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CASL Launches New Advocacy Site!

CASL Survive and Thrive Advocacy Website

CASL is helping School Librarians Speak Out

We’ve launched a great new website to help school librarians advocate in a positive manner to save and support school libraries.  The CASL Survive and Thrive website provides tools to educate and inform stakeholders about the vital and irreplaceable role that school librarians play in teaching and learning.  In order to better communicate to our community members what “21st century skills” are all about, CASL developed “taglines” for the 21st century skills of the Colorado Academic Standards (seen at right).  On the site, you will find message templates (sample e-mails, letters, newsletter blurbs, brochures, and even videos) containing  the taglines and targeting specific stakeholder audiences in order to promote school librarians as 21st century skills experts. Check out the site and start advocating!


Online Professional Development Opportunity

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Check out this great professional development opportunity shared by Colorado School Library Leaders Group (CoSLL):

eNetColorado and Colorado Thinkfinity is continuing to offer a 3-week Thinkfinity Online course for all Colorado teachers.

The 3-week online course provides an overview of Thinkfinity.org and instruction on locating Thinkfinity’s online educational resources and integrating them effectively into instructional activities to support student learning. After completion of this online course, educators will have developed their own original Thinkfinity Integration Plan and be empowered to use Thinkfinity resources in their classroom to enhance student learning.

There is a $50 registration fee and participants will be awarded 30 CDE credits upon successful completion of the course or have the option of registering for 2 graduate credits from Adams State College.

Classes start the first of each month with our next class starting December 1

Also checkout the series of free webinars supported by Thinkfinity

For more information, visit eNetColorado or Colorado Thinkfinity

Testimonials from past participants:

“Up until now I have never experienced so many resources in one place. The National Content Partners\’ sites truly give Thinkfinity the strength to have a content rich library.”

“Thinkfinity is a treasure trove of education resources for parents, teachers, and students”

“The reputable Content Partners is the aspect that drew me in and validated the reliability and professionalism of Thinkfinity.”

“I see Thinkfinity as an educational travel agency for learning. What a great way to view the journey of learning.”

“Bottom line, Thinkfinity is a resource that I can personally use to increase my ability to teach.”

Image by Spell with flickr

CASL Kick Off To TIE Review

The CASL Kick-off to the Colorado Technology in Education Conference (TIE: http://www.tiecolorado.org) was a huge success, with over 120 librarians and educators in attendance this year.  The day began with special guest presenter, Dr. David Loertscher speaking on the topic of his book The New Learning Commons Where Learners Win! Reinventing School Libraries and Computer Labs. We took a tour through the evolution of school libraries, from facilities that offered scheduled visits, isolated library lessons, emphasized print collections and had little technology to today’s libraries that are centers of inquiry with an emphasis on learning literacies, offer collaborative co-teaching, multimedia collections and abundant technology. In considering the next steps teacher-lbrarians must take to stay relevant in 21st century schools, we explored  the concept of a “Learning Commons” and how to incorporate all of the rich Web 2.0 tools to build a vibrant, student-centered 24-7 center for learning in the physical and virtual world.  Dr. Loertscher’s presentation and links to more ideas and conversations around this topic can be found at http://caslworkshops.pbworks.com.

Following Dr. Loertscher, participants joined in on a Gallery Walk, exploring the Colorado Learner’s Bill of Rights, recently featured in School Library Media Activities Monthly.  Ten groups rotated around the room to consider each of the student rights, posted on giant poster paper hung around the ballroom. The groups discussed and commented on what each one might look like in the classroom and library, and how they relate to and support the AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner.  To view and comment on the work done by our participants, visit http://colearnersbor.pbworks.com/.

The afternoon allowed participants to choose 2 of 3 breakout sessions.  Dr. Loertscher ‘s session featured his most current work on “The Big Think”  and Collective Synthesis. Workshop participants used an inquiry process in considering a potential disaster scenario, while looking at strategies to transform a more traditional learning experience to one requiring higher order thinking and problem solving.  Colorado High Performance Power Librarian Phil Goerner led a hands-on session featuring the free Web 2.0 tool Voicethread. (http://voicethread.com) . Participants  learned how to use the tool and also saw the many ways this tool might be used with classes.  Phil shared a wealth of resources on the CASL wiki: http://caslworkshops.pbworks.com/VoiceThread.  The third breakout session featured Peggy O’Neil Jones, regional director for the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources (TPS) Western Region program and professor of technical communication and media production at Metro State College. Peggy showed how working with primary sources folds so easily into the inquiry process, demonstrating and giving time to workshop participants to search American Memory and reflect on the steps of the inquiry process as they located resources they might use with students. To see how the inquiry process aligns with AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner, visit this wiki: http://jeffcocolloquium.pbworks.com/Inquiry-Process .  Click on any of the links to a piece of the inquiry cycle to see the alignment with the standards.

We encourage you to explore the resource links posted here – especially if you were unable to attend this special event. Many thanks to CLiC for their support, all of the CASL Board members who put this event together and the TIE Board for partnering with us and helping us to make this happen.

-Nancy White, CASL Co-President Elect

Do Media Specialists Specialize in Media?

Do we? Are we?

There’s an awesome heartfelt discussion here , which thanks to today’s viral MEDIA and the alert of CASL Board Member Nancy White, her monitoring of Twitter, and Littleton HS’s Karl Fisch, has been brought to your attention.

As a teacher of media, will you weigh in on this discussion?
How well are we doing in Colorado at raising the issues of new media, integration to ‘media specialist’ jobs, and the ability of the certified (or not…) librarian to bridge technology and learning??


CASL Virtual Meeting
November 21, 2009 12:00 : Live Meeting @CAL!
Can’t attend? Leave us your comments below in response to this topic and the following questions:

  • What are you doing as a school library leader?
  • What questions do you have?
  • How can CASL provide assistance?

Volunteer with CAL and CASL

CASL Virtual Meeting

November 21, 2009 12:00 : Live Meeting @CAL!
Can’t attend? Leave us your comments below in response to this topic. Get more details on CAL committees (oh, but there’s so much more!)here.
and the following questions:

  • How can you assist?
  • What questions do you have?
  • How can CASL connect you?

NEW for 2009-10! CASL Sub-Committees. We’d love to get more of our members involved, so here is your opportunity!  The following sub-committees are open for membership:

  • Communications/Networking
  • Professional Development
  • Advocacy
  • Awards
  • New Initiatives

Contact Nancy White if interested: nancy.white@asd20.org

Tell us your 2.0 Leadership Story

Eighty people attended the “CASL Kick-off to TIE” preconference in June. They learned and leaped their way through some amazing Web 2.0 tools that have the power to transform teaching and learning through their ability to inspire and create conditions for creativity, global communication and global collaboration among students.

Now that school is back in session, we are wondering…have you been successful in playing a leadership role introducing or advocating for these tools in the classroom? How are you modeling the use of these tools for productivity, communication, and collaboration? What projects are you planning, or what new programs have you put in place? What strategies are you using to build excitement and buy-in from your staff and parent community?

Please share your story here. It is simple – click on “comments” below. After all, as you learned, blogging is about more than just reading and absorbing information – it is about participating in the conversation.