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September 29, 2014

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For 1:1, Content Is Key | Next Big Thing

Seven of the districts that I serve are implementing some level of 1:1 for 2014-15, however device implementation only works with great material, so be prepared.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

For 1:1, Content Is Key | Next Big Thing

For 1:1, Content Is Key | Next Big Thing

Seven of the districts that I serve are implementing some level of 1:1 for 2014-15, however device implementation only works with great material, so be prepared.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Generation Tablet: Kids Must Learn to Hack in the Real World

Generation Tablet | Next Big Thing

Tablets are wonderful devices, providing unbelievable computing power in a simple-to-use package. But they aren’t good for developing technology problem-solvers.

This article was published in School Library Journal's July 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Gaming the Common Core: Many board games align with the standards

Gaming the Common Core: Many board games align with the standards

When the library profession gathers in Las Vegas this month for ALA’s annual conference, how can we not consider gaming in libraries? Play-based learning is an effective way to address the learning style changes of the Common Core and other emerging standards.

This article was published in School Library Journal's June 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

To Tackle Major Issues Affecting Kids, ALA Divisions Must Collaborate | The Next Big Thing

To Tackle Major Issues Affecting Kids, ALA Divisions Must Collaborate | The Next Big Thing

The effects of screen time on little ones, the integration of technology with library programming – these are some of the issues now facing the profession. It’s time to break down divisional silos, according to Christopher Harris, and work together to ensure libraries’ effectiveness in serving kids and teens.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Make the STEM connection | The Next Big Thing

Make the STEM connection | The Next Big Thing

Put the “science” back in library science and help support STEM learning

This article was published in School Library Journal's March 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

‘Cultural Competence’ Is Essential to Serve Teens

‘Cultural Competence’ Is Essential to Serve Teens

With a society that’s growing increasingly diverse, librarians should proactively integrate cultural aspects of “diverse linguistic, cultural, and socioeconomic groups” into programs and services.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Tablets in Schools—What’s Ahead in 2014

Tablets in Schools—What’s Ahead in 2014

“Twenty thirteen was the ‘year of the tablet’ and good riddance,” says Christopher Harris. Time to focus on the real reason to invest in any tool for learning: content and pedagogy.

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Germany’s Unperfekthaus: Is this the Library of the Future?

Germany’s Unperfekthaus: Is this the Library of the Future?

Let’s be honest. Physical resources are in decline, and the transition to digital holdings will only accelerate. So what can we do with all that library space opened up by the decline of print? Consider the Unperfekthaus, a German model that encompasses maker spaces and much more.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Love Whispersync, Hate the Terms: How can schools legally work with Kindle technology?

Love Whispersync, Hate the Terms: How can schools legally work with Kindle technology?

It’s the “holy grail of ebook features for education,” writes Chris Harris, of Whispersync for voice. But we need clarity on Amazon’s terms of service before schools can reasonably commit to the Kindle ereader.

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Board Games to Support the Common Core

Board Games to Support the Common Core

Christopher Harris believes that board gaming is a strong contender to become the “Next Big Thing” in schools. Yet no sector of education has laid claim to it. Could libraries be the place where gaming flourishes?

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

ConnectED Will Bring Faster Connections to Schools and Libraries | Next Big Thing

ConnectED will Bring Faster Connections to Schools and Libraries: So let’s think big | Next Big Thing

What could your library do with gigabit broadband? If you don’t have a list of innovative ways to use an Internet connection 10 or 100 times faster than the current norm, start making it now.

‘Here Be Fiction’ Launches: New site features ebook fiction available to schools on library-friendly terms

‘Here Be Fiction’ Launches: New site features ebook fiction available to schools on library-friendly terms

Discovery of ebooks in K-12, particularly worthwhile fiction, has been tough going. A new site, Here Be Fiction, will attempt to remedy that, enabling users to identify quality ebooks accessible to schools on library-friendly licensing terms. Featuring ebook previews and reviews, HereBeFiction.org will enable librarians and others to discover fiction from a wide variety of publishers made available for both individual and multi-user access.

Give Students a Break: Four Strategies to Combat Information Overload

Give Students a Break: Four Strategies to Combat Information Overload

When it comes to presenting resources to students and teachers, librarians have been as guilty as any regarding information overload. But in this digital age of abundance, our real value is being able to discern quality over quantity.

Self-Published Ebooks not a Solution for K-12 Schools

Self-Published Ebooks not a Solution for K-12 Schools

While self-published titles may be an option for public libraries when it comes to acquiring ebooks, not so for schools, according to SLJ columnist Christopher Harris, who lays out the ongoing challenges for ebook adoption in K-12.

In Light of Common Core, Seeking Ways to Circumvent Dewey

In Light of Common Core, Seeking Ways to Circumvent Dewey

At one of the hottest sessions at ALA’s most recent Midwinter meeting, the Dewey Decimal System—that sacred cow of library organization—was trotted out in front of a packed room and subjected to intense scrutiny. But in the midst of Common Core, among other pressing issues, is this debate really worth our time?

Webooks: A novel plan for cooperative ebook purchasing | The Next Big Thing

Ebook Crowdsourcing: An award-winning plan for cooperative purchasing | The Next Big Thing

Webooks, a cooperative ebook purchasing plan, has been named a Cutting Edge Technology Project by the American Library Association. It could be a model for districts around the country, says Christopher Harris.

Ebooks 2013: New leasing models, cheaper devices, more content

Ebooks 2013: New leasing models, cheaper devices, more content

“School libraries, I believe, will be the coming focal point for ebook licensing,” write Chris Harris. “We have strong relationships with our K–12 publishing partners, but now we must reach out to the trade houses. As the print market weakens, the time is right for schools to present a new business proposal.”

A Call for ‘Blended Funding’: Schools must pool money to support Common Core

A Call for ‘Blended Funding’: Schools must pool money to support Common Core

How will schools pay for new CC resources, including digital? One approach is to look for existing funds within your school and district that can be redirected so that your library can purchase CC resources for the classroom. But that requires that libraries market their expertise in resource selection and collection development so that your value is obvious to others, says Christopher Harris.

A Call for Fair Ebook Pricing: Site-based pricing has small schools overcharged

A Call for Fair Ebook Pricing: Site-based pricing has small schools overcharged

Christopher Harris shares his thoughts on how rural districts—with an average size of 1,100 students and less than half the budget of the average New York school district—are, in effect, subsidizing the state’s large, wealthy, suburban systems, which are purchasing the same content at the same cost per building.