Teacher-librarian Collaboration

McHaney, Anita

Topic: Collaboration

Topic: Collaboration

Bib. Citation:  marvkgill1. (2017, December 18).  Collaborating with Your Teacher Librarian. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Im7NcPEa2jE

Summary: This is an entertaining video on teacher-librarian collaboration in school libraries. It shows how school libraries are so much more than “just places to check out books.” One innovative librarian describes herself as the “Concierge of the school.” This short video is a great way for administrators to see what we do on a daily basis.

Evaluation: I think this is a valuable video for INFO 250 students; it would be great if each student could make his/her own video for their respective libraries. My favorite part is when an elementary school student describes how “normal libraries” are just a place to check out books, but hers is for researching and her librarian has a collection of stuffed animals if you ever get a little stressed. How cute is that? I definitely recommend watching this cute youtube video!

Culturally Relevant Performance Assessments

Koppenhaver, Chelsie

Topic: Curriculum Assessment

Summary: This article from the Learning Policy Institute discusses how performance assessments, like portfolios, panel presentations and personal reflections, can be made culturally relevant, thereby focusing on the student’s own personal experiences and empowering them to truly express themselves as an individual. This involves centering the relationships a student has built and cultivated with peers, staff and others in the course of their learning. Additionally important is the use of a student’s own personal experience as a way to drive civic and community engagement, an especially interesting focus given this course’s emphasis on communication and finding solutions to real-world problems.

Evaluation: It is important for us to realize that there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to assessment that will work for every student or every school. If we want to communicate to students that they are the masters of their own learning then we must realize that they are each unique learners with different backgrounds and needs. The performance assessments discussed here also reach out into the community, engaging them with the students and the school at large, something that is important, not just for students and their families, but for community members who otherwise would not have a relationship or feel any connection to the school.

Citation: Kaul, M. (2019, May 28). Keeping students at the center with culturally relevant performance assessments. Retrieved from https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/blog/keeping-students-center-culturally-relevant-performance-assessments

Inquiry Design Model

McHaney, Anita

Topic: Inquiry and Design

Bib. Citation: Krutka, D. (2018, August 26).  Inquiry design model (IDM) for social studies lessons. [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWbJWxYfods

Summary: This is an informative video on the basics of a design inquiry model for a social studies classroom. David Krutka created this video for teacher candidates at the University of North Texas. It describes how with design inquiry, classrooms are built around students’ questions.

Evaluation: I think this is a must see for INFO 250 students, as it describes how to successfully create an Inquiry Design Model. Krutka gives specific hooks for engaging students with questions and examples. A definite thumbs up from me!

Tech Leaders

Koppenhaver, Chelsie

Topic: Technology

Summary: In this article, School Library Journal highlights the efforts of 6 library professionals who are using technology in innovative ways in their schools. These librarians are working with kids using technology like podcasts, 3-D printers, video cameras and more, but most importantly, they recognize that the tech itself is secondary to how students use it, emphasizing creation, problem-solving, communication, and collaboration in their schools.

Evaluation: While it is a short article, I believe it is important for us as library students to see that there are librarians out there who are putting the ideas we are studying into practice in innovative and effective ways. Each of the librarians highlighted here also shows a dedication to putting their students’s voices, opinions, and learning first in their library’s design and instruction.

Citation: Snelling, J. (2019, May 3). Tech leaders: Amplifying reading and research. School Library Journal. Retrieved from https://www.slj.com/?detailStory=amplifying-reading-research-tech-edge

CA – Assessment Types

McHaney, Anita

Topic: Curriculum Assessment

Bib. Citation: Avella, F. (2016, December 18). Assessment in education: Top 14 examples  [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTkQjH-_97c

Summary: This youtube video is a brief, but informative rundown of the different types of assessments in education. From formative and summative to diagnostic and behavioral, Frank Avella explains in basic terms how curriculum is assessed.

Evaluation: I think this video is a must watch for any novice teacher! In a little over four minutes, I learned of the different types of assessment in education. This is a very valuable clip for newbies.

ET – Learning Styles

McHaney, Anita

Topic: Educational Theory

Bib. Citation:  Marshik, T. (2015, April 2). Learning styles & the importance of critical self-reflection [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=855Now8h5Rs

Summary: In this Ted Talk video, Dr. Tesia Marshik, an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse debunks the educational myths of learning styles. While many of us have preferences in learning, most of what we learn is stored in terms of meaning. She reminds us that when something is pervasive, we do not think to challenge it. Just because teachers have heard of particular learning styles, they may not be based on fact, but popular opinion.

Evaluation: I think this Ted Talk is interesting. Dr. Marshik makes a lot of sense, and it is worth noting, especially how she backs up her statements with facts. This video is about 18 minutes long, which may lose a viewer’s interest, but I found her “theory of theories” valuable.

Benetech: Working Toward a Born Accessible World

Mitchell-Isheim, Michelle


Turner, B. (2018). Benetech global literacy services: Working towards a ‘born accessible’ world. Learned Publishing, 31(1), 25-29.


The primary information shared about working toward a born accessible world is a survey of initiatives to show the kind of work being done in this area: Bookshare, the Diagram Center and Born Accessible. Bookshare is a US company with global services that has the largest accessible publications and currently hosts over 570,000 publications. They are adding 5-7k per month in 34 languages. The Diagram Center is a research and design division of Benetech that  focuses on providing STEM support for reading disabled people. Diagram is working to solve accessibility issues in math, complex images, multimedia, 3D models, and other instructional materials. Finally, Born Accessible is an initiative that focuses on the universality of access for all. The ultimate goal is that is information and programs are born digital, it should also be born accessible. 


This peer reviewed article was an epiphany to me about the possibilities for all students to access information. Education in California is making great strides in this area and it is heartwarming to know that these types of support are becoming more universally available for everyone. I have a very personal reason for interest in this area as my oldest son has a language disability, as do 1 out of every five students. New technology will be beneficial for them and librarians who want to empower students through literacy.

Categories and Tags: reading technology, dyslexia, reading disabilities, born accessible, universal access.

The Flipped classroom

McElhose, Nicole


For those who would like to learn about the subjects of Education theory, Inquiry, Technology and so much more, I strongly recommend checking out the “Teachings in Education” youtube channel. Trust me on this.

Summary: Before taking this class, I had no idea what a flipped classroom was. This video on the flipped classroom breaks down everything you need to know on the subject in less than 5 minutes. How do you flip a classroom, you ask? There are eight steps. Step number one: Buy in, that getting your students, parents, and administrators on board with the flipped model. Step number two: Curate the resources you need to flip the classroom (youtube videos, electronics etc. Step number 3: Classroom Management (Incorporate expectations and procedures of the flipped classroom style). Step number 4: Technology Training (teachers need to learn how to curate videos through youtube channels and create playlists and students must be able to interact and engage with online content. Step number 5: Assign content for homework (students access content through a variety of media). Step number 6: Students work on problems in class (allows for individualized attention). Step number 7: Independent Learning (students become independent learners and can move through the curriculum at their own pace. Step number 8: Peer Tutoring (pairing up advanced students with those less advanced). Essentially, a flipped model means that students work on the problems in school and at home, they work through the content of the assignments.

Evaluation: This is an outstanding model with demonstratable success in the classroom. Perhaps the best thing about this entire model is that it allows students to work on the content of their class at their own space, inquiring where they see fit. In this regard, the flipped classroom is, in many ways, not unlike a self-directed learning experience. Another wonderful aspect of the Flipped model is that it allows teachers to provide more individualized attention to their students.  I especially love the idea of peer mentoring, as that would be a fantastic way to meet the needs of all students.



Education, T. I. (2017, June 20). Flipped Classroom Model: Why, How, and Overview. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BCIxikOq73Q

The importance of Gamification in learning environments


McElhose, Nicole



I recently read a book by Clive Thompson called, “Smarter than you think: How technology is changing our minds for the better,” and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. To emphasize the impact that Interest (Interest with a capital I) can have on our memory, and, in turn, on our ability to learn, Thompson dedicates an entire chapter to the exploration of what he refers to as “The Digital School”, which is a treasure trove unto itself.

In this chapter, he looks at video games and how they can be instrumental in various learning environments, whether it’s a classroom or a library. Games, Thompson says, can “provide a pathway for teachers to reveal what students are capable of. They can hook students into reading deeply and excitedly in everything from history to economics” (Thompson, 2010, p. 204).

Engaging the disengaged, that’s the name of the game, and to prove his point Thompson sites a handful of programs ranging from the miracle-working Kahn Academy to the World of Warcraft (Thompson, 2010, pp. 175-178).

But my favorite example he uses to bring his point home includes a teacher who used a game called Civilization 3 to teach his low-performing group of students about history, economic development, geography, and war. Some of these kids had a 50 percent absentee rate and all of them were repeating the ninth grade. What happened when to these kids when they started playing this game? They skyrocketed to the proverbial moon! They read more to try and improve their game, they worked together to solve problems, and as Thompson notes, they altogether started behaving like scientists (Thompson, 2010, p. 201). Thompson’s brilliant conclusion?

School rarely motivates students to read in this urgent, engaged way because school rarely offers children any problems they find particularly urgent. Games, in contrast, are designed to provide you with problems so urgent and tantalizing that you can’t stop thinking about them (Thompson, 2010, p. 203).

And not just video games either. But physical games as well. In her article on gamification, Meredith Farkas points out that physical games such as scavenger hunts can be just as effective for learning as video games. After all, we were playing games like hide and seek and Candy land WAY before computer games came along! She then builds on that point by illustrating the huge impact that gamification can have on learners when those old school games are combined with the new (Farkas, 2014).

One program she cited was for a game that the New York Public Library (Links to an external site.) devised back in 2011 as a way for patrons to better familiarize themselves with the library. To do this, the library invited 500 people for an overnight scavenger hunt and had them use an online mobile game called “Find the Future” to find a series of clues that were unique to that specific library (for instance, a copy of the Declaration of Independence in Thomas Jefferson’s hand!).

They then were supposed to write short essays that were inspired by their various journeys for information. I mean, apart from going on a glorified scavenger hunt in one of the most amazing libraries in the world, how cool is that!? Cool. It’s very cool.


All in all, both Farkas and Thompson make a compelling case for the huge impact that Gamification can have on library patrons, both young and old alike. Not only can this learning initiative motivate people on an intrinsic level, but it can also make learning more immersive, and therefore more engaging. Because librarians are just as much educators as they are information providers, it is important that they use every tool that they have at their disposal to connect with their communities. There’s no end to what librarians and teachers can learn from integrating tools like Gamification in their communities.


Exhibitions.nypl.org. (2018). Find the Future: The Game | Find the Future | NYPL at 100. [online] Available at: http://exhibitions.nypl.org/100/digital_fun/play_the_game [Accessed 25 Oct. 2018].

Farkas, M. (2014). Just a game? Library gamification encourages engagement and learning. American Libraries, 45(1-2), 26.

Thompson, C. (2013). Smarter than you think: How technology is changing our minds for the better. New York: Penguin Group.

Virtual Reality as a Learning Tool

McHaney, Anita

Topic: Technology

Bib. Citation: Papathomas, & Goldschmidt. (2017). Utilizing virtual reality and immersion video technology as a focused learning tool for children with autism spectrum disorder. Journal of Pediatric Nursing, 35, 8-9.


Summary: This article is about how virtual reality can be an innovative learning tool for children with autism spectrum disorder. Since ASD children often have difficulty understanding the rules of communication and misread verbal communication, interactive VR helps them train and develop these skills. Students create their own avatar and practice making eye contact while speaking, waving at a friend across the playground, and introducing themselves when meeting new people, all in the non-threatening world of virtual reality.

Evaluation: The article does state that there are differences in the severity of ASD and that most of these studies were done with higher functioning students as the subjects. However, it does seem that the use of virtual reality therapies could benefit most levels of ASD if done with properly trained nurses. I think it is an amazing technological learning tool that could make breakthroughs for many affected with ASD.