November 11, 2008

Clarification: What’s due on 11/15

Posted in Assignments at 8:40 am by maf

Hello!   Thanks to Anne Marie and Kristie, I found a mistake on the Planner that I will clarify here.

All you have to do on Nov 15 is show up and give your presentation.  That’s it.  Nothing else is due.

The dropboxes should be set up to receive your presentation files, notebook URLS, design ideas, and reflections – all on later dates.

I am happy for your presentation to be a URL – in many ways, it’s easier to deal with almost any slide sharing format rather than Powerpoint.  But I will take the Powerpoint – except not in Office 2007 format.

Remember that the classroom computer may not run Office 2007 Powerpoint – another reason to use a 2.0 slide presenter.  Googledoc Presentations, Slide Share, and Voice Thread are all possibilities.

I fixed the little due date problem on the Planner and hope it’s not anywhere else.  (I had changed my mind and then not found all of the references to the original due dates.)

Once again, let me emphasize that it’s better to plan for the short side (10 minutes) of the target time range rather than the long side (20 minutes).  Let me know if you have any questions!

October 22, 2008

Reminder: Exhibition links due in 1 week

Posted in Assignments at 11:32 am by maf

Where does the time go?

I looked at the calendar this morning and realized that in one week, it’s time for you to submit your Exhibition Link to Allyson.  (I pasted her email and the Exhibition Page link all over several class documents – I think you can find it easily now.)

I’ll be in Athens Friday, but otherwise have a normal schedule.  I’m madly grading a lot of assignments – plenty to do – but don’t hesitate to contact me if you have questions.

October 1, 2008

RQs finished

Posted in Assignments at 4:51 pm by maf

Nicely done as a group!  Not a “start over” in the bunch. 🙂

You will find your feedback in your WebCT/6900 dropbox for this assignment.  Some are in audio format – .mp3 – a new thing I’m trying out.  Let me know if that doesn’t work – or if you have other questions.

August 28, 2008

Exhibits and Techno-Stress

Posted in Assignments, Updates tagged , , at 11:29 am by maf

I detect disturbance in the SLM force field.  If you are having techno-stress, read on – or, if you never have techno-stress yourself, use this post as a possible avenue for helping your teachers, who will likely suffer from techno-stress from time to time.

All of my classes are preparing online exhibits.  Yes, this is new.  I admit it – I was tired of doing it the old way. Once again, I see this as a way to explore a bit of new technology while satisfying some of our program objectives – and save some gas.

Focus on the content of your exhibit. The tech stuff is a side item. There is nothing on the rubric that gives you credit for having a gee-whiz-bang high-tech exhibit.  The technology will host the content; it has little value beyond its function.

I hear that the Comments requirement is causing some puzzlement.  In class, I said we would work around that if necessary.  OK, here’s a bit of a concession: I will provide a Comment forum in WebCT for all Exhibits that don’t have them naturally.  Perhaps this will help. Choose your technology for other reasons.

Once again, I emphasize: there are many simple tools out there that will do this job just fine.  Here are three simple possibilities:

  1. Google Document.  Yes, I really mean it. If you’ve never used them before, this is a great way to learn. You can meet all the requirements through this important 2.0 technology.  If you’ve used it before, you could use this as an opportunity to play around with some of its bells and whistles. (Check out the templates; play around with Forms.)
  2. Google Presentations. If you want a shareable Powerpoint-like tool, this is one.   (Slideshare is another.)
  3. Blogger.  If you haven’t tried blogging yet, it’s high time. Comments are built in.  I’m guessing here, but I’ve heard that Blogger is a tad easier than WordPress to set up.  (I chose WordPress because colleagues told me that it had more flexibility, and I haven’t been disappointed – but there have been some puzzles.) There are other nice blog tools out there, as well – Edublogs, for one.

Those are 3 basic tools that I hope all of you will graduate with a thorough understanding of, beyond this assignment.  More advanced or more willing to try something edgy?  Try YouTube … Glogster … a mini website with embedded features … Voicethread … any public wiki … Google Notebook … and there must be dozens more.

So I hear you thinking:

How will I ever learn all of these tools?  I can’t keep up!!

Here’s the answer:

You can’t. You won’t.

Here is a sane approach.  Granted, technology is non-negotiable – it is a part of life now, always has been (back to the first tool, whatever that was), and will continue to evolve throughout your career.  As a media specialist, you must devote a small amount of time on a regular basis to watching for new technologies, playing with them a bit, plugging them in as you see fit, and recommending appropriate ones to your learning community.   Most of all, you must be open-minded and watchful.  That’s really all that is required. Try to let go of your desire to control it or stay on top of it – surrender all of that.

Read a few blogs.  Listen to what your kids are doing with technology, and ask them to teach you. Go to a conference every year or so. Pursue the techy ideas that seem useful, and let the rest swirl on by.

End of sermon for today!  Please, consult your inner child and try to play with this.  You might enjoy yourself.

July 1, 2008

Mortimer quiz ready at last!

Posted in Assignments at 8:49 am by maf

Once I got down to it, this wasn’t so bad. I was dreading the WebCT hassle, but with a good Help file open on the other monitor – I didn’t have to think about it too hard.

Please don’t dread this quiz. Read the book, work the exercises. Then do the quiz (open book, open Internet allowed). Repeat until you earn the score you want. Instructions for accessing the quiz are embedded in the Mortimer assignment description.

I suspect that some might pass the quiz without reading the book. I’m not going to try to police you on that! I genuinely believe the book and the exercises (as selected) are helpful, and you will know a lot more on the job if you take the time to do this.

The quiz includes questions that force you to apply some critical skills – you really must know how to do these things. (I would be embarrassed if you didn’t.)

If someone is ready and brave enough to try it first – I am anxious to know that it “works,” since we don’t have time to do a field test.

Tomorrow I’m on the road to Gwinnett for the Summer Marathon (featuring several of your classmates!). I’ll catch up with you again on Thursday.

June 13, 2008

Q+A: 082 Tag: Text discrepancy

Posted in Assignments tagged , at 7:21 am by maf

Today I have a question from the class, a pragmatic answer, and a philosophical reminder.

The question, slightly paraphrased:

In the KR text for the classification exercises (082 tag) the text and the exercise instructions have the institution indicator (_, 0 or 4) first and then the version, (0 or 1). But when you check the answers it is reversed and later in the text it is reversed. Which one is correct?

Don’t you love it when you find a booboo in the text? To be honest, I did not track down where in the book it is correct versus not correct. I simply went to The Authority (my title), which is the Library of Congress (actually, I searched all Delicious bookmarks for MARC and spotted this near the top of the list). There I found this long tag list. I did a Control-F search for 082, and found this helpful clarification:

      First - Type of edition
         # - No edition information recorded (BK CF MU VM SE) [OBSOLETE]
         0 - Full edition
         1 - Abridged edition
         2 - Abridged NST version (BK MU VM SE) [OBSOLETE]
      Second - Source of classification number
         # - No information provided
         0 - Assigned by LC
         4 - Assigned by agency other than LC

So, clearly, the first indicator is for edition and the second identifies the cataloging agency.

And now for philosophy. Do I think it’s important for you to carry this 082 information around in your head? Absolutely not. There will always be authorities for you to check – unless you’re on a desert island somewhere! Do I think it’s important for you to understand this? Perhaps. But it is not the most critical of the MARC tags to understand. Do I think it’s important for you to know how to check any aspect of MARC? Absolutely critical. And the LOC is the best tool for this.

May 30, 2008

Q+A for Several Assignments

Posted in Assignments tagged , , at 8:09 am by maf

We have pioneers in this class – people who are working fast and ahead. With the busy summers many of you have planned, this is understandable. As I deal with some of their questions below, you shouldn’t feel guilty if your priorities have been something else – but notice the questions. In many cases, they point to little problems in the assignments or clarifications that need to be made.

Access Enabler question:

Our group needs clarification … Do we have to do the actual lesson/handouts that we discuss as being our solution, or just describe what we would do?

Answer: I apologize that the assignment is quite unclear on this point. What I would like is a “middle way”: a). thoroughly describe your solution; and b). develop just enough of the solution package (or lesson, or tool, or resource) to give us a clear idea and a small sample. This might be a single piece of the package, or a list of lesson plan steps, or an excerpt. You may decide it’s easiest and most appropriate to provide the entire resource, especially if it’s compact. In the case of lesson or unit planning, I do not expect to see everything down to the last word of the handout or test for students. If you are uncertain how much to hand in, ask me.

Bibliography Question:

I chose to do this assignment on my own. Since two parts of the Rubric under “reflection” deal with group participation and process, what should I do to earn these 2 points?

Answer: I’m sorry I missed this aspect of the assignment. Simply mark this section “NA.” You will more than make up for the points by doing the assignment alone!

And finally for today, a more philosophical, general question:

On MARC records: How often are we actually going to do anything with them except download them from our vendor and import them into our circulation system?

Answer: Hardly ever, if ever. But you may make small edits on a frequent basis; most often, your software will make this very easy.

You will find a lot of variation in the SLMSs you talk to – many think MARC knowledge is crucial, while others are wary of MARC records and reluctant to tamper with them. I don’t want you to be afraid of MARC – you should feel confident about editing if necessary. And you will always have the text and other authorities to consult. The goal for now is to empower you for when you need this skill in the future. We all need to “know our way around,” and some of you will be more interested in this technical stuff than others. That’s where we’re going in this class.

April 7, 2008

Following up: Order Drafts

Posted in Assignments tagged at 8:58 am by maf

By now, all teams should have received feedback on their Orders. We provided major feedback via email, and the picky stuff will show up on your print copy on Saturday. If you personally haven’t seen electronic feedback, check with your team – one person in the team (at least) will have received it.

  • One more caution about multiple targets or multi-faceted targets: tight focus makes this assignment easier.  Yes, you are allowed to have multiple foci.  It will make your life more difficult if you have multiples, however.  In real life you will have multiple targets, but give yourself a break while you’re learning!  Another idea: focus on one area; if you can’t come up with enough “stuff” to buy, then add the next focus area.
  • Holly’s comment to the last post led me to clarify the assignment; I added publication date to the short list of consideration file fields. I can see where slight differences between the descriptive documents (the Final Project description, the Consideration file description, and the Order Draft description) could have been the basis of some confusion. Thanks to Holly for pointing this out.
  • Amount clarification: we found another old reference to $2000, but that didn’t seem to cause a problem in the draft. To be crystal clear: you must spend a minimum of $2500. If you use the padding method for avoiding the backorder problem, a 25% pad ($2000 + .25×2000) is recommended. However, $3000 is a nice round number to shoot for, if you are padding. Please note that it’s easier – and recommended – that you go over rather than under (unlike on The Price is Right). (That is, in real life, you will quickly accumulate a large consideration file; it will be tough gathering “enough” items to purchase the first time.) There’s no need to spend a lot of energy in whittling a large list down, as long as you include a Do Not Exceed $xxx statement.
  • Details that could be addressed here or on Saturday: methods for prioritizing; and the meaning of “classification” for the order list. I’ll do it here if it seems urgent, or on Saturday if not quite as urgent.

Don’t forget to look back one post to the suggested dates. There’s still time to provide input on those.

We are entering … correction, we are IN a very hectic phase of the semester – this last month as big assignments (and even dissertations) are due across the range of all my students. So we must all prioritize! Good luck with that, since I’m struggling with it too!

April 1, 2008

Order Draft followup – partial

Posted in Assignments tagged , at 7:53 am by maf

Here is a quick note from Beth as she wades through your drafts:

In addition to all the criteria, they need to include the publication year for each material.  The materials, according to the assignment, have to be recent, and there needs to be a way to account for that.

So – in case you’ve started your searching-for-titles process, make sure to gather the publication years. I provided a list of items needed for consideration file entries here.

More to come on this, and review is incomplete.  This is just a high-level caution that seems warranted before people go out and gather incomplete information.

Do not infer from this that you are expected to have been doing a lot of searching yet. I just know that some of you like to work ahead.

March 27, 2008

Selection Policy Debrief

Posted in Assignments tagged , , at 8:34 am by maf

I finished grading all of your Selection policies.

They turned out well, several extremely so. This time, two sets of eyes evaluated each policy. I read every word myself, as one of those pairs of eyes. Admittedly, in some places I worked fast. Overall I was able to focus on important spots and gave them due attention. Thanks to Beth and Stephanie for reviewing half each and helping me to get a running start on each one.

A trouble spot for several teams was this requirement: “Proactive steps are taken to prevent censorship and self-censorship.” In the Order, this requirement shows up again. So, I thought I would provide a few pointers:

  • The big idea is to be proactive as well as reactive. The Reconsideration procedure helps you with the reactive portion.
  • In a Media Committee meeting, discuss the difficulty of self-censorship and ask them to help detect signs of bias.
  • Use selection tools to select for materials in topic areas that seem edgy, difficult, or prone to challenge.
  • List as one of your selection principles that you and the committee will formally reflect upon the possibility of self-censorship on an annual basis.

These are just several ideas. Any one would satisfy the requirement.

Now, for your reading pleasure, here is an incomplete list of Target topics from your projects. It’s incomplete because I didn’t always remember to jot these down as I went along. If shared, you might be able to use the work of others (with permission!) as you formulate orders in the future.

  • hilo leisure reading for upper elementary EIP students
  • science-related biographies aligned with GPS
  • chapter book fiction
  • graphic novels (high school)
  • audiobooks
  • science curriculum support
  • social studies curriculum support
  • books of interest to boys
  • diversity materials to reflect demographic changes: books and magazines
  • contest-related books: HRRB, Reader’s Rally, Battle of the Books
  • professional journal subscriptions focusing on GPS changes
  • Spanish titles, Spanish/English dual language titles
  • literature circle program titles, 3rd grade

Here’s a random item: principle vs. principal. It’s a good idea to learn which is which.

Scores will be posted in WebCT by Saturday. See you at GUC!

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