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I hope you’ll search (with skill): a revised letter to my grads


(It’s that time again.  I was thinking about how sad I am going to be to say goodbye to this year’s senior class, and decided to update a piece I first shared in my April 2009 VOYA column.) A letter to my seniors Each spring I watch another class leave me for the university and […]

Guide for TLs (and on curating digital content)


Lately I’ve been reading a bit about digital content curation, also referred to as human editorial curation or aggregation.  I think we’ve been doing this type of work for a long time in the form of widget-based pathfinders, but now folks seem to be talking about it. In a recent Mashable post, blogger, author, and […]

Moving new tools


Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve worked with my practicum student Jenni to pack up my very messy New Tools Workshop wiki to new, much neater space. (And happily, our Tech Director, Kirsten Swanson, just joined the fun!) It’s not perfectly ready-for-primetime, but I am pretty excited about our new New Tools Guide and […]

Our new posters


My practicum student Jenni Stern and I have been playing with ideas for promoting new and traditional skills we think are important.  And we’ve been inspired by my good friend Gwyneth Jones’ Comic Life At-A-Glance tutorial posters. Says Jenni: Gwyneth’s posters guide students and teachers to work creatively. Her design is contemporary and eye catching, in […]

Live in your world. Create in ours. The back story of our ISTE Board visit


On Friday, our High School was honored to be one of three schools to host visiting members of the ISTE Board who were in town for a meeting.  (The other schools on the tour were Science Leadership Academy and School of the Future.) We began by posing this problem to a core group of students, […]

Karen, on saving our staff


5 reasons why_ View more presentations from Karen Kliegman. This morning, Karen Kliegman tweeted about her powerful and compelling argument to retain support staff for her elementary library program, and the district. I asked if I could share it here because I suspect it will help other make the case on behalf of our learners. […]

On building a guide for research skills


Returning to those Spring semester reflections . . . It’s been around ten years since we launched our school-wide research initiative.  A number of us on the faculty felt that we needed a little boost.  While I was migrating my pathfinders to LibGuides, I decided to pull together a number of research tools to make […]

AASL Vision Tour: A look back at our morning with Nancy Everhart!

I am delayed a bit in reporting back on our visit from AASL President Dr. Nancy Everhart on the Pennsylvania leg of her Vision Tour. Springfield Vision Tour from Joyce Valenza on Vimeo. It was a very special honor.  I was personally touched by the kind comments from those who spoke and sang and danced […]

AASL: Is it time for a one-word edit?

I’ve been thinking about it for a couple of years. I talk about it at conferences.  And I use it myself.  but I’ve never formally written about it. Here goes: I’d like to launch a little campaign, or merely make a little suggestion, for a very little edit that means a big deal to me. […]