November 24, 2014

Teen Tech Week 2014: Computer Tear Downs, Skyping, and Raspberry Pis

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Maker spaces, robot construction, and computer tear-downs will figure prominently in librarians’ Teen Tech Week lineups this year, taking place from March 9 through 15.

Sonoma Library to Host Minecraft Camp

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Rebecca Forth doesn’t want kids to simply play Minecraft, she wants them to design their own worlds in the virtual building game. They can do just that and learn the necessary coding skills in a program set to launch at the Healdsburg branch of the Sonoma County (CA) Library in March 2014.

South Dakota Honors “21st Century School Libraries”

Sioux Falls school librarian and 21st Century
School Library Award winner Kerri Smith (in green jacket)
with her students from Washington High School.

The South Dakota State Library launched a new program this fall, the 21st Century School Library Award, to honor the work of 20 school libraries who are best representing 21st-century principles. The creators are hoping the recognition will serve as a motivation for other schools and districts to invest in their libraries.

Librarian Creates Site for Teachers to Earn Digital Badges for New Skills

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Even teachers need a little acknowledgment for learning new skills, according to library media specialist Laura Fleming. Through her site, Worlds of Learning, Fleming is offering teachers at her school and beyond the opportunity to earn digital badges—honors that can be posted online—for mastering digital literacy in various areas, from QR codes to video editing.

Device & Conquer: SLJ’s 2013 Tech Survey

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As education technology has evolved, so, too, have the kinds of digital tools that school librarians use with their students. More than 750 school librarians responded to SLJ’s survey, representing K–12 public and private schools across the country. According to the data, they make the most of what they have, learning one day and sharing that knowledge the next.

Teen Conducts Her Own Study on Screen Time’s Effect

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Seventeen-year old Zarin Rahman suspected that the time she spent staring at screens was affecting her mood and school work. So the 12th grader at Brookings (SD) High School decided to conduct her own study.

Book App Alliance Aids Discovery of Kids’ Interactive Books

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The Book App Alliance aims to help locate quality book apps amid the tides of Disney, Dora, and Dr. Seuss products. Alliance founders also want to foster best practices.

California Kids Get Social Media ‘Eraser’—But It Might not Work

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California minors now have the legal right to erase their social media posts, a positive step toward giving them greater control over their online identities—or is it? Online content, after all, is not so easily erasable, according to Gary Price, editor of Library Journal’s INFOdocket.

A Minecraft Library Scores Big: Mattituck, NY, Branch Is a Hit with Kids

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Inspired by the experiences of Connecticut librarian Sarah Ludwig’s Minecraft library club, Elizabeth Grohoski and Karen Letteriello of the Mattituck-Laurel Library (NY) are now using a virtual Minecraft library to attract young patrons. The game allows users to build in a 3-D virtual world with cubes similar to Legos—but without any proscriptive kits and manuals.

Maker Summer: A Global Project Offers DIY Opportunities

During a maker party at the New York Hall of Science, kids used
MaKey MaKey circuit boards and Scratch programming language.
Photo courtesy NYSCI

Tinkerers of all ages are flexing their creative muscles during the Summer of Making and Connecting, a global project geared to empower digital crafters and match people with maker activities, online or on the street.