Review: This article does a great job of breaking down the information process and giving tips for how to teach it effectively. The break-down is easy to understand and the author gives clear steps to follow. A few seem to overlap and seem similar. Mostly step two and three, which sound the same and are a bit difficult to distinguish between. From what I understand step two must be teaching information seeking strategies, where step three is actually seeking the information. Overall, I recommend it as a helpful article for breaking down the process and giving a good overview of information literacy and how to go about teaching it.
ET, CA, IL
Series Reading Program: Creating a Culture of Reading. (2016, February 16). Retrieved from: http://www.edutopia.org/practice/series-reading-program-creating-culture-reading
Summary: Walter Bracken STEAM Academy Elementary school is a Title 1 magnet school in Las Vegas, Nevada. They have found a way to help students be two and a half years above their grade level on their STAR reading assessments by fifth grade. They have done this by implementing Series Reading in all of the grades, supplementing curriculum. The school deciding to make a change from what they had been doing years ago when they realize that the students were not finishing the books they brought home. Series Reading is meant to help the students develop a connection to the books’ characters, have a better idea of what book to read next, and increase their reading time and comprehension.
To accomplish Series Reading, each staff member at the school chooses their favorite book series. The series are then purchased and stored in the classrooms and staff offices. Six of every book is purchased so that multiple students can read the same book at the same time. The books have colored dots on their spines to indicate what reading level the series is. They also comes with a Series Bookmark that is a bookmark showing the title and covers of the books in that series. The school then uses the Accelerated Reader program to test each student on the book that they read. Next, when a student finishes an entire series they are rewarded with items such as dog tags, a charm to add to a necklace, a rubber duck, or a trophy. The school explains that as the students age it becomes less about the rewards and more about the excitement to read. Students receive a face bookmark in order to check out the books; this is done for the staff to know what books are out and need collected and it helps students know how much reading they have done.
Review: I think this is a terrific idea, although a school would have to have a substantial budget in order to get started. Not all schools would be able to incorporate this for that reason alone. The series would cost a great deal of money, but so would continually buying incentives and prizes. The fifth graders are encouraged to donate their trinkets back, which would lower some cost, but not eliminate it altogether. Also, the article (and accompanying video) did not explain how the school accommodates students with learning disabilities. Perhaps the biggest issue with this is the lack of mention of a library! It seems that there is no library media center for students to go to.
CA, IL, ET
Zielezinski, M. B. (2016, May 19). What a Decade of Education Research Tells Us About Technology in the Hands of Underserved Students. Retrieved from: https://www.edsurge.com/news/2016-05-19-what-a-decade-of-education-research-tells-us-about-technology-in-the-hands-of-underserved-students
Summary: This article is about how to use the influx of hardware and software in schools to better serve underserved students. The sad truth is that there is an alarming number of low-income, minority, and special education students that are not graduating from high school. In a study of edtech, it was found that access to internet sources was not enough; technology could not be used for remediation and drills and benefit these students. It is a problem when privileged students use technology for so much more, while underserved students are limited to drills. It is from this issue that five tips are provided.
The first tip is to not use technology for remediation. This means rather than using technology to drill kids into learning the standards for their grade level, schools should use technology to bring the students in. The goal should be to engage students in relevant ways, teaching them communication, collaboration, and critical thinking, not to just have kids memorize facts and equations.
The second tip is to have the students get creative by having them design their own digital content. Examples of this is how students can create their own film documentaries or use social media as a way to teach and learn. The biggest benefit to this is that students will create ongoing portfolios that they can add to for years to come.
The third tip is to use digital tools that incorporate interactivity. The best programs/apps are ones that allow students to come to their own conclusions and understandings, allowing them to see real life situations, and be able to use many forms of media.
The fourth tip is to view the students as experts and have them share their “expertise” with a real audience. This is shown to improve the quality of their work, encouraging creativity and ingenuity. Rather than write a small paper for the teacher, they have the opportunity to create a film for an entire community of people.
The fifth tip is to find the perfect blend of teacher and technology. The two must go hand in hand, and in order for digital learning to be effective the teacher plays an important role.
Review: I really liked this article because it went beyond the claim that low-income students have no access to technology or the internet. It realized that even with access there needs to be further steps taken to help these students thrive and utilize the technology appropriately. Any research done to help underserved students is a must, and I think this article does a great job highlighting five easy to achieve steps.
Schwartz, K. (2016, July 11). How Teacher-Created Free Online Resources Are Changing the Classroom. Retrieved from: http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2016/07/11/how-teacher-created-free-online-resources-are-changing-the-classroom/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+kqed%2FnHAK+%28MindShift%29.
Summary: This is an amazing article explaining the benefits that can be reaped when a school is dedicated to Open Educational Resources (OER). It is centered around Discovery Middle School in Liberty, Missouri, and the drive that social studies teacher, Eric Langhorst, has to develop new and engaging learning materials. One of the most common complaints that kids in school have is that school is boring and they hate the material. Well that cry has been heard, and the past few years school districts all over the country have begun to develop new lesson plans. These plans no longer rely on the texbook, rather they use any OERs necessary to help their kids interact, engage, and thrive throughout the entirety of the curriculum. Districts all over the country work together to grow the movement and allow their kids to work together across the country.
Review: This is great article to read if you are new to the concept of Open Educational Resources. It explains the benefits as well as includes an inspiring video that shows the benefits they can have on the students. This article also showcases the difficulties that come into play as well. Teachers develop new and amazing lesson plans, but struggle with whether or not to share it with others because (1) they do not own the materials included, and (2) they are many times not compensated for all of their hard work. Some schools realize the work that teachers put into the new curriculum and compensate them for their contributions, while other teachers continue to do this for the sake of the kids’ education. I think it is an incredible concept, one that I wish was in place when I was in high school. I love that they teach kids to utilize technology positively.
In this article, Montgomery writes about how school districts are incorporating MakerSpaces into their school libraries, however, instead of hiring credential librarians, the districts are now hiring “innovation specialist” or individuals with teaching credentials. As school librarians retire, the districts are hiring credential teachers to run the newly revamp library that has fewer books, but more “making” materials. The districts are less concerned with story time, age-appropriate reading materials, and having students read books in the library, instead, they want the libraries to be innovated spaces with students reading books on digital sources. However, a few librarians in the Shawnee Mission School District have stepped forward to articulate that school librarians are needed, stories need to be read, and that school librarians can run both a MakerSpace and the library.
This article reviews what many school librarians are facing today. Many districts are hiring “innovative specialist” or “media technicians” as the library environment includes technology and MakerSpaces. This article captures the feelings of district leaders as one says, “that grade schools haven’t much need anymore for the libraries of 20 years ago–when they stocked books, gave research help, suggested age-appropriate literature and provided a cozy corner in which kids could turn pages”. This article shows how leaders are not incorporating the new technology and creative spaces in the new library spaces, but replacing both the library spaces and librarians with what the newest trend is, without thinking about the consequences that will affect the students and their intellectual growth.
The No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) was a hovering threat that caused many changes in many schools across the nation. After years of backlash, it is satisfying to know that the call for change has finally been answered. Though this article talks about many of the benefits and successes, it does not go into detail about the language of the actual legislation or how it may affect accountability measures. It would be beneficial to include some of those details so that librarians can spread the information to the decision makers in their schools and districts.
This was a compelling read; I could barely put the book down. Even people who have teenagers and work with teenagers don’t know the extent of the depravity of the expected behavior being pushed by social media, modern celebrities, and the accessibility of adult content online. If libraries are going to stay relevant in the modern age, we must understand the world that our patrons live in. I hear often that we need to engage the community on social media so it is of paramount important that we understand how it is currently being used so that we can either fit in the landscape or be a part of the change to advance the human condition.