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EdTech Update





Book Fair or Toy Fair?

Benefits of Hosting
Hosting a Fair is the best way to support your school’s reading efforts. Students, parents, and teachers love Book Fairs for a number of reasons, including:

  • A Book Fair connects kids to the books they want to read.
  • They feature a terrific assortment of books, hand-selected by book experts.
  • Book Fairs help build school, classroom, and home libraries.
  • They generate community involvement.
  • A Fair is one of the easiest ways to raise funds for the school. (Scholastic website.)

The parent-teacher organization at the LWW's school hosts a book fair during its P/T conferences each fall and spring. The attractive displays are bright and inviting.  The goals of the event are fantastic -  to encourage personal ownership of books and raise a little money for classrooms and the library. As an indulgent grandfather, it is all I can do to keep my checkbook in my pocket...

Here are a few shots of the offerings...



Notice anything unusual about this "book" fair? Where are the books in these shots?

OK, I'll admit I was somewhat selective in my photo shoot. Not shown are cases and displays of actual books that were there as well. But I think the toys are taking over. Even a high percentage of "books" are combo books-games-activities.

This shift from print to multi-media is not just visible at school book fairs, but in the children's section at the Barnes & Noble as well. I wonder how many kids will get real books as gifts this holiday season?

We have nobody ourselves to hold responsible for creating a postliterate society...

Are book fairs really about reading anymore?


Fair use scenario - Kathy and the IWB

In a continuing series of scenarios that explore educational fair use issues. You comments are most welcome.

Third grade teacher Kathy was one of the lucky ones in the school who has an interactive white board installed in her classroom. As she experiments with the equipment and software, she is finding that many of the activities in her reading series work well as interactive lessons. Kathy has been scanning parts of the series' student workbook for use with with IWB software.

  1. What is the copyrighted material? Who owns it?
  2. Does the use of the work fall under fair use guidelines? Is the use transformational in nature? Can this be considered "educational" use?
  3. What is your level of comfort in helping create such a product? Are there any changes or limits you might like to see that would make you more comfortable with this project?

Your level of comfort with this use of copyrighted materials: High 5 4 3 2 1 Low

You comments are most welcome.


Two online appearances

This will be the first week in about two months that I won't be getting on an airplane. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to be spreading my little bits of wisdom here and there. (Somewhat analogous to a bird planting new mulberry trees, I believe.)

Tomorrow, Tuesday, Novemember 18th, I'll be doing a webinar for Linworth called, "A Professional Fitness Plan: Web 2.0 Tools to Develop a Personal Learning Network." Here's the description:

Continuing education prior to Web 2.0 consisted of reading professional journals, attending library conferences, and taking college classes. These activities are still available and important. But given the pace and amount of change, they alone are insufficient to keep most of us current with the happenings in librarianship and information technology. This workshop explores online continuing education options, both formal and informal, and strategies for developing one’s own Personal Learning Network.

Information on getting registered and technical details are here.


For the insanely dedicated and insomniacs (at least in the western U.S.), BlueSkunk Johnson will be appearing with Chris (Shambles) Smith and Dianne McKenzie in Second Life at 4 AM SLT (Pacific Time) Wednesday, November 19 to have a casual conversation about library issues. Details here.


Oh, I'll be doing a live session for the Minnesota Library Asssociation in Minneapolis this Friday at 8AM on "Policies for Web 2.0", some workshops and sessions for TIES in Minneapolis in Decemeber, and even driving over to Madison, Wisconsin in January for their New Promise conference.

But no flights for work until January 27, 2009. Sort of nice...