Category Archives: Schools

Innovations for School Libraries

Found in the Big Deal Media K-12 Technology newsletter.

Media Literacy Game for Detecting Viral Deceptions
NewsFeed Defenders, by iCivics and, is a free media literacy game that engages students with the standards of journalism, showing them how to spot a variety of methods behind the viral deceptions they face today. To play the game, students join a fictional social media site focused on news and information, where they meet challenges to level up from guest user to site administrator.

Video Series for Evaluating Digital Information
Crash Course is an educational YouTube channel started by the Green brothers, Hank Green and John Green, who are notable for their VlogBrothers channel. Crash Course has been working with MediaWise, a project from the nonprofit PoynterInstitute for Media Studies, to help students evaluate the accuracy of digital information.

Playful Engagement with Chemistry Lab Equipment in Virtual Reality
HoloLAB Champions is an immersive virtual reality lab practice game show created by Schell Games with support of the Institute of Education Sciences (part of the US Department of Education) and the Small Business Innovation Research program.

Storytelling Podcast Bringing Folktales to Life
Circle Round is a storytelling podcast geared to children aged 4–10. Created and produced by parents of young children, Circle Round tells carefully selected folktales from around the world.

Archived Webinar: Integrate Technology and Library Media

Download the slides (PDF)
February 2019; 21 minutes

Join the integration nation and find ways to combine technology and library media in your school. Megan Dingman and Maggie Unterseher, Library Media Specialists in Campbell County explore opportunities in this archived webinar.

Questions about school library issues? Contact the Wyoming State Library’s School Library Consultant Paige Bredenkamp at or (307) 777-6331.

Webinars for Educators from the National Archives

The U.S. National Archives has a new lineup of professional development webinars for educators starting this month. Each features the holdings of the National Archives, along with resources for bringing these primary sources into your classroom. All webinars are free of charge. Advanced registration is required. Find the complete list of programs and more information on their website.

Angelic La Moose on the Flathead Reservation
in Montana, 9/1913 
View on DocsTeach

Native American Resources from the National Archives
Wednesday, February 20, at 5 p.m. MT

Register today

Incorporate records of Native Communities throughout U.S. History into your curriculum, guide student research at the National Archives, and help make National Archives primary sources more accessible to everyone.

This webinar is part of the Native American professional development series. Each program features new resources for locating and using Federal records related to American Indians and Alaska Natives.


An Introduction to DocsTeach
Thursday, February 28, at 7pm ET

Register today

Join us for an introduction to, the online tool for teaching with documents from the National Archives. Discover how to find primary sources for teaching history and civics topics. Explore the 12 different document-based activity tools; and learn how, with a free account, you can create your own activities or modify existing activities to share with your students. This webinar is suitable for all educators.

Women Marching in Suffrage Parade
Woman Suffrage Parade in Washington, DC,
View on DocsTeach

Petitions, Protest, and Persuasion: Women’s Voices in the Records of the National Archives
Thursday, March 28, at 7pm ET

Register today

In conjunction with the new Rightfully Hers exhibition opening at the National Archives in Washington, DC, explore stories of women participating in the political process through petitions, protest, and more in the decades leading up to the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Discover primary sources and teaching activities for bringing these voices into the classroom. This webinar is suitable for all educators

Upcoming Webinar: Combining Technology and Library Media

Join the integration nation! On Wednesday, February 13, from 4:00-5:00 p.m., Megan Dingman and Maggie Unterseher, Library Media Specialists in Campbell County will explore technology and library media integration opportunities in a webinar, “Integration Nation: Combining Technology with Library Media.”

Register for this free webinar.

This event will be recorded and posted to the Wyoming State Library’s webinars index for later viewing.

Have questions in your school library? The WSL can help. Contact Paige Bredenkamp, School Library Consultant, at or (307) 777-6331.

WyoHistory Primary Source Digital Toolkits for Classrooms has created primary source-based digital toolkits for Wyoming classrooms. Each toolkit focuses on an important theme in Wyoming History all while answering an essential question related to that theme and time period. To coincide with the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I in 2018, nine digital toolkits were created:

The U.S. During the First World War (1910s-1920s)

Aimed at secondary levels and above, these toolkits connect topics in Wyoming history with one of 12 overarching areas of U.S. history, from the Constitution through the Cold War to coal-rich Wyoming’s role in the nation’s future. Each one contains:

1. A background summary of the topic.
2. Links to relevant primary-source documents—maps, photos, letters, etc.
3. Links to more detailed articles on the topic.
4. Exercises encouraging students to write about or otherwise encounter the topic.
5. Bibliographies and links for further information and research.
6. Information on how each toolkit meets Wyoming State Social Studies Standards

See all toolkits

Other toolkit areas include the foundations and growth of the early United States, the Civil War and Reconstruction, westward expansion of the U.S., industrialization, the Great Depression, World War II, and the struggle for civil rights.

3 Ways to Help Give All Students ‘Information Privilege’

By Doug Johnson
Via the Blue Skunk Blog

Access to an effective school library program is one example of information privilege. The absence of access is one symptom of information poverty. Joyce Valenza, On information privilege and information equity, December 9, 2018

I had not heard of the concept of “information privilege” before reading Joyce’s thoughtful and comprehensive post earlier this month. But it certainly seems logical. Our students come to us from a variety of situations, not just of nutritional adequacy, home stability, and family support, but also of informational access.

I believe it is a primary role of the public schools to help close the gap between those who are information privileged and those who are information impoverished. This is a critical component of a culturally proficient school system. Providing good information resources and the skill to use them is both a social goal as well as an economic imperative, with fewer and fewer jobs for those without training and skills.

As I reflect on this challenge, I see three areas where public education can focus:

  1. Keep school libraries well-staffed. While “information” can be found in staggering quantities online, the skills to find, evaluate, and use these resources need to be taught by a skilled information professional – a school librarian. Sadly, these positions are often scarce in schools serving less affluent populations and are often on the chopping block whenever budget cuts are made in all schools. I find it ironic that when all signs point to information literacy being one of the most critical skills needed by our future workforce, we do not give a high priority to funding the positions of those who help develop this literacy in both students and staff.
  2. Keep our Internet access as open as possible to all learners. Even as an ever greater number of schools implement 1:1 programs and find ways to give students home Internet access, the call for restricting what can and cannot be accessed on school networks increases in volume. While games, videos, social media, and other Internet sites of high interest and entertainment value can be challenging for teachers to compete with for attention, blocking such sites discriminates against students for whom school resources are their only source of Internet access. Netflix, YouTube, game sites, and even Instagram, all have uses that have educational benefit and increase information literacy.
  3. Connect our learners with public information resources beyond the school. Our students need to understand resources available to them as citizens after they leave our schools. Public library access should be part of all students’ public school experiences. Students should know about databases, e-book collections, and other materials available through state library programs, as well as other state government resources. Students should be give practice in using free federal information collections. Not knowing about or not knowing how to use these public resources will exacerbate the chasm between those of information privilege and poverty.

Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, I was information privileged, despite living in what now might be considered an “information desert.” I had books at home and my parents subscribed to a daily newspaper and magazines. Our secondary school had a good library and a professional librarian. Our public library was a regular stop when we came into town from the farm. I had an AM transistor radio and we had a black and white TV that got in 2-3 over the air channels. My family valued education and reading.

Today’s children and young adults operate in what I call an information “jungle.” Those who enjoy information privilege today, don’t just have resources, but the skills to use them well. Is your school helping make all its students information privileged?

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Upcoming Webinar: Virtual Field Trips in Wyoming

Join Nathan Doerr from the Wyoming State Museum and Gretchen Henrich and Megan Smith from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West for an exploration of their virtual field trips that can be scheduled for your classes.

The free webinar will take place this Thursday, December 6 from 10-11 a.m. MST.

Register now.

For a taste of what you’ll learn, check out the video above from the Buffalo Bill Center of the West on Skype in the Classroom.

Librarians at Wyoming Innovations Conference

(L to R) Paige Bredenkamp, Wyoming State Library School Library Consultant; Julie Erickson, TIE (Technology and Innovation in Education) South Dakota; Megan Dingman, Campbell County School District 1 Coordinator of Library Professional Development

The 2nd annual Wyoming Innovations in Learning conference happened on November 7-9 in the Evanston Roundhouse facility. School librarians (as well as one public library director) from Wyoming were among the attendees and presenters. Maggie Unterseher, Megan Dingman, and Richard Landreth shared about Breakout EDU in the school library. Maggie and Megan also presented about integrating technology into the school library and shared practical ideas that can be utilized right away.

Some key sessions focused on:

  • Breakout EDU
  • Integrating tech into the school library
  • Google vs databases
  • Password organization
  • Coding
  • Course design
  • Subject matter teaching strategies
  • Digital skills

This was a fantastic conference attended by more than 200 participants that included librarians, K-12 teachers, college instructors, tech directors, and administrators. This annual conference is sponsored by Wyoming Department of Education, WyDECC, WyTEC, e-Volution, and the Wyoming State Library. WSL School Library Consultant serves on the conference committee. The 2019 conference will be held in Gillette, Wyoming. A call for conference session proposals will be sent out early next year.

The team who organized the Innovations conference. The WSL’s Paige Bredenkamp is fourth from the right.

Studying History Through Native American Newspapers

According to the Library of Congress, the first Native American newspaper, The Cherokee Phoenix, began publishing in 1828. The Phoenix is one of 14 Native American newspapers from the 19th and early 20th centuries that are available in Chronicling America.

Wyoming’s Native American newspapers are not included in the Library of Congress collection, but you can find them online in Wyoming Newspapers. In this digital collection you may find a limited number of issues of:

  • Arapahoe Agency Courier (1888)
  • Indian Progress (1909 and 1910)
  • Indian Paint Brush (1935)
  • Indian Guide (1887 and 1896-1897)

This Teaching with the Library of Congress blog post offers ideas on using Native American newspapers in the classroom. For more Native American Heritage Month resources, explore the heritage month portal.