Long considered an educational backwater, Louisiana is now in the vanguard of the school reform movement. Two recent events there have implications for other states that are grappling with persistently failing schools and budget shortfalls.
Though his books became a staple of high school and college English courses, Mr. Bradbury himself disdained formal education. He went so far as to attribute his success as a writer to his never having gone to college.
Instead, he read everything he could get his hands on: Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, H. G. Wells, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway . He paid homage to them in 1971 in the essay “How Instead of Being Educated in College, I Was Graduated From Libraries.” (Late in life he took an active role in fund-raising efforts for public libraries in Southern California.)
Having just reviewed Follett’s suite of ebook-related products last month, it’s been interesting to compare how Mackin is serving up digital content they offer the pre-K–12 market, including the more than 37,000 unlimited, simultaneous access ebooks in its rapidly growing catalog. It’s especially interesting since lots of that content is available from both vendors. And, Mackin—like Follett—is scrambling to evolve quickly and cater to increasingly econtent-savvy customers in order to grab as much of the emerging school library ebook market as possible. It’s a market that—fuse finally lit—could blow up big-time any moment now, at which point the vendor with the most established platform is bound to win big.
The world of reference is moving at warp speed these days. Public library patrons are used to Wikipedia and expect the same convenience when it comes to library resources. And in many school libraries, budget crunches, technology issues, and Common Core standards have made librarians’ jobs even more, shall we say, exciting. Wouldn’t you love to sit down with some of the world’s leading reference publishers and say, “Hey, wait a second! This is what we need you to do to make our libraries better”?
It is natural for librarians to compile lists, curate resources, and gather texts to fit Common Core. It is also habitual for a reader and educator to seek out these booklists and line them up with ideas, interests, and reading levels. However, in a Common Core setting, these traditional curatorial and consumption behaviors need to be reinvented.
Deborah Meier and Diane Ravitch have found themselves at odds on policy over the years, but they share a passion for improving schools. Bridging Differences will offer their insights on what matters most in education.
Repeating something often enough does not make it true no matter how intuitively appealing the statement. I thought of that axiom after reading about companies bemoaning the lack of workers with requisite skills. This mismatch is what economists call a structural issue in the labor market. With time, workers will develop the skills in demand or employers will readjust their needs to the skills that workers possess. In the meantime, unemployment will remain high.
When Andy Plemmons, a progressive media specialist at David C. Barrow Elementary in Athens, GA, was asked to help create a set of interdisciplinary lessons for fifth graders to learn about September 11, 2001, he naturally took a transmedia approach.
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