Friday, May 28, 2010

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Do you speak “principal”?

Informative, yet (un)intentionally humorous? article. One of the recommendations ('Say “student achievement” a lot...') is funny, while one of the others is a no-brainer ('Copy the principal on all memos that go out to the teachers from the library.').

Monday, May 17, 2010

Alan November Presentation

Alan November Presentation Notes
May 11, 2010

A. Information v Technology
  1. Technology unimportant, disband tech committees.
  2. Information and relationships: All groups (student, teacher, administrator) need right information at the right time to be successful.

B. Homework
  1. Outdated model, where feedback -- right or wrong -- is delayed.
  2. In the place of traditional homework, 'find the sine curve anywhere in the world.' Example: The curves in a curtain.

C. Goals
  1. Investment strategy for technology:
    • Immediate feedback for students: Omit homework.
    • Immediate feedback for teachers: Use clickers to elicit understanding; teachers should check student's notes every day; students as class scribe for entire class note taking.

D. Other Thoughts
  1. All education is social.
  2. Harkness/Socratic Table model.
  3. All teacher content should be available at all times, anywhere: All presentations should be recorded.
    • Eric Mazur @ Harvard delivers lectures via webcast, then records the class interactions for all to later digest.
  4. Educational leaders need to model integrated technology:
    • Meeting agendas as collaborative Google Docs
    • Principal/Superintendent podcasts

    Websites cited:

    What Fresh Library School Grad Would Want A Mentor, Anyways?

    The Effing Librarian amusingly volunteered to mentor any potential library school grads from Florida State. Our library schools must scour each other's websites or read their emails, since mine has solicited for volunteers as well. But who's attending library school to be a librarian any more? And what would they want from a 90's grad, for that matter?

    Thanks Senator Tom Harkin

    Iowa Senator Tom Harkin discusses the growth of libraries via the Carnegie grants, their importance in promoting literacy, and how essential librarians are to the process of preserving literary history and assisting with information locating (my words).

    Friday, May 14, 2010

    Column: The future is now at Cragin Memorial Library - Norwich, CT - Norwich Bulletin

    A column written by a Connecticut public library director, whose sentiments are correct: libraries will evolve with developing technologies, but the library is expected to remain both vibrant and important. I know the Grand Ledge High School Library certainly still is, despite the slight drop in book circulation and the change in staffing for next year. Kate Byroade, director of the Cragin Memorial Library writes succinctly
    "This month’s debut of the iPad has got me thinking about the business libraries are in. We offer programs, reference services, reading advice, computers, Wi-Fi access and a quiet place to work, read or study, but most of all we offer you “things” -- books, audio books, magazines, movies and music. Those “things” are still the No. 1 reason people show up at the library."
    Our visitation has remained steady, if not increased. Our tools are being used, if not checked out. And the activity here is buzzingly educational, if not quiet.

    Posted using ShareThis

    Brontë Sisters Power Dolls

    An amusing link via Twitter, via a librarian blog.

    Thursday, May 13, 2010

    Man Finds Murdered Sister's Crime Scene Pics In Library Book - News Story - WSB Atlanta

    Here's a library censorship story with reasons one doesn't often encounter: Man Finds Murdered Sister's Crime Scene Pics In Library Book. But, the censor, Robert Sterling, is vowing to go 'online' in further attempts at having this book removed from libraries.

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010

    LAUSD begins to slash library funding -

    A follow up article to an earlier Los Angeles entry. Noteworthy, as usual, are the research-based advocacy for libraries and library programming, this time courtesy of a retired professor from USC:

    "Better libraries are related to better reading achievement. This has been confirmed at the state level, national level and international level, and holds even when researchers control for the effects of poverty," said Stephen Krashen, a professor emeritus of education and linguistics at the University of Southern California.
    "The reason for this is obvious: Children become better readers by reading more and the library is a major source of books for children."

    Thursday, May 06, 2010

    Glenn Beck-affiliated group gets LGBT book banned from school library | San Diego Gay & Lesbian News

    And now it commences. In the post-election, anti-Obama hysteria, opposition political groups, led by screeching television personalities and their like-minded media oligarchy now seem emboldened to begin challenging everyone's reading materials. The Glenn Beck group Project 912 was partially, yet "ebulliently" successful in their book challenges, with Revolutionary Voices: A Multicultural Queer Youth Anthology being removed from a New Jersey high school library's shelves. Ironic how one Project 912's Principles states
    "It is not un-American for me to disagree with authority or to share my personal opinion."
    Apparently, this also means they can impose their narrow opinions on the intellectual interests of others, as well. How thoughtful of them.

    Monday, May 03, 2010

    Teachers Always Show Up - The New York Times

    The headline was caught on The NYT's most emailed list, and in my attention as well, but it isn't the usual, 'teachers-wipe-noses, work-grading-papers-until-they-can't-keep-their-eyes-open, and-spend-X-dollars-on-their-classrooms' missive. Instead, the author, Gail Collins, illuminates the rest of the country on the dilemma of Florida election politics and teacher's union endorsements. Most importantly, though, Collins also boils down teaching as a profession when she writes
    "...while it’s important to make teachers accountable, telling them their jobs could hinge on their students’ grades on one test is a terrible idea? The women and men who go into teaching tend, as a group, to be both extremely dedicated and extremely risk-averse. The stability of their profession is a very important part of its draw. You do not want to make this an anything-can-happen occupation, unless you are prepared to compensate them like hedge fund traders."
     And closing with
    "Meanwhile, all this anxiety cannot possibly be good for classroom performance. Keep an eye on Florida. And give the next teacher you see a smile, or an apple."
    Well said, Ms. Collins.

    A little late to the party

    But these libraries are amazing (part 1 and part 2). It's nice for the Huffington Post to raise the profile of libraries for what wonderful destinations they are, for reasons not necessarily related to only information.