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Center for Digital Literacy releases free eBook for K-12 educators

September 24, 2010

Margaret Spillett
(315) 443-1069

Organized around four broad educational standards, the new free eBook “From The Creative Minds,” produced by Syracuse University’s Center for Digital Literacy (CDL), showcases a collection of engaging lesson plans grouped by content suitable for elementary, middle and high school levels. The book can be downloaded for free at http://digital-literacy.syr.edu/data/From_The_Creative_Minds_Book2.pdf.

bookPartially funded by an Institute of Museum and Library Services grant, the 275-page book makes available to teachers, school media librarians and other educators 60 creative ideas that target the standards outlined by the American Association of School Librarian’s (AASL) Standards for the 21st Century Learner.

More than 30 teacher-librarians from a dozen states submitted their favorite lesson plans and projects for the book, which was edited by Ruth V. Small, CDL Director and Meredith Professor at the School of Information Studies (iSchool); Marilyn P. Arnone, CDL Director of Educational Media and iSchool associate research professor; and Barbara K. Stripling, New York City Department of Education Director of Library Services and iSchool doctoral student.

“Every lesson in this book engages students in active learning,” Stripling writes in the foreword. “The lessons are replete with creativity, often capitalizing on opportunities available through technology for students to design and present their own ideas through movies, wikipages and podcasts.… The editors are pleased to offer this publication to share the creative and collaborative ideas of 21st-century librarians with teacher-librarians everywhere. Together, we can ensure that all of our students develop the skills and dispositions to learn and fulfill their own dreams.”

Based on feedback from 325 librarians across the country, the editors pulled together lesson plans for the standards for which the librarians indicated the greatest need for examples. The first chapter focuses on ASSL’s Standard 1 (inquire, think critically and gain knowledge); chapter two on the skills of drawing conclusions, making informed decisions and creating new knowledge; and chapters three and four cover sharing knowledge and pursuing personal and aesthetic growth.

“If you are looking for creative ideas that target the standards to implement in your school library, this book will help you jumpstart the process,” Arnone says.

The CDL is an interdisciplinary, collaborative research and development center at SU that involves researchers from the iSchool, the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and the School of Education. Its mission is to better understand the impact of information, technology and media literacies on children and adults in society; and to study the impact of having or not having these literacies.

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