This week I watched and listened to a TED Talk by Sugata Mitra called The Child-Driven Education and How Kids Teach themselves. In this series, Mitra reflects on an experiment that he conducted in some of the poorest communities around the world. In these villages he exposed children who had no access to technology of any kind to a computer with Internet access. Without instruction these children were able to navigate the Internet, play interactive games, make recordings and more. Mitra left computers with Internet access and CDs in only English and when he returned, the children had learned how to operate the computer and also learned how the machine worked. His point is that if children can do these things without any instruction what could they accomplish with dedicated teachers, resources and funding.
LM NET Postings
Jennifer Dovre – October 26, 2011
A school librarian asks users about starting a student advisory group to give input on library events and programs. A program like this could be really beneficial for a library in order to gain a student perspective and ensure that the library is meeting the needs of all users. Currently our library program does not have a student advisory committee but rather informal student input from frequent users. I wonder if a student committee would be helpful. Do any of your buildings have committees like these? How do they work?
Sharron L. McElmeel – Thu, 27 Oct 2011
In anticipation of a visit from author Jim Aylesworth, high school students made this short video on the joy of reading. Aylesworth is a children’s author who wanted to visit with students about his life as an author and his love for writing. This is a great way for students to get involved in advocating for the library and reading. Check out this short video. It’s very cute.
Brian Johnson – Thu, 20 Oct 2011
Brain writes that his principal asked him to provide some activities in the library during parent teacher conferences. He came up with this list of activities.
Access library databases
Set up a school website account
Join the Library and School Facebook groups
View book trailers/library services
Our library is usually pretty quiet during parent/teacher conferences so I thought this was interesting. What types of activities have been going on in your library during conferences?
Tame the Web – October 27, 2011
Excitement is building for the Library 2.011 Virtual Conference. There are going to many sessions from librarians, technology gurus, teachers and more that can help enhance any library program. The sessions vary from e-readers, collaborative tools, creating virtual classrooms, social media and more. There will me more than 160 sessions and the conference is completely free. This will be a great opportunity for librarians to connect with colleagues from around the world and share ideas. This is the perfect example of how Web 2.0 is inspiring Library 2.0. If you attend this conference, leave a comment and let me know how you liked it!
Doug Johnson presents Myths of Creativity – October 25, 2011
On the spur of the moment, Johnson creates a presentation on creativity for a conference. He included the concerns and myths about creativity and then offered some tips for including creativity in assignments. Included in Johnson’s “myths of creativity”, are the ideas that only gifted children are creative, creativity does not require learning or discipline and technology automatically develops creativity. Doug suggests that creativity is extremely important to learning and that creativity should be included in every subject area and modeled by teachers. In order to encourage students to use creativity teachers should ask for detail and explanation, give points for “design” on assignments, use online tools, allow students to express their personal interests and talents. To read more: http://doug-johnson.squarespace.com/blue-skunk-blog/2011/10/25/myths-of-creativity.html
Behind the Curtain – Austin Seraphin’s Weird Blog – June 12, 2010
Austinblogs about the purchase of his new iPhone. Austinis blind and he says that buying an iPhone changed his life. He describes VoiceOver which is a screen reading software. The application allowed Seraphin to receive text messages, check the weather and get updated stock prices. Austinreveals that he was a skeptic when the iPhone first came out, but after hearing how much a friend liked hers, he decided to give it a try. The only feature that he doesn’t like is iTunes because it is inaccessible to the visually impaired. None the less, he loves his iPhone. He even described an application that he credits with enhancing his senses called Color Identifier. It uses the phone’s camera and speaks the name of colors. He can use his phone to watch the sunset change colors or check on the progress of his plant life. Seraphin proclaims, “I have seen a lot of technology for the blind, and I can safely say that the iPhone represents the most revolutionary thing to happen to the blind for at least the last ten years.” Read the full article at: http://behindthecurtain.us/2010/06/12/my-first-week-with-the-iphone/
1. Empowering Learners Chapter 2
What struck me about this chapter is that the SLMS is responsible for such a wide range of materials and curriculum. It can appear to be very overwhelming to undertake collaboration, reading programs, multiple literacies, the research process and assessment in addition to all of the other responsibilities of the SLMS. The one thing that initially surprised me was the guideline regarding assessment. Originally I hadn’t considered assessment being a part of the library media program, but as I read on and thought about my experience with school libraries, I realized that assessment is taking place continuously. In my building the SLMS conducts plagiarism tutorials and assesses students on the content. They evaluate student’s research process and analyze research questions. They collaborate with teachers on projects that result in final products and assess the material. They create scoring guides and incorporate subject specific curriculum into every aspect of their program. Reading this chapter helped me develop a new perspective on the extent to which a school library must serve its diverse population and the range of the programs they offer.
2. Empowering Learners Chapter 3 – The Learning Space
Librarians must consider how to provide equal access to all library users. Not only does the environment need to user friendly with available resources and equipment, but the library hours need to be flexible with access to helpful library staff. The environment is important when trying to draw users into the library. Librarians should try to create a welcoming, comfortable and easy to use facility. Since students often times have work to do before and after the school day, the library should try to provide extended hours for students. In addition, the virtual library should be available 24/7. There are many available databases, research and media tools that students can and should be able to access from the library’s Web site. Librarians should try to make their Web site a learning environment for students.
3. Woolls Chapter 8
In Woolls Chapter 8, the author writes about managing access to information. As information becomes more readily available this responsibility is on everyone’s mind. The first thing to keep in mind is the right to privacy. With automation a routine part of library business it can be difficult to maintain privacy for patrons. Librarians also have to work hard to defend the patron’s right to access. With new federal laws preventing access to certain Internet sites, it is the librarian’s responsibility to ensure students and patrons are finding the information they need. Copyright is another tough issue that librarians have to tackle. It can be a difficult task for librarians to ensure that students and teachers are obeying copyright law and using resources ethically. Using good modeling and showing students and teachers where to find high quality resources that don’t violate copyright is a win-win situation. Finally, selection and de-selection of materials is something that all librarians struggle with. Which resources are going to be right for my students? Will these sites provide the best information? Should I weed these outdated reference books? Managing access to information in the library whether it be on-line or in print can be a difficult process.
4. Woolls Chapter 10
Perhaps equally challenging as managing access to information is managing the library services. What can librarians offer to teachers and students that will make them want to engage in their lessons in the library? Not only do librarians have to manage students, but also library personnel, materials, equipment and facility. To get teachers to want to engage in library services, librarians can try a variety of strategies. Learning the curriculum of a course or department can go a long way to helping that teacher develop a lesson in the library. School librarians service all students in all subject areas so knowing the curriculums is to their advantage. In addition, librarians just like teachers have to have teaching strategies that will engage students. Students want to think creatively and learning outside of a textbook or a powerpoint and the library is a great place to give them that experience. Furthermore, if a librarian volunteers to help the teacher teach the lesson and assess student work, they are sure to get some positive responses. One way that librarians can provide services to more teachers is to create a classroom environment that can be used by a teacher as an extension of their own room. Create seating opportunities for big groups, have flexible furniture, make presentation tools available as well as creating great learning opportunities through collaborative lesson planning. The media center in my school can accommodate multiple classes at once, with access to technology, ample seating and presentation tools. Teachers love to come to the LMC because they offer so many services from media sharing to plagiarism prevention and information literacy, creative lesson planning and in-service training monthly. It is inviting and exciting to see what is new in the LMC.