Video Lending Library Feature: Climate of Doubt

climateThis insightful Frontline DVD titled Climate of Doubt, explores the impact of politics on the subject of global warming and climate change. The video goes inside the organizations that fought the scientific establishment, environmental groups, and lawmakers to shift the direction of debate on climate issues and redefine the politics of global warming. Borrow this DVD (I.D. 2352) for a month by clicking here.

How teachers are using technology at home and school

technologyBy eSchool News Staff, March 1, 2012 —  A survey by the Pew Research Center, who polled more than 2,400  of U.S. middle and high school teachers, finds that ed tech has become central to their profession. At the same time, the internet, mobile phones, and social media have brought new challenges to teachers—and they report striking differences in access between lower and higher-income students and schools.

Brief, the survey found:

  • 92 percent of these teachers said the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to access content, resources, and materials.
  • 69 percent said the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to share ideas with other teachers.
  • 67 percent said the internet has a “major impact” on their ability to interact with parents, and 57 percent said it has had such an impact on their interaction with students.

The survey found that ed-tech tools are widely used in classrooms and assignments, and a majority of teachers are satisfied with the ed-tech support and resources they receive from their schools. However, it also found that teachers of the lowest-income students face more challenges in using ed-tech tools in their classrooms.

Read the full article by clicking here.

Four Classic English Stories on DVD

literatureA recent addition to our Video Lending Library is sure to be of interest to English teachers. The Classic English Literature collection (volume 1) contains four memorable stories: Great Expectations, by Dickens; Jane Eyre, by Charlotte Bronte; Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte, and Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austin. The album also contains a collection of memorabilia about the authors, including documents and photographs. Borrow this Masterpiece Classic album, I.D. 2365, by clicking here. 

Technology Usage up With K-12 Students

techFrom staff reports, e-School News, February 25, 2013 — More than half of students in grades 6-8 now have access to a tablet computer—a percentage that has doubled since last year. And Twitter use has grown three-fold among high school students in the last year, with a third of high schoolers now using the popular micro-blogging service.

These are a few of the results that the nonprofit Project Tomorrow has released from its annual Speak Up survey of students’ and parents’ technology use, as well as their attitudes and opinions about ed tech.  The findings come from Project Tomorrow’s survey of more than 364,000 students last fall.

Here are those 10 facts…

1. Students say they use the internet to help with homework at home.

2. Students want to learn any time, any place—and at their own pace.

3. A majority of students support the “flipped classroom” model.

4. A growing number of students are asking for digital texts—but print is still the preferred method of reading.

5. More students are learning via YouTube.

6. Students would like to be able to text their teachers for help.

7. Students are experiencing gaming at a younger age.

8. Use of Twitter is exploding among young people.

9. Facebook is now a regular destination for group projects.

10. Students’ use of mobile devices continues to rise.

Read the entire story by clicking here.

New DVD Uses Stunning Graphics to Teach Math Priniciples

mathematicaExplore the boundless world of math and numbers in this 20-part educational series that introduces key mathematical principles, such as the mystery of pi, the mechanics of equations, factorization, and introductory geometry. With engaging graphic animation and relatable, real-life examples, Mathematica is a valuable learning tool that makes math approachable and bolsters comprehension of a wide range of topics. The video title is Mathematica, and the I.D. number is 2359.  Our online ordering system is working again, so click here to borrow the video for a month.

Seven elements for effective community-school partnerships

By Meris Stansbury, Associate Editor, eSchool News, February 3, 2013 — According to the Harvard Family Research Project report, “Partnerships for Learning: Community Support for Youth Success,” data collected from a community schools initiative called Elve 8 show what successful partnerships for learning look like—and the effects these can have on learning.

When partners work together to combine resources strategically, aligning their goals with the curriculum, a “seamless web of supports” is created that provides children with a “holistic learning experience,” says the report.

According to the report, by offering an array of combined services, community schools are able to create five “conditions” that research indicates are necessary for youth to succeed:

1. A shared vision of learning: Partners share a common understanding of the goals and resources needed to support children’s learning.

2. Shared leadership and governance: Partners have an equal say in leading efforts to support children and families

3. Complementary partnerships: Partners share complementary skills and areas of expertise to create a seamless and comprehensive set of learning supports for children.

4. Effective communication: Partners communicate effectively and frequently to ensure they are aligning their activities and are working in harmony with one another.

5. Regular and consistent sharing of information about youth progress: Partners have access to crucial data that help them better understand the youth they serve.

6. Family engagement: Families serve as key partners to help address the complex conditions and varied environments where children learn and grow.

7. Collaborative staffing models: Schools and community organizations create staffing structures that intentionally blend roles across partners, so that staff work in multiple settings to provide adult support spanning school and non-school hours.

Read the entire story here.

Video Lending Library Feature: A New Look at Some American Radicals

abolitionistsThey were called radicals, agitators, troublemakers, liberators. They tore apart the nation in order to create a more perfect union. Here is a docu-drama that intertwines stories of Fredrick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Anlelina Grimke, Harriet Beecher Stowe, and John Brown. Borrow The Abolitionists (I.D. 2361; 180 minutes) for a month. Borrow this DVD from the WGBY Collection at the Springfield Public Library.

Good News About American Students’ International Ranking

By Meris Stansbury, Associate Editor, eSchool News, January 16, 2013 — Prominent international tests skew comparisons of test scores, and U.S. student performance actually ranks much higher than believed, according to a new report released by the Economic Policy Institute (EPI). The truth, says the report, is that—when comparing apples to apples in weighing U.S. student performance against that of other industrialized countries—U.S. students don’t rank 25th in math, but 10th; and in reading, the country is not 14th, but 4th.

Read the entire story by clicking here. 

Video Lending Library Feature: A New Look at an Old River

riverSir Trevor McDonald takes an unforgettable adventure along the historic and epic Mississippi river. Starting at the Gulf of Mexico, Sir Trevor’s journey leads him to encounter a dazzling array of characters and stunning locations. You will learn how the river has made the U.S. one of the greatest food producers in the world,  and how “Ole Miss” brought together the different music styles and influences that lead to the birth of  rock n’ roll. The video shows that the Mississippi is still influencing lives and culture today.

Borrow this DVD from the WGBY Collection at the Springfield Public Library.