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27 de juny 2011

Por caminos no asfaltados, de 1988 hasta hoy, la biblioteca escolar del CP Miguel Servet de Fraga

«El camino que hemos transitado no estaba asfaltado e incluso encontramos agujeros cavados para dificultar la marcha, pero aquí estamos y aquí seguiremos aunque las condiciones económicas o de crisis nos lo pongan todavía más difícil. Nunca se debe renunciar a lo necesario y la Biblioteca escolar es necesaria en todos los colegios. Este blog, será una ventana más para hacernos visibles y para comunicar lo que vamos haciendo o lo que sucede a nuestro alrededor que nos afecta. Las fotos ponen cara a algunas “alineaciones” del SeBLI de éste y de cursos precedentes.»

20 de juny 2011

Closing libraries is always a bad idea, but for the Google generation, it could be disastrous (LA Times)

Una carta interessant, no exempta de polèmica, publicada a Los Angeles Times.

Saving the Google students
For the Google generation, closing school libraries could be disastrous. Not teaching kids how to sift through sources is like sending them into the world without knowing how to read.

March 21, 2010|By Sara Scribner

The current generation of kindergartners to 12th graders -- those born between 1991 and 2004 -- has no memory of a time before Google. But although these students are far more tech savvy than their parents and are perpetually connected to the Internet, they know a lot less than they think. And worse, they don't know what they don't know.

As a librarian in the Pasadena Unified School District, I teach students research skills. But I've just been pink-slipped, along with five other middle school and high school librarians, and only a parcel tax on the city's May ballot can save the district's libraries. Closing libraries is always a bad idea, but for the Google generation, it could be disastrous. In a time when information literacy is increasingly crucial to life and work, not teaching kids how to search for information is like sending them out into the world without knowing how to read.

Instead of simply navigating books and the Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature -- an annual index of magazine and newspaper articles used in the olden days -- today's students sift through an infinite number of options: books, Internet sources, academic databases. Much of the time they opt for Google, which is like beingtossed into the ocean without a paddle.

An info-literate student can find theright bit of information amid the sea of irrelevance and misinformation. But any college librarian will tell you that freshman research skills areabsolutely abysmal. Before they graduate from high school, students need to be able tounderstand thephenomenal number of information options at their fingertips, learn how to work with non-Google-style search queries, avoid plagiarism and judge whether the facts before them were culled by an expert in the field or tossed off by a crackpot in the basement.

As even struggling school districts manage to place computers in classrooms, it's difficult to find a child without Internet access. But look closer at what happens when students undertake an academic task as simple as researching global warming -- tens of millions of hits on Google -- and it becomes clear that the so-called divide is not digital but informational. It's not about access; it's about agility.

Most children consider a computer search second nature, so trying to give them instruction or advice can be difficult. Recently, noticing that a sixth-grader didn't know how to search the school library catalog, I tried to show him the steps. "You don't need to tell me," he said, clearly insulted. "I know how to use a computer!"

It is especially shocking when students attempt to tap into the library's catalog system by entering a book search on Amazon or searching the website for Accelerated Reader's BookFinder (an online database that contains every book included in the Accelerated Reader program). They sometimes don't understand that these are discrete sites and systems. For them, the Internet is one big amorphous information universe.

And to most kids, whatever they read on the Internet is "all good." I've been told, quite emphatically, that the Apollo moonwalk never happened, the Holocaust was a hoax and George W. Bush orchestrated 9/11 -- all based on text, photos or videos found online.

Although students might be able to hack through a school's video-game blocking devices, they have trouble formulating successful search queries and making sense of what they find. This needs to be taught -- again and again and again, in different grades and in different ways.

Librarians can show students how tojudge a website and how to avoid landing on bogus ones. We can also train them to come up with the kind of precision search terms that could save them hours of sorting through a heap of useless hits.

To research global warming, for example, I'd suggest an academic database such as ProQuest's eLibrary or SIRS Researcher, which have age-appropriate content. Or I'd steer students to reliable Internet sources from library subscription sites such as Britannica Online, which are vetted by experts. I could also teach them to use Google's advanced features.

Instead of laying off librarians, we should be studying how children think about information and technology. We need professionals to advocate for teaching information literacy from an early age. We need librarians to love books -- to inspire kids to turn off the screen sometimes and get caught up in a story -- but we also need them to train students to manipulate search engines and databases, to think about themin a fresh way.

Instead of closing library doors, we need to give librarians the time to teach what they know: basic research survival skills that are as important as reading, writing and math. If we don't teach our kids to take charge of information, they will get swept aside by it.

Sara Scribner is a librarian at Blair International Baccalaureate School, a public middle and high school in Pasadena.

6 de juny 2011

Me volvería loco si no enseñara

El amor por la lectura, o por cualquier otra posibilidad valiosa de este mundo, se transmite sobre todo porque es eso: amor. La pasión se contagia. Nos gusta ver al otro enamorado y nos enamoramos con él. En la enseñanza, eso es fundamental. Los maestros que de veras nos enseñan son los que nos aman y nos permiten amar el mundo con ellos. Andy Mulligan cuenta, con gracia, cómo eso también crea una dependencia desde el otro lado:

He then took advantage of this success to take some time out of the classroom to focus even more on writing. But that did not go well.
"I took a sabbatical of six months and found it really difficult. It was really dispiriting. ... So when people say, 'You can give up teaching now' - which is the dream of many teachers - it's just not on the cards for me. I'd go berserk if I wasn't teaching. But I am lucky to work in international schools with friendly children and good colleagues. I'm very privileged."