Monday, October 10, 2011


I used the topic of National Nutrition Month in March for my podcast. First, I want the listener to know when National Nutrition Month takes place. Secondly, I want them to learn some specific adjustments they can make to their current food choices to impact their overall nutrition. Lastly, I want the listener to be guided to the government website for additional information. To listen to my podcast click here.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Saturday, October 1, 2011

The WANDA Wiki Wonderland Project

     In this wiki project the school librarian and language arts teacher worked together to create a wiki-based literature circle where students chose works to analyze, notate, discuss and archive (thus the name of the project WANDA = "Works Analyzed Notated Discussed & Archived").

What I like about this project is that it is a collaboration between the media specialist and the teacher. Lessons were taught in the library on fair use of multimedia products as well as how to create media or use copyright-free images and to properly cite sources. Lessons were taught in the classroom relating to story elements and writing. They shared responsibility for developing criteria for how they would go about co-assessing student work.  

I also like that the eighth graders decided amongst themselves what books to read and what pace they would read them. They also decided some of their own deadlines, criteria for projects, and participated in self-assessment exercises. The wiki was used for their conversations, as a tool to sharpen writing and communication skills, and to present their multimedia presentations to real audiences. 

The only thing I dislike about the project is the look of the wiki. Somehow the style feels dated and cumbersome. I don't know enough about wikis, yet myself, to know if wikis, in general, just look like this or if there are better ways to present them. 

Overall, though, I love this project! See what you think.

Moreillon, J., Hunt, J., & Ewing, S. (2009). Learning and teaching in wanda wiki wonderland: Literature circles in the digital commons. Teacher Librarian, 37(2), p. 23-8. Retrieved from

Using Wikis in the Media Center

My intention is to become a school media specialist. Something that I think about is which web 2.0 tool would best impact how kids learn today. I chose to take a look at wikis in the media center because of their interactive and sharing nature.

By using wikis in schools with pre-teens and teens, teachers are able to capitalize on their students’ enthusiasm for online sharing and need for self-expression. Beverly Koopman, a fifth grade teacher in Minnesota states, “The challenge for educators is to foster an atmosphere that respects the questions that children ask and that teaches them to use questions to analyze their own thinking. To be truly engaged, students’ minds must not be silent and they must be given opportunities for sharing. Online communication tools [wikis] represent one solution” (Koopman, 2010, p.24). 

One of Koopman’s students explained the advantages of a wiki over face-to-face communication by saying: “The best questions come from other questions. One question leads to another question. But when you are in a group, it’s hard to come up with a new question when everyone is staring at you.  When you’re on the wiki, you can think. It leads to more questions and deeper questions” (Koopman, 2010, p. 24).

Possibilities for wikis are limited only by individual choices. It's in the hands of
the library media specialist -- a wiki can be used to involve students and teachers in a
new and engaging forum. It can be used to focus on reading and research now and into
the future (Fredrick, 2007). Because working on a wiki is collaborative in nature, “they [the students] are challenged to think harder and to weave together what they know rather than to have it presented to them predigested” (Dresang, 2000, p. 78). The following are a variety of ways in which a library media specialist can use a wiki in middle and high schools:
~Students can review books, post essays and provide feedback.
~Students can share reactions to readings.
~Stories can be written and edited.
~Journal reflections can be shared.
~Collaborative research can occur.
             ~Outlines can be posted along with concepts and facts.
~ Exhibitions of student papers, projects and photographs.
~An online library can be created for students’ favorite websites.
~Research questions can be shared.
~Data on research topics can be collected and shared through charts, graphs, and other visual formats.

In addition to providing students with a social, interactive way to learn and express themselves, using wikis provides the media specialist an opportunity to collaborate with a teacher. A collaboration of ideas occurs when the media specialist identifies a way in which to support a teacher’s lesson plan. When working together on a wiki the school librarian and teacher provide a rich opportunity for students to learn in a new way. I hope to learn more about wikis so that I am able to offer my knowledge to a teacher in order to enhance their curriculum. The only downside I see of using a wiki is the time it would take to adequately execute the project. 

Dresang, E. T. (2000). Outstanding literature: Pura Belpré and Américas selections with special appeal in the digital age. In B. Immroth and K. McCook (Eds.), Literature services to youth of Hispanic heritage, (pp. 69–87). Jefferson, NC: McFarland. Retrieved from

Fredrick, K. (2007). Wiki-World. School Library Media Activities Monthly, 24(4), 45-6. Retrieved from

Koopman, B. (2010). From Socrates to wikis: Using online forums to deepen discussions. Phi Delta Kappan, 92 (4), 24-7. Retrieved from

Monday, September 26, 2011

My QR Code...

I am a touchy-feely person. I like touching fabric, food, and the pages of a book. Touching helps me understand stuff. I just created this QR Code very easily. But I don't truly understand its relevance. I guess because it is such an "untouchable" thing, idea, tool, whatever it is it just feels and looks foreign to me. What the heck is this weird hieroglyphic-looking glob on my blog?! Ahhhh, I have an idea. I will think of it as if it as a universal type of UPC Barcode. God knows I have experience and understanding of those from my retail work. And a smartphone is the scanning device that reads the "barcode." Ok, that makes enough sense to me that I can move on. But I don't like them. I feel like Violet in M.T. Anderson's book  feed. Like Violet, I am "resisting the feed" right now. But I know if I am ever going to be successful in this librarian venture I need to "embrace the feed" or be left behind to wither. I commit to making the effort to appreciate QR Codes. As long as they are used in smart, innovative ways I can deal with them. But I saw one on my placemat at Steak-n-Shake not long ago and I wanted to crumple it up. What could Steak-n-Shake possibly have to say that is so important that they must use a QR Code? Why didn't they just print whatever was so important right on the placemat? I guess they were just embracing technology and attempting to use it, which is what I should be trying to do instead of whining about it.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Ok, it looks like I did it. After many deep sighs I have established a blog. It really wasn't hard, just the idea of it I guess. I find myself doing the deep breathing often while working on projects for this class. I think I have some technology anxieties that this class is getting me to face, and in facing them, I take a lot of loud, deep breaths! So The Breathing Librarian blog was born. It's better than the alternative, right?!

The Powerpoint presentation ended up being pretty fun, although time-consuming. And I enjoyed the Prezi presentation. Now I am working on the RSS feeds. When learning about various technologies I tend to "kind of" understand how to use them. I am usually able to find my way but lack a comfort level. I suppose like anything else, a comfort level will come with practice. We'll see how it goes with the RSS feeds, Delicious and QR Codes. Here we go!