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Why Do You Ask?

From asking questions that require an answer To asking questions that require a conversation.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Old, Out with the

Today was an interesting day. For whatever reason, we did not have any classes come to the MC today. The Library Ladies took advantage of the opportunity to catelog the class sets of novels. We have dozens of sets, and we decided it would be in our best interest to barcode each book, instead of a "paper check-out" as has been done in past years. They completed several sets of novels. I stayed out of the way, and tried to take care of the students who came in on a pass from their teachers.

When the MC traffic was slow enough, I continued my work on the Geography and History section of the library. We are in the process of weeding and ordering new books for the Social Studies department. Library Lady #1 and I figured out how to create a report from Surpass so I could know the current collection titles, and the year of publication. We have approximately 2230 volumes in our geo/hist collection. Sounds impressive...but...735+ of these books were published before 1981. That means that 1/3 of the collection is more than 25 years old!

My next step is to get a couple of student workers to pull some of the old books from the shelves so I can make a determination of their value to our students and teachers. This will be a year-long project, but I am amazed at the average age of our collection. YIKES!

We have to update books, video, audio, and other technology too. If you could only see me shaking my head right now.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Progress, Making

It's been a while. Too long.

To catch you up, Library Ladies and I have been getting many things done. In addition to the daily tasks of shelving, helping students with research, teaching classes on how to use Galileo, we have several technical goals this year.

We are trying to make our announcements a daily closed circuit production. A couple of weeks ago, we began putting working pieces together and came up with a VHS/analog camera that will do the trick of broadcasting. We had to have assistance from one of our tech. dept. guys who is a former video production teacher. He was very excited to help. He had to do several reconnections with wires in several places. Long story short...we conducted live, video announcements on Friday from the principal's office. We had a few audio difficulties, and I couldn't get the "recording" words off the screen. We are ready to make our request for an AV mixer, and other equipment to make the morning show worthy of production.

Library Lady #1 and I did our first Paw'dCast. It was a booktalk on the book Scrib. Podcasts don't take long to record, it is the editing and trying to make the sound right that takes time. Again, we need better equipment at the school. But I think it will be forthcoming.

We invited some of our old friends (former teachers with us) who are now retired, but working with the local ETTC, to come share some insights on the SmartBoard we have, and how we can get our teachers using them in the classrooms.

I have also had a science teacher ask about how to do a podcast for his class. Several other teachers wish they could have a class blog, but so many of the sites are blocked at the school, that this is almost impossible. On the other hand, with teachers finding out about the Web 2.0 technologies, it may be a matter of time before the revolt takes place. This revolution will be televised...perhaps on YouTube, GoogleVideo, or Yahoo Video.

This coming week will be a week in which we may have a couple of periods a day to uncover cameras, mics, and VCRs that are in the "surplus" (which means broken) room. I think we might be able to use some of them in our quest to make our morning show more student centered. I would like live footage from games, classrooms, and around the school, for either the morning show, or student produced podcasts/videocasts.

We are on the move. Good things are happening. Not much time to slow down.