Or maybe tomorrow I'll go back to campus and give benchmarks.
Hmmm. Which sounds more interesting. :P
Our district took half of our elementary librarians on a bit of a field trip today. The other half are going on Thursday. I was a terrible blogger today who didn't take hardly any pictures! We were a big group and I don't feel comfortable posting too much of my own kids, let alone someone else's students. So it was mostly just looking.
The first school we observed some science stations. I would love to do more hands on stuff. It's one reason the Maker movement sounds so inviting.
They read a book on the doc. camera and then moved around to different tables. They had some great weathering and erosion activities going on.
PROS: hands on! A literature component. An art component. Tech components. The kids were on task. Also everyone loved the mini iPad cases.
POSSIBLE CONS: Mess. Sand and water in lots of places. She had more physical space than we do. Would it still work as seamlessly? Also I see she still has the same ... conundrum about reading a book on the doc. camera. If you are facing the book your back is to the kids. If you are facing the kids you get a kink in your neck twisting around to read the book.
At the second school it was more to observe her management style and see little ones doing self-checkout.
PROS: seriously ... those little guys knew their ID numbers and they followed directions. Coziest space. How did they keep it so dust free with all of the little displays and decorations? I did take a pic of the bulletin board behind her computers. It's pretty close to what I was thinking about for our space if I could ever get the company to send me a price quote! I keep getting the "48-72 hours" line. Twice. Over the space of four weeks. But never any answer. I would go to another vendor but this is the only district one that has what I want! She also had some interesting "museum" type displays with research bags for teachers to check out. I would have loved to have learned more. And copied them! ;)
POSSIBLE CONS: They were only getting one. I let kids check out more books. Maybe I shouldn't. Had a discussion back on the bus about really encouraging kids to actually FINISH what they check out. Are they more or less likely to do so being limited to two books at a time versus more?
Also in both schools their shelves were pretty packed. After the past several months and changes in our space (I promise, pics of OURS will come ... there are just some things I am having trouble getting moved out and I want it to be a pretty non-cluttered photo tour!) I find myself very much a proponent of less in number but higher in quality books. Yes, people have noticed. And there have been a few books I wish were still around. But not enough to make me sorry I did it.
Then after lunch we went to Bibliotech. I haven't completely changed my mind. I still ... well. I'd still prefer to see some print books. In my jolly perfect world there are physical spaces with a mix of print and electronic available to all. But I don't dislike it as much as I did before. They are doing some pretty awesome things there in terms of community outreach. A manned kiosk in the courthouse for people reporting for jury duty. GENIUS! And while I'm not usually a fan of "modern" furniture (much more a shabby chic/cottage style) it did really work in their space. Clean colors (blue, green, orange, chrome, and black) and all so ... MOVEABLE.
I 'll admit I just stole this owl mascot off their website. Isn't he fun? Apparently he is also an AR trigger though I did not ever get straight if it was through Aurasma or Layar or Daqri.
And then we talked at the newest middle school (seriously beautiful space) about a cool tech innovation research project she does with 6th grade. I can't fathom getting the kids for as long as she says she does but they really delve into their topics and create some amazing things.