10 December 2016

My First Half of the Year as a Media Specialist!

My First Half of the Year as a Media Specialist

This is my first year as the media specialist at my school after last year's media specialist retired. Something you should know, I am attending school online to gain my media degree while being the media specialist this year. 

So, my thoughts so far...

Let me just start by saying, as a classroom teacher, I was absolutely in my prime. I could not be more comfortable than when I was in front of "my" class teaching reading, science, math, social studies, having a class meeting, reading a book aloud, or laughing at a student's joke. 

As a media specialist, I am able to find that same comfort. The main difference is that "my" students do not consist of 20 students, but instead consists of all the 750 students of the school. They all know my name and smile as they come to visit once a week during their specials, and also during the week as they finish their library books and  visit to check out new books, or in the hallways. I feel that I am making such a huge impact on the entire school opposed to my one classroom. I am still able to teach and laugh with students each day.

So, to the question I hear constantly, "Do you like being a media specialist more than being a teacher?" I'd like to truthfully answer that they are both enjoyable in their own way, but I feel that I am making more of an impact on the entire school as a media specialist.

There are so many things that I enjoy about each day, but here are some that stand out.

I really enjoy Coding Club and using Code.org with students.

I enjoy going into classrooms to Co-Teach with Technology and teach teachers as well as students about technology. So far we have learned about Google Classroom, Storybird.com, Plickers, Galileo, Online Research, Google Docs, Sway, Adobe Spark, Blabberize and Popplet. 

I've enjoyed inspiring students to be creative inventors. Here are some examples of their Cardboard Challenge projects.

I've enjoyed my media courses at West Georgia. Here are some of my presentations and coursework thus far.

I learned to make a screencast. It's not perfect, but I enjoyed learning how to do it.
This screencast is a tutorial of how to use Voki.com 

I created a Digital Story about the Imagination Stations in the media center.

I wrote reviews for online reference sites.
This was an extremely time consuming task, but also extremely informative.
You can see this on my weebly site created for my college course. It's a student account, so I'm not sure how long the link will work now that the course is complete.

I also gave my school website a makeover using smore flyers.
School Website

I also use smore for monthly newsletters to the faculty and as a tutorial for how to use new technology.

I learned to use Canva for creating clip art and flyers. I created one about FERPA.

All in all, I've learned and enjoyed so much thus far. I look forward to continuing to soak up everything as a media specialist.

04 November 2016

Technology Recap from GAETC 2016!

Let me start by saying, I absolutely love GAETC!
The Georgia Educational Technology Conference is a 3 day event with session after session of phenomenal technology tips and tricks for you to use in your classroom. The hardest part of the conference is deciding which sessions to attend, because you will want to go to many that occur at the same time. One of the best aspects of the conference is that everyone is constantly tweeting about what is happening in their session. So, you almost feel like you are in multiple sessions if you use twitter and search the hashtag #GaETC16 

The Keynote Speaker, Josh Stumpenhorst, was inspirational. I enjoyed this video he shared:

Failures can be just as exciting as successes during innovation!

Now I am going to attempt to recap new things I learned while at GaETC in no particular order.

1. I learned about an app Groupme during a session about Media Specialists and Classroom Teacher Collaboration
This is a Group Text Messaging App
Basically, this app can cut down on your emails. As a Media Specialist, I can create groups of grade levels and talk to this grade levels easily on groupme. I like this idea, because not everything needs to be sent in email and email can become a bit cumbersome to check and respond. 

2. I went to the Georgia Media Specialist of the Year session. This session was great, because 10 media specialists were able to share about their program. I mainly was excited to follow each one on twitter. 
A few ideas that I gathered from this session include:

Jennifer Rice @theredheadjen shared
Having a Camp themed Family Reading Night with tents and having students read to parents using flashlights.
A Dr. Seuss Reading Cafe during Read Across America Week- Have 4th/5th graders read Dr. Seuss books to younger students.
Consider having an illustrator visit.

Heather Morin @hmmorin shared
Media Center Imagination Station can include: ozobots, littlebits, meccanoid, spheros, magnatiles, sewing, quilting, sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, pic monkey, stop motion animation, solo cups for building towers, dominoes, use laminate film to create 3-D hologram projectors with this link-

3. How to Draw Your Own Clip Art, Illustrations and Avatars! by Tony Vincent
I actually sadly did not attend this session, but could tell that it was amazing based on all the tweets about it. So, I investigated and found Tony Vincent's youtube video about this topic and I am so happy that I did. This makes my creative self happy.

4. I attended a session about Putting the T in STEAM by @giftedkidsrock and @jaimevanderg
From this session, I now want to know more about using Scratch with Makey Makey, how to get Captain Planet Ecosystem Kits, how to get the Google Team to visit your school, Run Marco, The Foos, Build Academy, and Little Alchemy.

5. Digital Storyboarding with Microsoft Sway by Suzy Lolley @lollytchr  I went to a session about SWAY. We have Office 365 in our district and I've seen SWAY as an option, but have not used it. SWAY is Powerpoint meets Smore... Teachers and students can use SWAY to make presentations, reports, and more.
I like that you can embed videos and even tweets into your SWAY.
Also, SWAY does lots of work for you. When you type the title of the work, SWAY will give you suggestions for things you can use.
Here is a link to one a found online. 

6. Google Classroom by @lesliefisher
This is a really big deal. Google Classroom is pretty amazing and Leslie Fisher did a great job explaining how to use it. Here is her slide presentation.

7. I also attended Left Overs w/Leslie @lesliefisher
She teased us with an upcoming Classhub that allows you to view your student's screens, send alerts, block apps, send webpages, etc. to their BYOD it will be available in Feb/March 

She showed us Knight Lab and the 4 programs featured on there. They each look pretty great.

The funniest thing I learned about was lmgtfy.com (let me google that for you). It's for when someone asks you a question that you then have to google to find the answer and basically they could've googled it. It's for being snarky...
For example, someone asks, "What time do the Green Bay Packers play?"
You can then send them this by going to lmgtfy.com

I also learned about Adobe Spark and want to explore this web-based program even more!

8. The last session I went to was Chrome Extensions by Chris Craft @crafty184
I especially liked VideoNot.es where students can take notes while watching a video.

His presentation can be found here:

This conference reminded me of how much I enjoy Twitter! I've neglected it lately, but have plans to start enjoying Twitter again. It's truly the best place for up-to-date professional development, by following educators and sharing ideas.

GAETC is the perfect time to run into your old colleagues and incredible teacher friends!
Follow this incredible teacher @MrsTeuchert

Follow this marvelous media specialist @AGeigerman

My husband (teacher as well, @SuperDScience ) was also able to attend. We helped with the Meals of Hope while at GaETC!

2017 Dates are already set!

10 September 2016

Five for Friday 9/9/16

Check out my Five For Friday for the week. I sure do love linking up with DoodleBugs Teaching!

I guess I should start calling these Five for Saturday, because I rarely post them on a Friday. 
Here are some weekly cat pics that will make you smile. 

International Literacy Day
I dressed as Little Red Riding Hood, the art teacher was the Big Bad Wolf and the P.E. coach was my Granny. The kids loved it!

Book Fair
Anything that could go wrong during my very first book fair went wrong. The truck that the books were being delivered on broke down. They ended up arrived at 7:15 am on Grandparent's Day and Grandparents started coming to shop at 8:30. The amazing media specialist that retired last year and I am now working in her place came to help and we got it done. She is a rock star at setting up the book fair and answered about a million questions I had during the it all. There were also so many grandparents shopping that the line wrapped out of the media center and down the hall. 
 That was just the first thing that happened, then the AC started to make this loud crazy noises during the book fair. Maintenance came out at about 12 to work on it and now the AC doesn't work in half the media center until a part comes back. 
Then a light fell from the ceiling and starting smoking! Yes, real smoke! Evidently, we had some kind of electrical issue, but again the maintenance guys came to the rescue and resolved that issue. 
Basically, I feel that I have been properly introduced into the madness of having a book fair and may be invincible now.

Here's the Photo Booth area our amazing parent volunteers added.

When is the last time you were literally patted on the back?

Last week I introduced students to Caine and his arcade he made from cardboard. Now we watched the follow up video and joined the movement. We are going to participate in the Global Cardboard Challenge!

I am late to the game on this, but I made my own bitmoji! It's way too fun!

We are working on improving the outside of our new home! We are adding a fire pit and outside rock patio. 
Here is the before photo and materials.

The after photo is coming soon....

Thanks for joining me for my randomness from the week!