Magpies and Octopi
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Magpies and Octopi
Bright and shiny things that don't fit on my other boards
Curated by Mary Clark
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The History of “Loving” to Read - The New Yorker

The History of “Loving” to Read - The New Yorker | Magpies and Octopi | Scoop.it

Joshua Rothman writes: "For a long time, people didn’t love literature. They read with their heads, not their hearts."

Mary Clark's insight:

When my middle schoolers tell me about their favorite books, they express themselves with such passion that I can't help but think these books are their first experience of a crush. Of course, I can empathize, as I remember the feeling very well. 

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Just say no to digital hoarding

Just say no to digital hoarding | Magpies and Octopi | Scoop.it
We are gorging ourselves on useless information that clogs our devices.
Mary Clark's insight:

I spent two hours last night deleting files off my hard drive and barely made a dent. If we save everything, what value do we place on it all? 


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Livin' on the Edge: 7 Sites That (Thankfully) Don't Hold Back | Scoop.it Blog

Livin' on the Edge: 7 Sites That (Thankfully) Don't Hold Back | Scoop.it Blog | Magpies and Octopi | Scoop.it
Where do you get your news? Some sources are too concerned about political correctness to give the news the treatment it deserves. The following are some news websites that (thankfully) don't hold back.
Mary Clark's insight:

These sites are probably not for student use, but may be of interest to you!

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How To Take Better iPhone Photos In Low Light

How To Take Better iPhone Photos In Low Light | Magpies and Octopi | Scoop.it
Discover some great shooting and editing tips for taking better iPhone photos in a variety of low light situations.
Mary Clark's insight:

I love this blog! I've definitely seen an improvement in my photos since I started incorporating some of the tips here. 

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Visual Prompts for Book Reports and Literature Circles

Visual Prompts for Book Reports and Literature Circles | Magpies and Octopi | Scoop.it

John Spencer writes: "When I was a kid, I hated book reports. I hated filling out a form describing what I read. I wasn't a fan of artsy crafty alternatives, like cereal box projects or dioramas. What I did love, though, was geeking out on what I read. I loved arguing about who was better, what they should have done, etc. I loved making mash-ups and fan fiction. So, with that in mind, I have created some visual writing ideas that are alternatives to the standard book report."

Mary Clark's insight:

I love these ideas, even if only to prompt discussions in book clubs or literature circles! I just read a small stack (digital stack!) of book reports that looked very cool, but contained boring summaries of the book that students could have gathered from online reviews. Prompts like this would require the students to read the book! Fiendishly clever!

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Seth's Blog: Tribal organizing (right and wrong, slow and fast)

Seth's Blog: Tribal organizing (right and wrong, slow and fast) | Magpies and Octopi | Scoop.it

Seth Godin writes: "Crisis—They communicate to their audience with invented urgency. Everything is an emergency, a crisis that must be dealt with now, or it's all over. This boosts short-term response, of course, but destroys attention and trust. The boy shouted wolf, but the villagers didn't come.'

Mary Clark's insight:

Connection, commitment, and conversation work in school tribes, too!

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Your Face Scares Me: Understanding the Hyperrational Adolescent Brain

Your Face Scares Me: Understanding the Hyperrational Adolescent Brain | Magpies and Octopi | Scoop.it
Edutopia blogger Todd Finley explores the power and purpose of the teenage brain, discovering surprises such as low dopamine levels, abundant of hyperrationality, and how adults can enable teen impulse by subtly redirecting it.
Mary Clark's insight:

Share with every middle school staff member you know!

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Preventing Summer Slide: Why Not Try Internet Research?

Preventing Summer Slide: Why Not Try Internet Research? | Magpies and Octopi | Scoop.it

Kathy Knutson writes: "Summer is a time for adventure. Giving your child opportunities for using the Internet to explore interests and answer questions can help prevent summer slide and prepare them for their return to school. But as a bonus, it will help them become self-directed learners."




Mary Clark's insight:

I loved having my daughter research trips we were planning!  While this article is very helpful, I'd add in some pointers for creation on the web. For example, if you're trip planning, how about using Animoto to make a quick video of the places your family wants to see?

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That Jeopardy guy really is smart

That Jeopardy guy really is smart | Magpies and Octopi | Scoop.it
Following today's earlier post about violence against women, I'd like to share excerpts from Jeopardy champ Arthur Chu's "Your Princess Is in Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds" ( I c...
Mary Clark's insight:

Links to the  article  on the Daily Beast site,  A very thoughtful piece which makes me wonder how we can help our boys grow into men that DON'T objectify women.

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Mobile phones contributing to an increase in reading in Africa

Mobile phones contributing to an increase in reading in Africa | Magpies and Octopi | Scoop.it
A new study of thousands of mobile phone users in Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and Zimbabwe finds that mobile phones, though still underutilized, are contributing to an increase in reading.
Mary Clark's insight:

I wonder if there might be under-reporting of female readers, especially in countries where there isn't universal education? There's so much potential in the use of mobile phones for education!

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For Students, the Importance of Doing Work That Matters

For Students, the Importance of Doing Work That Matters | Magpies and Octopi | Scoop.it
If our students look at the work we’re asking them to do today and say “It doesn’t matter,” we’re missing a huge opportunity to help them become the learners they now need to be.
Mary Clark's insight:

I remember reading a quote from Sylvia Duckworth that students don't hate school because it's hard, but because it's boring.  Let's make school awesome!


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Want to Be More Creative? Take a Walk

Want to Be More Creative? Take a Walk | Magpies and Octopi | Scoop.it
A brief stroll, even one just around your office, can spur creativity, according to a new study.
Mary Clark's insight:

I want a walking desk!

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Screen Sharing in a Google Hangout on Air Video Conference

Screen Sharing in a Google Hangout on Air Video Conference | Magpies and Octopi | Scoop.it

Alice Keeler writes: "Screen sharing is one reason I really like Google Hangouts on Air. A Google Hangout (GHO) is a video conferencing tool with some neat ways to integrate Google products and other add on's."  

Mary Clark's insight:

I wish I'd read this before we did our Google Hangout on Air with Kevin Honeycutt.  There are several great tips in here that I didn't know, and it would have made the Hangout a little cleaner visually. Alice Keeler does a great job outlining all the features of a GHO, so we are ready for our next one!

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Mary Clark's curator insight, April 22, 2014 1:08 PM

I wish I'd read this before we did our Google Hangout on Air with Kevin Honeycutt.  There are several great tips in here that I didn't know, and it would have made the Hangout a little cleaner visually. Alice Keeler does a great job outlining all the features of a GHO, so we are ready for our next one!

GwynethJones's curator insight, April 28, 2014 3:10 PM

ooh handy!

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Plans for Brooklyn Branches Have Merit

Plans for Brooklyn Branches Have Merit | Magpies and Octopi | Scoop.it
Proposals to sell and develop library sites in Brooklyn are being met with the usual arguments, but the plans actually look promising.
Mary Clark's insight:

Updating libraries which have increased use and circulation? A great idea!

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Google Is Adding Major Libraries to Its Database

Google Is Adding Major Libraries to Its Database | Magpies and Octopi | Scoop.it
Google plans to begin converting the holdings of leading research libraries into digital files that would be searchable online.
Mary Clark's insight:

Digital Public Library of America (dp.la ) already has this covered, with resources from Harvard, UVA, USC, NYPL. The Smithsonian, the Getty Trust, ARTstor, and state libraries in NC, SC, MN, GA, CA, MT, CT and others. Be sure to check out their apps, and indulge your inner nerd with a few rounds of Zen Tag, a metadata game that has sucked hours of time for me!

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Top 10 Things Middle-School Students Wish You Knew

Top 10 Things Middle-School Students Wish You Knew | Magpies and Octopi | Scoop.it

Rachel Vail writes: "1. I was not trying to get attention by falling off the chair. I am approximately infinity inches bigger than I was yesterday and I just lost track of how to balance. I felt like an idiot so I made falling into a joke. Crying was the other choice. And I’d rather cut off my arm than cry in school."

Mary Clark's insight:

I love this list! On Friday, we were brainstorming about window decorations, and a student blurted out a wonderful idea. When I told him how creative and awesome it was, he looked over his shoulder, then pointed to himself. "Me? I'm creative? Are you being sarcastic, Mrs. Clark?" I could almost see the gears in his brains moving to accommodate that new idea of himself!

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To Help Language Skills of Children, a Study Finds, Text Their Parents With Tips

To Help Language Skills of Children, a Study Finds, Text Their Parents With Tips | Magpies and Octopi | Scoop.it
Preschoolers performed better on literacy tests when their parents received text messages with tips on how to help them, a study in San Francisco found.
Mary Clark's insight:

I wonder if this is just the novelty of getting the texts, or if the reminders would continue to work? It's certainly worth trying!

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Five Lessons from the Digital Revolution

Five Lessons from the Digital Revolution | Magpies and Octopi | Scoop.it
Walter Isaacson, the C.E.O. of the Aspen Institute, reflects on how the most imaginative innovators of our time turn ideas into reality.
Mary Clark's insight:

Why, these are all things you can do in the library! Blend art and science, collaborate, meet in person, execute your brilliant ideas, and use digital tools for connection (aren't librarians the best models of that? I don't think we've ever met a digital tool we didn't immediately put to work to connect us or our students with others!)

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8 Critical Skills For A Modern Education

8 Critical Skills For A Modern Education | Magpies and Octopi | Scoop.it
8 Critical Skills For A Modern Education
Mary Clark's insight:

Nothing shocking here: basic skills need to come before broader skills, teaching children well is better than remedial teaching for adults, life-long learning is a must.  But the graphic is a great visual summary.

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Deeper Learning Through Questions - The Right Question

Deeper Learning Through Questions - The Right Question | Magpies and Octopi | Scoop.it
Focusing on deeper learning as a result of asking questions leads to a myriad of positive outcomes including increased engagement.
Mary Clark's insight:

Good overview of questioning, with lots of links to other great resources.

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What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades

What’s Lost as Handwriting Fades | Magpies and Octopi | Scoop.it

Maria Konnikova writes "Even as the emphasis shifts to the keyboard, experts say that learning to write by hand improves motor skills, memory and creativity."

Mary Clark's insight:

I've found written notes tend to stick better for me than all the notes I type in Evernote!

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Claiming an Education: Adrienne Rich’s Spectacular 1977 Commencement Address

Claiming an Education: Adrienne Rich’s Spectacular 1977 Commencement Address | Magpies and Octopi | Scoop.it

"Responsibility to yourself means that you don't fall for shallow and easy solutions."

 

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The 6 Best Tools For Creative Work, According To Science

The 6 Best Tools For Creative Work, According To Science | Magpies and Octopi | Scoop.it

IConnecting our minds and bodies--by sleeping, stepping away from the keyboard, and breaking a sweat--might be the best way to get through a creative...


Via John Michel
Mary Clark's insight:

I'm not sure # 6 would work for me--I'd be too worried about the spoon falling to fall asleep!

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Fast and Furious

Fast and Furious | Magpies and Octopi | Scoop.it

Matthew Shaer writes: "If you’ve spent much time on Facebook, Twitter or other social media, you’ve probably noticed how quickly emotions—pride, happiness, disappointment, incredulousness—can spread throughout the online community. What’s curious is that one sentiment travels faster than others, say researchers at Beihang University in China."  (Image via Fehlman Fam on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fehlmanfam/7791825734/)

Mary Clark's insight:

This is so timely for me! I'm working with 7th graders on environmental issues and social media, and for extra credit, they can design a social media campaign for their topic.  Getting people angry about an environmental issue might get a lot of responses, but sharing awe would get more. Interesting perspective for that environmental campaign!  More Ansel Adams, less PETA?

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Let It Marinate: The Importance of Reflection and Closing

Let It Marinate: The Importance of Reflection and Closing | Magpies and Octopi | Scoop.it
I am one of those people who regularly figures out exactly what to say after the moment has passed. I will be deep in conversation with someone, sharing thoughts and bouncing around ideas. Yet, as th
Mary Clark's insight:

I've been asking students to reflect on our collaborative projects.  Not only does it help they summarize what they learned, but I honestly feel that they feel validated as researchers when we ask them for their feedback and reflections.

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