Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Wes Moore to Speak at New Trier

Most of you are probably aware that Wes Moore will be speaking at the Cornog next week.  Here are the details:
Wednesday, January 14
7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
Northfield Cornog Auditorium  7 Happ Road, Northfield, IL 60093

This event is sponsored by Fan and more details are available from the press release and on the FAN (Family Action Network) web site.

The Library is also purchasing two copies of his new book called The Work: My Search for a Life that Matters with review comments as follows:

Booklist noted: “He tells his own whirlwind story of Oxford, investment banking, military service, a White House Fellowship—all the while questioning how the work he did contributed to the lives of others…. This is a beautifully philosophical look at the expectation that work should bring meaning to our lives through service to others.”

Kirkus: “Though a less-charismatic offshoot of that former effort, Moore's writing remains consistently articulate and escorts readers through a decade of pivotal years ….The takeaway is crystal clear: Take pride in your endeavors, and make every attempt to discover the ‘meaning of success in a volatile, difficult, and seemingly anchorless world.’ An inspired story of a passionate American who has delved into a variety of livelihoods and made a distinctive mark on each." 

I like the way that Wes Moore has interspersed the stories of others (for example, a combat veteran or a Teach For America educator) along with his own experiences as a Rhodes Scholar, on Wall Street, fighting in Afghanistan and as a family member.  Overall, I personally think that this new book will be hugely inspirational for students and adults; I am looking forward to hearing him speak at New Trier.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Some end of the year lists worth a look

At this time of year we are often thinking about lists of numbers so here are a couple of others to peruse:

5 Things We Know about College Students in 2014, published by The Chronicle of Higher Education which summarizes the findings of a recent survey:
  • They love Apple
  • Print is not dead to them
  • They are not that into Twitter
  • They think libraries and computer labs are swell
  • They have not ditched scholarly works for Wikipedia
Of course, I particularly liked the positive comments about libraries and I found this pretty consistent  with observations of our own high school students and with scholarly studies such as those profiled by Emily Singley in How College Students *Really* Do Research

100 Top Tools for Learning 2014 – which includes results from the 8th annual survey.  Based in the UK, this survey compiles results from learning professionals in 61 countries.  The top ten are shown nearby.  

School Library Journal also publishes several lists of top Apps, Books, Tech and More.

For more top 100’s see these Book lists:
 Above image from SLJ's Best Adult Books 4 Teens 2014

Prefer a video instead? Here are the 10 Best TED Talks of 2014 for Educators.   And one personal suggestion that combines tech and art: Tim’s Vermeer is a fascinating movie about an attempt to replicate the work of Vermeer using lenses and innovative technology from the 17th century. I thoroughly enjoyed this film and highly recommend it.  And for fun - an absolute favorite created by students at Mount Desert Island High School in Maine:

There are many, many more lists … feel free to share your favorites in the comment space below.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

What We’re
Intrigued by/Reading/Watching
Right Now…

Mr. Stuczynski:  
“TED talk that I saw recently made an impression upon me because it deals with both marketing and leadership and how great leaders and companies sell emotions/feelings rather than facts and give people what THEY themselves want rather than what the leaders want.”  http://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action

Ms. Lazar:
“A link to a blogpost from  Rich in Color (Rich in Color is dedicated to reading, reviewing, talking about, and otherwise promoting young adult fiction starring people of color or written by people of color. ) The post is short but also includes a link to  the Youtube Adichie’s TEDTalk, “The Danger of a Single Story,”  I invite others to watch or rematch this 18 minute talk "just to remind ourselves the power books."

Ms. Burns:
This is a brief story about how an artist works with books....

Ms. Novak:  
My article is an episode of This American Life but it also exists as a transcript.  It is a story on the school to prison pipeline and has stayed with me particularly since Ferguson.  I think it speaks a lot to the impact we have as educators on students of color. It is in Act One - Time Out

Ms. Straube:  
Written by a Systems Librarian at Harvard, this is really 7 articles in one, given the bibliography.

Ms. Peterson:  
This Will Revolutionize Education - video

Saturday, November 08, 2014

A Journey through a revolution ...

From Cambridge University Press, Computing Universe by Tony Hey and Gyuri Papay was just released this week and I have been leafing through a digital version of its pages which are “intended to be intelligible to both high school and first year university students and to stimulate their interest in the wide range of opportunities of a career in computer science.”  The book covers developments related to computers from the 1930’s to the present day and includes discussion of topics like semiconductors, the rise of robots and computer games. 

As I started reading, I thought of my review of Innovators by Isaacson and although that book covers a much bigger time period, both titles focus on pioneers like Alan Turing.  And with The Imitation Game movie coming soon, there seems to be plenty of general interest.  Authors Hey and Papay make frequent reference to [Gordon] Moore’s law, lectures and contests from Richard Feynman, and predictions from Michio Kaku which will hopefully promote exploration of and greater familiarity with work by those distinguished scientists.  I also enjoyed the section explaining how algorithms were developed for IBM’s Watson, the eventual Jeopardy! champion.

Computing Universe includes plenty of pictures, but still seems a bit “dry” and “textbook-ish” overall.  I am wondering why publishers are not building more links and interactive elements into their books, especially on a subject such as this one; certainly, that would increase the appeal for their intended audience.

For example, Maria Popova at Brain Pickings created a terrific visual review  (check out #27 about Hedy Lamarr’s contribution to wifi type communication; who knew?!) of 100 Ideas that Changed the Web by Jim Boulton.  Or look into The Gentleman who made Scholar and be sure to investigate 12 Lesser-known Google Projects that are Absolutely Amazing.

A favorite quote found in Computing Universe is “every 30 years there is a new wave of things that computers do.  Around 1950, they began to model events in the world (simulation) and around 1980 to connect people (communication). Since 2010, they have begun to engage with the physical world in a non-trivial way (embodiment).”  I look forward to a future edition of Computing Universe filled with engaging, interactive elements.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Phi Delta Kappan archives currently available

I was very excited to see that the November 2014 issue of Phi Delta Kappan focuses on the theme of Literacy Instruction in a Brave New World. 
And I was even more excited to learn that this issue and past ones are currently available through FREE online access to celebrate the addition of Phi Delta Kappan to SAGE Journals
Here is a sampling of some of the November articles: 
  • Michael C. McKenna:  "Literacy instruction in the brave new world of technology"
  • Joan Richardson  "Maryanne Wolf: Balance technology and deep reading to create biliterate children" and 
  • Christopher Harris "Fact or fiction? Libraries can thrive in the Digital Age"
A full Table of Contents with links to November articles is available as well as an archive of all online issues (Sept 2000 and after).

A discussion guide accompanying the November issue is available as well as discussion guides for past issues on themes like "Exploring Classroom Management," Student Learning: Engagement and Motivation," "Obstacles and Strategies in Spreading Innovation" and many more.