Category Archives: Professional Development and Making a Difference

Tips for using Youtube #edchat

Check out Richard Byrne’s breakdown of Youtube’s features like search, playlists and channels, creating videos, privacy settings, and organization strategies.

“Youtube: It’s Not Just Cats and Khan Academy” – Richard Byrne


Genre-fication of Fiction


Mrs. Readerpants’ genre-fied library

This year’s plan is to genre-fy the fiction section!  The goal is to make it easier for students to find books they will love by genre: Each shelf will be labelled with a genre and color-coded spine labels for easy browsing.  Oftentimes students do not easily recognize authors, even of books they love, so the way the fiction section is organized by author’s last name is outdated and clunky for kids to use.

Mrs. Readerpants, one of my favorite school library blogs, nicely outlines the process of genre-fying and answers every question imaginable about the process.

Looking forward to starting this project at Loyola School this spring!

Coding in Our Schools


Thank you Education Week for bringing the computer science controversy to light in your current issue.  The article titled “Computer Science: Not Just an Elective Anymore” is a follow-up to’s recent “Hour of Code” in which more than twenty million students participated in learning to code using’s list of online tutorials.  The field of computer science is one of the fastest growing career fields with a projected 1.4 million job openings by 2020 that will only have approximately 400,000 potential qualified employees to fill those positions.

This is the second year I have been teaching intro to computer programming as part of the freshman-required Computing Technology course at Loyola School.  I love–I use the video featuring big names like Mark Zuckerberg and Chris Bosh to introduce this unit, which sparks interest in those students who had never dreamed of learning to code.  It’s been a success so far; I am hoping to expand it to an after-school club for those who are hooked on coding.

And guess what?  I’m not a computer programmer.  I’m learning while I teach.

Do I believe that computer science courses should be a substitute for language requirements in high school, like Texas?  Absolutely not.  Learning a foreign language helps students become more global, just like computer science.  My question is: why do we have to choose?  Let’s have our cake and eat it, too!

The Top 10 Library Stories of 2013

The Top 10 Library Stories of 2013

I apologize for being out of touch with this blog for so long, but life at Loyola got away from me for awhile.  Now that it’s 2014, my resolution is to get back on track.  Here’s an article that sums up the milestones of 2013–all the news and comments that I should have made.