AASL Standards Framework for Learners

Galang, Johnny


American Association of School Librarians. (2018). AASL standards framework for learners. Chicago, IL: Author. Retrieved from https://standards.aasl.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/AASL-Standards-Framework-for-Learners-pamphlet.pdf

These standards are a summary of a larger AASL framework. The standards are divided into the competencies think, create, share, and grow and the domains inquire, include, collaborate, curate, explore, and engage.

As with many standards documents, the language used is general and high-level which necessitates processing into real-world applications. It is also not broken down by what students at each age level should be able to do or how these skills might be taught.

Understanding the Common Core Standards: What they are – What they are not.

Brugioni, Angela

Understanding the Common Core Standards. (2014). Education Digest, 79(8), 16-21.

ET – Educational Theory and Practice ET – Restructuring  ET – Standards-based Education  ET – Government and Professions 

CA- Curriculum Assessment CA – Common Core Assessments

This article is handy fact sheet for the Common Core State Standards. Along with describing the Common Core and how they are intended to work in conjunction with State mandated curriculum this article explains misconceptions surrounding the Common Core. Being new to the Common Core, I had wondered why they only included language arts and math standards. There is a separate but similar initiative that was developed for science and engineering and released in 2013 called the Next Generation Science Standards. As far as the role of the government in all of this, they have provided funds for the development of “next-generation” assessments aligned with Common Core standards, which are expected for release in 2014-15. Behind the opposition to Common Core are the Tea Party and Libertarians who “disapprove of the idea of national standards in the belief that educational decisions are rightfully made by parents and local communities.” In addition some progressive educators believe that “Common Core will impose more test-driven accountability and open the door to corporate influence over education.”

This is a worthwhile read for those new to Common Core, or looking for clarification on who is behind the initiative and what the process has been for its application. I would have actually liked it to be longer and more detailed, but I feel like a lot is explained in a short few segments. The article is also biased towards the Common Core, but there is a fair assessment included of the challenges faced by schools for implementation in terms of cost, administrative duties and obligations, technology needs, training of staff, etc.

Standards: Who, What, Where, and Why

Jolene Nechiporenko


McClure, p. (2005). Where standards com from. Theory into practice, 4(1),4-10.
     doi:  10.1207/s15430421tip4401_2

Have you ever wondered where educational standards come from?  If so, start by reading this article in which the author does a nice job of simplifying and explaining the history and current development of standards. 

She explains that common standards are “rooted in the struggle for equal education.”  Keep in mind that several different factors can contribute to inequality: socioeconomic conditions, minorities, etc.

In the early 1990s an achievement gas was recognized and addressed by a congressionally mandated study that suggested “There was a clear difference in standards, expectations, and curriculum” between states and schools.

in 1993 federal grants were given to state departments to develop curriculum and/or content standards.

In 1995 brought about the reform of professional development and teaching.  “The inequalities in the delivery of funding of educational and the achievement gasp between school and among groups of students could not be seriously addressed without setting uniform guidelines and regulations for the teaching profession.

McClure also mentions the implementation of Title 1 programs.

3 Big Shifts That Our Schools Need to Make

Shannon Greene


S McLeod. (2013, October 23). 3 big shifts, 8 building blocks, and some guiding questions.
[Web log comment]. Retrieved fromhttp://dangerouslyirrelevant.org/


Summary: A summary of concrete changes in emphasis that schools could make now to positively impact the learning environment. The 3 big shifts are from low-level thinking to high-level thinking, from analog to digital, and from teacher-directed to student-directed. The 8 building blocks contain subjects such as project- and inquiry-based learning environment; authentic, real-world work; and online communities of interest that supplement and augment more-traditional learning communities.

Evaluation: Excellent and succinct, this article, particularly the 3 big shifts and 8 building blocks, includes many of the subjects discussed in the curriculum of 250 Instructional Design class. The guiding questions would be useful for both professional development and strategic planning discussions as well as daily curriculum planning guides.

Raising the Bar; Education

Besich, Lauren
Raising the bar; education. (2013, Jun 15). The Economist, 407, 30. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/docview/1368124428?accountid=10361 
This article published in The Economist explains in basic terms the relationship between federal and state governments in relation to state standards.  Until the recent adoption of the Common Core State Standards, each state set their own standards that determined student proficiency of Math and English skills, however, if states failed to produced students who didn’t measure up to national standards, they were punished.  In efforts to bridge this gap, the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers have pushed to implement Common Core State Standards in Math and English.  So far, 45 states have agreed to adopt these “more rigorous” standards, which will ideally streamline the education of students in those states.  The article covers some complaints from both ends of the political spectrum, but the main question still stands:  Will tougher standards produce smarter students?
This article helped me to better understand the reasoning behind the push for Common Core Standards.  The National Centre for Educational statistics (NCES), which is a federal body, saw a discrepancy between what states deem “proficient,” and what states deem “proficient.”  Obviously that is a problem, so the government wants to fix the problem.  As with any government-led initiative to solve a problem, there are critics.  I believe we will only see how well Common Core works after an entire generation of students passes through the education system with these new standards, which is quite a while down the road. 

Common Core Standards: Transforming Teaching with Collaborative Technology

Dawn Hall


Tucker, C. (2012, October). Common core standards:Transforming teaching with collaborative technology. Teacher Librarian, 39(6), 30-37.

                This article discusses how the Common Core Standards require students to work collaboratively and how important having skills in this area is to their future learning and professional lives. Tucker points out that technology provides many great options to foster student collaboration. She describes how she uses the Collaborize Classroom platform in her teaching and how it has transformed her students’ engagement in learning. She also mentions the Google Docs suite as another useful tool for student collaboration and provides several great suggestions for how to use it in different subject areas.

Apps Supporting Common Core State Standards

Chambers, Julia

Cohen, S. (2012). Apps meet the Common Core State Standards in writing. Teacher Librarian, 40(2), 32-39. Retrieved from http://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk//launch.aspx?eid=f50f51d4-ce9b-4584-8a0a-68b19c3eb9e7
In this article, Media Specialist Sydnye Cohen looks at seven of the new Common Core State Standards for writing and discusses how teacher librarians can introduce tools and collaborate with teachers to help teach and assess student’s learning along the way. The following outline identifies a particular CC Standard and then supplies the author’s suggested online tools that can aid students in mastering the standard.

Writing Standard 1: Write arguments using valid reasoning and relevant evidence.
  • Subtext: an app for online reading, great for collaborative reading, sharing annotations, and providing opportunities for students to synthesis directly following the text)
  • Gale Access My Library (AML): an app that uses Gale databases to find vetted, relevant evidence
  • Diigo: social bookmarking app useful for gathering resources with annotation capabilities
Writing Standard 5: Develop and strengthen writing by planning, revising, editing, and rewriting
  • Lino: graphic outlining that enables student to see linear and non-linear connection between ideas
  • iBrainstorm: outlining that allows students to type in text and draw
  • Popplet: outlining/organizing using text and images
  • Noodletools: a subscription writing/researching tool for taking notes, creating an outline, and citing sources in the correct format
Writing Standard 6: Use technology to collaborate, produce, and publish writing online
  • Google Docs: collaborative editing/publishing
  • Voice-thread: students combine still and moving images with voice and text to create online stories
  • Pen.io: publish text and images; saves to the Web
  • Paperport: publish text, images, voice, and handwriting and save as a PDF or share in Dropbox
  • Visual Poet: pairs images with works for 3poanel poetry
Writing Standard 7: Research to build and present knowledge
  • Pearltrees: students vet websites and curate the web for better access to what they need
  • Google Scholar: offers opportunities to evaluate information on the Internet
  • Diigo: gives students opportunity to categorize information, highlight and annotate it for meaning.
Writing Standard 8: Gather information from a variety of print/digital sources, assess credibility and integrate information while avoiding plagerism.
  • TED: always credible with multi-module formats
  • iTunes U: resources created by educators
  • Noodletools: (see above) allows teachers/librarians to assess students at every stage of research and writing
Writing Standard 9: Draw evidence from text to support analysis, reflection and research
  • Diigo (see above)
  • Evernote: allows annotation of texts online
  • Subtext: best app for reading online
Additional Common Core State Standard for History, Science and Technology: Ability for students to see conflicting viewpoints, introduce differing claims about a topic, organize reasoning for an argument logically.
            Apps to distinguish opposing claims:

  • News 360: students can search for a topic and see multiple viewpoints; can customize to see news from the left vs. news from the right
  • Flipboard: students search by topic, then use higher order thinking to sort into pros, cons, and unbiased views.
I found Cohen’s outline of CC State Standards for writing to be very helpful, as well as the corresponding app suggestions. Because several apps supported more than one standard, I was most curious to further investigate those as a starting point.

CA-Common Core Assessments
IL-Media Literacy

Tips for Beating the Clock in the Classroom

Amy Truter


Johnson, B. (2013). Tips for beating the clock in the classroom. Edutopia. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/beat-classroom-clock-tips-ben-johnson

This article provides a handful of ideas to help teachers maximize their allotted teaching time. Johnson gives examples of “time wasters” in the classroom and then elaborates on how teachers can overcome those time wasters. He advocates the jigsaw method of learning, as well as using collaborative groups to enable to the students to work together and teach each other. He also suggests using time before the lesson begins to determine where each student is at, knowledge-wise, and build a foundation for the rest of the class through vocabulary and really clear rubrics.

The ideas in this article are rapid fire suggestions for teachers looking to maximize their time. Johnson doesn’t really provide any concrete examples of his ideas or explanations for how new teachers might implement the practices suggested, but the comments section has some really wonderful, real life examples of ways to save time in the classroom.

Can Student-Driven Learning Happen Under Common Core?

Jennifer Alfonso-Punzalan


Mindshift.  (2013, February 26).  Can student-driven learning happen under Common Core?  Retrieved from http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2013/02/can-student-driven-learning-happen-under-common-core/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+kqed%2FnHAK+%28MindShift%29.

This article on Mindshift, written by Marsha Ratzel, is about how the Common Core standards will work with student-driven learning.  Ratzel, a middle school Science and Math teacher, believes that the Common Core standards will create many opportunities across and in subject areas for students to take ownership and lead their own education.  She targets English Language Arts standards, Math standards, and Social Science standards that will encourage student-driven activities such as questioning, applying a concept to their own lives, persevering, speaking and listening, and collaborating.  Ratzel predicts that teachers and students have a challenge ahead of them to discard the prescriptive teaching/learning practices that were part and parcel of No Child Left Behind, and that the Common Core will hopefully unshackle educators and learners.

I share Ms. Ratzel’s sentiments very much and I, too, am hopeful that the Common Core will bring about real learning opportunities that are student-driven and authentic.  I think teachers will need to have a lot of time to collaborate with one another and share best practices.  Districts and offices of education should provide a lot of quality professional development opportunities to support their teachers with implementing the Common Core standards.  Politicians will need to give the Common Core time to be implemented and let students be really successful learners before they decide to turn the tide again.

Tech Troubles & Solutions

Parker, Linda


K. Schwartz. (2013, April 11). Finding solutions for tech troubles in schools [Web log

       post]. Mindshift.  Retrieved from:


I found this article very interesting because we are experiencing these same problems at our school currently.  It becomes a matter of technology advancing so quickly, not only can we not keep up with managing devices, but managing infrastructure becomes an issue as systems are fast out-grown and quickly out-dated.  Going to  “The Cloud” is a concern to due security issues so our school has been resistant to this idea, however, Schwartz raises an excellent point: how can we ensure there’s enough broadband for everyone?  Technology is a great thing, but we are being led around by it sort of like the bull with the ring in its nose.  Here’s the rub: how can schools supply what’s necessary with ever-shrinking budgets?  One suggestion, although it comes with concerns is: make school a BYOD (bring your own device).  It saves money, but there are management and content issues to consider as well as bandwidth availability.  Another aspect of this article the author mentions is the Designing Education Network (DEN) which is a forum to compile best practices for quickly and carefully building up one’s IT infrastructure.  We’ll have to be watching to get glean some solutions for our own school.