Sunday, March 8, 2009

A Break on the Horizon

News to report this week:

Collaboration in the Library

Last week I told you about the BCTF workshop offered by our Vancouver TLs Janet, Katharine, and Michele. This week I have added their blog into the "Related Bloggers" section of the sidebar. See blog Collaboration in the Library. New TLs, this is worth your time.

UBC Infolit Project

The long-time project in which retired and practicing TLs work with elementary and primary teacher-candidates in the UBC Education program is happening now. Recently Gwen showed UBC instructors and others supporting the students how to integrate the database and electronic resources with their information literacy lessons. This week Michele and I worked with the project, alongside retirees like Sharon, Vi, Bev, Carolynn, and more, to build understandings about inquiry, resource-based learning, and the collaborative capacity of TLs.

The Bookmark

The Winter 2009 issue of The Bookmark is online now. As usual, it is a remarkable piece of work that is drawing attention for its quality and innovative format. Editors and Okanagan TLs Angie MacRitchie and Al Smith are hard-working, active, and fun members of our BCTLA Executive; we are really proud of them both. By the way, rumour has it that some members of the BCTLA Executive are saving to go to Padua for the IASL Conference at the end of the summer; there are similar rumours that more than one Vancouver TL will be there too!

In this issue find articles by Marlene Asselin, Ray Doiron, Jennifer Branch, Diane Oberg, and Margriet Ruurs, as well as the regular contributions of Greg Smith, John Goldsmith, Stew Savard, Carolyn Cutt, and Pat Parker.

The Lieutenant Governor's Literacy Program

Each month, The Honourable Steven Point posts four pictures and invites students, children, and young adults to write stories for the pictures, stories he personally will read. Wouldn't this be a wonderful opportunity for further development with digital storytelling or more of what we saw with Dr Jason Ohler?

Literacy 2.0

The March issue of Educational Leadership features the theme of "Literacy 2.0" and Dr Jason Ohler as the lead contributor with his article "Orchestrating the Media Collage" (EL March 2009). In her introduction to the issue, Marge Scherer summarizes the content as articles that will examine "what this new 2.0 literacy entails; how it differs from, yet relies on, the skills of traditional literacy; which new possibilities and challenges it raises — including how to counsel the multitasking student and how to foster the endangered capacity to read deeply; and finally, where and how literacy 2.0 should fit in K-12 curriculum and instruction."

If you missed the opportunity to hear Jason Ohler, the link to the EL article I sent out would provide an opportunity to read about what we learned and what everyone is talking about. Don't forget that EL is included in the EBSCO database package so you can search for this and other articles.

Many people who attended Technology Day at Magee with Dr Ohler have requested copies of his recent book so we will be looking at taking and placing a bulk order. Information will follow shortly, but you as the TL might want to share your resource expertise -- check who in your school would like to own a copy and where the funds can be found to put one into the school's professional collection. How many copies for your school, then?

Digital Storytelling in the Classroom:
New Media Pathways to Literacy, Learning, and Creativity

2008. Corwin Press.
ISBN: 9781412938501

CWILL and Planning for Author Visits

Mark at Cunningham reminds us that the very best place to find an author or illustrator for school library visits is the website for Canadian Writers and Illustrators BC (CWILLBC). We have so much local and easily accessibly talent here in Vancouver.

  • Mark recommends former Vancouver teacher and award-winning children's author Robert Heidbreder for annex and elementary audiences.

  • I can also recommend my neighbour Glen Huser, by the way, who is a former TL and TL Consultant from Edmonton as well as an GG award-winning author for his book Stitches.

  • Melanie Jackson, local author and fellow denizen of the VSB here, is nominated for a Chocolate Lily award this year for her book Shadows on the Train.

  • And don't forget Nancy Hundal, our very own practicing TL and children's author, whose tenth book -- a first chapter book, in fact -- is due in April.

  • Did you hear Tiffany Poirier from Brock at Winter Tonic this year? If so, you will remember that her first book Q is for Question is due soon too.

  • And Vi Hughes has another one coming soon too.

Great Resources -

Webspiration and Graphic Novels

Our new membership in the IASL has been worthwhile. The following info comes via IASL-Link's Gerald Brown from Winnipeg and retired consultant for Pembina Margaret Stimson:

  • Did you know that the New York Times has added a new best seller list to the collection? It's the New York Times Graphic Books Bestsellers list. Librarian Joshua Carlson believes graphic novels are important for all libraries. Graphic novels have become important in our school library collections but there are still many obstacles to general acceptance this is an important format for engaging young readers. This bestseller list adds support. They are both worthwhile and worthy of recognition.

  • Webspiration? It's the public beta version of Inspiration, software created for your use FREE by the same company. "Use Webspiration's diagramming environment to create bubble diagrams, flowcharts, concept maps, process flows and other visual representations that stimulate and reflect your thinking."

WebWord and Netbooks, Reviewed

From Online Edition of Costco Connection and high-tech reporter Marc Saltzman: check page 13 of the March/April 2009 edition for his "latest" on the little laptops (called "netbooks") you may be seeing around and for this valuable tool:

  • WordWeb: this is a FREE downloadable dictionary and thesaurus that, if you hold down the CTRL key and right-click on any word, activates a pop-up window with the definition, synonyms, antonyms, as well as links to other sites such as Wikipedia. It can be used offline as well. It takes up 7.4 mb and has more than 150 000 root words and 120 000 synonyms. It is available in "Canadian" English.
  • Of the new Netbooks, Saltzman says they are one of today's hottest tech tools (although I am still thinking I need a video camera like Alan Z's Vado) ... So, for cost-savings, netbooks often use Linux open-source operating systems, as opposed to Windows. The small keyboard is ideal for kids (and the lightweight affordability makes them ideal for geo-caching, I am told). They have small storage capacity and do not have the gaming or video capacity of laptops. But they are perfect for email, word processing, and checking the internet. At under $400 each, might these be the solution to some of our technology needs?

Obama cares about libraries:

"At the moment that we persuade a child, any child, to cross that threshold, that magic threshold into a library, we change their lives forever, for the better. It's an enormous force for good."

Barack Obama, keynote speech
American Library Association Conference, 2005

No comments: