In an age of information overload Librarians are the pilots who can help us quickly navigate to what is meaningful.
Said differently – librarian’s rock and they make a huge difference in schools. Here is a video made by a school for a library aid who got laid off due to the budget crisis. Think this “saving” won’t make a big difference in the education of these children?
Watch the video.
John Scalzi was interviewed by Library Journal recently. Among other things he addressed ePublishing, copyright, and the role of libraries in our culture. As always he dispatched wisdom with a solid dose of wit.
The whole article is here – it will be a well spent 10 minutes to get your week started.
On the cultural relevance of libraries:
Will e-publishing kill traditional publishing houses? The following is presented as an antidote to this meme.
John Scalzi is not only an extraordinarily good science fiction writer he is also a pioneer in e-publishing and a very funny blogger. I loved this piece because it encapsulates so much of the current self-absorbed silliness and wishful thinking that poses as strategic thinking in publishing and those trying to kill it.
Take a deep breath and ask the questions deeply about what it means and you will see how wrong most of these statements are.
I’m surprised we haven’t seen more of this.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
|Crisis in Dairyland – For Richer and Poorer – Teachers and Wall Street|
The hypocrisy is staggering. Bail out banks with trillions of taxpayer dollars – “bonuses are contracts and you can’t touch them.” Banks drive economy into the ditch and cause funding crisis for schools – “teachers are overpaid and coddled so unwind teacher contracts to solve the problem.” Sociopaths is the most charitable term I can think of to describe the people making these arguments.
My take from another angle on this subject from the middle of the healthcare debate:
Pre-Existing Ignorance – Healthcare vs. Education
Social media mirrors the dynamic features of a natural ecosystem. Which niche you are going to fill? Here are four examples with loving snarkitude – feel free to add more in comments.
Hamsters constantly post small updates on every aspect of their life. Favorite habitats are Twitter and Facebook. They eat any small scrap of feedback up. Want to know what they had for dinner or what their kids did this afternoon? They will be spinning along on their wheel of self-absorption assuming the whole world is fascinated. If you are a dear friend or a family member I might be interested in this – in small doses. If you are an acquaintance – not so much.
Owls save their powder for long blog posts on their theory of life – posting infrequently but weighing down your RSS reader with dense prose. Favorite habitats are Blogger or their own bespoke blog. They eat spam comments by the barrel and sustain themselves on the infrequent genuine comment that validates their sense of importance. They sit on the Internet’s roof and hoot out who, how, and why? But really – why?
Data visualization is a tough thing to do really well – in fact this is one of the essential 21st Century Skills in extremely short supply today.
But the world is slowly becoming a much better place to live and this outstanding video by Hans Rosling shows it clearly and with a great narrative.
Take a couple of minutes and you will get a measure of hope that over the long haul life continues to improve for the vast majority of humanity.
PCI takes Halloween very seriously – but in a fun way.
Basically it is an additional holiday since we have a big party over lunch including a street parade. Competition in the pumpkin carving and costume contests is fierce.
In the picture below you can see my meeting with one of the judges.
E.D. Kain over at Balloon-Juice has a fascinating saunter through crime stats since video games became widely popular.
According to the FBI, since 1990 violent crime has been on a steady decline. E.D.’s basic hypothesis is that some of this can be attributed to people experimenting with rage and mayhem in video games and learning how to manage their emotions more effectively as a result.
Those of us advocating for video games in the classroom have been making a related argument. By allowing kids to experiment with activities that are too dangerous, too expensive, or too time consuming we can broaden their experience and expose them to epistemic frames they would not normally have access to. In the case of violence – it is far safer for everyone to experiment with it virtually.
Congress finally passed some support for state budgets to make sure there are enough teachers as school opens.
Kind of “yay.” We accomplished this by planning to cut food stamps starting in 2014.
This comic succinctly captures the essence of our national experience since the summer of 2007 when all this kicked into gear. (ht balloon-juice)