Featured in the October Issue
The challenge across the U.S. and Canada is to raise the bar on education and to prepare every child to succeed in a very different world than we faced at their age. Whether you’re are facing the Common Core Standards, or some other challenging school improvement initiative, we have assembled an issue that we believe will provide both theoretical and practical steps to assist you as teacher librarians in moving into the center of teaching and learning.
While the articles and columns dealing with these issues share many basic ideas and recommendations, each brings a unique perspective in its approach. In the lead article, Dr. Ross Todd weaves together the need for visibility of teacher librarians and the need for new learning and teaching models, and how both are affected by and affect the implementation of the Common Core Standards. He does so within the framework of “the power of story,” using story as an approach to data collection and presentation. Much of his data and his stories are taken from the long-awaited and much praised New Jersey research study, “One Common Goal: Student Learning.”
Keith Curry Lance and Linda Hofschire provide research findings supporting the belief (or irrefutable fact) that school library programs and teacher librarians contribute significantly to gains in student achievement. This fascinating report, like so much of Lance’s work over the years, provides evidence for your arsenal for advocacy when dealing with other educators, education administrators, public officials, and the general public.
David Loertscher and Carol Koechlin continue their important and prolific partnership with an exploration and explanation of the Virtual Learning Commons (VLC), and its relationship to the Learning Commons concept for which they are so well known. They provide both theory and practical steps to take to design and implement your own VLC as a keystone in 21st century learning.
Jayme Linton speaks about how TPACK (technology, pedagogy, and content knowledge) can frame student learning and offer collaborative inquiry strategies. Catlin Tucker offers ideas about collaborative learning and how it can affect student learning as well as teacher learning. Included are several illuminating illustrations.
October’s guest columnist “from the brain trust” is AASL president-elect Gail Dickinson. In a few short pages, Dickinson identifies and addresses and links together so many key issues that face the profession and individual professionals during this time of great change. As she notes, “It’s a matter of simple logistics. We can’t do everything we always used to do plus everything we need to be doing now. Some things have to go….” We also share her interest in embedded librarians and entrepreneurial librarians.
Beginning in this issue and continuing throughout the volume and beyond, our trusted book reviewers will note connections to the CCS, in general, and to specific standards when appropriate. For those of you who use comic books in your teaching, or who are, themselves, fans of comics, Dr. Joe Sanders has two very interesting columns this month, one featuring a major initiative by DC Comics and the other introducing us to Humanoids, one of the significant comic book publishers worldwide.
In October’s professional reading section, the editors provide reviews for a large number of books, many of them recommended. Loertscher takes special note of two books he finds essential for all teacher librarians: Guided Inquiry Design: A Framework for Inquiry in Your School (Carol C. Kuhthau, Leslie k. Maniotes, and Ann K. Caspari) and Growing Schools: Librarians as Professional Developers (Debbie Abilock, Kristin Fontichiaro, and Violet Harada). In his “What Works” column, Loertscher discusses research about the Learning Commons and maker spaces and in her “School Library Tech Ideas,” Marcoux offers suggestions and hints on how to best approach technology to insure it connects well with learning. For specific uses of ed tech in learning and teaching, Joanne Troutner’s ”Web Wonders” provides many good recommendations and also says goodbye to an “old friend,” as Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators is retired. Lamb and Johnson, on the other hand, revisit an old friend, Jiminy Cricket, in their always outstanding “InfoTech” column, which explains “a dozen ways video can activate learning.”
Mark Ray, in his “Advocacy” column, continues his year-long fabulous journey as Washington State teacher of the year, with a slight stop along the way to become a manager of instructional technology and library services for the Vancouver (WA) public schools. Teacher librarian as instructional tech manager or director is an interesting development probably destined to become more prevalent. “Primary Voices” columnist Erlene Bishop Killeen once again brings a counterbalance to all the technology coverage, capturing the heart and soul of what we do and why we do it. As she asks and answers the question if the youngest students are ready to learn, she touches on many key issues while also addressing the Common Core Standards.
Please enjoy this powerful issue. Remember you can access the digital edition anytime day or night with your computer, smartphone, tablet, or other mobile devices.