New eCourse bundle: Working with Children of All Ages

New eCourse bundle: Working with Children of All Ages

Chicago—ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions announces a new eCourse bundle, Working with Children of All Ages. R. Lynn Baker and Brooke Newberry will serve as the instructors for three, 4-week eCourses starting on Monday, September 10, 2018.

Save 20% when you purchase the bundle!

When you work in youth services, you’re serving a large community of users—from babies and toddlers to preteens. Children of different ages have different needs and perspectives and require different types of expertise. If you want to learn a practical approach to working with children of all ages, our new eCourse bundle is for you. Over a three-month period, you will work closely with expert instructors that will take you from creating baby storytimes all the way through to readers’ advisory for grade-school kids. Courses included in this bundle are

Creating Meaningful Programs for Infants and Caregivers with R. Lynn Baker – 4-week eCourse; begins Sept. 10, 2018

Early care expert and education trainer R. Lynn Baker’s teaches you how to create a school readiness program that prepares children for a successful transition into kindergarten.

Planning Programs and Services for Toddlers and Preschoolers with Brooke Newberry – 4-week eCourse; begins October 8, 2018

In this course, learn the basics of storytime and programming, best practices for serving children ages 2-5, how to build a strong collection, and the basics of child development for toddlers and preschoolers.

Practical Library Services for Grade School Kids (Kindergarten through second Grade) with R. Lynn Baker – 4-week eCourse; begins Nov. 5, 2018

Learn how to create intentional, literacy-based programs for children in kindergarten through second grade.

By participating in this group of three courses, you’ll earn a Certificate of Professional Development in Childhood Development and gain a broad set of skills that will serve you throughout your career.

You can purchase for these eCourses individually or as a bundle.

eCourse outline

Creating Meaningful Programs for Infants and Caregivers with R. Lynn Baker. Starts Monday, September 10, 2018

  • Week 1: Infant Development—Birth through 18 months
  • Week 2: Choosing Interactive Activities for Infants and Caregivers
  • Week 3: Choosing Developmentally Appropriate Books for Babies
  • Week 4: Creating an Effective Program Plan for Your Infant-Caregiver Program

Planning Programs and Services for Toddlers and Preschoolers with Brooke Newberry, Starts Monday, October 8, 2018

  • Week 1: Child Development for toddlers and preschoolers
  • Week 2: Storytime
  • Week 3: Beyond Storytime
  • Week 4: Collection Development

Practical Library Services for Grade School Kids (Kindergarten through second Grade) with R. Lynn Baker, Starts Monday, November 5, 2018

  • Week 1: Beginning Reading Skills that Grow from Early Literacy Practices
  • Week 2: Types of Programs for Children in Grades K-2
  • Week 3: Field Trips, Outreach, and Specialized Programs for Children
  • Week 4: Creating an Effective Program Plan for a K-2 Program

About the Instructors

R. Lynn Baker is the author of Counting Down to Kindergarten: A Complete Guide to Creating a School Readiness Program for Your Community and Creating Literacy-Based Programs for Children: Lesson Plans and Printable Resources for K-5. With a background in early childhood education and library programming for children, Baker provides training to early childhood educators and librarians. She holds her bachelor’s in Interdisciplinary Early Childhood Education; a trainer’s credential; and her Master’s in Library and Information Science. Baker is an adjunct professor for Northern Kentucky University, teaching Library Programming for Children.

Brooke Newberry holds a Master’s Degree in Library Science from Indiana University, and is the Collaborative Consultant for the Winding Rivers Library System (West Salem, WI). She currently teaches a course dedicated to serving babies in the library, previously was the Early Literacy Librarian at the La Crosse (WI) Public Library, served as chair for the Early Childhood Programs and Services Committee for the Association of Library Services to Children (ALSC), and co-wrote the Collaborative Summer Library Program Early Literacy Manual for three years.

Registration for this ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions facilitated eCourse bundle, which begins on September 10, 2018, can be purchased at the ALA Store. Participants in this course will need regular access to a computer with an internet connection for online message board participation, viewing online video, listening to streaming audio (MP3 files), and downloading and viewing PDF and PowerPoint files.

ALA Publishing eLearning Solutions (ELS) produces high-quality professional development events and materials for the library profession. ELS events cover modern issues on a wide variety of topics in formats that include live workshops, asynchronous eCourses, and print publications. We help ensure that today’s library employees have access to the professional development opportunities they need, whether they are brushing up on the basics or expanding their horizons with cutting-edge tools. Contact us at

ALA Store purchases fund advocacy, awareness, and accreditation programs for library professionals worldwide.

COMMENTARY: Five Steps for Building a Better School

COMMENTARY: Five Steps for Building a Better School

By David Gamberg

I am convinced that the foundation of a good education is about the concept of building—building a school, building a community, building relationships, and building a sense of self. School works for many students to provide a pathway into the future. It offers a foundation of rich experiences that inspire and form the basis of students’ life stories. Education and schools, however, can never be fully responsible for the outcomes that our students achieve. We cannot blame schools and teachers for the very complex mix of factors that result in any one person’s success in life.

I’ve been thinking recently about how we can alter the school experience for students and staff to better meet the needs of our learning communities. Some of the very structures and experiences that harken back to an earlier era in education may in fact be part of the future of teaching and learning. While it may be counterintuitive in our sophisticated high-tech world, building, manipulating, and creating inside the physical spaces of our school environment are essential in future learning.

“Some of the very structures and experiences that harken back to an earlier era in education may in fact be part of the future of teaching and learning.”

So what is in store for students, teachers, administrators, policymakers, and the taxpaying public that supports public education in the decades ahead? I suggest five steps for how school learning communities must move forward to build a better school.

Read full article click here, may require ED Week Subscription

Children Are Naturally Curious About Science. Why Don’t We Nurture That?

Children Are Naturally Curious About Science. Why Don’t We Nurture That?

Hand-wringing about the low science achievement of American students is a favorite activity of policymakers, business leaders, and others worried about economic potential and job growth in this country. Educators also are worried about the leaky pipeline to higher levels of science achievement and potential STEM jobs—particularly among underrepresented student groups, such as girls and nonwhite students. Where are the students with the ability and interest to pursue academic coursework in the sciences? Why are so few pursuing sciences at our colleges and universities? Two recent studies hold some answers and point to possible solutions.

One study, released by Education Development Center (EDC) and SRI International earlier this year, suggests that parents of young children are much less confident supporting their child’s science learning than they are supporting other academic subjects. An earlier study, released by Michigan State University last summer, indicates that teachers of young children also lack the knowledge to support early science learning. Together, these findings suggest a perfect storm for young children who are underprepared, underinformed, and underexposed to foundational science concepts, language, and experiences.

As a researcher who spoke to many parents for the most recent of these two studies, I began to wonder: Is this situation different from that of past generations of children, parents, and teachers? After listening closely to what parents had to say, I believe it is. We have created a slowly escalating science crisis in this country through narrow education policy, limited funding, low regard for teacher professional development, and a lack of respect for early-learning professionals. The result is a generation of parents who have not benefited from the early-learning experiences in science that would help them shape their own children’s science understanding.

“Like educators, parents need guidance on how to engage their children in science activities and exploration…”
Read full article click here, may require ED Week subscription
Students Excel at Burke with New Tech Network

Students Excel at Burke with New Tech Network

In Spring 2018, students at Burke High School (BHS) came together with two BHS teachers, Amelia Little (Navarrete) and Chopper (Edgar) Johnson, to create a unique project about untold stories of disenfranchised, marginalized societies called Finding a Voice. This past weekend, Burke was honored at the national New Tech Conference in St. Louis, Missouri for their outstanding work.

Through support from the ECMC Foundation, Burke High School was awarded a grant to participate in the New Tech Network (NTN) program for the 2017-18 school year. With over 20 years of impact in improving teaching and learning through project-based learning, the New Tech Network, a non- profit organization, supports schools and districts throughout the country in ensuring college and career success for all students.

Community members, school administrators, and staff were excited about the doors this partnership could open for students at Burke. As it turns out, the administrators, staff, and students were ready to walk through those doors together and did so in a way that earned them NTN’s 2018 Best in Network award. The Best in Network honor is given to an NTN project that exemplifies the goal of successfully combining active exploration, application, authenticity, and academic rigor.

Finding a Voice was a Burke project across the dual content areas of world literature and government. The project involved research and collaboration, and asked students to design graphic novels about disenfranchised and marginalized groups around the world. To assist with the graphic novels, Little and Johnson reached out to the local public library system, which enthusiastically joined the team.

Students reached the project’s final creative product through conducting independent research on living conditions for various marginalized societies across the globe and interviews with student refugees from other countries, including a student of similar age from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

To demonstrate and share their research and findings, students wrote first-person narratives and storyboarded the plot of their graphic novel.

BHS sophomores, Trinity Frost and James Snipes, along with Little and Johnson presented Finding a Voice at the conference on Saturday, July 14, 2018. Snipes and Frost led the presentation in front of hundreds of teachers, administrators, and educational leaders from across the country, expertly and enthusiastically discussing their project, findings, and fielding questions from the audience. At the conclusion of their presentation, the group representing Burke High School received a standing ovation from the audience.

Two Graduates Talk About Their Time at Tech and the Family They Found On Campus

Two Graduates Talk About Their Time at Tech and the Family They Found On Campus

By Kristen Baily

Brandon Gipson and Nigerian-born Oladipupo (Ola) Johnson both graduated from Georgia Tech in Spring 2018, with degrees in computer science and mechanical engineering, respectively. For both, it was community connections that helped lead them to Tech; the community they found here sustained them and was central to their college experience. But for Gipson, who came from a majority minority high school in Virginia, at times it was alienating.

Gipson was feeling what numbers show: Though Georgia Tech awards more engineering degrees to women and underrepresented minorities than any other university in the United States, black men comprise less than 5 percent of the resident student population.

To support black men at Tech, the school offers the African American Male Initiative, a University System of Georgia-funded initiative that provides academic resources, mentoring, and leadership training to enhance enrollment, retention, graduation and career placement.

The program began in 2011 with approximately 30 participants. Today, it counts 150 and has served more than 680 students since its inception. AAMI is based out of Tech’s OMED Educational Services, which is part of Institute Diversity…

This article originally appeared in the Atlanta Tribune. Read the full story here.

Rosie’s Girls Become Scientists for a  Day at Chevron Richmond Refinery

Rosie’s Girls Become Scientists for a  Day at Chevron Richmond Refinery


The Rosie’s Girls Summer Camp made its annual trip to the Chevron Richmond Refinery on Thursday, where members typically tour the facility and participate in a career panel.
But this year, the local middle-school girls did not act as tourists – but rather scientists.

Led by Chevron Bay Area Executive Women’s Group, Women’s in Progress, which regularly holds events aimed at inspiring and mentoring local girls interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), over 30 girls from the Rosie’s Girls summer camp conducted a daylong experiment in learning how to make bio-fuels.

Rosie’s Girls is an annual summer camp offered for free to local youth from low-income families. Like the WWII-era Rosie the Riveters, students in the camp learn skills and career pathways that are considered nontraditional for women, such as welding and carpentry.

At the Richmond Refinery Thursday, their skill base and experience was expanded to include STEM fields.

“We began earlier this morning by talking about what energy is, how one makes bio-fuel, and why we are interested in bio-fuels,” said Stacy Moffitt, community engagement specialist with Chevron Richmond.

They then conducted a related experiment using water bottles, each containing a different combination of substances – water, yeast, milk powder and a lactase tablet – as an introduction into how biofuels are made.

“They’re basically looking at fermentation and seeing what’s happening,” Moffitt said. “Even though milk has sugar, yeast can’t convert that sugar without the lactase tablet, which is a catalyst. Which is what you typically need when you use plant-based material to convert to fuel.”

The students conducted experiments in groups, with each group advised by women who work for Chevron. During the experiment, they made regular observations, and at the end of the day presented their findings to the group. Throughout the experience, the volunteer employees mentor the girls, talk about their futures and offer advice, Moffitt said.

“Rosie’s Girls give girls a wonderful summer opportunity to be ‘hands on’ with lots of cool things,” said Barbara Smith, VP of products and technology or Chevron Oronite. “It was fun today to do science with them, and at the same time talk about their interests and aspirations – and how STEM and college can give them so many great options for the future.”

The Executive Women’s Group has also worked with the Richmond nonprofit Girls Inc. of West Contra Costa County. Last year, the women volunteered to collaborate on technical and leadership projects with 16 of the nonprofit’s young members at the state-of-the-art Fabrication Laboratory at Kennedy High, which was launched with funding by Chevron.

More than 30 girls from the Rosie’s Girls summer camp conducted a daylong experiment at Chevron Richmond Refinery to learn how to make bio-fuels.

The post Rosie’s Girls Become Scientists for a  Day at Chevron Richmond Refinery appeared first on Oakland Post.

Students at NUSA Conference get crucial lesson in politics

Students at NUSA Conference get crucial lesson in politics

By Ariel Worthy

More than 100 students at the 43rd Annual Neighborhoods USA (NUSA) Conference in Birmingham on Friday created their own city where technology is paramount and littering and cyberbullying are not tolerated.

The City of Diversity – with the slogan, “Where Everybody Counts and YOU Matter” – was a “tech city” and it even came with an election season to give students a taste of politics.

Birmingham is hosting the 43rd Annual Neighborhoods USA (NUSA) Conference. The four-day event, which ends May 26, features a series of panels, workshops, and collaborative events that encourage networking, camaraderie, and idea-sharing. The theme for 2018 is “Building Tomorrow’s Community Today.”

Creating a city during the youth conference was a lot harder than imagined, said Annissa Owens, a rising junior at Shades Valley High School.

“You have to find neighborhood presidents, city councils, a mayor; you have to find transportation, how to get around,” she said.

However, Owens, 15, said she is grateful for the experience which included her role of getting people out to vote.

“[Citizens] have to get the law they want to be passed, and to do that, they have to vote for whoever they want to be mayor,” she said. “I think my part is important because if you want your voice to be heard you should go vote. So, you can’t get mad when the change you wanted didn’t happen if you don’t vote.”

DeRenn Hollman, 13, who will attend Ramsay High School in the fall, was a mayoral candidate and said his goal was to “make the city more comfortable and like easier for people.”

“I want more technology, and you won’t have to work as hard for things,” he said. “It’s a tech-heavy city, so it’s easy, but the easiest thing to do is to participate in the things the city has going on.”

Running for elected office wasn’t as easy he thought.

“Campaigning is hard because you have another candidate who is just as qualified as you,” he said. “But you also have a team behind you and people who support you and believe in you. It’s still hard to go up there and speak in front of people though.”

The candidates had two major campaign issues: cyberbullying and littering.

“You’re either for littering to be a crime or against littering to be a crime,” Owens said. “You’re either for social media to end because of cyberbullying or you’re against social media to end because of cyberbullying.”

Hollman said, “as a mayor I want some cyberbullying to stop, but I don’t think social media should have to end because of it. Social media is fun but use it responsibly.”

Campaigning taught the students some valuable lessons.

“You still have to go through a lot of different people (such as the legislative branch) and if they don’t like it, they cannot go through with it,” Hollman said. “You can’t just say ‘littering is a crime’; you have to send it to your council to approve it. If they don’t like the law they can vote against it.”

Owens said he now sees some things differently.

“Some things are not as easy as it sounds,” she said. “Like getting extra transportation is not as easy as I thought it was. Like getting a new bus. You have to go through voting and funding to get those new things.”

Danny Brister, operations manager for the City of Birmingham Mayor’s Office Division of Youth Services and co-chair for the NUSA Youth Conference, said the message for students was simple.

“We told them that we need their impact, their intelligence, we need them to engage,” Brister said. “At the age of 18 a young person can serve as neighborhood president. That’s important for them to know. As early as 16 they can vote in their neighborhood elections. We hope they gain an understanding that it takes a lot of work. We hope they leave inspired to make a change.”

Birmingham is hosting the 43rd Annual Neighborhoods USA (NUSA) Conference. The four-day event, which ends May 26, features a series of panels, workshops, and collaborative events that encourage networking, camaraderie, and idea-sharing. The theme for 2018 is “Building Tomorrow’s Community Today.”

The New School launches Digital Equity Lab

The New School launches Digital Equity Lab

AmNews Staff Reports

The New School has launched the Digital Equity Laboratory, a project-based center that identifies and supports strategies to transform how technology is understood and used to drive racial, gender and economic equity and disrupt the use of technology to produce and reproduce inequity in our social, economic and civic life. It will focus on cross-sector strategies to expand broadband access to communities, particularly low-income communities of color, that have been systematically excluded, marginalized and targeted by many technology systems; ensure that smart-city innovations benefit those communities; and understand the equity implications of big data, algorithms and new edge technologies. The DEL will be housed at The New School’s Milano School.

“Technology is neutral, but people are not,” Maya Wiley, founder and co-director of the DEL, and Greta Byrum, co-director of the DEL, said in a statement. “With the fast pace of technological change to our job markets, how we communicate with one another and the data produced and collected about us, and how it is used, technology has great potential to drive social benefits democratically or deliver social, economic and civic devastation for some. We no longer have a digital divide. We have a technological chasm. The laboratory will provide a space for people of diverse disciplines to collaboratively develop approaches and strategies to protect democracy; increase the economic, social and civic health of our communities, particularly low-income communities of color; and support innovation that disrupts inequality, rather than reproducing it.”

VIDEO: 3 Important Takeaways from Digital Learning Day 2018

VIDEO: 3 Important Takeaways from Digital Learning Day 2018

Schools and classrooms across the country buzzed with excitement on February, 22, 2018 as thousands of educators and students celebrated the seventh annual Digital Learning Day (DLDay).

The celebrations have come to an end for now, but here are three things we learned from another great DLDay:

1. Technology is transforming America’s classrooms.

Each year, DLDay provides a powerful venue for education leaders to highlight great teaching practice and showcase innovative teachers, leaders, and instructional technology programs that are improving student outcomes. But it wasn’t always that simple.

When the Alliance for Excellent Education created Digital Learning Day in 2012, the idea of technology in the classroom was a new, even controversial idea. The first DLDay was about creating a safe place for educators to try something new with technology, to give up a little control and see what happened.

In the years since, many schools and school districts around the country have turned every day into a digital learning day. Technology is transforming classrooms. But the DLDay message remains clear: is not just about technology, it’s about learning and enhancing the role of the teacher in America’s classrooms.

2. It’s about the student, not the device.

This year, 2,000 local celebrations decorated the official DLDay map, providing a window into how education technology is incorporated into daily student learning. The key word here is incorporated. This is an important distinction. DLDay is not about putting devices in classrooms, it’s how they are used to advance student learning.

On DLDay, there were countless examples of devices being integrated into student projects and used to expand and enhance the learning experience.

Students in one school spent DLDay exercising, and tracking their miles using QR codes and apps. Others uploaded art projects into digital portfolios, or used stop motion animation to enhance a presentation, or conducted research and engaged in peer reviews using technology.

To see more DLDay tweets like these, check out @OfficalDLDay or #DLDay.

3. There are best practices for blending teaching and technology. Blending teaching and technology requires structure, planning, and research. But when implemented effectively, schools with a blended learning approach can personalize student learning, give students greater control of their experience, and enhance interactions between students and their teachers.

On DLDay, All4Ed and Future Ready Schools ® (FRS) held a webinar highlighting a California district that is using a blended learning approach to support a performance-based system of progression. Students move through instructional content at their own pace, advancing only once they have mastered all the standards from the previous content level.

In the webinar, leadership from Lindsay Unified School District shared their experience and best practices for blended learning. The webinar also featured the release of a new report, Blending Teaching and Technology: Simple Strategies for Improved Student Learning, which offers a collection of strategies aligned to the FRS framework that school district leaders can use to implement an instructional approach supported by blended learning. Watch the webinar below.

To learn more about Digital Learning Day 2018, visit

Digital Learning and Future Ready Schools, Digital Learning Day
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Iridescent seeks to interest young girls in technology

MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Iridescent seeks to interest young girls in technology

When Tara Chklovski, an aerospace engineer from India, came to the United States to pursue her Ph.D, she noticed a lack of interest in technology.

“It was interesting to see that the same drive in technology [in India] wasn’t here,” Chklovski said. “Girls are not encouraged to go into engineering and tech.”

It soon became apparent to her that something needed to be done about that. So she decided to give young people from underserved communities, particularly girls, the opportunity to become innovative leaders in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

And in 2006 in Los Angeles, she founded Iridescent to do just that.

Since then, about 100,000 children, parents, mentors and educators have participated in the organization’s two international programs: Technovation and Curiosity Machine.

Technovation, which is for middle and high school students, gives girls the chance to learn necessary skills to become leaders and entrepreneurs in the tech world.

Girls in the program are encouraged to find a problem in their communities and are challenged to solve them by creating a mobile application, Chklovski said. In teams and with the support of mentors and a curriculum, the girls go through several stages of introducing their own mobile app startup.

Then there is Curiosity Machine, a family science program where children and their parents participate in a weekly design challenge. In it, they explore everything from computer science to biomechanics using simple household items like popsicle sticks or cardboard.

A few weeks ago, the nonprofit launched its Artificial Intelligence Family Challenge, in which students ages 8 to 15 and their families learn the basics of artificial intelligence technology by building projects together.

Tara Chklovski

“The big challenge is that AI is changing the world in big ways,” Chklovski said, and “the education system is going to take many years to react and respond.” This challenge intends to prepare young girls for it.

Although the AI challenge is still in the developing stages at some schools, STEAM coordinator for local district east of the Los Angeles Unified School District Craig Sipes said he is seeing a lot of excitement from teachers, principals and parents.

“[The project] is really fun and engaging and thought provoking for kids,” Sipes said. “Kids love to do hands-on projects, and by introducing the engineering design process, we help students structure how to solve problems.”

The program is teaching kids that when things don’t work out, it doesn’t mean they failed; instead, it’s showing them that failure is an opportunity to grow, Sipes said.

But what makes these programs unique, Chklovski said, is their family design.

“A key part [of the success of these programs] is engaging parents; it’s a two-generational approach. It’s really important for the child and parent to learn [about STEAM],” Chklovski said.

But these programs, Chklovski has found, do more than provide children an opportunity to bond with their families and be mentored by STEM professionals; they’ve also bettered the individuals who participate in them.

“Often, kids who do well in the family challenge struggle academically. Once they find a creative and imaginative environment, they really try,” she said.

For many students, creating designs is the first time the child feels like he or she could be successful in something, Chklovski said.

But Iridescent hopes to reach beyond helping young children blossom; it hopes to help their parents and guardians, too.

“If some of these stay-at-home moms are not working because they are taking care of children, it’s a big loss of potential,” Chklovski said. But if the millions of stay-at-home mothers in the U.S., many who don’t take the academic path, take on an entrepreneurial route after the program, big things can happen.

“If you can open new horizons for 60 million [stay-at-home mothers], we can change the world.”


CEO: Tara Chklovski

Years in operation: 12

Annual budget: $2.5 million

Number of employees: 27

Location: 532 W. 22nd St., Los Angeles, 90007

The post MAKING A DIFFERENCE: Iridescent seeks to interest young girls in technology appeared first on Wave Newspapers.