Future Ready Libraries – The Conditions for Transforming a School Library Program: Video

This summer I had the privilege of sitting down for an interview with Britten Follett about the conditions that support the continuous transformation of my school library media center. This video will be used in Follett’s professional development workshops for school librarians.

Take a look at the final product:


Great Reviews for “Digital Citizenship in Action”

Last week I was able to cross something off of my bucket list – I am officially a published author!

ISTE released my new book “Digital Citizenship in Action: Empowering Students to Engage in Online Communities” just in time for the 2017 Digital Citizenship Week.

So far, people have had great things to say about the book:

“This book is one of the most thorough and user-friendly digital citizenship guides I have read in quite some time, and I would recommend it for educators at various places along the digital citizenship continuum. Whether novice in your experiences or taking it to the next level of reflection and refinement, Digital Citizenship in Action will be a value add” (Kulas, Getting Smart)

“The book invites us to explore the many ways that we can create involved and proactive digital citizens who are advocates for social justice and equity. Mattson’s clear examples and informal tone urge readers to learn alongside their students about how to best engage in digital communities” (Watson, EdScoop)

If you’d like to check out the book for yourself, head on over to the ISTE Book Store or grab it on Amazon.


Bringing Digital Citizenship to Life in Your School

Last week I had the honor of kicking off Digital Citizenship Week by participating in an ISTE webinar entitled, “Bringing Digital Citizenship to Life in Your School.”


You can view the archive here.

You can also view resources shared by the participants!

Kristen’s Resources

Jamie’s Resources

Nancy’s Resources



ISLMA Virtual Maker Meet Up

Today I had the opportunity to share some of my MakerSpace journey with librarians around the state of Illinois in a digital maker meet up! The Illinois School Library Media Association does wonderful work to connect school librarians across the state so that we can learn and grow with and from each other. You can access an archive of the entire Maker Meet Up here.

You can also check out video of my two sessions as well as the slide decks below. Enjoy!

Keynote: Empowering Learners with Opportunities to Make (video here)  (slides here)

Breakout Session: A Dozen Ways to Ditch Your Excuses (video here) (slides here)

To learn more about the work of the Illinois School Library Media Association, visit: http://islma.org/



Make Fabulous Bookmarks with Canva

I LOVE Canva. It makes me look like a graphic design superstar without much effort at all. This week I used the free online tool to create custom bookmarks that go along with our “Walk a Mile” reading challenge.

The “Etsy Cover Photo” template inside of Canva is the PERFECT size and shape for bookmarks. And while Canva has a lot of great free images to choose from, I also like to find free, copyright friendly high resolution images on Pixabay. Once you’ve created the perfect bookmark, download it as a JPEG. Then, line a bunch of them up on a word processing document and print.

Have fun making bookmarks your students will love. Feel free to use any of the bookmarks I’ve created, too.


Walk a Mile Reading Challenge

Each school year, the reading specialists and I try to promote reading across our school through campaigns like One Book, One School or by celebrating students who read from our state library association’s recommended book list. This year, we were inspired to try something a little different thanks to Newsela’s A Mile in Our Shoes Program. Some of our teachers use Newsela and will be encouraged to check out their text sets, but for the most part, Newsela just inspired us to come up with a challenge around the same theme. I’d like to share it with all of you so that you can use or remix parts of it for your own school.

Walk a Mile…

A good book can do something special – it can transport its reader to another place, another time, a different experience.  Stories, shared not only as memoirs and biographies, but also in fiction, can help us see perspectives we may not have experienced or considered before.

Please join us in a concerted effort to walk a mile in the shoes of others by diving into their stories feet first. 

What is it?

Walk a Mile is an opportunity to build communities of readers at WVHS: in classrooms, through clubs and organizations, on athletic teams, with friends, teachers, and coworkers.

Each team’s goal is to read 5,280 minutes, the same number of feet in a mile, during the month of March.

The goal is to encourage empathy, perspective taking, and acceptance by prompting Warriors to read books, both fiction and non-fiction, about people who are different from themselves. By immersing ourselves in the stories of others, we can better understand the paths they choose to follow and experience what it means to Walk a Mile in My Shoes.

 How did we promote Walk a Mile?

  • All staff email two weeks before kickoff; another whole staff email one week before kickoff
  • Colorful slides for teachers to print and hang and for admin to play on our announcement slideshows
  • Student announcements for one week leading up to the event
  • LOTS of personal conversations with our top readers (both teachers and students) who could help spread the word
  • Huge displays in the hallways and the library.

What is the process for teams of readers?

After students or teachers register their teams through a link on our webpage, the team captain reports to the library to pick up a “swag bag” of materials to get the team started. This bag includes:

  • A brochure full of important information
  • A custom made “Walk a Mile” bookmark for each member of the team
  • A raffle ticket for each team member that can be turned in when they check out a book
  • Optional reading logs to help teams keep track of their minutes. Official minutes are turned in digitally, through a link on our website, by the team captain each Friday.
  • Some candy….because, well…high school kids like to be fed 🙂

Teams are also encouraged to sign up for our Remind 101 news blast. I will be sending out reminders to turn in minutes, announcing raffle winners, and encouraging participants to keep reading!

What happens when the month is over?

That is a GREAT question, and one I am still trying to figure out. See, when an idea hits me, I just kind of run with it and let the details work themselves out as I go! Considering our final celebration is 6 weeks away, I feel like I have PLENTY of time to figure out what it will be. We definitely want to celebrate all of our teams that reach the goal, though.

In all honesty, I will likely be chatting with some of our top readers and teachers to gather input on a final celebration over the next two weeks. I imagine there will be food, activities, and discussion, but I am open to ideas if my readers have them!


Keep your eyes open for my reflection blog when all of this is said and done. Kickoff is a little over a week away, and I am getting pretty pumped to see where it all goes 🙂


Chatting #DigCit with GoEnnounce and the EduTechGuys


I had the opportunity to chat digital citizenship with Megan Davis, co-founder of Go Ennounce and the EduTechGuys during the Future of Educational Technology Conference. Check out our conversation on YouTube!

You can also check out more from the EduTechGuys on their website.




Want to be featured in an ISTE book?

I have some exciting news to share: I am writing a book for ISTE, due out later this year.

I also have an awesome opportunity for members of my PLN: I want to share YOUR stories!

Each chapter of my book will feature 2-3 spotlight stories from teachers and students in grades 6-12 who are doing awesome, innovative things with digital citizenship.

  • Are you and your students practicing digital citizenship skills in a digital space designed just for your classroom?
  • Have you empowered students to take ownership for setting and upholding norms in their digital communities?
  • Are you and your students practicing ways to respectfully disagree with people in their online communities who share different opinions than they do?
  • Are your students actively contributing quality content to the web and their digital communities?
  • Do lessons in your classroom help students see their role as members of a global community?

If you answered yes to ANY of these questions, or think you have an exciting story to share, I want to hear from you!

Email me at mrskmattson@gmail.com and include “Digital Citizenship in Action” in your subject line. I cannot wait to set up a time to talk with you about your work.


Image Credit: Flickr user Cesar Poyatos