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.

The National Film Board’s Education Team is facilitating a workshop that demonstrates how to use NFB.ca in an educational setting. They are currently touring their BETA (a testing prototype) NFB.ca online content offer. Educators will be granted preview access to our BETA site, in order to begin using the benefits and tools of our online content offer in their own classrooms. These workshops will highlight new films, functions, resources for educators, thematic learning modules and hands-on activities that are customized to the meet the needs of students of all ages and abilities.

National Film Board in Your Classroom Workshop Info here

Please join us on Monday, 23 January from 10:00-11:15 am in Room 155 at the Education Library.

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.

The Huffington Post

Posted: 1/17/12 10:57 AM ET

Some of the Internet’s leading websites, including Wikipedia, Reddit, Mozilla, WordPress, and BoingBoing, will go dark tomorrow to protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). The U.S. bills have generated massive public protest over proposed provisions that could cause enormous harm to the Internet and freedom of speech. My blog will join the protest by going dark tomorrow. While there is little that Canadians can do to influence U.S. legislation, there are many reasons why I think it is important for Canadians to participate.

Read full article here.

by Michael Geist

The Vancouver Sun  

January 2, 2012. 3:01 pm • Section: Report Card, STAFF

My picks for the top newsmakers in B.C. education 2011:

1. George Abbott. Re-appointed education minister in March, Abbott received a surprisingly warm reception from all stakeholder groups, including the BCTF. But relations with the union have cooled since then as a result of difficult contract talks and discussions at another table to settle thorny issues of class size and composition. His biggest accomplishment in 2011 was winning unanimous support in the legislature (and quiet acceptance everywhere else) for legislation creating a new B.C. Teachers’ Council to replace the dysfunctional B.C. College of Teachers. We should know later this year if he has found a winning formula. Eyes will also be on Abbott as he creates a plan for so-called 21st century learning in public schools. (Add your views: www.bcedplan.ca)

2. Susan Lambert. She was a force to be reckoned with in 2011 as BCTF president, but her real test will be this year  as she continues efforts to win a wage increase for teachers despite the government’s firm commitment to its public-sector wage freeze. The union has been involved in a work-to-rule job action since September but that’s unlikely to be sufficient pressure to win the kind of deal her members are expecting. The question now is, when will the BCTF move to a Phase 2 job action? And will that be a full-scale walkout? Lambert is also facing a showdown with government over Bills 27 and 28, which ended the union’s ability to negotiate class size and composition. The court declared the bills unconstitutional and gave the Liberals until April to resolve the issue. Government and the union do not agree on what sort of action the court ruling requires.

3. Patti Bacchus. While she didn’t have the same profile in 2011 as she did in 2010 when she went head-to-head with former education minister Margaret MacDiarmid, Bacchus continues to be the most recognizable and outspoken trustee in B.C. Whether you like that or not, depends on your politics because she isn’t Liberal friendly. That said, Bacchus topped the polls in Vancouver during trustee elections in November, as she did in 2008, and was once again elected chairwoman. Her challenge this year will be the same as it was last year: leading the board as it cuts millions in spending without closing schools.

Read full article here.

By Janet Steffenhagen, Vancouver Sun 

jsteffenhagen@vancouversun.com

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

For over a year the Ministry of Education has been hinting at a change in direction for the province’s education system.

It all started in mid-2010 with murmurings about “21st Century” or “child-centred” education, with little to no explanation of what that meant, leaving educators, trustees, and parents to banter about ideas on blogs, listserves, and the Twitter-verse.

Even the recent launch of B.C.’s Education Plan has few answers — just a plan to have a plan after engaging with education stakeholders.

But some schools are way ahead of the curve. By using technology, giving students the opportunity to choose what they want to study, or even just allowing teachers to deviate from the curricula norm, these schools have already taken education to the next level and waiting for the ministry to catch up.

Rise of the machines

Librarian Moira Ekdahl is quick to correct anyone who says John Oliver Secondary School in East Vancouver has a library. It’s a Learning Commons now.

Stacks and reference materials have been replaced by laptops, iPads, and interactive white boards. There are still books — Ekdahl swears they will never disappear under her watch — but technology is taking over.

“It’s really driven by giving kids multiple ways of accessing resources and information, and the tools to shape their own learning, and also to support new ways of teaching, because I think teachers need that support as well,” she told The Tyee.

While any teacher can make use of the technology, there are two particular programs that use technology as a main tool in the classroom: the Digital Immersion Minischool and the iPad Literacy Cohort.

Running from Grades 8 to 12, the Digital Immersion Minischool has been running from John Oliver since 1997, taking in students from across the district interested in expanding their online skills. Though the technology has changed, the main objective never has: teaching students how to operate in an Internet world.

When The Tyee visited the Digital Immersion 8 class in early November, students were just getting their brand new Mac laptops, a requirement for the course. Working in groups, they negotiated the definition of “social citizenship” with the aim of creating a wiki on the topic, and ultimately establishing six concrete rules for a class code of online conduct.

“I think we’ve always been teaching those skills. I didn’t grow up with this at school, but we were still required to learn how to critically think, how to problem solve, how to articulate our thoughts, how to present,” explains teacher Zhi Su.

“The way we access and interact with information is different. If you look around you, you don’t see students standing by the bookshelves and accessing books, they’re all on computers, and that’s what they tend to gravitate towards. It’s up-to-date, latest information, whereas some of these books are older than I am.”

By Katie Hyslop, 15 Nov 2011, TheTyee.ca

For full article click here

The Vancouver School District plans to start installing wireless internet service in some schools, despite a warning by the World Health Organization that the signals could be a possible carcinogen.

School Board Chair Patti Bacchus said the service is being installed because the district is out of step with an educational technology that is increasingly conducted online and with students armed with laptops and smartphones.

“We’re looking at making sure that there is a reasonable access to Wi-Fi so that we can enable students to access all of those educational resources,” said Bacchus.

The initial focus will be on secondary schools Bacchus says, but a request for proposals issued last month shows the school district is seeking a contractor to provide service for 100 sites.

Click here to read the rest of the CBC article

An influential parent group has decided not to oppose Wi-Fi installations in B.C. schools until it has gathered more information about the potential effect on students’ health and education.

This article was published in the Vancouver Sun. Click  here to read the full story.

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