Category Archives: Privacy and Safety

1Password one great solution for million reason$

Capture1PASSWI don’t typically endorse or even rave about any application, software or company  ( I’ve been known to rant some) but with the recent security worries a tool to manage your numerous accounts and improve your protection has to be a good thing.

It isn’t free. Maybe you can find something but I prefer the integrity and integration this CANADIAN company provides. I bought a 1Password for multiple platforms and the iOS app because I’m online for personal and work reasons on multiple machines and devices and as a librarian frequently use accounts and online purchases. I can pop from work PC to iPad to my iPhone and back home to my iMac and back and have my accounts and passwords- old and new sync safely. It took me awhile to clean up my accounts and reload them but AgileBits browser extensions make it pretty elegant.  Your can manage multiple profiles, enter text, logins, credit cards….

1Password is a comprehensive package and Agilebits offers other products and purchase options.


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Filed under Announcements, Helpful Material, Privacy and Safety

To blog or not blog- that is a question, not the question

Should educators and students blog?  I’ve been an advocate of blogging for years.  I don’t consider myself an expert or even a proficient writer. I’m a librarian who could teach English not an English teacher or a Creative Writing instructor or even a Journalism coach; however, I do coach many others in the mechanics and the experience of blogging and social media platforms.  Blogs can serve educators in many ways. From personal journals to editorials and of course publishing tools for teaching strategies.  One superintendent I follow, Culture of Yes,  is not just a good writer but a thinker.  His community is stronger by his sharing. He does take a risk- a political risk of opinions, etc. but he also builds consensus and can motivate change.

There are pitfalls.  I’ve made my share.  One issue for me is finding the boundary of personal and occupational.  Here I write as a professional teacher-librarian from the KSS Learning Commons.  I’m modeling for a colleague.  I will cross-post on my own blog( a no no ) to make a point of how roles can get blurry.  This IS VERY IMPORTANT.  Not just for circulation but for integrity.  Our students- especially journalism students need to discuss and study this new digital publishing reality.  Whether it’s Facebook posts, Linked in resumes, or Pinterest albums, protecting integrity and privacy while sharing is important.

I don’t think we should avoid writing in the public sphere because there is risk.   We need to manage the risks and learn. Improve. Teach. Share. Learn some more. Isn’t all in the interest of communication? I think blogging has virtue because it provides greater scope and a timeline for writing quality not found in brief, fast tweets or updates. Teachers of English, Journalism, Social Studies, Sciences, heck everyone….can use blogs to enrich their classroom learning experience.  Even our Library is a stronger place with avenues to engage beyond the shelves.  This is the power of our age.

– Al Smith

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Filed under Education, Personal Learning Network, Privacy and Safety, Professional Development, Teacher Professional

A Day in the Life -learning commons resources, services and joy

KSS Today was another crazy and productive day at KSS Library. Even when our bookings are at half capacity today, we were smoking busy engaging students, supporting student inquiry and many other assorted tasks frequently observed in our school library. The new hip title of learning commons certainly applies. Although this activity doesn’t come without trials and the need for balancing parton interests, we find ways to deliver value added service. What do we mean?

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Value added means to us that simply finding a book or web service that has the appropriate educational content is only part of the goal. We strive to help integrate these resources into meaningful personalized learning. We coach our students ( and teachers ) through discussions to read the content and probe personal inquiry. What are your tasks? Goals? What information or skill is needed? Sometimes it is simply providing materials and a place to construct a huge display board. Other times it requires deeper questioning into the concepts. This style of service takes time and personal attention. Thankfully our Library is staffed and supported by admin and faculty at a level that provides the opportunity to try- often we succeed. Sometimes our learning commons is an access point to start research or reading. Other times it requires acts of discipline to rain in teaming social noise of the teens in order to provide a common quieter place of reflection. As a rule, we fail in creating a very quiet place but our attempts to serve 1800 teens and the larger school community does produce noise. Thankfully the sound of learning is often the result. KSS students engage in some pretty amazing ways and we are witness to some fascinating activity. The teachers and students of KSS deserve value added service from their teacher-librarians but it takes a village to make it all work in a crowded commons area. The sage on the stage is seldom found here.

Here is just a small but interesting highlights.

  • administrator needs help with integrating video into their powerpoint
  • retired teacher visits to get a document converted and prepped for a print shop gift
  • volleyball director visits to get photos assembled for an BC Championships banquet
  • student needs to solve audio setup for a presentation in the gym
  • Socials class needs instruction on how to build an 1885 newspaper
  • student needs to learn how to collect, scan and assemble digital documents for his Science class
  • Psych students want help in finding current content on disorders not in the DSM IV
  • student needs assistance to digitize diplomas for his Transitions 12 presentation
  • teacher needs to solve how to acquire and install new software on his new laptop
  • student athlete travelling to Vancouver needs to get a video for her Monday morning exam

You can see from the list why we are very busy hub of the school. I’ll elaborate on the last item because it showcases the value of investing in current technologies like ebooks and iPads. A senior needs to watch a movie of 12 Angry Men to augment her novel study exam on Monday. The library’s DVD copies are out on loan. The catch? She is travelling tomorrow morning by bus to a BC Girls Volleyball Championship. So why a movie you ask? She wants to watch the film on the bus and take notes, etc. Motivated? Yes. Student athlete? Yes. What is a teacher-librarian to do? Call Rogers and rent the movie? Nope. No store in town has one. Enter iPad and iTunes. Buy and download Makovetsky’s 2007 and just in case, rent Sidney Lumet’s 1957 with Henry Fonda. Add the ebook play from iTunes-U and the novel from Amazon. Sync a Library iPad and voila… a travelling library for our just too tall, too adorable middle blocker Amanda. You make us proud to serve you honey! Go Owls!

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Filed under Databases, Education, Helpful Material, Inquiry Resources, MultiMedia, Periodicals, Privacy and Safety, School Library

Fictional interview as library project

via theunquietlibrarian

Fictional Interview Multigenre Project

Student project : PSA: American Association Suicide Prevention


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Filed under Education, MultiMedia, Personal Learning Network, Privacy and Safety, Student Showcase

No Regrets program video

SmartRisk’s No Regrets safety program

  • Find out about SMARTRISK, the organization behind No Regrets.
  • Find out about injury and youth.
  • Where do you draw your stupid line?
  • A PSA that makes graphically clear that most injuries are as predictable as if you planned them
  • Learn how to run your program using activities, campaigns, and fundraisers.


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Filed under Education, Inquiry Resources, Privacy and Safety, Reading

Recommended Facebook security techniques

Hi KSS students,

If you have concerns over your internet safety and privacy these days, here is a great article for Facebook users.  Dayna Boyd is the real deal and her strategies, though annoying for some, are sensible and workable for many.  Follow her thoughts If you have Facebook safety techniques, comment to this post below. thanks and be smart…

[@Zephoria ]

Mr. Smith

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Filed under Education, Library Update, Personal Learning Network, Privacy and Safety