Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Digital citizenship

Last night, I presented a program to some of our parents on our approach to teaching digital citizenship at Summers-Knoll. If you are interested in this topic but were unable to make the presentation, you are welcome to access my slides here.

On a related note, I am currently thinking deeply about this review of a very recent study on media use and attitudes among children and parents. I think SK families (particularly those with middle school-age children) will also find the data compelling. For me, the most interesting part relates to "trend two: sponsored content and its reliability." I think that this area is where we have the most work to do (and the greatest opportunity to do meaningful work with young people) on topics of resource evaluation, reliability of resources, and decisions about whom and what to trust online.

As always, I hope you won't hesitate to contact me with questions.

To thoughtful interactions (online and off),


Thursday, January 14, 2016

New book nook in the atrium

If you build it, they will sit in it and read quietly and share stories with friends. Magic.

On a related note, if you have houseplants looking for a good home, please contact me about donating them to this new cozy space.

To perfect reading spots,


Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Gene Luen Yang named National Ambassador for Young People's Literature

In exciting news, the Library of Congress, the Children's Book Council, and the Every Child a Reader foundation recently named Gene Luen Yang as the next Ambassador for Young People's Literature. He follows in the footsteps of great authors like Jon Scieszka, Katherine Patterson, Walter Dean Myers, and Kate DiCamillo. However, unlike these writers, Yang is a writer of graphic novels. His work is complex and often touches on issues of identity (among other compelling themes). In his acceptance speech, he discussed what it means to be an "ambassador" and ways in which books, themselves, are ambassadors. He said:

Books can be ambassadors for you, too. Books can help you understand people from other cultures, religions, even ways of living. Books can help you understand topics that you find intimidated. Books can even be ambassadors for other kinds of books.

He went on to suggest that readers open themselves up to the possibilities contained within books that they may not have ever considered reading. His motto for his term as ambassador is "Read without walls," meaning:

Let me end by encouraging you to read without walls. Find a book with someone on the cover who doesn't look like you or live like you. Find a book about a topic that you don't know much about. Find a book that's in a format you've never tried before: a graphic novel, a words-only novel, or a novel in verse. Read without walls and see what happens. I bet it'll be something amazing.

To something amazing,