Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Tech Help

As you are aware, the district is using a new filter this school year. Instructional Technology has asked us to help spread the word about the filter and websites. We are basically starting over with the "allowed" websites. If you find websites that should be allowed please fill out the "allow" form. They feel many teachers (and librarians) are dealing with the issue and not filling out the form. Please encourage staff to fill out the "Internet Filter Allow" and make the filter work better for us. You can get to the form through the links above but it is located on the Staff button of the Mesquite ISD homepage.

Along these same lines, I've heard from several of you that on particular machines or with particular students the filter doesn't seem to behave as you think it should. Maybe it's asking for a login after a student is already logged in. I have gotten permission to send these to tech services so we can troubleshoot some of the problems instead of going through the help desk. Below is a form for you to fill out explaining issues you experience in your library. Fill out the form and I'll pass on to the appropriate personnel. Hopefully, this will help you and tech services find some solutions to problems. Any new technology always has glitches to work out. Thanks for being part of the solution!!

Filter Issues

Adam Peck / PA Archive / Press Association Images / Universal Images Group

Go Grolier!

We have trials to 2 databases for you to try! Scholastic owns Grolier and has updated all the encyclopedias and databases. Some of you may remember we used to subscribe to Lands and People, America the Beautiful, New Book of Popular Science and others. The True Flix database is actually "new true" books online. There are 56 books to access appropriate for elementary students. The trial links can be found on the Library Services Virtual Library or you can just click the images to the left. I will email the username/passwords. The trials are good through December 15.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Follow me to AASL!

I'm very excited to be representing TASL at the AASL conference in Minneapolis later this week. Imagine a whole conference full of sessions just for school librarians - I'll be in library heaven! :-)

To see what I'm learning,you can follow me on Twitter. I'll be posting updates frequently. If you aren't a Twitter user, don't worry. You can follow me without having a Twitter account yourself. Just come to the sidebar of this blog and look at the Twitter widget to see my last few tweets. To see all of my tweets, click on my name, then click the link: See @marywoodard's full profile. This will give you access to all of the resources and ideas that I'll be gathering throughout the week!

To see what other people are tweeting about from AASL, just type #aasl11 in the search box on my Twitter home page. This is a great way to follow what is happening, even if you can't be there in person.

So check in and see what I'm up to. This is one instance where stalking is ok! :-)

New Bluebonnet list announced

The Texas Bluebonnet Master List for 2012-2013 was announced over the weekend at the Texas Book Festival by Phil Bildner and Jack Gantos.

Click here for a copy of the list in PDF format.

Parents.com reading challenge


Parents.com is sponsoring a program called "Raise a Reader," which includes a reading challenge. Schools can register to win $5000 for the school library by logging the number of minutes read by students. Click the link above to get more information!
Leave a comment with your name if you think you might participate.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

And the winner is...

Students at Agnew will soon be enjoying more copies of this year's Lone Star books. The winner of an additional set is Paula Hill!

We will have them processed and sent to Agnew ASAP. Congratulations, Paula!

TLA District 5 meeting

This year's TLA District 5 meeting is right in our own backyard!

Use the link below to register, if you'd like to attend. Here's the invitation:

Please join your library colleagues for a free afternoon of continuing education, networking, and fun!

District Five of the Texas Library Association will hold the annual conference at the Texas A&M Commerce Metroplex Center
(2600 Motley Drive, Mesquite, TX) on November 9, 1pm to 4pm.

Breakout sessions include:

Digital Collections in the Library
There’s a Google App for That!
Jing: When Words Aren’t Enough!
Cloud-Based Presentations using Prezi!

To register, please visit www.txla.org (click the REGISTER button in the left hand menu).

Image citation:
Hispanic Man Reading In Backyard. Photography. Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest. Web. 20 Oct 2011.http://quest.eb.com/media/image.htm?mediaId=154_2902374

Monday, October 17, 2011

iOS 5 is here!

You will want to update your iPad with the new software! Click here to watch a video on the cool new features.

To update your iPad:
  1. Update iTunes to version 10.5 on your laptop or computer (the one you used to originally sync with the iPad)
  2. Connect your iPad
  3. Transfer all purchases on the iPad to the laptop/computer for a backup
  4. To do this: go to file and choose "transfer purchases from (your iPad)"
  5. Sync your iPad
  6. Click your iPad icon listed on the left side of iTunes and click the Summary tab on the top
  7. You should see a message that there is a new software update.
  8. Click update
You might want to allow some time for this. It took Mary and I about an hour for the process.
This sync is more in-depth than other updates and there will be some questions for you to answer on your iPad to reset it up. Call me if you have questions!! 5547

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lone Star giveaway

I have a set of Lone Star books to give away!

Entering is easy...just leave a comment telling me why you'd like a set of Lone Star books for your library. Be sure to include your name with your comment.

The drawing will be held Wednesday, October 19.

Friday Food for Thought

It's the second six weeks of school. Have you updated your web site lately? This blog post has some great ideas for your web site. If you don't have time to read the whole post, I have quoted the most important points below - 5 Things Every School Library Website Should Have:


Communicating what you're doing is all-important! How are you showcasing the learning that takes place in your library? Do you post examples of student work? Do students have the opportunity to provide feedback on your site? With all of the interactive tools that are available now, there is so much that you could do. 
If you'd like help adding some of these elements to your web site, Debbie and I are always available to help you figure it out!

Happy Friday!

This would be a great example of parody to share with older students. Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

And the winner is...

I used the True Random Number Generator to determine the winner of the Bluebonnet drawing. The winner was commenter #6, T. Cowart!

Congratulations, Terri! We'll have the set processed for Beasley and send them right out to you.

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Activity Report clarification

At the beginning of the year, I posted information regarding how to complete the Activity Report each six weeks.

As with anything new, there have been a couple of questions. I'm posting those questions and their answers here for your future reference.

Q:  I taught 1 lesson to 6 classes. Do I count 1 or 6? 

A: The report asks for how many lessons you taught, so you would count the number of times you taught the lesson. In this particular example, you would enter "6."

Q: I taught Biography Resource Center to students doing research on Leaders. Can I count it in both categories – research & technology?

A: Yes, if you feel that the focus was equal on both areas.

Q: Do we count leadership per event or position? I am the announcement sponsor, so do I count it once each day or one time for the entire six weeks?

A: The report asks for number of leadership activities. In this example, you would count each time you perform that particular leadership activity, which would be once each day.

Paper On Clipboard And Pen. Photograph. Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest. Web. 5 Oct 2011.http://quest.eb.com/media/image.htm?mediaId=118_804933

Bluebonnet giveaway

I have a set of Bluebonnet books to give away!

Entering is easy...just leave a comment telling me why you'd like a set of Bluebonnet books for your library. Be sure to include your name with your comment.

The drawing will be held Tuesday, October 11.

Image citation:
Texas Bluebonnets. Photography. Encyclopædia Britannica Image Quest. Web. 5 Oct 2011.http://quest.eb.com/media/image.htm?mediaId=139_1956184

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Book Trailers from Permabound

Barb Swanson sent a link to book trailers for elementary, middle and high school students. There are some individual book trailers and compilation trailers for this year's Bluebonnet and Lone Star lists. She said feel free to use these trailers. They have no copyright restrictions.

Permabound Book Trailers