Urban Myths about Learning and Education – Book

Clem, Katy


De Bruyckere, P., Kirschner, P.A., & Hulshof, C.D. (2015). Urban Myths about Learning and Education. Academic Press.

Preview available at https://books.google.com/books?id=7h4tBAAAQBAJ&lpg=PP1&pg=PR4#v=onepage&q&f=false

This is a full book rather than a journal article, but it is a great place to begin understanding educational theories. The authors devote the first section to a wide-reaching foundation in ET background before moving on to describing and debunking 12 common myths in education.

Urban Myths About Learning and Education serves as a particularly elegant source of background to Education Theory & Practice; as it is aimed at novices and experts alike, its early chapters are dedicated to providing a foundational overview of the current educational paradigm, operating theories, roles in education research, and definitions of frequently used terms. I found this so helpful and used it as a launching pad for deeper investigation into individual ideas. The many, many useful references from this book alone could take me years to examine! Ultimately, this single title emerged as my most useful resource on education theory, and I’ve been going back to it repeatedly for further topical background as I stretch my knowledge base. It provided a mental map to how the world of educational research is currently laid out and allowed me to create a scaffold of understanding into which new ideas could be categorized and linked in a meaningful way rather than just added to the top of an ever-growing pile of information.

Love the Library: Make It a Game

Post by Lora Poser-Brown
Squires, T. (2016). “Engaging students through gamification.” American libraries. March 1, 2016. https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2016/03/01/engaging-students-through-gamification/
Overview: After instituting a game based library reading and writing program, the school library attained an 80% student participation level. Since the program was entirely voluntary, the success has been attributed to the opportunity to compete, collaborate, build non-classroom relationships with school staff, and the simple please of playing a game.
Analysis: The school library made itself a relevant, enjoyable place to be by making learning and exploring the library a game. While creating the game was labor intensive, the success was well worth the effort in staff eyes. Furthermore, the improvement in school morale and quality relationships has been viewed positively by the school community.

Genius Hour in the Library

Frey, Jennifer


RUSH, E. B. (2015). Genius Hour in the Library. Teacher Librarian, 43(2), 26-30.


This article is about how a librarian went about implementing a librarian led genius hour for students in grades 3-5. The article takes you through the planning to the approval and implementation phase then addresses what worked and what’s next. The librarian worked with teachers to lead this project so there is a lot of collaboration going on.


I really enjoyed this article since I was interested in genius hours and wanted to know more. I thought this article was especially helpful since the focus was on librarians leading it. I liked how she shared her plan and what worked and the students reactions.

Pop-Up Perfection: Staging a Pop-Up Library

Aubree Burkholder

Fiore, S. (2016, September). Pop-Up Perfection: Staging a Pop-Up Library. Retrieved from http://publiclibrariesonline.org/2016/09/pop-up-perfection-staging-a-pop-up-library/
This article outlines the value behind community outreach and making personal connections with members of the community, especially when trying to plan new events or even pop-up libraries. The author gives a good explanation of what exactly a pop-up library is and the role that a pop-up librarian needs to have.  The article also gives great tips on how to promote the pop-up library and the ways to incorporate as many library departments as possible.

I enjoyed this article because it shines a light on how important community outreach really is. It also gives great tips on how to begin setting up a pop-up library within a community that has never hosted one before. 

A Strategy Session With Some of Education’s Top Thinkers

Williams, Susan


Ryan, J. E., Selingo, J., Christakis, N., Gasman, M., Levy, H., Krislov, M., … Weingarten, R. (2016, June 22). A strategy session with some of education’s top thinkers. Retrieved from http://nyti.ms/28PovcP

This is an article of big ideas, featuring 15 perspectives from top education thinkers.  Topics include:

The importance of social emotional learning; balancing diversity and freedom of expression; the status of a liberal arts and vocational education programs in light of the intense STEM push; income and opportunity inequalities and balancing technology use. Offers useful names to attach to ideas for further research and highlights trends.

School Libraries Work! 2016 Edition

Sannwald, Suzanne
Scholastic. (2015). School libraries work!: A compendium of research supporting the effectiveness of school libraries (2016 ed.). Retrieved from http://www.scholastic.com/SLW2016/ 

Summary: The 2016 edition updates the previous 2008 version, and it includes new research and trends such as makerspaces. This is a seminal document that Teacher Librarians should study and become familiar with, because it summarizes well the power of school library programs. It may also be shared with other members of the school community as an advocacy piece to help inform them. Of importance, the report not only shares statements about the importance of staffing and funding school libraries, but it bases these assertions on summarized research. Some key ideas shared include the following:

  • Libraries are transforming into learning commons.
  • School libraries consist of (1) The Place, (2) The Professional, and (3) The Program.
  • Successful school libraries contribute to ELA achievement, reading performance, information literacy, 21st century skill building, and overall student success.
  • Successful school libraries require commitment from district and school administration.

Evaluation: I had a difficult time picking a category for this resource since it spans a lot of topics, but I ended up picking “CO” Collaboration since I think it is a strong document supporting the value of collaboration with school libraries. This is a powerful reference resource for all Teacher Librarians!

New State of America’s Libraries Report find shift in role of U.S. Libraries

Chansamone O’Meara
New State of America’s Libraries Report finds shift in role of U.S. libraries. (April 13, 2015). Retrieved April 20, 2015, from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-state-of-americas-libraries-report-finds-shift-in-role-of-us-libraries-300064343.html

The article sums up the State of America’s Libraries Report released by the American Library Association (ALA) that all current libraries are perceived as “community anchors, centers for academic life and research and cherished spaces.” This is a shift away from the old view of just a place for books. The libraries today are trying to meet the needs of library patrons based on how people access and search for information. “From offering free technology workshops, small business centers and 24/7 virtual access to e-Books and digital materials, libraries are transforming communities, schools and campuses.”  Librarians are an important part of identifying and addressing the trends, changes, and needs of the community. Librarians are an essential part in creating today’s 21-st century learner. From collaborating with classroom teachers to design inquiry-based learning, school librarians are teaching students critical thinking, technology and information literacy skills.

Evaluation: This article perfectly sums up our class this semester.  Libraries are a place for learning that is accessible 24/7 for virtual learning.  The library is a leader and the catalyst for transforming schools and communities.  Libraries can no longer afford to continue to be the traditional place for borrowing books.  The libraries that will survive and thrive are the libraries that continue to transform itself and offer services and products that will meet the changing needs of the consumer.  It continues to be critical that libraries play a large role in education.  Creating a learning commons and supporting personal learning is an important part of libraries and the librarians that run them.

Copyright solutions for institutional repositories: A collaboration with subject librarians

Blaylock, Solomon


Leary, H., Lundstrom, K., & Martin, P. (2012). Copyright solutions for institutional repositories: A collaboration with subject librarians. Journal Of Library Innovation, 3(1), 101-110. Accessed 27 September 2014 from EBSCOhost.

The authors discuss the recently implemented practice at Utah State University’s
Merrill-Cazier Library of librarians performing copyright clearance on behalf of faculty submitting to the institutional repository. The article deals frankly with the opportunities and challenges posed by the new arrangement.


I have both positive and negative feelings about this article. On the one hand, I think the spirit of it is right on, and very timely. By addressing a process-related need, subject librarians at Utah State are creating opportunities for interdepartmental and library-faculty collaboration as well as expanding their individual capacities in the currently vital areas of copyright, metadata, scholarly publishing, and open access. On the other hand, the continued relevance of the homegrown institutional repository can hardly be taken for granted, and the opportunities for capacity building in this area are not especially broad or deep. I do like the way the authors are thinking though, and those of us in academic libraries cannot afford to neglect this kind of thinking at this pivotal time.

Can You DIG/IT?

Brugioni, Angela

Nolan, J., Preston, M., & Finkelstein, J. (2012). Can you DIG/IT?. Phi Delta Kappan, 94(2), 42-46.

IL- Information Literacy & 21st Century Skills
ET- Educational Theory and Practice

“DIG/IT” is a blended learning technology course developed for at-risk students in New York. The article discusses the value of blended learning and a student-centered approach to instruction. Many “so-called digital natives” do not know how to use technology purposefully and efficiently. Blended learning programs teach digital literacy, self-regulation and independence, and communication and collaboration to students. These are the types of skills students will need beyond high school into further education and employment. Additionally in blended learning environments the instruction is more student centered rather than teacher driven. As students become engaged learners seeking information and utilizing Web 2.0 technology to curate knowledge, teachers have additional time for small groups or individual instruction, to lead discussions, and for more formative assessments.

This article is very biased towards promoting blended learning (they are trying to sell their product). I agree however, with many of the benefits derived from blended learning experiences. The reason I chose to include this article in the blog is because in much of my reading and research one of the concerns for the new Common Core is that private interest organizations will begin to develop influence over curriculum, by developing programs such as this one. It’s a glimpse at how these programs look while at work in schools. In this case the beneficiaries are at-risk students receiving contemporary, innovative instruction that will allow them to be competitive in the 21stcentury workplace and the opportunity and ambition to attempt further education.

How to Reinvent Project Based Learning to Be More Meaningful

Shawn Pomatto


Educational principles are changing the way we teach throughout the entire country.  Our educational system is going through a reboot of educational processes and the development of skills.  There is a pressing need to increase problem solving skill sets and inquiry within our students.  Gone are the days of a teacher centered classroom where students mindlessly listen to boring lectures.  Students themselves are now becoming the presenters, collaborating amongst themselves in an attempt to create unique projects.  But now even the projects based learning model (PBL) is under evaluation.  The PBL model of instruction is designed to get students involved in research that is dependent upon collaboration.  Students analyze information and evidence, then they think about a problem and remedy a solution.  Like any other means of instruction, PBL has its flaws if not performed correctly.  The proper way to conduct a project based learning environment lesson  is to first and foremost develop skills, not content, through a process of inquiry.  Teamwork and presentation are the means of achieving this goal.  PBL allows students to go deep into any particular issue.  Every subject across the curriculum will have varying levels of how deep a project might be.  But the underlying principles will remain constant.  Students will work from a knowledge base which will allow them to design a creative, authentic product.  Individual personalities can flourish as students take ownership of their learning.  Collaboration allows students to create and analyze content while teachers merely facilitate their learning experience.  One of the more powerful aspects of a PBL environment is peer review.  Students are encouraged to identify strengths and weaknesses of student projects.  This evaluation will then lead to more creation and a means to make the end product even better.

Project based learning allows for a deeper, more personal learning experience to take place.  Differentiation can occur more freely as teachers can now allow students to reach goals never before available under the old system of learning.  The facilitator role which teachers are now using allows for more leaders to arise within a class.  Peer review allows students to be accountable for their work.  The fundamental principle of evaluation and inquiry itself allows for PBL lessons to be challenged in their design as well.  Constant modifications will only support students creativity, helping to foster ingenuity.  This open ended form of lesson design positively affects the learning experience of so many more students, allowing them to grow and experience new ideas on their own.