Professional educators from Georgia and Alabama visited the Heard County Middle School Media Center March 15 for the media program’s open house. The HCMS media program is one of only three media programs in Georgia to be deemed ‘Exceptional’ in the middle school category by the Georgia Department of Education. Courtney McGough (Galileo), Bobbie Limbers (Saint James High School, Montgomery, Al.), J.C. Barb (Barnes & Noble), Sabrina Thompson (Temple High School Media Specialist), Glovis South (HCMS Media Specialist), Jerry Prince (Heard County School Superintendent), Nikki Robertson (Auburn High School Media Specialist), Ben Myers (Follett Library Services) and Mike Roberts (HCMS Principal). Photo by Donna Haralson/The News and Banner.
Media Program ‘Exceptional’ at HCMS
Professional educators from as far away as Americus, Georgia and Montgomery, Alabama came to Heard County Media Center’s open house Thursday (March 15). The HCMS Media Center is one of three middle school library media programs to be selected by the Georgia Department of Education as an “Exceptional Library Media Program” for 2011.
More than 60 visitors, including Rep. Randy Nix, Heard County Commission Chair June Jackson and Heard County School Superintendent Jerry Prince attended the event. Educators from Carroll County, Pike County, Haralson County, Troup County and Alabama were among the guests who attended the event.
The event was hosted by HCMS Principal Mike Roberts, Media Specialist Glovis South and Media Assistant Janet Scott. Barnes & Noble, Follett Library Resources, Galileo, Renaissance Place, Scholastic and Surpass (library software company) were featured in professional learning stations set up in the media center. Visitors were able to scan QR codes for links and information and were able to ask questions to representatives from B&N (J.C. Barb), Follett (Ben Myers) and Galileo Support Services (Courtney McGough). A special learning station was set up with iPads and eReaders for a Words With Friends tournament between the top student readers and administrators.
Visitors were particularly interested in procedures for checking out eReaders (Nooks, Kindles) to students and how iPads are being used to teach technology and information literacy skills. For information about the media program at HCMS, go to http://bravesread.net. Follow Mrs. South @BravesRead and Mr. Roberts @MikeRoberts1973 on Twitter.
Auburn High School Media Specialist Nikki Robertson (@NikkiDRobertson) posted these comments on her blog: “When I arrived at Heard County Middle School I immediately understood why Heard County Middle School received such a distinguished award. The office staff greeted me with such warmth and kindness. Then I arrived at Glovis South's (@Bravesread) exceptional library and saw students playing Words With Friends on iPads (acquired with a grant) with principal, Mike Roberts aka: @mikeroberts1973, school superintendent Jerry Prince and Representative Nix. Students can earn access to the Internet Cafe located in the library where they can play games on iPads, enjoy beverages and other perks. …”
Prizes, including a gift basket from B&N, were given throughout the day. Scholastic donated an autographed hard cover book by Brian Selznick. The school’s news crew members and WWF team spoke to visitors throughout the day about the media center’s reading and technology elements.
We had such a wonderful day yesterday at open house! I met so many new friends, who I hope to see again at conferences, meetings or online. It was truly a learning experience for me and I hope it was for everyone who came to visit. Ben Meyers, our Follett representative, stayed for the entire day to answer questions about Follett programs and Follett Shelf. He and one of our system technology experts, Mike Robbins, worked together to set up the Follett Shelf for our students. What does this mean? It means our students can now check out digital electronic books through Follett Shelf. I will post the link for them today and get the word out next week! We have 22 eBooks in our collection and these can be viewed on iPads with the Follett Shelf App. Wow...
J.C. Barb, our Barnes and Noble representative from Newnan, also stayed all day to answer questions about electronic reading devices and to explain how schools can use B&N for Nook purchases. He's been such a great resource for us! He comes to the school if we have a problem with a device (which is rare) and he helped me record serial numbers for inventory. Wow... Congratulations to Dawn Lanca, from Pike County, who won the Barnes and Noble Gift Basket yesterday!
Courtney McGough brought bookmarks, pens, posters and stayed to answer questions about Galileo, which is the go-to resource for Georgians. If you haven't tried the resources in Galileo, it's time you did. Full text journal articles, primary source documents, current Georgia codes and laws, links to history, encyclopedias, biographies, reliable web sources, book recommendations and reviews... and so much more! Galileo is online and resources are always available to help students and parents with research and information. You won't need the password at school, but stop by the circulation desk to pick up the current password to keep by your computer or electronic device at home.
Sara and Julie, representatives at Surpass, sent items to give away for prizes and shared our award with the Surpass listserv. Surpass is such a great company with a 21st century product. Students can look up books in our collection any time from home and reserve a book (with an individual code). Safari shows book covers, reviews and allows instant/constant access to our resources. Another wow... Congratulations to our staff winners: Nikki Barnes, Jen Walston, Christy Hume, Stacey Walker for winning Surpass/Galileo/B&N prizes yesterday!
Lynn Flaum, our Scholastic representative, sent an autographed copy of The Invention of Hugo Cabretby Brian Selznick. We will announce a student winner on Monday's news show at 7:45. Thanks, Lynn!
Renaissance Learning Regional Account Reprsentative (South/East/Central Georgia) Ellen Gadberry shared resources about Renaissance Learning products (Accelerated Reader, Renaissance Place). Though she couldn't be here, she has offered to visit later for a F2F mini seminar on how to use Renaissance Place. If we can coordinate that, I'll let everyone know. This would be for anyone interested in how to correctly use RP products to track and increase reading comprehension.
Our superintendent, Jerry Prince, came to the event and learned how to play Words With Friends! So did Rep. Randy Nix, who sat down and played on Team Admin at the WWF Table. Students were excited to play our principal, Mike Roberts, who IMO should be the National "Principal of the Year!"
Donna Haralson, editor/reporter for The News and Banner, our local newspaper, covered the event and took photos. The N&B has always been a great supporter for all our schools and I will always miss "Mr. Mac" (McCutchen), a true Southern journalist.
Though Governor Deal and Dr. Barge weren't able to attend, we had several VIPs throughout the day. I learned so much from the professional educators who came to our humble event from so far away (Forsyth, Pike County, Auburn, Alabama, Cordele, Harris County... and locally, LaGrange, Coweta Coweta, Newnan, Carroll County...) Donita Hinckley, Instructional Coordinator from Thomasville, visited with us one day last week. So glad you could visit with us, Donna! I know some media specialists couldn't be here because they are without media clerks and couldn't leave their media centers. I missed you.
Sabrina Thompson, my daughter and LMS at Temple High School was a tremendous help! She helped with the WWF tournament, refreshment set-up and helped monitor students who came in and out to check out books, participate in the WWF Tournament and talk about our news show. (Thanks, Sabrina -- love you... proud of you!)
Janet Scott, my assistant/clerk, brought in tons of food and made punch. Our program would not be what it is without her. (Thanks, Janet!)
We have the BEST staff at HCMS! The beautiful flowers were arranged by Mrs. Betty Barber, a bus driver and assistant! Thanks Mrs. Betty!
For those who wonder what all the fuss was about, this link gives information about the Georgia Department of Education Exceptional/Exemplary Media Program, which is awarded each year to programs that meet/exceed the expectations on the program's award rubric.
This new blog will include discussions about topics related to library/media and technology, among other things. The library/media profession has changed so much since I started my "second career" in 1993. I threw out the old card catalog when we became "automated" -- my first year. It was so redundant to type information over and over on an electric typewriter for subject, keyword, title, author... The media specialist before me used "accession numbers" that tracked when an item was added to the collection. She had cataloged ALL the videos by accession number! Multiply that by two -- I replaced her at TWO schools -- and perhaps I will be forgiven for throwing out the old way so quickly.
Ah, but I've "changed channels" a bit there. The blog... Oh, yes. I like research, so I will include comments about the research process. I like history, so I will talk about history -- especially local. I like reading, so I will talk about books (which will blend into our other blogs -- What We're Reading Now and our main reading blog. I also like innovative technology (like this Weebly blog) and will spotlight the apps that are particularly useful (or fun) to me. And, I like Bluegrass music, which tells stories and history accompanied by a banjo and fiddle.
Now, there are a few things I don't like and I'll be obliged to discuss them from time to time. I don't like plagiarizers. I don't like inappropriate scenes in an otherwise well-written story. Same thing with authors who use an abundance of "cuss words..." I don't like American companies outsourcing jobs overseas and I don't like seeing SO MANY things NOT MADE in America.
Okay... gotta adjust the antenna again. All that's for another day...
Initially, this blog will focus on our library media program, which was named an "Exceptional" program by the Georgia Department of Education for 2011. Our open house will be Thursday, March 15 from 9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. and we hope to have many visitors! If you plan to attend, please let me know. Everyone who signs our guest book gets a chance to win something! How does a B&N Gift Basket sound? Our Words With Friends: Students Vs. Admins Tournament will continue throughout the day, so be sure to see who our top strategy spellers are! Stay tuned!
Til next time...
I'm a library media specialist, former newspaper editor and freelancer, who uses technology every day to promote and deliver information about reading, literacy, judging resources, researching and writing.