Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Final Reflection

Welcome to the last post before winter break! This semester is over! I can't believe how fast time has gone by. You know what they say... time flies when you're having fun!

Let's recap the past few months of technology. We've discussed so many different avenues for you and I to communicate with students and parents alike. Facebook and Twitter have created new and innovative ways to share what is going on in our library and also for parents to stay abreast of school information. We also discussed podcasts for communication as well as a product for student learning. Of course, the almighty blog! I must say the blog is one of my favorite ways to share and collaborate with people from all over. I enjoy reading blogs on topics that interest me both personally and professionally. I love writing my blog for others to read and benefit from as well. The only way to become the best School Media Specialists we can be is by sharing and collaborating our ideas.

Instagram, Vine, Screencasts, QR codes and cartoons are a marvelous way to present information as well as have students present projects. I love the idea of students creating products to show their learning and using their computer literacy skills along with demonstrating mastery of content. The one that was most difficult for me was Instagram and Vine. I feel like I would be the least likely to use these tools for my library although I might have the students do a project or two using this media.

I believe that everything I have learned here will be very beneficial to me and my students, but the assignment I loved the most was the blog. I think writing this blog provides a kind of outlet from my creative juices. I know I will have a blog centered around my library as soon as I am a librarian. I think writing about what I love like being a librarian will just enrich my job as well as my personal life. The students will gain much from my blog because I will be writing about things that interest them and books that they might like.

Live, Love, Library will be going on a small hiatus during the holidays but I hope to see you all back in the new year!

Merry Christmas and happy new year!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Media (is) the message?

Happy Thanksgiving Week, media heads! Isn't it great not to have to set our alarms for Monday? For those of you have still have a few more days of work this week, I feel for you. Hang in there! So I'm coming to you today with a hot debate that started in the nineties. In the last few years, education advocates have pushed for the expanded use of technology in the classroom. When this revolution began, prominent educational psychologists Richard Clark and Robert Kozma disagreed on the roll of media in education.

Refered to as the Clark-Kozma Debate, this discussion over the affect of media on learning has been discussed time and time again. Richard Clark posits that media is merely a vehicle for delivering instruction and does not influence student achievement. Clark believes that it is impossible to separate the effects of media from that of the teacher's instructional method, therefor there can be no clear link that media is the sole influence on learning (Mitchell).

Robert Kozma disagreed with Clark's assertions. He claimed that there is no need to separate media from method. His argument was that the medium through which instruction is delivered can influence learning (Mitchell). If we try to separate the two, then we would not be encompassing the entire learning model. Kozma says that the focus should not be on whether media does or does not influence learning but on how we can use media to to influence learning (EduTech).

I believe that Kozma has a better argument. I don't believe we should focus on the fact that we cannot isolate the role of media in education. We should focus on how we can use media to influence and positively affect student learning. I see the advantages of using different technologies in my classroom every week. There are times when just offering one vehicle for learning excludes students that have different learning styles. There are some students that can gain all the information they need from reading a book while others need to use more interactive technology that will present the information in different way. Technology is also affecting education by allowing for programs like distance learning. Students from around the world are able to collaborate through computer programs and be exposed to learning that otherwise would have been impossible before. I think because media allows learners to be exposed to different learning methods and tools, media is a strong influence on education.

Mitchell, N. J., & Robinson, C. (n.d.). Considerations of Learning & Learning Research: Revisiting the "Media Effects" Debate. Retrieved November 19, 2016, from

The media debate. (n.d.). Retrieved November 19, 2016 from EduTech Wiki: 

Sunday, November 13, 2016


Welcome back, library hounds! I hope you're back sniffing around for more ideas. I've been looking forward to talking to you about a great information dispersing tool called Podcasts. Podcasts have been used for many different reasons: entertainment, informational, educational, persuasive and many more. I think podcasts are excellent tools for the classroom teacher and the school media specialist.

There are educators that use podcasts to disperse information about what is happening at school or in their classroom/library. Some educators may use podcasts to help them engage students in their chosen subject. Others use it as an assessment tool for their students. It is a non-traditional product that could help to engage students in a project that they might typically blow off or be uninterested in.
Although some people may hear 'podcast' and feel intimidated, it's really very easy to make a podcast using any of the audio recording websites out there. I want to introduce you to three of them on this post.

Audioboom is a great site that hosts a lot of very popular podcasters. You can sign up with them and they will host, distribute and monetize your podcasts for you. I found the website easy to work with and very helpful.

Podomatic is also an awesome site for you to use to host and distribute your podcast. It also offers the necessary options and ease of use that will make podcasting less complicated. The program is simple and straightforward to use.

The last (my favorite) is Soundcloud. I have been using Soundcloud for over a year now and it is so easy to use! I created a little example of how I would use a podcast in my library by doing a little Weekend Update of what happened over the past week in the school as well as a little preview of what is to come. I used Soundcloud to create it. :)

I know it might feel a little weird to hear yourself talk but believe me when I say that the kids LOVE it! See you next week! 

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Cartoons and Comics

Salutations, y'all! Just finished up a hectic weekend of bridal shower preparation and execution! With my sister getting married in December, life has been very hectic. I did, however, have a little bit of time to explore some new resources you could use in your classroom or library! Drawing, comics, graphic novels... let's face it... kids love them! Why not use them to teach them something? I poked around the Interwebs and found some awesome websites that will help you do just that.

Let's begin with Pixton.

I really liked the simplicity and ease of use of the Pixton website, and it was really easy to sign up.  It had a really great tutorial when I first signed up that took me through all the options and how to use them. This program has a lot of options for characters, backgrounds, and positions. You can add as many panels as you want and you can change the facial features on them to show a big range of emotion. The website also allows students to get subscriptions via their teacher. They can turn in comic assignments which is a great way for students to create products that you can evaluate. There are lots of options for sharing and saving the comic and if you get lost, the help option is well... helpful!

The other website that you should check out is ToonDoo.

Those Darn Kids

Signing up is a breeze. When you create your comic, you are first given an option for how you want to set up your comic. There is not much by way of tutorials and it is definitely a "go ahead and play with me" type program. This website also has many options for characters, props, texts, special effects and backgrounds to choose from. I found this program a little more difficult to work with, but not impossible. If you invest a little bit of time working with it, it is easy enough.

Last but not least, Make Beliefs Comix.

This program was my least favorite. You are very limited with what can be done. The characters, backgrounds and options are very few. I found it difficult to use and a little bit annoying really. I think it would take much longer to work with this program than the others. There is no need to have an account with this site, but that also means you cannot save it to their server. Your options are to print, save or email the picture. In a pinch, you can definitely use this to make a quick and simple comic for your lesson.

There are so many ways you can use comics in your lessons. You can use them as a hook for your lesson. Oddly enough students are more likely to pay attention and read information in comic form. You can also have students use these websites. They can create comics centered around vocabulary practice. ESL students can use it to practice their english. You can use it as a different way to present a writing prompt. There are so many different ways to use comics in education. Check out this article for even more ideas.

Thanks for listening folks. I would love for you to comment and share how you have used or will use comics in your lessons. Tootles!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Videos and QR Codes in the Library

Welcome back, y'all! I hope you haven't missed me too much! I bring to you another blog post that is sure to amaze, excite, and inspire! :) No, but really now! You're going to LIKE this one.

I was wandering around YouTube the other night and I found some awesome library YouTube Channels that I think you should check out!

First, let me introduce the Norman High School Library channel. They have a few videos uploaded that would be very helpful for students and teacher alike.

I think the EBSCOHost screencast would be supremely helpful for students and teachers looking to do research.

I think the students would really like to see the Tiger visiting the library. It's a fun way to show the different services available.

Another great channel is The Unquiet Library. On this channel, you will see many videos including tutorials and project presentations.

They have an awesome video on what Creative Commons is and how to use it appropriately. This tutorial is very helpful to students that might have been using copyrighted images incorrectly.

This student project is quite creative and I think students would appreciate the humor. It would provide a good example of well done project.

Pikesville High School Library has a nice selection of videos and tutorials available on their YouTube Channel.

The FAFSA video is a great way to encourage high school students to apply and keep deadlines in mind.

I think students will like the Harlem Shake video that the Panthers Library did. It is quite entertaining and the students will enjoy it.

The BBMSMedia Channel has a lot of fun overdue book videos and tutorials.

This Noodle Tools tutorial would be very helpful to students that need to learn to cite for their research.

I LOVE all the overdue library book videos, but this one was really good!

I suggest you continue to look through these channels and look for some of your own. If you find some others, please comment and link me to them. Using YouTube in the library has infinite possibilities. Not only can you upload and share instructional videos, tutorials, and advertising for your library, you can also have students create projects to upoad as well.

Now as I was looking through YouTube I also noticed a lot of awesome book trailers. I decided to try my hand at making my own! I'm helping with a Bluebonnet Book Club at school and we recently read Space Case by Stuart Gibbs.

It’s a murder mystery on the moon in this humorous and suspenseful space adventure from the author of Belly Up and Spy School that The New York Times Book Review called “a delightful and brilliantly constructed middle grade thriller.”

Like his fellow lunarnauts—otherwise known as Moonies—living on Moon Base Alpha, twelve-year-old Dashiell Gibson is famous the world over for being one of the first humans to live on the moon.

And he’s bored out of his mind. Kids aren’t allowed on the lunar surface, meaning they’re trapped inside the tiny moon base with next to nothing to occupy their time—and the only other kid Dash’s age spends all his time hooked into virtual reality games.

Then Moon Base Alpha’s top scientist turns up dead. Dash senses there’s foul play afoot, but no one believes him. Everyone agrees Dr. Holtz went onto the lunar surface without his helmet properly affixed, simple as that. But Dr. Holtz was on the verge of an important new discovery, Dash finds out, and it’s a secret that could change everything for the Moonies—a secret someone just might kill to keep...
 -- via GoodReads

Since I've been playing around with QR codes. Let's give it a try and scan my QR code to see my Book Trailer.

QR codes are AWESOME little shortcuts. If you are in a district that provides technology like tablets to students or has BYOD policies, you can easily create QR code scavenger hunts that provide useful information to students. It's an easier and faster way to get students or parents to a website that you want them to get to. I saw this while I was surfing Pinterest. A display like this would be great for piquing interest in new books or old books that are not circulating well. You can also create listening centers with QR codes that link to audiobooks. You can see this idea in action here. Honestly, there are TONS of ways you can use QR codes in the library to enhance your lesson. If you take some time to look around, you'll be able to find something that will work for you. If you come upon any great lessons or maybe you've created something awesome yourself, please comment and link. I'd love to check it out! 


Sunday, October 23, 2016

Jing, Screencast, Instagram, Vine... All educational!

Good evening, teacher-librarians! I hope I find you all well and rested from the weekend. I know I had a blast at the Texas State Fair yesterday!

So as I was crafting this post I got really excited! I LOVE doing screencasts! It's so much easier than explaining what to do 50,000,000 times! Ok. I may be exaggerating a bit, but as I work with people that are just SLIGHTLY older than me, I find myself having to explain things over and over. Screencasts are like having me around without actually having to have me around. I love it. They love it. Everybody wins!

The first program I tried was Jing. This is a program that needs to be downloaded to your device. I downloaded it to my Macbook. It runs in the background and you can access it by moving your pointer to the upper right hand corner of your screen. A little sun-type icon will pop out with several 3 options: Capture, History, and More. When you want to record, you click on capture and you will be instructed to select the part of the screen you want captured. After you do that it will ask have a small toolbar that allows you to select Capture Picture or Capture Video. It is VERY simple to use and I loved that it was always at my beck and call. When you're finished you can save it to a folder on your computer and you can also upload it to a website called Screencast. I used it to create a video for my students on how to find their math book online. (A question I'm asked 50,000,000 times as well...)
Here is the link to where I uploaded it to Screencast.

That brings me to the next resource for screencasting... Screencast-o-Matic! It is very easy to use. Simply create your free account and start messing with it. They have TONS of tutorials for any kind of questions you may have on how to do something. You will also need to download their Screen Recorder in order to make your screencasts. Once you've downloaded and installed that, you can start recording. Screencast-o-Matic's Screen Recorder is a bit more advanced than Jing. It has many more options for recording. Screencast also allows for longer videos than Jing: 15 minute maximum versus 5 minutes for Jing. You can also have it recording the screen and your face! This is the link to the screencast I recorded with Screencast-o-Matic's Screen Recorder... Try saying that 5 times fast! I wanted to record the steps for the students to be able to access eBooks on MackinVIA.

It's hard for me to decided which screencaster is better. I think they're both great and easy to use. I like the easy access of Jing being on my computer, but it has limitations like the maximum duration of the recording. I like all the options available on Screencast-o-Matic and the tutorial videos that make it easier to record and of course the fact that you can record yourself and the screen at the same time, but it takes longer to access the recorder. It really is a tossup for me and I know that both of them will work great for you. I suppose it is just up to you to try them both and decide for yourself.

Now onwards to Instagram and Vine!

Instagram is picture sharing social website that allows people to stay connected and share their lives with their followers. Vine is a video sharing website owned by Twitter and like Twitter is meant to be used for very brief videos. For some it may seem like a stretch to use these two social sites for education, but it's really not! These two sites can offer quick and easy ways to show off your classroom and your student's work. Please see this link for ideas on Instagram and this one for Vine.
I created new professional Instagram and Vine accounts in order to try these out in my classroom soon! Here's an example of what I've done so far!

So now to close this awesome blog out... Give these programs a try! If you stick to at least one, you'll make your teaching/lessons/library all the better for it. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Infographics: Not Just A Pretty Picture

Hello and welcome back, School Media Specialist! On today's episode of Live, Love, Library we will be discussing a very important tool available to us called... Infographics! This useful little device can be used to represent information or data in a visually appealing and organized way. Now there are several websites that can help you make said infographic. I'm going to highlight three of these websites to give you a good place to start. Click on the links and check them out yourself. Decide what format is best for you!

First, I'm going to talk about This site offers many templates as well as an option to start from scratch. For those of you that are not to familiar with the basics of design, choosing a ready made template may be the right option for you. For the more advanced creator, the Start Fresh button will take you to a blank document that you can fill with objects, media, backgrounds, charts, texts, etc. Another great feature of, is that soon after you sign up, they will send you an email "Cheat Sheet" filled with free resources that will help you in creating your first infographic. is very user friendly and has a clean and organized interface that most people will love. As with most free sites, you are limited to what you can do for free. If you really love it and want to go Pro, you can get many more templates, images, fonts, and much more for $3 a month.

The next website I want to feature is Piktochart. This site and I are old friends. I have used Piktochart often in my classroom for various things including invitations, permission slips, posters, and of course, infographics! Piktochart also offers many templates in various formats such as infographic, presentation, poster and report. With Piktochart you can also Create Your Own Piktochart in any format. Piktochart is user friendly and easy to use. Of the three, it offers the most features for free. You can also Level Up to a paying account for $15-$29 a month for extra services such as, more templates, fonts, removing watermarks, converting to PDF and many more.

The last website I want to introduce to you is has a Learn section that contains tutorials for anything you might need help with. Watch them! is a much more powerful infographic creator and a smidge less user friendly. Those of you that are decent with technology will like this one and will appreciate what you can do with this website. Newcomers to the site will do fine as well with a little time spent watching the videos or just tinkering with the program itself. The free stuff is limited as with the others, but the website also offers three levels of upgrades depending on your needs ranging from $19-$67 a month.

Personally, I prefer Piktograph more than the other two I discussed. However, I decided to use to create my infographic for this post just because I like trying new things, and I felt particularly adventurous today. I visited the Pew Research Center  to find some data that I could use for my example. I picked an article on Book Reading and the research on ebooks vs. traditional books written by Andrew Perrin.

Perrin, A. (2016, September 01). Book Reading 2016. Retrieved October 15, 2016, from

I hope you have learned a little something today and are more prepared to try creating some of your own infographics. If anything, it will be a new and exciting way to present information to your kiddoes. Remember that all of these programs have a learning curve so please be patient and endure. It will be worth the time investment. Trust me!