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Debbie Abilock - Adding Friction

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Kate Reid

on 15 February 2015

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Transcript of Debbie Abilock - Adding Friction

Debbie Abilock - Adding Friction
Who is Debbie Abilock?
Co-founder - NoodleTools
Director - NoodleTools Educational Vision
Co-author -
Growing Schools: Librarians as Professional Developers
Former Teacher-Librarian (30+ years)
Former School Administrator
Educational Consultant
Curriculum Coordinator
Columnist -
Library Media Connection*
Former editor - AASL
Knowledge Quest
Abilock's Research Interests
Abilock's Findings - Student Research
Abilock's Findings - Librarians
Online teaching platform for academic research
Differentiated levels serving students from upper elementary to college (Starter, Junior, Advanced)
Facile and intuitive navigation on the website
Stores everything for inquiry project in one place
Valuable tool versus plagiarism
Excellent user support
Links directly to Google Docs and Google Drive to create presentations
Abilock "is widely acknowledged as one of the great teaching librarians - by her colleagues, her students, the teachers she collaborates with, and all the librarians and teachers who read her articles and use her web sites"
("D. Abilock:Movers & Shakers," 2002, para. 2).
Honors and Awards
Library Journal
Mover & Shaker 2002
American Memory Fellow
Magazine Grand Prize for innovative online curriculum
Her book
Growing Schools
was selected by
Library Media Connection
as the 2013 Best Professional Guide for School or Youth Librarians
Informal color photograph of D. Abilock.
Retrieved from http://www.noodletools.com/debbie/bio/
Guiding students in all stages of the inquiry process
Determining the authority & credibility of sources
Information literacy
Inquiry and real-world learning
Combating plagiarism
Citation creation in an era of greatly varied sources from multiple media
Librarian-teachers' roles in schools
"I love messing around, testing ideas, figuring out how to teach trust and credibility, visual and other literacies, inquiry learning. Long-time interest in cognition and creativity, the education of gifted/high-potential children, real-world learning" (Abilock, n.d.).
"By encouraging students to behave ethically out of a combination of enlightened self-interest, academic pride, and social responsibility, and by raising issues that society has not resolved, we prepare our children to take their places as thoughtful and informed citizens in a democracy"
(Abilock, 2009, p. 14).
"As the national economic recession continues... [acquisition] budgets are reduced, support staff is eliminated, and some [school librarians] have been given the daunting responsibility of covering multiple sites"
(Abilock, Fontichiaro,
& Harada, 2012).
Add "friction" (slow thinking & deliberation) to the research process
Importance of student collaboration
Need for authentic research projects
Inquiry learning
Librarian-teachers need to model, scaffold, and give constant feedback to students
Credibility assessment - Rules of Thumb
Information literacy skills
“Researchers have shown that autonomy, rich products, and problem-based learning lessen the likelihood of plagiarism. In such inquiry-based projects, students need time to find and define problems, read, take notes, and think for these are the building blocks of original ideas and new learning” (Abilock, 2009, p. 14).
Credibility Assessment:
Rules of Thumb
Judging Importance
: Who's Weighing in?
Judging Trustworthiness
: Who's Setting the Record Straight?
Judging Accuracy
: What do Other Sources Say?
Judging Infographics
: Who's Behind the Chart?
(Abilock, 2012a, pp. 72-73)
Information Literacy Skills
Close Observation: power of the senses
Draw on Prior Knowledge: power of inference
Gather Information: power of research
Deepen Knowledge: power of contexts
Gain Understanding: power of evaluation
Generalize Learning: power of synthesis
Student Learning: power of teaching
(Abilock, 2003a, p. 32-34)
Please see Abilock's 2012 book,
Growing Schools: Librarians
as Professional Developers.
Growing school-wide learning communities (students, faculty, families)
Leading professional development in their schools
Actively engaging in pedagogical dialogue
Collaborating with teachers
Partnering with administrators
Adding friction to their own professional method
Best Practices for School Librarians:
"This book and our work in schools supports these gardeners [school librarians] because we believe passionately that professional development is a cost-effective, meaningful way for school librarians to grow the capacity of school staff to provide great instructional opportunities for students."
(Abilock, Fontichiaro,
& Harada, 2012)
Abilock recommends "concierge PD [professional development], the one-to-one learning and teaching with a collaborative partner that is grounded in active listening and a trusted relationship" (Abilock, Fontichiaro, & Harada, 2012).
Ways for Librarians
to Add Friction:
Slow down
Be deliberate
Listen attentively to teachers and students
Look for patterns
How Does Abilock Research?
NoodleTools has received over 35,000 questions from students and educators - a veritable treasure trove of their research needs.
Practical experience with 30+ years in education, school libraries, and administration
Interviews with librarians
Interviews with students
As an education consultant, she sees hundreds of teachers and librarians in action.
She remains current on all relevant research. For 373 of her favorite articles, go to
In their book,
Growing Schools: Librarians as Professional Developers
(2012), Abilock, Harada, and Fontichiaro interviewed school librarians who led professional development for faculty. "We showcase a range of stories that capture the voices of librarians, district directors, and library educators who have cultivated these learning gardens.... [We include] wonderfully diverse narratives that unfold in the volume."
"In a series of interviews I've conducted with students about their perception of the research process, both third- and twelfth-graders voiced frustration about extensive whole-class instructions and micromanagement, arguing that they should be 'let loose'... to engage with a topic and complete components of a project according to their own preferences" (Abilock, 2009, p. 14).

"A full-service classroom environment designed... to support the teaching of information literacy and authentic research to students" (Abilock, 2013a, p. 35).
"Citing sources is not easy for teachers to teach or for students to learn. The NoodleTools approach that makes citation a part of a complete package for research and writing makes sense. NoodleTools is a 21st-century literacy and differentiated research package that is intuitive and modular.
Start Noodling!" (Anderson, 2013).
The Inquiry Process with NoodleTools
Everything needed for research, creation, and writing is stored in one place online. Using NoodleTools, Students:
Develop research questions
Identify thesis statements
Create to-do lists
Create outlines
Create, organize, and save online note cards (with prompts and help for direct quotations, paraphrasing, and summarizing)
Create works-cited lists (APA, MLA, or Chicago)
Link saved references to online sources
Archive resources
Work collaboratively with peers
Sampling of Citation Capabilities, Navigation, and User Support on NoodleTools
Switch easily from one level to another
Convert easily from one citation style to another
Change source type, publication medium, or content type with great ease
Import citations from WorldCat
QuickCite - copy and paste preformatted citations when working in EBSCO or Gale databases
Dashboard allows students to store and work on different projects
Tutorials guide students on information evaluation
Show Me
pop-ups, tips, and directions provide helpful guidance
Downloadable PowerPoint presentations for librarians to use to instruct teachers and students new to NoodleTools
(Valenza, 2012)
"I have used it in my school for years, watched it grow and develop, and watched our students do the same. Definitely consider this for your school.
(Miller, 2013, p. 97).
Students praised NoodleTools because they found it to be, “help(ful), organization(al)/organized, and easy. They liked how it helped them manage their schedule, store everything in one place, know how to create citations, and collaborate online” (Satta, 2013, p. 46).
*Her column is called, "Adding Friction: How to design deliberate thinking into the research process."
Full transcript