Saturday, November 16, 2013

Some tips for beginning Flippers


This weekend I'm wrapping up a presentation about flipping the school library that I'll give to librarians in my school district next week. The presentation begins with the message shown here on the left. I chose to add this slide because, as a recently "flipped" convert, the memory of being overwhelmed and confused by all the options that technology offers is still pretty fresh in my mind. 

Technology can be intimidating for some, there's no doubt about that.To help others see how easily new technology can be conquered, I'd like to offer a few easy tips for those who are interested in using more tech in the school library.

1. Join
This is a social networking website for educators. Thanks to, I've been able to attend/view several FREE webinars on incorporating new technologies into the school library. Webinars include demonstrations of technology tools as well as a copy of the presenter's notes. After you view the webinar, you can take a quiz to earn a PD certificate.

2. Get a Twitter account.
Twitter is an invaluable professional development tool. If you are trying to develop your tech skills, use Twitter to connect with educational technologists and other school librarians. The great thing about Twitter is that you can follow along without really having to participate (although I do suggest sharing when you feel comfortable doing so). Use the hashtag (#) in the search bar to find a topic to see how others are using technology in their schools, such as:

Find someone who sparks your interest and check them out - view their other tweets, visit their webpage, or tweet them to ask for suggestions. Twitter people are friendly people.

For more information about Twitter for developing professional skills, visit the Connected Librarian section of my online portfolio.

3. Set aside time to play. 
Even if you have only 30 minutes to an hour a day, or a week, use the time to work on your skills. Pick one app or tech tool to work with. Find out what it can do and think of ways you can use it to promote your library program or which teachers on your campus would benefit from it. That's how I started this website. Weebly is approved for student use in my school district, and I wanted to see how easy it would be for students to use

4. Start with something simple. 
I recommend finding something simple to get started with. If you have an iPad, download the Tellagami app and play with it. Figure out how to find images on Flickr Creative Commons and save it to your iPad's camera roll. Set it as the background in Tellagami. Then have your Gami describe the picture, using either your own voice or typing in the text and having the Gami narrate for you. 

Another option: Experiment with Screencast-o-matic or Screenr. Record your screen as you log into one of your databases, narrating the steps into the microphone along the way. Save the file to your hard drive (I prefer mp4).

As an example, here's a Screencast-o-matic video I created for students who had difficulty downloading a file to their computer and uploading it to Edmodo:

5. Visit YouTube.
There are so many videos on flipped instruction available on YouTube. Think of any combination of words with "flipped" or "flipping" - flipped learning, flipped instruction, flipped library, etc. You'll find lots of great video demonstrations. 

There is absolutely nothing to fear when it comes to experimenting with technology on your own. You only need to choose your tech tool and find a little quiet time. No one needs to know if you weren't successful the first time, or how many times you had to try before you felt like you had mastered it. Trust me, I know this first-hand. 

And if you start to feel overwhelmed, like I did and sometimes still do, take a break. Try it again when your mind is clearer. 

No comments:

Post a Comment