August 1, 2014

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.

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

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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.