Creativity in the School Library
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TLT: Teen Librarian's Toolbox: Things I Didn't Learn in Library School: Maintaining your sanity when you are in charge of ALL the things

TLT: Teen Librarian's Toolbox: Things I Didn't Learn in Library School: Maintaining your sanity when you are in charge of ALL the things | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it
TLT: Teen Librarian's Toolbox: Things I Didn't Learn in Library School: Maintaini... http://t.co/6OyULBQecM
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Our ASB students are going to get involved in library displays this year. There are always artistic students whose talents we could be using!

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Library Makers

Library Makers | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

A blog of maker projects suitable for your library!  I found this via the Library as Incubator blog, which is well worth following.

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Sharlene Lien's curator insight, July 23, 2015 6:57 PM

Blog of maker ideas.

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How Sharing on Social Media Helped Me Become a Better Educator

How Sharing on Social Media Helped Me Become a Better Educator | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it
I used to think Twitter was just for celebrities. What they wore, who they’re with, and where they went. Then, I discovered that the true superstars on Twitter
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

When I went to the CSLA conference in San Diego in February, I was shocked at how few library professionals who attended were NOT on social media. Deborah Ford presented about marketing for school libraries, and asked for a show of hands: Who's on Twitter? Pinterest? Facebook? Who uses these SM tools for work? Hardly anyone in the room was!  

 

This is a great article to share with any educator who is hesitant to get started with social media!

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Millennials Are Out-Reading Older Generations

Millennials Are Out-Reading Older Generations | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Adrienne Lafrance writes: "Some 88 percent of Americans younger than 30 said they read a book in the past year compared with 79 percent of those older than 30. At the same time, American readers' relationship with public libraries is changing—with younger readers less likely to see public libraries as essential in their communities."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Be sure to read the study in the link: lots more detailed information! Does this make you view your library differently? I love that millenials recognize not all information is on the internet AND that those without internet access are at a disadvantage. 

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The Daring Librarian: Speed Dating by Book Genre: Personal Ads

The Daring Librarian: Speed Dating by Book Genre: Personal Ads | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Deborah Ford says it's marketing, not bragging, so I'm sharing a blog post Gwyneth Jones wrote, featuring a lesson I did. I benefited from the collaboration, as she added her graphics which make the lesson much more visually appealing!  

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The Impact of Assigned Reading on Reading Pleasure in Young Adults

The Impact of Assigned Reading on Reading Pleasure in Young Adults | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Stacy Creel writes: "Modeling reading, sharing books with students, and giving students opportunities to share their choices are instrumental components of encouraging reading. In the case of this research, self-selection had a significant effect on whether or not students enjoyed the books they read for school. Since most students have access to classroom and school libraries, it is important that these collections appeal to their reading interests and offer a variety of resources to support self-selection."

 

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Self-selection for reading is so critical in middle school. One of those children in the photo above was in my library yesterday, and was amazed that he could check out Unbroken for a reading project. "We just want you to read," his teacher and I told him. He was certain he could only read chapter books, after having that drummed into him in elementary school. Here's to a newly enthusiastic reader of narrative non-fiction! (And now that he knows what it's called, he'll have a much easier time finding what he likes in my library, a class library, or public library!)

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Margareta's curator insight, April 1, 9:56 AM

Self-selection for reading is so critical in middle school. One of those children in the photo above was in my library yesterday, and was amazed that he could check out Unbroken for a reading project. "We just want you to read," his teacher and I told him. He was certain he could only read chapter books, after having that drummed into him in elementary school. Here's to a newly enthusiastic reader of narrative non-fiction! (And now that he knows what it's called, he'll have a much easier time finding what he likes in my library, a class library, or public library!)

Eric Coreas's curator insight, April 4, 1:00 AM
In this article the writer talks about how students do better reading books they actually want to read instead of the ones they are assigned. Throughout the article the writer provides a lot of data that would be useful in a research topic like this one. I also agree with the writer about student reading what they want to read will make reading more fun and enjoyable. The writer’s audience would be school districts all over the country because students do not like getting assigned boring books to read. It ruins the purpose of reading if you do not want to read something you do not like. The writer’s main point would be that students should be allowed to read whatever they want so they can enjoy it. With this being said there would be more students reading as well. The website does not seem that credible but the information in this article can be useful for an essay.
nicole mcdonagh's curator insight, April 5, 8:37 AM

Self-selection for reading is so critical in middle school. One of those children in the photo above was in my library yesterday, and was amazed that he could check out Unbroken for a reading project. "We just want you to read," his teacher and I told him. He was certain he could only read chapter books, after having that drummed into him in elementary school. Here's to a newly enthusiastic reader of narrative non-fiction! (And now that he knows what it's called, he'll have a much easier time finding what he likes in my library, a class library, or public library!)

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Podcasting with Spreaker

Podcasting with Spreaker | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Buffy Hamilton writes: "We’ve been megabusy this week in the Hooch Learning Studio learning about podcasting.  10th Literature/Composition classes from Ms. Harrison, Ms. Garth, Ms. Smith, and Mr. White have participated in a live class podcast using Spreaker, a podcasting platform that allows students to create podcasts through several mediums:

  • A web-based application that students can use (helpful in school environments where students can’t download an application like Audacity)
  • A downloadable desktop app that works for a PC or Mac.
  • Mobile apps for IOS or Android devices
  • The ability to upload an audio file a student might record with a tool like GarageBand or Audacity and then upload the file for easy publishing"
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Buffy generously shares lots of great tips to get started on a podcasting project. I haven't used Spreaker, but love the idea that you can use it across various media. 

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Joanne Schmidt's curator insight, March 21, 8:28 AM

Buffy generously shares lots of great tips to get started on a podcasting project. I haven't used Spreaker, but love the idea that you can use it across various media. 

EdfoGlobal's comment, March 25, 3:17 AM
www.edfoglobal.com is a educational portal that provides end to end solution for each and every need of a student under one platform (be it Information from Playschool to PhD, Coaching Centres, Sports, Admissions, Educational Loans, Career Counselling, Supply of Curriculum Books and the like)
ismokuhanen's curator insight, March 27, 7:52 AM

From Mary: "Buffy generously shares lots of great tips to get started on a podcasting project. I haven't used Spreaker, but love the idea that you can use it across various media."

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6th Grade Speed Dating Genres

6th Grade Speed Dating Genres | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

We're speed dating this week. Several 6th grade teachers want their students to explore different fiction genres. I decided to make some personal ads (pictured above) for different genres or subgenres. I already had resources lists in Destiny for these genres, so it made it easy. We have eleven tables, which we'll load with books and an ad. Students will have to rotate through at least 4 tables. They'll be discussing genres in class, but I made an exit ticket so I can track which are the most popular (I still have one more book order to place.) If you're interested, here's a link to the ads, and a link to the exit ticket. The ads document has the titles listed separately at the end, to make it easier for my aides to cut them out! :)

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Feel free to use or modify!

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Sarah Scholl's curator insight, March 29, 3:54 PM

Feel free to use or modify!

Margareta's curator insight, April 1, 9:55 AM

Feel free to use or modify!

Margareta's curator insight, April 1, 9:56 AM

Feel free to use or modify!

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All You Need is Less: The KonMari Test of Collection Strength

All You Need is Less: The KonMari Test of Collection Strength | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

John Hubbard writes: "...saying that a library with more items is superior, solely by virtue of its size, is akin to arguing that Donald Trump is a better person than you because he has more money.


Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

As S.R. Ranganathan stated, every library is a growing organism. The strength of our collections may lie in contracting. Students that used to come to the library to find books on Supreme Court cases are now in a 1:1 class and  do all of their research online. These books haven't been checked out in four years. Likewise, books on science fairs, our state and country books and most of our technology section will be weeded this summer. Our reference section is gone, either weeded or intershelved with non-fiction. 


Instead of  replacing those books, I'll be instructing students on how to use public library databases and curated web-based resources. We'll repurpose all that open space as a more functional and flexible presentation area. Where am I spending my book money? On fiction, graphic novels, narrative non-fiction--books that our students want to read. While our collection statistics may drop, our circulation numbers have climbed. (Not that I judge solely by that criterion, either!) 

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Aimee Joyaux's curator insight, March 1, 12:38 PM

As S.R. Ranganathan stated, every library is a growing organism. The strength of our collections may lie in contracting. Students that used to come to the library to find books on Supreme Court cases are now in a 1:1 class and  do all of their research online. These books haven't been checked out in four years. Likewise, books on science fairs, our state and country books and most of our technology section will be weeded this summer. Our reference section is gone, either weeded or intershelved with non-fiction. 


Instead of  replacing those books, I'll be instructing students on how to use public library databases and curated web-based resources. We'll repurpose all that open space as a more functional and flexible presentation area. Where am I spending my book money? On fiction, graphic novels, narrative non-fiction--books that our students want to read. While our collection statistics may drop, our circulation numbers have climbed. (Not that I judge solely by that criterion, either!) 

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Katie Darty: Sprucing Up My School Library for Less Than $600

Katie Darty: Sprucing Up My School Library for Less Than $600 | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it
Taking inspiration from the thrifty library design hashtag #macgyverlibrarianship, a high school librarian freshened up her space on a tight budget. Check out what she did and how much she spent.
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

I am so impressed! Our library furniture is still in great shape, but I'd love to paint the tabletops with whiteboard paint. Follow Katie at @nbhslibrary!

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Kathy Moser's curator insight, March 9, 2:30 PM

I am so impressed! Our library furniture is still in great shape, but I'd love to paint the tabletops with whiteboard paint. Follow Katie at @nbhslibrary!

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Teaching With YouTube: 197 Digital Channels For Learning

Teaching With YouTube: 197 Digital Channels For Learning | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it


If you don’t have a YouTube channel as an education provider, there’s a good chance you’re behind the times. Nearly every major educational institution in the world now hosts its own collection of videos featuring news, lectures, tutorials, and open courseware. Just as many individuals have their own channel, curating their expertise in a series of broadcasted lessons.

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

So much great stuff to share with teachers!

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Buchtel CLC 7&8's curator insight, March 7, 1:57 PM

So much great stuff to share with teachers!

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Six Things That Made My Patrick Ness Author Visit a Knockout Success

Six Things That Made My Patrick Ness Author Visit a Knockout Success | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Lauren McBride writes: "In November, I had the remarkable opportunity to host the Carnegie-award winning author Patrick Ness at Riverside High School in Leesburg, VA, where I am a librarian. Ness is the author of several award-winning YA books including “The Chaos Walking Trilogy,” A Monster Calls, More Than This, (all Candlewick, 2008-2010; 2013, 2014) and his newest book, The Rest of Us Just Live Here (HarperTeen, 2015). The visit was an astounding success and had a big impact on our students and staff.

Several critical steps helped this author visit succeed. Here are some tips to get the most out of yours."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Lauren shares several great ideas to pull off a successful author visit!

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The Adventures of Library Girl: Six Tips for Building Book Displays That Matter

The Adventures of Library Girl: Six Tips for Building Book Displays That Matter | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Jennifer LaGarde writes: "Sure... book displays wrapped in caution tape during Banned Books Week are good fun and raise awareness of an important topic, but I just don't think that's good enough.  Too often we view our displays as a way tocommunicate an idea, when really we should think of them as a chance to connect with kids.  Every display presents us with an opportunity to tackle big things: to address individual student needs, to awaken dormant readers, and to engage all kids in meaningful conversations about books, reading and their lives as learners.  What's more, it is my strong belief that every display we build sends a message (not just to our students, but to everyone who walks through the door) about what we value and the purpose of our work with students.  Why would we waste that valuable real estate on displays that don't tell the real story of how librarians make a difference for kids?"

Sure... book displays wrapped in caution tape during Banned Books Week are good fun and raise awareness of an important topic, but I just don't think that's good enough.  Too often we view our displays as a way tocommunicate an idea, when really we should think of them as a chance to connect with kids.  Every display presents us with an opportunity to tackle big things: to address individual student needs, to awaken dormant readers, and to engage all kids in meaningful conversations about books, reading and their lives as learners.  What's more, it is my strong belief that every display we build sends a message (not just to our students, but to everyone who walks through the door) about what we value and the purpose of our work with students.  Why would we waste that valuable real estate on displays that don't tell the real story of how librarians make a difference for kids?

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

There's a LOT to ponder--and act on--here. Be sure to click the links to see more on Dr. Sandra Hughes-Hassell's thoughts about displays, and think about your school population. What story is your library telling through your book displays? 

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Twelve Days of Tech-mas 2015 Edition

Twelve Days of Tech-mas 2015 Edition | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Naomi Bates has created a gift for all of us--a fun presentation about new tech tools she's using. 

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Check these out, then share with staff!

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YA Books and More: Make Your Library Sizzle, Not Fizzle

YA Books and More: Make Your Library Sizzle, Not Fizzle | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Naomi Bates writes: "And so, it got me thinking....what are some other things that we, as librarians, could tweak just a little, to make a HUGE impact?  Here is my top five list of
habit-breakers for librarians.

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Naomi Bates is full of great ideas for your school library! Read her post and see what tweaks you can make to your library--or your library professional little self:)  (NB: I used my own library photo for this Scoop!)

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Weeding the Worst Library Books - The New Yorker

Weeding the Worst Library Books - The New Yorker | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it
Daniel A. Gross on the librarians behind the blog Awful Library Books, which calls attention to old texts of questionable value.
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

You have to follow this blog! It will make you feel better about how long you held onto those Childhood of Famous Americans books! Keep this handy if you every get questions about weeding your collection:)

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 California School Libraries Focus of Audit Request

 California School Libraries Focus of Audit Request | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it
The audit will determine whether California’s K-12 schools are providing statutorily-required library services to the state’s school children.
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Is it possible the tide may finally be turning in California? Our neighboring district, Vista Unified, is making strong progress in adding librarians to their secondary schools, along with librarians working with elementary library staff. I would love to work with a teacher librarian at least once before I retire!

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ALL THE WONDERS OF Swap!

ALL THE WONDERS OF Swap! | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Activities, games, crafts, an introduction to the artist--it just doesn't get any better than All the Wonders and their celebration of Steve Light's new book, Swap! I would love to go back to elementary school just to share this book with students!

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

All the Wonders keeps getting better and better. If you're working with elementary students, you owe it to them to check out this site!

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Technology for Teachers and Librarians: Work Smarter, Not Harder: Integrate with Google

Technology for Teachers and Librarians: Work Smarter, Not Harder: Integrate with Google | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Via GwynethJones
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

Another point to add to our argument for purchasing Gale databases for our middle schools! Thanks to Gwyneth Jones for scooping this:)

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Darin Nakakihara's curator insight, March 20, 10:30 AM

This is a super post how to expand your Google Apps for Education tools! Plus, the author is a former Mermaid!

Kerbie Sarmiento's curator insight, March 20, 10:56 AM

Another point to add to our argument for purchasing Gale databases for our middle schools! Thanks to Gwyneth Jones for scooping this:)

cheree harcourt's curator insight, March 28, 7:36 PM

This is a super post how to expand your Google Apps for Education tools! Plus, the author is a former Mermaid!

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How This School Library Increased Student Use by 1,000 Percent

How This School Library Increased Student Use by 1,000 Percent | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it
Some school libraries are reinventing themselves as makerspaces, but this Ohio library took a slightly different approach and has seen incredible results.
Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

One of my teachers just shared this with me with a note: "Doesn't this sound more useful than a maker space?" I tend to agree! 

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Ng Joo Hui's curator insight, March 8, 10:30 AM

Re-invention of the school library.

Sarah McElrath's curator insight, March 8, 8:03 PM

One of my teachers just shared this with me with a note: "Doesn't this sound more useful than a maker space?" I tend to agree! 

Darin Nakakihara's curator insight, March 9, 10:24 AM

One of my teachers just shared this with me with a note: "Doesn't this sound more useful than a maker space?" I tend to agree! 

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Jennifer LaGarde: Reflections from Portlandia 

Jennifer LaGarde: Reflections from Portlandia  | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Jennifer LaGarde writes: "The longer I do this job, the more convinced I am that the mission of school libraries (and all teachers really) should be this and this alone: to change the world."

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

This just gave me the shivers! I am printing this along with the quote from  Dr. Lankes that Jennifer shares in her post, and taping them to my giant computer monitor--or maybe the bathroom mirror!

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GwynethJones's curator insight, March 6, 11:42 AM

From Mary: "This just gave me the shivers! I am printing this along with the quote from  Dr. Lankes that Jennifer shares in her post, and taping them to my giant computer monitor--or maybe the bathroom mirror!" 

 

I would agree!

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6 Active Learning Spaces Your Library Should Have | Knowledge Quest

6 Active Learning Spaces Your Library Should Have | Knowledge Quest | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Diana Rendina writes: "In the book Get Active: Reimagining Learning Spaces for Student Success, the authors identify six types of active learning spaces that are essential for creating an engaging learning environment for students. While this research (and this book) are not specifically focused on school libraries, we are the ideal place in our schools to encompass all six types of learning spaces in one location. We are the learning hubs of our schools after all. :)"



Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

We're busy constructing our timeline to do some low-cost library remodeling/reconfiguring this summer. We're hoping to relocate our large group presentation space to a darker area of the library so everyone can SEE what's on the screen! That will give us room for collaborative and small group workspace. Of course, extensive weeding is the first step so we can free up some floor space!

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Kathy Moser's curator insight, March 9, 2:31 PM

We're busy constructing our timeline to do some low-cost library remodeling/reconfiguring this summer. We're hoping to relocate our large group presentation space to a darker area of the library so everyone can SEE what's on the screen! That will give us room for collaborative and small group workspace. Of course, extensive weeding is the first step so we can free up some floor space!

Margareta's curator insight, April 1, 9:58 AM

We're busy constructing our timeline to do some low-cost library remodeling/reconfiguring this summer. We're hoping to relocate our large group presentation space to a darker area of the library so everyone can SEE what's on the screen! That will give us room for collaborative and small group workspace. Of course, extensive weeding is the first step so we can free up some floor space!

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Color Our Collections - Coloring Pages from Museums and Libraries

Color Our Collections - Coloring Pages from Museums and Libraries | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Museums and libraries from around the world are participating in #colorourcollections week from Feb 1-5, 2016. Search both #colorourcollections and #colourourcollections for the best results.  If you're on Twitter, check the full list here: 

https://twitter.com/NYAMHistory/lists/colorourcollections/members

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

 So much great cross-curricular stuff here! Our 7th graders canuse these for medieval history and life science. Have fun exploring!

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 Lessons Learned About Kiddle

 Lessons Learned About Kiddle | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Kiddle - a visual search engine for kids, powered by editors and Google safe search. Not a Google product!

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

A final (3/4/2016) update on Kiddle:

 

So, I posted about this great search engine on LM_NET. Gary Price of InfoDocket then pointed out that NO search engine is completely safe, and that promoting Kiddle may give teachers, parents and students  a false sense of security. Kiddle also had a judgmental snark to it: when students searched "penis", the response was something like "Oops, looks like a bad word."  The folks behind Kiddle are very responsive--today when I looked up that "bad word", I was told instead "Oops, try again." A few weeks ago, you were out of luck if you wanted information about breast cancer from Kiddle. (Another "bad word.")  Now, if you type in "breast", you'll get links to Butterball turkey, KidsHealth.org's article about breasts and bras, and lots of information about breast cancer. So, Kiddle is trying. Not perfect by any means, but trying. Perhaps worth keeping in your pocket when World Book is too elementary, but your students struggle with the reading level in a database. (My middle school SAI students hate the portal for World Book)

 

But here's where things got weird. Last week, I saw several people tweet and post about Kiddle as "Google's new kid-friendly search engine." It was amazing how fast that incorrect tweet spread. Most librarians I know who shared it later corrected their blogs or tweets, but a lot of folks didn't. (A quick look at the URL should give you a clear indication Kiddle is not part of the Google family.)

 

So, bottom line: 1. Kiddle isn't perfect. 2. No search engine is. 3. The people behind it, anonymous though they may be, seem to have good intentions, and are constantly working to improve the site based on feedback. 4. WE can do a better job helping students think about searching and directing them to more targeted sites, rather than general search engines (Thanks for that reminder, Gary Price!) 5. We all need to be careful about sharing and retweeting without verifying. And 6. That Butterball turkey link made me realize dinner isn't going to cook itself.

 

                ******************************************

Original post:

 

I used Kiddle today with a specialized academic instruction class. The large thumbnails with plenty of white space made it easier for students to decide which sites they would look at first. Kiddle developers rank websites as follows:

 

  • The first 1-3 sites will be written specifically for children and are chosen by Kiddle editors
  • The following sites (usually 5-7) will be safe sites with content not specifically written for children, but at a reading level they can understand. These are also chosen by Kiddle editors
  • The remaining sites are filtered by Google Safe Search, not geared to children, and possibly harder to understand.
 
Kiddle would be great for elementary students. The filters are very strict--search for information on breast cancer, and you'll be told you're searching for "bad words." Still, I think the visual aspect of the search would appeal to many students, so I'll continue to use it with our SAI classes.
 
*** Update ****
 
I wanted to share some feedback I received from Gary Price of InfoDocket. 
  • when words are misspelled, safety filters are for naught, i.e., "beheaddings" (although the images that make it through the filters when it's spelled correctly are pretty graphic, too.)
  • the filters can block appropriate searches, such as "breast cancer" or "adult education". 
 
So, as with any other search engine or website, we need to teach students about safe searches and critical thinking!
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Brenda Rogers's curator insight, March 6, 4:11 PM

I used Kiddle today with a specialized academic instruction class. The large thumbnails with plenty of white space made it easier for students to decide which sites they would look at first. Kiddle developers rank websites as follows:


The first 1-3 sites will be written specifically for children and are chosen by Kiddle editorsThe following sites (usually 5-7) will be safe sites with content not specifically written for children, but at a reading level they can understand. These are also chosen by Kiddle editorsThe remaining sites are filtered by Google Safe Search, not geared to children, and possibly harder to understand.
Kiddle would be great for elementary students. The filters are very strict--search for information on breast cancer, and you'll be told you're searching for "bad words." Still, I think the visual aspect of the search would appeal to many students, so I'll continue to use it with our SAI classes.
***Update****
I wanted to share some feedback I received from Gary Price of InfoDocket. 
when words are misspelled, safety filters are for naught, i.e., "beheaddings" (although the images that make it through the filters when it's spelled correctly are pretty graphic, too.)the filters can block appropriate searches, such as "breast cancer" or "adult education". 

So, as with any other search engine or website, we need to teach students about safe searches and critical thinking!
Susanne Sharkey's curator insight, March 7, 7:39 AM

A final (3/4/2016) update on Kiddle:

 

So, I posted about this great search engine on LM_NET. Gary Price of InfoDocket then pointed out that NO search engine is completely safe, and that promoting Kiddle may give teachers, parents and students  a false sense of security. Kiddle also had a judgmental snark to it: when students searched "penis", the response was something like "Oops, looks like a bad word."  The folks behind Kiddle are very responsive--today when I looked up that "bad word", I was told instead "Oops, try again." A few weeks ago, you were out of luck if you wanted information about breast cancer from Kiddle. (Another "bad word.")  Now, if you type in "breast", you'll get links to Butterball turkey, KidsHealth.org's article about breasts and bras, and lots of information about breast cancer. So, Kiddle is trying. Not perfect by any means, but trying. Perhaps worth keeping in your pocket when World Book is too elementary, but your students struggle with the reading level in a database. (My middle school SAI students hate the portal for World Book)

 

But here's where things got weird. Last week, I saw several people tweet and post about Kiddle as "Google's new kid-friendly search engine." It was amazing how fast that incorrect tweet spread. Most librarians I know who shared it later corrected their blogs or tweets, but a lot of folks didn't. (A quick look at the URL should give you a clear indication Kiddle is not part of the Google family.)

 

So, bottom line: 1. Kiddle isn't perfect. 2. No search engine is. 3. The people behind it, anonymous though they may be, seem to have good intentions, and are constantly working to improve the site based on feedback. 4. WE can do a better job helping students think about searching and directing them to more targeted sites, rather than general search engines (Thanks for that reminder, Gary Price!) 5. We all need to be careful about sharing and retweeting without verifying. And 6. That Butterball turkey link made me realize dinner isn't going to cook itself.

 

                ******************************************

Original post:

 

I used Kiddle today with a specialized academic instruction class. The large thumbnails with plenty of white space made it easier for students to decide which sites they would look at first. Kiddle developers rank websites as follows:

 

The first 1-3 sites will be written specifically for children and are chosen by Kiddle editorsThe following sites (usually 5-7) will be safe sites with content not specifically written for children, but at a reading level they can understand. These are also chosen by Kiddle editorsThe remaining sites are filtered by Google Safe Search, not geared to children, and possibly harder to understand.
 
Kiddle would be great for elementary students. The filters are very strict--search for information on breast cancer, and you'll be told you're searching for "bad words." Still, I think the visual aspect of the search would appeal to many students, so I'll continue to use it with our SAI classes.
 
*** Update ****
 
I wanted to share some feedback I received from Gary Price of InfoDocket. 
when words are misspelled, safety filters are for naught, i.e., "beheaddings" (although the images that make it through the filters when it's spelled correctly are pretty graphic, too.)the filters can block appropriate searches, such as "breast cancer" or "adult education". 
 
So, as with any other search engine or website, we need to teach students about safe searches and critical thinking!
lfredric's curator insight, March 9, 4:38 PM

A final (3/4/2016) update on Kiddle:

 

So, I posted about this great search engine on LM_NET. Gary Price of InfoDocket then pointed out that NO search engine is completely safe, and that promoting Kiddle may give teachers, parents and students  a false sense of security. Kiddle also had a judgmental snark to it: when students searched "penis", the response was something like "Oops, looks like a bad word."  The folks behind Kiddle are very responsive--today when I looked up that "bad word", I was told instead "Oops, try again." A few weeks ago, you were out of luck if you wanted information about breast cancer from Kiddle. (Another "bad word.")  Now, if you type in "breast", you'll get links to Butterball turkey, KidsHealth.org's article about breasts and bras, and lots of information about breast cancer. So, Kiddle is trying. Not perfect by any means, but trying. Perhaps worth keeping in your pocket when World Book is too elementary, but your students struggle with the reading level in a database. (My middle school SAI students hate the portal for World Book)

 

But here's where things got weird. Last week, I saw several people tweet and post about Kiddle as "Google's new kid-friendly search engine." It was amazing how fast that incorrect tweet spread. Most librarians I know who shared it later corrected their blogs or tweets, but a lot of folks didn't. (A quick look at the URL should give you a clear indication Kiddle is not part of the Google family.)

 

So, bottom line: 1. Kiddle isn't perfect. 2. No search engine is. 3. The people behind it, anonymous though they may be, seem to have good intentions, and are constantly working to improve the site based on feedback. 4. WE can do a better job helping students think about searching and directing them to more targeted sites, rather than general search engines (Thanks for that reminder, Gary Price!) 5. We all need to be careful about sharing and retweeting without verifying. And 6. That Butterball turkey link made me realize dinner isn't going to cook itself.

 

                ******************************************

Original post:

 

I used Kiddle today with a specialized academic instruction class. The large thumbnails with plenty of white space made it easier for students to decide which sites they would look at first. Kiddle developers rank websites as follows:

 

The first 1-3 sites will be written specifically for children and are chosen by Kiddle editorsThe following sites (usually 5-7) will be safe sites with content not specifically written for children, but at a reading level they can understand. These are also chosen by Kiddle editorsThe remaining sites are filtered by Google Safe Search, not geared to children, and possibly harder to understand.
 
Kiddle would be great for elementary students. The filters are very strict--search for information on breast cancer, and you'll be told you're searching for "bad words." Still, I think the visual aspect of the search would appeal to many students, so I'll continue to use it with our SAI classes.
 
*** Update ****
 
I wanted to share some feedback I received from Gary Price of InfoDocket. 
when words are misspelled, safety filters are for naught, i.e., "beheaddings" (although the images that make it through the filters when it's spelled correctly are pretty graphic, too.)the filters can block appropriate searches, such as "breast cancer" or "adult education". 
 
So, as with any other search engine or website, we need to teach students about safe searches and critical thinking!
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YA Books and More: Ten Ways Teacher Librarians Are Being Watched...and what you should do about it!

YA Books and More: Ten Ways Teacher Librarians Are Being Watched...and what you should do about it! | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Naomi Bates writes: "The big question school librarians need to ask themselves is, "What am I doing to drive students and teachers toward the library?"  


  

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

What a great blog post! I am using it as a rubric to check what I'm doing the rest of this school year. 

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Tales from a Loud Librarian: December Holiday Decorating in a Public School

Tales from a Loud Librarian: December Holiday Decorating in a Public School | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Elizabeth Kahn writes: "...I like the idea of having some sort of decoration to mark the season since everyone celebrates the new year. A friend of mine brings a small artificial tree into her high school library. She provides various colors of chenille stems. She asks the students to decorate the tree with peace or love symbols. Okay, that would be a way to make the holiday season inclusive. For a couple of years, I have wanted to do something similar, but I didn't want to buy a tree, nor did I really have space for it in my library.  

Still, I like the idea of having some sort of decoration to mark the season since everyone celebrates the new year. A friend of mine brings a small artificial tree into her high school library. She provides various colors of chenille stems. She asks the students to decorate the tree with peace or love symbols. Okay, that would be a way to make the holiday season inclusive. For a couple of years, I have wanted to do something similar, but I didn't want to buy a tree, nor did I really have space for it in my library.  

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

What a great idea! We can do this next year on the new wall that will be built during our winter break.

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WWP Library's curator insight, March 7, 4:19 PM

What a great idea! We can do this next year on the new wall that will be built during our winter break.

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Are You Committing Readicide?

Are You Committing Readicide? | Creativity in the School Library | Scoop.it

Nancy Barile writes: "As teachers, we are under constant, enormous pressure to help our students succeed. But we also have to be cautious that we don’t destroy their love of learning along the way. Instead, let’s work to create an atmosphere where teachers inspire and nurture students’ passion and enthusiasm for reading. If we build this foundation, success will soon follow." 

As teachers, we are under constant, enormous pressure to help our students succeed. But we also have to be cautious that we don’t destroy their love of learning along the way. Instead, let’s work to create an atmosphere where teachers inspire and nurture students’ passion and enthusiasm for reading. If we build this foundation, success will soon follow.

Mary Reilley Clark's insight:

What a great article to share with teachers! I understand the pressure of the Common Core Standards, but free choice reading is important at every grade level.

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