Monday, August 25, 2014

Digital Shift is back for 5th year

Digital Shift is an all day online event produced by Library Journal and School Library Journal with numerous co-sponsors.  This professional development opportunity (scheduled for October 1, 2014) is self-described as follows: "Now in its 5th year, The Digital Shift: Libraries @ the Center virtual conference will focus the attention of library professionals on libraries’ central role in the transformation of our culture from analog experiences to digital experiences."

I have attended in the past and highly recommend registering - the keynotes, presentations and live chats are valuable -- and if you cannot attend the entire time, archives of sessions are usually available to registrants until the end of the year. This year's theme is Libraries @the Center and that promises some intriguing work on how libraries can adapt and adopt changing technologies.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Girl Rising - Must see documentary

Recently, I watched Girl Rising, a documentary which had been listed on Library Journal’s best documentary/DVD list (more on those choices later). Girl Rising is about the power of education to change the world. It tells the story of 9 girls – in Cambodia, Haiti, India, Nepal, Egypt, Ethiopia, Peru, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. Each worked with an author (like Edwidge Danticat for Haiti), most play themselves in the movie, and an actor (such as Cate Blanchett or Liam Neeson) reads each story.

Girl Rising is a very impactful film; some are aspects are very sad, some will make you angry and many will give you hope.  The documentary runs 103 minutes and Girl Rising is so powerful that I would suggest watching parts at a time.  For example, Junior and Senior advisories or Geography or Social Justice classes would find much to discuss through both the film and the accompanying web site. Here is the official trailer:

After sharing the stories of these girls (Sokha, Wadley, Yasmin, Suma, Asmera, Ruksana, Senna, Mariama, and Amina) Girl Rising‘s Call to Action asks viewers to do three things:
  • Share the story of Girl Rising and raise awareness
  • Invest – consider a donation to help fund programs promoting education for girls
  • Stand with girls on policy issues
Founding partner Intel has been joined by an impressive list of contributors and several international non-profit organizations.

Other documentaries from the Library Journal’s list of best-sellers in 2014 include Chasing Ice (about global warming; trailer here) and Gasland (about fracking; trailer here) . The 2014 list is not yet available online, but here is Library Journal’s June2013 list of best-selling documentaries which shows the film Bully as number one – we have a copy available at New Trier (trailer here) and are looking forward to the upcoming Winnetka Public Library’s program on that documentary this fall.

Sunday, June 08, 2014

Professional Development this Summer

Have you ever taken an online course? Experienced learning through a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course)?  If not, here are a couple of ways to give it a try this summer:

Starting June 30th and running through July 27th, David Lankes will be re-running his MOOC on The Atlas of New Librarianship. Last summer I was one of over 2300 people who participated in David Lankes’ MOOC and I even used some of his videos in the graduate course which I taught last Fall. Lankes is a Professor at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies and an inspiring advocate for librarians and libraries. I really enjoyed the opportunity that the MOOC provided to converse with library professionals from around the world. It was interesting to share ideas and reflections about common issues so I am excited to hear that Prof. Lankes is planning to offer the MOOC again – follow his blog for more details which he promises to post by the end of June.

Another MOOC option, “Copyright for Educators & Librarians,” was just announced by Duke University in Library Journal. That one will be available from July 21st until August 18th. Presenters include: Kevin Smith (Duke University), and Lisa A. Macklin (Emory University), and Anne T. Gilliland (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill). More information about suggested readings, course format and what you need (internet connection and time to read, write and discuss) are provided at its Coursera registration page.

The cost for the two MOOCS profiled above is free – and many more professional development MOOC ideas are available from Te@chThought’s monthly Teaching and Learning MOOC Report or on the Coursera site. If you are aware of others to suggest or recommend, please leave a comment or email me. Here’s to happy learning this summer!

Friday, May 02, 2014

Temple Grandin Speaking AT NEW TRIER on May 21st

More very exciting FAN events are planned for Wednesday, May 21st: Dr. Temple Grandin will be making two public appearances in the Chicago area.  Temple Grandin is an autistic activist and best-selling author whose life story was told in an award-winning movie as shown in this very short trailer:

She is a professor at Colorado State University, and consultant to the livestock industry on animal behavior as well as having received numerous honors and interviews for her opinions on animal welfare and as an advocate for those diagnosed with autism.

Beginning at 4:00pm in the Gaffney Auditorium at New Trier High School (385 Winnetka Avenue), Dr. Grandin will speak on “Autism and My Sensory-Based World.” This talk will have an educator focus.

At 7:00pm, she will be speaking at Welsh-Ryan arena (located at 2705 Ashland Avenue, Evanston and with a seating capacity of 8000) on “Different Kinds of Minds Contribute to Society.”  Joining Dr. Grandin that evening will be her mother, Eustacia Cutler, and Northwestern University’s Dr. Molly Losh who is Principal Investigator for the Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Laboratory.


Co-sponsored by numerous local organizations and schools, these talks are free and open to the public and have no assigned seating.  FAN has promised CPDU forms at both talks. More information will be forthcoming, particularly regarding pre-registration for the evening talk.  NEW (5/5): NSSED just sent this LINK for pre-registration.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Libraries as Learning Spaces

Recently a teacher forwarded an article regarding library spaces called, “What will become of the Library?” that had been published on Slate’s website. That article included a picture of the new library at the University of Chicago and made me think of our visit there last fall.  We were also welcome guests at libraries at DePaul and Loyola University where our host specifically mentioned this video on the Hunt Library at NC State University:

We had watched that video individually and as a group in a department meeting where Pam shared a School Library Journal article and led discussions on space planning. In fact, Knowledge Quest’s most recent issue was devoted to Library Spaces and contains several excellent articles. We have been compiling our own set of pictures and documents and have discussed soliciting input from students and teachers. Here are links to several other related resources:

Finally from Mental Floss, for fun (and inspiration!) see 62 of world’s most beautiful libraries.

Carol Dweck to Speak in Evanston on May 9th

FAN, Family Action Network, has scheduled some wonderful speakers on the North Shore this year, including Carol Dweck, best-selling author of Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, who will be giving two talks on Friday, May 9th.  Dweck is the Lewis and Virginia Eaton Professor of Psychology at Stanford University.

Beginning at 4:30pm, Professor Dweck will speak on “Growth Mindsets and the Wholehearted Embrace of Process.” This talk will be geared towards educators and according to FAN, Prof. Dweck will discuss how a teacher’s enthusiastic and devoted focus on the learning process cultivates a growth mindset in students.  At 7:00 in the evening, she will be speaking on “Go for It: Risk-taking, Challenge and the Value of a Growth Mindset.” 

Both talks will be held at Evanston Township High School auditorium, 1660 Dodge Avenue, Evanston. Co-sponsored by numerous local organizations and schools, they are free and open to the public and CPDUs will be available at both talks. 

For more information, FAN also suggests: Mindset Works Website -- Co-Founded by Dr. Dweck  which features this short video and others:

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Lankes, Hope, and Taking Heart

Earlier this month, David Lankes, a professor at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies, wrote a piece he called "The Loss of Hope" which describes in part his response to fighting cancer.  It’s very moving and I found myself returning to it in recent days, particularly as he says:

"You see, that’s the thing about hope – it is not a guarantee or a promise. It is a prayer, and desire, and it lies at the core of making this world a better place. We fight inequity, poverty, corruption because we hope for a better day. We teach because we hope we can impart some idea that will blossom into a better world for all. We raise children in hopes of a better future…"

As we discuss our profession and our role, we often comment on the unique perspective of librarians and the many strengths and talents with which we impact our learning communities.  In fact, our recent Board of Education Presentation highlighted Library Department contributions and connections.  This, in turn, made me think about the video called “Empathy … the Human Connection” from Cleveland Clinic:

In another example, PBS reported on how teachers and researchers in Palo Alto are teaching students to combat the traumas of poverty on the yoga mat. It’s a way of expressing hope through attempting to reach the whole child and improving the educational environment by reducing stress. 

So often, we do not realize what others are experiencing or even begin to sense the lens through which they are looking. As the video says, "If you could stand in someone else's shoes, hear what they hear, see what they see, feel what they feel, would you treat them differently?"  Do take heart. Do continue to hope.