebraska Library Commission's Nebraska Learns 2.0 program. I am looking forward to trying each new idea and participating in "Book Thing" as part of my own commitment to lifelong learning.

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Image Retrieved lemonlemonade.wordpress.com
Last Wednesday, I was home with one of my kiddos after an episode of the flu combined with the after effects of some extensive dental work. I was able to catch a Wired Wednesday webinar with the Daring Librarian herself, Gywneth Jones. It was an awesome hour of animation tools and great ideas.  I was so glad I checked Twitter and caught Shannon Miller's tweet.  Later, I was tinkering on Tweetdeck while waiting for my bizillionth load of laundry to dry and I got caught up in a new teacher chat from Edutopia. (#ntchat) There were a bunch of different chats going on and I jumped in on a few and had so much fun.  There was some laughter (Help! I'm buried under 127 sticky notes) and some great ideas.

Afterwards, I realized that although I don't have a formal mentor in my district and  have only connected with one other librarian in my area, the connections that I have made through Twitter have really been a blessing during this first year as a teacher/librarian.  Following the "Greats" and the TL GeekTribe have provided me with some great ideas and direction that I wouldn't have found anywhere else.  God Bless those crazy librarians! I also realized that my struggles are not unique to me - and others around the country are having the same frustrations with collaboration and technology integration.  I hope my insights where helpful and supportive to the teachers who were expressing their frustration and I am so grateful for the ideas that I took from that chat.

So as far as mentoring goes - a formal mentor program in a school district is a great idea - in fact, next year, sign me up for the newbies.  I am the only media specialist, but having someone to rely on to ask the mundane questions (like what time do we report?) goes a long way toward establishing some connections and easing some of the stress of a new district. If that's not available, get on Twitter and find some movers and shakers in your content area and start following them.  No one is an island.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Librarian's Five for 2012

In the spirit of new year resolutions, I  have been giving a great deal of thought to the apps that I used the most in 2011.  I was pretty attached to my Blackberry but the hubster decided I should switch to the iPhone4 at the beginning of the school year.  Love It! and I am not a huge Apple user.  So here is my "Librarian's Five" for 2012 in no particular order:
1. Evernote: Love this app and have it installed on both laptops and iPhone.  After losing a bunch of notes on my phone, this gadget works great to keep my thoughts, ideas, and notes secure and accessible from wherever I happen to be. Save articles and read later.
2. Hootsuite: I use this exclusively on my phone to read tweets, send  links to my school email, and keep ideas for technology integration.  I LOVE twitter and this app manages my school FB fan page, personal Twitter, and my  husband's school Twitter account. I have connected with some super fab-o librarians and received great ideas and inspiration. Plus, the little owl is just so darn cute!
3. Goodreads: I kept track of the 200 books I read in 2011 with this app.  I can add books on the fly with the scanner to my list of books to read and update my feed for my kids which links to our school website.
4. Google Reader: I follow like a gizzilion blogs (not that many) and this app lets me scroll through stuff quickly, favorite what I want to keep, skip what I don't.  And if I don't feel like reading any of the eighty-nine posts, they all go away.
5. Kindle: Ok I can't download samples anymore on the move, but I can keep reading the books I am previewing for my kiddos, but most of all, just check out on everything for a while from anywhere. (Made that two hour wait in line at Gordman's on Black Friday go pretty fast!)

Short list contenders did include: NCIS Gibb's Rules, Talking Carl, and Common Core Standards (Yes, Really!)  PC gadgets: Diigo and TweetDeck

There's mine - what are yours?