This week found me working on a few major upcoming initiatives for the media center. It’s hard to believe that we’re finishing up our fifth week of classes! The school year always runs away from me in the fall. Suddenly the first day of school turns into the first day of final exams, and I’m left wondering where the time has gone. I’ve already taught a number of great lessons and collaborated with several teachers for combined units of study. I have a few more classes planned for the weeks ahead—as well as my secondary and tertiary site visits—so I don’t think the days will slow down any time soon.
Digital portfolios are well underway. I spent some time this past Tuesday talking with Ms. Crowell, the advanced composition teacher, and we considered both short-term and long-term approaches. We decided that fully integrating digital portfolios would really mean a reworking of the entire composition curriculum to include not only multimodal assignments but also digital citizenship concepts and information literacy. That’s just not possible at this point in the year, but it’s something we’d like to pursue for next year. However, we do want to go ahead and test Weebly as a possible platform and start the process of incorporating multimodal assignments. So we’re going to use what Ms. Crowell calls a “remix” approach to pilot digital portfolios this semester: Students will take several essays they’ve written and transform them into different forms of content using a Web 2.0 creation tool, then embed those elements in a Weebly-based digital portfolio. To get the comp teachers started with Weebly, I taught them an introductory session on Thursday after school. I’m actually going to use this training session for tasks 6, 7, and 8—so stay tuned for more details.
I also started working on my plan for Banned Books Week. I want to make BBW fun and give teachers and students several opportunities to participate, but I also don’t want to disrupt students’ class schedule. I also like to design my own promotional graphics, although I know the American Library Association always provides great options for Banned Books Week through their graphics shop. I’m going to ask my library department personnel to decide on a final design from the choices above, or to make suggestions for revision. I used Lucidpress to create these fliers, a tool that’s new for me. I have pretty good ideas for displays, in-house activities, and a few suggestions for teachers, so I’ll spend much of next week getting feedback and finalizing plans.