OLA CONFERENCE 2016 NOTES

 

I took the time to write up my notes from the conference I attended in January. There was a lot of stuff on Makerspaces and Libraries that were quite useful. However, I found that the sessions I attended that, on the surface seemed to have nothing to do with my situation, were the most useful. For example, Eileen Gillette’s presentation, Talk Creative to Me explored how the library space can be adapted/evolved/utilized as a cultural hub for the community. I loved the way she broke down the different components of “space.”

I also really enjoyed the presentation from the University of Rochester and their journey in creating the izone. I learned some valuable lessons on how to engage the community and get their feedback. I also loved the idea of the library as a place to incubate new ideas. Not a new idea, but definitely re-packaged to fit this emerging, entrepreneurial culture.

Although I gave links to the descriptions of the different presentations, I did not feel comfortable sharing the links to the speaker presentations. However, most are available through the links to the actual sessions. If you do go and have a look and see something you like, please be mindful that this was someone’s hard work and treat the materials given so freely appropriately!

The notes are pretty rough and in point form, but I thought I would share anyways!

WEDNESDAY

Made in Canada: STEM Resources for Canadian Schools and Libraries

Notes:

This session was geared mostly toward younger kids so not so interesting to me. Though it was interesting to hear about the process of writing a non-fiction book for children.

Collaboration, Partnerships, and Innovation — how to Integrate Maker Initiatives within school curriculum

Speakers:

Megan Copp and Melissa Harris, Innisfil Public Library

Marci Duncan, Technology Instructional resource Instructor K-12 Simcoe County District School board

Notes:

Transforming learning spaces

Green screen teacher training workshops:

Use:

  • Do ink
  • No special lighting
  • F/X Photokey/imovie

Oculus rift- do I need to buy one? Should we make them?

# Makerspaces twitter

STEM for Dummies (because we’re not all scientists)

Speakers:

Gayle Mercurio (teacher-librarian), Toronto District School Board

Patricial LeBlond Teacher, Toronto District School Board

Notes:

  • Know more about curriculum for display purposes
    • EG.:
      • Human anatomy
      • Iran
      • physics
      • Nouvelle France
      • STEAM Activities
      • Shakespeare
  • Mostly geared towards younger kids. However, some interesting things – sphero games in the library.
  • Need to start with playing

Keynote: David Lankes

OLA-Lankes

Notes:

  • Obligation of innovation
  • Libraries as:
    • Marketplace for ideas
    • connecting people with great ideas to networks → access to multitudes
    • Helping innovations get the resources they need. *How does this look like?

 

Basically librarian love and propaganda: a call to arms to get back into the world… that we should start becoming some of the political and cultural influencers.

Talk Creative to me: Understanding Your Library’s Capital

Speaker: Eileen Gillette, Greater Victoria Public Library

Notes:

What Makes a Great Place? I really like the following visual in terms of breaking down a space:

It makes me wonder how a deconstruction of the ideal school library space would look like…I think I might work on it!

Question: Where are the “NO” spaces in my library?

  • Between shelves?

Rethink→ Reframe → Remodel→ Reinforce

Culture Hack Toolkit (How to create inspiring digital events)

Prototype Equipment Design

Check out GVPL Teen Digilab

Maker Habits of Mind in High School

Speakers:

Pam Jeffrey: Teacher-librarian, Simcoe County District School Board

Penny Chaiko: Teacher-librarian, Simcoe County District School Board

Notes:

  • Green Screen Café: Where would you rather be? What time period would you rather be?
  • Maker Monday
  • Materials suggested:
    • M-bot
    • BB8
    • Lego mindstorm
  • Get a group of students to help with Makerspace
  • Knit bracelets (macramé) (USE FOR SOFT LAUNCH OF OUR MAKERSPACE!)
  • Student-driven
  • Funding:
    • Speak up grants (Ontario only)
    • Best Buy Grants

Olita Spotlight: Avery Swartz

OLA-Swartz

THURSDAY

Hosting a Maker Fair in your Library Learning Commons

Notes: (I want to do this!)

Maker Fair: “Celebration of transdisciplinary learning.”

Start planning 3-6 months in advance

Audience? Students and staff and invite grade 6s (potential recruits)

Exhibitors (some from outside, some from in-house) 20 exhibitors

  • local community
  • fellow staff
  • administration, organization
  • provide separate space for makers
  • consider a variety of making strategies

Planning:

  • Develop a budget and timeline
  • Promotion:
    • Feeder schools!
    • Passport systems (stamped at each exhibitor..)
    • Connect with teachers, librarians & colleagues – have them sign up…
    • Classes come in like Book fair..
    • STEAM coach?
    • Ice Wire makerspace
    • SOMO by Sonic Wear
    • Textile Museum of Canada
    • origami society
    • Toronto tool library (3D printer)–COULD ASK HELIOS LABS?
    • Amy project
    • Teachers: brought class projects, + teachers

Post inquiry-based questions in Fair and post around the library.

  • eg. “What is the difference between making and manufacturing?”
  • eg. “Can making improve social conditions?”

Ask participants for feedback:

  • What was the last thing you made?
  • What was the last thing you bought? Why did you buy it and not make it?

The IL incubator: Exploring Information Literacy Skill Gaps in Secondary School Curricula and Postsecondary Research Expectations

Speakers:

Colleen Burgess

Gordana Vitez

Notes:

This was an interesting discussion about the gap between secondary expectations and post-secondary expectations on students. It seems like a big part of the problem is that it is easy to forget that when you know how to do research, that it is a skill you have to learn.

I also came away with the impression that we at Traf are doing okay in this area. We address many of the issues below even in our science classes, which does not seem to be the case with a lot of schools apparently. Most of our teachers require students cite their sources, that they know where to look and have a variety of sources to contrast and compare the information.

Problem: students are not feeling prepared to go into post-secondary research

Gross & Latham → research on this issue:

  • 2005→ students don’t even know they have a problem
  • 2011 → found that studies focused on behaviour not skills
  • 2012→ students don’t know they don’t know

ALA Listserv ILI → info lit listserv

Skills:

  • Citation & bib method
  • Difference between scholarly Vs. General reading
  • Difference between google and library database
  • Avoiding plagiarism
  • Ability to critically evaluate information in building their own arguments or ideas.

I found my dream job but it’s not in the library

Speakers:

June Avila, Hannah Loshak, Emily Porta

Notes:

I went to this presentation because I have been finding lately that I need to go out of my own profession for inspiration with the new projects I would like to start. And I don’t think I am the only one- a lot of the presentations I attended were about adapting/customizing/re-creating the library space to accommodate the needs of young people aspiring to become creative cogs in the knowledge economy. This means taking inspiration from Start-ups mainly, with their innovative take on communal space, the flexible, collaborative, creative model of these new workplaces. I thought it was important to understand the perspective of librarians embedded so to speak in these new environments.

They also provide a new perspective on how to view, relate and serve our population. Because they are in the private sector, they necessarily have to be fiercely client-centered. user experience is prioritized and I think libraries can (and already are) learning huge lessons from this sector.

Secrets- Seven Authors Share their Collaborative Writing Project

Speakers: Teresa Toten, Eric Walters, Kelley Armstron, Vicki Grant, Marthe Jocelyn, Norah McClintock.

Description:

It’s 1964 and life is about to change for seven orphan girls. On their own for the first time in their lives, the girls each embark on a journey of discovery, aching for the families they never had and experiencing the world in ways they never imagined.

Bestselling authors Kelley Armstrong, Vicki Grant, Marthe Jocelyn, Kathy Kacer, Norah McClintock, Teresa Toten and Eric Walters team up for the Secrets, a brand new series of linked YA novels that will be published simultaneously. Each author brings their distinct style to this project and will discuss the process of writing collaboratively.

Visit http://www.readthesecrets.com for more information.

OLA Exhibition Hall

Interesting stuff I found:

FRIDAY

izone: Imagination, Ideas, Innovation – Learning Space for the 21st century

Speakers:

Matthew Swift, Senior Strategist, brightspot strategy

Mary Anne Mavrinac, Vice Provost and Dean, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Notes:

  • Ask students: What kind of space do you need?
  • “provide platform for exploration of ideas not actualization of ideas”
  • All 1 thing:
    • space planning
    • service design
    • organizational change

ASIDE: What is up with the word ‘robust? figured prominently in many of the presentations…

  1. Use madlibs as prompt for user surveys (WANT TO USE THIS!!!)
    • How do you use the space?
    • How would you like to use the space?
  2. Then: storyboarding → how those activities would look like?
  3. Prompt participants then have a conversation.
  • Portfolio of offerings:
    • Who wants to use the library?
    • Have a work meeting re: rethinking the library…
  • Pilots and prototypes:
    • Read throughs
    • walk throughs
    • dress rehearsals
    • Pilot
  • Not developing a space but a program → the space is enabling it.

Making Spaces for “Makerspaces” in your school library/Learning Commons

Speakers:

Sheila Morgan, Teacher Librarian, Kortright Hills Public School, Upper Grand District School Board

Carla Warnholtz, Teacher Librarian, Westwood Public School, Upper Grand District School Board

Notes:

  • Rug! I need a rug!
  • Giant Paper Puzzles: eg. Giant Sudoku
  • Purchase materials and equipment  through Wintergreen
  • Google CS first
  • Implementing student inquiry…

Train home!

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rAPPido review: Do Ink (featuring my first attempt at a green screen!)

So I bought a green Screen as part of the Maker Space in the library. Not only did I buy a Green Screen, but I  bought both a stand for it and clamps. In short, the whole shebang.

Today I finally took a minute to set it up. I did this because today is the last day of Staff appreciation week, where our lovely, amazing parents have been showering us with treats and decorations from the 1970s. As today was the last day, the staff was asked to dress up in their 70s finest, and well, I happen to look fabulous darling (cough, cough.)

Here are some terrible pictures of my very slipshod set up (I just wanted to see if it would work!)

 

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 2.09.26 PMThen I downloaded an app called Do Ink, which I had seen demonstrated at the OLA Conference back in January.

Price: $3.99

Here is the description:

Green Screen by Do Ink makes it easy to create incredible green screen videos and images right on your iPad. The app lets you combine photos and videos from the camera roll with live images from your iPad’s camera.”

It took me a second to figure out how to use it, but once I did, it was easy peasy! At first, I tried to take the picture in front of the green screen (I used poor Marie-Claude as my guinea pig. She kindly gave me permission to use these outtakes).

When I took the picture before adding a backdrop the green simply went black:

IMG_1237

When I added the background after, it took me a while to figure out that I had to play around with the colour wheel in order to get the background to show up:

Screen Shot 2016-02-18 at 2.16.14 PM.png

Then I got this psychedelic image, which I am quite fond of in its own right, though it wasn’t exactly what I wanted:

IMG_1238

Ok. So maybe I need to stick the image in first. Marie-Claude had flown the coop by this point, so I decided to try it on myself. I added the backdrop and got Gail to take my photo. Even while taking the photo, the backdrop showed up in the background instead of the green screen and then it saved directly to my camera roll:

FullSizeRender

I know. Fabulous, nest-ce-pas? You can almost hear Hot Chocolate playing the background…

And then I was having so much fun, I roped some other fabulously appareled staff members to try it, as well as a couple of the lovely parents who spoiled us rotten this week!

FullSizeRender-1FullSizeRender-2FullSizeRender-3IMG_1250

Seriously. So. Much. Fun. I can see this being useful for so many projects. Life of the amoeba, perhaps? Jane Austen’s England? How about we swing over to Rome in the 1st century?

Now available for loan in the library!

 

How to Save a Web Page as a PDF on the iPad

Via Maketecheasier.com
Screen Shot 2016-02-04 at 12.06.40 PM

A couple of weeks ago, I was asked how you could save a web page as a pdf on the iPad. The problem was that when the teacher used the Save PDF to ibooks function available on the Safari browser, she found that she would lose crucial information as the app would ignore the sidebars. This is a problem when you are dealing with something like a recipe, where the ingredients are listed as a side bar.

I found this article gives a nice little workaround to this problem. There are a few steps to put in place in the beginning, but then is easy peasy to use when you want to convert a document. i went through all of the steps and it works!

Bonus: it allows you to open your PDF in many different apps, not just ibooks. Here is a screenshot of a chocolate cake recipe I converted to a PDF using their method:

IMG_1227

 

rAPPido Review: Quizalize

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 10.31.58 AM

What is it?

Quizalize is a web-based application (meaning that you find it online and not in the app store) for disseminating quizzes to your student.

How much does it cost?

It is free, though they have a “marketplace” where you can buy ready-made quizzes and I think sell your quizzes too!

Do you have to sign up?

Yes. Both teachers and students must sign up. However, Quizalize works with the Google apps for education so Traf students and staff can sign in with their google account.

How do I make a quiz?

Once you have signed in with your google account, click on “create a quiz” in the big pink box:

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 11.33.42 AM

 

Add your questions:

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 11.46.59 AM

There doesn’t seem to be a limit to the amount of questions you can ask. You can even format it to only ask a selection of the questions in a quiz you have set up.

IMPORTANT NOTE: if you don’t put any incorrect answers, Quizalize makes the student have to unscramble the answer:

(this is how it looks on the student version on the iPad)

IMG_1224

That is very annoying. I was using the Battle of the Books practice questions as a test case – these kind of questions are not multiple choice, yet I was forced to make them multiple choice to avoid the demonic word scramble:

IMG_1223

Compared to Socrative where you can have either multiple choice, short answer or true/false, this is a major point against Quizalize.

However, the ability to time the question (that big number in the middle of the student page) was great as for this particular case, the students only have 20 seconds in the actual competition to answer.

Here are some interesting features:

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 11.35.44 AM

You can add images! They also give you a great guide on how to do that.However, when I tried to upload a picture, it didn’t work.

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 11.18.05 AM

Could be a glitch. Could be a bigger problem. Who knows?

Also interesting is math mode. However, I am so out of my depth in terms of writing mathematical equations that I will refer you to another one of Quizalize’s handy guides.

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 11.34.57 AM

Once you have entered all your questions, save your quiz.

Important note: once you have saved your quiz, for any edits you have to do to the individual questions, you have to save it every time you change a question. For example, when I realized the word scramble problem, I went back to each question and added incorrect answers. None of them took because I didn’t save them each time I edited a question. Also irritating.

Then you can either play in class or set it as homework. Type in the class you are using it for:

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 11.57.20 AM

Customize your settings:

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 11.57.54 AM

Share the code with your students (just like Secretive, except they have to sign in)

Screen Shot 2016-01-21 at 11.58.44 AM

And then you are set!

Here is what the students see:

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This is how the teacher can view the results:

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 11.01.05 AM

If you go into your classroom dashboard, you can see the stats for the quiz by student:

Screen Shot 2016-01-22 at 11.45.11 AM

I am assuming this becomes more interesting and varied when you have a whole cohort and multiple quizzes. As for exporting the data, I do not see anyway to do that, but I suspect that is because it works with the google apps for education? Maybe it goes into Google drive?

Conclusion:

Though Quizalize is pretty easy to use, the fact that they only let you do multiple choice or word scramble is an issue. Also, needing to save each and every question in a quiz instead of just pressing save for the whole thing is irritating. The fact that you cannot export the data (that I can see anyways) is a big problem as well. I think for our purposes, Socrative is still a better tool, though some may prefer Quizalize colourful and simple interface. Also, the math mode option and the fact that you can (theoretically) upload images is a plus.

 

Let’s start 2016 off with a laugh…

Via The New Yorker

Apps to Download in 2016

Screen Shot 2016-01-05 at 9.14.31 AM

Here is one to get you started:

Looky

Isn’t human eye contact gross? Looky streams a video of the person right in front of you in the corner of your screen. Use it while ordering your pour-over coffee, testifying in court, walking down the street, or even watching live theatre. You’ll never have to look up from your phone again!

In Honour of Computer Science Education Week

Alas, Computer Science Education week always happens during our black-out week so we are not able to schedule an Hour of Code with our students. But the least I can do is give you something entertaining and thought-provoking  to help you procrastinate with your marking…

Here is a 15-minute podcast from Planet Money entitled When Women Stopped Coding, about why the numbers of women dropped so rapidly in the 80s (1984 to be exact).

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 11.24.47 AM

 

Why not try your hand at one of the Hour of Code workshops? I recommend the Khan academy introduction to javascript or the Code Academy  one!

I have also been reading this interactive article that gives a very in-depth but accessible guide to what is meant when we say “Code”. It is long, so I recommend reading it in chunks, but it is also very thorough!