Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Important Reading: The "Speak Up 2009: National Findings" Survey

The "Speak Up 2009: Creating Our Future: Students Speak Up about Their Vision for 21st Century Learning" survey should command the attention of all stakeholders of our school community (and all school communities). This survey was commissioned by Project Tomorrow, a national organization whose mission is to prepare students to succeed in the global, technology-driven 21st century world.

This inclusive survey received input from students, parents, teachers, and administrators. The participants represented urban, suburban, and rural districts. They work at public and private schools. Every effort was made to include respondents from a range of geographical, socio-economic, and multicultural backgrounds.

Questions focused on a variety of technology tools, such as wikis, blogs, cellphones, ipods, social media (such as Facebook and Twitter), and online games. Respondents provided input on the pros, cons, benefits, and risks of integrating such technology tools into classroom instruction. Some questions concerned the independent use of such technology tools outside the classroom by students for the purposes of learning, collaborating, and/or entertainment.

The results show that these technology tools are widely used outside of school and that students can act in a very self-directed manner when given a wide berth of tools to help them reach their goals.

Please review this important survey by clicking here. I hope you will write your comments and reactions by clicking on the link for comments that follows this post.

Monday, May 10, 2010

2010 Teens' Top Ten (Book) Nominees

To BookChat! members - and all teen readers - this post's for you!

The list of 2010 Teens' Top Ten nominees has been determined, and now it is in your hands. You know what happens when people are eligible to vote and decide not to -- Don't let that happen this time. You are all eligible to vote in this one.

Every year teen advisory groups from 15 school and public libraries across the country draw up a list of nominations for favorite books for teens that have been published in the past year. In other words, teens have pre-selected a list of favorites, and it's up to you to select the final top ten from that list.

Your "task" -- so that you can be an informed voter -- is to read at least some of these books. Voting will take place online between August 23 and September 17. The winners -- the Teens' Top Ten -- will be announced during Teen Read Week in October. Please join in the fun: Read, and then vote!

There are great choices on the list too that should satisfy summer reading requirements and beyond. To see the list of books with brief summaries, click here.

Our school library has the following titles:
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson -- an award-winning author
Fire by Kristin Cashore (this is the prequel to Graceling, an excellent book)
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (the sequel to The Hunger Games, a fabulous book)
Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen -- her books are always popular
If I Stay by Gayle Forman -- thought-provoking

I encourage all of you to read some of the books on this list. After you read one (or more), please post a comment to let everyone know your reaction. Take action, and be part of the process!