3 ways the modern school is becoming more like the modern workplace

There was a time when American schools, like American offices, were drab and stuffy places. But things are changing.

As the office has evolved to allow a more creative and collaborative workplace, many educators have taken note, bringing those same features to classrooms, school libraries, lunchrooms and other common areas.

Today’s schools, are now being equipped with outlets from the floors to the walls allowing students to easily plug in and charge laptop computers, phones and other devices wherever they work. They have furniture designed for the way students sit and stand. And they have collaborative spaces designed to allow them to work together in small groups and in teams.…Read More

TCEA: Do your libraries need a change?

School libraries should be centers of digital instruction and learning

school-librariesSeeking to ensure school librarians’ roles reflect the changing nature of education, one Texas school district changed its librarians’ positions to better support digital learning.

Library and IT specialists in the Willis Independent School District knew they needed to transform school librarians into vital educational leaders who instruct and engage students with innovative resources and opportunities, and who are actively involved in helping students learn about and evaluate digital resources and information.

During a session at TCEA 2014, Willis ISD Director of Technology Deborah Menefee said the district wanted to support modern library practices that would engage students with opportunities to use digital learning, research, and collaboration tools.…Read More

School web filtering needs extreme makeover

During a recent symposium on the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), experts agreed that though the law backed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has good intentions, school web filtering software and practices need a major overhaul.

“There are a lot of changes we need to acknowledge that have happened in the last 10 years;” said one panelist. “For instance, Bring Your Own Device [BYOD] adoption. I know in the FCC’s recent update to eRate they’re asking input on how they should cover BYOD in relation to CIPA.”

(Next page: Over-blocking and inefficiencies)…Read More

10 popular, banned books

Reading is still a central part of learning, and with the current emphasis on eBooks and 21st century learning in school and campus libraries, it’s hard to imagine any book under restriction. Nevertheless, every year, more books are placed on the American Library Association’s (ALA) “challenged” books list.

For many children and young adults, there is no greater pleasure then becoming lost in fictional worlds characterized by engaging people and settings of times past or future…and if there happens to be curse words or a scandalous event, well, that’s all part of the narrative.

Yet many parents and school and campus staff take exception to some fictional works, presenting “challenges”­­—formal, written complaints filed with a library or school requesting that a book or other material be restricted or removed because of its content or appropriateness—through the library association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom.…Read More

Libraries have the clout, respect to be leaders in parent engagement

I’ve written a lot about how schools must become more effective at getting parents involved, Cleveland.com reports. But they’re not the only institution that can do this important job. Libraries have perhaps an even better opportunity to catch parents and engage them. Why? Because they’re sitting on so many resources that can help parents break out of poverty…

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