Findaway World launches audiobook trivia app
Findaway World has launched Bookopotamus, an audiobook trivia app designed to entertain book lovers and also raise money for First Book, a nonprofit organization that provides access to new books for children in need. In each round of Bookopotamus, the player is presented with an audible audiobook quote and is asked to guess, against the clock, which book the quote is from; selections range from bestsellers to classics. The more people who download the app and play (from either the Apple App Store or Google Play), the larger the donation (up to $10,000 in Playaways) that Findaway World will make to First Book. Donations will continue to accumulate through March 2014.
“The most important thing we can do as a company is to build products that change lives,” says Dean Skinner, chief creative and marketing officer at Findaway World. “Bookopotamus exposes more users to the value of audiobooks while ensuring that children in need will get to experience them too.”
LOC offers primary source institutes
The Library of Congress (LOC) has announced the details of its 2014 Primary Source Summer Institutes for K–12 educators, which make available the LOC’s collections of artifacts, documents, photographs, and other resources. Three five-day institutes (one in June and two in July) on integrating primary sources into the curriculum are available to teachers and school librarians of all grade levels and in all curriculum areas. More institute details are available online. In addition, the LOC is offering two five-day summer seminars (both in July), which are designed for educators with specific teaching requirements in primary source content areas. Details on the seminars will be available soon. Applications for both institutes and seminars are due by March 24.
Smithsonian’s online diplomacy conference
The Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access will host a live, interactive “Diplomacy in Action” online education conference and launch a companion digital badge on Wednesday, February 12. The Smithsonian Institution, the National Park Service, and the US Department of State will each highlight objects from their respective collections that exemplify the theme for students. Students will also have the opportunity to earn the Diplomat badge through the Smithsonian Quests digital badge program, which supports self-directed, project-based learning that facilitates anywhere, anytime exploration.
Both programs are conducted in partnership with the American Library Association, the National Council of Teachers of English, the National Council for Social Studies, the National Council for Literacy Education, and as part of the Inter-Agency Initiative on Learning. Each session will feature experts presenting free digital-learning resources and teaching strategies, and experts also will respond to questions from participants.
Mackin initiative aids library fundraising
Under Mackin Educational Resources’ online donation program Funds4Books & eBooks, librarians can raise money to purchase new print books, ebooks, and databases from the company. Mackin will work with librarians to prepare and manage their fundraising campaigns, including tailoring promotional materials and designing a custom webpage where individual and corporate donors can contribute. The company also customizes each campaign with any goal the librarian has in mind, such as acquiring popular fiction ebooks for students, purchasing nonfiction ebooks for classrooms, adding audiobooks, or getting more databases. For information, call 800-245-9540 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
San Jose State examines immigrant experience
San Jose State University has received a $162,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to host a summer institute for school teachers titled “The California Immigrant Experience through Literature and Theatre” on July 13 to 27. Faculty members will include author Maxine Hong Kingston, theater artist Ping Chong, and author Luis Valdez. Activities will be organized around three topics that frequently appear in such texts: (1) the construction of political borders between geographic territories and social borders between groups of people; (2) intercultural conflict between settled and immigrant communities; and (3) changing family and gender dynamics within discrete immigrant communities (Mexico, China, and Afghanistan). Participants will include 25 full-time or part-time K–12 school teachers competitively selected from around the country. Home-schooling parents are also eligible to apply, as are Americans teaching abroad if a majority of the students they teach are American citizens. Librarians, school administrators, and graduate students may also apply. The deadline is March 4.
Kohl’s volunteer scholarship
Kohl’s Department Stores will accept nominations for outstanding young volunteers (ages six to eighteen) from January 31 to March 14 for its 2014 Kohl’s Cares Scholarship Program. Nominators must be 21 years or older. Through the program, Kohl’s will award more than 2,300 students nearly $400,000 in scholarships and prizes to reward kids who have made a positive impact on their communities. Two nominees from each of the more than 1,100 Kohl’s stores nationwide will win a $50 Kohl’s gift card. Nearly 200 of the store winners will win regional scholarships worth $1,000 toward higher education. Ten national winners will be awarded a total of $10,000 in scholarships for higher education, and Kohl’s will donate $1,000 to a nonprofit organization on each national winner’s behalf.
Kids and technology conference
Worcester State University will be the site on March 21 of the New England Roundtable of Teen and Children’s Librarians‘ spring one-day conference: “Kids and Technology.” The event will include a day of presentations about the pros and cons of technology use with students, how librarians can better serve teachers and students who are using technology in the classroom, what free resources and social media can be used in the Children’s Room, and the ever-shifting world of ebooks and what librarians need to know. Interested participants can register online.