Why Can’t I Just Google?

Feltman, Michaela


Why can’t I just Google?. (2009, September 16). Retrieved October 03, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=192&v=hqjJyqfceLw

In a light-hearted way, this video is about two students that discuss why just Googleing information for an academic paper is not the best practice. This video was included on a website about information literacy.

I thought that this video would be a great teaching tool for perhaps a college-prep or AP English course to teach their students about not relying on Google for all of their sources. It also reminded me of the self-taught information literacy when writing my undergraduate thesis, I wish that I had watched this video beforehand to give me some ideas.

Is It Project-Based Learning, Maker Education, or Just Projects?

Jess Peterson


Gerstein, J. (2013, October 22). Is It Project-Based Learning, Maker Education or Just Projects? Retrieved from https://usergeneratededucation.wordpress.com/2013/10/22/is-it-project-based-learning-maker-education-or-just-projects/

This article examines and explains the differences between PBL, Maker Ed, and just throwing in projects. The author makes the claim that most often, even though educators are attempting to tout their activities as PBL or otherwise, mostly, projects are really just an activity that follows direct instruction, and don’t include any form of inquiry whatsoever. She goes on to outline several conditions that must be in place in order for PBL to truly exist, and if all, or at least most conditions aren’t met, then you simply have a project, and inquiry is missing.

I liked this article because she was particularly blunt as well as clear about what makes something qualify as PBL versus what doesn’t. She carefully examines the conditions she claims are essential for PBL to occur, and thoroughly explains how educators can meet these criteria. I also really liked that she included several resources throughout, in case anyone needed or wanted further reading about the various subtopics she brings up.

Inviting the User – Making the Library More Like a Bookstore

Solomon, Samantha


Cornwall, G. (2018). How Genrefication Makes School Libraries More Like Bookstores. [online] KQED. Available at: https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/51336/how-genrefication-makes-school-libraries-more-like-bookstores. [Accessed 2 Oct. 2018].

This article describes genrefication and includes interviews with librarians who have a range of experience around it. The article includes several before and after stories and includes arguments on both sides of the debate from real librarians in the field.

I was drawn to this article because my library is genrefied and I feel very strongly about how that serves my students. When I have kids who come in and say “Do you have any horror books?” It is SUPER easy to show them where that section is and then just let them browse. In talking with other librarians about their feelings around genrefication, it seems that schools with more developed cultures around reading feel they don’t need it as much as schools with more nascent reading cultures.

Toward a socio-contextual understanding of transliteracy

Isbister, Kathy


Hovious, A. (2018). Toward a socio-contextual understanding of transliteracy. Reference Services Review, 46(2), 178-188. Retrieved from https://www-emeraldinsight-com.libaccess.sjlibrary.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1108/RSR-02-2018-0016

Summary: This article reviews the works of many researchers to arrive at a current definition of transliteracy. There is discussion on the different ways literacy can be defined, early definitions of transliteracy where it is used to describe the convergence of multiple modes of presenting information, discussion of how this idea intersects with information literacy, and the socio-contextual perspective of transliteracy. In the conclusion, the author states, “Transliteracy then becomes a literacy of literacies, and transliterate individuals transform their literacy practices to successfully participate in the information activity systems to which they belong.”

Evaluation: I sought this article out to help me define transliteracy, and found this very thorough description of how the term can be used across multiple disciplines. For my own purposes, it is helpful to view the concept as one that encompasses using multiple modes both to discover more about an area of interest, and to share that discovery.


10-Minute Teacher Podcast: 5 Ideas to Experience Inquiry in Your Classroom

Isbister, Kathy


Davis, V. (Producer & Host). (2018, September 14). 10-Minute Teacher http://podcast (Episode 360: 5 ideas to experience inquiry in your classroom). Retrieved from http://www.coolcatteacher.com/e360/

Summary: I recently found this podcast from a list of recommendations from the Edutopia blog, and I have become an active listener. In this episode, host Vicki Davis interviews Kimberly Mitchell, author of the book Experience inquiry: 5 powerful strategies, 50 practical experiences. Tips involved sharing curiosity with students by telling them what you are interested in learning more about, and encouraging students to develop open rather than closed questions (where open questions invite more thoughtful responses). One of the questions Mitchell has found especially useful is, “How do you know that?” This encourages students to share their sources and examine how they come to conclusions. It is important to note that the host discloses this was a sponsored episode and she did receive some form of compensation, but I have found her work to be credible and I felt the ideas discussed were aimed at supporting teachers rather than selling books.

Evaluation: I found this to be an engaging discussion with practical suggestions that will be easy to implement. Both host and guest are interested in supporting student learning by helping students remain curious. Curious learners have more questions, which I have found to be the basis of inquiry. The quality of questions a learner has reflects their interest in a subject, and the search for thoughtful answers encourages them to continue on their personal quests for knowledge.


How Design Thinking Can Empower Young People

Kinsella, Jason

ID (Inquiry and Design)

How design thinking can empower young people. (2013). Edutopia. Retrieved from https://www.edutopia.org/video/how-design-thinking-can-empower-young-people

When it comes to design thinking, it’s helpful to see it in action. This eight-minute video documents teens who are living in a homeless shelter engage in a collaborative design thinking challenge to improve the space and services at the shelter.

I really like the way they frame design thinking as a three-step process: Dream it. Design it. Do it. I think this simplifies what may seem like a complicated process into something easily understandable. However, it is important for viewers not to forget about the reflective and iterative aspects of design thinking.

Lastly, this example of teens completing a design thinking challenge shows teens engaged in a real world problem–an essential element to the design thinking concept. This is a great resource, in my opinion, for anyone first learning about student-centered, inquiry-based teaching and learning.

KQED Mindshift: How To Ease Students Into Independent Inquiry Projects

Gould, Molly


Mackenzie, T. & Bathurst-Hunt, R. (March 1, 2018). How to ease students into independent inquiry projects. Mindshift.  KQED. Retrieved from: https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/50620


This article and its accompanying chart describe the spectrum along which inquiry-based education can occur, from structured, to controlled, to guided and, finally, to free inquiry. In structured inquiry the educator leads the one inquiry from start to finish. In controlled inquiry, the teacher provides the questions asked, the resources and assigns the project, deliverable or assessment. In guided inquiry, the educator assigns the subject and asks the essential question, but the students have more freedom and autonomy to choose resources and design projects. Free inquiry completes the spectrum, where student initiate the inquiry, choose their own topics, select resources and design their own projects or performance tasks.



As a term and a concept, inquiry is often thrown around with little explanation of what it is or how it works. As a relatively new public school educator, inquiry-based learning has often seemed to me to be a lofty constructivist ideal without much place in real-world classrooms. At least part of the reason for this is that there’s very little training in how to implement inquiry-based learning experiences. This article provides a very useful framework for where to begin, depending on teacher interest and ability, as well as student readiness.

Adriana Lugo


Stripling, B. (2008) Inquiry-based teaching and learning—The role of the Library Media Specialist. School Library Media Activities Monthly XXV (1). Retrieved from 6/14/2017 /http://www.teachingbooks.net/content/InquiringMindsWantToKnow-Stripling.pdf

Explains inquiry based learning as well as how librarians can collaborate with teachers as well as use it to define their collection and teaching.

Information Inquiry, evolving models

Goodman, Jana


Callison, D: Baker, K. (2014). Elements of information inquiry, evolution of models, & measured reflection. Knowledge Quest. 43, 2, 18-24.

Summary: This is a very detailed but well thought out article about the five elements that have remained central in the leading informational instructional models.  They are questioning, exploration, assimilation, inference and reflection.  The authors explain the evolution of these ideas towards a model of inquiry.  The article includes very detailed and easy to read tables linking styles of inquiry with their corresponding elements.

Evaluation: The funny thing about this article is that I am still trying to make sense of it but it feels very important to me.  It was a very accessible description of inquiry and the connection with information literacy instruction models.  It is a lot to digest but a well thought out, and more workable discussion of this topic.