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A Library Media Specialists Collection of Tips & Tricks Amy L. Oberts Oakland Elementary School Bloomington Public Schools, District 87 Summer 2011

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Presentation on theme: "A Library Media Specialists Collection of Tips & Tricks Amy L. Oberts Oakland Elementary School Bloomington Public Schools, District 87 Summer 2011"— Presentation transcript:

1 A Library Media Specialists Collection of Tips & Tricks Amy L. Oberts Oakland Elementary School Bloomington Public Schools, District 87 Summer 2011

2 That looks like a tiny plate, but it could take up the majority of an L.M.S.s time without a proactive approach. Are the dots in the graphic (at right) representative of a L.M.S.s responsibilities? Are the sizes proportionate to the time involved?

3 District Technology Director District-Level Technician(s) Building Technician(s) Library Media Specialist Talk About It: Which roles are present in your learning environment? What responsibilities are associated with each title? How does communication occur between the people fulfilling these positions? What hierarchy do you (or a colleague) follow to obtain tech support? Is the current distribution of roles and responsibilities meeting students needs? Teachers needs?

4 Library Media Specialist Building Technician(s) District-Level Technician(s) District Technology Director My Role as a Library Media Specialist at Oakland Elementary School: I teach between 19 – 22 classes per week: Kindergarten and grade 1 classes are 40 minutes in length and include library book check out. Classes for grades 2 – 5 are 60 minutes in length, and the classroom teacher joins me in collaboration for the final 20 minutes. The total number of classes varies based on student population. The L.M.C. curriculum at Oakland blends library, literacy, and technology skills. My job description includes modeling the use of instructional technology, ensuring its circulation throughout the building, and providing ongoing staff development. I frequently troubleshoot technology malfunctions and the implementation of hardware purchased by the building, which accounts for the reversal of titles in this diagram.

5 District Technology Director District-Level Technician(s) Building Technician(s) Library Media Specialist My Scenario: Our Districts Technology Director and Department handle district- wide hardware purchases, network maintenance, and technical support through an online helpdesk system. Resolutions to helpdesk tickets range from same-day fixes to very long wait times. Building-based purchases are (generally) not supported. My 1 st Year Wake-Up Call: As soon as I walked into the building, colleagues were approaching me with technology questions, complaints, and/or suggestions!

6 By marketing technology that is functional, accessible, and relevant, you can maximize your influence as a Library Media Specialist and brighten the learning environment. (Todays Topic) By providing ongoing professional development that is engaging, meaningful, and timely, you can leverage your role as Library Media Specialist to that of Teacher-Leader. (Next Weeks Topic)

7 You can only market technology that is functional… A.Gather essential tools. B.Organize the Library Media Centers space first. C.Organize shared resources next.

8 My Plan: Organize - Containerize - Labelize Dollar Store baskets for inside drawers (open storage) 3-gallon Rubbermaid containers for larger items (closed storage) Brother P-Touch label maker w/laminated tape

9 The first time I bundled the computer cords located at each L.M.C. workstation, I used plastic zip-strips. They were cheap, fast, and simple. The problem? Our Districts technicians couldnt easily access or remove damaged components. The solution? VELCRO.

10 VELCRO arrives in a large roll

11 Glass Plus or Clorox green works cleaners (ammonia free) VELCRO cable ties (pre-cut) from Menards (much cheaper than office supply stores) Teacher Tape (next slide) for attaching signs to electronics (monitors, printers, etc.) The zip-strips I wish Id never bought Pieces of VELCRO Ive cut to have on hand for teachers

12 This product will adhere almost any sign or poster to almost any surface--without leaving a sticky residue. In the past 15 years, I have yet to find an exception, although some people say it will not stick to unpainted brick. It is amazing!!!

13 The L.M.S. Tool Drawer: An I Spy Activity Allen wrenches - shims - Exacto knives - band-aids - interchangeable screwdrivers box cutters - pliers - batteries ( assorted types) - measuring tape - wire cutters disposable gloves - padlocks - furniture pads/protectors - Tide-to-Go pen

14 I am addicted to browsing this sites gallery of functional and fun organizational tools!

15 A common complaint I hear from administrators, colleagues, and custodians, is I cant stand all of these wires! Could a $30 box be the simple solution? I will be asking my administrator and P.T.O. president to consider gifting one of these to each classroom. Before / After Snapshots

16 Youve gathered your tools and supplies, youve assembled the computer lab…now what? Use those same organizational skills to highlight important resources and establish clear boundaries. Tired of seeing patrons or colleagues waste colored ink to print text documents? Clearly label each printer and provide a matching list of printers names to faculty/staff.

17 Headphones for Classroom Use Image this: Youre in the middle of a fantastic story with a group of 25, engaged kindergarten students. Suddenly, Mrs. Lang rushes into the L.M.C. and cries, The headphones at my computer center arent working! You can either: A.Stand up and help her scrounge around for a replacement set (…and accept youll never get the kindergarteners to refocus); B.Discreetly gesture to the prominently-placed cart of frequently-needed supplies; or C. Ignore her until the students giggle. Side Note: The bottom two drawers are labeled L.M.C. Headphones because they are purchased with different funds.

18 The top shelf features CD-Roms that can be checked out and temporarily installed on a classroom machine. The label reminds the teacher to delete any program files upon return. The other shelves are labeled, L.M.C. licensed software – NOT for check out

19 You can only market technology that is functional, accessible… You want to model equipment use in the L.M.C., but promote circulation throughout the learning community. How can you organize, publicize, circulate, and store shared resources in a way that welcomes users, but protects the schools investments?

20 During Year 1, I was eager to sort through all of the equipment and media supplies kept in the back office. My plan for separating trash from treasure: I laid out about 40 empty containers and started making piles of like items. I separated equipment I thought would be used most in clear containers and out- dated or cumbersome equipment in out-of- reach cabinets. (I did not purge much until after the first year…just in case someone needed something!) I frequently reminded the staffboth verbally and in writingof the open door L.M.C. office policy: Anything in a labeled cabinet is meant to be shared.

21 Administrators and teachers are always looking for equipment to capture memories…digital cameras and camcorders get prime placement in the first cabinet within the office.

22 Day-to-day and/or replacement equipment is kept in the office. Labels on the EXTERIOR cabinet doors with corresponding labels on the INTERIOR containers make locating resources a snap.

23 I love this storage solution for cumbersome tripods, collapsible screens, and gangly wire covers: A fresh, never- been-used-for-trash, crescent-shaped garbage bin. Cost: 1 Starbucks mocha for my custodian Other Notes The L.M.C. office is opened at 7:45 a.m. each morning by the custodian and locked when I leave in the evening. Every faculty members key can be used to access the office and its supplies.

24 What equipment do I have to keep track of? If it was deemed expensive ($ or more), it would be processed using the circulation software and stored in the L.M.C. office. Any items that would need to be stored over the summer in the L.M.C. would be processed using the circulation software. Why was processing equipment important? To monitor circulation statistics To promote equitable accessibility To locate a specific item within a moments notice For possible insurance claims What I Was Asking Myself: How can I establish a simple, electronic check out procedure for my assistant to manage? How can I facilitate equipment check out when I am teaching and my assistant is not present? What items to I want to be responsible for advertising and circulating? Are my colleagues equipped with basic knowledge and troubleshooting skills for specific pieces of equipment? Ask: - What items are valuable enough to be inventoried? - What items to I want to be responsible for advertising and circulating? - -Where will the item be stored during the summer months? Scrounge around for carts Cautiously purge prior to and during Year 1

25 I used three tools with my assistant to successfully begin circulating equipment electronically: 1.A case (or container) for everything 2.A key ring with the barcode 3.An ID badge with a list of the equipments parts The barcode is scanned, and the badge is used to make sure all components are going out and coming back in.

26 Even if its a hand-held device, it is still checked out in a container!

27 I use clear, recipe boxes (or index card boxes) to containerize smaller pieces of equipment, such as the iPod touch. Checklists of the containers contents are placed on the outside and inside of the box.

28 Display bags intended for books were repurposed to house cumbersome hardware. A separate pouch is designated for the hardware and a second pouch for the documentation; consecutive barcodes are used to process equipment pairs such as these. This is an example of an equipment item that must be returned to the L.M.C. each summer due to the fragile battery that needs to be uninstalled each May.

29 I scrounged around for old carts in our schools basement to market high-ticket equipment. I cut shelf liner to match the carts shape and give it a fresh look. I line the carts up across the L.M.C. before our first teacher meeting and man the circulation station upon dismissal. Every cart is deployed by the end of Day 1. Labels are wrapped around specific cords to ensure easy installation within the classroom. Two barcodes are associated with each cart: 1 for Hardware; 1 for Documentation

30 This template is located on the course wiki.

31 Inevitably, an administrator, colleague, or parent volunteer will appear at the doorstep of the L.M.C. pleading for one or more of the following…within the first week of school. Get over it…and get ready. Service with a smile equates to job security. You can only market technology that is functional, accessible, and relevant.

32 Possible Situations: The principal wants to show a video clip to inspire the entire school population on the first day of school; A classroom teachers projection device unexpectedly blows a bulb; An influential parent in charge of an after-school club needs Internet access to demonstrate the game of chess. Solution: A mobile laptop and projector, complete with a sign for accessing the school network.

33 Possible Situations: The principal wants to show a video clip via the laptop AND via the sound system (for maximum impact); The music teacher has a video slideshow for the holiday concert that includes live, student vocals; Each second grade class needs a microphone for their same-day Butterfly Program. Solutions: Give yourself plenty of time to research and fiddle…and then document your discoveries.

34 If I had a dollar for every time someone came running into the L.M.C. saying this statement, I could retire to Hawaii…today. Once I discovered that not all camera cords are interchangeable, I invested in a SanDisk memory card reader and slapped a barcode on the side. It is one of the most-frequently-checked-out items! Cost: Approximately $30.00 Value: Priceless

35 By marketing technology that is functional, accessible, and relevant, you can maximize your influence as a Library Media Specialist…but there are only 24 hours in a day. Carefully consider which resources can survive with sporadic or limited maintenance on your part and nurture your facultys troubleshooting skill set.

36 I set up 2 Mobile Labs at the beginning of each school year and do a full cleaning and software check twice per year. The remainder of the time, I use a shared calendar with colleagues to promote circulation. Clearly posted expectations and directions minimize glitches. Tech Difficulties Chart to record problems (Idea from Kristi Sutter, Sheridan School) Expectations and Directions Placed in adhesive document pouches

37 Sometimes unexpected funding allows for big-ticket tech items to be purchased mid-year. When that happens, I have to make a choice. Do I… A.Try to learn the equipment myself and then teach others; B.Facilitate a task force to collaboratively investigate the equipment; C.Process the equipment and deploy it for teachers to use (…and potentially offend some colleagues since limited quantities exist); or D.Ask my administrator to make the decision for me?

38 By marketing technology that is functional, accessible, and relevant, you can maximize your influence as a Library Media Specialist and brighten the learning environment. (Todays Topic) By providing ongoing professional development that is engaging, meaningful, and timely, you can leverage your role as Library Media Specialist to that of Teacher-Leader. (Next Weeks Topic) Communicate how you will provide technology support.

39 This document is on the course wiki. It is a flowchart I developed for the first time LAST year, but I should have mapped it out much sooner. Now, it will be one of the standard handouts I provide at the beginning of each year. Notice I refer teachers to the site over and over again. Screenshots of that site are on the next few slides. The bit.ly site is one of the first tools I offer to promote self- troubleshooting. Well go revisit that next week.

40 Actual web address: The address I give to faculty/staff: Half Full was my theme to kick off last years staff development; it was picnic-related and focused on highlighting the positive technology changes. Everyone was overwhelmed with the switch-over to Windows 7, the change in web services, and other initiatives. The picnic theme was a nice break, I think.

41 The top portion of the page provides directions for common problems. I developed the center section of the page to support the deployment of the SMART response systems. Teachers needed a common starting point.

42 Example handout posted on the page:

43 Example handout 2 This publication had two purposes: 1.Every projector in the building seemed to be displaying the Clean Filter message (…and I just couldnt go from room-to-room to do that task); and 2.The District recently purchased a software product called Comic Life. Idea: Write funbut functionaldirections for cleaning the filter and distribute to teachers.

44 Older agenda items could be referenced at the bottom of the page.

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