Keynotes and Workshops

Our Keynotes and Workshops Cover the Following Topics

Innovative Libraries

Innovative Libraries is not just about the intersection of technology and print, but the shift of patrons from consumer to producer.

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Instead of being the place for students to acquire knowledge, it is also an environment for our learners to make meaning of information and create new ideas. Using both the National School Library Standards (AASL) and the ISTE Standards for Students and Educators, Heather helps librarians identify targeted areas of growth and collaboratively develops a plan to address those areas. Heather helps librarians “start where they are” and make intentional, strategic changes to their programs to make the most meaningful impact to the students and teachers they serve.

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Leadership

Leadership is not about being at the front, taking charge or doing all the work. As Simon Sinek teaches, leadership is about 

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harnessing the talents and strengths of those around us to build trust, grow efficacy, and achieve more collectively than we could imagine individually. Jen and Heather use a strengths-based approach to all leadership-focused sessions, honoring the gifts educators and students bring to the learning and leadership process. They ground the collaborative learning sessions in the principles of adult learning, appreciative inquiry, collective efficacy, and engagement gleaned from their own learning and the research of thought leaders they study including Simon Sinek, Patrick Lencioni, John T. Guthrie, Irene Fountas, Gay su Pinnell, John Hattie, and Michael Fullan.

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Literacy

Literacy is often narrowly defined as reading and writing when it could more accurately be defined as thinking or learning how to learn.

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When we broaden our definition of both literacy and text (any content be it visual, audio, tactile) we open up the methods, tools, and mindsets of all learners and educators. Jen and Heather use a strengths-based approach to all professional learning sessions, honoring the gifts educators and students bring to the learning process. They ground their sessions in the principles of adult learning, motivation, and engagement gleaned from their own learning and the research of thought leaders they study such as Richard Allington, Robert Marzano, Simon Sinek, Patrick Lencioni, John T. Guthrie, Irene Fountas, Gay su Pinnell, Marie Clay, and John Hattie.

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Maker Education

Maker Education is so much more than technology and gadgets in a room. Traditional schooling was created in the image of  industrialism. Yet, as we continue our movement into the 21st century, there is less of a

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demand on rote memorization of facts and an increased demand on collaboration, critical thinking, and complex problem solving. All of these skills demand a high level of flexibility and creativity. So how do we as educators provide opportunities for creativity and collaboration, while still addressing the standards we are required to teach? Fortunately, we are teaching during the age of the maker movement which aims to integrate opportunities for imagination, creativity, and an inventor’s mindset into the K-12 setting. One way to foster this is by developing a makerspace in your school or classroom.

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Motivation & Engagement

Motivation and Engagement is an ongoing topic of conversation and learning among educators. We often consider how to engage our learners (of all ages) in the learning process. Over the last several years

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researchers, practitioners, and thought leaders have pushed us to consider the science behind motivation and to reconsider many of our instructional approaches. Carol Dweck, John T. Guthrie, Daniel Pink, Steven Layne, Stephanie Harvey and Harvey Daniels, and many more have pushed us to rethink the use of carrots and sticks, consider student voice and choice, and examine the intersections between what motivates us as adults (autonomy, purpose, and mastery) and what motivates our students. Dr. Jennifer McCarty Plucker’s research has been centered on motivating and engaging adolescent learners in literacy and learning. Her practical case study insight has helped other districts rethink how they create conditions where striving readers and learners can grow as readers, writers, thinkers, and scholars, actually enjoying the process along the way.

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Keynotes

Literacy Rebooted and (RE)defined: Expanding our Thinking for Increased Engagement and Achievement

Is our definition of literacy broad enough to raise the rigor and engagement in our classrooms? While Merriam Webster defines literacy as the ability

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to read and write, educators and researchers recognize this definition is too simplistic. When we broaden our definition and wrestle with what it really means to be literate in this 21st century, we open up the methods, tools, and mindsets of educators and learners to engage in becoming a truly literate society.  The goal of this presentation is to explore how a change in mindset around literacy and text can increase student learning and engagement.

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Literacy, Motivation & Engagement

From Carrots, Crowbars, and Candy to Options, Opportunity and Ownership: Motivation and Engagement for Adolescents

This session aims to differentiate engagement from compliance. Participants will receive practical strategies backed by the science for engaging

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learners in rigorous academic literacy work.

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Literacy, Motivation & Engagement

Print or Digital: That is the Question

In the era of 1:1 many educators (and parents) hold tight to students reading “real” books. Print books bound by a publisher. Others say we need to

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“get with the times” and allow our students to be immersed in digital content. But what does the research really say? What is our responsibility to provide conditions for engagement, authentic learning, and balanced brain development? This session focuses on not only the research, but also practical ways to avoid the either/or and land in near perfect balance

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Innovative Libraries, Literacy

A “Four-C-Able” Space: How Makerspaces Support the 4C’s

As educators, we not only strive to prepare our students for the world of today, but to create the world of tomorrow. One of the timeless struggles  

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that exists in education is creating authentic learning experiences. How does one apply their knowledge of simple machines and basic algebra in the 4th grade? How does one know that they excel at computer programming if they’ve never had the opportunity to code? The walls of a classroom do not have to be limiting if we give students the tools to create, tinker, invent, and be the masters of their own learning. In the age of rigorous testing and teacher evaluations, the idea of “letting go” can be daunting and seem reckless. This session will examine the numerous benefits of makerspaces and their role in educating students of the 21st century. In addition to answering basic questions about makerspace design and implementation, this session will showcase several projects done in makerspaces and what skills and standards are addressed. The session will examine the 4C’s of creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking and explore how makerspaces address these four areas.

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Literacy, Maker Education

Multiple Models of Makerspaces

When you hear the term “makerspace” do you think of a large room filled with robots, 3D printers, and high-end computers? While this is the case 

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for some makerspaces, there are many models of makerspaces for schools, including ones that exist within the walls of a classroom. This session will overview three models of school makerspaces, highlighting the unique features and considerations of each, and showcasing examples of each model. This session will share numerous lessons and activities to encourage interdisciplinary making, connecting your makerspace to content area curriculum. If you’re interested in starting a makerspace, or if you already have a successful maker program and are looking for additional resources, join us in this session as we explore everything from planning, projects, products, and funding.

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Maker Education

Making Sense of the Maker Movement

You’ve followed the buzz, read a few articles, and attended a webinar or two. Yet, you’re still not sure if starting a makerspace is right for your school.

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Are you concerned that it’s just a fad or too expensive? Not sure “where” the makerspace would be or “when” it would be available? Who would “teach” it? Who would supervise? Perhaps you’re sold on the idea but don’t know where to start. This session will answer all of those questions and more. In addition to learning the “what” and “why” of maker education, participants will learn how to begin planning and building a custom makerspace in their schools. Attendees will be exposed to many makerspaces in many shapes and sizes and learn how those spaces stretch the content beyond assessment measures and help develop truly creative, innovative thinkers.

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Maker Education

Contact Our Professional Learning Team!

We offer uniquely designed workshops, keynote addresses, coaching, and consulting services. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Fill out our form and we’ll be happy to provide customized programs to meet your needs.

Workshops

Achieving Equity Through Inquiry, the Workshop Framework, and the Inclusion of a Rich Resource Library (Print and Digital)

The focus of the workshop will be centered on the essential question: How might inquiry and the workshop model using multiple texts allow for a more

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inclusive environment where all types of learners can experience literacy growth, high engagement and achievement and authentic community.

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Leadership, Literacy, Motivation & Engagement

A “Four-C-Able” Space: How Makerspaces Support the 4C’s

As educators, we not only strive to prepare our students for the world of today, but to create the world of tomorrow. One of the timeless struggles that exists in education is creating authentic learning experiences. How does

Read More

one apply their knowledge of simple machines and basic algebra in the 4th grade? How does one know that they excel at computer programming if they’ve never had the opportunity to code? The walls of a classroom do not have to be limiting if we give students the tools to create, tinker, invent, and be the masters of their own learning. In the age of rigorous testing and teacher evaluations, the idea of “letting go” can be daunting and seem reckless. This session will examine the numerous benefits of makerspaces and their role in educating students of the 21st century. In addition to answering basic questions about makerspace design and implementation, this session will showcase several projects done in makerspaces and what skills and standards are addressed. The session will examine the 4C’s of creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking and explore how makerspaces address these four areas.

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Literacy, Maker Education

Beyond Skimming, Scanning, and Study Guides: Engaging Students in Authentic Reading in Content Area Classes

This session explores how to engage students in texts to read for meaning instead of points, answers to a study guide, or reading check quizzes.

Literacy, Motivation & Engagement

Brand Your Library: More than a Logo!

First impressions are vital to both establishing and maintaining relationships. It’s what is used to make first judgements and is also

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what people remember. However, many use the term “brand” and “logo” interchangeably. While your brand can be represented by your logo, it in itself is not your brand. A library brand is how you express your library mission, vision, values, and services. In this session, we will discuss how librarians can brand their library and promote that brand throughout the school and online. This session will focus on the “why” and the “how” of branding and overview specific tools that can be used to help a library represent itself. This session will also share ways to use your library brand in everything from blogs and websites to annual reports, newsletters, and posters.

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Innovative Libraries

Cake or Pi? Definitely Pi!

So what is a Raspberry Pi, exactly? What isn’t it? What can I do with it? Is it too

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complicated for my students? Come and learn the answers to all of these questions and more as we explore the many possibilities of Raspberry Pi and the resources available to educators. This session will show example projects from elementary and secondary levels, and provide participants with a wealth of resources to begin adding digital making into their makerspaces.

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Maker Education

Copyright Clarity

When you think of the terms “copyright” and “fair use” does your stomach turn?

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When you throw in blended or online learning, does it get even more upset? Unfortunately, the power of fair use has been diminished by how-to guides and checklists that give the appearance of law. Because of these “helpful” tools, educators are confused and fearful. This fear and confusion is stifling the creativity of teachers and students alike. In today’s remix and mashup culture, building upon the creations of others is paramount.

Put every copyright course you’ve ever had behind you and come learn about the true powers of fair use and how it actually supports teachers and students. Presenting the research from the Media Education Lab, this session will overview some of the great misconceptions of copyright and fair use. This session will help educators truly understand how to make a fair use determination and how to pass these analysis skills along to their students.

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Innovative Libraries

Demystifying Design Thinking

The term “design thinking” is becoming ever-popular as the maker movement

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continues to gain traction in education. Despite its popularity, there is a growing misunderstanding of what design thinking actually entails. Does all making involve design thinking? What is the difference between design thinking and a design process? Are there different models of design thinking? How do I teach design thinking? How do I use design thinking as a teacher? The answers to these questions and more will be demystified in this highly engaging, hands-on workshop. Participants will be led through the entire design thinking process, be exposed to various models of design thinking, and learn how to integrate design thinking into their teaching.

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Maker Education

Demystifying Nonfiction/Informational Texts

In this session, participants will consider how a constructivist approach to nonfiction and informational text can engage students in not only

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drawing meaning and learning from the text, but also how they can use that knowledge to create and publish their own ideas.

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Literacy, Motivation & Engagement

Digital Curator or Digital Hoarder

Imagine navigating a library without an organization system. “Digital curation” is certainly not a new term. Since the dawn of electronic resources,

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educators have been seeking ways to collect and organize digital resources for personal use and ways to share their collection with a community of users. For better or for worse, the amount of resources available on the Internet is incredibly vast and educators find themselves becoming “digital hoarders”, bookmarking every source on a particular topic instead of working through the process of evaluating and analyzing the core purpose for storing a particular resource. This session will explore the process to avoid becoming a “digital hoarder” and becoming an effective curator of digital content.

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Innovative Libraries

Digital Making: Turn Any Device into a Makerspace

While a large makerspace stocked with the latest and greatest gadgets is wonderful – it’s far from necessary. With the help of a device, students can be

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makers anywhere. This session will overview lots of great (and free) tools that allow students to be creators with nothing more than their device. This session will showcase tools to use in elementary and secondary classrooms.

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Literacy, Motivation & Engagement

From Frustration to Freedom: Remedial Reading Reimagined

This presentation aims to bring educators into the shoes of an adolescent striving reader. Participants will explore the challenges students face when struggling to comprehend and consider how students can use their strengths

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to grow areas of need. Through the stories of the implementation of a literacy intervention program aligned to the most recent research on adolescent literacy, participants can see how they might (re)design their approach to engage learners, accelerate growth, and foster identity change for so many struggling learners.

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Literacy, Motivation & Engagement

Go Slow to Go Fast: Empowering Teacher Leadership for English/Language Arts Transformation

The high standards for English/Language Arts are requiring educators to make paradigm shifts in how they integrate reading, writing, speaking /

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viewing / listening, and language to promote critical thinking and college and career readiness. This session will illustrate how to go slow so teams can consider how to create and implement standards based integrated units using inquiry as a vehicle for instruction, choice, and multiple texts for differentiation and formative assessment in order to focus on learners and learning.

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Literacy, Leadership

Workshop

Inclusive Library Spaces: How to Move Your Library Beyond Accommodation

With the maker movement and the influx of technology, being an inclusive library means much more than complying with ADA and having a diverse  

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book collection. In this session we will explore how you can make intentional decisions to move your library from “accommodating” to “inclusive.”

This session will address the importance of creating a library space that is welcoming and inclusive of all students, focusing primarily on students with special needs. In the days where libraries were depositories of books, being inclusive meant purchasing books on a variety of ability levels. As libraries continue to transform, libraries must be cognizant of all learners and design the library space, programs, and resources to support students with special needs. Further, this session will also address ways for libraries to make their digital spaces more accessible and welcoming to all learners.

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Innovative Libraries

Invention Literacy with MakeyMakey Workshop for Educators

Get ready for a fun hands-on workshop where you’ll learn how to teach Invention Literacy, Making, and Design Thinking using the award-winning  

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Makey Makey invention kit used by educators in all 50 states and around the world and featured in TED talks. This workshop is new and being delivered throughout the US. You’ll learn best practices and gain access to a multimedia training website that you can use later when you train others or teach the students you serve. All participants will receive a FREE MakeyMakey Kit and a Certificate of Completion.

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Maker Education

Library as Learning Commons: How a School Library Can Strengthen Digital Learning

A “ Learning Commons” – What is it and how is it different? This session will explore how a middle school library in a 1:1 school transformed its

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traditional library to a learning commons, a space for personalized learning and collaboration to meet the needs of a blended learning initiative.

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Innovative Libraries, Leadership

Low-Tech, No-Tech Challenged-Based Making

While 3D printers and LittleBits can be great additions to makerspaces, they are far from necessary. This session will present ways to immerse  your

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students in the maker movement with little to no technology. Even better – little cost!

The maker movement is taking the educational landscape by storm and many educators are anxious to jump on board. Unfortunately, many educators are convinced that in order to have a “real” makerspace one needs a 3D printer, power tools, and robotics kits. Getting to the heart of the maker movement, teachers can provide students with the same learning opportunities through low-tech and even no-tech makerspaces. This session will overview some resources and activities that can be done to start a makerspace without a single piece of technology.

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Maker Education

Making Sense of the Maker Movement

You’ve followed the buzz, read a few articles, and attended a webinar or two. Yet, you’restill not sure if starting a makerspace is right for

Read More

your school. Are you concerned that it’s just a fad or too expensive? Not sure “where” the makerspace would be or “when” it would be available? Who would “teach” it? Who would supervise? Perhaps you’re sold on the idea but don’t know where to start. This session will answer all of those questions and more. In addition to learning the “what” and “why” of maker education, participants will learn how to begin planning and building a custom makerspace in their schools. Attendees will be exposed to many makerspaces in many shapes and sizes and learn how those spaces stretch the content beyond assessment measures and help develop truly creative, innovative thinkers.

Read Less

Maker Education

Makerspaces for At-Risk Students

Do you teach at-risk students? Perhaps you’re excited about maker education but have reservations because of various emotional,

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social, and physical concerns for the students you serve? Come learn how a psychiatric residential youth school added a makerspace in their school and overcame various physical and emotional boundaries. This session will specifically overview the planning process and concerns that had to be addressed, and the various tools and structures that were developed to overcome those concerns. Learn how a school discovered that not all maker products are created equally and how certain products better met the needs of their diverse learners.

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Literacy, Maker Education

Makerspaces + Literacy = Making the Connection

Some fear that by adding a makerspace to their library, they will be taking away

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from literacy programs. However, STEM education and makerspaces can actually add new dimensions of literacy to your library. This session will describe many ways that makerspaces can support literacy in the library and will also lead participants through several maker projects, articulating the types of literacy addressed in each project.

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Literacy, Maker Education

MAKE the Connection: Makerspaces in the Classroom

When introduced to the maker movement, many educators were shown shiny toys and robots and failed to see the maker movement as anything 

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more than play. An overabundance of how-to guides and tutorials leaves many educators seeing the maker movement as a combination of singular events or activities, rather than a continuous development of skills and design thinking. The goal of this session is to take a step back and look at the overarching goals of the maker movement and explain its relevance in the curriculum. This session will show teachers how to identify opportunities for making in their curriculum and THEN identify products and resources that can help them achieve that goal. This session will also discuss how to set instructional outcomes associated with making, and how to assess whether those goals were met. This session is for beginner and experienced makers.

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Literacy, Maker Education, Motivation & Engagement

Multiple Models of Makerspaces

When you hear the term “makerspace” do you think of a large room filled with robots, 3D printers, and high-end computers? While this is the case for

Read More

some makerspaces, there are many models of makerspaces for schools, including ones that exist within the walls of a classroom. This session will overview three models of school makerspaces, highlighting the unique features and considerations of each, and showcasing examples of each model. This session will share numerous lessons and activities to encourage interdisciplinary making, connecting your makerspace to content area curriculum. If you’re interested in starting a makerspace, or if you already have a successful maker program and are looking for additional resources, join us in this session as we explore everything from planning, projects, products, and funding.

Read Less

Maker Education

Print or Digital: That is the Question

In the era of 1:1 many educators (and parents) hold tight to students reading

Read More

“real” books. Print books bound by a publisher. Others say we need to “get with the times” and allow our students to be immersed in digital content. But what does the research really say? What is our responsibility to provide conditions for engagement, authentic learning, and balanced brain development? This session focuses on not only the research, but also practical ways to avoid the either/or and land in near perfect balance.

Read Less

Innovative Libraries, Literacy

The Power of Picture Books

In this session, we will explore the incredible tool picture books play for learners

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of all ages in all content areas for accelerating literacy growth, creating community, and hooking reluctant historians, scientists, and scholars into our units of study.

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Literacy, Motivation & Engagement

Readers’ Advisory in the Digital Age

This session will introduce participants to multiple digital tools to assist with

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Readers’ Advisory. In the age of social media, blended learning, and virtual libraries, this session will show participants how to tap into this technology to provide rich Readers’ Advisory. Hear stories and examples of how librarians are using Snapchat, social reading sites, and tapping into online coursework to offer the best recommendations for their students. The session will also explore the many benefits of digital Readers’ Advisory including privacy, personalization, and efficiency.

Participants will also gain tips to successfully develop student-led Readers’ Advisory teams. Empowering students with student choice and student voice will help students have ownership of the library. Understanding of digital tools and setting up a student Readers’ Advisory will bring an element of ease to the many things required of librarians. Participants will develop an action plan to start when they return to the library.

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Innovative Libraries

Research in the Age of the Filter Bubble

Join us as we take a deep look at our current practices as teachers and identify ways to be better informed digital citizens (and in turn,

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better citizens). This session will take a look at the ways we give companies our information unknowingly and how that information has resulted in an over-personalized, and distorted media experience.

Many of us are aware of the filter bubble issue, but how do we teach our students to navigate the “information superhighway” if that highway simply takes us full circle? How do we teach both sides of the story when students (and teachers) are only ever exposed to one side? And how does that change the way we, as teachers, consume and pass on knowledge?

This session will show teachers how to make their students aware of the filter bubble, provide specific examples and tools to “burst” the filter bubble, and how to teach research strategies in a sea of misinformation.

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Literacy, Innovative Libraries

Techie PD for the Non-Techie Teacher

Teachers often cite that their lack of technology integration in the classroom is due to the lack of PD focusing on technology integration. Yet

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when schools offer technology-focused PD, there is still a group of teachers that resist integrating technology into their lessons. This session will model several methods of professional learning to engage the “non-techie” teachers in technology. Specifically, this session will explain how to help reduce the fear and uncertainty that is associated with integrating new technologies in the classroom. This session will also provide examples for explaining tech tools to teachers in layman terms, without offending anyone.

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Leadership

Virtualizing Your Library: How to Be Everywhere at Once

In the age of blended and online learning, a school library must include much

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more than the resources physically housed in the library space. This session will explore the many digital options that libraries can offer to both their students and teachers, and how school librarians can effectively share and promote these resources through an online presence.

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Innovative Libraries, Leadership

Contact Our Professional Learning Team!

We offer uniquely designed workshops, keynote addresses, coaching, and consulting services. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Fill out our form and we’ll be happy to provide customized programs to meet your needs.

Transformational Services

Creating a Schoolwide (Districtwide) Literacy Vision

Creating a collective vision for a literate school or district community should be a participatory endeavor. The goal of this professional

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learning is to provide ongoing facilitation, consultation, and leadership for developing, messaging, and implementing a results-oriented literacy vision.

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Leadership, Literacy

Literacy Leadership: Collective Efficacy for Student Achievement

Most recently Hattie added to his list of evidence-based practices that yield statistically significant results for student achievement. Collective  

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Efficacy now tops the list for effect size. This session (or series of sessions) provides evidence-based and comprehensive approaches to building high performing learning teams within your organization where collective efficacy can be fully realized.

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Leadership, Literacy

Literacy Program Review: Strengths-Based Approach

Using an appreciative inquiry methodology, involving stakeholders in the process, a comprehensive review of a school or district’s literacy

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program is facilitated. Following the process, affirmation for the strengths aligned to balanced literacy research along with recommendations for continuous improvement are provided.

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Leadership, Literacy

Go Slow to Go Fast: Empowering Teacher Leadership for English/Language Arts Transformation

The high standards for English/Language Arts are requiring educators to make paradigm shifts in how they integrate reading, writing, 

Read More

speaking / viewing / listening, and language to promote critical thinking and college and career readiness. This session will illustrate how to go slow so teams can consider how to create and implement standards based integrated units using inquiry as a vehicle for instruction, choice, and multiple texts for differentiation and formative assessment in order to focus on learners and learning.

Read Less

Leadership, Literacy, Motivation & Engagement

Multiple Models of Makerspaces

When you hear the term “makerspace” do you think of a large room filled with robots, 3D printers, and high-end computers? While this is

Read More

the case for some makerspaces, there are many models of makerspaces for schools, including ones that exist within the walls of a classroom. This session will overview three models of school makerspaces, highlighting the unique features and considerations of each, and showcasing examples of each model. This session will share numerous lessons and activities to encourage interdisciplinary making, connecting your makerspace to content area curriculum. If you’re interested in starting a makerspace, or if you already have a successful maker program and are looking for additional resources, join us in this session as we explore everything from planning, projects, products, and funding.

Read Less

Maker Education

Transform Your School Library: Transform Your School

School Libraries and the roles of school librarians must continue to evolve to meet the changing needs of the learners. The quest to remain

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relevant requires ongoing change. What does this mean? How can the school librarian accomplish this amidst the daily pressures of the profession? You will learn a multitude of approaches that you can take to transform your school library, whether you decide to plan a complete transformation, or take one step at a time.

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Innovative Libraries

Contact Our Professional Learning Team!

We offer uniquely designed workshops, keynote addresses, coaching, and consulting services. Don’t see what you’re looking for? Fill out our form and we’ll be happy to provide customized programs to meet your needs.