Library Connections

Entries Tagged as learning

Follett Software announces the Final 12 Winners of the LMC@The Forefront Webinar Giveaway

November 02, 2011 · 5 Comments

Follett Software is excited to announce the last 12 winners of the LMC@ The Forefront Webinar Giveaway.  These winners will be able to learn from educational innovators via the convenience of webinars.

Congratulations to these winners: 

  • Jessica Wismar
  • Meredith Reed
  • Andree Anderberg
  • Lisa O'Neil
  • Kevan Hagen
  • Cathy Grochowski
  • Mary McCarthy
  •  Angie Wells
  • Jackie Bennett
  • Nancy Gaiewski
  •  Debbie Fisher
  •  Shelley Avarista

Thanks to all of you who entered the giveaway.  Watch for our Spring Giveaway by following us on Twitter or Facebook.

Follett Software 

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5 CommentsTags: giveaway · learning

Welcome to the Sophomore Year for Emerging Tech

August 04, 2011 · 5 Comments

edWeb.netAs the founder of, a professional social network for the education community, I was struggling with how to build active and engaged communities on our website.

Then I attended Michelle Luhtala’s presentation at CoSN in March of 2010 on “Using Web 2.0 to Embed 21st Century Learning,” and I got an idea. Why not use Web 2.0 tools to spread the word about this to other school librarians?

Michelle (Head Librarian at New Canaan High School and winner of the 2010 School Library of the Year Award) uses many social networking tools and free collaborative technologies that are often banned in schools. After her presentation, I approached her with the idea of extending her presentation into a series of free monthly webinars embedded in a social networking community on She loved the idea.

We launched “Using Emerging Technology to Advance Your School Library Program” in July of 2010, and could tell right away that we were onto a good idea. In spite of our initial technical challenges with the webinar platform, the librarians in the webinar would say, “Hey, this is just what happens at school!” Michelle is a fabulous presenter with so many innovative ideas. Members love connecting with her, and with each other every month.

We found the right tool ( so we can incorporate video, text chat and polling so Michelle’s presentations are very personal and interactive. Each session includes lots of time for participants to text questions to Michelle, which she answers “live.” After the webinar, the conversation continues online through our community discussion forums. Emerging Tech creates a sense of community and connectedness that you rarely get from webinars – and even from online communities.

Over the past year, Emerging Tech has grown to 2,400 members. We hear from members all the time about how much they appreciate the program. The archived webinar recordings are a great feature of the program. Librarians can join the program at any time and catch up by watching any of the past programs.

Our members asked for CE certificates for participation, and we’ve been amazed at how valuable these certificates have been even though we are not an accredited program. If teachers could receive accredited CE certificates for participating in online Web 2.0 programs, we know the use of this kind of Web 2.0 technology would spread faster.

Emerging Tech would not have been possible without the support of Follett Software Company. Their offer to sponsor the program for an initial trial of three months and willingness to support our Web 2.0 experiment was truly visionary, and we can’t thank them enough! Two months into the program, Michael Campbell, the Director of Marketing, called me to say that Follett wanted to sponsor the program for the full year, and now Follett is sponsoring the sophomore year of Emerging Tech.

When Michelle started a discussion thread in Emerging Tech – “What do you want on the syllabus next year?” she received 80 posts of requests for topics to address! In July, we launched Year 2 – the Sophomore Year of the program. And it looks like we have enough topics to keep this going for quite some time. Emerging Tech has become a model for other Web 2.0 PD programs we are offering on

Any librarian or educator is welcome to join Emerging Tech and can sign up at We hope to see many of you there!

Lisa SchmuckiLisa Schmucki is the founder and CEO of, a professional social network for the education community. is free for all educators and schools. Join edweb at

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5 CommentsTags: edtech · Professional Learning Communities · Social Media Tools · edweb · learning · library · school libraries · social networking in education

They call it learning

May 19, 2011 · 25 Comments

They call it fishingEvery summer for many years, a friend of the family, a retired teacher, could be found hip deep in the cold water of the Rio Grande, his fishing line splayed out into the river, and the sun reflecting off the rushing water. It took such patience to wade out there and cast the perfect arc of his line so that it sunk right where he aimed. And he’d wait, and wait and sometimes reel one in and pocket it into his creel. Sometimes he’d come home empty handed. Every year through Oklahoma winters he’d sit contentedly making flies, and each one was directed to a different kind of fish, and each one was a work of art. This planning and building was important to the process. When asked why he did this: plan, create, practice and perfect his craft—especially since it didn’t always result in bringing home any fish—he’d just say: “Well,you know… they call it fishing. Not catching."

What an amazing thought that is: to think about process, and how sometimes the results are not the point. In education today, the emphasis, we are told, is to be placed on the product – and the results had better point to success. Did we “reel in” our students and teach them what they needed to know so that they can pass the test? I hope that when one comes to visit our school libraries that what they see are teachers who are standing back and helping their students demonstrate their interest, creativity and learning using the tools that we can offer.

I hope that the process is as valued as the product and that one day, someone will walk through those doors, look around and say: “Well, you know… they call it learning. Not teaching.”

Connie Williams is a high school librarian and an advocate for school libraries. Connie loves to read and loves talking 'story' with others. You can contact her via email, or leave a comment below. She also wants to see YOU this week in Chicago!

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25 CommentsTags: Inquiring Minds in the Library · learning · library advocacy · school libraries · stories