School Librarian Creates Web Lesson on Oil Spill

Lauren Barack -- School Library Journal, 5/24/2010 10:42:00 AM

"Melissa Corey helped turn a catastrophe into a teachable moment. After the explosion of Deepwater Horizon, a drilling rig leased by BP PLC on April 20 off the coast of Louisiana, Corey, a library media specialist at Benton High School in St. Joseph, MO, had a teacher ask her to conduct a mini-unit with his students, incorporating the oil spill into lessons on environmental disasters.

Corey logged online and developed a LibGuide on the oil spill combining news links, a Delicious linkroll, an RSS feed, and a Google Map that compares the relative size of the spill to Manhattan, Paris, and other global cities."

Talk about teachable moments! This article is great and you really should read it. It's not very long and gives some resources at the end of it. Read it here or visit SLJ at http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com.


New iPhone App Lets Kids Access School Library Databases

From School Library Journal, 5/19/2010 2:05:00 PM

"Add this to the growing list of popular iPhone apps for kids—AccessMyLibrary School Edition, which makes remote searches of media center databases just a click away.

The latest app from Gale, a part of Cengage Learning, comes on the heels of last year’s launch of an iPhone application that helps users find their local libraries. This latest K-12 version asks students to enter a password, then search for their local school library. Once in, they can pull up the vast array of Gale online resources within a 10-mile radius that were purchased by their media specialist."

How might this work in CPS? It might be a great way to locate resources anywhere in the system, even though we have SOAR. Might be a good may to do inventory in your own library...what do you think? Read the article here or visit  SLJ at http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com.

Free Speech Groups Protest GLBT Book-Banning at NJ School District

By SLJ Staff -- School Library Journal, 5/19/2010 2:00:00 PM

"A coalition of free speech groups is protesting the recent banning of the book Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology (Alyson) from New Jersey’s Rancocas Valley High School library following a complaint by a conservative group.

Leaders of the National Coalition Against Censorship, the National Council of Teachers of English, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, and People For the American Way Foundation wrote a letter to Rancocas Valley Regional High School."

It is unfortunate that in this day and age, there are still these types of challenges to our collection choices. This may not be happening in Chicago now, but you never know. Read the full article at SLJ here or visit them at http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com.



What if Everyone on Twitter Read One Book?

By Jeff Howe on March 24, 2010 from Wired.com.

"I have a dream. An idea. A maybe great notion. Actually, as Auggie March might say, “I got a scheme.”

What if everyone on Twitter read the same book at the same time and we formed one massive, international book club? Usually such programs are organized by big-city libraries. Seattle started the trend for collective reading in 1998 when zillions of Seattlites all read Russell Banks’ book, Sweet Hereafter. Chicago followed suit with To Kill a Mockingbird a few years later, and then other cities started jumping on the bandwagon. When the program works — and it doesn’t always — it gets more people reading, more people talking and more people generally appreciating the written word. What’s not to like?"

8 Financial Tips For Young Adults

From the website Investopedia at http://www.investopedia.com

"Unfortunately, personal finance has not yet become a required subject in high school or college, so you might be fairly clueless about how to manage your money when you're out in the real world for the first time. If you think that understanding personal finance is way above your head, though, you're wrong. All it takes to get started on the right path is the willingness to do a little reading - you don't even need to be particularly good at math. To help you get started, we'll take a look at eight of the most important things to understand about money if you want to live a comfortable and prosperous life."

Since we're talking about money (see our prior post below) we might as well look at some helpful pointers on all this money business. Any other tips or suggestions are always welcome!

Read the article from Investopdeia.com here .


Chicago School Librarians to Teach Money Savvy Classes

By Lauren Barack -- School Library Journal, 5/12/2010 2:05:00 PM

"Susan Beacham thanks a four-bellied pig for giving her the edge to teach young children how to find financial footing—and for giving her firm, Money Savvy Generation, its spot on the educational map.

[Money Savvy Pig] has four tummies, four plugs at the bottom, one each for saving, spending, donating, and investing,” says Beacham, founder and CEO of Money Savvy Generation, based in Lake Bluff, IL. “If you give young children something to touch, something tangible, they can excel in a financial lesson.”

To read the entire article from SLJ click here or visit School Library Journal at http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com.

Is there anybody out there doing this? How is it going? It sounds very interesting!


Draft- National Educational Technology Plan

"Secretary Arne Duncan invites comments on the draft National Educational Technology Plan.
The plan describes how information and communication technologies can help transform American education. It provides concrete goals to inform state and local educational technology plans, and recommendations to inspire research, development, and innovation.

Click here for an accessible version of the video.
This plan is a draft. “We are open to your comments,” Secretary Duncan said in a video announcing the plan. “Tell us about how technology has changed your school or classroom.”

Read the plan.  Share your comments, videos and examples of how technology is changing and improving education.  See Secretary Duncan’s March 3 speech about education technology."

I'm not sure about this yet, but it might be worth visiting the site and checking it out. To visit this page, click here or see the executive summary here.


The Story of Stuff

"The Story of Stuff Project’s mission is to build a strong, diverse, decentralized, cross-sector movement to transform systems of production and consumption to serve ecological sustainability and social wellbeing. Our goals are to amplify public discourse on a diverse set of sustainability issues and to facilitate the growing Story of Stuff community’s involvement in strategic efforts to build a more sustainable and just world.

The Story of Stuff Project was founded in June 2008 by Annie Leonard to leverage the remarkable success of The Story of Stuff, a 20-minute web-film that explores the often hidden environmental and social consequences of America’s love affair with its stuff. Currently, the film has been viewed over 10 million times on-line and in thousands of schools, houses of worship, community centers and businesses around the world. Our Project’s focus is on systems of production and consumption—in particular the harmful environmental and social impacts of current modes of producing, consuming and disposing of material goods. Our Project is systems-focused, solutions-oriented and change-driven."

Although this isn't a library-specific topic, the Story of Stuff is an excellent topic of research for many grade levels. This might be a good end of the year topic! Some great videos on Electronics, Cap & Trade, and Bottled Water in addition to the classic Story of Stuff.

See more here or visit the site at http://www.storyofstuff.com/index.php or http://www.storyofstuff.com/teach.php.

The Three Simple C's Of Librarianship

"If the three L’s of buying a house are “location, location, location”, then the three C’s of librarianship should be "communication, communication, communication”. I don’t think what I’m going to list is anything revolutionary; I do think it might be a novel way to remember the basic interactions that keep the library moving forward...
(1) Communication with Patrons (students)
(2) Communication with Staff (teachers)
(3) Communication with Governing Bodies (administration)"

Do you have anything to add to these? I think they cover just about everything, but maybe you have others?

Read the article here or you can visit http://www.lisnews.org/ .


Oregon Says Yes to Free Google Apps for Education

Lauren Barack -- School Library Journal, 5/3/2010

"In a first-ever move by a state, Oregon has adopted Google Apps for Education for use by all its K–12 school districts.

While universities, including Wesleyan, and select public schools like New York City’s IS 339 have adopted the cloud-based suite of collaboration and communication tools, Oregon has become the first state to deploy Google Apps in each of its nearly 200 school districts."

To view the entire article click here or visit SLJ at http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com.

Read about Google Apps for Education at http://www.google.com/a/help/intl/en/edu/k12.html.

It does sound enticing, doesn't it? But what is the real price to pay for schools to have Google offer their Apps for "free"? It could be a boon for budget strapped schools. It could spell the end for Microsoft as we know it. What do you think?

School Libraries, Now More Than Ever!

By Brian Kenney, Editor-in-Chief of School Library Journal

"Are schools adequately preparing students for future challenges?

Not if districts keep cutting school librarians’ jobs and slashing their budgets. For some much-needed ammunition, check out “School Libraries, Now More Than Ever” a position paper produced by Rutgers University’s Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries (CISSL). It defends the need for media specialists with five decades of research proving that school libraries help boost student achievement."

View the Center for International Scholarship in School Libraries' website at http://cissl.scils.rutgers.edu/index.html and read up on the position paper. You can view School Library Journal here.

This couldn't be more important! Maybe this can be a resource in drafting the school library's role in your school improvement plan?


Schools Sticking to Cell Phone Ban, Despite Teens' Daily Texting Routine, Study Says

By Lauren Barack -- School Library Journal, 5/5/2010 2:05:00 PM

"Teens use cell phones and text at rates dramatically higher than years prior—but that doesn’t mean that schools have shown any give on allowing students to use the phones in classrooms.

One in three teens between the ages of 12 and 17 send more than 100 text messages a day, or 3,000 a month, as a full 75 percent of all teens now own a cell phone, up from 45 percent in 2004, according to a recent study, “Teens, Cell Phones and Texting,” released from the Pew Internet & American Life Project."

It sounds like texting and cell phone use by students is getting out of hand, but schools' responses aren't changing. Is this justified? Maybe there is another way to deal with this issue? Weigh in on this growing problem if you can...

To read more, click here or visit SLJ at http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photobucket.

"Photobucket is an image hosting, video hosting, slideshow creation and photo sharing website. It was founded in 2003 by Alex Welch and Darren Crystal and received funding from Trinity Ventures.[2][3] It was acquired by Fox Interactive Media in 2007..."

 "Photobucket is usually used for personal photographic albums, remote storage of avatars displayed on internet forums, and storage of videos. Photobucket's image hosting is often used for eBay, MySpace (from 2007-2009, a corporate cousin), Bebo, Neopets and Facebook accounts, LiveJournals, Open Diarys, or other blogs, and message boards. Users may keep their albums private, allow password-protected guest access, or open them to the public..."

"Since Photobucket does not allow sexually explicit or objectionable content, they may remove content at their discretion due to violations of their TOS.[8] "

This photo service has a lot of features that may be of interest to you, and it is not blocked by the CPS servers (at least when I got on today). Let me know what you think about this resource- it's pretty powerful! I especially like the slide show feature.

Learn more about Photobucket here.


Taken from Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter.
"Twitter is a social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read messages known as tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the author's profile page and delivered to the author's subscribers who are known as followers. Senders can restrict delivery to those in their circle of friends or, by default, allow open access. Since late 2009, users can follow lists of authors instead of following individual authors.[4][5] All users can send and receive tweets via the Twitter website, Short Message Service (SMS), or external applications (notably including those developed for smartphones). While the service itself costs nothing to use, accessing it through SMS may incur phone service provider fees. The website currently has more than 100 million users worldwide."

Wikipedia's article seemed to say a bit more than Twitter's site about the company. Visit Twitter at http://twitter.com/. Let me know if you think this might be of interest to you in the library or classroom. I have my doubts, depending on the situation of course!

NYC’s 140 Character Conference Explores Twitter in the Classroom

By Rocco Staino -- School Library Journal, 4/29/2010

"More than 700 Twitter users, including a group of eighth graders who tweet as part of the curriculum, showed up at last week’s 140 Character Conference in New York City to explore the effects of the popular microblogging site on music, education, the media, advertising, and politics.

Students from the Sts. Philip and James School in St. James, NY, together with their technology teacher George Haines (@oline73), used drama and song to explain how they use Twitter to enhance the reading of George Orwell’s Animal Farm (Secker and Warburg, 1945), a book that was selected by their school librarian Leona Gallagher. Haines then asked students to Tweet while pretending to be characters in the novel." 

Cell phones are not required for Twitter, but it seems like they may come in "handy" for an activity like the one mentioned. Anybody interested?

To read the article, click here or visit School Library Journal at http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com.