Recommended Ed Tech Tool: TechTerms.com!

Curious about technology terms you have been hearing around the office, during conferences, or in conversations with co-workers? 

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The simple art of reading use to entail holding a hard-copy of a magazine or book. Today it may also mean downloading an electronic file readable on multiple devices (Ipad, Iphone, Laptop, eReader…) which are offered by various companies (Barnes & Noble, Sony, Amazon…) in numerous models (Kindle, Nook, Pandigital, Kobo…).

Today the technology industry is moving at a phenomenal pace. The options for how we collect, absorb, store, and share information has exponentially increased both personally and professionally. Along with this paradigm shift, there is a myriad of terms used to describe these new ventures such as hashtags, avatars, routers, cloud computing, and so much more!

  • In an effort to fill your tool box, the CMLE “Recommended Ed Tech Tool” is a site called Tech Terms. It is a virtual clearinghouse of technology terms and meanings; searchable alphabetically or by category (internet, hardware, software, acronyms, etc.) providing simple, easy to read explanations.

ALA Midwinter Conference Recap: CMLE Scholarship Recipient!

The following post was submitted by CMLE scholarship recipient Jake Grussing, Regional Coordinator-Collection Development, Great River Regional Library 

The unquestionable highlight of my ALA Midwinter experience was meeting with Pat Losinski, Chief Executive Officer of Columbus Metropolitan Library (CML). I am grateful to have had the opportunity to initiate an informal mentoring relationship with him. The most striking conversation we had was about how libraries measure success. Pat suggested that if libraries continue to hold up traditional metrics (circulation, holds filled, etc.) as the standards by which they hope to be measured, their hands will be forced to keep those numbers up. More revealing indicators might include kindergarten readiness, 3rd grade reading, ELL/ESL progress, high school graduation, post-secondary enrollment, and unemployment rates. A library cannot measure those outputs without help from other organizations, nor can a library claim to be solely responsible for improvements in those areas; a library is one among many organizations doing meaningful work in the community.

If not the focus of every session I attended, community engagement was at least mentioned in every one. In a session on the future of ebooks in libraries, Jamie LaRue urged libraries to deepen the connections with their communities by becoming the gatherers, curators, and distributors of local content; in a session on library technology an audience member asked if libraries could be platforms for networks around community objectives; and over coffee a colleague said it’s not about the stuff we maintain but the improvements we facilitate. Those ideas get at an unstated theme of ALA Midwinter 2013, one that will inform my work over the coming year: libraries should measure their success not by traditional stats but by the success of their communities.

Open Source Learning Defined!

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Recently, our friends at MindShift did a great piece on  “open source learning” — a variation on inquiry learning or passion-based learning –  it is about helping students choose their own learning path, an approach that already has some well-known champions among educators.

Read this post about an English teacher who teaches Advanced Placement English and Composition courses, uses blogging, videoconferencing, and collaborative working groups as part of his instruction. KQED.org/Mind/Shift blog (2/14)

2013 Reading List for Best Fiction by Genre!

The Ritual

According to the American Library Association (ALA), the Reference and Users Services Association (RUSA) has announced the selections for its 2013 Reading List. Annually, RUSA recognizes the best books in eight genres: adrenaline (including suspense, thrillers, and adventure), fantasy, historical fiction, horror, mystery, romance, science fiction, and women’s fiction.

This year’s list includes novels that will appease even die-hard fans, as well as introduce new readers to the delights of genre fiction!

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