Building Skills in the Interactive Schoolhouse

Vaile Fujikawa
IL
ET
CO
Thibodeaux, B. (2013, March 14). Building Skills in the Interactive Schoolhouse. Education Week. Retrieved from: http://www.edweek.org/ew/toc/2013/03/14/index.html?intc=EW-TC13-EWH

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1

Summary: Very inspiring video about a new take on learning at a school in Texas. Lots of hands on, see how things work, do it yourself type learning in environments that differ from traditional learning spaces. Instead of a teacher telling a child how something works the student gets to look it up or build a model of it herself.
Evaluation: What a great place to go to school. I wish these kinds of opportunities were available for all kids everywhere. It seems like it’s kind of the trifecta of learning: you get to hear it, you get to do it, and you get to see it.

The Object Formerly Known as the Textbook

Vaile Fujikawa
IL
Young, J.R. (2013, January 27). The object formally know as the textbook. The Chronicle of Higher Education. http://chronicle.com/article/Dont-Call-Them-Textbooks/136835/
Summary: What is the future of textbooks? Some publishers are creating an entire course worth of content with video, text and homework included in e-versions of their textbooks. How do these ebooks (or personalized learning experiences as some would call them) play into the future of education, especially MOOCs? Will MOOCs become the new textbook? How do these changes effect the publishing industry?

Evaluation: Reading this article really helped me see the value in these kind of interactive textbooks. The stuff that Young reports on in the article is a lot like what we have been doing in 250 and SLIS as a whole. I have a lot of questions about where we go from here and how these kinds of programs can be developed to help students who don’t learn as well on their own. The move toward all “E” everything is slightly disconcerting to me, because I feel very strongly about the value of presenting materials in several ways to students. I just don’t think that an ebook, even with a bunch of interactive software is going to appeal to all students. I guess that on some level it doesn’t matter how far we’ve come, some students are still going have to learn in ways that are uncomfortable for them. 

How to Make Your Classroom a Thinking Space

Jessica Jones
ET

Summary: Starting with an exert from Thinking Through Project-Based Learning: Guiding Deeper Inquiry, a new book by Jane Krauss and Suzie Boss, Boss asks readers to imagine a creative work environment. After readers come up with their image of a creative environment, Boss discuss how schools are a work environment for both teachers and student, therefore it should be a creative environment for problem-based learning. Boss then discusses how to make your classroom more creative, providing examples from schools around the country. A total of eleven suggestions are made, most of them a small adjustment that could easily be made in most classrooms.

Evaluation: After having read this article, I see how easy it is to incorporate creativity into the classroom space. Not working in a school presently, I am also trying to see how we can incorporate some of these ideas into the public library. While many suggestions, such as “Independent Work” and “Conversational Classroom” are strictly for classrooms, libraries can incorporate color, a video booth (for programming or Summer Reading Program), and new furniture. With suggestions easy enough and inexpensive enough for all teachers to incorporate, Boss is helping make it easier for students to do problem-based learning.

Allergic or Not? Middle School Students Design an App that Tells You

Jessica Jones
IL
STEM education is a trending topic in education, resulting in many schools embracing science, technology, engineering, and math programs and projects. In her article, Schwartz discusses STEM integration in at the Hampstead Academy. The eighth graders at this school created an app that allows people to scan a food’s barcode or search for it to see if they are allergic to it. They worked with advisors and the MIT Media Lab’s App Inventor Training Corps, mainly relying on the students designing and coding their app. Through her interviews with students and teachers, Schwartz shows that students are more engaged with what they are learning when they can see it turn into a real product in the marketplace. By examining an implementation of STEM in the Hampstead Academy, Schwartz shows the positive responses of students and practical applications to STEM in schools.

A Collaborative Community

 Kaelyn Shaw

CO

Montgomery, S. E., & Miller, J. (2011). The Third Place: The Library as Collaborative and Community Space in a Time of Fiscal Restraint. College & Undergraduate Libraries, 18(2/3), 228-238. doi:10.1080/10691316.2011.577683 

Profile of Rollins College’s Olin Library serves as a model for the campus library’s reinvention as a “third place” offering students a collaborative community-building environment in which they can both utilize library-stored learning materials, as well as share information in an informal and casual workspace.  Rollins College demonstrates that in spite of the “new normal” of budget constraints and space/staff reductions, a thriving learning community can and should be built to enhance student and faculty participation and interaction with each other and library materials.  Literature reviews suggests such a “third place” preserves the traditional library model while allowing space to increase community and collaborative learning. 

Meeting the Millennial’s Needs

Kaelyn Shaw

CO
ET 

Lippincot, J. (2012).  Information commons:  meeting millennials’ needs.  Journal of Library Administration, 50(1), 27–37. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/01930820903422156

Information Commons are popular with millennial (also called net generation) students, who often work in groups, use technology avidly, and combine their academic and social lives. Enhancing the configuration of services for the Information Commons can assist in leveraging the value of the available content, hardware, software, and physical setting to support learning and academic programs. Understanding millennial students’ lifestyle is key to developing a robust service program to engage and support them.

Changing habits and academic practices of millennial students influence a change in library priorities and design considerations; especially given the evolution of the traditional library into information commons spaces.  Focus is given to the connection between the information commons and the way that millennials conduct their lives suggesting that the commons design should address this connection.
Specific considerations include space flexibility, accommodation of group activity and collaborative learning, space that reinforces community, access to technology and instruction on technology use, as well as the inclusion of some more traditional instructional and presentation space.
The definition and preferences of millennials is addressed, as are the many misconceptions and stereotypes of this age group. Knowing who the millennials are and how they differ from students of past generations provide insights into how libraries can best support this dynamic population.  Focusing on how students ideally will use the space takes priority over purely aesthetic considerations for commons design and will allow future information commons to address the needs of all students.