More on How the Role of Libraries is Changing

Here’s a follow up to a couple of earlier posts with two really interesting articles highlighting the ways in which the roles and methods of libraries are changing to respond to technology and the different needs of society;

Mindshift – Creating the Library of Tomorrow

The Journal – Library as a Digital Learning Space

In schools, I believe that the changed focus in learning, away from teacher-centric teaching that is wedded to a paradigm where what is to be learned is to be ‘inserted’ in to students means that libraries will play a far bigger role. A library, especially one that offers combinations of digital and paper-based resources, can provide the ownership and independence in learning that is needed for highly motivated learner-driven learning. I believe that in the future it will be vitally important that within schools we provide the support, gradually in age appropriate manner, to ensure that students have digital literacy, online safety awareness and media literacy that enables them to be critical users of data and information from a variety of sources in a discerning manner with appropriate judgement on efficacy, appropriacy and rigour.

Effort vs Innate Ability

Here’s another interesting piece related to the balance of scientific understanding about academic skills being innate vs learnable, practice-able and acquirable – in this case in relation to Maths.

ASCD Blog post – Persida Himmele – Being Good at Maths

It poses a serious challenge to anyone who has ever declared “I’m no good at maths”, especially if they said it in the presence of a child. The fact is that Maths, entails a series of logical, sequential steps. Do each step in the right order, with enough care and attention to accuracy then you get the right answer. Practice hones the skills of applying the right skill at the right moment, acquiring accuracy and over time being able to carry out the processes at speed. In many ways

I would make an analogy with driving a car. Ironically, when most people get behind the wheel of a car they have a high level of motivation to acquire the skills, to believe that all the skills are within their scope and you rarely hear someone declare “I’m bad at driving”.In fact, more’s the shame, too often there are people who should be acknowledging that their driving requires more applied practice of the requisite skills, but instead they over estimate their skill levels (confession = men are the worst culprits at this!!)

I don’t believe I have any maths gene. I recall that in school I achieved a bit above average in Maths, without excelling, largely because I shared this mythical belief in innate maths ability – in other words, where I was going to score and achieve was pre-ordained. I believe this became self-fulfilling with me motivated to put in just about the level of focus and practice that ensured that my performance was always around the level that I expected.

To me this is another of those areas in which I believe greater focus on the ‘how’ of learning, discussed overtly with students can be enormously worthwhile. It is only in this way – when we actually make sure we spend time on ‘process’ that we can bring to the surface faulty, limiting beliefs that children are carrying, confront them and help them to be more informed so that they can replace them with far more positive, healthy and enriching beliefs about their abilities.

Average Doesn’t Cut It Any More

Here’s a great editorial piece from Thomas L Friedman about how, in a changing world economic scenario, average just doesn’t rate very much of a return any more.

New York Times Editorial – Thomas L Friedman

The global forces that are highlighted in the piece throw up many fascinating questions;

  1. Whose responsibility is it to ensure that all citizens have the skills necessary to be economically productive?
  2. To what extent do the 99% have the right to complain that the 1% are enjoying ‘too much of the pie?
  3. How do education systems need to respond to the changing needs to ensure that young people grow up to be able to excel in this ‘new world order’?
  4. Keeping in mind that china has stolen a march to become the manufacturing powerhouse of the world (and whatever debatable costs), how can India ensure productive meaningful work and upliftment for its 1.2 billion population?
  5. Are people willing to invest their own time productively to ensure that, personally, they are always staying well ahead of the ‘average’?

The K – 12 Classroom in the Technology Age

It ought to be common sense that to design or prepare classrooms for twenty first century approaches to learning and the significantly increased use of ICT requires far more than just pushing the new hi-tech gadgets in to classrooms configured as they have been for the last 50 years. However, as it has famously been said, common sense is strangely not always as common as it should be.

Here’s a thoughtful article that looks at a number of factors in shaping or designing classrooms in the new digital age, whether as new designs or reconfiguring existing classrooms:

The Journal Article – Designing the 21st century classroom

Apple’s Radical Challenge to the Traditional Textbook

Here’s something that got tech observers in the US quite excited this week – Apple’s launch of the iBook2 and support for individuals or companies that produce textbooks for this format:

Mindshift Editorial on the iBook2 launch

Changing the Definition of Autism

There is some controversy right now in the US, as can be seen clearly from this New York Times report:

New York Times Article – Autism

It stems from the first review in 17years of the DSM – the diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – considered to be the definitive word on what does or does not qualify as a mental disorder. This has implications outside as well as in the US, as it has been the tendency to look to DSM as a guide in many countries.

The biggest reason this matters is when it impacts upon welfare benefits and/ or entitlement to services. It’s going to be interesting to see how the debate is resolved.

Aravali Admissions for 2012-13

The Aravali nursery admissions process got off to an orderly start today. For those who need them, here are the key details:

ADMISSION GUIDELINES FOR

PRAVESH VATIKA (NURSERY) 2012-13

 

AGE CRITIERIA – 1st October, 2007 and 30th September, 2008

 

TThe advertisement was printed on 12th January, 2012 in the Times of India (Times CITY GGURGAON).

* Log on to www.tsrs.org to access the registration form.

* Forms are available ONLINE ONLY  from 0900 hours on 20th January, 2012 to 1600 hours on5th f February, 2012.
* Closure
of Admission process on 31st March, 2012
* All communication between applicants and the school will be conducted via email.
* Please address your queries to pv.admissionaravali@tsrs.org

 

 
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