Karen Jensen writes: "One of the things my teens like to do best in my MakerSpace is to make mini movies, so I’ve been working on upping our game and finding new tools to learn new skills. Below are 5 of the various resources, apps and tools I recommend for making a variety of types of short films with tweens and teens in a MakerSpace."
Paige Jaeger writes: "PLEASE, PLEASE remember - Interactive bulletin boards are more engaging for students. 90% of the bulletin boards I see are "teacher delivery" of facts. Your question should be: How can I create a bulletin board where student's contribute to the content? So these ideas reflect this premise. These are ideas where the kids contribute content...thereby transferring ownership and fostering engagement."
Beth Holland writes: "When every student has the potential to carry a global library on the device in his or her pocket, the role of physical libraries may become even more important, not just a place to house resources, but one in which to create meaning from them. (Emphasis added.)
The first step we took in 1999 was to stop teaching isolated library skills classes. We began reinforcing information-literacy skills through class projects. At that time, we employed traditional strategies, including paper pathfinders and guided lab sessions.
Of course, this doesn't address one of my major concerns as a school librarian -- the fact that more and more librarians are being cut or spread between several buildings. The knowledge and skills required are going up, while the time in each library is going down. Doesn't bode well for being highly effective.
One look around the wide open room on the south side of Carver Middle School, which overlooks walking trails, and it becomes clear: This is not your father's school library.
It is, however, a peek at what's to come.
At Carver, the library is called a "learning commons." There are brightly colored walls (purple signifies collaborative space); small group work space with trendy furniture; tables with rocking chairs; rows of desktop computers; and a nook filled with games that is in the process of being transformed into a "maker" or creative play space."
Sometimes it's the last minute ideas that work the best! I had a teacher ask me to present something about creating book trailers to his students. I threw this Slides presentation together, added some sample Powtoons I'd made last week, and they loved it.
Paul Schott writes: ""We are hoping that this learning commons model really becomes the way we do the library media program," said Fran Kompar, the district's K-12 coordinator of library media services. "It is imperative that the library media specialist has time with the kids and teachers in order to make that change."
Rachel Kramer Bussel writes: "Colleen Graves, a teacher-librarian at Lamar Middle School in Flower Mound, Tex., made a bookface display using photos from other libraries along with her own students’ images to encourage participation (with the lure of free books for the most Instagram likes). She also posts Vine videos of new books, prompting some students to ask for those titles."
David Cohen writes: "While it's clear that libraries and librarians have a significantly positive impact on students and schools, we still have to fight to keep these vital resources in our schools and municipalities."
Libraries become a different kind of learning destination when schools reimagine them as open, transparent spaces that invite student communication and collaboration.
Sarah McElrath's insight:
"The libraries of the 21st century provide a welcoming common space that encourages exploration, creation, and collaboration between students, teachers, and a broader community. They bring together the best of the physical and digital to create learning hubs. Ultimately, libraries will continue to inspire students to construct new knowledge and meaning from the world around them."
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