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
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
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.
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.
Do We Still Need Libraries? | John Palfrey The New York Times is running one of its Room for Debate series on the future of libraries. The four debaters (so far) are Luis Herrera, director of the San Francisco Public Library (and a board member of the Digital Public Library of America); Susan Crawford, visiting professor at Harvard Law School; Buffy J. Hamilton, a school librarian at Creekview High School in Canton, Georgia; and Berkman fellow Matthew Battles. All four of their essays are excellent. And each of them answers the “debate” question in the affirmative: yes, we do still need libraries. It is worth backing up and asking why this question even applies. It’s a debate because too many people think that we don’t need libraries when we have the Internet. These days, in most towns in America, the same debate recurs each year when budget time rolls around: what’s the purpose of a library in a digital age? The annual conversation about libraries and money is hard in the context of academic institutions, too. Like this:
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. 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 (www.glogster.com) 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.
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
Trends in Academic Library Repurposing | DesignGroup | Blog Ohio University Alden Library Learning Commons This is an exciting time for academic libraries as they change the way they become relevant to student learning. By repurposing spaces to meet the needs of students, libraries are becoming a destination on campus. I recently presented a webinar with Mary Beth Lock of Wake Forest University Library and Mark Haubenschild of Patterson-Pope, summarizing my experience working with over 90 libraries. To stay relevant, libraries are becoming the center for learning on campus. There are many names to describe this space, including learning commons, academic commons, or information commons. State of the art technology Central service point Individual and collaborative learning environments 24/7 operations Faculty involvement Social spaces Learning Retention Pyramid The learning retention pyramid shown above demonstrates the importance of collaboration amongst students as it increases the retention of information. Franklin University Nationwide Library