NEWS of the Latest Products and Technology for K-12
National School Library Media Programs of the Year
The American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association, named Luella Elementary School (Locust Grove, Ga.) and Simsbury High School (Simsbury, Conn.) as the winners of the 2008 National School Library Media Program of the Year Award. Each winning school program receives an obelisk trophy and a $10,000 prize donated by Follett Library Resources. Applications for the 2009 awards program will be posted to the AASL website by Aug. 15, 2008. The application deadline is Jan. 2, 2009. MSL, www.aasl.org.
Mesa Shelves School Librarians
The Mesa, Ariz., public school system announced a plan to remove teacher-librarians from its 87 schools over a 3-year period. Currently, each Mesa school is staffed with a certified full-time teacher-librarian and a full-time aide. The planned cuts would staff libraries based on school size. Larger schools would have a full-time resource center specialist and a classified media aide. Smaller schools would have a resource center specialist only. All certified teacher-librarians would be moved into full-time teaching positions. The Mesa school system, with 74,000 students, is the largest public school system in the state. The Arizona Coalition for School Libraries and Information Technology (ACSLit) launched a website to urge the support of the state's school library programs. The site (http://fundourfuturearizona.org) includes a link to a statewide petition for Arizona citizens supporting school library programs. Among the charter ACSLit members are the Arizona Library Association and the American Library Association (ALA). ALA, www.ala.org.
'Writing, Technology & Teens'
Most teens use technology to create a significant amount of text, although more than half of teens do not consider this to be "writing," according to a report released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project titled "Writing, Technology & Teens." The study found that 85% of youth ages 12-17 engage at least occasionally in some form of electronic personal communication (text messaging, email, instant messaging, and posting comments on social networking sites), although 60% of teens do not think of these electronic texts as writing. The research also found that 86% of teens believe that good writing ability is an important component of guaranteed success in later life and that 82% of teens say they think their writing would improve if teachers had them spend more class time writing. According to the report, writing assignments in today's classrooms are short-82% of teens say their typical writing assignments are a paragraph to one page in length. …