Blog 5, Bianca Brown


Title of Blog:From teacher led to student driven

My comment:

In reading your blog on why many projects at your institution are still teacher led, listing that teachers are concerned with outcomes stood out. This is so true in the school system. In a previous blog of yours "A new school, a new context" you yourself noted that the numbers (or end result)  where what everyone was wanting to see. I have read quite a few blogs lately with your "teacher led student driven" concerns. In particular the fact that students are not given enough "independence" in the classroom seems to be a common thread. Many instructors' blogs are concerned with giving students to much independence and gauging what choices they should be allowed to make to gain this independence. Offering students various times to listen to a seminar should truly make the students feel they are "planning their day" and given a sense of independence. I see this tactic as also beneficial in helping students with personal development on many levels, such as time management. The aims of your new project sound great in accomplishing your goals.


blog #4, Bianca Brown

Title: Those Who Can't Teach Wish They Could

My Comment:

I'm a current undergraduate in the education department at my university and I can sympathize with your frustrations. Currently I am a resident of Illinois and paying the big bucks for not only my college classes but the required testing as well. The certification process truly does "suck". One would think that the government would offer educators more financial assistance with this costly process given the need of teachers across the country. I often think of the "re-testing" and "re-paying" I will encounter when I finally decide to move out of state and how time consuming this will become on various levels. It is always nice to hear the frustrations of others in the profession to know that I am not the only one enduring these difficulties. Good luck with the new district and all of your upcoming testing.

6:17 PM


Blog # 3= Bianca Brown

Title of His post: I wish I could quit you

My Comment:

I can recall hearing a past high school teacher of mine saying the very words " I wish I could quit you" in reference to her teaching position. I asked her why she didn't quit if she felt this way. She looked at me and said one day you will have children and have to provide for them. This woman had clearly "quit" teaching a long time ago, and due to the lack of passion for her job had "quit" her students as well. I resent people working jobs that they have no passion for. Once teachers become "burned out" and continue teaching they are doing all parties involved a major injustice. After all there are plenty of other individuals looking to fill the position that they loathe so much. As far as quitting on the students, I pray that once "I'm done" with teaching I will recognize it and chose to move on, instead of having my students sit through lessons that neither of us are in high spirits about.

Posted by: Bianca Brown | March 04, 2008 at 07:32 PM


blog # 2

Title: Day one of ULearn 07

Author: Rachel Boyd


Their Blog:Day one of ULearn07 was such a buzz. A day full of new adventures, experiences and things to challenge and ponder in the mind.

Meeting several NZ bloggers has GOT to be one of the highlights.... you converse, share ideas, skype chat, email, read blogs etc etc with these people and it is such a great experience to finally meet them f2f.

Ewan had hinted in his keynote that f2f conferences aren't needed so much anymore (and I agree that this should not be our sole PD)but these experiences have been gold for me; nothing like finally meeting someone in the flesh, after ever only seen one headshot photo of them in your entire life (or for people like Teaching Sagittarian, having NEVER seen a photo of her at all!)

Derek gave the welcome message on behalf of Nick from CORE and Allanah and I even got an anonymous mention each with stories from our Twitter... now we KNOW you read your twitters Derek! (even if you are somethimes very quiet)What a fun experience just a little later to have twittered away and then got into a several way skype chat in the middle of Steve Maharey's talk... a little naughty but skyping with Jane, Chrissy, Simon and Allanah (later also with Durff) ... we had LOTS of jokes and were able to 'further discuss' the 'pertinent points' Steve was making to the audience on a much 'deeper level'... ok, well that's not quite true, but that IS my story and I'm sticking to it!
Finally it was time for Ewan's keynote, and luckily Chrissy and Jane's batteries died and so we soaked up all Ewan had to offer. His keynote was great, inspiring but also challenging... and the wonderful Scottish accent only added to the charm.

My notes from Ewan's keynote can be read here; I shared them on twitter too and got a couple of replies from people like Lenva (who is over presenting @ Navcon) and Simon May (in China). Glad they found them useful.

During Ewan's keynote I skyped in Sue Waters (Sydney, Australia) who listened as best she could for about 15 minutes, before Ewan's accent was just too difficult to follow ;) and later Durff (America) joined us briefly via Skype

..... with the powers of wireless internet what a connected world we live in!

My response:

Sounds like a great experience! It is truly amazing the connecting ability of the internet. I recently became aware of how useful tools like skype can be. I see developments such as this providing endless possibility for the education realm. Instructors are able to gain not only networking opportunities, but also insight into others teaching techniques, share lesson plans, or discus changes that are and need to be implemented. The students are also at a wonderful advantage by being able to classroom skype chat other classes around the globe! It's also quite remarkable how close people can become through written expression. After meeting individuals face to face that I have been conversing with online, the connection immediately seems to strengthen as well as become a bit more personable. Communication is not only key, but endless through the advancements of technology.

Bianca Brown


Bianca Brown

Title of Blog: Impact of ubiquity,the importance of brand,and Doug's warning

By: Joyce Valenza


Her blog:Doug's recent interaction with two learning and technology coordinators from the International School in Bangkok led him to ask:

If we take an honest look at what we as librarians have done since technology has come into our buildings, as painful as it is to say, we have dropped the ball - big time. Why?
Why have school librarians not had a bigger impact on information and tech literacy integration?

Doug proposes that the reasons for our lack of impact may fit into three categories: sexism (the subtext here is obvious, though I haven't personally met it); schitzophrenia (we divide ourselves into two camps--book people and information literacy people); and strategy (our collaborations with individual teachers may overwhelm the need to work systemically to integrate technology and literacies in a big picture way).

As I read Doug, I thought about two other issues very currently impacting our impact.

1. Ubiquity--ubiquity changes everything.  In one-to-one schools, students visit the library less frequently. In such environments, in all modern, truly relevant environments, library also be ubiquitous.  Library MUST be everywhere. Librarians must teach everywhere, in and outside of the library. And I think we need to redefine library.  We must be ready to scale our instructional voice, as well as our resources. And we must make libraries just for me, just in time, all the time.

Library must find a way to be a window on a students' desktops.  We must present ourselves as a real adult who knows the students, their teachers, their learning and recreational needs, their curricula.  Library space, off- and online, is for the whole information fluency process; for displaying, for archiving the information and communication work of the whole school; for organizing collections that look far different from the ones I once collected.

2. Brand--The schitzophrenia Doug described, is in my mind, related to the shifting concept of brand.

What is the brand of the librarian?  I am not sure we clearly articulate our brand to our colleagues, our administrators, ourselves.  And I am not sure I have all the answers.

But, here's what I am thinking:

Our schools are now far more crowded with faculty and supports. The reading coach also does books. The technology coach also does integration.  In our state, high school technology coaches are now funded (in part) by the Classrooms for the Future grant. Their training is impressively extensive and continual and I worry that librarians who choose not to seriously (and voluntarily) train or retool themselves in the same way, are doomed to obsolensce in relation to technology integration.  Technology integration is directly connected to integration of information and communication skills.

I work very well with our school's technology coach, a good friend who was formerly an English teacher I worked with closely.  Despite the fact that we are both working on technology integration, there is enough work for both of us and we continue to learn from each other.  Nevertheless. I am now hearing scary stories from other schools, and I continue to worry about our own overlapping interests and duties.

But back to brand.

My brand, the library brand is connected to my philosophy--a library philosophy.  (In Yiddish, my mother would have called this a library kop, or head.)

At its most essential element, here's what the teacher librarian brand means to me--I help learners learn; I help teachers teach.  But that is vague.  Other coaches, other teachers and administrators do that too.

The library brand is connected to intellectual freedom, and to translating that critical value to the online world. Ours may be the only voice that helps ensure fullest possible physical and intellectual access to online tools and resources, to advocate for equity, to promote open source alternatives, to prepare full pathfinders for information needs.

The library brand is about information ethics and intellectual property.  It is about respect for artists and creators. It is about understanding the copyright/copyleft and it is about interpreting fair use.  At a recent conference I attended, I asked the audience (95% school librarians) if they understood Creative Commons licences.  Shockingly few had even heard of Creative Commons.  They no longer own this part of the brand.

Information/media fluency is my mission, and my curriculum, and my brand.

I know that:

  • Research is a process.
  • Intervention is critical. Learning is social. Students need guidance as they improve their skills in research and communication.
  • Students must learn to evaluate information in all media formats through practice. I know I can and must teach them to pushing quality to the top, to evaluate blogs, wikis, streamed media, whatever comes next.
  • Collection looks different these days. I must collect RSS feeds, and wikibooks, and ebooks, and streamed media. I must help students find all of these resources.
  • Communication is the end-product of research. I know I need to teach learners how to communicate creatively and engagingly for new audiences.

Please help me add to a new definition of brand in your comments. 

Why have school librarians not had a bigger impact on information and tech literacy integration? 

My response:

I am a third year Education major and found your blog to be quite interesting. I  agree that the "library should be a window on students desk".  If technology coordinators, administrators, faculty etc. all work together this could be achieved much easier obviously. Many school libraries clearly still lack the updates to the meet the many advancements in technology linked with reading and research. In the book entitled Chalkbored by Jeremy Schneider, a true advocate for education closely linked with technology, he suggested a concept of distributing e-books to children to have a traveling library of personal and class required reading with them at all times. This would truly make libraries "..just for me, just in time, all the time." Technology centered ideas such as these coupled with yours should long have been in place toward such a generation of tech savvy children.


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