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March 30, 2015

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Five Top Collaborative Research Tools | Cool Tools

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Collaborative research prompts students to share their discoveries, exposing them to more material than if they go it alone. It can also teach them to work together, defend choices, and think critically about Web content. Here, Richard Byrne’s picks to help jumpstart the process.

This article was published in School Library Journal's March 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The World Builder’s Sandwich | Consider the Source

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A central challenge in writing nonfiction for young adults is providing context. But what is context? The bread that holds it the sandwich together, or the meal’s nutritional value? It’s something to chew over.

Virtual Preschool? Believe It or not, It’s a Thing

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A curriculum from Vinci, available to parents by subscription, promises to “inspire the genius” in young children. Public libraries have actually been offering remote services to families for a while now, maintains Lisa Kropp, who further considers the notion of virtual preschool.

This article was published in School Library Journal's March 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

SLJ Reviews Duolingo for Schools | Test Drive

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Duolingo has released Duolingo for Schools for grades 6 and up, based on its popular free site for foreign language learners. Melissa Techman covers the teacher dashboard and the application’s potential use in the classroom.

This article was published in School Library Journal's March 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The YMAs and the Future of Diverse Books | Editorial

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The diversity in the 2015 Youth Media Awards selections was a critical step in the right direction, though barriers remain. Perhaps we will look back and recognize this as a turning point.

This article was published in School Library Journal's March 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

STEM Is Busting Out All Over | Consider the Source

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STEM events—from school programs to citywide activities—are happening all over. With a few tips from the city of Buffalo (NY), you might want to start planning your own festival.

Anonymous Book Reviews: License to Be Cruel

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Too many anonymous reviewers use their alternate online persona as a blank check to for cruelty. It’s as if being faceless themselves allows them to forget that there is a living, breathing human being with a full range of emotions who will be affected by their words.

Anonymous Book Reviews: There Is a Good Reason for Them

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Perhaps, as one of my colleagues (and countless authors) has suggested, reviewers should have the cojones to proudly byline negative reviews, but that’s a hard standard to enforce in a connected society.

Librarians and the Changing Job Market | Consider the Source

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A recent news article offered a fascinating graphic on American jobs that pay $40–80,000 a year, highlighting whether these jobs have grown or declined between the years 1980–2012. Where does librarianship fit into the picture?

Value Judgment | Scales On Censorship

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This month, Pat Scales fires back on a principal who nixes the study of a novel with a Buddhist mother-character in a world religions program, a teacher who wants to label library books by reading-level, and a company contracted for book fairs that labels a graphic novel featuring a kiss between two boys as “Mature Content.”

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

PARCC and You | Consider the Source

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The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career (PARCC) tests are coming to 10 states this spring. How can you help colleagues, parents, and students to prepare for them?

SLJ Reviews LittleBits: These bright, appealing sets encourage tinkerers to explore electronics

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Imagine if building a flashlight was as easy as stacking blocks, or that you could build a robot with a shoebox, nine-volt battery, and a pile of components small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Enter LittleBits, a modular, à la carte electronics prototyping platform for users of all skill levels

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Spanning the College Readiness Gap | Editorial

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Too many teens arrive at college unprepared to do the work ahead. From research savvy to life skills, college readiness needs to be addressed through concerted effort by educators and librarians.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Promoting College Readiness via Pinterest |College Ready

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School and public librarians are leveraging social media—Pinterest, Twitter, and LibGuides—to get college information in front of high school seniors.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Screencasting Tools for Tech Support | Cool Tools

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These video and screencasting resources will help you create videos that provide technical assistance.

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Let’s Talk About “Selma” | Consider the Source

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“Selma”—there’s the film, and the reactions. Beyond all the friction is the question: What can we learn from the film and the controversy?

“Selma”: Accurate Enough? Questions about the film’s historical accuracy present a teachable moment.

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Weighing in on the recent controversy over “Selma” and the ensuing Oscar fallout, author Elizabeth Partridge offers some ideas for engaging students in a discussion about historical accuracy, primary sources, and expert opinion.

Is 2015 the Year of the Desktop? | The Next Big Thing

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For all the power, popularity, and potential of tablets and Chromebooks, they just can’t get some things right. Tasks like CAD designs for 3-D printing or higher-level programming work better on a powerful desktop.

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Digital Terms You Should Know | Pivot Points

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Want a spot at the administrators’ table? Then be sure to understand these terms related to digital content, curriculum, and management.

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

IPad Games Blend with the Physical World | SLJ Reviews Osmo

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“Osmo is part app and part iPad, with a little physical hackery thrown in,” writes Chad Sansing, who considers the new gaming platform’s potential for the classroom in his review.

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.