Untangling the World of Books, Technology, and Instruction

Thursday, November 14, 2013

What Schools Can Learn From the JP Morgan Twitter Debacle

Driving home from school this afternoon, I was listening to NPR and heard the story of how JP Morgan Bank tried to use Twitter to have a conversation with college students about the company.  Apparently, it backfired.  After being taunted and teased, the company canceled the chat and retreated.

I started thinking about this amazing book I read last spring "The Librarian's Nitty Gritty Guide to Social Media" by Laura Solomon. It is a comprehensive discussion on using social media to promote the library. One of the biggest points Solomon makes is that the social media promotion tool isn't something you just do. Creating a social media presence takes some planning, care, and direction.  It also takes time to develop some credibility with the people you are trying to reach. Something, JP Morgan apparently didn't know.  It takes time to listen and create a rapport with the very people you might need later.  Solomon's advice certainly applies to schools, as well.

So many of our Nebraska school districts are using Twitter to brand themselves and celebrate the wonderful learning opportunities taking place everyday.  In addition, the educator's using Twitter serve as models of digital citizenship to our students and their parents.  Anything that tells our story in a positive and constructive light is a good thing.  And when it's time to draw support from those stakeholders watching the sports scores tweeted out on Friday nights or checking to see what the kids are doing in the library this week, we have a base of people who follow what we do with no doubt we put kids first.

So what can schools learn from the JP Morgan Twitter Debacle? If you want to use Twitter as means of promoting your school and drawing support from your stakeholders, start when you don't need anything.  Tell your story and share your victories before you ask for help digging out of a hole. #justsayin

Sunday, November 10, 2013

The Power of Socrative

The most amazing thing happened this week in library class.
As you may know, I am in a different district this school year.  Much closer to home, but lots of adjustment.  I spent my last two years mainly in a secondary library, and this year, I am a K-4 school librarian. And, did I forget how fast Kindergartner's can move?

There have been lots of ups and downs during the starting over process.  I hate starting over! I hate not knowing names and where to find paperclips. Mostly, I hate not having connections with my students. Lots of exciting things are happening in my district and I am grateful to be a part of change, I just hate starting over.  Did I mention I hate starting over?

My older students are working on foundations of research and some days are rough.  The answers don't just jump out and scream, "here I am! Take me, Take me!" It's like the video one of the teachers sent me last year after a particularly harrowing week full of technology issues and tangles - and teaching research.

However, my students are starting to find the amazing sense of accomplishment when they "bring in the herd" and find the answers they are looking for.

I love to use the resource Socrative  for assessing understanding.  This week I used it on some basics of World Book online. We had an activity where the kiddos looked at an image of an article  and answered questions based on what they read or what components of World Book they identified. I designed the activity to give the students feedback after every question.  I started hearing a "yes" here and there as they worked through the questions individually.  I stopped by one student and helped read the questions.  The first question was correct and I got a little smile.  By the third question, the room lit up with the most heartwarming grin.  I was dismissed because, "I think I got it, Mrs. Stogdill."

Watching a student find the power of knowledge, is one of the things I love about what I do.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Using Your Noodle - NSLA13

Resources from the NSLA13 presentation!

Use this link to access NoodleTools trial http://bit.ly/169xeOk

Navigating NoodleTools

Sharing Projects w/Your Teacher

Exporting Works Cited From NoodleTools to Google or Word

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Mrs. Stogdill's Library Website

Hello! my kiddos! If you Googled my website and found yourself here, just click on the link below to go to my library website.

Mrs. Stogdill's Library Website

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

NNNC - Summer Technology Institute

My good friend, Otis Pierce (@odiep77) and I will be spreading the Twitter word at the NNNC - STI tomorrow (May 29th) at the Lifelong Learning Center in Norfolk.  See you there!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Looking Back.....Moving Forward

I started this blog two years ago, to document and share my experiences as a school librarian.  It's been a pretty interesting two years, and after reading over two years of posts - I don't think I would change a thing. Because, in the words of Rascal Flatts....God Bless the Broken Road...It Led Me Straight to Here (or something like that). Next fall, I will be in another district as a school librarian with new challenges and new celebrations....and a much shorter drive.

While I was cleaning, sorting, and packing my office this week, I came across my little green butterfly. Abby and I bought him at the HDZ right after I was hired at LV.  He made an appearance in my first graders "Hungry Caterpillar" reader's theater at Beemer, joined me that August in LV and has lived in my office since. One day I found him smashed under some catalogs and binders.  That day, I could honestly say I knew how he felt.  It wasn't my best day, but there have been some pretty great days, as well.

He's been witness to the things that I never dreamed would happen.

Like the day one of my reluctant readers checked out a book and said, "I just want you to know, I read whatever you recommend because you just know where the great books are." And the day one student skipped out of the library clutching the latest book in the series she was reading after waiting for it to arrive - skipping. And from a research survivor, "Mrs. S, I just want to say, NoodleTools and GoogleDrive have saved my life this year. I 'm so glad you made us learn it."  And the most humbling, a farewell message left by one of my fifth graders on the class wiki, "Someday, I will stand up for other people who are bullied."

I'm honored by the trust the LV teachers have shown when we've started paperless research projects on the iPads, and the poetry videos we made in the elementary instead of traditional paper/pencil assessments. I'm proud of my colleagues for taking risks and changing the way they teach to include technology in a meaningful way. I've certainly learned more from my students than they likely learned from me - and for that I am grateful. I'm blessed to have been able to present at NETA13 to share the power of technology in advocating for library and to be a part of the #nebedchat PLN and for the amazing network of professionals putting students first every single day.

Finally, I'm blessed to have a husband who has stood by me every day, held my hand, and listened to me rant and cry when appropriate - or not appropriate.  He is my inspiration to grow and perfect my craft as a professional. He does all of that, while guiding his own staff and students - and he still does the laundry.

Looking back some of the scars are fading in light of the blessings I have found.  Some were honestly, downright miracles.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Has the Librarian Left the Building - NETA 2013

 I realized well into my first year as a librarian my craft was really about connections: some literal (like climbing a ladder and disassembling a Wirelss Access Point) and others more figurative (helping students make connections between their own experiences and something really abstract and scary like poetry).
There was one failing connection that really surprised me.  The connection to our students with regard to reading. Alarming - because that's why I became a librarian and it was what I spent the least amount of time doing. When I asked some other librarians, they were having the same quandry.  
How can I connect students to great book choices when I'm not in in the library - or often times, even in the building. 

Social Media is a powerful tool in making this connection
1. Models digital citizenship
2. Advocates for your library & creates transparency
3. Provides power professional development for you as a librarian

Books/Articles to Read on Libraries and Social Media

King, D. (2012). TECHNOLOGY: Dispatches from the Field. Social
       Media?. American Libraries43(11/12), 27.

Steiner, K. (2012). Strategic planning for media. Chicago: ALA

Solomon, L. (2012). Librarian's nitty-gritty guide to social media.
       Chicago: American Library Association Edition.

Smallwood, C. ed., (2012). Marketing your library. Jefferson, North
        Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

10 Things any Class Can Do With an iPad

Image Retrieved from apple.com
Ready to think outside the box?  How about we get rid of the box? Regardless of content area, there are so many amazing and engaging ways we can use iPads in the classroom.  The following list is just the tip of the never-ending iceberg of possibilities.  

Poll Everywhere: Project small group discussion results on classroom screen or create a running narrative/description
Socrative: Check for understanding with m/c or short answer
Google Drive: Access student accounts and district domains for collaboration & creation
I-nigma: Project QR code on a screen.  Students scan for website, read & respond
Colorbox HD: Create summary of a story, concept or lesson
Comic Touch: Take photo relating to lesson and summarize
Common Core: Search and identify standards they have mastered in your class
Evernote: Create accounts (accessible from any device - anywhere) & compile ideas, articles, & notes
Flashcardlet: Students create their own flashcards to study and share
Haiku Deck: Create and share presentations on any topic or concept

**Bonus**Show Me: Create animated presentation to illustrate or describe any concept through drawing and importing photos.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Inspired by Google

Retrieved from Mashable.com
Yesterday, I had the greatest collaborative meeting.  Our conversation stemmed from Mrs. G's desire to integrate the new iPads into her research project and further advance her goal to be as paperless as possible this semester.  We went through Google Docs, Drive, and how we could pull all of those pieces together into a cohesive and authentic research project.  It was awesome.  In addition to that, we continued our discussion throughout the day through Google Chat as we fined tuned the reading selections the students would have available to them.

It took alot of conversation and her whole plan period including some live practice with sharing and commenting on documents, but the results were so amazing.  It felt like we were really shifting the learning experience for our students toward something incredibly powerful and dynamic. Citations, research, and notetaking will still be an integral part of the process, but with Google, students will have access to comments and the collaborative process, as well as access from any computer.  Granted, I don't have to write the papers, but I am so excited for the process.

Thanks, Mrs. G for taking the leap and I am so proud of the strides you are making in the technology race. Our students will be the winners.

Thursday, January 24, 2013


Montmaray Journals
So...yesterday I was shelving some books and passed by The Fitzosbornes at War  by Michelle Cooper which arrived a few months ago from one of our book services.  I had been mulling over reading it, but had hesitated because this was Book 3 in a series.  As it happens, over a week ago,  my assistant was cleaning out some drawers and came across three or four books that had never been cataloged.  Interestingly enough, one of them was The Fitzosbornes in Exile which was Book 2.  So again, I thought well, maybe I'll start with Book 2 and add Book 1 to my next purchase list. I opened up my Mackin (great book supplier - by the way) and looked the title of Book 1, Brief History of Montmaray. Since I  have our entire catalogue uploaded to Mackin - when I look up books the database tells me if I already own that title or have it on a list. Crazy, crazy - we already have that title in our collection.  Found it on the shelf. Check it out to myself. Happy girl.

And the moral of this story?  There isn't one except to say that sometimes things just come together in unexpected ways and isn't it fun to just appreciate the small things.

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Yesterday, my daughters walked into a volleyball match, side by side with matching warm ups and bags.  I asked myself, how did we get here already? I'm pretty sure just last week, I had one child and we were spending every Saturday in January watching Dad coach wrestling. My journey as a parent has been marked by these moments - and sometimes I forget to stop and look back.

My journey as a librarian has been marked by my students and the books that have changed me along the way.
        * The Snowy Day - Ezra Jack Keats (The power of a little school participating in a simultaneous national reading program - yes, we can make a difference.)
         * Little House Chapter Books - Adapted from Laura Ingalls Wilder (Watching a first grader discover she is a reader.)
          * Healing Spell - Kimberley Griffiths Little (Connecting with a national author through our elementary library blog)
          * Perfect Chemistry  - Simone Elkes (Really listening to a student's passion for a book.)
          * Crank - Ellen Hopkins (Students' freedom to read and the power of our students' passion for reading.)

Retrieved from communities.washingtontimes.com

I seem to roll through my whole life at full speed - one thing to the next. I just completed my master's in December, and some reflection seemed appropriate. I tell my students all the time when we talk about research, technology, and love of learning, the journey is more important than the destination.

Just like Alice - I give great advice, but seldom take my own.

I have been truly blessed with an amazing PLN which has brought me new friends and colleagues (#nebedchat). I get starstruck when I meet one of my Tweeps - and I hope that never stops. My students continue to inspire me everyday with their insight and wisdom. I look toward the future for more books to mark my journey. Most of all - I am humbled by the blessings and opportunities being an educator have brought to my life.