Sunday, February 22, 2009

Kathy Schrock is a Digital Pioneer

Yes, I agree with Kathy Schrock's video that I came across today.  She and many of us digital immigrants are not really immigrants but digital pioneers.  Not that I am counting myself among the elite digital librarian pioneers of our day.  I am a follower of those pioneers and love to sit at their feet, or attend their conferences and learn. Watch Kathy's Digital Pioneer Avatar.

Twitter and PA House Bill 363

I read a blogpost on edublogs the other day from Jen e-Blogger got me thinking. Are any students that you know using Twitter? I have been in a conversation on Twitter about this very subject with lthumann an educator from New Jersey. I use Twitter as part of my Personal Learning Network (PLN) (this post comes from another one of the people I follow on Twitter), and though I have not experienced anything like Jen with a 13 year-old, I am wondering now if students use Twitter? My initial gut feeling is that in Pennsylvania and New Jersey more affluent students are using cell phone texts and instant messaging since Twitter is often blocked in schools. In fact, lthumann (or Lisa Thumann) posted a very interesting article on her blog: Thumann Resources.

In fact in Pennsylvania, the picture on Lisa’s blog may become a reality if Pennsylvania House Bill 363 passes.
Here is the heart of the legislation and what will take the heart out of students and librarians: “The possession by students of telephone paging devices, commonly referred to as beepers, cellular telephones and portable electronic devices that record or play audio or video material shall be prohibited on school grounds, at school sponsored activities and on buses or other vehicles provided by the school district.”

As an elementary librarian I loan out such audio playing devices to students preloaded with audio books. This new legislation would make me a criminal. What is the Pennsylvania Legislature thinking? Why are we going backwards instead of teaching students how to use the devices safely and appropriately? Students live in the 21st Century where such devices are common place, but if this bill passes, the minute they walk onto the school bus and into the school building they will be transported back to the 19th Century.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Lost Library Book

You might think he would have more on his mind.  You might think going to the inauguration, or walking on the pre-game Super Bowl field would have gone to his head.  But no, do you know what was on the mind of the hero pilot who brought his jetliner down into the Hudson River?  A lost library book that also found its way to the Hudson in the cargo-hold of the plane.  That’s right, US Airways pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger got in touch with his local library because the library book he borrowed via Inter-Library Loan (ILL) went down with the ship.  He asked for the overdue fines to be waved and for an extension but library officials went a step further.  Not only did the library forgive his overdue fines, they dropped the lost book fine and are now dedicating the replacement book to him.  Check out the article from the Philadelphia Inquirer.  As a librarian I plan to tell this story to my students because I am as impressed as the librarians where he borrowed the book at his sense of responsibility and hope my students are impressed too.   Oh by the way, the subject of the book borrowed was professional ethics.  Nice.