Spotlight on Vermont-woo-hoo!

No time to visit other school libraries in your busy schedule? Wish you could see what your colleagues are doing to embrace “future ready” school library programs? Want to build networking within your region?

Welcome to a new feature of the VSLA website that connects all professional school librarians, tech integrationists, and those who love school libraries in our small, but geographically challenging state. Let’s share our ideas by showcasing what is happening in your school or district. Each month or so, watch for “Spotlight on Vermont,” (not “Moonlight in Vermont”-that’s taken).

Photos, videos, and a peek at innovative programs will open a window into the many ways that school libraries and school librarians are integral and integrated into our educational communities. So often, we avoid the spotlight, and just keep bouncing along like energizer bunnies, but here is a another way to show how school libraries are providing resources and personalizing learning for our diverse learners, and our teaching colleagues. We would love to feature your school library, so let us know if you would like a spotlight. Don’t be shy! If you have a renovated learning space, a neat student centered program, or a collaboration project with other teachers or community members, just contact Judy Kaplan, and she will interview you and write up a spotlight. Press the “easy” button-at least easy for you!


October Spotlight:

This month the spotlight is on the Fair Haven Union High School I-Media Center, in Fair Haven, Vermont. The 9-12 school with about 450 students from area towns has a renovated learning space led by Deb Ehler-Hansen, LMS. Two years ago, the library was traditional, and now, thanks to Deb’s vision and support from her administration, it is an I-Media Center with multiple learning spaces, production spaces, quiet learning zones, comfortable seating, and resources for print and digital learning. What makes it an I-Media Center?

“The "i" in I-Media stands for innovation, information, inquiry, and interest-based learning opportunities! The i-Media Center is both the physical and VIRTUAL "HUB" of all school learning!”

That just about says it all in a nutshell! Great branding! Future ready!

The I-Media Center welcomes classroom teachers who collaborate with Deb for research projects, students who are looking for reading adventures, others who want to explore STEM learning, and more. Deb is especially excited to have about 20 students participating in a book club, and also collaborates with a history teacher to sponsor students involved in a 3D tech competition.

The I-Media website is a treasure trove of information for all users and visitors. It is truly a wonderful example of how a virtual library complements the physical space. The resources and links are useful anytime, anywhere. Spend some time scrolling through the photos and videos on the front page to get a sense of the variety of activities that make this an active learning space.

Deb is developing a makerspace area and has curated some tech tools for innovation and creativity. During the summer, she offered a two week course for high school students to explore Finch Robots, Scratch, MIT Hummingbird, Little Bits, and Makey Makey. Watch the video to see High School Prep 2017 in action. The secret she says, is to let the students take the lead in the learning. Innovation sometimes means failure, and lots of persistence!

Next on Deb’s agenda, is to provide professional development for her colleagues at FHUHS who are tasked with personalizing learning for their students. She is creating an online course to guide educators to transform learning with technology and inquiry. In November, she will be presenting her work at the AASL Conference in Phoenix. Look for more information about that and a link to her presentation in a later post.


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