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Is it about the tech? About the learning? Or both?

Image CC0 by geralt via Pixabay

An interesting read to start off the next Cool Tools workshop

Actually, It Is About the Technology: Why “It’s not about the tech” is actually a potentially dangerous perspective  by  John Spencer

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.


Cool Tools for Schools 2015-16 Concludes

heart clouds sky
CC0 Pixabay: oo11o

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!



List of people who have finished

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.)

List last updated: June 13 @ 2:00 PM

Last Name BOCES SLS Region Your Blog URL
Abdul Capital Region
Buckley Capital Region
Curry Capital Region
Gable Capital Region
Kirkpatrick Capital Region
Molle Capital Region
Berner Dutchess County
Cohen Dutchess County
Green Dutchess County
Morton Dutchess County
Sasvary Dutchess County
Coady Nassau BOCES
Babbie OHM: Oneida/Herkimer BOCES
Keck OHM: Oneida/Herkimer BOCES
Bell Oswego
Kowalski Oswego
McHugh Oswego
Waldron Oswego
Duffy Questar III
Berky Rochester City School District
Daitz Rochester City School District
Daly Rochester City School District
Kelly Rochester City School District
Kendrick Rochester City School District
Leckinger Rochester City School District
Mohney Rochester City School District
Ortiz Brazak Rochester City School District
Paris Rochester City School District
Quinones-Dunlap Rochester City School District
Robillard Rochester City School District
Rosen Rochester City School District
Satta Rochester City School District
Tilley Rochester City School District
Useda Rochester City School District
Gladle St. Lawrence-Lewis
Hoag Sullivan County
Fronhofer WSWHE
Nemeth WSWHE

Final Log Form – You MUST Fill it out!

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!