Monday
Jan312011

A Community of Learners

At Logicwing we believe in the power of the individual and of the collective.

Logicwing members are proud to be involved in a community project through the h2empower organization. The mission of the organization is to empower communities through literacy and education. Annual trips are made to run teacher training programs in the remote town of Hosanna, Ethiopia. 

The largest contribution to date is help in building a library community center. In November of 2010, h2empower packed 30,000 books for the town and nearby villages. These books were distributed to over 50 schools and universities and included medical books for hospitals. The library began construction in February of 2010. The foundation is almost complete. This is an exciting time for the people of Hosanna, who have hoped for a community center to bring revitalization and opportunity to their community.

Changing the world "ain't" easy. We salute Helen Boxwill and her team for their dedication and perseverance.

 

 

Wednesday
Feb022011

Living to Learn

Be the change you want to see in the world. - Gandhi

The Living Through Learning Foundation Executive Director, David Gordon, is one of the most passionate individuals you will ever meet. He leads a team of educators who deliver content to children who are chronically ill. Social networking is pervasive in today's society. The ability to keep children connected during times when they are most vulnerable, is his passion. In partnership with the NY Hall of Science, the MET, and others, he works with universities and hospitals to bring educational and fun video conferences to children. We are in awe of the difference he makes in their lives. 

 

Saturday
Feb052011

Students & Parents: Info Made Easy

A conversation with a member of a local community brought to mind how important COMMUNICATION is in today's society. Could it be that there is too much information and not enough time to share it all? Case in point: A youngster in school loves reading but finds it hard to take a book out during "library time". There's too little time to allow it, is the excuse. The curriculum must be adhered to. If there's extra time after the lesson, it is implied, then the student is given time to find a book they want to read. Enter the age of the digital catalogue and digital databases.

Most, if not all, schools, have online databases of books that are available through their building libraries. Gone are the days where you had no idea what books were available in school. With the implementation of catalogues like Follett's Destiny product, community members, parents and students should be able to see what books their children their children have access to (and what books their tax dollars have paid for)! 

In my day, we went to the library after school. Why? Because it was the ONLY place to get reading material outside of a small school library and your newspaper stand. Today we have MANY places to get information. The problem lies with community members, parents and students, knowing WHERE to access the information.  


NY Public Library, Flickr image by ktylerconk, Orig dt 03/1/07, upload dt 11/25/10

In this post I'm going to include several places to get information for all you information hungry readers out there. Keep in mind that some of these places are local to my area (Long Island) and some are available to people all over the world. Here are some places to keep in mind when looking for something to read:

 

 

  •  Your School District Library Catalog. Usually the catalogues are found right on a school district's main web page. Click on an individual school building if you don't find it. Search Library, Online Databases, Online Catalogues, Library Media Specialists, etc. Follett Destiny's products main pages have a similar look and feel and can be customized. Here are two examples of how students (and parents) can view books available in their schools: Westbury Powells Lane and Maine South High School
  • Your Local Library System - This includes your town library system and your county-wide resources. In NY, towns have the option of sharing resources with other areas, so your library card gives you access to one library or many. Here is a listing of some of our local library selections: Nassau Library / Suffolk Library
  • Your State Library Initiatives - In NY, we have NovelNY, an initiative funded by the state that allows access to state funded databases and information accessible in different formats. All you need is a public library card OR a NY driver's license, or a non-driver ID. This online collection is available to all NYS residents.  In Maine, they have Maine InfoNet which includes MARVEL, Maine's Virtual and Electronic Library collection. Do you know what your state offers? 
  • US Federal Resources - These resources include The Library of Congress & The National Archives  A trip to DC is not complete without a trip to these national treasures but their online collections are extensive and accessible 24/7. Check them out.
  • OverDrive Media - One of many companies working with libraries and schools around the world allowing access to information in e-publishing formats. This company happens to help my local Suffolk County community to gain access to materials through a portal called Live-Brary. They also have an App called OverDrive Media which allows you to read e-pub format books on your iPod Touch, iPad, computer, etc. etc. It's not difficult to install but for those who need help here's a terrific blog post about how to get started: Blog Post by Alex Sharp 1/17/11.

 

Saturday
Feb052011

Calling all Writers: FanFiction.net

Fanfiction.net is a website where children (and adults) can take their creative ideas about anything and turn it into something everyone can enjoy. Have you ever had a favorite TV show? Movie? Book? And you think about the what if-s in the story line? Now you can write stories for all of your favorites. With Fanfiction.net your stories can be viewed by anyone and people can comment on it. You cannot only write stories, but read them, too. You can make an account on Fanfiction and be able to *follow stories and authors. Fanfiction is a great website if you want to speak ideas, be creative, and write. 

Friday
Mar112011

Educating the Whole Child

In a little corner of Syosset is an amazing school I am proud to be a part of, Variety Child Learning Center. As a member of their board, I've been able to proudly serve as advisor in the area of educational technology. With the new research around the use of mobile devices, we've been working on inserting interactive and adaptive devices into classrooms. 

What's important about education, and I would say even more important when servicing those with special needs, is the positive outcome that comes from servicing the child as a whole. Weekend respite programs for parents, sibling groups, staff training sessions, and the school's well-known open door policy, are just a few ways that VCLC improves the lives of its students, and others.