Your Alternative Hours

If you’ve already established your mentor school placement, now it is time to consider your 30 hours at an alternative level. Is there a school that you can visit throughout the semester where you can observe, learn, and reflect? Are there activities you can attend in order to gain a greater understanding of working in different grade level programs? Here are some ways in which you can fulfill your 30 hour requirement:

  • Plan to visit a school (or several schools) at another level in order to consider the ways in which elementary and secondary levels are both similar and different. How are these libraries organized differently in order to meet the needs of their communities?
    • While at the school you may want to ask the librarian for a tour of the school and have a discussion about school policies, philosophy, and rules.
    • Ask what practices in library management, organization, and teaching have been most effective.
    • Assist in long-term and short-term project and lesson planning. Offer to help curate sources for an upcoming research project or interview students about their favorite genres. Offering service to the library will get you involved in the culture of the library and it will also benefit the library you are visiting. 
  • Attend professional development activities relevant for librarians at a variety of grade levels. Do the librarians in your district meet for vertical planning? Is there a technology, library, or education conference you can attend? EdCamp? Google event? Twitter chat? Webinar? Author expo? Be creative and take these opportunities to meet other librarians and learn from them. A lot of these events take place in the afternoons, evenings, and on weekends.
  • If you are working at a school, consider hosting a regional school library round table for a day. You can work with the NHSLMA to promote it and Pam Harland at PSU can help you to facilitate the event.

Your practicum is a culminating activity in your certification process. Be creative in how you learn from this opportunity.

Fall Classes

fall classesAre you looking for online graduate classes in Library Media and Technology Integration? Check out the classes available this fall in Plymouth State’s innovative and nationally recognized programs:

LM/CE 5010 Leadership & Management, Pam Harland

LM 5020 Cataloging & Curation, Pam Harland

LM 5030 Resource Selection & Instruction, Donna Zecha

LM/CE 5040 Technology & Innovation, Pam Carr

CE 5120 Integrating Digital Technology into CCSS, Kiley Kapp

LM 5300 Advanced Children’s & YA Literature, Anita Cellucci

Click Here to Register Now!


For more information about the LM or ETI Programs, please contact:

Pam Harland
Program Coordinator
Plymouth State University, Department of Educational Leadership
pcharland(at) | @pamlibrarian

What Does an Online Course Look Like at PSU?

Whether you are taking a library media class or a research design class, PSU uses Moodle to collect, organize, and deliver courses to students. Watch this video or read on to find out more information about online classes at Plymouth State.

Once you register for an online class, you will log into your MyPlymouth account and select the tab that says “myCourses” at the top of the green bar.

Your course will appear in the box called “Courses I’m Enrolled In.” When your course title is black, it is not yet open. A week or so before your course start date, the course title will turn blue indicating it is open.

When you click on an open course title, the link will open the course Moodle. Each course has a syllabus, a section for announcements from your instructors, and a place to pose course questions. Every course at PSU is different, but the Library Media and Technology Integration courses are all set up similarly.

Each week there will be videos to watch, articles to read, and links to review as well as a discussion prompt. After doing the viewings, readings, and reviewing all materials for the week, you will compose a response to the discussion prompt and add it to the discussion dialog for that week. You will also read through your colleagues’ discussions and reply to two of them.

You may have additional assignments, projects, activities to complete depending on the course.

You will need a digital device like a laptop, computer, or iPad. Other than that, you do not need additional software, hardware, or subscriptions. We provide you with everything you need. In fact, most of our classes do not even require you to purchase a textbook. We generally use Open Educational Resources (OERs). OERs are instructional resources created and shared in ways so that more people have access to them. That’s a different model than traditionally-copyrighted materials.



Your ePortfolio

ePortfolioIn the LMS and ETI programs we are helping you to develop into innovative, passionate, and competent professionals. Your ePortfolio is one of the main tools to demonstrate your competency as a professional. We want you to use your ePortfolio to show off your professional successes using authentic examples of work that showcase your achievement and passions.

Plymouth State provides every student with a Mahara account. I encourage you to evaluate several ePortfolio tools and choose the one that is best for you. We encourage you make this ePortfolio a valuable resource moving forward: not simply a checkbox on your diploma planning guide. How can your ePortfolio represent you and all your have learned? Here are some suggestions:

Be Creative
In order to share your passion your ePortfolio needs your personal touch. You may want to use a different tool (check out this list of possible ePortfolio tools). Customize your colors, pictures, and layout.

Use Interesting Evidence
Find work that demonstrates what you are good at and what you care about as an educator. Throughout your program you will receive suggestions from your instructors on what to include in your portfolio, but they are simply suggestions. This is your ePortfolio. We want you to choose how you demonstrate your competence. Show us what you know by sharing videos, lesson plans, tweets, projects, photographs, illustrations, booklists, notes from students, papers your have written. The sky is the limit. Actually, there is no limit!

Try a Different Tool
The frustrating part of Mahara is when you leave Plymouth you will no longer have access to making updates to your ePortfolio. You don’t have to use Mahara! Check out this list of ePortfolio tools (most have a free option for educators).  I use VisualCV as my professional ePortfolio.

Make it Relevant
It’s important to me that your ePortfolio remain a vital part of your professional career. You will continue to learn and will want a place to share your successes and reflections on your learning process. An ePortfolio is a crucial tool to assist you in sharing your professional accomplishments with an authentic audience. Think of it as a digital resume!

Align it to the Standards
If you are in the Library Media program use the five AASL Standards for Initial Preparation of School Librarians:

  1. Teaching for Learning
  2. Literacy and Reading
  3. Information and Knowledge
  4. Advocacy and Leadership
  5. Program Management and Administration

If you are in the Technology Integrator program use the 6 ISTE Coaching Standards:

  1. Visionary Leadership
  2. Teaching, Learning, and Assessments
  3. Digital Age Learning Environments
  4. Professional Development and Program Evaluation
  5. Digital Citizenship
  6. Content Knowledge and Professional Growth

Take the Class
Register for CE 5140 ePortfolio Development and Assessment – where we will help you to set up your own professional ePortfolio. Library Media and Ed Tech Integrator candidates should all take this course. Let me know if you have questions about our ePortfolio requirements.

Contact: Pam Harland




Register Now for Library Courses

You can register now for summer and fall classes. [Click here to register!]


Summer Library Courses: June 26 – Aug 18
LM 5010 Learning Resources Centers & Services
LM 5040 Integrating Technology in the Schools
LM 5300 Advanced Children’s & YA Literature

Fall 1 Library Courses: Sept 5 – Oct 27
LM 5030 Reference & Research

Fall 2 Library Courses: Oct 30 – Dec 22
LM 5020 Cataloging & Curation
LM 5040 Integrating Technology in the Schools

Fall Full Semester Courses: Sept 5 – Dec 22
LM 5001 Foundations of Library Leadership I (contact me if interested in this new library leadership Master’s program)
LM 5210 Library Practicum (Permission Only)

Spring course list coming soon!


Building Your LMS Resume

resumeIt is that time of the year when we start to see job postings for next year. Here is some information for building the resume that will get the attention of any administrator:

Keep it Simple
When I read through resumes, I initially skim them looking to see if the applicant meets the job requirements. Start off with education and certification so the people reviewing your resume do not have to search.

MEd, Plymouth State University, 2016 (or “expected graduation May 20, 2017”)
Library Media Specialist and Education Technology Integrator

Library Media Specialist (0036) and Education Technology Integrator (0350)
Originally Issued: 6/1/2017 Expires: 6/30/2020 (or “expected 6/1/2017”)

Keep it Short
Resume reviewers prefer a single page document unless you have something important that will add value to this position. Have you published an article? Are you a photographer? Have you lead professional development? Does your previous career provide evidence of what a wonderful school librarian you will make? Are you a member of relevant professional associations? Do you have additional trainings or certifications? If so, it’s ok to go onto page two.

Additional Training:
Intel Teach to the Future Master Teacher, 2015.
Seacoast Professional Development Center, Exeter, NH.

Google Certified Educator Level 2, 2016.
Sanborn Regional School District, Kingston, NH.

Professional Associations:
New Hampshire School Library Media Association

New Hampshire Society for Technology in Education

American Association of School Librarians

American Library Association

Association for Supervision and Curriculum

Relevant Experience:
Here is where you can start talking about your experience as a librarian. Be sure to include an entry for your practicum and what you accomplished during your time. If you have worked in libraries be sure to include details of your experience. When possible, add the impact you have had on your school as well as the actual skills and experience you demonstrate.

Library Media Specialist
Hampton Academy, Hampton, NH. 2005-2010.
Provided a shared environment in which faculty and students became effective users of information.
* Automated the district libraries and established an online presence for resource sharing.
* Integrated information technology through collaboration and professional development.
* Created a positive culture of readers which lead to an increase in test scores.
* Managed library volunteers, a multi-faceted budget, the physical facilities, licensing and contract negotiations.

Library Media Specialist Practicum
Bakie School, Kingston, NH. 2005
Worked with my mentor librarian at the Bakie School for 90 hours gaining valuable experience managing a library and providing information literacy instruction to the K-5 students.
* Developed curated resources for projects across the curriculum using digital tools.
* Collaborated with 4th grade teachers on adding an audio-visual component to the Immigration Project.
* Created a “Best Practices for Chromebooks” program for all faculty.
* Earned my Google Certified Educator, Level 2 by helping with and attending district PD.
* Genrefied the Fiction collection to make it more student-centered and easily accessible.

Teaching Experience
If you are an experienced teacher, highlight your work as a collaborator, a technology integrator, a presenter, coach, and leader. Include professional development trainings you have given. Highlight collaborative projects that had an impact on student and teacher learning. Illustrate your leadership experience by detailing activities and initiatives. Share evidence you have collected that demonstrates how you’ve met goals.

English Teacher
Sanborn Regional High School, Kingston, NH 2000-2005.
Transformed the English curriculum in Freshmen classes by developing an inclusive project-based learning program.
* Collaborated with my PLC on transforming the Freshmen Learning Community into an award-winning center of integrated instruction.
* Through the reader/writer workshop model student reading scores increased two grade levels.
* Coached all new teachers on the use of Google Classroom.
* Served as Team Leader for NEASC Accreditation.

Future Ready
Include a heading under your library/teaching experience entry about your readiness, ability, and desire to move the library into the future. Administrators are no longer looking for policy enforcers in the Library Media role. They want to see that your priorities are their priorities. How will you positively impact student learning at their school? Think about your elevator speech. Why do we need school librarians today when we have 1:1 Chromebooks, access to the Internet, and tech-savvy teachers? Include this statement in your cover letter. In fact, start your cover letter with your pitch:

Successful schools need a future ready school library in order to build successful students. 

Ask for Advice
Share your resume with your mentor, your Program Coordinator (ME!!), and other colleagues. Ask for input!

Good luck and keep in touch!

From Plymouth to Zambia

a guest post by Jill Canillas Daley, Plymouth LMS Program

Jill Canillas Daley

In an unlikely series of events, the universe conspired to send me to Zambia Africa.

I was speaking with a friend and co-worker about an upcoming trip to Lusaka Zambia that my daughter would be going on to support a troupe called Circus Zambia. Circus Zambia had spent a large portion of the summer in the Upper Valley and my daughter and myself spent some time tutoring them. My daughter was heading over for 2 weeks to assist with the opening of their newly purchased Circus school.  While chatting with my friend, I opened my email and on the NHSLMA listserv, was a job opening for an Librarian at the American International School (AISL) in Lusaka Zambia. I was shaken as I do not recall seeing overseas jobs on the listserv before, and this hit quite close to home. I immediately contacted Pam Harland, as she was the person whom had posted the email. Pam and I had served on the NHSLMA Board and stayed connected via social media and her new position at PSU. She asked if I knew Dr. Kiley Kapp because Kiley had asked Pam to post the position. The world shrank a bit as I did know Dr. Kapp. She has been my professor at PSU the prior semester for Technology Integration in the Common Core and we had kept in touch via social media as well. In fact for part of that class, I submitted a piece of student work that was a 5th grade class Genius Hour project educating students to the plight of Zambian children obtaining an education. This GH project was driven by the students and they raised, with assistance from the foundation Positive Tracks, over $3000.00 to support Circus Zambia in getting their circus school started.

When I contacted Kiley, she stated if she had known I was interested, she would have addressed me directly. She was ecstatic and said I would be perfect for the job. The Director of the school is her friend and neighbor and she offered to immediately write me a letter of recommendation. After that, things began to move rapidly and eventually I was offered a one year contract at AISL as the primary school librarian for the 2017-2018 year.

AISL Library in Zambia

PSU is not only my source for completing my Master’s Degree, it has been a stronghold of support and connections. I have become friends with many people that either attend or teach at PSU, and online courses make it easy to stay connected and assist one another. The encouragement I received to take a risk and apply for the job was a confidence booster that pushed me forward. I love the Graduate Program which understands that the students are adults with complex lives and PSU supports that with flexibility. I look forward to continuing the pending adventure via social networking with my PSU friends.

Jill Canillas Daley, the Noisy Librarian
Follow her adventures on Twitter

Student Learning Projects

Student Learning ProjectsLibrarians and Tech Integrators are great at collecting data: circulation checkouts, database use, Chromebooks per student, number of patrons walking into the library, etc. But how valuable is this information? This kind of data has little to do with our students learning to evaluate sources, understand content, gather evidence to support a claim, and ask good questions.

I ask you to reconsider how to collect data about your program. We all need to ask ourselves:

  • How does my work make a difference in improving teaching and learning?
  • What is my value to the learning culture?
  • How might I use evidence to improve my practice and enhance learning?

When you develop your Student Learning Project during your field experience, you will be coming up with inventive ways to measure those questions.

Start with a Lesson Plan Template Tool
There is a value in different lesson plan template tools. The one you pick will help you stay focused and on task as your plan your Student Learning Project. Try out the STEM Inquiry Lesson Template from the OER Commons.

Choose Your Standards
Focus on 3 standards. It’s overwhelming when faced with the Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, C3 Social Studies Framework, ISTE Standards for Students, and National School Library Standards.

Nail Down Student Learning Objectives
What is it that you want students to know and be able to do when they complete the unit? Be specific and make sure these are measurable. Consider the diverse student populations in your classes and how you will meet their needs, too.

Develop Pre-Assessments
How will you know if your students actually learned what you are trying to teach if you don’t start off with some data? Think of creative ways to gather this data about your students. It doesn’t have to be a test or a quiz. Read this excellent blog post called 10 Creative Pre-Assessment Ideas You May Not Know by Angela Stockman. Once you have a pre-assessment, you can deliver it at any time and analyze that data. Do you notice any trends?

Prepare your actual lessons. Test your technology tools. Do you need any assistive technologies for your students? Talk to your collaborative partner about who is going to do what. I’m not recommending a rehearsal, but it’s great to know which content you were planning on delivering before you stumble over each other in front of students.

While you are teaching, ask your teaching partner to video a presentation. You can use this to submit as your video demonstration of teaching.

This is your final project for your students. They will complete their projects, create their masterpieces, or share their knowledge in an inventive way. How will you measure whether they met the goals you set for them? Did they learn what you thought they would? Gather your rubrics, review your data, and analyze. How does it compare to the pre-assessment?

“We don’t learn from experience… we learn by reflecting on experience” John Dewey. I know! Another John Dewey quote, but this is so important. Sit down and write a reflection on your student learning project. What went well? What needs improvement for next time? How can you use the data you found to improve your teaching practice? Be honest. Be thoughtful. Look at student work and think about how you could have done something differently.

Let me know if you have questions about your student learning project. The detailed description and rubric is in your Moodle. Now go forth and teach!

Creating a Rich Field Experience

Whether you are working on a teaching internship or a practicum we want your on-site experience to serve as your culminating project in your program. Either experience will help you to develop competencies in teaching, classroom management, resource assessment, budgeting, collaboration, and technology integration. Our Education Technology Integrators usually take the teaching internship, focusing their days on teaching, planning, collaborating, and integrating technology across the curriculum. Our School Library Media candidates usually take the practicum in which they observe and document what a variety of school librarians do each day. Both options have plenty of crossover and a rich field experience means doing a variety of other learning opportunities.

I have found the more well-rounded the experience, the more fulfilling the internship or practicum is for the candidate. Consider adding some of these activities to your field experience:

Professional Development at a Variety of Levels
You may want to attend a PD meeting at your elementary, middle, or high school to see the differences. Think about how grading, classroom management, and teaching varies for different ages. The next time you attend a conference or workshop check out the other grade level teachers. I know I usually stick to my high school colleagues, but there is a lot to learn across the grades (and a great way to log some hours at an alternative level).

Planning with Your Mentor
I have so many wonderful experiences working with candidates on their planning skills. For instance, when you are trying to schedule meetings with your mentor, set up a Google Calendar and a Doodle Poll to establish times. While you are at it, you may want to research several digital To-Do lists and choose one to keep track of your tasks. This may be the time to develop a mind-map of your learning process over the course of the field experience. Test some different mind-mapping tools and gain some insight into how to progress this semester and into the coming year. Be sure to log any hours spent researching, assessing, evaluating, choosing, and learning new technology tools.

Planning for Instruction
Now that you have developed an effective plan for your field experience, let’s do some instructional planning. The ETI and LMS programs have a subscription for you to learn how to use LibGuides before you consider purchasing it for your own program. If you do not already have access you can request an account from Pam Harland. Spend some time curating resources for an upcoming student project at your school. Use LibGuides or another digital curation tool to bring vetted information sources together for your students. Can you find primary sources? Open educational sources? Fiction and informational texts that pair together? Readings at a variety of levels?

Plymouth also has a subscription to a Destiny test site. If you haven’t administered a relational  database of patrons and items you may want to try it out. This is your opportunity to test self checkout modules, reports for missing items, global changes, or other seldom used tools in the database. The help tools in Destiny are incredible and walk you through many options. Be sure to log your hours watching the tutorials and testing the system.

Now is a great time to read across grade levels, content areas, and genres. Read articles, journals, novels, and picture books. Delve deep into a topic you have always wanted to learn about. Create a Review of the Literature on a topic and add it to your ePortfolio as a sample of your scholarly writing abilities. While you are at it, log all of your hours reading and writing.

Since we mentioned it, this is a great opportunity to write. Start your blog. Tweet every day. Get in the practice of reflecting on and sharing what you learn. You may think you are not experienced enough to share your thoughts, but there are thousands of people who want to hear from you. Trust me! Consider submitting a book review or a project you have developed. I would be honored if you would write for this blog. Let me know and log those hours!

Now is the time to develop your professional portfolio that you will continue to use and reflect on for years to come. Choose a tool and start adding your Mahara documents into your Google Site, VisualCV, or other free site. You will not regret that decision and you can link your updated ePortfolio to your resume as you begin applying for jobs.

We want you to have a rich and fulfilling experience during your internship or practicum so you are better prepared for your career.