Putnam County Middle School has transformed its Media Center into a new Learning Commons. Students now have a flexible, student-centered learning environment that encourages critical thinking, collaboration and creativity within the Learning Commons space. From the interactive wall where students can locate information with the touch of a finger to the Makerspace and Multimedia room that encourages critical thinking and creativity, the Learning Commons at PCMS offers multiple opportunities to enhance 21st century skills. These skills are crucial in building a college and career ready community. Putnam County Middle School invites you to attend an Open House on February 14 from 10:00 to 11:00 AM. and learn about their journey from traditional library to a 21st century learning environment!
GALILEO, Georgia’s Virtual Library, is seeking a talented and creative librarian to be our Acquisitions and Electronic Resources Coordinator. The person hired for this position will have a remarkable opportunity to work with vendors large and small, manage and curate licensed content, and serve the GALILEO community through outreach and training. GALILEO is staffed by a committed group of library professionals, who manage content, licensing, marketing, assessment, technology, development, support, and training for our users.
In the annual user survey, a media specialist asked why sharing the password over the phone is prohibited by the GALILEO access policy. The steering committee reviewed the policy and recommended it be changed to add the phone as an approved way to share the password. Check out the GALILEO newsletter to find out the 2017 password change dates, learn about the GALILEO browser toolbar and setting up journal alerts, and much more.
Scholastic has extended free access to BookFlix for every child in Georgia through Tuesday, Feb. 28. This digital literacy resource pairs animated storybooks with related nonﬁction titles to reinforce early reading skills and develop essential real-world knowledge.
GaDOE Library Media Update – December 2016
The Washington Post
History teacher Chris Dier was in the middle of a lesson last week at Chalmette High School in Chalmette, La., when a student made a befuddling inquiry: “He raised his hand and asked if I knew about Hillary Clinton using pizza places to traffic people.”
About a thousand miles away at Wilson High School in Northwest Washington, distressed students in teacher Eden McCauslin’s history and government classes asked why a North Carolina man armed with an assault rifle had appeared at their local pizza shop, Comet Ping Pong, telling police that he wanted to free child sex slaves he believed to be harbored there, a false narrative conspiracy theorists have pushed on the Internet.
Hoaxes, fake news and conspiracy theories have abounded on the Web, spreading with increasing speed and intensity during the recent presidential election cycle. While they have duped many — and provided entertainment to others — they also have created a sense of urgency for social studies teachers and librarians to teach students how to distinguish the real from the invented, to identify bias in news articles and to evaluate sources for credibility.
As the Comet Ping Pong incident displayed, such false accounts can inspire very real consequences.
McNeill argues that schools are not doing enough to prepare young adults for a digital information age that has spurred a cottage industry for fake news creators and has created a fertile space on social media for them to flourish.
Other observers have raised concerns that social media also has contributed to deepening the divide between Americans, with people steering their peers toward partisan news sources that bolster — rather than challenge — their points of view. Young adults may be particularly vulnerable to that kind of filtering: About a third of 18- to 29-year-olds the Pew Research Center surveyed this year reported that they “often” get news from social media. Just 10 percent of people in that age group said they trust the national media “a lot,” the lowest proportion of any generation surveyed.
Joseph Uscinski, an associate professor at the University of Miami and a co-author of “American Conspiracy Theories,” said people convinced by conspiracy theories and fake news often approach the world with a conspiratorial mind-set, just as partisanship colors the way a Republican or a Democrat sees the world. Those predispositions are difficult to undo, but media literacy education could help combat them.
“Educators are part of that socialization,” Uscinski said. “They have a chance to make a difference. They have a chance to show kids that you should rely on lots of different data.”
Sam Wineburg, a professor of educational psychology at Stanford University and director of the Stanford History Education Group, said teachers are ill equipped to help students navigate the pitfalls of the modern information age.
The smartphone “has changed us,” Wineburg said, “and the only thing that’s going to determine whether we become its master or whether it gets the best of us will be our educational response. And right now, we are woefully behind the eight ball.”
Even though it is not part of the standard curriculum in many places, individual educators are taking it upon themselves to build more lessons about consuming news. Once focused on lessons about navigating the stacks, librarians are now helping students navigate the Internet.
Courtney Walker, a media specialist in the library at Shorecrest Preparatory School in St. Petersburg, Fla., developed an entire lesson around made-up news. She had ninth-graders read articles on the Internet and identify if they came from real or fake news sources. Some of the links she included directed students to websites that are designed to look like mainstream news sources — lifting their logos and mimicking their Web addresses — but which peddle fake information. She co-taught the lesson with a history teacher, who opened the class by talking about what happened at Comet Ping Pong.
Some history teachers have taken a broader approach to steering their students away from misinformation. The Stanford History Education Group trains teachers in its “Reading Like a Historian” method. Instead of being drilled with facts, dates and historical figures, students read and listen to primary sources and interpret them. In the process, teachers help students evaluate a source’s veracity and bias.
The app creates a 100% anonymous, direct connection between students who need food with their closest free food provider.
Both the FoodFinderGA app and the website – www.foodfinderga.org – are year-round resources, but data shows a dramatic increase in use when school is out of session, and the need for food is greatest.
Please download the app today and tell your students about it before the Holiday breaks.