AASL Fall Forum

October 18th, 2014



AASL Fall Forum | American Association of School Librarians (AASL) via kwout

We’re about to begin Day 2 of the 2014 AASL Fall Forum in St. Louis and 8 satellite sites from around the country! I’m participating from the Greensboro, North Carolina site, where we have a great group of librarians (both K-12 school and academic) and educators.

We are gaining a unique perspective on the conference theme from our satellite site vantage point. We are learning about the “Anytime Anywhere Learning Landscape” WHILE learning anytime, anywhere!

I think the “anytime” piece will really come into play later on, when we reconnect with people and ideas after the conference through digital tools and spaces. But the “anywhere” piece is especially pertinent right now, as we participate in this blended experience. Here’s how it’s working.

At our site in North Carolina and the seven other satellites (Norfolk, Atlanta, Mercedes, Richardson, Johnston, Vancouver, and Houston) view a live broadcast of the main Fall Forum site in St. Louis. As pictured here, we view the speaker and media from St. Louis.

Throughout the sessions, the speakers designate time for breakouts. In small groups, pairs, and whole group discussions at the site, we talk about the content. We began with the keynote by David Warlick, and responded to questions about exchanging knowledge, building value in learning, and setting up a learning environment that “talks back” to learners and allows for mistakes. (I’ll follow up on the dialog in another post!)

Then each satellite site called in to a conference line in St. Louis to report out to the attendees across the country. (To help make a clear call-in connection with no feedback, we used a tricky work-around at our site: Google Voice at our presentation computer.) We shared feedback with colleagues in this way, plus we utilized Twitter (#AASL14) and Today’s Meet to share information.

Our second session was led by Ann Martin and Kathleen Roberts, who presented the topic of Librarian as Leader. We reported out twice in this session, once here in our room (in a Think-Pair-Share) and later across the sites. Our participants especially liked this session’s use of a Single Point Rubric, which reflected our knowledge of “key ideas for leading in an anytime, anywhere landscape” prior to the Fall Forum and after attending the session, as well as ideas for applying the information in our respective workplaces. (Again, I’ll share more details in a follow-up blog.)

Today we’ll focus on School Librarian as Innovator and School Librarian as Partner. For now– it’s time for breakfast and conversation. Check back for more posts on the AASL Forum, and share your experiences about the event in the comments!

–Rebecca Morris

Best Government Websites

October 11th, 2014

The Best Government Websites for 2014 via kwout

Does your state, city, or county have an outstanding web presence? Maybe it made the list of the 2014 Best of the Web! Announced on October 7, this list of awardees was announced by Government Technology and e.Republic’s Center for Digital Government. Websites were judged according to “innovative qualities, usefulness, and efficiency and economy.”

How were these characteristics reflected in the winners?

Ease of navigation, intuitive functionality, and mobile accessibility were among the top features. Social media integration was also key, including easy connections to communication channels for receiving alerts or posting maintenance problems like potholes. Searchable and easily located data was another important feature, as were forms and interactive features, like scenarios illustrating DMV requests. (I could see this approach adopted in a school library website, with scenarios describing reading and information needs, and suggested steps to follow next!)

Hawaii received the top honors for state websites, due in part to its adoption of gamification and personalization features in the website. From the article by Colin Wood, “Gamified elements like leaderboards and badges, along with transaction history through My Hawaii gives users a personalized experience, and are driving up online service adoption.”

In the website featured in the image above, Raleigh, North Carolina earned praise for integration of GIS technology in its ParkFinder app, as well as the provision of “700 data sets, including public meeting calendars, crime and fire data, budget information and land use.”

Read more about the award-winning sites here: http://www.govtech.com/internet/2014-Best-of-the-Web-Award-Winners-Announced.html#breakdown and view the top contenders here: http://www.govtech.com/internet/2014-Best-of-the-Web-Award-Winners-Announced.html?page=2.

–Rebecca Morris

Library 2.014 Recordings and Live Events

October 8th, 2014

Library 2.014 is underway! This free, synchronous conference event takes place October 8-9, 2014. Connected Librarian Day kicked off the events yesterday, and the recordings of these K-12 focused speakers are all available online now! All sessions are presented in BlackBoard Collaborate.

Here is the link to the speaking lineup from Connected Librarian Day: http://www.library20.com/page/connected-librarian-day

And here is the link to the recordings. (Search by presenter last name.)



Connected Librarian Day – Library 2.0 via kwout

I’m co-presenting a session tomorrow (Thursday, October 9) with my Digital Storytelling students from UNC-Greensboro. Join us at 4:00 PM EDT to talk about digital storytelling across library settings, and what the future of digital storytelling might hold! Check out the session schedule here by selecting your time zone:


–Rebecca Morris