Inspiration, Innovation & Information for school libraries and learning.
Children love a challenge and what better way to maintain their interest in reading over the summer holidays than using books and technology together.
Public library summer reading programmes are a wonderful way to promote children’s reading and keep that momentum going. Gretchen Caserotti of Darien Public Library has blogged about some of the ways in which Libraries and Transliteracy have been used to promote reading and keep young readers engaged over the summer break.
Darien Library’s programme takes the form of a number of quests which on completion give each child a stamp in their passport. Gretchen explains that
“Quests are activities that ask kids to read, think and create through various platforms.”
One quest that appealed to me is
How would this idea transfer to your school library?
For further information and ideas about how to approach the summer reading slump take a look at summer slide and holiday reading.
Contrary to popular opinion, texting by children may not be damaging their literacy development. All those colloquial texting shortcuts may not be harming their spelling after all.
A research study from Coventry University claims that: “There is no evidence that children’s language play when using mobile phones is damaging literacy development.”
They found that access to mobile phones might even have a positive impact on spelling.
As reported in The Telegraph (UK) of 30 Jan 2011, researchers recruited 114 children aged nine and 10 from primary schools in the Midlands.
Love it, hate it, use it or abuse it. This January saw Wikipedia celebrating its 10th anniversary. Ten years! Where’d that go?
Onward and upwards apparently. While world attention is currently focused on Wikileaks, Wikipedia’s impressive credentials continue to rise and shine; its one of the top five most visited sites, it has around 17 million articles, these are written in over 250 languages. In fact there’s probably a Wikipedia article about its 10th anniversary, (there is, I just checked).
Wikipedia’s success has also spawned many other imitators. There’s Conservapedia, http://www.conservapedia.com/Main_Page the conservative Christian alternative and
Uncyclopedia http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Main_Page the irreverent “content free” alternative. If you’re bored, both have interesting things to say about evolution, global warming and homosexuality…
Marc Weiser, a scientist at Xerox once said the best technology is invisible and that can also be applied to Wikipedia, and Google. Constant and automatic use has embedded them into our online lives so they become ubiquitous, and thus invisible. Thanks to Wikipedia it’s so quick and easy to find information online from Pokemon card games to Ptolemy.
The real question is the quality of that information and importantly (for our students) what do you do with that information? As many have noted Wikipedia represents one way to begin the enquiry journey but its not an end in itself. Similarly though you have to question any assignment or project that can easily be answered using a cut and paste from Wikipedia.
Anyway happy 10 years Wikipedia. You’ve reshaped the information landscape, you’re (still) free and you represent an extraordinary collaboration of human endeavour and good faith.
For those interested Here’s a clever infographic exploration of Wikipedia’s history narrated by Jimmy Wales, one of its co-founders.
By Lisa O
The concept of literacy has evolved from a fairly universal one: the ability to read and understand printed text, to a rather complex one: the ability to absorb and understand many types of information in an ever-growing list of formats. The range of literacies includes, but is not limited to: digital literacy, information literacy, visual literacy, media literacy, health literacy, financial literacy, and news literacy.
We need to grow and maintain our own knowledge and understanding of the many literacies, how they are interrelated, and why they are important for students. We need to identify ways of effectively facilitating understanding in our students. Basic literacy, critical analysis skills and competence with ICT are key to developing all other literacies.
How do school libraries fit?
One of the major concerns about multiple literacies or transliteracy voiced here and overseas, is about the divide between those who do and those who don’t have these skills.
The school and its library are a good place to address that divide, to give access to the tools and teach the competencies, especially for those students who come from a home that has limited access to a computer or to broadband Internet.
It is in fact critical, that all students learn multifaceted literacy competencies at school if they are to be effective adult participants in our democracy and our society generally.
The pace of change from an analogue to a digital environment is accelerating. The ability to navigate effectively through the future landscape of data and information to find and utilise valid information for any purpose is a basic skill that will underpin others.
School libraries therefore are well placed to provide access to and learning opportunities for students to become skilled users of text, data, and other information that will form the foundations of other learning.
Lane Wilkinson writes: “Transliteracy comes into play as a pedagogical method, a way to break down the barrier between the student and the library. It encompasses established methods like transfer of learning and analogical reasoning in the library classroom. It’s using Wikipedia to find keywords for a search in CINAHL. It’s reading an academic journal article and then looking up the author’s personal blog for more contexts. It’s comparing hash tags to subject headings and Amazon reviews to abstracts.”
“ Linking up traditional notions of authority with the realities of how people obtain information today”
Recently the Unquiet Librarian wrote a thought provoking post about transliteracy and what it means for libraries.
She writes: “I would like to further explore how libraries can be sites of literate communities. …Where people are engaging in many kinds of literate practices to consume and create content in thoughtful, meaningful, and new ways that meld traditional and new literacies.I also will continue to explore how participatory culture and librarianship dovetail with transliteracy.”
Image by Unquiet Librarian
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