Ebook breakthrough?

As I noted last fall, e-books were predicted to finally break through in elementary and high schools during the 2014-15 academic year.

The school year is ending, but the prediction still hasn’t come true. Similar predictions in previous years were also incorrect.

Obviously, the print vs. e-book school market is still evolving. Tablets have been so widely embraced by kids out of the classroom, that might have a crossover impact in schools. The jury is still out.

Every hero has a story

“Every hero has a story” is the theme for the current National Summer Reading Program.

You may have already seen author Kate DiCamillo in public service announcements sponsored by the nonprofit Collaborative Summer Library Program. Check local listings for appearances by the popular author, who will appear at public library events throughout the country.

Often, it only takes a single author or book series to ignite the spark that turns a child onto a lifetime of reading.

Looking good, no looking great

Moms at end-of-school activities have been buzzing about the amazing way Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, floated out of the London hospital a mere ten hours after giving birth to Charlotte.

It’s not fair a “just after delivery mom” looks so good!

Libraries revisited

Scheduled classes and events for the summer at public libraries are fast filling up.

More than ever, libraries are hosting innovative programs that support learning across the curriculum. STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics), STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics)and STREAM (science, technology, robotics, engineering, arts, mathematics)focused classes will reach students from preschool through high school.

In a brief survey of listings, I found workshops or events related to soldering, BEAM robotics (biology, electronic, aesthetics and mechanics), knitting, fencing, astronomy, macrame, chess and electric circuitry.

Events are usually free but advance registration is required. In some library systems, no-shows are prevented from signing up for future experiences.

Boy tech, girl tech?

We can talk about gender neutral toys and books, but with new media, we still look through a gender specific lens.

Recent research says that parents want tech for girls to be child friendly (i.e. safe and easy to use) and tech for boys to reflect what the child wants.


Let’s play!

Good news for parents: Toys “R” Us stores will add both more space to play and more technology for kids to use while parents shop.

In an attempt to regain sales lost to discount stores and online vendors, the chain wants to highlight the “real time” value of visiting their stores.

“Drifting toward” STEM?

In February, when President Obama spoke at the White House Summit on Cyber Security and Consumer Protection, he created a brief headline by saying, “Everybody’s got to learn how to code early.”

He added that a particular problem is that many kids, especially girls, are “drifting away” from STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) subjects.

Although there are more STEM-related summer camps and workshops being offered this year than in the past, efforts will barely create a dent until schools not only emphasize STEM, but change the way those subjects are taught.