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Friday, 9 November 2018

Conferencia Bibliotecas Públicas 2018

Today a group of our student makers and librarians had the great honour of presenting at the Public Library Conference, which is taking place at the National Theatre in downtown San Salvador this week.

This conference runs over several days and brings together librarians from all over the country to engage in important discussions and share ideas.

Our presentation was a bit longer than we anticipated, but we were able to pack in everything we had planned on sharing.  We spoke first to the group about free,  innovation tools that everyone can access and use to document, promote and engage in creative, innovative design work in their libraries. We spoke about the various projects that run through LRC, including support of school activities and events, theme weeks and department liaisons.  We also took the opportunity to offer useful tips, and a resource bank for those interested in building creative initiatives in their institutions.

The highlight of the presentation however, for much of the audience and for us as members of staff, came about halfway through when  our students stood up to speak about their social impact projects. The audience was blown away by the thought and initiative that students employed in designing and implementing their projects. They were decidedly impressed, just as we are, by the dedication and passion they demonstrated about their work supporting the  UN SDGs.   This is the second time the students have presented this work, the first being the recent Library 2.0 Social Crisis online conference.

It is truly inspiring to work with these students as they actively search out opportunities, invest heavily of their time and effort, and engage themselves both emotionally and academically in the practical implementation of their school values, in their quests to think globally and act locally.

Here is the link to the photos on Flickr including a short tutorial for attendees on how to build plastic bag sleeping mats for the homeless. 

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Library 2.018: Social Crisis Management in a 21st Century World Online Conference

Today we were privileged to present alongside our wonderful students at the Library 2.018: Social Crisis Management in a 21st Century World online conference. This is just one of the many conferences hosted by Library 2.0 and its global network of educators and librarians. Each year the LRC staff members participate as presenters in a minimum of one Library 2.0 conference per year. We also regularly present and attend conferences nationally and internationally, online and in person, because we believe in the value of sharing ideas and learning together as a collaborative global community.

This particular session however is definitely one of the most exciting ones we have every done. This session was presented not only by LRC Staff members, but by a selection of our students, who work every day to make a difference in their community and other communities around the country. 

There is little akin to the satisfaction gained in observing your students share their innovation  projects and discuss the personal and social importance of the initiatives they are passionate about. 

At 2:20 Wednesday afternoon we all piled into the recording studio and began rotating through all of our presenters young and not so young.  

 The session lasted just under 30 minutes and  is now available online if you would like to listen in as the kids share the ways in which  they are making a difference locally,  with an actual global audience of educators and interested parties.

This is the link to the recording in case you get a chance.
(Apologies in advance to native Spanish speakers for my special Spanish introduction. I promise that once you get into the main presentation you will be glad you did.)

 I can't say enough about how proud we are of our students, their projects, their passion for positive change and the way the handled themselves today.

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Continued Community Outreach

It always catches me off guard when other educational professionals tell me that our learning resources centre is the model for other schools in El Salvador.  It seems a bit over the top and makes me a little uncomfortable for various reasons. This isn't because I doubt the impact that our centre has on our community nor do I doubt the cutting edge education practices that take place there every day. I have experienced what visionary thinking based on sound educational research and practice can do, when the right balance of technologies and resources are brought together with motivated practitioners and sufficient financial and academic support. This discomfort is likely a direct result of this question-Why aren't there more LRCs around? Yes funding is one of the main drivers in building a massive initiative, but there is plenty of scope in other institutions to  rearrange and redesign based current beliefs about learning spaces and practices. These don't  cost and arm and a leg, but rather in time and dedication of professional teams of innovative risk takers.

Over the years, it has become commonplace to see hosted groups of administrators, teachers and librarians as well as students of these disciplines touring the facilities. Using technology we have been able to further expand these tours and engage in discussions and shared practices as far away as Malaysia and up and down the Americas.  These are always meaningful reciprocal learning experiences for everyone involved. We look forward to them and always come away with that greater sense of community and the satisfaction that accompanies the sharing of ideas and practices by like minded educators.

Last Thursday we were awarded the enormous privileges of hosting a class of student librarians at the Universidad de Costa Rica.  We hosted the class via Google Hangouts, using our various cell phones and one laptop. This technique worked really well as we were all able to not only converse with the group but also tour them around the facilities and in doing so pop in and out of the conversation as it developed.  We spent an hour and a half with this class,  during this time we shared ideas for the development of learning resources centres, special projects, and purchasing ideas for equipment and resource. We shared the way we organised our print library as well as the virtual library and its functions finishing up with a complete tour of the facilities as well. The beauty of this type of meetup is natural flow of conversation punctuated by concrete examples and poignant Q and A.

The professor  in charge wrote to us the following day to thank us for coming into her classroom the evening before and working with her students. We in turn were thankful for the opportunity to do so. There is so much scope for work like this. It costs next to nothing to beam a group in via the internet and collaborate. We do it with our students in lessons, why shouldn't we collaborate through web conferences with other institutions as well. All it takes is a few people who are not afraid of taking a risk and are willing to use the technology most of us carry around as if it were an additional appendage.

We would be thrilled to hold more of these virtual meetups in future. We'll keep the updates coming.

Jen and the Librarians

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Guest Post: 6th Grade Induction

By one of our wonderful librarians, Hilda Gomez

English  Version

This year,  once again the librarians held a special 6th grade induction activity as we welcomed our new arrivals in the senor school. During the session we shared the many resources and services that the LRC offers as we do our best to to provide enriching learning experiences for our users, both in  and outside of lessons. One of the innovations we were excited to share this school year was our new collection of ebooks, online magazines and audiobooks.

After the presentation the students took part in an exciting game of Kahoot! Kahoot is an online platform for creating learning games which the kids really love. Using Kahoot, students and teachers can  participate in and run games using computer or mobile devices. In this case we used iPads. We ran this game, the purpose of which was to motivate the students to make use of the great variety of resources available to them through the LRC, as a tribal (house or homeroom) competition.  They showed great interest enjoyment of their first LRC experience, which we believe prepared them for further exciting experiences in the LRC with their English classes.

 Spanish Version
Este año, nuevamente, realizamos la inducción de 6th grado, dándoles la más cordial bienvenida de parte del equipo del LRC. Durante la sesión se mostraron todo los recursos y servicios con los que cuenta el Centro de Recursos para el Aprendizaje para así brindar un servicio integral a los usuarios y enriquecer sus experiencias de aprendizaje, dentro y fuera de clases, como alumnos. Una de las innovaciones de este año escolar es la gran variedad de nuevos ebooks, revistas en línea y audiolibros disponibles. 

Luego de esta presentación los alumnos disfrutaron de un juego dinámico de Kahoot, el cual es una plataforma de juegos interactivos, personalizado en línea. El juego consiste en responder en equipos preguntas relacionadas a la presentación que se dio, utilizando dispositivos móviles, en este caso iPads. Fue una competencia que los motivó a hacer uso de la gran variedad de recursos y visitar el LRC. Demostraron un gran interés y participación, y se prepararon en anticipación para las las siguientes sesiones que tomarán lugar en las próximas semanas.

Sunday, 22 July 2018

The End of ABCICT and New Beginnings

Wikispaces is closing down this summer after generously providing free wikis to teachers around the world for many years. It was our go-to service and we used it extensively over the past 10 years to host our teaching and learning websites. Our greatest resource was ABCICT. It is with a heavy heart that we say goodbye to the repository of teaching and learning which we built as a team during the past decade.

As a chapter closes a new one usually begins and this is definitely not the end of the story for us. We have now rebuilt our resources using New Google Sites and linked all other sites too it.  This new site includes all of our most successful and updated lessons. We have christened it The ICTree!

We invite you to visit this site and hope that some of the work and lessons we share with the World will continue to be of use to teachers and students from around the globe.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Libraries in the Cloud and Makerspaces Workshop

Libraries around the world are turning into dynamic innovative places,
that motivate communities to create, innovate and learn.

On Saturday May 26th, 2018 the LRC team hosted a series of short workshops entitled
Libraries in the Cloud and Practical Applications for Makerspaces.
Participants included teachers, librarians and interested individuals from around
the country.

This initiative was one of many activities that took place during the celebration of
Salvadoran Librarian week, during the 60th Anniversary of Contributing to the
Development of Information Professionals: Globally United as Agents of Change.

Various sessions were offered as morning workshop:
Google Drive and Sites, Virtual Reality and 360 degree Tours with Google
Cardboard, Expeditions, Panoform y 360 degree Cameras, Makerspaces,
Drones, and 3D Design and Printing amongst others.

The excitement and active learning were palpable as participants moved from
one activity to the next. Each one of them left the workshops with several exciting
new ideas for their own institution as well as implementation strategies.  

The excitement isn’t over yet. Participants have kept the discussion going through our
ABES Google Classroom, where 3D models and other ideas are still being uploaded.

It is truly a pleasure to work with such motivated individuals as we work together as educators to share ideas, best practice and inspiration.  

You can view media from the workshops here.

Hilda Gomez and Jennifer Garcia

Friday, 16 March 2018

STEAM Fest 2018


The event is open to students across Primary and Secondary and also includes winning projects from the 6th and 7th grade Science Fair. Special guests including schools and organisations around the country also attend as part of the STEAM Fest community outreach initiative. 

This year schools from as far away as Morazan and La Union are taking part along with schools from Santa Tecla and San Salvador.

The festivities kicked off at 7:30 this morning and ran until 12:20 pm. An innovative go-kart project was introduced this year. At 10:30 the access ramp next to the large pool was closed off and the races began.

The entire STEAM Fest event was streamed live on the ABC Facebook page.
 If you were unable to catch the live streams you can also them from the Facebook page. 

Here are a few pictures from Thursday evening when the STEAM Team and
Crew set up the Auditorium with the help of our wonderful maintenance people.

Click here to view all the media from the event.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Sustainability Project 2018

We have recently finished running our 7th-grade sustainability project in which the students research sustainable farming, design and build actual vertical gardens as well as automated MinecraftEdu gardens.

I am sharing two video walkthroughs below with more to come soon in our latest LRC playlist on Youtube.

We hope you enjoy the videos. Here is the link this unit as well as our collection of ABCICT lessons which have been developed over the past 10 years.

Here are some images from certain activities in the project!