Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Quote of the Day : from MacDonell's Essential Documents for School Libraries

"Schools that have a culture of learning are places where being a student is a source of satisfaction and joy, because real learning is a pleasure. Good schools become great schools when the focus of education is not on right or wrong answers on tests, but the ability to think and judge for oneself. Students and teachers alike can discover the power of a free and engaged intellect. This in turn will transform their idea of education from something that happens only in schools to something that is a natural and necessary part of living in the real world" (MacDonnell 76).

MacDonell, Colleen. Essential Documents for School Libraries: I've-got-it! Answers to I-need-it-now! Questions. Worthington, OH: Linworth Pub., 2005. Print.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Robert Scoble curates FB lists with tech insight

Scobleizer himself answered a question on Quora about how he discovers what's coming (like 3D printing and socially-contextualized curation). Turns out he curates his lists on Facebook because they don't have the same limitations as Twitter and Google+. Maybe it's time to buy that stock, now...

Read Quote of Robert Scoble's answer to Technology Trends: Why do I always feel like I’m too late for all the startup trends, how can I be at the front of the trends, executing? on Quora

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday morning with print sources in the physical library

I picked up a volume of the Dictionary of Literary Biography to look at for classification, because I've got them with the literary criticism but haven't relabeled them from collected biography. Then I looked at OCLC's Classify service to survey how others have classified them, and at the WebDewey reference service to confirm [© 2012 OCLC. Domestic and international trademarks and/or service marks of OCLC Online Computer Library Center, Inc. and its affiliates]. The Notes for Table 3B have the following (sometimes OCLC cracks me up):
    Sometimes aspects low in the priority listings can be expressed only by means of standard subdivision notation from Table 1. In the example above of a critical appraisal of later-20th-century American fiction about ocean travel by women, use notation T1--082 from Table 1 to express the aspect of women: 813.540932162082. For another example, use 808.83935820973209034 for a collection of 19th-century fiction of several literatures about urban life: 808.839 (collection of fiction from more than two literatures displaying specific features) + T3C--358209732 (theme: urban life) + T1--09034 (standard subdivision for the historical period of the 19th century). In the priority listing, theme comes before period; and once the theme has been expressed, there is no way to express the period except by use of the standard subdivision.
So when we get one of those (a collection of 19th-century fiction of several literatures about urban life) I'll print the label
so that perhaps the numbers will retain their meaning for me, if no one else. School Library Journal and my state-level librarians' listserv about both talking about the future for the Dewey Decimal Classification system in schools. I'm not ready to ditch it, but it does seem rather complex sometimes. I suppose that's what happens when one tries to systematically classify all human knowledge.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Playful learning... can we compete playfully?
Seniors shared this site today. The sample text is taken from Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. The online touch typing training site is funded with sponsored links -- for example, their hyperlink for the title goes to an Amazon UK page with a referrer code. [Mine goes to the free ebook on Project Gutenberg.] I noticed my typos related to my free-associating through the text while I was transferring it, remembering the first time I read the book, and what it was like to have horses visiting daily while I lived in bluegrass country, and how Sewell's first-person narrative made it easy to be the horse. I looked at the webpage source code to see if I could tell how Dave Bartlett was generating the samples (public domain ebooks, for example), but I don't yet know how to view the PHP that generates the page.

While learning a little about that I discovered from the History page of the PHP Manual the following:
Created in 1994 by Rasmus Lerdorf, the very first incarnation of PHP was a simple set of Common Gateway Interface (CGI) binaries written in the C programming language. Originally used for tracking visits to his online resume, he named the suite of scripts "Personal Home Page Tools," more frequently referenced as "PHP Tools."
At Version 3.0 "it was renamed simply 'PHP', with the meaning becoming a recursive acronym - PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor."

Source: Professor David Lavery's blog at

Back to my question, because I first saw the typing speed test through the lens of playful competition. I said to someone a few hours ago something along the lines of I need to get a good sleep tonight because I'll need my sense of humor for the pep rally. I want to be part of a culture and school climate that support mutual respect, trust, and kindness while still allowing contests where not everyone has to get a trophy to feel okay about themselves. I expect to keep exploring as part of my community how we explain that and how we foster that culture and climate.

Thanking Michael Moore

Looking for the original source for a quote, I found a (to me) heartwarming blog post on The Daily Kos about Banned Book Week and the quietly "subversive" activity of passing along information. ("I really didn't realize the librarians were, you know, such a dangerous group. They are subversive. You think they're just sitting there at the desk, all quiet and everything. They're like plotting the revolution, man. I wouldn't mess with them...")

Monday, October 15, 2012

Learning Spaces Web Resources from Larry MacPhee

Furniture companies underwrite some of the research on student learning impacts of learning spaces and their furnishings. See, for example, the
National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities resource list
or the Steelcase Education Solutions links from that site.

The links below are excerpted from Learning Spaces: A Tutorial, by Larry MacPhee on EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 2009.

Diana Oblinger's eBook on Learning Spaces

A good checklist on learning space design from Denison University

Learning Space Design Theory and Practice, by Malcolm Brown, Dartmouth College

Learning Spaces: More than Meets the Eye, by Malcolm Brown and Joan Lippincott

Reinventing Learning Spaces, by Francis Hunkins

New Learning Spaces: Smart Learners Not Smart Classrooms, by Howard Strauss

Evaluating, Planning and Supporting Learning Spaces, by the TLT Group

Designing Spaces for Effective
Learning, by JISC

Planning and Designing Technology-Rich Learning Spaces, by JISC

A great photo set of Informal Learning Spaces, by JISC

A great photo set of Formal Teaching Areas, by JISC

Learning Spaces Case Studies, by Bill Mitchell, MIT

Future of the Learning Space; Breaking out of the Box, by Phil Long and Steve Ehrmann

Flickr photo gallery on Learning Space Design

A collection of Learning Spaces Resources of Interest from Waterloo University

Designing Flexible Learning Spaces-Northumbria University case studies

Spaces, Places, and Future Learning, by Jessica Pykett and Tash Lee, FutureLab

Importance of Informal Spaces for Learning, Collaboration and Socialization, by Jarret Cummings

Learning Spaces: Collaborations and Opportunities, by Joan Lippincott

Learning Spaces and Technology Workshop, Rhodes College

Designing Learning Spaces that Promote Engagement, Estrella Mountain Community College

Additional photos and comments are available on at

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Because it's important to know the territory...

When we put new hardcover library books on the shelves we attach their dustjackets with Mylar covers, which can make it hard to see art on the interior of the jackets or covers. A student reading Catherine Fisher's Relic Master series was looking for access to a hi-res map of the countryside of the fantasy world, and we were lucky to find (through a Google Image search) that illustrator Dave Stevenson's agent Jennifer Vaughn has shared one through her blog.

For more information about the series, check out the reviews on goodreads.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Learning and Teaching: Walden

Some lovely original poetry, and a moving tribute to one colleague clearly making a difference:

From YouTube, Cooper Vacheron's channel:

Published on Sep 26, 2012 by 
Featuring Tyler Appel and Elsie Helou
"Young Mind" by Anthony Fertitta - Narration written by Brendan Thomas
Filmed and Edited by Coop Vacheron
Recorded by Chris Kelly
Music by Youth Lagoon

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Adventures of Library Girl: Wanna Be A Great Teacher? Try Being A Great Learne...

From the LibraryGirl blog: The Adventures of Library Girl: Wanna Be A Great Teacher? Try Being A Great Learne...: Hi.  I'm Jennifer.  And I'm addicted to learning. It's true.   The vast majority of my day is spent learning and then sharing what I...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

CDC: Burn to Learn

Burn to Learn Infographic from the CDC and Making Health CDC Burn to Learn

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Education Rethink: Why I Love Teaching

Education Rethink: Why I Love Teaching: 7 April 2016 Clarification: By John Spencer, in 2012 (9/16). I linked to his post because I liked it and agree with him on many points!
I often try and justify my job with words like "life-long learners" and "critical thinking." It's true, the meaning, the purpose, the vitali...

Thursday, September 13, 2012 , Wordpress blog from Deven Black, who recently spoke at #140edu Conference in New York.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

First post for "just playing" class blog

"Hello, World!"

Yes, I'm a geek for tradition. Here's a collaboratively created explanation of why the text above is meaningful for a first post: Where does Hello World come from?. The highest rated answer, from Wikipedia, makes me a little sentimental because I learned C by reading Kernighan & Ritchie myself.

        printf("hello, world");

A light-programmable biofilm displaying the Hello World message (thanks to Wikipedia, link below)
"Hello World Program." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 09 Nov. 2012. Web. 12 Sept. 2012. <>.