Monday, September 12, 2011

Sept. 12, 2011

I went back to the CYA podcasts because I enjoyed the last one so much, and I was not disappointed. Listening to the conversations about young adult lit takes me back to why I want to be a librarian - the power of books to help define who we are, who we might become. Two books discussed: The Grimm Legacy by Polly Schulman and Legacy by Joshua Coleman (May 4, 2011). From the conversation I surmised Schulman's book is a fantasy set in a library where people could check out mystical or magical items that are organized in a Dewey style. At first the review was tepid (slow paced, sterotypical characterizations), but as they each remembered favorite parts of the book, the review was better. It averaged to a 3 out of 5. Legacy received a much better review (4+ out of 5). The theme is bullying, and the setting is high school, specifically the football team vs. the gymnastics team. A "must read," "powerful," "gritty," all the reviewers were on the same page except for how the conflict was resolved between the two groups of teens. Some thought the ending was realistic, a few thought it "hollywood." Be aware that a gang rape and suicide are parts of the plot, so read before you recommend. All the reviews end with recommendations by each member of the group. Some I will check out: Heads you Lose  by Lisa Lutz and David Hayward, Hint Fiction by Robert Swartwood, Whiff of Pine, Hint of Skunk a Forest of Poems by Deborah Ruddell, and Modern Masters  published by Abbeville Press.

Bit by Bit by Bob Sprankle  "Who Has the Right?" Aug 19, 2011
Does a teacher have the right to ban a student from using _______________ (insert technology here) if it's an effective learning tool for that student? The piece of technology focused on in this blog is the Livescribe Echo, a pen, when used with special note taking paper, is also able to record the lecture at the same time the student is taking notes. The student can later point to their notes, and the recorded version of the lecture that matches that note will replay. The student can hear the lecture again to clarify their notes. Besides the issue of price, the most worrisome is policy and/or performance: would the teacher and classmates all have to sign consent forms? How could you keep the student from sharing so others don't have to attend class? How do you keep students from cleverly editing a teacher's/classmate's words and send on the Utube? Will the teacher/students alter their lecture/involvement in class because they worry about being taped? Does the help it may give the student using the pen outweigh the other issues?

Websites of the Day by Larry Ferlazzo Sept. 12, 2011
Again looking at the idea of how to help students listen more effectively (from last blog assignment), Larry had posted a link about that topic. Within that article was a 7 min TED talk by Julien Treasure about the importance of listening. He believes that conscience listening creates understanding, and it is a skill that is being lost: too much noise being produced, and filtering tires us out; connecting through technology deminishes the need for artful conversation (which requires listening to each other); we are impatient in today's world of now, now, now. His 5 tools to improve listening I think I will try to practice 1) 3 minutes of silence a day, 2)listening actively to all the channel of sounds that you hear, 3) savoring all the sounds that you hear, especially mundane ones, 4) change positions (active to passive, reductive to expansive, critical to empathetic) - don't stay in one mode, and 5) RASA: receive, appreciate, summarize and ask. Listening is the skill to connect us to the world.

Teacher 2.0 by Steve Hargadon "Personal Web Presence" Sept. 7, 2011
This is step #5 (I have to look up the first 4!), and he suggests that PWP's are important for both students and adults. Colleges are encouraging their students to create one for job application purposes to highlight their accomplishments, achievements, interests,etc., instead of relying on a google search or facebook account, which could both contain questionable material(I wonder if high school students are next for college applications); the same can be said for educators. These sites might become a chore to keep current, but worthwhile. I think that this idea could lead to a great discussion  with teens about what kind of web "footprint" they are leaving behind, and how it might hurt/help them in the future. Also, realizing this is going to be important in a job search, they may want to evaluate more seriously their current goals: What would my PWP look like? How/what could I do today that would enhance it? What would I include? I know it got me thinking about what mine would look like.

Quick interesting question posted-wondering if any of you have had to work around this: Animoto changed its user policy over the summer, and I guess a student must be 13 or older to use this technology. Poster wondered how this affected elementary librarians - has anyone had this come up?

"In the Spirit of Benjamin Franklin: 13 Virtues of the Next-gen Librarian" by Andy Burkhardt, Catherine Johnson and Carissa Tomilson
 1) Courage: act not from fear, but in spite of it
 2)Flexibility: prepare to be adaptable
 3)Service oriented: pay attention to your people more than your emails
 4)Balance: between budgets, time, technology, and user needs
 5)Collegiality: learn and share with colleagues
 6)Curiosity: be excited to learn and discover; don't be the person with all the answers
 7)Creativity: using the 21st Century technology to solve the 21st Century problems
 8)Thoughtlful: be a critical thinker of new educational "bandwagons"
 9)Playful: don't take yourself too seriously
10)Collaborative: find opportunities to collaborate with everyone
11)Direction: set goals and achieve them. Turn vision into reality
12)Passionate: spread excitement and enthusiam
13)Assertive: be an advocate for libraries!
These are not meant to be a checklist, but a guide for professional development.

Kidtopia  Dr. Michael Bell (
A great site for elementary librarians to find search engines for elementary age students. All sites are evaluated as safe and effective. Graphics are excellent. Colored pencils contain subject matter (Language Art, Science, etc.). I choose Language Arts, and my choices included Illustrators, Stories, Writing, Vocabulary, etc. I choose Authors and was given sites such as Yahoo Kid Author, Author Spotlight and Literacy Web. I will bookmark this site.


  1. I love the concept of the Schulman book. I just checked it out on Audible and unfortunately it isn't one of their selections. Gang rape! Ugh -- I can't imagine what a "Hollywood ending" would be for a book like this.

    What an interesting blog posting on Livescribe Echo. This is entirely new to me and the ethical questions raised in the article are fascinating. Would be good for a Skype discussion in itself.

    I'm listening to music as I read your blog. Would Treasure think that was a good idea?

    Hargadon always has interesting stuff. I'm glad you pointed to this topic because this is one that I'm very interested in. I thought this comment by Wyatt was very profound, "students need some safe digital places to develop their ideas and identities."

  2. The Schulman book sounds facinating. I will have to try and find that one.

    I also read the 13 Virtues post. I felt like it was a really good guide for librarians and other educators!