Ask & Listen

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Edgar Fischel & Me ~ February 14, 2016

A StoryCorps Experience


 UPDATE: “Be Friendly and Helpful” – Excerpt from our Interview for StoryCorps South Texas on TPR.org, April 1, 2016


A few summers ago, I moved into a different yet centrally-located neighborhood—quiet, tree-lined, established. The houses were built in the 60’s-70’s, but the residents vary in age, from young families to middle-age types to seniors who take their daily constitutions up and down the streets. One day while outside unloading my trunk, a smartly-dressed elderly gentleman who was out walking his handsome tan chihuahua paused at the end of my driveway and asked, “Do you live here?” Continue reading

Why we (and our students) should become Power Searchers

How good of a searcher are you?

Why is searching online such an essential but under-taught skill among students today?

An exploration-strand post in an ongoing 2-strand series about Information Literacy


Would you consider yourself a “power searcher” when it comes to using Google?

How might a student (say, from 4th grade through college) respond to this same question?

Even though Google has become a tool and verb intrinsically connected to how we connect to the digital world today, our perceived expertise can be deceptive. We are all very familiar and seemingly fluent in speaking “Google”; however, if our use of it remains shallow compared to how we could be leveraging its power to really work for us, then we are likewise missing out on leveraging our own power to think and grow as searchers. Continue reading

Digital Kryptonite

Cliff Molak Quotation


A week ago today, 16-year old sophomore David Molak hanged himself as a result of ongoing cyberbullying in my hometown of San Antonio. Despite transferring last November to a private school in an attempt to escape the digital harassment he’d endured since October (or possibly longer), it continued to follow him up to last Sunday night, the eve before returning to school after the recent holiday break, culminating in a group text that seemingly catalyzed David’s ultimate decision to end his life a few hours later in his own backyard. Continue reading

Get Your Grok On

A tool-strand post in an ongoing 2-strand series about Information Literacy

How can we foster a “slow search” approach that maximizes what we don’t know through discovery?

How can we take advantage of what we don’t know and use it more effectively in developing a search strategy?

How can the quest for quality also be built into the quest for information?


Einstein quote

Fact or Fiction?

Kids like to search Google—and they think they are pretty good at it.
Kids like to search Google using questions instead of keywords, terms or concepts.
Kids expect to get acceptable answers to their questions—and tend to accept what they get.

When it comes to searching online, this skill is probably the one students feel the most confident about simply because they do it practically everyday for one reason or another. But in this case, familiarity and frequency do not equate to fluency. Continue reading

Hot and Bothered

Why I Celebrate Banned Books Week

Why is it important to celebrate our freedom to read?

……

Pre-Post Postscript

This post is a reflection of a week’s worth of thinking about what Banned Books Week signifies—not just for librarians, libraries, books, and reading, but what it should signify for all of us, readers and nonreaders alike.

And mea culpa for its length…feel free to take breaks, or just read what you want!


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Banning: The Ultimate External Motivator for Reading!

Getting kids—and adults—to embrace reading as a recreational pastime is an ongoing challenge, especially when there are so many other demands and distractions on how we spend our time today, free or otherwise. Continue reading