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  • 12 Nov 2018 1:27 PM | Matt (Administrator)

    by Tessa Johnson

    Day two at Vita-Learn's VT Fest started with a session by Rushton Hurley talking about taking your teaching to the next level.  In his presentation, Defining Amazing: Taking What You Do to the Next Level, Rushton talked about the value of increasing student engagement and authentic learning experiences. "When kids know others will see it, they want it to be good," he said."When they know just the teacher will see it, they want it to be good enough."  Rushton also pointed out that one way to increase greatness is to allow more time for teachers to creatively brainstorm together.  Wouldn't that be awesome?!  He is a very engaging speaker.  I signed up for his newsletter.  If you're interested in learning more about him and the projects he's involved in, check out his website

    Rushton Hurley

    I bought his books!  They will be in the DBS Professional Lending Library. Stop by to check them out for yourself. 

    Next up: Google Tour Builder!  This is a cool tool that I've never played with before.  It's quick and easy to use and the presenter gave us several good ideas how to use it in school, such as creating a list of places you've been, or a 'tour" of the major battles in a war.  I made a quick tour of the Hartford School District.

    I had a nice chat with a vendor there who had a 3D printer.  I've been fascinated by them for awhile now, so I was excited to see a session devoted to using 3D printers with elementary students.  The presenter showed us Tinkercad and talked about several projects she's done with elementary students, including an awesome collaboration project between kindergartners and 3rd graders.  Now I want a 3D printer!!  :)  Even without the printer I think we can put Tindercad to good use. Just the other day a 5th grade teacher came to me looking for such a project, and I know it will be helpful for my First Lego League team project as well.

    Then it was time for lunch and a lunchtime keynote speech from Dan French, Vermont Secretary of Education.  He talked about the state of education in Vermont and urged creative collaboration throughout the state.

    Thank goodness it's vegetarian!

    VT Secretary of Education, Dan French
     After lunch I went to a super fun session called Using AR in the Classroom with Merge Cubes.  Merge Cubes were all the rage awhile back when Walmart was selling them for $1 each.  People were buying them by the shopping cart full!  I was not one of those people.  Oh well.  The presenter brought several Merge Cubes, including a DIY one, and he introduced us to a bunch of apps.  AR is pretty cool, but I wonder how long it will hold a student's attention.  I made a quick DIY one when I got home to show my kids and they were interested in the wow factor, but moved on quickly.  I'm curious to do more experimenting on how it can be used to extend learning.

    Galactic Explorer shows you the whole galaxy in your hand. 

    HoloGlobe shows you the Earth, in real time!

    I spent some time in the Extended Learning area, playing with a Cricut vinyl cutter.  Check out this cool vinyl Karen put on her laptop!  When she opens the lid, the bulb "lights up."  I made a little decoration for my own laptop as well.

    Laptop bling

    Karen's bling is cooler, but I like my pink shiny too. 

    We ended the day with big thanks all around, more raffle prizes awarded, and SNOW!  Eek!

    I'm enjoying my weekend now, but looking forward to bringing some great ideas and cool tech to school next week.
  • 12 Nov 2018 1:25 PM | Matt (Administrator)

    by Tessa Johnson

    It was a fun day at VT Fest today!  I attended a session on social media that got me thinking about a district plan.  I got to try Oculus Rift VR headset.  I've wanted to try one for ages and finally go to!  I attended a session where they talked about all the benefits (and risks) and all the different places you can "go" and things you can do.  At the end they asked if anyone wanted to try and my hand SHOT up!  I got to make a cool 3D piece of art, then view it from all angles.  I got to stand on a row boat and watch the Titanic go by.  I got to stand on the edge of a cliff and watch boulders fall down, over my head!!  It was very cool! I'd love to take my 1st graders on a VR trip through the arctic!

    Drawing with Tilt Brush on the Oculus Rift
    Definitely dorky looking from the outside, but so cool on the inside!

    When I was done with that I went to the next room and decided to play with the Glowforge 3D laser printer.  I was super excited to make a #dbsreads sign. The Glowforge is cool, but I'm not sure we'd get a lot of value out of it at the elementary level. 
    I wrote the words on a white board, then they took a picture of it, but a rectangle around it, 
    and programmed it to engrave the words and cut out the rectangle box.  

    I love the result!

    I went to a neat session about enabling student voice.  It was definitely aimed at MS/HS, but it was good to put some thought into the value of encouraging student voice in school.  I'd love to come up with ways to get more student voice in elementary school.
    "Chalk Talk"

    Overall a great session.  Thanks to VSLA's scholarship I'm able to attend today and tomorrow, AND stay at the Killington Grand Resort!  

    Today I was joined by our 3rd grade team and one of the 2nd grade teachers as well.  It was nice to hang out with them and get to exchange ideas.  


  • 31 May 2018 10:27 PM | Deborah (Administrator)
    This past April and May I have facilitated four workshops/sessions across the State of Vermont on the new National School Library Standards, reaching about 95 Vermont School Librarians. 

    I have adopted the new National School Library Standards to use as performance indicators for our school libraries within our district. I then broke the performance indicators down into learning targets, from which I have constructed my lessons, formative assessments, and summative assessments. 

    Hoping to make the transition to Proficiency-Based Learning and Grading by 2020 a little easier for Vermont School Librarians, I am sharing the Proficiencies, Performance Indicators (AASL), and Learning Targets (skills/competencies - AASL) I created (at the 9th-12th grade level), which can then be modified to meet the needs of students at the elementary and middle school levels.

    Please see the presentation below to learn more. If you have any questions, please contact dehler-hansen@arsu.org. 


  • 15 Apr 2018 3:00 PM | Deborah (Administrator)

    I can't wait to share the new American Association of School Librarians #aasl - National School Library Standards #aaslstandards with Vermont School Librarian colleagues tomorrow! #vsla http://standards.aasl.org/calendar/  


    April 16, 2018 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm


    South Burlington High School Library


    Deborah Ehler-Hansen, School Librarian/Media Specialist:


    AFFILIATE ORGANIZATION: Vermont School Library Association

    Workshop Description:

    Deb Ehler-Hansen, VSLA’s AASL Affiliate Representative, will be providing a New National School Library Standards Training Session for all K-12 school librarians. During this evening session, she will introduce the new standards and explain how the standards align perfectly with with our proficiency-based learning environment. She will provide examples of how to create performance indicators and associated learning targets, using the new standards, to support student learning outcomes in your local school district. #aaslstandards #vsla

  • 18 Mar 2018 10:07 PM | Deborah (Administrator)

    The framework for the National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries has been built upon the four domains from 2007 AASL's Standards for the 21st Century Learner and our roles within the domains from Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Programs2009.

    I.  The four domains from the Standards for the 21st Century Learner are:
    1. Think
    2. Create
    3. Share
    4. Grow.

    II.  Our roles from Empowering Learners are:
    1.  Leader
    2. Instructional Partner
    3. Information Specialist
    4. Teacher
    5.  Program Administrator.

    III.  The new National School Library Standards are also built upon the following Common Beliefs:
    1. The school library is a unique and essential part of a learning community.
    2. Qualified School Librarians lead effective school libraries.
    3. Learners should be prepared for college, career, and life.
    4. Reading is the core of personal and academic competency.
    5. Intellectual freedom is every learner's right.
    6. Information technologies must be appropriately integrated and equitably available.
    Please click here to learn more about the Common Beliefs.

    IV.  The new National School Library Standards are also built upon six Shared Foundations, as seen in the image below. According to the National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries, "Each Shared Foundation is a one-word idea encompassing each standard" (ALA 2018).


    Please click here to learn more about the six Shared Foundations.

    V.  In addition, the new National School Library Standards are built upon ​Key CommitmentsAccording to the new National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries, "...the Key Commitments are expressed by the Alignments included in each functional Domain" (ALA 2018). The six Key Commitments for  Learners are as follows...Learners who hare empowered to deepen their own learning will:
    1. acquire new knowledge by thinking critically and solving problems;
    2. operate in global society by interacting with and acknowledging the perspectives of others;
    3. work with others to achieve common goals;
    4. collect, organize, and share sources;
    5. harness curiosity and employ a growth mindset to explore and discover; and
    6. follow ethical and legal guidelines while engaging with information. 

    VI.  The new National School Library Standards are also built upon Competencies, which according to the National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries, "...may be used as a progression of knowledge, skills, and dispositions" (ALA 2018).

                                                      Key Vocabulary
    Shared Foundation: 
    This level describes the core values that learners, school librarians, and shared libraries should reflect and promote. The six Shared Foundations of Inquire, Include, Collaborate, Curate, Explore, and Engage were derived from our research and community input. Each Shared Foundation is also inherent in your Common Beliefs. 
    Key Commitment: The Key Commitments spell out the essential components of the Shared Foundations. Consider Key Commitments as expanded definitions of the Shared Foundations.
    Domains: As mentioned earlier in this chapter, the interlinked nature of school librarians’ roles is translated into the learning categories of Think, Create, Share, and Grow.
    Competencies: For learners and school librarians the Key Commitments are put into practice by doing the actions that demonstrate mastery of the core Competencies included in each functional Domain. Think, Create, Share, Grow may be seen as a continuum mirroring the inquiry process, from Discovery and questioning through to sharing the results of one’s work and reflecting on the process. The Competencies are not intended to be only linear, but may be used as a progression of knowledge, skills, and dispositions. 
    Alignments: In school libraries the Key Commitments are expressed by the Alignments included in each functional Domain.
    Key Vocabulary terms from the National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries. ALA, 2018.

    ​Please email dehler-hansen@arsu.org, if you have any questions.

  • 11 Mar 2018 10:37 PM | Deborah (Administrator)

    Yes, this is a big year for NESLA and for school librarianship! To honor the 100th anniversary of NESLA (the oldest school library association in the country!), NESLA is offering a reduced membership fee of $10 and a lottery that one school librarian in each New England State will win. 

    To learn more, please access this flyer! The flyer contains all the details about the March Madness Membership Drive, and the fall conference, where NESLA is planning to celebrate its 100 years: Dancing with the Stars: Honoring the Past and Stepping into the Future. 

  • 09 Mar 2018 1:28 PM | Deborah (Administrator)
    The new National School Library Standards - Released  in November 2018 replace:

    HOWEVER, We Have Kept Our Four Functional Domains (AASL’s Standards for the 21st Century Learner 2007).


    We Have Also Kept Our Roles Within the Domains (Empowering Learners 2009).


    Stay tuned for the next blog post on the new National School Library Standards Common Beliefs! Use this link to access my AASL National School Library Standards blog. 

    If you have any questions, please email: dehler-hansen@arsu.org

  • 22 Feb 2018 11:10 AM | Deborah (Administrator)
    Please be sure to sign up for the webinar "Connecting Competencies: Learner, School Librarian and School Library" - presented by Susan Ballard and Sara Kelly Johns

    When? Thursday, February 22, 2018 | 6:00 p.m. Central
    According to the AASL website, "Participants will be introduced to the language of competencies as part of the structure of the National School Library Standards (NSLS). The intentional shift from outcomes to competencies in the standards is designed to better align the AASL framework with other education standards and provide increased opportunities for learners, school librarians, and school libraries to thrive in a more personalized learning environment.

    Learning Outcomes
    Learning Objective: Learner Competencies
    Participants will examine the role of competencies within the six Shared Foundations as a continuum on which school librarians and school libraries empower learners to master competencies in the domains of Think, Create, Share, and Grow.

    Learning Objective: School Librarian Competencies
    Participants will explore how the school librarian competencies parallel those of the learner, and emphasize the integrated nature of a comprehensive learning environment.

    Learning Objective: School Library Competencies
    Participants will recognize the school library as an environment for learners and school librarians to develop competence and achieve mastery relating to educational content and tools.

    Learning Objective: Assessment/Evaluation of Competencies
    Participants will recognize the importance of the assessment and evaluations processes as described in the NSLS that measure progress toward competency for learners, school librarians, and the school library. 

    Cost is FREE! 

    To register, please use this link:  Register via GoToWebinar.

    A certificate of participation will be provided to attendees of the live webinar by request. To request a certificate of participation after the webinar, please email Jennifer Habley Certificates will be sent as PDFs via email within one week of the webinar."

    ​For more information, please click here.

    Email: dehler-hansen@arsu.org

  • 22 Feb 2018 11:04 AM | Deborah (Administrator)

    Please Note: To view the original AASL Standards blog, please click here.

    To understand where we have been, in terms of school library standards, and how we arrived at the point where we are today, please take a moment to reflect upon the following timeline of events.

    * 2017 - National School Library Standards (AASL 2017):" School Library" 

    • Inquire
    • Include
    • Collaborate
    • Curate
    • Explore
    • Engage
    * 2009 - Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Programs (AASL 2009).
    * 2007 - Standards for the 21st Century Learner (AASL 2007): Think, Create, Share, Grow!

    "School Librarian"
    • Leadership
    • Inquiry
    • Assessment
    • Integration
    1998 - Information Power: Building Partnerships for Learning (AASL and AECT 1998)
    "School Library Media Specialist"
    • Partnerships
    • Technology
    • Internet
    * 1988 - Information Power: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs (AASL and AECT 1988)
    "School Library Media Program"
    • Physical Access
    * 1961 - 1987: Standards and Societal Change.
    "Media Programs: District and School (AASL and AECT 1975), reflected a greater emphasis on the librarian's role in teaching learners to communicate ideas through media creation as well as through information use (ALA 2018)."
    * 1920 - 1959:  Foundational Work. 
    1920's - "The Certain standards' focus on high-quality instruction and student engagement placed school librarians at the center of teaching and learning (ALA 2018)."
    1945 - School Library Standards - School Libraries for Today and Tomorrow: Functions and Standards (ALA et al. 1945)...In these standards, school librarians were expected to have deep knowledge of their collections and to be knowledgeable about their learners' reading abilities and preferences (ALA 2018). 

    View this video, to hear first reactions of the NEW AASL Standards.

    Email: dehler-hansen@arsu.org

  • 22 Feb 2018 10:40 AM | Deborah (Administrator)

    ***To view the original blog for learning the AASL Standards, please view and subscribe to this link

    This is the first post of the new AASL Standards blog. I will be releasing mini bites of information, in a progressive manner, to help you learn all about the new school library standards.

    The new American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Standards were released in November, 2017. According to the National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries, (ALA 2018) "The AASL Standards frameworks are composed of Shared Foundations, explanatory Key Commitments, competency Domains, Competencies, and Alignments." These "...core components" (ALA 2018) are part of each of the three separate frameworks...one for Learners, the second for School Librarians, and the third for School Libraries. 

    The new standards were developed with these Common Beliefs in mind. 

    Please view this video to learn how the standards have evolved, but yet, are still familiar to us all.

    Please view this video, to learn about the new standards structure.

    Any questions? Please contact me at: dehler-hansen@arsu.org

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