Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Look at the 21st Century Teen

Hey, teens!

We've come a long ways! Just think what your kids are going to think about your archival means of communication, entertainment, etc. as depicted in this pic...the iTouch and the fancy cellphones. What's to come in the future?

This TV screen, you might imagine, possibly could look like a sci-fi movie if it were being viewed in 1960! 50 years ago, what would people think these were? ...newfangled b/w mini televisions or small tape cassette players??? What happened to the old fashioned pencil and paper and rotary dial phones? What is ahead 50 years from now? Think about that!

Comment by dotlizard of Flickr:
I know, that just blows me away. I mean, if you'd told me even fifteen years ago that I'd have a telephone with a camera that could stream live video over the internet which I'm not sure I'd even heard of at the time, and 8,000 times as much storage than my computer's hard drive, on a memory card the size of my pinky nail, I would have just laughed.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

20/365 -- A Day in History for these Teens

These students are watching history unfold before their very eyes, via CNN over the Internet! Off in the background is a cable TV showing the inauguration for more viewers. And beyond the edges of this picture is the computer lab, with another live streaming of the inauguration. The library was packed and lively!

What a joy to share this inaugural experience with these students. And the greatest thrill was to watch a group of students arrive at 7:00 this morning to decorate the library with streamers, move chairs and tables and prepare for this exciting event!

Facebook's connection on CNN was interesting! The collaborative effort of CNN and Facebook allowed the viewers to see many different perspectives on today's event. Comments were very passionate and supportive of this historical event.

Will these students remember the day, when they watched a live streaming inauguration over the Internet? Fifty years ago, this form of communication would have come straight from a science fiction book or movie!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Marching Forward into History

Pic*Lits is a fun web2.0 tool
that gets you thinking about important words!
And so, I look forward to sharing it with our students!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

7 Things You Don't Need to Know About Me

Butterflies Everywhere
Originally uploaded by vanhookc
I have been tagged by Grace Kat (gkat) to be a part of meme that is going around cyberspace at the moment.

The idea is to get to know each other better. When tagged,

* link to those who tagged you,
* post 7 things you have never told your PLN and
* tag another 7 people.

What might you like to know about me? Hmm...

1. I have taught 7 years of preschool, 5 years elementary classroom, 1 year of high school algebra, directed and taught in elementary Talented and Gifted education, and been a K-12 school librarian for 16 years. I've also worked in a university library during college! It was the college librarian that guided me into the teaching career path that I am traveling on today!

2. When I moved to Indianapolis in 1993, I had to learn how to drive the major interstates through the city! I was petrified. In job searching across the city, I would practice the route to take with my husband. Crossing multiple lanes to get on and off the Interstate made me really nervous! In Indy, folks often drive like racecar drivers. I'm glad I pushed myself to drive the city; we lived there for only two years and enjoyed every minute of it: sports, fireworks, restaurants, zoos, museums, fairs and more!

3. I have a really strong Southern accent...or so they tell me in the Midwest! I say poem, orange and you all so very different than my Midwestern friends! A second grader corrected me on "budderfly" and said it was "but-ter-fly!" It's fun to read to classes in my strongest Southern style!

4. One of my favorite memories as an elementary school librarian was collaborating with a 5th grade teacher, Ms. Turner. We had the entire class write a script for the Wizard of Oz. We made costumes and performed our musical version in its entirety in ONLY 14 minutes for our school's annual talent show! Every student had a role!

5. I love hot weather! One or two snows are enough for me...we've had about ten in the past two months! In the late 60s, 70s and 80s, I loved to water ski and trick ski! I spent more time falling and drinking river water on the tricks though! Yet it was (or is) great exercise!

6. I am obsessed with photography. Once upon a time, I won a first-place and a 3rd-place in the Iowa State Fair Photo Gallery. I'll probably never win like that again with the onset of digital photography; the playing field has grown substantially! I am doing a 365 this year with new global friends, meaning that I am uploading a picture a day to the Flickr pool! It opens one's eyes to a beautiful world that is often otherwise taken for granted!

7. I love technology! Back in college, I hated Fortran! I made a C which should have been much F perhaps! I'll offer my excuse that I was planning a wedding that was to occur at the conclusion of the quarter! That was 38 years ago! We celebrated this wonderful anniversary over a dinner at The Bistro in Cleveland, TN, this past Christmas! Thanks again to our son, Michael, for arranging this beautiful evening!

No more Fortran for me...But I have kept plugging away at technology. Now I am a high school teacher of technology and literacy skills, and I love this web2.0 stuff!

These folks were just tagged by me! As I begin to look around, I am seeing that everyone has already done this...probably you three as well!


I'll keep my eye open for others... Eva you've been tagged! And, Elizabeth, you've been tagged.
Enjoy sharing the 7 things, link back on plurk perhaps, and pass this on to seven others!

A New Dawn at Our School

Every day has much to offer. However, today is extra special. This picture depicts a new dawn, a first day back for our high school students, a new semester. Our students will have many new classes as they begin this second semester. There will be new friends, new teachers, and new routes to take to new classrooms and new faces to meet. May the halls, classrooms, gyms, and every other little corner of the school be filled with smiles and happiness. This is our sincere hope!

Today's beautiful sunrise, overlooking the pond on the school's campus, adds an endorsement of excitement and fulfillment for great things to come for our students in 2009.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Originally uploaded by vanhookc
Troy, this is for you...

The students were very antsy the last week of school before Christmas Break. The library was packed with students. This should be a good thing but they were not necessarily there for all the right reasons. The library, you see, has lots of computers...and computers connect to the Internet...and to the games.

So, I was a little perturbed with the not-so studious students. Troy said to me, on one of those last days, that he wanted to do something productive to show me proper use of library time and space. He volunteered to write a paper. He asked for a topic, and I suggested one. Here is what I got!

At the end of the period, he beamed as he handed me his typed essay! I told him that his writing was outstanding and he surely pulled if off the Internet. He assured me that our students are listening, learning, and retaining more than we think!

He's so right! Enjoy his words...


"The educational systems in schools today are too sensitive and nice. They baby students all throughout school, from kindergarten to senior year. They don't let students go out and learn on their own. They teach that if you want an answer the only way to get it is to go to your teacher."

He suggested the following as a solution to break away from the habit that students have formed. "We need to make it habit for students to not immediately go to their teacher for the answer but instead expand their knowledge by figuring it out for themselves."

I will probably turn to Troy this next semester for more essays. He's got the answers!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

My, How Time Flies!

My, How Time Flies!
Originally uploaded by vanhookc
Happy New Year!

My New Year's Resolutions:
healthier living
clean the clutter
learn my camera
love, world peace, and harmony

We had a wonderful time ushering in the New Year with family and friends! January 1 has been a bit lazy at our house, but we did eat our black-eyed peas for good luck! Sarah and Jordon each ate 1-4 peas on their plates!!!