Monthly Archives: October 2014

An Attempt at Sketchnoting

I started this week’s assignments by watching the two videos on Sketchnoting, which immediately struck a chord.  I am a very visual learner.  I can remember back in the days of writing tests visualizing where an answer was located on my notes to help me in responding.  By writing notes in this format I can only imagine how much more engaging and interesting the process becomes, not to mention how great the finished product looks by comparison!
Here is my sketchnote on Sketchnoting.

  Image 2

For this week’s notes I decided to try to follow that same idea of sketchnoting to hold my thinking.


Here is my reflection from the reading in sketchnotes.

Image 1

My biggest takeaway this week was the Sketchnoting idea.  It immediately reminded me of a workshop I attended last Friday, which had the dullest presenter I have ever been witness to!  Oddly enough it was about how art can facilitate storytelling with children who are unable to write.  The topic was interesting, the dialogue not so much.  I found myself doodling along with some of my colleagues, one made the comment “I am drawing to stay interested!”.  Perhaps if our drawings related to the presentation we would have been able to have engaged a bit deeper and had a bigger takeaway?

Sketchnotes may also be the thing that allows students who are ADD/ADHD or easily distracted to stay engaged with lectures that are key to their learning success.   By giving students an avenue to focus their energy maybe they will be able to stay engaged for longer periods of time because they are actively listening and responding.


Sketchnoting – How does Sketchnoting help transform a library into a learning commons?
By introducing students (and teachers) to techniques that can improve learning and the arduous note taking that are less than traditional, teacher librarians are creating a buzz that will hopefully inspire others to want to learn more on the topic as well.  Through this use of the Learning Commons we are showing the library is there to support learners in ways beyond personal research and reading.


Digital Tool Box – Encouraging New Forms of Participation on the Road to The Learning Commons


Addressing the essential question, “How to shift from a library to a learning commons?”

I feel that part of the transition is creating new opportunities to make use of the library in a way that is useful to all, and likely very different from past interactions.  By moving away from a space that is generally just about hard copy resources and promoting new digital tools to help to enhance learning we are slowly starting to bring students and teachers into the space with new meaning, and purpose.

Here is a selection of tools that I think would encourage students and teachers to visit the Learning Commons for more broadened experiences than just a book exchange.

1.)  Bibliography helpers – The Citation Machine

Click image to go to Citation Machine.

The Citation Machine is a great tool for students to help draft their bibliographies,  for every resource, whatever the style.  It is as easy as putting in a ISBN number, or web address and then following the prompts to make sure all the information is input, press enter and you have a properly cited resource in the style of your choice.   Often times the Citation Machine can draft the cited works entirely on its own, while it is definitely a short cut, however, it is important to pay attention as you may have to do a bit of searching through your resource to find information it couldn’t (because it’s a machine) through that process it can also be a great way to learn how to cite references.

2.) Glogster

Click image to go to Gloster website.

Glogster is a great tech tool that allows students to show what they learned through a virtual and interactive poster.  Teachers can create a free account in which they can have thirty student accounts attached to them (there is a paid option that allows for more students, and for choice in user names).  Teachers have access to their student work from their page.  Personalized options are endless, from text, audio, video, to personal photos and backgrounds, each student can create a unique Glog that represents their learning.

3.) Pinterest 

Click image to go to education posts on Pinterest.

Organizing ideas through images on a virtual bulletin board.  I am a very visual person, which is probably why Pinterst appeals to me in so many levels.  I have used Pinterst for inspiration as an educator, a student, and for many other projects in my personal life.   I can see teachers using this to help find images, for brainstorming, to find ideas to inspire a lesson, or students in a writing activity.  Teachers can also utilize Pinterest as a way for their students use to collect images related to a theme, or upload some of their work so that their classmates can comment, share and connect, it can also be used for small group work for organizing ideas for a collaborative project.  While not set-up for educational purposes, Pinterest certainly lends itself to the world of learning and sharing.

4.) Edudemic

Edudemic is a technology education site whose goal is to “…connect teachers, administrators and students…” they offer a “forum [for] discussion, discovery and knowledge.”   It is a collaborative website where educators can share their ideas and support one another in their learning and teaching.  The particular resource that I have selected outlines the critical search skills students should know  to effectively utilize the internet.

Edudemic offers support for teachers who want to integrate technology into their lessons.  They have lots of great articles to help inspire and provide tips on how to be successful with new tech tools.  Click the image to go to an example of one of their easy to read and access articles:

I also discussed Edudemic in a previous post, here.

click image to go to the Edudemic website.

5.) Edmodo

Edmodo is a great teacher tool that serves as a class website for communication with students and parents, as well as organization for specific classes and grades.  Teachers can set up small groups for projects, online tests and file sharing.  Teachers have access to everything their students post, therefore is typically a non-issue.

click image to go to edmodo website.

– Image and tutorial on using Edmodo found here.

6.)  ReadWriteThink

click image to go to readwritethink website.



ReadWriteThink is a great website to share with educators.  The website supports literacy learning for all grades with a vast array of resources from lesson plans, to graphic organizers, to professional development opportunities.  There is also a section on the page that teachers can turn parents onto for home support.  I found it particularly useful for graphic organizers to help hold student thinking during readings for novel studies.




If students and staff have more opportunities to enhance their learning they are more likely to find reasons to come to the Library.  Opening up the uses of the space to incorporate multimodal approaches to learning is one of the ways we can transition into a Learning Commons.   Hopefully resources like the ones listed above will help to encourage more uses in the space.