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Check It Out: December 14, 2016

Your weekly news from the OPS Library Services Staff

PBS Digital Innovator

Apply today for the 2017 PBS Digital Innovator Program! Applications are accepted now through February 12, 2017.

Who are PBS Digital Innovators? They are a community of PreK-12 educators, who set the bar for thoughtful tech integration in the classroom. They are not defined by the gadgets they use, but by the unique way they approach education. Their bold and enthusiastic perspective sets them apart as changemakers, and unlocks new worlds for their students.

The PBS Digital Innovator program brings together these thought-leaders and classroom changemakers for ongoing professional development and opportunities to share strategies, empower peers, and inspire students.

This year, all selected applicants will travel to San Antonio, TX from June 24-26 for a three-day, all-expenses-paid trip to the PBS Digital Innovators Summit and the ISTE 2017 Conference and Expo

Why Apply?

PBS will select ONE teacher from each US state, the District of Columbia, and US territories as a 2017 PBS Digital Innovator.

Are YOU a 2017 PBS Digital Innovator? Apply today!


Global Kindness Program

Choose To Be Nice is a social movement and global call to action dedicated to encouraging and inspiring kindness. The aim is to improve the way people interact with one another by reminding them that they have a choice about how to “be” in the world. The organization has launched the Elementary School Choose To Be Nice program for the 2016–2017 school year.(Middle school and high school programs are in development.) Schools can be part of this movement by joining a growing global community that has made the promise to be nice. A comprehensive welcome kit provides guidance on how to introduce the program at an all-school assembly where students, teachers, and staff can make the Choose To Be Nice promise by signing their name to a 10-foot banner. From there, schools can integrate the student-centered learning activity guides for kindergarten–grade 2 and grades 3–5. Designed and tested by educators, the guides provide engaging lessons that teach lifelong skills of resilience, empathy, and self-awareness to help children cope with the challenges and changes of life. Choose To Be Nice schools also get access to tools to help students and teachers spread the word and make a difference at school, at home, and in their community all year long.

Click Here for More Information About Kindness Movement

Click Here for More Information About Kindness School Programs

Plus: Making Caring Common, an initiative of the Harvard Graduate School of Education, is partnering with the KIND Foundation to launch a “kindness challenge” in schools nationwide. Details will be announced soon.

Click Here for More Information About Kindness School Challenge


TED-Style Talks

The TED-Ed Clubs program supports students in discovering, exploring, and presenting their big ideas in the form of short, TED-style talks. The program is a global network of passionate youth with ideas worth sharing. In TED-Ed Clubs, students work together to discuss and celebrate creative ideas. Club leaders receive TED-Ed’s flexible Clubs curriculum to guide their school’s Club and to help inspire tomorrow’s TED speakers and leaders. The first part of the Clubs curriculum has members explore the ideas they’re passionate about. As members journey through the Clubs curriculum, they’ll be challenged to identify and shape their personal story. Through guided brainstorms and active peer feedback exercises, members will craft their own TED-style talk. By the end of their Club cycle, members will have recorded their talk and uploaded it to the TED-Ed Clubs YouTube channel. They can then share their talk with their families, friends, communities, and the world. TED-Ed Clubs support students aged 8–18—all over the world. Anyone over the age of 13 can submit an application to start a Club.

Click Here to Visit Website

Makerspace Instruction Helpful for ELs

'Makerspaces' for science instruction also proving helpful for English learners

Educators are finding that the new “makerspace” movement – a strategy to teach K-12 students science, math and technology through hands-on activities – is providing the added benefit of helping English learners become more proficient in the language.

But now experts are also seeing makerspaces as a valuable tool for helping improve English, as children talk through their work in teams and keep journals to record their progress.

More Great Articles on Makerspaces in Libraries

This first article comes from Principal, a professional journal made especially for building leaders.  A Maker Culture asserts that "flexible makerspaces teach students to take risks, inspiring a deeper form of learning.  The author has very specific ideas about what a makerspace is and how a maker culture should be embraced and why.  She does also give some great general ideas about what makerspaces do for students.  Definitely worth a read.  I would also caution how you use this article with your administration as it is very specific about the principal's role and at times a bit heavy handed.

This second article also gives a great description of why libraries are natural fits for makerspaces.

"[Makerspaces] can be linked with participatory learning, problem-solving environments, and inquiry-based learning, making them an excellent means to address the diverse needs of today's students along with Standards for the 21st Century Learner."

But, that's just the intro.  The rest of Makerspaces and the School Library Part 1: Where Creativity Blooms provides a long list of tech tools and resources you can use in makerspaces.

Nebraska Intellectual Freedom Manual

Omaha Public Schools Library Services already has practices in place to support the intellectual freedom of our patrons.  If you have a specific concern in your building, contact Laura Pietsch.

If you would like additional information on this topic, you can visit the Nebraska Intellectual Freedom Manual, from the Nebraska Library Association, which has been recently updated.

Omaha Public Schools does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status, or economic status in its programs, activities and employment and provides equal access to the Boy Scouts and other designated youth groups. The following individual has been designated to address inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies: Superintendent of Schools, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (402-557-2001).

Las Escuelas Públicas de Omaha no discriminan basados en la raza, color, origen nacional, religión, sexo, estado civil, orientación sexual, discapacidad , edad, información genética, estado de ciudadanía, o estado económico, en sus programas, actividades y empleo, y provee acceso equitativo a los “Boy Scouts” y a otros grupos juveniles designados. La siguiente persona ha sido designada para atender estas inquietudes referentes a las pólizas de no discriminación: El Superintendente de las Escuelas, 3215 Cuming Street, Omaha, NE 68131 (402-557-2001).