Meet Kari Baumann: Canterbury’s Media Specialist

Media Specialist Kari Baumann

Media Specialist Kari Baumann

As a new Canterbury parent, I was wondering where the Library is located. After speaking with Canterbury Media Specialist Kari Baumann, I now know that the answer is: all over campus! Kari believes that the Library is more than just a place to check out books. Fully immersed in 21st century learning, Canterbury students have the opportunity to learn in ways that integrate technology and print media. As Kari puts it, “I like to think of the Library not only as a physical space but also as a hub from which information moves. I have seen how naturally technology folds into a passion for reading and information as we synthesize, organize, and present the materials we are learning and reading together, and I enjoy using both of them together.”


Kari Baumann with husband Mike and son Atticus

Kari Baumann with husband Mike and son Atticus

A North Carolina native, Kari spent most of her childhood about 45 minutes south of Greensboro, in Siler City. Her dad passed away in 2006, and her mom remarried this past summer. Her brother and his family live in Austin, Texas. Kari and Mike — her husband of 15 years —make their home in Greensboro with their 4 ½ year old son Atticus.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Economics, Kari identified her passion for books and information and went on to earn a master’s degree in Library Science at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Following some time working in a public library, Kari returned to school to obtain her education license and has worked as a media specialist for the past eight years. She is thrilled to join the Canterbury faculty this year, and is looking forward to getting to know the Canterbury community.

When asked about her typical Canterbury day, Kari responds, “One of the very best things about being a librarian is that every day is different! You never know what questions will come up and what you will be doing.” She plans to bring the Library to Canterbury students through iPads as well as her bookmobile, which will make its way into the divisions. She also will assist Canterbury teachers with Haiku and integrating technology into their instruction.

I couldn’t resist asking Kari to name her favorite children’s book. Her response? Quite cruel to ask a librarian to choose just one. Instead, she listed a few of her favorites: Board book – I am a Bunny by Richard Scarry
Kindergarten – The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak
2nd grade – Sideways Stories from Wayside School by Louis Sachar
5th grade – The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
8th grade – Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Even as the Library can be found everywhere at Canterbury, it will also continue to exist as a space for students to come browse and check out books. How about one of the recommendations above?

More Kari Baumann favorites:
Favorite foods: Mexican food and salty snacks.
Favorite hobby: Reading, of course
Favorite travel destination: My husband and I have taken two trips to Prince Edward Island in Canada (home of Anne of Green Gables) and we hope to take our son there in a few years.
Favorite music: A few favorites are Josh Ritter, Patty Griffin, The Head and the Heart, Over the Rhine, and Brandi Carlile.
Favorite book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Favorite author: Madeleine L’Engle

by Emily Wilson Brenner

Version 2Emily Wilson Brenner is parent to Benjamin (PreK-Copeland/Kaplan) and Fritz, wife to Kevin, a dance artist, and an instructor in Canterbury’s PreK Afternoon Adventures. Her favorite thing about Canterbury is the beautifully inspiring outdoor space. She likes yoga, dark chocolate, and a good cup of green tea. 


How do you Haiku?

Haiku might be new to most parents, but members of the Canterbury faculty have been working with the learning management system (LMS) for more than a year. When Dr. Susan Gebhard – Dr. G – joined the faculty last year, she saw the vision Dave Skeen, John Schoultz and other teachers had developed with the tablet program. What the program needed was an LMS.

If you have taken a college course in the last 10 years, you have probably used an LMS. The two most well known are Blackboard (not to be confused with Blackbaud) and Moodle. An LMS is a web-based system that does it all: student participation, track assessments, parent communication and more. Usually you would find an LMS only at the college level or maybe at a private high school.designed-for-k12

Dr. G, who had worked extensively in higher education, explains it this way. “Blackbaud is like the school office,” she says. “Just like the office, we go there to get schedules, contact information, calendar updates. It functions like a database. Haiku is the classroom. When we visit the classroom, we see students raising their hands, homework displayed on the Smartboard or whiteboard, and hear a teacher speaking to students.”

Dr. G stops the explanation here to relay a recent example. “Justin McCollum (3rd grade) was absent recently, and he recorded a message for the students on Haiku giving them the instructions for their activity of writing true stories.” Dr. G happened to be visiting Mr. McCollum’s class to work with students using iPads. This is just one example of the dynamic implementation of the system. “Mr. McCollum had not been instructed to use Haiku in this way, but it worked,” she says. “The students were totally attentive to his message and began their work right away.”

Canterbury’s teachers are not following a typical method for implementing an LMS. Last year, Nadav Avital (5th grade) used a different LMS for a trial period, and then tried Haiku, all the while sharing his experiences with others. Paul Kostak (middle school science) had worked with Haiku prior to joining the Canterbury faculty last year and shared his experiences with others. Rather than rounding up the faculty and issuing a directive to start using the new system, the implementation has taken an organic approach based on teacher interest.

According to Dr. G, Haiku would like Canterbury to be a case study for the pilot program because this teacher-to-teacher sharing model is unique to our school. And it has been effective.

Just to be clear–Google Docs and Google Drive have not gone away at Canterbury. Dr. G explains it like this, “Google Drive is the binder; Google Docs is the paper and pencil – still very important tools for students’ daily use.”

“Our use of Haiku will evolve,” Dr. G says. Teachers will assess needs, look for solutions or features on the LMS, and enrich student learning. “Haiku extends Canterbury’s mission of educating the whole child.”

After talking to Dr. G, I wanted to know how I could use Haiku more as a parent. “Be fearless in clicking!” she advised. “You cannot break Haiku!” If you are someone who feels uncomfortable with that method, John Schoultz or Dr. G would be happy to answer questions and walk you through the system.

 “Haiku extends Canterbury’s mission of educating the whole child.”

by Canterbury parent Kelly McKee

mckeeKelly McKee is a freelance writer and community volunteer. She has three daughters and a very high golf handicap (these two facts are not unrelated).