In the article, the author argues that the tech AND the learning are both important. Of course, we shouldn’t be dazzled simply by “all the new shiny toys” and try to find a way to shoehorn something into our lessons, just because. But at the same time he warns not to fall into using “it’s not about the tech” as an excuse to dismiss learning about a new tool or platform.
Many tech tools make things possible that weren’t possible before, so in a way, yes, it is about the technology. Twitter lets me connect in ways I never could before, get help and share ideas in ways that weren’t possible. Students writing blog posts for a worldwide audience give them a totally different experience than writing just for their teachers. So yes, it is about what the tools allow you to do.
And this is why we offer the Cool Tools for School workshop. While you won’t find a place in your teaching and professional practice for all of the tools you consider during this workshop, you will gain awareness of a wide range of tools and have the opportunity to examine whether these tools can help you improve how you do things, whether it’s your teaching, professional development or productivity.
Things we hope you’ll gain from this workshop:
Confidence in exploring new tools: No longer be afraid to dig into a tool, “push all the buttons” and see if it might be useful.
Develop a larger PLN (Personal Learning Network): people near and far who can help you develop ideas, help troubleshoot issues and share expertise.
Stronger collaborations with classroom teachers through sharing ideas: Share what you’re learning with other teachers, hold some PD sessions for staff.
Enhance your leadership role by making more connections with students, staff, admin & parents. And take advantage of tools that will help you communicate how the library fits in with the school’s mission.
Thank you all for participating in Cool Tools this past year!
This year we had 65 active participants from 15 regional School Library Systems. 45 participants completed the program and earned a Professional Development hours. 590 PD hours were awarded and on average, each PD hour cost $11. Not a bad return on investment.
Hard to believe that this is the 8th time that we’ve run this program for K12 librarians and classroom teachers since 2011. In that time we’ve had over 700 participants.
We’re already committed to offering the workshop again this coming year and hope to see the project expand as we welcome our first out-of-state group of school librarians this year. See you in the fall!
This is the list of people who have filled out the Final Log Form and have officially completed the workshop. I still have lots of names to check, so don’t worry if your name isn’t listed. I’ve been working through the list based on the earliest SLS deadlines. I’ll update this list as I check more blogs! Amazing work everybody!!!
(p.s. – Final Log Form – For those of you who are just finishing up, don’t forget to fill out the Final Log Form when you’ve finished all your blog posts.)
Cool Tools deadlines are coming up quickly for some of your School Library Systems.
Check the list of deadlines for your region. If your SLS isn’t listed, please contact your SLS administrator for more info.
Final Log Form – Even though everyone has been pretty good about logging work throughout the workshop, please fill out this one last log form indicating which topics you expect to get credit for. Your SLS admins and I will be reviewing your blogs to make sure we assign the right PD credit.
p.s. – I’m still reading lots of posts and commenting. I’ll leave a note on each blog when I’m done with your posts. Will also make a list here of everyone who has finished. Be patient with me though! :) Thanks!
The end of the Cool Tools workshop is sneaking up on us. (Check for your SLS deadline here.) And I’m still catching up on reading blog posts. So if you haven’t heard from me in a while, I promise I haven’t forgotten you. Some of you have already finished. Congrats!
But for those of you who might be feeling a bit behind schedule, don’t give up! Here are some ideas for how you can finish Cool Tools and make sure you get your PD hours. You’ve all started your blogs already, so that’s 1 Thing done. Yay! That leaves 4 lessons to go to get the minimum of 5 topics done.
DIY: No doubt there is something you’ve spent time pondering and exploring during the school year. Maybe a project that you worked on with a colleague? Or a special program you ran with your students? Tell us about that in a DIY post.
Curation Tools: Love Pinterest? Spend too much time there already? Then indulge yourself and put together a board of great ideas for a project your want to do next school year. Or set up a board of great resources to share with colleagues when school starts up.
School Library Web Presence: Were you planning to spiff up your website but didn’t get to it this year?? Explore the resources in this lesson and start planning for next year.