Stranger in a Strange Land 2012: A Children’s Literature Conference Organized by Graduate Students of the University of British Columbia

This is a one-day conference showcasing graduate research that explores and questions any facet of children’s literature.

Presenters are coming from across Canada, with some from the UK, US, and France.

Keynote speakers: Elizabeth Marshall and Sarah Park.

Program schedule here.

There is still time to register!  $18 for students and presenters, and $35 for faculty and professionals, includes morning and afternoon refreshments and a catered lunch. Register here.

The University of British Columbia
Saturday, April 28, 2012
8 A.M. to 6 P.M.
Irving K. Barber Learning Centre (First Floor)
1961 East Mall

The Diversity and Media Toolbox is a comprehensive suite of resources for teachers, students, law enforcement representatives and the general public, that explores issues relating to stereotyping, bias and hate in mainstream media and on the Internet. The program, which includes professional development tutorials, lesson plans, interactive student modules and background articles, is divided into two distinct but complementary topic areas: media portrayals of diversity and online hate.

Teacher’s Resource Catalogue

Trousse Éducative – Diversité et Médias here.

The Diversity and Media Toolbox was produced with the support of the Government of Canada through the Department of Justice Canada’s Justice Partnership and Innovation Program.

~text from the Media Awareness Network website

Creating a National Reading Strategy for Canada:  About the National Reading Campaign

The National Reading Campaign is about creating a reading strategy for Canada. It is about engaging Canadians in exploring what a Canadian reading plan would look like, and what we would expect the key outcomes to be. In short, it is a campaign to incorporate and promote reading as a central feature of 21st century Canadian citizenship.

The National Reading Campaign had its beginnings in 2008, when a coalition of readers, parents, writers, editors, librarians, bookstore owners, teachers, publishers and distributors came together to assess and consider the changing reading habits of Canadians. Learn more about the Reading Coalition here.

The first forum, held in 2008, proposed that a National Reading Campaign be developed over the course of three Reading Summits. The first Summit was held in Toronto in 2009, the second was held in Montreal in 2011 and the third will take place in May 2012 in Vancouver.

Why do we need a National Reading Campaign?

Becoming a reader is at the very heart of responsible citizenship. But as we find ourselves caught in the fierce updrafts of an information hurricane, we often lose sight of what reading — as an intellectual activity — contributes to our sense of self, our cultural awareness, our capacity for self-expression and, ultimately, our notions of engaged citizenship and the collective good. Reading, after all, is about so much more than a technical act that allows us to communicate, consume media and perform the activities of daily life. To be literate is necessary, but it is not enough.

Read more about the Summit here.

~information and links from the National Reading Campaign website

Silent Moments in Education: 

An Autoethnography of Learning, Teaching, and Learning to Teach

by Colette A. Granger

Colette A. Granger’s highly original book considers moments in several areas of education in which silence may serve as both a response to difficulty and a means of working through it. The author, a teacher educator, presents narratives and other textual artefacts from her own experiences of learning and instruction. She analyses them from multiple perspectives to reveal how the qualities of education’s silences can make them at once difficult to observe and challenging to think about.

Silent Moments in Education combines autoethnography with psychoanalytic theory and critical discourse analysis in a unique consideration of the relations teachers and learners forge with knowledge, with ideas, and with one another. This provocative and thoughtful work invites scholars and educators to consider the multiple silences of participants in education, and to respond to them with generosity and compassion.

~from University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2011

UBC Library Catalogue information here

While conversations are ongoing in BC and around the world focused on innovation that are linked to larger system goals including a  greater focus on personalized learning and giving kids greater ownership of their learning, these are not new objectives. Some practices worth highlighting are not only 21st century, or 20th century learning, in fact, some date back to the 19th century, and are an excellent fit for our current educational directions. At least, this is true of Montessori.

Maria Montessori, who lived in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, developed teaching methods which are often described as part of the “21st century learning” phenomena.  When I spend time in our Montessori School, Eagle Harbour Montessori(currently expanding from a K-3 to a K-5 school), I am always in awe of the self-regulation and keen focus these students have.  When I walk into the room, students continue to work and there is a sense of calm and alert focus. Students are owning their learning, the conversations with primary students are very articulate; they talk about what they are doing, why they are doing it, and what they need to learn next.

What I have seen at Eagle Harbour is also supported in the recent book from Shannon Helfrich, Montessori Learning in the 21st Century:  A Guide for Parents and Teachers which links Montessori teachings with the latest neuroscientific findings.

So just what does Montessori look like in our setting:

Principles Include (from the Eagle Harbour Montessori Program 2012):

Continue reading here.

January 10, 2012 by cultureofyes

by Chris Kennedy

Reading at home is the best way to turn around Canada’s poor literacy levels, says reading expert Jan Dupuis.

With four out of every 10 adult Canadians struggling with a sub-standard literacy level, according to a 2005 survey, the most effective way to make sure literacy becomes more widespread is to encourage it in the home, in the family and with children, said Dupuis, literacy outreach co-ordinator with the Victoria Literacy Task Force.

“Their reading levels aren’t good enough, their writing skills aren’t good enough, their computer skills, they might not even have any, and their math skills are very low,” Dupuis said in the lead-up to today’s Family Literacy Day.

The statistics from the 2005 survey are daunting – 900,000 men and women, aged 16 to 65, have a literacy level below that defined as the bare minimum for the modern workplace, Level 3 out of 5 – but the problem can be overcome, Dupuis said.

Just 15 minutes a day spent with a child in an activity to stimulate or encourage reading or literacy can prepare a child for a successful adulthood.

Read more here.

Source: ABC Life Literacy

By Richard Watts, Times Colonist January 27, 2012

© Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist

January 15, 2012 

- by Chris Kennedy - Author of cultureofyes blog

 

I have used the above slide in a number of presentations to make the point that British Columbia is leading Canada (perhaps even the world) in the professional use of social media in K-12 education. I freely admit I don’t have the statistics to back up the claim – there are simply more teachers, administrators, parents, trustees, and others here, who are logging into their blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts in the name of professional learning, than any other jurisdiction.

In the past year we have moved from several dozen blogs around K-12 education, to numbers in the hundreds, with representation in every area of the education system.  The #bced tag on Twitter is one of the most engaged with conversations about the ever-changing education profession, and there are many other social sites having these conversations as well.

The conversations around the profession itself are very interesting.  In social media, ‘role’ becomes less important; there is a flattening of society and it is ‘ideas’ that have increased value.  There are also incredible opportunities  to reflect, share, and learn without the limitations of geography. I could go on, and there have been many others who have covered the ground about the value of social media for educators, and how Twitter and blogging can be extremely powerful in professional development.  This is true for those interested in education in BC, but it is also true of other professionals around the world.

So why has BC moved so quickly and taken such leadership in this area? As mentioned, I have no statistical proof, but a series of ideas as to why BC is the leading jurisdiction using social media to engage in the profession of education.

Read full article here.

A new initiative by the Canadian International Learning Foundation has set out to overcome what Canadians say is the single biggest barrier to becoming a volunteer: lack of time.

“Change the world in five hours a week” is the mantra of the Educator Volunteer Network, which matches up skilled Canadians with schools in developing and at-risk regions around the world, letting them donate their time without ever leaving their desks.

Educatorvolunteer.net is the brainchild of Ryan Aldred, president of the CanILF, a registered charity devoted to improving educational opportunities for children in destitute and war-torn regions. Through the agency’s work in Afghanistan, Aldred said, he saw that online volunteers could make a massive difference to schools.

“Two things we were struck by was how interested Canadians were in getting involved and how many schools were out there looking for assistance. We kept thinking, ‘What can we do to help these schools?’

“So we came up with the notion of an online community where we could connect the two groups and help them work together. The network launched in September and the response has been amazing.”

So far more than 50 volunteers have signed up to provide one-on-one online assistance with new technologies, research requests, curriculum enhancement, development of resources, writing content for websites and putting together budgets and business plans.

To volunteer or to donate, visit educatorvolunteer.net

Read full article here.

By Gillian Burnett, Vancouver Sun December 8, 2011

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

The Vancouver Sun

BY YINKA ADEGOKE, REUTERS JANUARY 19, 2012

NEW YORK – Apple Inc unveiled a new digital textbook service called iBooks 2 on Thursday, aiming to revitalize the U.S. education market and quicken the adoption of its market-leading iPad in that sector.

The consumer electronics giant has been working on digital textbooks with publishers Pearson PLC, McGraw-Hill and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a trio responsible for 90 per cent of textbooks sold in the United States.

The move pits the makers of the iPod and iPhone against Amazon.com Inc and other content and device makers that have made inroads into the estimated $8 US billion market with their electronic textbook offerings.

At an event at New York’s Guggenheim Museum, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller introduced tools to craft digital textbooks and demonstrated how authors and even teachers can create books for students.

The “value of the app is directly proportional to students having iPads,” said Michael Gartenberg, an analyst with industry research firm Gartner. “But this will lead to more schools adopting as a requirement.”

REINVENTING THE TEXTBOOK

Schiller said it was time to reinvent the textbook, adding that 1.5 million iPads are in use now in education.

Read more here:

Apple in Education here.

Information Literacy and Information Skills Instruction: Applying Research to Practice in the 21st Century School Library, Third Edition

This book provides a comprehensive review of the current research relating to the teaching of library and information literacy skills as part of effective school library media center programming.

What are the current best practices for information literacy instruction? How should one design information literacy lessons to motivate and instruct today’s tech-savvy students? What are the best ways to foster critical thinking tasks and build searching skills? Academic research provides great insights for answering these pressing questions.

- Description from www.abc-clio.com

UBC Library Catalogue here.

Google Books preview here.

Publisher’s Information here.

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