Certification Program Redesign: Needs Assessment

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One of the biggest takeaways from my time in the Digital Education Leadership program through Seattle Pacific University is that teachers are students, too. When diving into effective mentoring and professional development, some of the most successful strategies are those that are also used in the classroom. Many back-to-school workshops remind teachers to get to know their students and provide differentiation in every learning experience. In other words, providing learners (adults included) with a pre-assessment (formal or informal) to determine where they are in order to reach where they need to be.

Edutopia has a great article and video that touches on the importance of assessment before learning even begins:

In an earlier post, I wrote about my journey in reviewing and redesigning a university’s Library Media Endorsement (LME) certification program. Here, I continue that work by drafting a Needs Assessment survey for potential students. As I mentioned in my last post, the program is not yet finalized, so I am omitting the name of the institution and it will henceforth be identified as “University.”

Before writing the Needs Assessment survey, I did a bit of background research, attempting to see how other schools have assessed their incoming … Read More

Certification Program Redesign: Program Evaluation

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When I talk to people about the Digital Education Leadership program through Seattle Pacific University, I often end up saying, “Well, there’s homework, but it’s not really homework. I do work, but it’s directly related to my responsibilities as a librarian and an educator. So, it’s homework but it’s not really homework. It’s bigger than that. It has more significance than ‘homework.'” While this has been proven throughout the duration of the program, it couldn’t have been more true than when I was offered the opportunity to redesign a Library Media Endorsement certification program… As part of my “homework.”

My classmates and I were recently tasked with conducting a program evaluation. Students learned “how to conduct needs assessments, develop technology-related professional learning programs,  evaluate the impact on instructional practice and student learning, and communicate findings to the institution” (Course syllabus). Dr. David Wicks, Chair of the Digital Education Leadership program, came to me with a wonderful opportunity to redesign a university’s Library Media Endorsement (LME) certification program. Because the program is not yet finalized, I am omitting the name of the institution and it will henceforth be identified as “University.”

Program Evaluation

The project was designed to evaluate … Read More

Mystery Skype: Planning Phase

I like to think I’m pretty “in the know” when it comes to educational technology. Then I spend time with my brilliant classmates and professors (I lovingly refer to them as “The Great Brain”) and I realize I don’t know nearly as much as I’d like to think. In the last two weeks they have shared with me a treasure trove of tools that I had no idea existed. This quarter we are exploring the ISTE Teacher Standards and in order to take that learning to the next level, in knowledge and practice, we are planning and facilitating Global Collaborative Projects (GCP). The overview of the project follows:

Global collaborative projects help students become connected learners and provide them with authentic opportunities to learn from other people and experiences. These types of projects also provide students with new, diverse perspectives and help prepare them for an international workplace. In this project, you will collaborate with others outside of the Digital Education Leadership program to design and implement a global learning experience utilizing digital tools.

As I did some brainstorming for this project, the Great Brain told me about Mystery Skype. How did I not know this existed? If you’re … Read More

ISTE Teacher Standard 1: Connecting Students to Outside Professionals

Last semester I examined the ISTE Student Standards through the Digital Education Leadership program at Seattle Pacific University, this semester I will start my exploration of the ISTE Teacher Standards. In an effort to learn the difference between the various sets of ISTE Standards (student, teacher, coach, administrator and computer science educator), I scoured the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) website to find the following description: “The family of ISTE Standards works in concert to support students, educators and leaders with clear guidelines for the skills, knowledge and approaches they need to succeed in the digital age” (“ISTE Standards,” 2015). I was excited to find this short video produced by ISTE that gives a short overview of the purpose behind the standards and why they are important to successfully implementing technology into education.

While I am still processing the difference between the many sets of standards, I am approaching my exploration this semester from the perspective of a librarian who is there to serve both students and teachers in order to take their learning and teaching to the next level. This week, I was given the following question and asked to explore it in a way … Read More

Using Student-Created Book Trailers to Increase Library Circulation

I shared in a recent post that this quarter in the Digital Education Leadership program through Seattle Pacific University, I have been exploring the ASSURE Model, an instructional model used to design lessons that effectively incorporate the use of technology to enhance student learning. This model identifies six steps in the planning process and those steps form the acronym, ASSURE:

Image created by Becky Todd, Librarian/Media Specialist, www.beckytoddlibrarian.org
Image created by Becky Todd, Librarian/Media Specialist, www.beckytoddlibrarian.org

How Was This Model Used?

Using the ASSURE Model, I designed a student-created book trailer project, where students share their excitement of a favorite book in an effort to increase circulation rates and encourage reading for pleasure. Here you will find my plans for the project, following the ASSURE Model:

Download (PDF, 417KB)


Reflection on the Process

I have started this project with my third grade class and it has been a huge success. The students are coming to library excited, ready to work and eager to move through the steps of the process. The students are still in the initial planning phases, but based on their work thus far, I anticipate the success will continue. One of the most exciting, unforeseen benefits of the introduction of this project has … Read More

ISTE 6: Are Basic Computer Skills Still Important?

Photo Credit: OpenClips via Pixabay
Photo Credit: OpenClips via Pixabay

The end of the quarter at Seattle Pacific University is quickly coming to a close, as is my adventure diving into the ISTE Student Standards. If this is your first time visiting my blog, I encourage you to check out my explorations of standards 1, 2, 3, and 4. This week, I will be digging into ISTE Student Standard 6, attempting to answer the question, “How can students demonstrate a sound understanding of technology concepts, systems, and operations?” You might notice that I have failed to include standard 5, this standard addresses Digital Citizenship issues. The students in the Digital Education Leadership program have examined this standard at length through our Group and Individual Projects, I invite you to check those out!

I recently attended an EdCamp (if you’re unfamiliar with the term, this video is a must) where I met with several librarians who were talking about the need for basic computer skill instruction. After much discussion and reflecting on the standard for this week, I was left asking myself the following question:

How can the library play a central role in facilitating a scope and sequence of computer Read More

ISTE 4: Using Mind-Maps to Help Conduct Effective Research

Photo Credit: Wesley Fryer
Photo Credit: Wesley Fryer

This week I am diving into the fourth ISTE Student Standard: Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making through the Digital Education Leadership program at Seattle Pacific University and am attempting to answer the following question: “What are ways in which students can use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources?”

I recently started teaching sixth and seventh grade students the research process using the Big6™ Research Model, you can read more about that experience in my last blog post. During that lesson, I found that the students’ biggest challenges were some of the skills I thought would be the most simple. The most notable being, the ability to identify keywords that would help them conduct their research. The students were able to formulate several questions related to their science fair topic but when asked to select three to five keywords based on those questions, they struggled. My intended goal for the students was for them to review their questions, determine how those questions were related, and extract a number of succinct terms that will allow them to conduct … Read More

ISTE 2: Connecting With Authors Via Skype

This week I am looking at the second ISTE Student Standard: Communication and Collaboration through the Digital Education Leadership program at Seattle Pacific University and am attempting to answer the following question: “How can students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others?” When examining the first ISTE Student Standard: Creativity and Innovation, I had first toyed with the idea of using Skype with my students to address that standard but found that I was not able to adequately teach and assess the skills I was looking for in the scope of my library curriculum and therefore revised my focus (read more about that process in my last post).

Photo Credit: Wesley Fryer
Photo Credit: Wesley Fryer

While I did not incorporate the use of Skype into that standard, it was a tool that I was interested in exploring further and found that it conformed nicely with the communication and collaboration standard. In an effort to enhance the library program and provide my students with opportunities to deepen their interest in reading for pleasure (my never-ending quest as a librarian), I attempted to answer the following … Read More

ISTE 1: Reaching Reluctant Readers Through Book Trailers

The next adventure in my Digital Education Leadership program is well underway and this quarter I am focusing on the ISTE Student Standards and how I can use those standards to address challenges I currently face. This week proved to be a great life learning experience for me, it helped to remind me to ignore the box that I try to stand inside of and instead do what works for me. When serving on committees, collaborating with classmates or meeting with colleagues, I often find that I compare myself to classroom teachers. I forget to see that in my position as school librarian, I am afforded some wonderfully unique opportunities to connect with students and instead I focus on what I cannot do with my limited time or resources.

In my “I’m-not-a-classroom-teacher” state of mind, I was tasked with examining the first ISTE standard and determine how students can “demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.” Through this, I asked the following:

How can students use technology to demonstrate their understanding of a book to connect with other fans outside of the school community (fan fiction, global read-alouds) and, potentially, the author themselves (Twitter, … Read More