Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read

"A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever." -Martin Tupper


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Week Ten Reflections


Elizabeth Van Pate media specialist  from Mancelona Public Schools  in Mancelona, MI writes on October 12 about her concerns with weeding books from the library.  She wanted to know if it was possible to sell some of the books at a very low price so that the library could raise some money.  There was much concern with this because of the books being purchased with taxpayer’s money. Most libraries often either donate or just throw away their unwanted, weeded books.  It seems like such a waste to just throw away books. I like the idea of donating books to places like Salvation Army but if the library could have a “garage sale” it would mean the library would have a little extra money to purchase newer books or technology.

Chris Hales, M. Ed. a media specialist from Andersen Junior High School in Chandler, AZ writes on October 20 about the new e reader from Barnes and Noble called “Nook”.  I have become very intrigued by the idea of an e reader, especially since I heard about the Kindle last year.  The Kindle sounded amazing to me but I knew it wouldn’t be as successful as it could until the price came down. Well, Barnes and Noble has beaten them to the punch.  “Nook” is only $260, it comes with a color touch screen and it has the ability to lend books to other people.  You can even lend books to people who don’t have a “Nook”.  This could mean something really interesting for libraries.  I believe generating interest in books for young adults means using technology.  It is an easy way to get their attention.



            In a related blog, The Unquiet Librarian writes on October 16th about students gaining interest in ebooks after a project at school where they researched short stories.  Students began searching online for short stories and found some inexpensive and sometimes free apps for stories.  What a great way to interest students in some amazing literature!

            In a post on October 11th, The Unquiet Librarian writes about an interesting project where students have the opportunity to combine literature circles and research.  Students are reading books about issues in Africa and then taking their ideas and researching topics.  I think this is a great way to using books and teaching together.  It’s the kind of authentic learning where students actually get something really meaningful from their reading.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Week Nine Reflections


In a posting from Jacquie Henry, from Macedon, NY she writes on Oct. 8th about a video.  In this video, a poet reads a poem titled “I’ll Fight You for the Library.”  If you want to laugh out loud and see someone who enthusiastically appreciates the LMC and all that it provides I suggest you take a look at the video as well. The poem is written from the perspective of a teacher who becomes aggravated over being booted out of his spot at the library due to an administrative meeting.  It illustrates perfectly feelings that many of us have as educators and reminds us to “fight” for our library.

The post “If You Like…You Should Read…” on Oct 6th from Susan Solo who teaches in Grass Lake, MI gave me some very useful links that I can pass on to my students.  The links are places students can go to help them figure out what to read next after they have read a good book.  I went to a couple of the links and they do a great job of providing similar authors and subjects areas that a student might be interested in after having read a “good book”.  I get students asking me frequently for book suggestions so these links can help to fulfill their requests.



The blog entry titled “Research Pathfinder” from Unquiet Librarian on Oct 18th struck my attention having just attempted to create my own pathfinder (not so successfully I might add).  I am really interested by this idea of a pathfinder but I am going to need a lot more training to be able to create one successfully.  I would love to involve students more on the web, especially to give them ideas for research.  We struggle with this piece so much at my school.  I will definitely be bringing this idea back to my LMS and see what she and I can come up with.

The Unquiet Librarian writes also on Oct 18th about ‘My Response to “Where are the Others?”’ The original post in the whole mess had to do with an article from Johnson and Valenza that was basically encouraging LMS to take more action and become more Web 2.0.  It seems that some librarians took offense (of course) and the Unquiet Librarian was defending the original article.  All throughout this course, I have been studying ways to become more literate in the 21st century.  I am constantly overwhelmed by it all but I do not doubt the importance of the subject.  I just can’t understand why any library media specialist would argue against these points.  Isn’t it obvious that we can all improve?  Aren’t we as librarians the heart of the life-long learners?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Week Eight Reflections


            There has been a big discussion on LM_NET this past week (10-02 to 10-05) about whether or not to teach students about Wikipedia during the research process.  On the one hand, traditional researchers don’t think teaching students about Wikipedia is worth anything.  They claim it is an unreliable source and if we teach students about it then that will only encourage them to use it.  On the other hand, some teachers believe in teaching it since they know students will use it no matter what so they might as well be informed on how to use it.  If a student knows how to get what they need from Wikipedia then they can move on to a reliable resource. I for one believe in this approach.  Students need to be informed on all methods of research.

            Jaclyn Adler, a 7-12 Teacher Librarian from Salem CSD, writes to the netters about kids wanting books from displays that she has created.  She is frustrated by taking the books down, since then there wouldn’t be a display left. Many encouraged her to go ahead and let students check out the books since that is what the display is for.  Some came up with some excellent solutions like creating dummy display books by scanning the covers and setting those up in the display.  I really enjoyed this idea and I think I will use it to advertise books in my own classroom.



            In his blog, “Two Cents Worth”, David Warlick writes on August 30th, 2009 about how little students now value history or geography.  He makes some very valid points about how students now don’t learn because “we tell them” or even if we threaten that it “will be on the test”.  He instead claims that they learn out of necessity and they view learning as a tool.  Just like in their video games, they obtain information to use it for something they need.  By presenting education this way, students will be more receptive to the learning process.  I completely agree.  Students need learning to be authentic and they need to understand the purpose behind it.  It has to be valuable to them or it won’t stick with them. Further proof that teaching solely from a textbook is useless to students.

            Doug Johnson wrote on September 16th in his “Blue Skunk” blog about the different options for sharing and collaborative editing.  He points out that sometime too many options can be overwhelming and it’s important to know your options and chose the best one to fit your needs.  He covers some of the pros and cons of different applications including: email, Lodestar, rSchools today, Google Apps, and even wikis.  The list gives different ideas for how to use these applications.  Some of them I haven’t even heard of before!