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Posts tagged education

Toronto Catholic School Board Cuts Every Teacher-Librarian
March 27, 2015 | 12:25 pm

teacher-librarianIt's budget time here, and every municipality in my area is trying to balance the books. One of the more controversial cost-cutting tactics to come to light this week is the Toronto Catholic school board's decision to eliminate teacher-librarians in ALL of its elementary schools. As the Toronto Star write-up explains, teacher-librarians play a significant role in early literacy because, unlike the lesser-paid library technicians, they are both trained librarians and also certified teachers as well. Part of the problem is that teacher-librarians are allocated in the province's funding on a per-child basis, not a per-school basis. The provincial funding formula accounts...

Education alliance urges Congress to support dedicated school library funding
March 23, 2015 | 12:25 pm

Congress_large_extra_large.jpgThe American Library Association (ALA) has announced its support for "a coalition of more than 20 education businesses, associations and media groups―including Scholastic Inc., ESCO Information Services and the Association of American Publishers" which has just sent a letter to the U.S. Congress "to support dedicated school library funding in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), which provides federal funding for national K-12 education programs." The coalition's letter "asks Congress to incorporate the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLS) Act in ESEA reauthorization, which would expand federal investment in school libraries in order to offer students the...

Teaching Good Media Habits for Children
March 13, 2015 | 10:25 am

media habits for childrenI featured this story in the Morning Links yesterday, and have been thinking about it all morning. Amanda Enayati writes about 'unplugging' as a trend thing, that people are finally noticing the 'stress' that their devices cause them. It seems to me that addressing that stress needs to start not just with the adults of today, but with the adults of the future; we need to teach kids how to interact more safely, and sanely, with their devices than we do. I taught a technology unit to my Grade 3 students just before the March break which attempts to address this...

Morning Links: Apple making iPads in classrooms easier. More on Little Free libraries
March 9, 2015 | 9:00 am

ipads in classroomsHow My Little Free Library Became Self-Sustaining (Book Riot) The reality of running a Little Free Library is often much less bright and cheery. A lot of the books that get put in aren’t anything anyone would want to take. *** How I Manage my Creative Process on an 11-Inch Macbook Air (GigaOM) I decided to get an Air for myself and hand down my 15-inch MacBook Pro. Wins all around. *** Self-Publishing Lets Women Break Book Industry's Glass Ceiling, Survey Finds (The Guardian) While men still dominate the traditional books world, among DIY writers women are publishing and selling more. *** Apple is Going to Make...

Two cheers for World Book Day?
March 5, 2015 | 10:25 am

I shouldn't be remotely snarky about the UK World Book Day, perhaps. After all, any initiative that promotes books and reading in a country whose literacy and reading levels besmirch its cultural and economic status is welcome. "Thanks to National Book Tokens and lots of lovely book publishers and booksellers, World Book Day, in partnership with schools all over the country, will be distributing more than 14 million £1 World Book Day book tokens to children (that’s almost one for every child/young person under 18 in the UK and Ireland)," says the site. Fine, but why not books for adults? And...

Warwick Report exposes systematic divides in UK culture
February 24, 2015 | 12:25 pm

Unsurprisingly from the country that gave the world the concept of philistinism, the 2015 Report by the Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value, Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth - otherwise known as the Warwick Report - has found that "the government and the cultural and creative industries need to take a united and coherent approach that guarantees equal access for everyone to a rich cultural education and the opportunity to live a creative life. There are barriers and inequalities in Britain today that prevent this from being a universal human right. This is bad for business and...

Review: Steampunk LEGO by Guy Himber
February 23, 2015 | 10:25 am

steampunk legoI got a package in the mail this week---a gorgeous hardcover book from No Starch Press! When I wrote earlier about this publisher, I mentioned that one of the things which intrigued me about them was their print-plus-eBook bundles. They graciously agreed to let me try one out, and while I was able to download the PDF copy of [easyazon-link asin="1593275285" locale="us"]Steampunk LEGO[/easyazon-link] right away, I wanted to wait to write the review until I had the paper copy for comparison. Well...it's here! And is a beautiful book. Even the Beloved, who is not particularly a book fan in either format, remarked...

Quick Reads finds snack-reading between meals can refresh the synapses other opiates can’t reach
February 6, 2015 | 12:25 pm

UK reading advocacy program Quick Reads - operating in partnership with Galaxy Chocolate - has shared a new research study revealing "that those who read for just 30 minutes per week are 20% more likely to be satisfied with their lives." Dr. Josie Billington at The University of Liverpool produced research to help demonstrate that "readers are 21% less likely to report feelings of depression and 10% more likely to report good self-esteem versus non-readers, equipping them with a greater ability to cope with everyday life." The research has been produced in conjunction with the release of the 2015 Galaxy® Quick Reads’...

Want a Humble Bundle for Geeky Kids?
February 4, 2015 | 2:19 pm

humble bundleHere's an interesting theme for a Humble Bundle. Brainiac kid's books, including books on coding, physics, website design and, of course, LEGO. Heck, that sounds like something this self-proclaimed geek adult might be interested in. The line-up looks quite intriguing. Customers can pay any amount of money and receive: Ruby Wizardry: An Introduction to Programming for Kids Lauren Ipsum: A Story About Computer Science and Other Improbable Things The Manga Guide to Electricity Snip, Burn, Solder, Shred: Seriously Geeky Stuff to Make with Your Kids The LEGO Adventure Book, Volume 1: Cars, Castles, Dinosaurs & More! Customers who pay more than the average user will also receive: LEGO Space:...

UK National Literacy Trust appoints Frank Lampard as reading ambassador
January 25, 2015 | 2:48 pm

UK NGO the National Literacy Trust has appointed Frank Lampard, star footballer and currently mid-fielder for Manchester City Football Club, as a new ambassador for the Trust, "supporting our ongoing work to raise the profile of literacy in the UK and motivate disadvantaged children to read – an ambition he shares in his work as an author." Lampard said: "I am delighted to take up the role as an ambassador for the National Literacy Trust and help to further their work in supporting disadvantaged children across the UK to discover the joy of reading and develop their literacy skills. Reading should be a...

The K-12 and economic cases for a national digital library endowment
January 24, 2015 | 11:00 am

President Obama wants expanded broadband, as indicated in his State of the Union address---a laudable goal. But what to use it for, beyond such purposes as, say, the faster downloading of YouTubes? Here's the latest version of LibraryCity’s call for a national digital library endowment and intertwined public and academic library systems online. Short of time? Read an executive summary. – D.R. The average 15-to-19-year-old in the U.S. spends only six minutes a day reading for fun, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. What’s more, a just-released report from Scholastic, discussed later in this commentary, warns that the number of...

Sad news for Egmont as US operation closes without buyer
January 23, 2015 | 4:25 pm

Sad to say, Egmont Publishing has had to close its US business after trying but failing to find a buyer. The official Egmont statement said: Egmont Publishing, which at $900 million is the largest division in the Denmark-based Egmont group, employing 2,400 people across 30 countries, has a new strategic focus, which is to invest in books and magazine businesses where Egmont can hold a leading market position. One of the outcomes has been the decision to exit the standalone position in the US market, which they entered in 2008. Attempts to sell Egmont USA since October 2014 have not resulted in...