Thursday, March 30, 2017

Learn More About Storyboard That In This Free Webinar!

Our friends at Storyboard That have some awesome news!

They are hosting their very first webinars to learn more about Storyboard That.

It is on April 4, 2017.  You can sign up for a free 30 minute webinar at 2:30pm or 5:00pm EST. Please use this link.

I can't wait for this one and hope to see you all there.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Museum In A Box....Putting Museum Collections Into Our Students Hands!

I can't wait to share what I learned about this week during the Computers in Libraries Conference in Washington D.C.  

I went to a presentation where Smithsonian was sharing their amazing educational resources.  She also shared something that really caught my attention and I couldn't wait to dig into this one.  

It is called Museum in a Box.  

According to their websiteMuseum in a Box puts museum collections and expert knowledge into your hands, wherever you are in the world.  
Museum in a Box focuses on actually touching objects in order to make connections as they learn about these museum artifacts within the collections.  
Watch this video to learn even more.  

Museum in a Box gives our children access to artifacts from museums around the world.  This gives them a chance to connect with learning in such a powerful and meaningful way.  

Someday they even hope to let all of us curate our own collections.  Now wouldn't that be fun!  

The Online Community You Don't Want To Miss.....Follett Community! Look What You Can Expect!

One of my favorite online places to visit for sharing, learning, collaborating and connecting with other K-12 teacher librarians, educators and administrators is Follett Community.  

On March 24, Follett Community celebrated its second anniversary of the launch with 370,000 blog views, 33,000 logins, 6,700 posts and 6,600 registered members.  
As you can see, it has made an amazing impact on our community.  

This wonderful online community is a place to share the special things happening in your library or projects taking place in your classroom; ask questions; recommend books, online resources and the newest digital tools; research solutions to a variety of topics; and feel confident that no question is silly.  

In fact, take a look at a sample of the discussions you will find on Follett Community...

  1. A Reading/Book Mannequin Challenge
  2. Teachers Read, Too. How Do You Let Your Students Know This?
  3. How Do You Promote “Overlooked” Books?
  4. How to Create a Weeding List
  5. Merging Duplicate MARC Records
  6. Book Trailers – Best Way to Include in Destiny
  7. How to Make a Resource List?
  8. Ms. MARC Question – Foreign Language Materials
  9. Updating Records to Reflect Awards
  10. Eliminating My Overdue Fines – I Did It!
  11. Graphic Novel Cataloging
  12. 2017 Teacher’s Book Club
  13. Student Suggestions
  14. Book Mark Exchange

Each week I can’t wait to see what topics and discussions will come up.  It is engaging, inspiring and I always learn so much.
It is easy to join....Just go here to create a new account.  

And if you are already part of the Follett Community, please reach out!  I'd love to connect and share with you in Follett Community too.

In the next blog post about Follett Community, I will be sharing about the People of Follett Community.

I would also love to share a webinar coming up from Follett Community.
On April 18, I will be presenting a Follett webinar Digital Literacy: Project Connect's Microcredential Course.  

As the webinar page in the Follett Community states,

Don't miss my April 18 webinar as we explore the importance of teaching digital literacy, the effects of not addressing digital literacy in your school and how you can address this issue.  In today's climate of what's real and what is "fake" news, it's more important than ever to understand how you can best empower every student-even the very young-to become responsible digital citizens and critical consumers of information.  

We hope you can join us for this free webinar to learn more about digital literacy and Follett's Project Connect Digital Citizenship course too. 

Register at this link.   The webinar will be recorded.  If you cannot attend the live webinar, please register anyway to receive a link to the recording. 

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Join Us For The Second Future Ready Librarians Webinar...Leading Beyond The Library

It is time for our second Future Ready Librarian webinar and I couldn't be more excited to share it with you.

On April 11, 2017 at 4:00pm EST please join Mark Ray and myself as we welcome two special guests from Parkway School District in Missouri....Bill Bass, Innovation Coordinator for Instructional Technology, Information and Library Media, and Kim Lindskog, District Lead Librarian.
How can school librarians support Future Ready Schools®(FRS)? Future Ready Librarians (FRL) responds to this challenge by identifying specific ways that librarians can lead, teach, and support personalized student learning. The FRL framework is based on research-based components used by FRS. This webinar will examine how librarians can support collaborative leadership by leading beyond the library. Hear from district and library leaders how school librarians are extending their leadership beyond their libraries to benefit their schools and district.

In Missouri’s Parkway School District, the FRL framework and Project Connect are guiding the work of the district as they reimagine existing library programs and make decisions about future directions. Focusing on each of these individual topics has given them great insight into leading beyond the library and what it means to be a librarian in the digital age.
In this webinar, leaders from Parkway School District will...
  • tell their story and connection to one another as leaders within the district;
  • explain the district’s vision and strategic plan for digital learning to highlight the work they do together; and
  • share how they foster a culture of collaboration and innovation that empowers their teachers, learners, and school community as a whole.                                                                     
Whether you are a librarian or district leader, please join us to learn more about the FRL program and how Parkway School District is empowering librarians as leaders and innovators. This webinar is brought to you by FRS and Project Connect.
Register and submit questions for the webinar here.
Support for the FRL program is generously provided by Follett.
Future Ready Schools is a project of the Alliance for Excellent Education, a Washington, DC–based non-profit, bi-partisan national policy and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that all students, particularly those traditionally underserved, graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship.
Follow Future Ready Schools on Twitter (; Facebook (; and on Future Ready Schools’s leadership hub (
Follow Future Ready Libraries Facebook group and #FutureReadyLibs on Twitter. 

#StudentVoice and AppSmashing In The Next Flipgrid Unplugged!

You won't want to miss the upcoming Flipgrid Unplugged on April 18 at 6:00pm.

It is all about #StudentVoice and AppSmashing....Two of my favorite topics.

Find out more and sign up here.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Facing The Future Of Our Schools & Libraries With Future Ready Librarians At The MASL Conference

This week I had the honor of presenting at the Missouri Association of School Librarians MASL Conference in St. Louis, Missouri.

Britten Follett and I lead the pre-conference session Facing The Future Of Our Schools...Future Ready Schools and Leading Beyond The Library With Future Ready Librarians, sponsored by Follett and Project Connect.
For the first part of our session, we were joined by three amazing administrators.

They included Dr. Scott Spurgeon, who was joined by librarian Shelia Green Samuels from Riverview Gardens School District; Dr. Ian Buchanan, who was joined by librarian Kelly Werthmuller from University City School District; and Dr. Keith Marty, who was joined by Bill Bass, who is the Innovation Coordinator of Instructional Technology, Information and Library Media, from Parkway School District.
I loved the conversation and was inspired by all three of these leaders who are making a huge impact on reading, learning, libraries and especially the children they serve.
Here are a few of the tweets I shared while they were speaking.  You can check them out on my Twitter at @shannonmmiller.
One of my favorite things that was shared was when my friend Bill Bass said...
And this one that Britten shared, was too!  

Isn't that true....We all must learn how to speak superintendent in order to make them see the things we need as teacher librarians and to make a difference for our schools and students.  
Next, I shared my keynote Be The Change You Want To See In The Library, Education and the World and we ended our time together with...
an amazing conversation about what we can do as Future Ready Librarians...
and the difference we will make.
I really enjoyed getting to know everyone during this time and hearing the stories, celebrations and inspiration happening within their libraries and schools.

To share this time with you, I created a Storify that you will find below.

Also, please follow #maslsc to follow the MASL Conference and as always, follow #FutureReadyLibs to be part of this ongoing conversation with Future Ready Librarians, administrators and others too.
Together, we can be the change and we will make a difference as Future Ready Librarians too. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Future Ready Schools’ 2017 Events – Sign Up Today!

Future Ready Schools® (FRS) has announced a series of eight free regional events to support educators who are planning to implement personalizing learning strategies for their students. Building upon the success of the popular FRS Summits and Workshops  the FRS Institutes broadens the audience and are  designed to help to build a regional network with like-minded colleagues where district and school leaders can work together in real time, get feedback, and find support they need to take the next steps in the Future Ready journey.
Registration options have been expanded to include district leadership teams, and individual principals, teachers, IT directors and librarians. FRS is working with an advisory board of leading educational experts to create a research-based, two-day agenda that is action packed with personalized professional learning that models high-quality professional development practices lead by expert facilitators.
Same as in past years, the 2017 FRS institutes are FREE with limited space available, Dates and locations are as follows:
  • July 13-14: Denver, CO
  • July 20-21: Albany, NY
  • August 3-4: Palm Springs, CA
  • September 25-26: Indianapolis, IN
  • October 11-12: Philadelphia, PA
  • October 26-27: New Orleans, LA
  • November 14-15: Sacramento, CA
  • November 29-30: Detroit, MI
For more info and to register for a free FRS Institute in your region, visit:
The FRS Institutes are generously supported by our partners Follett Software, McGraw Hill Education, Pearson Education, and Summit Learning.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Did You Know You Can Search And Find #OER In Destiny Discover?

Earlier this week I shared a post about all of the amazing open educational resources we have access to as part of the #GoOpen initiative. 

You can read Future Ready Librarians Hold The Key To #GoOpen and OER...Here's One Idea For Curating and Sharing These Too here.  
In this post, I want to share how Follett supports our efforts in using and integrating OER into our libraries and school communities too.  

To start, I just have to ask...

Did you know you can search and find the open educational resources in Destiny?  

I recently learned about this and couldn't wait to share this awesome news with all of you!  

In 2016, Follett announced their commitment in joining the U.S. Department of Education's #GoOpen campaign by making it possible to search and access the Learning Registry, a shared repository of learning resource metadata, within Destiny Discover.  

"This new functionality will make it easier for teachers to search for and find free, open educational resources from the Learning Registry alongside print and digital resources owned by their school, creating lesson plans and playlists that drive appropriate content to students" (Follett, 2016)
Nader Qaimari shared, "As a company with deep roots in K-12 libraries, we are particularly excited about how this will help teacher-librarians further curate and guide teachers where to find the best content and use it effectively.”

I couldn't agree more and let me show you how easy it is to do. 

I did a search for Poetry with Poetry Month right around the corner.  

It brought up all resources about Poetry including Books, eBooks, Databases and Open Educational Resources.  
You will find it at the top of each search page.

It is also very easy to filter the OER content in different ways including by Format, which I find super helpful with the vast amount of open educational resources.  You will be able to search such things as Assessments, Lesson Plans, Activities,  Articles, Videos and more.
To make it easy to connect with the OER in Destiny Discover, I have included a link in the OER Resources and Tools Symbaloo too. 

You will find it here

It is wonderful how Follett has embraced #GoOpen and OER by supporting us within our libraries and schools, leading to even more leadership, collaboration, and connections for our teacher librarians, teachers and students. 

Now make sure that you share this with your teachers and even your students as a Future Ready Librarian too.  

Monday, March 20, 2017

AASL Social Media Superstar Finalists Announced!

AASL has launched a brand new recognition program called the Social Media Superstars.

Librarians were nominated by their peers over the last several weeks and today the Social Media Recognition Task Force announced the finalists in seven categories including....
And I am honored and excited to be part of the three that were nominated for the Tech Troubadour, along with my colleagues and friends Heather Moorefield-Lang and Krista Welz.

You can read more about the Tech Troubadour category here.

This award recognizes a librarian who uses one or more social media platforms to share technology expertise of benefit to school libraries and school librarians and their work.  

To look at this list of these amazing individuals and think about how they have influenced me as a teacher librarian and professional is humbling and inspiring.  We are lucky to belong to a profession that not only teaches, surprises and connects with us everyday, but also embraces and lifts us up in such celebrations.

According to the AASL Social Media Superstar page....

Now through April 14, members of the school library community and the public are invited to post endorsements of their personal superstar by leaving a comment of each category's post.  After April 14, the Social Media Recognition Task Force will consider the endorsements and the original nomination and select an overall Superstar for each category.  Superstars will be announced during a live webcast on Thursday, April 27 at 6:00pm CST.  

Be sure to visit each of the seven hyperlinked category postings to read information about all of the finalists and get links to their social media platforms.  You will no doubt want to follow those you aren't already.  

We want to hear from you!  Comment and share how these Superstar finalists have helped you improve and enhance your practice. 

You can get to the AASL Superstar Finalists page here.

Congratulations again to all of the others who have been nominated.  And friends, please know that you are all superstars to me!  Each and every one of you have inspired my practice and enhanced my life. 

Thank you for that!  

Read. Question. Think. With These 4 Free Amazing Posters From Andrea Beaty!

Ada Twist, Iggy Peck and Rosie Revere are three of my favorite children's book characters.  They are from my friend and amazing author, Andrea Beaty's wonderful stories focused around making, science, technology, engineering, architecture and all things STEAM.

Andrea's stories and characters are my favorite.  They are also the stories I used as I introduced the library Makerspace to our students and teachers.  The kids could relate to the characters and stories and their minds would race as they listened and dreamed with the illustrations.

Today, I was so excited to see Andrea's tweet above.  She has created four amazing posters for us to download and print from her site.

I LOVE what they say...
Be An Engineer. Read. Question. Think.  

Be A Citizen. Read. Question. Think. 
Be A Scientist. Read. Question. Think. 

Be An Architect. Read. Question. Think.  

These will be a wonderful addition to any Makerspace, library or classroom.  They will inspire conversations about so many things, including jobs that fit into the STEAM fields.

And they will bring a little piece of Andrea's special stories to our spaces.

You can download these four amazing posters from Andrea's website here.

Future Ready Librarians Hold The Key To #GoOpen & OER...Here's One Idea For Curating and Sharing These Too!

One of the things that is most important to me as a Future Ready Librarian and educator is making sure educational opportunities and resources are available to all students. With 1:1 initiatives and technology within school districts growing even more popular, the need for openly licensed educational resources is a must.  

And this is just what the 2016 National Education Technology Plan put into place. 

"The Department defines openly licensed educational resources as teaching, learning and research resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under a license that permits their free use, reuse, modification, and sharing with others.  Digital openly licensed resources can include complete online courses, modular digital textbooks as well as more granular resources such as images, videos, and assessment items." 

The openly licensed educational resources or OER have changed the way students learn and the way teachers teach.  They are making such an important impact on education by giving all of us open access to a wealth of amazing teaching, learning and research resources and content.  OER is free for us to reuse, revise, remix and redistribute. 

As stated on the Office of Educational Technology website, open licensed educational resources also...
  • Increase Equity – All students have access to high quality learning materials that have the most up-to-date and relevant content because openly licensed educational resources can be freely distributed to anyone.
  • Keep Content Relevant and High Quality – Traditional textbooks are perpetually outdated, forcing districts to re-invest significant portions of their budgets on replacing them. The terms of use of openly licensed educational resources allows educators to maintain the quality and relevance of their materials through continuous updates.
  • Empower Teachers – Openly licensed educational resources empower teachers as creative professionals by giving them the ability to adapt and customize learning materials to meet the needs of their students without breaking copyright laws.
  • Save Money – Switching to educational materials that are openly licensed enables schools to repurpose funding spent on static textbooks for other pressing needs, such as investing in the transition to digital learning. In some districts, replacing just one textbook has made tens of thousands of dollars available for other purposes.
To support the openly licensed educational materials, the United States Department of Education started the #GoOpen campaign. This brought support and encouragement to the integration of these resources and celebrated how the OER's were making a difference in the teaching and learning within libraries, classrooms, school districts and states. 

It has made a special impact on so many places and continues to do so.  You can find out how to be a #GoOpen District or State by visiting this site here

If you have questions about being a #GoOpen district, watch how Williamsfield Schools decided to #GoOpen.  

As the YouTube video states,  The Williamsfield School District is a small, rural district serving approximately 300 students in one building—Pre-K through 12th grade—with fewer than 100 students attending the high school. Building on openly licensed resources, the Williamsfield School District leveraged education technology to save families and taxpayers money while providing unique, targeted learning opportunities for each student.

Today, the use of openly licensed educational resources is a vital part of what it means for Williamsfield School District to be Future Ready.
You can also view and download the #GoOpen District Launch Packet to find all of the important steps when choosing to become #GoOpen with openly licensed educational resources.

I am enjoying learning more and more about #GoOpen and OER.  I hear stories, read, research and put all of this into play within my work as a teacher librarian and educator.

Also, everyday I find more and more openly licensed educational resources.  There are sources for lesson plans and activities, open alternatives to textbooks, websites that tie to all parts of the curriculum, online repositories, articles, cases studies and much more.  It is our job as teacher librarians and curation experts to organize and get this content to our teachers and students.

With all of these things, I put together a new Symbaloo....
The OER Resources and Tools Symbaloo.

As you take a trip around the Symbaloo, you will find the Department of Educational Technology website I shared above, plus the #GoOpen information.  There are videos, articles and lots of openly licensed educational resources.

Creating a Symbaloo is one way you can curate everything OER for your school and district too. Using Symbaloo is a great way to bring together these resources in a platform that can be easily shared and embedded on your school website, library blog and even on your Destiny homepage.

In my next post, I will also be sharing how Follett has embraced #GoOpen and OER by supporting us within our libraries and schools, leading to even more leadership, collaboration, and connections for our teacher librarians, teachers and students.

Please feel free to use, share and even take this Symbaloo as your own to make changes.  Together, we will continue to make a difference with the openly licensed educational resources and for the children that we serve every day.

You can read all about the Open Education initiative on the Department of Educational Technology website here.

Post update....This post is also part of the Future Ready Librarians Blog Post Challenge.  You can find out more details and how to participate here

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Celebrate Poem In Your Pocket With Us During Our LIVE Event On April 27!

April is filled with poetry fun as we celebrate Poetry Month.  

And on April 27 is one of the best celebrations of all!  It is Poem In Your Pocket Day and this year we have a wonderful celebration for all of you to join.  

Four libraries and their librarians and teachers will be coming together to celebrate including Craig Seasholes in Washington; Heather Fox, Tracy Ferguson and Kim James in Iowa; and Michelle Griffith and Karyn Lewis in Texas.  

To make this Poem In Your Pocket Day even more special we have invited....
Mrs. P,  
Mr. Forbes,  
and Blake Hoena with Cantata Learning.  They will be sharing poetry, singing songs and having fun creating and listening to the poems in the pockets of all the children too.  

We will be connecting using YouTube Live which is something all of you will be able to watch on April 27 from 12:30-1:00pm CST too. 

I will share a link as our event gets closer and on that day too. 
We hope you all join us and have poems ready to share.  We will be asking you to share these on Twitter during our live event to be highlighted LIVE too!  

To learn more about Poem In Your Pocket, please visit here.   

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Nimuno Loops, The Toy Block Tape, Takes Hagan's Imagination Out Of This World To New Places!

Hagan loves building, making, creating and using his imagination to take over any space that is available around him.  
 He build towns, castles, football fields and things straight out of that imagination of his.
Even though he has this giant 3-ring binder full of books and patterns that came with sets, Hagan can be found building without these, by himself and equipped with the skills of his own.
And even when his family builds with him, Hagan is the one who goes off on his own without the patterns and videos.  

He is equipped with his very own amazing ideas....hoping and knowing he will create something even more wonderful than what the blocks were intended to do and become.  
A lot of times though, he needed just a little bit more space, a few more extra sets, and something that would take his pieces and imagination off of the table, carpet and out of the space he was creating within.  

Well now we have it!  A few days ago, Hagan and I saw something online that we knew would become a vehicle for his imagination, making and creativity.   
It is called Nimuno Loops...The Toy Block Tape, which instantly transforms virtually any surface into a base for toy building blocks and components, as the Indiegogo site states here
Watch this short video to see how Nimumo Loops, the toy block tape works!  
Hagan and I love how you can cut it, shape it and stick it almost anywhere to carry your building to brand new places and ways you never thought possible before.  
When looking at the Indiegogo site, we read all about the two people who created Nimuno Loops, Anine Kirsten and Max Basler.  Their story and passion for creating and building is fascinating and one that will bring change to the building with blocks that we all know.
Hagan and I couldn't wait to support this Indiegogo campaign by purchasing several rolls of black, grey, purple and blue.  You can visit the page to purchase yours and support Anine and Max's dream too.

I can't wait to watch where Nimuno Loops takes Hagan and where the toy block tape takes your students in the library, Makerspaces and classrooms too.

Remember to visit the site here today!