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The New School Library

Without question, the Internet has changed the way we think and learn, and will continue to do so as our technology evolves. In particular, the ability to access enormous amounts of information at any time from almost any place is forcing schools to redefine the idea of a classroom and the way we approach teaching. It is also reshaping the notion of school library services — what libraries look like and how they and librarians best serve schools. Increasingly, we hear the questions: “Are libraries necessary today? Clearly, a popular impression out there is that the plentiful free information on the open Internet will answer all academic needs. We respectfully disagree — and the research is on our side. Today’s independent school libraries have an increasingly different look and function from libraries of the past, even the recent past. A school might support a traditional library model or move to incorporate elements of either a Learning Commons or a Makerspace model or both. Notes 1. 2.

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School libraries shelve tradition to create new learning spaces | Teacher Network What happens to school libraries when students find it more natural to turn to a computer screen than a book? That is the question facing schools around the world as they struggle to keep up with the digital revolution while fostering a love of literature. Many have found creative answers, developing spaces that allow children to make discoveries, put technology to imaginative use, learn, perform, and relax – as well as to read. In the process, libraries have often come to be the school’s focal point. This was the idea behind the new library at Dixons Allerton Academy in Bradford built centrally over the entrance and linking the primary and secondary schools on the campus. The library is not just a new physical space, replacing a traditional book-lined room that had buckets on the floor because of leaky ceilings; it also plays an important part generally in delivering the curriculum. Only three pieces of equipment in the library are fixed, and these are for searching the catalogue.

Those Tired Summer Reading Lists. Here’s What to Do. What does a summer vacation with required reading look like? For 16-year-old Heather Smith, every Friday last summer meant making sure her reading assignment was done. A junior at Golden West High School in Visalia, CA, Smith had to read Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter and Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms and write weekly journal entries. An avid reader, Smith enjoyed the novels. Once school began, there was no discussion about the books, Smith says. Jennifer Frantz can’t blame high schoolers for taking shortcuts. Other educators agree, and advocate for students to have more summer reading options—including more contemporary choices from diverse authors. Questioning the classics “I did not understand Shakespeare until it was taught to me by a great teacher,” says Elissa Malespina, coordinating supervisor of educational technology, media, and multimedia for the PTHSD. Frantz’s summer list includes stories that students can tackle with less guidance. Ten Tips to Flip

An Office Landscape Designed to Kill Boring Meetings | Wired Design Yves Béhar and Herman Miller are reinventing the office for a more connected generation. Designs become icons when they embody the time in which they were created. The Eames lounge chair represented a midcentury shift to a more casual home life when many people still held “tea times” in formal living rooms. The invention of the Aeron chair in the 1990′s marked an era when a company could show that it cared about its employees by giving them the pinnacle in ergonomic seating. Today, with the launch of Herman Miller’s Public Office Landscape furniture system, Fuseproject, the design firm run by Yves Béhar, hopes to capture the spirit of our networked lives in a collection of chairs, desks, and space shaping components. “We’re trying to reflect horizontality and creativity,” says Béhar. When Béhar was assigned the project it came with a broad mandate—far beyond simply developing a cubicle system or a table to match his award winning Sayl chair. Images Courtesy: Fuseproject

Academics will need both the physical and virtual library for years to come | Higher Education Network Ask someone to describe an academic in the throes of research and there's a good chance that description will include a physical library (or at least a collection of office shelves not dissimilar to a library) with books and journals open on the desk, and a notebook – whether hard copy or digital. The reality may be somewhat different. Jisc and RLUK's recent survey of around 3,500 UK academics highlighted that while academics primarily look to the library to provide the journals and books necessary to their teaching and research, they spend much less time in the physical library than the virtual one. The vast majority of academics who responded – around 90% – saw the main role of the university library as a purchaser of content. While 45% described themselves as very dependent on their library for their work, only 2% of academics start their research with a visit to the library building. In the case of journals, digital may have supplanted print format almost entirely.

The problem with technology in schools Instant access to information has revolutionized how students learn today. From an instructional perspective, education technology sounded great, but with its growing prevalence in America’s public schools, its true impact is gradually being revealed. And the news is not all good. A Pew Research Center survey found that nearly 90 percent of teachers believe that digital technologies were creating an (Norm Shafer/FOR THE WASHINGTON POST) easily distracted generation with short attention spans. Between class periods, the halls of American high schools resemble a traffic jam on the interstate as they glare hypnotically into a screen. Yet, this behavior does not always stop at the classroom door — and that has also become another major issue. Teachers are now forced to perform the “put that away, unplug that, please log off” dance every class period, resulting in a waste of valuable instructional time. To remedy this, all technology should be left in lockers and not allowed in the classroom.

What Every New Media Specialist Needs to Know These 10 tips can help your career get off to a great start Illustration by Steve Wacksman It’s not easy being a media specialist, especially if you’re new to the profession or you’ve switched schools and you’re suddenly the new kid on the block. Take a deep breath! 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. In the Digital Age, What Becomes of the Library? Nashville’s Main Public Library, located in a stately building in the heart of downtown, has a children’s section filled with comfortable sitting areas, oversized art, and a state-of-the-art theater for puppet shows and interactive story time. On a recent afternoon, children of varying ages were sitting or lying on the carpet, reading alongside rows of books lined on two-tiered shelves perfectly sized for little hands. Two grade-school children sat at a row of computers, playing a learning game, while parents and caregivers checked out books via computer. A line of parents and children waited to speak with one of the two librarians on duty. That timeless feeling, said library director Kent Oliver, is because reading, regardless of format, continues to be important. But will that be changing? For libraries right now, it’s not an either/or situation when it comes to information and access, said school librarian Kate Hewitt of the Far Brook School in Short Hills, New Jersey.

Press release: ‘Digital natives’ are still bound to printed media Released: June 25, 2013 Americans ages 16-29 are heavy technology users, including using computers and internet at libraries. At the same time, the most still read and borrow printed books, and value a mix of traditional and technological library services. WASHINGTON (June 25, 2013) — Belying the stereotype that younger Americans completely eschew print for digital, those ages 16-29 have wide-ranging media and technology behaviors that straddle the traditional paper-based world of books and digital access to information. One major surprise in a new report from the Pew Research Center is that even in an age of increasing digital resources, those in this under-30 cohort are more likely than older Americans to use and appreciate libraries as physical spaces – places to study for class, go online, or just hang out. The report paints a textured portrait of younger Americans’ sometimes surprising relationships with libraries’ physical and digital resources: About this research

More technology at schools doesn’t lead to better education, data finds Laptops, tablets, and similar devices are ever more prevalent in today’s classrooms. Yet greater availability and use of technology at school doesn’t necessarily lead to better educational outcomes, a recent report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development shows. The report, which included data on nearly 60 countries, examined students’ computer use at home and in school as well as their performance on written and digital tests. It found that while students who use computers moderately at school have somewhat better outcomes than those who don’t use them at all, those who use them very frequently tend to do significantly worse, even after accounting for students’ and schools’ socioeconomic status. Continue reading below The findings come at a time when adoption of technology in classrooms is steadily growing. Parents can also advocate for thoughtful approaches to implementing technology in classrooms, she added. Ami Albernaz can be reached at

The Shift: Media Specialists and the Common Core After participating in an exciting webinar on Libraries, Technology, and Implementing Common Core provided by AASL, I began to think about how the role of the school-based media specialist is evolving. The implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and rapid integration of technology in schools around the country has created a shift in instructional design and practice. I have found the most valuable school-based resource for brainstorming, discussing, planning and implementing anything to do with technology has been my school's media specialist. Following are a few ways that your media specialist could help you, and how the CCSS has impacted their roles. Tech Talks Effectively incorporating technology in the classroom can be extremely rewarding. I remember going to the media center to make copies one morning, and our media specialist asked how things were going with BYOD. Media Specialist = CCSS Instructional Leader Moving Forward

Photo Ops: 10 Innovative Ways to Use Visual Media 6/1/2011 By: If you’re lucky enough to have digital cameras at your disposal, here are a few picture-perfect ways to use them. By Ellen Ullman 1 Produce public service announcements. Students can make PSAs about any topic you choose, such as the environment. 2 Study textures. For a fun art project, have students take close-up pictures of a variety of textures, including brick walls and dead grass. 3 Do an interactive book report. Glogster ( lets students turn assignments into interactive extravaganzas. 4 Learn about machines. Take pictures of simple machines around your school—including levers, screws, wireless routers, door hinges— and turn them into a PowerPoint presentation. 5 Go on a scavenger hunt. Put students in small groups and give them a list of geometric terms to find examples of and photograph. 6 Write an autobiography. Younger students can write a personal story with which to introduce themselves to their classmates. 7 Promote healthier habits. 9 Act like a CSI.