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Reading nonfiction writing is the key component of the Core Knowledge curriculum, which is based on the theory that children raised reading storybooks will lack the necessary background and vocabulary to understand history and science texts. While the curriculum allows children to read fiction, it also calls on them to knowledgeably discuss weather patterns, the solar system, and how ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia compare.
The curriculum may have a particular appeal for city schools beginning to adopt the Common Core standards, which emphasize nonfiction reading and will go into effect in 2014. The Education Department plans to solicit bids from companies interested in creating textbooks, for students of all grades, that will be based on the standards.
Read more about it at The NY Times
Canadian book count tracks increase in reading
A recent snapshot of national reading habits shows that Canadians continue to be avid readers, whether they're consuming print books or e-books.
The National Reading Campaign — a coalition that includes readers, writers, publishers, librarians, book retailers and educators — released on Thursday details of its 2012 National Book Count: a one-week peek into the country's appetite for books.
More and more, I read in pieces. So do you. Digital media, in all its forms, is fragmentary. Even the longest stretches of text online are broken up with hyperlinks or other interactive elements (or even ads). This is neither a good nor bad thing, necessarily — it is simply a part of modern reading. And because of that, works that deal with fragmentation, that eschew not only a traditional narrative structure but the very idea of a work comprising a single, linear whole — take on a special kind of relevance. Fragmentary writing is (or at least feels) like the one avant-garde literary approach that best fits our particular moment. It’s not that it’s the only form of writing that matters of course, just that it captures the tension between “digital” and “analog” reading better than anything else out there. And that tension, in many ways, is the defining feature of the contemporary reading experience.
Full essay here.
Two things are discouraging about young Quebecers' reading skills.
The first is the nationwide-reading test whose results came out this week: Quebec's eighth-graders scored "significantly lower" than Canadian students as a whole. (Quebec's English public schools ranked fifth among the provinces. Their counterparts in French schools fared far more poorly than in the previous test in 2007.)
The other thing that's discouraging is that no solution for this problem exists in Quebec.
Why It's a Great Time to Be a Reader
"It is hard to imagine that any publisher would not pursue digital initiatives, given the speed with which they are being adopted, but like the booksellers, they also confront distribution and production challenges that are formidable. If the past is a useful guide, there will be continued dynamic change, with winners among them--the iPad, Nook, Kindles, Canadian-based Kobo, POD machines, and such innovators as Mitchell Kaplan--and losers, the most spectacular case being the collapse of Borders in 2011, which sharply reduced the retail shelf space and thus further increased the appeal of e-books. What we can say with certainty is that the transformation of publishing currently under way has demonstrated the viability of books in the digital age. And that is definitely good news. "
...the one librarian being Greg Hill, director of the Fairbanks (AK) North Star Borough libraries. Story from Newsminer.
FAIRBANKS - “E-reader ownership doubles in six months,” proclaimed the headline to a recent Pew Research news release. However, careful readers note that the 100 percent jump was because e-book ownership among U.S. adults increased from 6 percent to 12 percent. Ownership of tablet computers like iPads and Xooms, by comparison, increased in that time period by only 3 percent. The ongoing economic crisis may be dampening consumer purchasing of electronic devices, and print book publishing is still flourishing, but Pew’s articles and the ballyhoo surrounding e-books generally is causing consternation for many print-book lovers.
“Consternation” comes from the Latin stem word “consternare,” which meant “overcome, confuse, dismay, perplex, terrify, alarm.” Many librarians embrace the convenience of e-books; after all, reading’s reading, right? Maybe not. An article from 2008 titled “Not Quite Average: An Empirical Study of Web Use” found that “On the average, Web page users have time to read at most 28 percent of the words during an average visit; 20 percent is more likely.” Being connected to social media like Facebook and Twitter multiplies the stream of messages, notices and interruptions that constantly bombard the technorati, the technologically proficient, and make sustained reading online difficult. -- Read More
Finding good information on the internet
The internet empowers us to educate ourselves and make more informed choices and decisions without leaving our couches. But if we believe everything we find on the internet, we are likely to wind up making some very poor decisions. In this new digital information age, how do we keep from being misinformed? As a skeptical environmental research scientist and educator I have picked up a few tricks that anyone can use to find and select high-quality information from the internet.
#1 Don’t be scared of scientific papers
#2 Not all websites are created equal
#3 Checking the facts
Dunn now providing home libraries to single moms
Dunn Foundation representatives will present books and education materials to two families who own homes in Tallahassee furnished by Dunn in his annual Home for the Holidays program. The goal is to provide them with materials to inspire their interest in reading and literacy.