Sunday, August 30, 2015

Curation Collections

As school librarians we can think of digital collection curation as the selection and assembly of a focused group of resources into a Web-based presentation that meets an identified purpose or need and has meaning and context for a targeted audience (Valenza, 2012). 

My purpose for creating a curation tool is to help reach parents and provide them with steps and tools they can use to help their child(ren) become better readers.

When examining these different tools I looked at them through two different lenses, professional use and patron friendly. Some fit both categories and others were more designed for professional uses.  I have used several. I love Pinterest and I have created several boards on it that are both professional and plain fun. While Pinterest is a good site where I have gained a lot of useful lessons I think for parents though it wouldn't be as "professional" as I feel it would need to be. While you can click on certain boards to help you focus, Pinterest is still very easy to get lost in.  Pinterest is an example of both squirreling and information overload.  Here is an example from one of my boards.

I have two Symbaloos on our school's website. While this is more focused, professional, and patron easy to use I decided to not use this one because I am very familiar with it already.

I have created a LiveBinder in a previous class. It has the professional feel to it with the tabs to store information where you can go more in depth. Parents are busy and want to be able to quickly access the information they need. They don't need to click through tabs to find what they are looking for.

Learnist and Listly are both sites that I feel would be better used as a professional resource to store websites, lessons, and articles that can help you professionally.  I like the list feature of it and being able to follow different lists on Listly.  It is easy to use and user friendly however knowing my audience I need something that requires less work than scrolling to find the article that they want to read.

Storify is a neat tool that allows you to create stories using other web site's information. This would be a wonderful tool for high schoolers to use to report on events from history and current events. Being able to get different perspectives on the events that happened and sharing them in a digital way would be an engaging activity for them.  Through this they could learn about biases, propaganda, and how to locate reliable information for their stories. If you haven't checked this one out here is a story from Storify.  This could be used for professional, educational, and personal use. However this would not meet the requirements of my goal.

Scoop It! was another new tool for me.  I have never used it. I created an account and have a paper set up. The feature that I like is that you can add your twist to the "scoop". The other nice feature is that you can access scoops from others and not have to surf the web to find other ideas.  It is similar to collaborating with other professionals in your field and getting the "scoop" on what they are doing so you can modify it to fit your needs. This is a great tool for personal or professional use.

Diigo was also a new tool for me.  I have created my own account and used it throughout my research of the tools. The extension addon helps you highlight notes, take screenshots of favorite parts, share, and mark to read later. It is a great bookmarking tool. This is definetly something that students and patrons that do a lot of research could use to help them take notes quickly and effectively.  For my purpose of sharing with parents though it wouldn't be the best tool. Here is an example from my Diigo page:

I feel in love with Pearltrees. It has a professional feeling, focused on one topic, easy to create, and easy for patrons to use. This is where I decided to create my curation collection on Parent Resources for Reading.  Pearltrees is very similar to Pinterest yet it has more of a professional look about it when sharing with parents. I love the feature where you can add an extension to Chrome where you can save a site, picture, and video as you surf.  This was a common feature for most of the sites now.  Here is my curated collection entitled Parent Resources.
Parent Resources, by mediateacher5915

Valenza, J. (2012). Curation. School Library Monthly, Volume XXIX(1). Retrieved August 30, 2015, from

What's happening in the Media Center

This week was orientation week  at my school for half of my classes. I was sharing how I wanted them to be active participants and the media center to be an interactive place for them. When I introduced two of my ideas the students were really excited about these additions this year.

My first new idea is an interactive bulletin board called, "Check out these "Tree"mendous Book?" After returning books they can write a short book trailer and post it on the board.

My next idea is called a "Did you know wall?" in the nonficition section. I explained it saying that when they read nonfiction books they sometimes learn new things that they really want to share. Well now they have a new place to do it.  One of my students already renamed it "The Thinking Wall." I love how they have taken ownership in this and we haven't even started it.

Curation Collection from the Eyes of an Elementary Media Specialist

   Browsing the tools and reading the articles I had so many aha moments. Lesson after lesson popped into my head as I read the articles. I always do a "How do you evaluate information on the Internet?" unit with my students but I have never looked at it from the point of view of where they truly get their information: these curated sites. At school they may type into Google, however at home they use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and other such sites to gain information. It is important that at a young age they learn how to weed through the information to find accurate and reliable sources. The statement, "Librarians can position themselves not just as curators, but as authorities. Librarians can help users learn how to curate, but also how to evaluate curated sources. (Ovadia, 2013)" says it best.  It is our job to go beyond the classroom applications and help our patrons and students gain the skills that they need to be transliterate in the ever changing digital society that we live in.  
    As an elementary media specialist I have a fine line of CIPA and COPA laws that I have to follow so allowing students to actually build curated collections and seek reliable information for these collections will be a challenge this year. However, I feel that it is my duty especially for my 4th and 5th graders to show them how to weed through the information that they see everyday.   

 Ovadia, S. (2013). Digital Content Curation and Why It Matters to Librarians. Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian, 32(1), 58-62. Retrieved August 30, 2015, from 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Essential Question

At the end of last year I realized that I was not connecting like I needed to with one of the major groups in my elementary school, the parents.  So this past summer I started planning and brainstorming how I could reach this group.  I wanted to help them see that the media center is there for them also and help give them tools to help their child(ren) develop a love of reading.  I am planning to hold quarterly afternoon reading events with parents and students. I am going to read a favorite book and then split the groups into reading stations.  I spoke with the public librarian and she is planning to come to one of the events also.  This would also be a great time to share a collection of online sites and activities that they can use to help their child at home. 

So my essential question for the class and this school year is: "How can I use digital tools to provide parents with resources they need to help their child with reading skills at home?"

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Welcome to My Blog

Hello all,

Welcome to my blog. I can't wait to share ideas that I have and lessons I learn from my students.  I think one of the best way to improve as a media specialist is to learn from others. I am looking forward to learning from everyone.