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UAEU is committed to providing the support to ensure that every student can be successful. Our support services include counseling, healthcare, IT support, disability support, career services, financial aid, international student services, alumni services, a student success center and a student council. Our goal is not only to give students an excellent degree qualification but also to ensure that you have fun along the way.

Our students come from more than 60 countries, so you will interact with and learn from people of diverse cultural backgrounds. The university offers a wealth of extra-curricular activities and life-enhancing experiences with more than 50 Clubs and Societies. No university in the nation provides as many academic choices as UAEU. D program, and a Doctor of Business Administration DBA across a broad range of disciplines, including business, economics, education, engineering, food and agriculture, humanities, the social sciences, IT, law, medicine and health sciences, and the natural sciences.

The new UAEU campus features the most modern architecture, zones for specialized research centers, cutting edge IT network infrastructure, classrooms and labs that feature the latest equipment and instructional technology to enhance student learning. There is also an expansive library, two world class health clubs equipped with latest fitness equipment, two Olympic sized swimming pools, among others. We encourage our students and staff to give back to the community through civic engagement, public service, and research.

It's simply the best place to get an education, interact with others and be a part of a thriving community. I have worked with a top class professor and made wonderful friends during the process. UAEU is the best university in the country and keeps developing in terms of technology, student services and the quality of tuition. I have made many new friends and had many new experiences, all of which has made me realize that UAEU is not just about studying, but it is also a place to prepare for life outside of university.

Besides the academic aspect, working and living in the UAE has been an enriching experience. I discovered a new culture, a new language and met many people from many different countries. UAEU graduates experts". So thanks to UAEU. Mutraf Mohammed M. Hamad Al Jassmi is sighting new horizons on the delivery of sustainable and lean construction projects. Al Jassmi believes it is time for the construction industry to go digital.

Designing a large-scale 3D printer that prints an insulated concrete paste for building structures, using IoT and Machine Learning to remotely control labor productivity at manufacturing and construction sites, digitalizing construction job site safety management using Building Information Models BIM and Virtual Reality VR , and developing a construction claims management system using Artificial Intelligence; are examples of current research projects he is currently engaged in. Al Jassmi developed numerous curricula for various civil engineering courses, and developed an interactive e-book that explains the fundamentals of Structural Engineering.

Before his PhD studies, Dr. Away from academia, he enjoys reading Arabic literature and writes poetry in both classical and local Arabic. My PhD thesis was on the kinetics of enzymatic hydrolysis of vegetable oils. The enzyme used for oil hydrolysis is the very one used for oil transesterification in biodiesel production. Therefore, it was just a matter of time before I was drawn into the biodiesel research. Working with enzymes has also introduced me to bioethanol another liquid biofuel production from lignocellulosic biomass.

He began studying the kinetics of enzymatic reaction of straight vegetable oils, and his first publication in this field was back in , just before joining UAEU. Since then, his research has focused on using waste biomass, such as waste cooking oils and animal fats for biodiesel production, and lignocelluloses for bioethanol production.

In , he started working with microalgae, which have proved to be good source of oils with several favorable features. Above all, these microorganisms are capable of growing in saline water, which reduces the freshwater loading, and their cultivation does not require agricultural land development. The team also studied the oil extraction and reaction using supercritical CO 2. He has published 75 journal papers to date, and authored a book and three book chapter on biofuels.

Galadari completed a dermatologic surgery and laser fellowship in the University of California-San Francisco and is currently a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. He was the recipient of the Presidential Citation Award awarded to him by the American Academy of Dermatology for the promotion of excellence in the field of dermatology in and In addition to being a guest on numerous TV shows, Dr. He has lectured in numerous international congresses, published in many peer reviewed journals, authored book chapters as well as writing a best-selling textbook on the subject.

In his spare time, you may find Dr Galadari spending time with his family; his wife, 2 sons and 2 daughters, or in a cafe reading a book. To make a positive impact on someone's life; values, dedication, opinion and productivity are the key! With these words, Dr. AbuQamar completed his Ph. Following his Ph. Tesfaye Mengiste at Purdue University. His current research area is Molecular Genetics of Plant Immunity.

As a translational scientist, Dr. AbuQamar has been able to take forward his basic research using genomics, transcriptomics and gene functional approaches to agricultural and field applications, and back to the lab to know more about basic science. The ultimate goal is to substantially reduce the devastating impact of diseases on plants.

In the UAE, as in other countries in the world, plants fight to survive harsh environmental stresses, including plant pathogens. Traditional horticultural and chemical practices have proven their limitations, or even negative impacts on the environment and human health. Therefore, genetic engineering and biological control can limit the increases of pathogen populations, and often suppress the plant tissue destroying activities of pathogens.

Pie Graphs (21st Century Basic Skills Library: Let's Make Graphs)

For example, B. All research findings are the result of research projects carried out by Dr. Synan has published over 50 publications in highly impact international journals. Synan is married and has one son, Hamzeh, and one daughter, Juwan. Synan enjoys reading, football and traveling. Al Dhaheri earned a Ph. She became an associate professor in the Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences in This is the goal of her current Emirates Foundation-sponsored projects where she is the principal investigator.

Recently her research team compiled the first authoritative guide to the nutritional composition of traditional Emirati food and the impact such food has on blood sugar levels. Al Dhaheri edited and published an Arabic version of the teaching toolkit and manual for this project.

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Additionally, she has an ongoing project that focuses on the relationship between body mass index BMI , body circumference and skinfold thickness in terms of impaired fasting glucose IFG and blood pressure BP. This is being conducted with female UAEU students. She has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications in cooperation with other national and international scientists, and regularly participates in international conferences and interdisciplinary research projects in nutritional and clinical sciences. Also, she has organized a series of events. Outside of work, Dr. Al Dhaheri enjoys spending quality time with her family and loves to engage herself in activities such as natural soap making, cooking and crochet sewing.

Professor Basel Al-Ramadi first encountered immunology during his undergraduate studies at Edinburgh University some 30 years ago. At that time, immunology as a medical discipline was still going through a formative process. Despite the relative immaturity of immunology, Professor Al-Ramadi was fascinated by the intricacies and potential impact of immunology on disease. He decided to pursue a postgraduate degree in the subject. It was a fortunate decision as he was then closely involved with the revolution in immunology that took place. For the next seven years he was fortunate to work alongside immunologists and witness many exciting discoveries in the field.

The challenge was to continue working in a highly competitive field at a relatively young institution. The opportunity was to utilize his experience to develop immunological research in the UAE. The record shows that this has been a success. The CMHS cooperates with Tawam Hospital and other international immunologists in order to further studies in immunology.

Their first breakthrough was double-blind, controlled clinical trials. They also established a strong translational cancer immunology research program in the CMHS. These investigations have received more than AED 4 million in grants, which has helped to train more than 30 MSc. D students, immunology fellows and undergraduate medical students. They have also published nearly 80 articles in top scientific journals. They have one son, Khalil, who is completing his Ph.

D studies in the USA. Basel enjoys reading, swimming, dining with friends and traveling. His research focuses on the development of chemical tools to better understand the role of vitamins and metabolites in the human body. He is particularly interested in vitamin D targets and narrow-spectrum therapeutics. As part of this research, he recently developed an innovative vitamin D test to measure vitamin D deficiency in the Emirati population.

Shah is also seeking to commercialize this test by implementing it in UAE hospitals. He has also worked with Kingston University to develop a new test that detects kidney disease at an early stage in humans. His other research interest is the bioanalysis of drugs and steroids in human and animal hair by using enzyme linked immune-sorbent assays, liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry instruments. He has recently developed a test used for doping control in camel racing. After significant news coverage in the UAE, Iltaf has been asked to record an interview with ITV news in London to explain the science behind these innovations in camel racing drug tests.

Iltaf completed a B. Sc and Ph. D with Kingston University, England. He has worked as postdoctoral fellow with Professor Naughton at Kingston and then followed this with a lectureship at the same University. His graduate, Ph. D and postdoctoral work was mainly on the bioanalytical aspects of small molecules in human bodily fluids.

He has also investigated the use of specialised bioanalytical techniques for large molecules proteins and peptides. He is a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Shah has received a number of awards for teaching and research, and is the author of more than 50 research articles. He hold a teaching qualification and is a fellow of HEA.

He also has management qualifications from the Chartered Management Institute where he remains a member. An avid sports fan Iltaf follows Manchester United and enjoys cricket. Other hobbies include singing when he is not relaxing in the company of his wife and kids. Professor Nihel Chabrak believes we should be looking at new approaches to promote growth alongside social welfare. Development should consider not only the here and now, but how generations to come will be able to shape their future lives.

She is researching how to promote economic connections between macro objectives, such as sustainability, and yet still create more micro incentives for the growth of businesses. In cooperation with colleagues from other well-known international research institutions, she is working on reforming finance, governance and accounting in order to support growth. Growth is about wellbeing as well as development. It is not only measured by GDP but by the dispersion, composition and sustainability of that growth. Policy makers should aim for an inclusiveness that allows people to transform their lives.

Economic growth is an important determinant of wellbeing but it is not the only one. Social and ecological factors are also important indicators of wellbeing, and in some cases, are directly related to it. Countries should pursue sustainable growth so that future generations can enjoy the same level of prosperity as now. Therefore, we should maintain our productive base across generations. This includes human, health and natural capital. According to Professor Chabrak, it is the concept of shareholder value maximization that has aggressively degraded natural capital and created inequalities in the economy and wider society.

As well as conducting this research, Professor Chabrak is Program Director at the UAEU Science and Innovation Park, where she is promoting value-driven startups and encouraging businesses that are more inclusive and sustainable. Among the startups in the incubation program is Green Steps Energy. This is a UAE startup company founded by four female engineering entrepreneurs. Their vision is to establish a citizenship movement for a greener planet. They have designed an energy generating carpet called Bezeo that transforms kinetic energy into electrical energy.

Another startup she helped with is Aroma Niche. This is an eco-friendly aromatherapy product which uses plants native to the UAE and Gulf region. This helps to preserve local heritage while offering a unique product. As UAE team leader for the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor GEM program - the largest on-going, international research program on entrepreneurship in the world - Professor Chabrak is interested in researching the links between entrepreneurship and wellbeing. With her colleague, Dr. Chafik Bouhaddioui, she has developed a long-term research project using data from the GEM program.

The purpose of this research is to examine the potential relationship between entrepreneurship and happiness in the UAE in order to help policy makers evaluate entrepreneurship as a measure of wellbeing and to encourage further growth. She is also involved with a unique leadership course that utilizes both ontological and phenomenological approaches. She is a joint Tunisian and French citizen. Before, that she was a Business and IT consultant. She has published articles and served on several editorial boards of international journals.

Professor Chabrak lives in Al Ain with her cat Candy and looks forward to retiring to a remote island surrounded by dogs and cats. Research and responsibility go hand-in-hand for Dr Ossama Osman, as he combines his work in research with service to the community and guiding students to become leaders. A graduate of the University of Cairo Medical School, he completed four years of accredited residency training in psychiatry at the Southern Illinois University SIU School of Medicine in the US, where he made his first impact on the world of research.

Having focused his work on the neurochemical and neuroendocrine mechanisms in mood disorders during his time at NIMH — with his published work contributing to the development of new knowledge on the mechanics of the brain — he served as a full-time faculty member at several US universities for almost a decade.

During this time, Dr Osman developed the first schizophrenia research program at Bay Pines VA Medical Center in Florida; returned to SIU to establish an innovative academic and training program in developmental disabilities; and led the creation of clinical and academic programs in community mental health, substance abuse, and developmental disabilities at Mercer University College of Medicine in Georgia. He also became its first Medical Director, opening up educational and training opportunities for both medical students and residents.

In his 13 years in Al Ain, he has secured numerous UAEU research grants and collaborated with other researchers at both local and international level, with his partners including institutions such as the Harvard Program for Trauma and Recovery. His research work has involved multidisciplinary studies of disorders in mental health, encompassing obesity, bariatrics, psycho-dermatology, hormonal and trauma-related conditions, and stress, and he is an active member of the Neuroscience Research Priority Group at CMHS.

Just as important as his research work is his commitment to support the career development and wellbeing of students. Having served as its first faculty director for six years, he saw this program grow to the point where, in , it branched out into three initiatives in different emirates, and was pivotal to its accreditation by the US-based Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

During this time, Dr Osman was chosen to chair the Arab Board of Psychiatry Committee on curriculum development, credentialing and accreditation, and continues to perform a vital liaison function. Since its establishment, it has graduated more than 60 mental health professionals — most of them UAEU alumni — who are now based at major hospitals around the UAE.

He has also been a significant contributor to Continuing Medical Education programs in the UAE and abroad, and regularly organizes and presents at regional and international psychiatric and neuroscience conferences. In his spare time, he likes to play squash, table tennis, swim and to travel across the globe. Many people talk about mapping out their career. For Dr Naeema Al Hosani, that takes on a more literal meaning.

Since arriving at UAEU, she has been heavily involved in scholarship, teaching, and service, in addition to holding senior administrative positions at departmental, collegial, and university level, including chairing and being a member of numerous committees. Her professional life has two aspects. On the research side, she has a high-caliber publications record — as a single author and a co-author — with her work being published in top-ranking Western academic journals and her experience and insight seeing her make presentations at domestic, regional, and international conferences.

Dr Al Hosani participated in the transfer of groundbreaking Western research to an Arab audience by translating significant, globally-important books in her area of specialization. The outstanding nature of her research has led to her winning many grants and being awarded prominent accolades, including the UAEU Award for Distinction in Research, as well as being honored by the UAEU Provost for her publication record.

In the teaching field, Dr Al Hosani has carved a reputation for reliability, resourcefulness, and dynamism, as an excellent planner and organizer, and for her dedication to creating a vibrant learning environment. Dr Al Hosanis stature and expertise has seen her make a valuable impact to enriching knowledge and opportunity across UAE society. Her impressive community service record includes cooperation with local universities and government bodies, such as the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Youth and Culture, the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Presidential Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior.

And she has established many cooperation initiatives aimed at strengthening connections between UAEU's academic community and wider UAE society, by establishing avenues of dialogue, outreach, and knowledge exchange. Think of climate change, and you may immediately think of melting ice caps or vanishing rainforests — but the high-impact research that Dr David Thomson leads on the issue at United Arab Emirates University UAEU has a very different, and equally important, geographical focus. Having published his first work on climate change in the s, as a PhD student at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, he has since been involved in studies into related topics including climate variability, seasonality, phenology, changing rainfall patterns, and species decline.

But since , when he took up a faculty position at the University of Hong Kong, his research focus has primarily been on the vulnerability of the hotter parts of the world to climate change, and whether temperatures may already be too high for many of their species. In this field of research, Dr Thomson supervises a postgraduate student team, and has also involved 16 undergraduates in the last two years.

Their work has featured at numerous conferences, and they have raised its profile and purpose among the UAE community through their outreach efforts. The students are studying something real, then taking their work out into the public domain, where they can explain to the public and to decision-makers why it is important. Dr Thomson takes this work beyond the laboratory, too. As a respected thought-leader and influencer on climate change, he participates in climate summits, contributes to media discussions, government working groups, and consultations, and is regularly invited to directly address leaders in the field of climate change.

These days, however, he dives into the depths of research, rather than oceans — research which aims to unlock new discoveries surrounding critical health issues. Now based in the Department of Physiology of the College of Medicine and Health Sciences at United Arab Emirates University, Chris amassed an entirely different set of life experiences before entering academia and science. His previous career was in the commercial diving industry, where he spent much of the s after completing his training in the UK coastal town of Plymouth, and which gave him his initial taste of life in the Middle East.

Having taken up a role as a manager for a commercial diving company in Abu Dhabi, Chris became well acquainted with life beneath the waves in the offshore oilfields of the Arabian Gulf. However, toward the end of the s, he decided the time was right for a career change, returning to his home country of the UK and obtaining a Bachelor of Science degree, with first-class honors, in physiology and biochemistry, a PhD in Cardiac Physiology supported by a Prize Studentship from the British Heart Foundation , and two postdocs from the University of Bristol and the University of Leeds.

This focus has two strands: the effect of diabetes on the generation and conduction of electrical signals; and the effect of the disease on cardiac muscle function. Over a million diabetes cases were reported in the UAE in , and cardiovascular disease represents the major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with the condition. The research that Chris and his lab have conducted in the field of diabetes has led to collaborations with a string of international universities, including the University of Bristol, the University of Central Lancashire, the University of Dublin, the University of Leeds, and the University of Manchester.

He also enjoys training in the gym and swimming. Since joining UAEU in January the assistant professor of artificial intelligence and robotics in the department of Computer Science and Software Engineering at United Arab Emirates University UAEU has published more than 50 research papers and worked on countless collaborative projects that push the boundaries of science and technology.

His specialist areas, meanwhile, range from neural dynamics to motor learning and memory. The robotics enthusiast is currently working with the University of Michigan in the US and Nagoya University in Japan to build a prosthetic arm. Additionally, he regularly visits the RIKEN Brain Science Institute in Japan to further his research into post-stroke assessment tools and rehabilitation systems and is also partnering with the Faculty of Engineering and IT at the University of Technology in Sydney on the development of a self-rehabilitation tool for stroke patients.

Outside the classroom the UAE-born scientist, who spent a number of years living in Japan before returning to the Emirates, enjoys camping, swimming and aikido. Being married to a triathlon coach helps, of course. Having worked in four countries, all of which have had — and, in the case of the UAE, are having — an influence on the global and multicultural approach he brings to teaching. D in International Marketing at the University of Western Australia, before returning to his homeland to take up his first faculty position.

Along the way, he produced a series of academic papers that delved into the way consumers interact with global brands, and the role that online brand communities play in engaging the public. Now the third phase of the plan he began working on less than two years ago is in operation. And it was this that led him to UAEU.

Projects in the lab that Dr Berengueres leads are focused on four areas — art and tech, creativity research, data science research, and robotics research — and activities range from crunching numbers to encouraging recycling to building a camel-sized robot that react to students according to its mood. The graphic cards developed for 3D gaming have made things like the Tesla autopilot self-driving car possible.

All of this shows how, at the IT College, we love to combine art and technology. This approach is also having a big, visible impact on UAEU life. A specific research group has also been formed to tackle the task of making large amounts of data make sense. Another burgeoning global field — robotics — is also a core element of life in the lab, through its research into human-robot interaction. As part of a joint collaboration with Sendai University, we are now building something that has never been built before: a robot with a superhuman sense of touch.

Imagine a robot that can tell if you have fever or malaria just by shaking your hand, for example. Robots can be scary sometimes, but the goal of robotics is to make life better for humans. The only advice I have here is, once again, choose what you think will work best for your students. I picked each genre based on where I thought students would go to find that book, but there is definitely grey territory here.

For example, I found myself sometimes choosing Humor over Realistic Fiction because I thought that book might gain more exposure in the Humor section. Sometimes this can be quite challenging. We have many popular series that could easily fall into Fantasy or Adventure. I decided early on that Fantasy would usually win that battle. I found myself using Adventure for a lot of books that walked the border of multiple genres. This is definitely an area that you will have to ponder and your practice will likely evolve throughout the process and beyond.

I plan on having a form out for students to propose changing the genre of specific books and making changes as warranted. How Long Will This Take? I am fortunate in that I have a full-time library technician who was able to assist me in this project. If you are a one-person show, you could spread out the genrefication process as long as needed by simply labeling books as you have time. Once you establish your labeling rules, you could generate piles of books by genre and use student or parent volunteers to label them.

I have not tracked the hours spent on this project because our time on it has waxed and waned with the rhythm of our daily operations. I felt good about the timeline I had created before the year began and we have pretty much stayed on schedule. If you are set on launching your genrefied library at a specific time, I would block out the major steps and then commit to setting aside time to consistently chip away at it. Keep an eye on what percentage of your collection has been labeled the spreadsheet can be useful for this and set your pace according to your schedule.

I know I do! Just imagine, then, what might happen if our students had the opportunity to actually write a story with their favorite author and that story could end up published in a book? Over 40 published authors participated in The Top Secret YA Story Box project by contributing short story beginnings, which ranged from a paragraph to 30 pages in length.

This story starts to travel to schools throughout the country, where students eagerly unveil the surprise: They get to write the endings to the stories and their endings will not only be added to the Story Box as it continues its journey across the country, but they just might be the ones selected to be published at the end of the project! Hosting The Top Secret YA Story Box at our school yielded so many opportunities for collaborating with the ELA teacher, for experimenting with BreakoutEdu, and for encouraging students to dive deeply into literature and the craft of writing, as they were given permission to unleash their voices and channel their creativity to add their unique flair to the stories.

This collaboration allowed Shelly and me to flex our own creative superpowers, developing clues, building in library search skills and highlighting the library collection. We invited other teachers in the building to come to observe the Breakout Launch parties, which motivated more of them to partner with me throughout the year on other Breakout challenges.

The students left the events brimming with eagerness to embark on this writing extravaganza. The students in my building even added their own top-secret contribution to the story box: stories of their own, that were not started by the published authors! Their confidence in their craft had grown and their voices had been unleashed! Kevin Cordi, the Story Box creator, will share more information about the project and OELMA librarians who participated will explain how the project prompted creative collaborations with colleagues.

The evening will feature a keynote presentation by Brendan Kiely, as well as presentations and speed dating opportunities with Mindy McGinnis, Margaret Peterson Haddix, and Mike Mullin, all of whom contributed to the Story Box. Watch for registration to open on the OELMA website in August and also look out for the opportunity to invite students to attend for a reduced rate and administrators to attend for free!

Maybe it is as simple as coming up with an engaging way to introduce a concept. Possibly you are having success with building collaborations. Perhaps you have faculty excited about using new technologies. Now, let it GROW! Send it out into the profession and be ready to celebrate when it grows into something new. We need you! Your colleagues and peers need for you to share your ideas. Just like plants and gardens, good ideas come in various types and forms; there are also different options for sharing your ideas. Ideas can be shared at conferences. If you are not comfortable presenting alone, ask one of your collaborators or a colleague to present with you.

More than once, I have encountered another librarian online with a common interest.

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Some of these online encounters have been in other parts of Ohio or even other states. We have proposed, created and planned sessions without meeting in person until the day of the presentation. These have all been wonderful experiences. Panels are also great ways to present as part of a team. If presenting sounds a little intimidating, remind yourself that the attendees choose to be in your session because they are interested in the idea.

The idea is center stage and is on display…not you. Your listeners will decide if they will plant your idea in their program. Just like no two daisies are alike, your idea will grow in new ways in another library. Another way to share your good ideas is to write about them. Pick a place where you think your idea will fit and learn about the publication. If you are looking at a blog, read previous entries. What are the typical topics? Is the tone conversational or formal? Does your idea match one of the planned themes? If not, submit it anyway. Editors and blog managers are constantly looking for new articles and writers.

They are looking for you. Want to start small? Share a practice in response to a request for help on a listserv. If that is the case, consider starting your own blog or writing a book. Sharing a start from one of your plants with a friend is like sharing a great idea with colleagues. When the start is planted in their garden, it is still from your plant, but it takes on a whole new life in the new setting.

Your great ideas can have new lives and can grow into incredible lessons, promotions, events, practices and more that are a joy and benefit to countless students and educators. Still not sure where to start? Have you witnessed a media center that is hustling and bustling and is filled with students engaging in learning? Now is the time to seek recognition for these passionate professionals by nominating them for an OELMA award! Also, there are two scholarships available to students enrolled in an accredited library media program within the state of Ohio.

Nominate yourself or an LMS student and help with the cost of these courses. The deadline for nominations is April 9th, Let us celebrate just some of the good that is occurring in our library world! For additional information, please email kinganl hudson. What I can believe, however, and what I want to share with you, is that because of my various positions on the board, I have grown professionally and personally in ways I never could have imagined. Nominations are now open for board positions.

Please take a moment and look at the positions and the responsibilities that come with them. You can nominate yourself or someone else. One of the advantages of being part of the community known as OELMA, is that there are constantly opportunities for growth and leadership. Being on the board is just one more way. No matter the position, you will grow in leadership, writing, organizational, presenting, library, and teaching skills. You will get a chance to shape the direction of our organization and create and support new PD opportunities for all of us.

You will bring your special talents and skills to the board and trust me when I say… yes, you do have something unique to bring to the table…we all do. I truly believe that I am a much better librarian, teacher, and building leader as a result of being on the board as Central Region Director, Vice President, President, and now Past President.

Definitely consider running. Please click on this link for the candidate profiles. Nominations close on April 2, They are part child and part adult and these two sides fight for control of the brain and in turn their actions. A library space must support this transition from child to adult. It also must function as a learning space that provides for student choice. These two aspects can sometimes be at odds. My library is a highly trafficked area with each ELA class coming to the library at least one, if not 2 days a week.

After my second year in my brand new library, I realized that I needed to redesign the library. It was impersonal and very institutional. Neither are very appealing, nor welcoming to preteens. As I continued my plight to make all students readers, I needed to make the library a space they wanted to visit and felt like it was their space.

I also needed to not discourage teachers from using the library as a classroom as well. The wall configuration is a bit, well, wonky for lack of a quality construction term. The room is mostly a rectangle; mostly as the corners of the room are not 90 degrees. It is wider at one end than the other. One wall is all exterior windows; two walls are bookshelves. The fourth wall is a mix of windows and shelves. There are also low shelves taking up nearly half the floor space.

The projector falls from the ceiling at the small end of the room. It began small — two bean bag chairs and a carpet. This became one of the most popular spots in the library. Students, no matter the age, wanted to sit there! They would sit or lay on the chairs and quietly work. This was the sign I needed to add more alternative seating options.

The next addition were the two recliners. These were probably not my best purchases as they are not as durable as needed for pre-teens. Nothing has broken but the fabric is definitely showing wear and the frame frequently needs the bolts tightened. When taking this risk of changing the furniture, I needed to use monies I had earned. This is why I was limited to Scholastic. The next few changes were thankfully free. While students wanted to sit in these two areas, it was limited seating.

However, there was a bonus to the lack of alternative seating. It opened up the concept of sitting on the floor. My students had previously been hesitant to sit on the floor — the library is fully carpeted — but with the space evolving to reflect them, the floor became an option. This was the best alternative seating option as it was free.

Some students struggled to work in these seats as there was not a desk surface. An easy addition was the purchase of clipboards. The students all know where they are and help themselves if they would like one. The summer of was a big reconfiguration in the library. With the addition of more Chromebooks, two of my computer tables were now tables, albeit tables with holes in them. This provided an opportunity to remove some of the tables as the library now had too many tables. Thankfully my principal agreed to this and thankfully a teacher wanted some of the tables I was removing.

I did add some traditional classroom desks when I removed the tables. If the goal was to give students a place they preferred, why not have traditional desks that some students prefer? Students group them but will also separate them to have an individual work area. Again, this was wonderfully free options that made a huge difference in the space. Other furniture additions included a high top table, two rocking chairs and three tall stools and two short stools.

The space is now open, inviting and cozy. While the room is still a lopsided rectangle, the library has a spot for every student. The biggest change has been the mind-shift for students and staff that the library seating is not permanent. It can easily be moved and reconfigured. This was the hardest part of the remodel: nothing is permanently fixed and that was intentional. The space is meant to be lived in. This is especially true as we aspire to embrace the latest in technology advances, as well as the amazing learning opportunities that the STEM curriculum has introduced.

Last year, I strived to generate a cohesive teaching plan that would allow for all of the literacies to be taught routinely, and on a set schedule. I then created lessons that allowed for each of these disciplines to be taught one time per month, on a 4-week rotation. Creating a schedule that allows for all aspects of the curriculum to be taught on a continuum has truly helped in every aspect of planning, coordinating and teaching. Are you passionate about school libraries? Are you excited about developing new leadership skills? Do you want to broaden your input at the state and national level?

This is a two-year term beginning in In that capacity, the Director, with Board approval, will be responsible for overseeing the message content and delivery of the Association. In that capacity, the Director, with Board approval, will be responsible for the planning, management, and evaluation of the annual conference. The Conference Strategic Committee oversees the work of sub-committees to be determined by the Director. This a two-year term beginning in In that capacity, the Director.

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Nominations will open soon. If you have any questions about the specific duties and responsibilities of these positions, please contact the Chair of the Nominations Sub-committee or the Director Liaison to Operations. Laura Franck, Nominations Chair — lfranck perrysburgschools. By: Laurie Katusin Swallen Collaboration with teachers is obviously something librarians aspire to do more of, and it has been one of my goals. In my building, it has been difficult to collaborate with the science department, and I decided to see if I could find some way to show them what we could do as a team.

When I heard that the biology teacher, Mrs. Having never taught a novel, she was hesitant to add it to her curriculum, so I offered my support, and we have thoroughly enjoyed our team teaching. Anatomy learned about viruses, so the topic of the novel was relevant and of interest to the students. We sat down to discuss what her learning goals were and talked about how I might support those goals.

We also did not want to teach the book as an English class might, so we decided to allow for more autonomy for the students in how and when they read the novel. I spent several weeks researching both the novel and Ebola. I found a plethora of resources and shared all of my findings with Mrs. Rowbotham, our biology teacher. Her enthusiasm about our collaboration only had me more excited when I was able to have a guest speaker from the health department come to share with our class.

The students asked many questions and a few even had the chance to try out the equipment. We began our unit with an introduction to the author and photos of some of the real-life characters in the book. Rowbotham shared her photos of the Ebola virus. We assigned each section of the book to have specific due dates and only had a few discussion days, where students could refer back to questions I had put together based on research on the novel, or they could just discuss what they enjoyed about the section or questions they might have about why things happened the way they did.

This led to some very spirited discussions about viruses, the transmission of viruses, and current events. Students shared what they learned during class, and it even lead to discussions about Ecoli and swimming pools. Overall, our collaboration has been a wonderful experience for me. I had the opportunity to learn things about viruses that I would not have known if I had not immersed myself both in the novel and in the research. In class, the discussions were full of information, and I enjoyed seeing the students in a different environment. Rowbotham and I are already planning to collaborate again—hopefully, by trying out an escape room.

I look forward to many more days of learning, sharing, and researching! The Awards Committee is pleased to introduce our newest member — Janie Kantner. Janie is a passionate reader and her goal every day is to empower her students with a love of reading and a knowledge of who they are as readers. Professionally, she is most proud of her work making a fully flexible, true library learning commons environment work within the framework of our k-2 building. When I am not reading, I am traveling, following my beloved Buckeyes in football and basketball, or getting my interior design fix through shopping and endless watching of HGTV!

Cheryl is in her 14th year at Westfall Local Schools as a teacher librarian — most recently at the high school. She initiated and advises Battle Over Books and Book Club in the district at both the high school and middle school levels. She received a grant from the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation and its renewal to start and continue the high school book club. Cheryl quite enjoys seeing students so engrossed in reading and discussing books as well as collaborating with her local public library! Cheryl resides with Mark, her husband of 37 years, who teaches chemistry and physics.

They have three grown children two sons and a daughter , a daughter-in-law, and two grand dogs. She also enjoys helping in church and camping, including visiting the 48 contiguous states along with the Canadian provinces from Nova Scotia to British Columbia. These students would take a prescribe coursework first semester at Zanesville High School. Then, second semester they would attend Zane State College with some additional supports. During the first semester at ZHS these students took college developmental math and English classes. In addition to these courses, a developmental research class was created.

I was thrilled to be asked to develop and teach this class. The progression of these modules was the perfect guide for this semester-long class. The resources are well chosen and supported my students on their understanding of the research process. Each module is divided into three parts: Learn, Practice, Master. In the beginning, I took many of the lessons within these and created assignments to post in Google Classroom.

Some of these might include watching a video and then practicing a skill, like developing good research questions. I would create a Google Doc with the instructions and post it in Google Classroom where each student had his own copy of the document. Students would complete and turn in the assignment and I would provide quick feedback. My goal was to have several assignments posted so that students could move at a more personalized pace.

As the semester continued, I began to think about the design of these modules as a hyperdoc. So, instead of creating multiple assignments in Google Classroom I created a larger hyperdoc with multiple assignments embedded within it. All of the resources from R4S were part of the hyperdoc and students could do tasks within it. I utilized Google Slides for my hyperdoc instead of Docs. The speaker notes in Slides were also used as a place for students to put responses to videos and such.

Once students completed the entire hyperdoc it could then be turned in via Google Classroom; and because Classroom was used to push out the hyperdoc, I could monitor student work and provide immediate feedback as students were working. Overall, I received positive feedback from students on this research experience. Students felt they were truly immersed in the research process and they felt much better prepared for their upcoming college research. Moving into next year, Zanesville is planning on offering this research course to any senior. If you are interested in more details on how I used R4S and hyperdocs please contact me at llee zanesville.

Our vision was to build a makerspace in our high school library media center that supported teacher and student led projects in circuitry, programming, engineering, robotics, video production, 3D printing, and digital design. Additionally, teachers could checkout the new materials to use in their classrooms. We were all very excited! Before the school year began, I had already ordered most of the requested materials. During September, as each new item arrived, we invited students to play and explore independently in our new makerspace located behind the large circulation desk, where we could be close by, coach, guide, and attempt to keep the kits in order.

We had many students begin projects. They were filled with enthusiasm and curiosity. Homework and mostly socializing took precedence over project completion, and by the end of the month, we had a collection of unfinished projects and robots waiting to be programmed. Additionally, we learned that students did not seem too interested in a dedicated space in the library. Students want to sit with their friends and would often choose that over making and building.

We knew we needed to adjust our approach. After some discussion, our dedicated space was to become a dedicated day — Maker Mondays. The library team spent the remainder of the first semester talking up Maker Mondays to our patrons, hoping to build excitement and prepare students for the program change. During October and November, we began sharing all the activities we were planning. Not to mention, teachers with study hall duty count on the library to help with population control. Since our plan was to open for makers only, we were under a lot of pressure to attract students and get this right.

We had smaller kits that could be completed in one period and a few larger ones, like the bridges and a roller coaster, that took longer to build. For the larger kits, we planned to have each period continue where the other left off. The day started slow — scary slow. I had just my two aids during first period. We started on the roller coaster. Only two study hall students stayed second period.

They continued to build the roller coaster. Thoughts of flopping began to fill my head, and I started to feel nauseous. By the end of second period, the roller coaster started to take shape. It looked interesting enough to turn heads in the hall and by third period, we snagged fifteen participants. They worked in small groups to build or begin to build a variety of items — scissors, simple machines, wheel barrels, etc.

Each period thereafter had great participation. The problem was, it did not work! The next day, we opened the library as usual, but students were not ready to call it quits. Some were not ready to stop building. Others were determined to get the roller coaster to work. Teachers were excited about all the projects on display and quickly began brainstorming ways they could be more prominently displayed. We have a levy to pass. We want our community to see all this cool stuff we are doing. By the end of the second day, two bridges were built, but the roller coaster still did not work.

It had a motor and the car was to travel up the very large hill, drop, and do a loop-de-loop before it started the process over again. They just could not figure out how to get the car to complete the loop. It continued to fall short! By Wednesday, we had a third bridge built, and for the remainder of the week, students persisted with problem-solving the stubborn coaster, so did teachers, custodians, and administrators.

It was an amazing display of critical thinking, collaboration, all those wonderful soft skills we look to develop. By the end of the week, on Friday, the last period of the day, I get a text with a video. They did it! They solved the problem. What a great feeling! I am looking forward to many other Makerspace adventures, and so are the students.

We have plans for duct tape creations, stop-motion videos, green screen productions, and 3D printing. We are not ready for every Monday to be a maker day just yet, and we are not certain that would be the best approach. Right now, they are fun learning experiences that break up the monotony of the school year and hopefully continue to inspire students to explore independently. I am also in search of some great ideas, so if you have a makerspace in your school library, please consider sharing your experiences here on the OELMA blog.

People seem to either love it or are not sure how they should feel about it. I was the latter. I decided to at least create an account and learn the basics. The webinar leaders had asked us to come to the meeting with an account already created, which I did. The account was easy to set up, the hard part was coming up with a twitter name. For the record, I changed it at least once at the beginning. I also made the decision, from the beginning, that my Twitter account would be professional only.

I would leave the personal stuff on Facebook. Did you just read a book that you feel everyone should read? Authors love it when you tweet your stamp of approval and include them in the tweet. Many time they retweet your comment and you instantly gain more followers. I started out slowly, even locking down my account as much as I could till I could get the hang of it. I eventually opened my account so anyone could follow me.

Twitter gives you the option to block people if necessary. Currently, I follow company presidents, authors, librarians from all over the world, education professionals, speakers, public library groups, Library of Congress, NASA and The National Archives, school administrators from many different school districts and more. The best part is that many follow me. What a great way to instantly spread the word about what we do and what we CAN do for our students.

Now to conquer Instagram. One new educational technology trend is a Hyperdoc. They define a Hyperdoc as, a transformative, interactive Google Doc replacing the worksheet method of delivering instruction, is the ultimate change agent in the blended learning classroom. With strong educational philosophies built into each one, HyperDocs have the potential to shift the way you instruct with technology.

They are created by teachers and given to students to engage, educate, and inspire learning. So, a Hyperdoc is really much more than a Google Doc with links. The focus is more on lesson design that allows for inquiry, collaboration, critical thinking, and creation. The Hyperdoc website offers great resources, samples, templates and ready-made Hyperdocs.

I have enjoyed creating Hyperdocs with fellow teachers. We typically begin by looking at the objective of the lesson and then choosing one of the templates. This helps to determine how students will learn. Part of this is also choosing which Google app will be used to bundle the Hyperdoc. Each one has advantages, but the powerful part is that all can be pushed out to students through Google Classroom.

I am then able to curate resources and suggest other tech tools, like Flipgrid, Padlet or Canva that the classroom teacher might not be familiar with. According to the Hyperdoc website, good Hyperdocs have the following:. I would encourage you to check out the Hyperdoc website and find a teacher to collaborate with.

I think you will be amazed by the student engagement and the endless possibilities that Hyperdocs offer! I never do that however and am always glad that I go…Here are some reasons: 1. We all know that the job of a library professional can be a lonely one. Twice I have worked in districts that are so small that I am the only licensed librarian-the one I work for now included. Professional Development : I have never attended a conference and not learned at least two things.

I always find myself going back to my school and adopting something that I have learned either that year or past years. My fellow colleagues are very wise and are full of creative ideas. New this year at the conference is a live webinar hosted by INFOhio. Free Stuff : I admit…I love to get free stuff and there always seems to be a selection of great stuff on the exhibitor tables that I take back with me. Pens, pads of papers even candy. Friends : Again, we are so lucky to work in our field. I have colleagues that I also consider my friends and they are all over the state of Ohio.

Socializing with these people gives me a sense of belonging to a group. See you all at conference! We will gather with the OELMA award recipients as well as the recipients from last year to celebrate the amazing learning connections that are stemming from connections made from strong Library Media Programs. This is a lovely opportunity to network with Teacher Librarians, past and present affiliates of OELMA, and a plethora of literacy and library media supporters.

Also, it is not too early to begin thinking about the movers and shakers that you know in the library, media, technology, and literacy world! Who do you know that deserves recognition for supporting students and staff? Be thinking about who we can celebrate! Nominations will open February ! I want to share with you my starter list, not only to spread the idea of having books next to your Spheros and Lego Mindstorms, but also, as a recommended list of titles that promote a growth mindset and inspire students of all ages.


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This list has titles for your staff as well as picture books for your younger students. Besom, Mae and Kobi Yamada. Hope this sparks some interest and discussion within your district as we continue to create libraries with diverse experiences and reading at the core. My vision is to continue to facilitate the transformation of the Hiland Library Learning Commons into an active space that is a vital extension of the classroom, a collaborative learning space that ensures our students are future-ready innovators.

A MakerSpace is a hands-on space with tools and resources to encourage students to design, experiment, build, and invent as they engage in engineering, tinkering, and creating. This is a space in which makers students can envision a project, find an expert, collaborate, engage in critical thinking, and use problem-solving skills while creating something. A MakerSpace is based on the concept of using STEAM science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics ideas to encourage students to develop the real-world skills they will need to become future-ready students for their careers.

Last year, Hiland students experienced sewing, computer coding, and knitting LifeSpace experiences. Student and staff input will continue to drive the LifeSpace experiences we offer. Survey responses favored breakout challenges, cooking, photography, video production, coding, and sign making. We look forward to offering such experiences this school year. Are you eager to examine your personal leadership style? Sterling about 45 minutes south of Columbus. The application deadline closes on October 2, Stay tuned for more information about the individual session opportunities.

Thank you for the earworm, Staples! Yes, we are all getting ready for a new school year a few of us are there already and what is more fun than shopping for cool tools in an office supply store? As a member of the conference planning team, I have already started to plan out my schedule. The After Hours committee is planning a relaxing evening to help us all relax and unwind as we network. As I shop for conference must haves, attending Dr. I know she will provide cutting edge information that will help me steer my new makerspace and efforts to integrate technology.

All of Thursday will be filled with great sessions. After an always inspiring awards assembly, I will cap the day with another After Hours event. My kids love his bestselling Seraphina series and it will be fun to take back information to them. I have talked to my administration and other teachers about our conference and several are going to attend.

Registration is now open. I love an adventure. Summer is a great time for new adventures and this summer I was able to be part of one the most exciting adventures of my career. The OxBridge Teacher Seminar is geared for teachers in K academic institutions around the world with the desire to dive into a new learning experience by studying on an educational focus topic for a one-week period.

I was selected for a Fellowship to attend Oxford University this past July and spend one week learning about the role of the library in academic institutions. This opportunity was one I could not pass on, and I packed up for a week of learning more about history, libraries, and the evolving role of librarians in the world at Oxford University in England. Our study group consisted of 5 other school librarians from all over the United States. Our group leader was Clive Hurst, former Head of Rare Materials at The Bodleian Library, which is one of the oldest and most famous libraries in the world.

Clive was amazing and was able to show us some of the most rare book materials in the world. Our entire group was in awe of the history, stories, and management of the libraries at Oxford beginning over years ago. We were even able to touch some of the rare materials, like a first edition Oliver Twist novel. You know you are a librarian when you squeal with delight at these materials! Some other memorable experiences included the following:. Another exciting opportunity our study group had was to be part of a presentation at the Oxford University Press with the Oxford English Dictionary department which focused on the use they make of libraries in compiling the dictionary.

This was one of the highlights of the week for me, as we were asked for input on making the OED more accessible for students and what we thought as school librarians of some of their new features. This was an awesome experience to hear about the research that goes into every entry in the OED and see some examples of challenges they have encountered in keeping up with technology. There were some other more social activities included in our itinerary of the week including a punting experience Google punting in England if you think this is referring to football , an evening Shakespeare play in a college garden and a visit to the pub where C.

Lewis and Tolkien met and wrote their classics as part of The Inklings. Also, we had evening dinners in the Mansfield College Chapel that resembled the Harry Potter dining room. It was truly a week of memories I will cherish always and feel so blessed to be a part of. I have a much bigger picture view of the role of libraries from a historical and archival perspective. Libraries have always had the challenge of balancing its roles and still preserving the history that exists in every space they occupy.

Librarians are the most important part of libraries-always have been, and always will be. They are the ones that maintain collections, share information, and promote the role of the library. We have a history of linking people and ideas and leading outward. This experience was one of the best learning experiences for me as a professional and also as a lover of all things libraries. The entire week never felt like work.

It truly was a magical time and one I will never forget. You will not want to miss this great event! TASK is designed to be energetic, active, exciting, and fun. All you need to bring is your sense of wonder and willingness to try something new. During the TASK party, you will be challenged to practice divergent thinking by interpreting each unique task in your own way using available tools and materials. The flow and momentum of TASK depends on the tasks written and how they are interpreted by the participants. This open-ended event will develop creativity, promote risk-taking, build comfort with ambiguity, and incorporate many other essential skills.

Please join us on Thursday, October 19th at pm and be part of the fun! We are also in need of many consumable items for our task party including: office supplies, paper products, recyclable materials, craft materials, and party supplies. If you are able to donate any of these supplies, please click on the survey linked HERE to sign up.

These items can be dropped off at the OELMA registration desk anytime during the Preconference and Conference until Thursday the 19th in the afternoon. Thank you and we are looking forward to seeing you at the TASK party! One of my goals for this year is to increase and improve collaboration among our library and our teachers.

It is often difficult to implement a plan when it is dependent on others, but collaboration is a cornerstone of a vibrant library programme. This is a goal that I work toward every year, but I have never gone about it in an intentional and deliberate manner. Typically, I just work in the moment, approaching teachers with whom I have worked before, or waiting for others to seek me out. This year, however, I have a plan of action. Here are some of the ideas I have come up with or adapted from the experts in our library community that will hopefully not only increase collaboration between the library and the school community, but also make that collaboration more meaningful and effective: 1.

New teachers : For me, it has been a great asset to make connections with new faculty as soon as possible. When teachers come to a new school, they are often overwhelmed with their new surroundings and responsibilities; I try to be a friendly face that offers them assistance. Once you develop a relationship with someone even if it is as innocuous as helping them figure out how the copy machine works they remember you and feel more comfortable with you.

This then allows you to offer assistance in their classrooms, paving the way for opportunities for meaningful, ongoing collaboration. This year, I have taken a new step in my plan to win over the new teachers; I sent each of the new teachers a welcoming email with a quick introduction to what services and resources our library can provide them, tailored to their discipline or the classes they are teaching. I arranged with my administration for a few minutes of time on this day and they were quite pleased to accommodate me.

Sometimes it is easier to get new teachers on board than it is to change the behaviour of those who are veterans in your building. New relationships : I sometimes feel like I work with the same teachers and same departments every year. I think that this is important; after all, it is evidence that what our library programme is doing is effective. And while it is important that we foster these existing relationships, we cannot forget to continue to develop new relationships with others in our building. This year, I hope to approach a few teachers with whom I have not had the opportunity to work and offer my assistance.

I have worked with both the social studies and English departments extensively, but I feel like there is great potential for me to work with our Science department. Last year, I worked with one of the Science teachers on a research project. I came to this project late, after it had been planned and was ready to be implemented. I look forward to this year, approaching this teacher and a different teacher who is also teaching the same class and offering to help further develop the existing assignment.


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I will also plan on offering to help grade portions of the assessment that naturally fit with my expertise, namely the bibliography and evaluation of the sources. Offering to help grade has often helped me to get teachers who may otherwise be hesitant to work with me on board. Old friends : It is not just important for librarians to build up the new — we also have to make sure that we nurture the relationships that we already have. I feel like sometimes this is the hardest step for me. It is so easy for me to get bogged down by the everyday demands of our profession; every time I turn around there is something new that I must do.

It is so easy for tasks like following up or checking in with teachers to get lost in the shuffle. I will often work with a teacher, but fail to check in with them as the school year progresses to see how whatever we had worked on together played out. Or, I do not have the opportunity to see the final product that the students created. This leads to a disconnect between librarian and students and teachers.

I feel that successful collaboration should not stop once you have delivered a lesson to a class or created a stellar assessment with a teacher. Successful collaboration, ideally, should be more developed than that, and while we cannot force collaboration on teachers, we should ensure that whenever the opportunity does arise, we make it as fruitful as possible. Two ways this can be achieved are by checking in and following up with teachers. It is my goal to check in more with my teachers as they implement a research project.

I may initially help them create an assessment or deliver a lesson, but ideally I should also make sure that I am available to brainstorm with them as problems arise, and offer my assistance as they and their students traverse the murky waters of a research project. I also feel like I need to ensure that I follow up with them after we collaborate on something. Following up will allow both the teacher and librarian the opportunity to reflect on what worked and what could be improved upon for next time, and also will hopefully allow the librarian to see the fruits of their labour, i.

Three easy steps to better collaboration, right? Nothing about collaboration is easy. And while I hope that approaching the school year with a well thought-out plan will make my efforts of collaborating with my colleagues more effective, I have no illusions that this will be simple or easy. I will probably drop the ball many times throughout the year, but if by the end of the year I have a new connection with a teacher or an improved relationship with an old friend, I will be satisfied. Baby steps, right? Since , AASL Best Apps Committee Members have looked for user-friendly apps that foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration.

Additionally, recognized apps should be engaging, cost-effective with little or no advertising , and have a clear connection to K curriculum. As apps are nominated, they are placed in a category. One winning app, Google Expeditions by Google, Inc. Content Creation apps are excellent digital learning tools that students can use to construct knowledge Ohio Learning Standards for Technology, Strand: Information and Communications Technology, Topic 3 , communicate and disseminate information to multiple audiences Ohio Learning Standards for Technology, Strand: Information and Communications Technology, Topic 4 , and analyze the impact of communication and collaboration in both digital and physical environments Ohio Learning Standards for Technology, Strand: Society and Technology, Topic 2.

Toontastic 3D by Google, Inc. The examples above merely scratch the surface. There, you will find the complete list of winners and past lists, along with descriptions, recommended grade levels, platforms, and helpful tips for each of the chosen apps. Arrangements were made for two groups of school librarians to tour local school libraries, and my school, Columbus School for Girls, was part of the arranged tours.

In one of the groups were three school librarians from Kazakhstan. At the end of the dinner, the librarians from Kazakhstan extended an invitation to my CSG library colleague, Dr. Linda Swarlis, to come to Kazakhstan in to share her expertise of research and spatial skills by presenting a workshop to school librarians from across Kazakhstan.

After Dr. Swarlis and our contacts in Kazakhstan waded through months of discussion and international red tape, I was also included in the invitation for the workshop, and from June , Linda Swarlis and I traveled across the world to give a three-day workshop entitled Creating a Culture of Literacy: the promotion of reading and spatial skills development in STEM Schools. We flew to Astana, the capital city of Kazakhstan, which is the 9th largest country in the world. Our Kazakhstan colleagues requested that our workshop provide both theory and practice; they wanted as many hands-on activities as possible, and they were particularly interested in learning about reading promotions.

We submitted our presentations via Google docs several weeks before our workshop so that the presentations and handouts could be translated into Russian. We presented to a group of 40 librarians, all of whom work at Nazarbayev Intellectual Schools NIS , a network of schools across the country that provide a rigorous curriculum to students who are accepted to the schools only after an intense application process. Instruction is trilingual, in Kazakh, Russian and English.

By 12th grade, all instruction is in English. Each of the NIS school has a specific focus, such as physical science and mathematics, or biological sciences and chemistry. The schools are state of the art and the librarians receive extensive professional development opportunities. The librarians traveled from across Kazakhstan to attend our workshop, some of them traveling more than 1, miles. As librarians in NIS, they work with reading promotion as well as developing information literacy and research skills in their students— much like the work of school librarians across America.

In fact, our visit underscored the many similarities in our library programs. The librarians had varying degrees of English language skills, so we presented by speaking for a minute or two, and then an interpreter would translate into Russian. We also made use of two screens, one in Russian and one in English, so everyone could follow along both visually as well as orally.

I admit I was nervous about this process, but within just a few minutes of beginning the workshop, the translator and I got into a rhythm and it felt quite natural to move between English and Russian. Workshop participants enjoyed guessing titles of books, practicing spatial visualization with blocks and tangrams, creating art from discarded books, and writing blurbs for a Blind Date with a Book event.

We also played several literary games during the workshop, and competition is the same in any language — these librarians wanted to win any game we played! To say that it was an extraordinary experience is an understatement: everything about the trip was amazing. In addition to giving a three-day workshop, we had opportunities to tour various cultural and entertainments centers. The World Expo is currently being held in Kazakhstan, and visitors from all over the world are visiting to tour this remarkable Expo; we spent five hours at the Expo and barely made a dent in the seeing the exhibits.

And every night we had a two to three hour feast for dinner — the food and the company were equally scrumptious. Before we went to Kazakhstan, my colleague and I prepared for our visit by reading about the country we are librarians, after all — we research! Every source told us that hospitality is central to Kazakhstan culture, but neither of us has experienced anything quite like the graciousness, generosity, and attentiveness of the Kazakh people.

Hospitality is not just a matter of being polite and offering food; it is truly the essence of their way of life, and we were overwhelmed by the warmth and friendship conveyed to us. We hope to continue our connection with our new colleagues and friends in Kazakhstan by inviting a group of Kazakh librarians to Central Ohio next summer. We are hopeful some OELMA friends might offer to host a librarian from several continents away; I promise it will be an unforgettable way to connect with a library colleague whose world is not so very different from our own.

Every conference has a story to tell and for me this time it was the road trip, the accompanying hotel stay with Liz Deskins, Christina Dorr, and Deb Logan, and the engaging array of authors. If you want lessons on how to attend an ALA Conference, just ask these three. While this ALA Conference for me was akin to a leisurely stroll down the Magnificent Mile, for them the conference was akin to a relay.

Each had multiple committee meetings and exhibitor engagements while there but managed to squeeze in sessions as well. Arriving on Wednesday evening and fighting the Chicago in-bound traffic we managed to find our hotel after looping around Wacker Drive and the Trump Tower more than once because there is no GPS underground! Author Gen e Luen Yang opened the event and he was followed by sessions on MakeSpaces, diverse books, visual literacy and more. Lockhart, Neal Shusterman. Lockhart and three audience members.

Signings followed each panel. Proud to see that Dr. The closing session on Wednesday was the highlight of ALA. Up early we made our way by taxi to the Convention Center where the lines to enter the ballroom to see Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton stretched as far as the eye could see. Wednesday afternoon we hopped in the car to return to Cbus. After seven hours that included a stop at Granite City in Fort Wayne, IN, we unloaded suitcases and bags — no boxes of books!

You know why? Because every librarian knows if you are on the road — you must send your books ahead. Mine arrived yesterday ahead of my arrival.

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Angela and Trent will demonstrate 4 new tech tools, Sphero, FlipGrid, Biteable Video Maker, and LittleBits, and introduce ways these tools can help educators differentiate instruction to meet learning standards. Then, attendees will get to participate in three different BreakoutEdu sessions, including one completely digital BreakoutEdu, demonstrating how these learning activities can be done with little to no expenses or special equipment.

The tech tools learned throughout the evening will be the keys to unlocking the challenges in the BreakoutEdu rooms. Then, on Thursday, Dr. Heather Moorefield-Lang, a former middle school theater teacher and school librarian, who currently serves as a professor at the University of South Carolina in the School of Library and Information Science, will present our opening keynote address. Moorefield-Lang specializes in emerging technologies and her research focuses on how technology can be used to enhance instruction in classrooms and libraries.

In addition to her keynote address, Dr. You can learn more about Dr. Moorefield-Lang at her website, www. Charles R. He will also present a concurrent session on Thursday morning. Robert is the author of the best-selling Serafina books, but in his past lives, he was one of the early pioneers of cloud computing and is very active in robotics.