Trending now in #STL #edtech from @ETAofSTL members


At our Welcome Back meeting for ETA of STL, the Education Technology Association of St. Louis, we asked our members what is happening in their districts and what topics they would like us to cover at ETA meetings this year. Above is an AnswerGarden of their responses.

In thinking about how technology integration can transform learning, SAMR (Substitution, Augmentation, Modification and Redefinition) is a big topic to kick off the school year, and one that my Academy has been using to frame our technology pd. Many ETA member districts participated in a summer #METCpd SAMR institute sponsored by Edplus.  They brought in Dr. Ruben Puentedura, who developed the framework. They will also be partnering with the Clayton School District to offer a free SAMR unconference on Saturday, Sept. 9.

STEAM & MakerEd continue to be big topics in the region as well. Mehlville School District opened MOSAIC this year, a new school of innovation for elementary students, and Ferguson-Florissant has a new middle school STEAM Academy. South Technical High School has a new makerspace this year, which we hope to be visiting at a future ETA meeting. For those looking for professional development in this area, you might check out the year-long STEM Academy or the new MakerEd Academy being offered by Edplus.

Chromebooks seem to be the 1:1 device of choice in area, with many districts rolling out new or additional Chromebooks including a K-12 program for Winfield, 1:1 Chromebooks at North Technical High School, and Rockwood District rolling out Chromebooks to 6-9 this year. In Ferguson-Florissant the STEAM students are 1:1 with new Dell touch screen fold-able Chomebooks.

Digital Citizenship and related topics are also in focus this year. Our next ETA meeting on September 20 at Hancock Place will be centered around Digital Citizenship, Digital Footprint, and Student Data Privacy. Educators may want to follow the lead of Orchard Farm School District, who is hosting a  Teen Digital Citizenship day for their students October 13. METC’s middle school summit on digital citizenship is Sept 21, and Oct 6 is DigCit Day: Moving Beyond Internet Safety .

As always ETA members are looking for innovative and “new big ideas.” I’m excited to join Tierney Brother’s free STL Tech Tour on October 24. If you are interested in joining in, you should contact Dawn Shuler (

It’s sure to be another busy year in #STL #edtech, but we hope you will take time out each month to join us for my favorite local #PLN: ETA of STL.


#FutureReadyLibs #BlogChallenge Week 2: Curation/Strategic investment in Digital Resources


image courtesy of & Samantha Mendenhall

According to the Future Ready Librarians Framework, the librarian “leads in the selection, integration, organization, and sharing of digital resources and tools to support transformational teaching and learning and develop the digital creation skills of others [and] leverages an understanding of school and community needs to identify and invest in digital resources to support student learning.”

To me, our role as librarians is as “Curator-in-Chief.” I want to the person in my building who is most knowledgeable about what resources are out there to support students learning. I may not “know everything,” but like references librarians before me, I want to be the go-to person who can help you find the resources you need.

As much of the content shifts from print to digital resources, this role as Curator-in-Chief becomes more challenging and the need for good curation becomes even more vital. As the #GoOpen movement has gained traction, openly licensed educational resources (OER) may begin to replace pay content, and schools want to be positioned to make the best decisions possible in terms of investing in digital content. If you want to learn more about OER and how librarians can lead the way with this movement, you should check out Shannon McClintock Miller’s blog post, Future Ready Librarians Hold The Key To #GoOpen & OER…Here’s One Idea For Curating and Sharing These Too!

For more info about this wedge of the Future Ready Librarians framework, also check out this padlet created by Linda Dougherty, who has been a mentor to me in the area of curation.

One of the most interesting aspects of having so much information at our fingertips is that students have the opportunity to work with real data and make observations in real time from across the globe. Crowd-sourcing of scientific discovery is fascinating to me. I love listening to the BBC World Service podcast Crowd Science each week, where they “take your questions about life, Earth and the universe to researchers hunting for answers at the frontiers of knowledge.” You should definitely give it a listen!

So,  are Open Education Resources included in your collection development plan? How are you as the  librarian involved in the district planning for digital resources? Does your selection and reconsideration policy include collection development information and processes addressing digital resources and tools?

I’d love to see your answers to these questions and more!

Please join in on the conversations by posting your own blog responses and by joining the Future Ready Librarians Facebook group, where a new weekly blog challenge will be posted every Wed. through May 24.

Started by Dr. Kristen Mattson, the FRL Facebook group has over 4,500 members and growing and “seeks to support K-12 Future Ready Librarians as they support administrators, teachers, staff and students in Future Ready Schools.” You can also join in the conversation on Twitter through the hashtag #FutureReadyLibs and subscribe to/join my FutureReadyLibs Twitter list.