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Hello everyone, The latest issue of SLIC is available online in HTML or pdf format. SLIC is the professional Journal of the Canadian Association for School Libraries (CASL) HTML: pdf: Richard Beaudry Librarian
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Reflection on Social Bookmarking

Prior to exploring, I had only regularly used the bookmarking feature on the various browsers that I used. I often experienced the frustration upon opening a browser on a computer at work and then remembering that I did not have access to my bookmarks that were set on the home computer. Although I had used bookmark sites in college classes over the years as part of my course requirements, I had never actually used for personal use as I had found them complicated and non-user friendly. I was also concerned with the security or lack thereof such sites. As sites become more popular, the potential for misuse by spammers rises. Therefore, I had not used social bookmarking sites.When my partner and I were assigned, I had a chance to really explore “modern” bookmarking tools. Bookmarking sites today are not just for marking places to which a user wants to return, but are also a way of connecting with other individuals who have the same interests as does the user. By connecting with others with similar interests, one can find additional tags that will lead the user to additional information. Those tags will lead the learner to more tags – more information. The potential to find more and more information could be limitless.Additionally, social bookmarking sites allow the user to market himself/herself to potential employers. By providing clear links between bookmarking sites that use the same ID and providing clear tags, he/she has the potential to reach hundreds of contacts. Employers and prospective candidates can interact with one another early in the selection process via a common site. Relevant applicant profile data can be supplemented with additional detail, if requested, depending on the course of the interview.Security features have improved. Most sites have installed spam filters and are constantly adjusting security features to prevent abuse. Although there are some Spammers managing to work around the filters, the hosts are making an effort to provide a secure environment. After exploring I am less uneasy with security issues with social bookmarking sites.I looked at many other bookmarking sites to compare features. I selected two sites that I found interesting, and . Many of the sites have added non-tagging features, such as links to You-tube and Gaming sites, in order to sway users to their sites. Delicious has remained true to its bookmarking origins. Therefore, I found it best fits my needs. I do not need access to videos, and games on an easy access bookmarking site.In a K-12 educational setting, I can see social bookmarking as a to support material taught in the classroom. Teachers can provide bookmarks/tags to sites for students to visit. They will provide interactive or interesting presentations of materials to be used in research or study projects. By providing bookmarks, an instructor better ensures that students will not wander into undesirable sites. These bookmarks can be accessed from school, home or public libraries. Parents can assist in the learning process by visiting the tagged sites before, during, and after the lesson have been presented in the classroom. Bookmarking sites such as enhance learning potential. I know that I will a district-approved site for my students’ next research assignment.References:Advantages of social bookmarking. (2008). Retrieved February 20, 2009 from, Vanessa Arellano. How to identify legitimate bookmarking sites. (2007). Daily World EU News. (2007, December 17). Retrieved on February 20, 2009 from, Josh. (2009) Website review: the new Blogcritics Magazine. (2008, August 12). Retrieved January 22, 2009, from
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High School Research Process Wiki

Hi all -I'm working on standardizing the research process in our school, and integrating it into the curriculum. The wiki is at'm tracking the history of the project at school library website is available from both.If you take a look and care to comment I would appreciate it.Thanks,Ed LevinTeacher LibrarianDowntown Magnets High SchoolLos Angeles, CA
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Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson is a sure winner! Two friends are lured into starving themselves with a bet they make to each other "to to be the thinnest." Lia is destroyed when her best friend, Cassie, is found dead in a motel room. After two times in rehab, Lia now lies to everyone about her disease, seeing and talking to the ghost of Cassie, hating her parents and being really,really confused. Anderson does a great job of letting the reader see the compulsive, secretive life of an anorexic. We hold our breath as Lia keeps trying to control her life by not eating, not sleeping, and not communicating. We keep hoping she will get that her behavior is dangerous to her and sickens everyone who loves her. But if Lia doesn't love herself, why would she think anyone else loves her. What I learned from this book is that many teens will want to read this, talk about this,and hopefully see the author's message that this is a battle that many teens deal with on a daily basis. We need to lend our hearts and love to these "starved" girls and help them
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Telling a Story at PETE & C

My seven days at PETE & C allowed me to see a lot of fabulous tools which our students can be utilizing in the classroom. Brilliant podcasts; terrific music compositions; professional-looking movies, cool virtual spaces for learning… Most of the technology, perhaps all, I had already used or had explored at some point prior to this conference. But then again, learning how to use a new piece of technology is not necessarily what this conference is all about.The biggest thing I took away was a continuing theme I heard throughout my days there. I heard it from all three of the keynote speakers as well as from many of the session presenters: the importance of giving students the ability, tools and confidence to tell a story.As keynote speaker, Jason Ohler pointed out, stories help us to organize information, remember a place and express the emotion of an event. Everyone has a story; he or she may just need help in finding how to tell it. Keynote speaker, Daniel Pink, described design, story, symphony, empathy, play and meaning as the six aptitudes of the right-side of the brain which are so crucial to our students’ success. Similarly, Rafe Esquith brilliantly and emotionally demonstrated the importance of creativity, innovation and empathy in a child’s learning experience. The videos he shared of his students' learning celebrations clearly verified that these components matter - really matter - in a child’s learning experience.Ken Rodoff’s session on Improving Student Presentations reminded us that students need some guidance in telling a story: they need to find the story's “hook” and they need to realize that they are entertaining an audience, not simply completing a class assignment. Mercyhurst College's session on Imagining in Second Life had a very creative way to tell a story – using Second Life islands as a stage for Abraham Lincoln revisions or a gallery for art work.Students deserve to have all the tools and opportunities they need to tell their story. Technology holds a mother-load of them. As Ohler points out, a big amplifier won’t make a bad guitar sound good – the story has to be good in order to sound good. But whether it’s a movie, a song, a play or a podcast – it’s another chance that a good story will be heard and shared.
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HELP Need a Book

I need a book in the steampunk genre and I need it now. One of my students needs a book to read in lieu of library---on verge of getting kicked out!! He loves the Oppel series Airborn and was set to read the third in the series StarClimber but it doesn't come out til mid March. By then he may have completely irritated the librarian!!! Know of a great book in that genre?
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Powersearching in a Web 2.0 World Power-Searching In a Web 2.0 World

| 4 weeks | $99

This is a 4 week overview class suitable for beginning, intermediate, and advanced searchers.
  • We use discussions, open-book quizzes, interactive glossaries, and learning games to teach information fluency.
  • You will learn to search, evaluate, and ethically use online materials
  • We will help you locate materials specific to your needs.
  • We will show you how to investigate the credibility of the resources you find online.
  • We will help you create a personal search engine based on the online materials you select.
  • Our materials are designed to help you teach these skills to your own audience.
  • Join us! It's fun!

Introduction to Google Docs Beta Introduction to Google Docs

| 1 week | $40

This is a one week introduction to the essentials of Google Documents designed for those who have never used Google Docs. If you're using Google Docs and need some guidance we can help you learn how to use this powerful (and complex) online tool.

  • Learn to create and share online documents using Google's powerful and free document sharing tools.
  • Learn to use earlier revisions of a document.
  • Learn how to create a webpage from a Google document.
  • Ask questions and find answers working with an online facilitator.
  • Access a rich set of educator resources that will help you teach with Google Docs

Frequently Asked Questions

How many hours a week will this take?

Courses take about 5 hours per week. (You can certainly spend more time if you wish.)

Will I be working alone or with a group?

You'll be working with an online teacher who monitors the course on a daily basis. Our classes are fully moderated. That means you're working with a facilitator and other members of the class to learn together. You'll be able to get help, ask questions, and learn from both the facilitator and other participants.

What if I've never taken an online class?

We have an information rich, but low pressure learning environment. This class is a good introduction to learning online. Many of your classmates will be taking their first online course. Try it!

How will we learn online?

We take a hands-on approach. We use the Moodle online learning management system to organize and present our courses. Moodle is a popular online learning environment used around the world.
  • You follow a set of instructions that explain the goals and objectives of the course.
  • You watch online videos demonstrating essential concepts.
  • You refer to a glossary of technology terms to acquire a professional vocabulary.
  • The PowerSearching class uses discussion forums, learning games, and open book quizzes to introduce the concepts.
  • All classes have a Question and Answer forum that is monitored daily by your instructor.

What kind of technology do I need?

  • You need a reliable Internet connection.
    • We recommend a high speed connection.
    • Those using dial-up connects will need patience as the web-based materials load.
  • You need a MacIntosh or PC with an updated web browser.
    • MacIntosh with Safari or Firefox
    • PC with Firefox or Internet Explorer.
    • (Most other browsers work with our Moodle learning management system.)
    • You will also need an up dated version of Adobe's free Flash Player.
  • It is very convenient if you have access to an Internet computer at home and at work.
    • However this is not a requirement for success.
What kind of computer skills do I need?
  • You should be able to navigate the Internet with your web browser.
  • You should be able to use email.
  • You should be familiar with word processing fundamentals.
  • You should be interested in learning new communication concepts.
  • By the end of the course you'll know more about both the course topic and web 2.0 concepts!
  • It really help to be curious!

How long will I have access to the materials?

We leave the course open for at least three months after the class end date. You can return and browse the resources on your own schedule.

Is Course Credit is available?

  • Illinois Educators can earn CDPU's for our courses.
  • Educators from outside of Illinois can earn CEU's
  • No additional charge for credit.
    • However you must complete the required number of course assignments.
  • You can audit this class. (But you'll learn more with full participation.)
  • (College credit is not available at this time.)

Can I preview the courses?

Yes, follow the link below. When prompted, login as a guest. This allows you to see an outline version of the courses without enrolling.

How do I enroll & pay?

Follow the link below to set up your personal 21CIF Moodle account.

  • After you set up your account we will send you a confirmation email.
  • You will then be able to enroll and pay for the class of your choice.
  • We accept major credit cards.
    • We use a PayPal based secure payment system.
    • You do not need to become a PayPal member to use this system.
    • Your credit card information is not stored by PayPal or Information Fluency Partners.
  • When you complete the payment and registration process you will be able to login to your class.
  • The full course is available on the course opening date.
  • To pay by invoice contact:

Do you have free materials?

Yes, almost all of our materials are free online at You'll find many years of research based curriculum materials on our site. We support our research project by offering online classes, conference presentations, and custom online programming for educational and corporate clients.
Click here to visit our list of online classes. (Login as Guest to preview the courses)

21st Century Information Fluency and Moodle

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The Giver - Best of the Best

The Giver by Lois Lowery is a book that I would love to teach as a part of a unit about utopias/dystopias. Although the reading level would suit an elementary-level reader, the themes presented in this novel would stimulate students' higher-level thinking. This book fits in the category of Best of the Best because it meets the six characteristics of great young adult literature.First, it is written from the point of view of an adolescent (a twelve year old boy named Jonas). Jonas' story is told by an omnipresent narrator, but never deviates from the lens of the young protagonist. I believe that students would relate to this character because he is on the brink of self-discovery and is asking questions about the norms of society. Many teenagers are facing the same core challenges Jonas is in the story, even though his challenges may be more fantastic.Second, The Giver is a story that sides with the teens' plight and not the plight of the adults. The adult characters cannot be trusted in the story. Jonas learns gradually that all of the adults living in his community, including his parents, have been lying to him. He has no deep emotional connection to any adult except for the old man who becomes his mentor. This facet of the story aligns with the characteristic of great young adult literature that says that "young people seem able to relate more comfortable with elderly than with middle-aged adults." (Donnelson, 2000) In the end of the story, Jonas realizes that the only person that loves him and whom he loves back authentically is the old man.Third, the plot of this book is very fast-paced. Although the book is not filled with action, the main conflict is introduced immediately and tension is maintained throughout. The book is very short (about 180 pages) and packs a lot of content. The Giver is a quick read and is very engrossing.Fourth, in meeting the characteristic of featuring a variety of subjects, this novel succeeds. A librarian might classify it as a fantasy, and the "Best of the Best" list calls it a science fiction, I would not place it in either of these categories. The Giver reminds me of George Orwell's 1984 or Bradbury's Farenhiet 451. It is literature. But I think it is an asset that this novel may fit within more than one genre. A student who enjoys fantasy novels, for instance, could be pointed to this book as a way to branch out.Fifth, although the book doesn't specifically feature characters from many different cultural backgrounds, it does discuss ideas about "Sameness" and difference. The community that Jonas lives in favors sameness and looks down on differences and tries to eliminate them. This ideology is presented as narrow-minded in the story. Jonas is unique in that he has light eyes while the rest of the community has dark eyes. He can also "see beyond" and is singled out for his special abilities. Anyone who feels separate and different could relate to the main character.Sixth, depending on how a reader interprets the ending of the book, The Giver is optimistic with the characters making worthy accomplishments. The books closes with The Giver helping Jonas escape from the community and the people of the community having to accept the memories that he has left behind. This is Jonas' success. However, a reader could interpret the ending so that Jonas dies from exhaustion and hunger. Even if this was the case, a reader could feel proud of what Jonas was able to do: stand up to what he believed was wrong and change things. An adolescent reader would be inspired by this book.
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