April 15, 2014

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


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


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.

Using Social Media to Engage Teens in the Library

“Brother Mike” Hawkins (at left) and YOUmedia’s Spoken Word team at the “Louder Than a Bomb” poetry competition in Chicago, March 2013.
Photo courtesy of “Brother Mike” Hawkins.

Ideas about social media, teens, and the future of libraries were shared in a dynamic online exchange sponsored by the Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) and Connected Learning.

California 10th Graders Improve Their Writing Skills—Through an Interactive Fiction Game

Jason Sellers and 10th graders onscreen at 
the French American International School, San Francisco, CA.

“You hear a lot about gaming and engaging kids in STEM subjects, says teacher Jason Sellers. “So, I wondered, what does gaming look like in English?” Sellers, a teacher at the French American International School in San Francisco, found out, basing a classroom lesson in Playfic, an online community where users write, share, and play games using Inform 7, a programming system for creating interactive fiction based on natural language.

STEM Video Game Challenge Encourages Librarians to Mentor Students

Washington DC high school student Golden Rockefeller (right) was a 2012 STEM Video Game Challenge winner for a game called Electrobob.
Photo courtesy of E-LIne Media.

Students are invited to enter the annual National STEM Video Game Challenge, and organizers are hoping school librarians will help mentor and support kids throughout the process.

Give Lessons a Byte on Digital Learning Day

8th graders at Charlotte Country Day Middle School work on Movie Maker projects in Latin class.

Join the nation’s many school librarians and educators planning to dive into projects, programs, and day-long activities tomorrow in celebration of the second annual Digital Learning Day.

School Library Thrives After Ditching Print Collection


Minneapolis’ Benilde-St. Margaret’s school library remains a vital educational space where students still research, investigate and—above all—learn, even after high school principal Sue Skinner donated or re-purposed nearly all the books in its print collection in 2011.

High School Students Use Cell Phones in Class—but not for Schoolwork, Says Study


Just as many high school teachers are becoming comfortable with incorporating smartphones and other digital devices into classrooms to aid with learning, a new study finds that a majority of high school students are already using cell phones in class—to text, to send emails, and to browse social media sites.

Home-Schooled Florida Teen Creates ‘Jurassic’ App

Evan Frost

Most kids who are obsessed with Tyrannosaurus Rex end up playing with figurines or poring over dinosaur-themed books. Not Evan Frost. Instead, the 13-year-old from Palm Beach Gardens, FL, turned his interest into an app he developed for Android phones.