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Examination Reforms and Continuous and Comprehensive Evalution (CCE)

Examination Reforms and Continuous and Comprehensive Evalution (CCE)

Click below to download the .ppt created by Mr.R. Ramachandran Pillai, TGT(SST)

EXAMINATION REFORMS

Filed under: Downloads, ,

‘Man Booker Dozen’, 2010 announced

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The judges for the 2010 Man Booker Prize for Fiction today, Tuesday 27 July, announce the longlist for the prize, the leading literary award in the English speaking world.

A total of 138 books, 14 of which were called in by the judges, were considered for the ‘Man Booker Dozen’ longlist of 13 books.

The longlist includes:

Peter Carey Parrot and Olivier in America (Faber and Faber)

Emma Donoghue Room (Pan MacMillan – Picador)

Helen Dunmore The Betrayal (Penguin – Fig Tree)

Damon Galgut In a Strange Room (Grove Atlantic – Atlantic Books)

Howard Jacobson The Finkler Question (Bloomsbury)

Andrea Levy The Long Song
(Headline Publishing Group – Headline Review)

Tom McCarthy C (Random House – Jonathan Cape)

David Mitchell The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet  (Hodder & Stoughton – Sceptre)

Lisa Moore February (Random House – Chatto & Windus)

Paul Murray Skippy Dies (Penguin – Hamish Hamilton)

Rose Tremain Trespass (Random House – Chatto & Windus)

Christos Tsiolkas The Slap (Grove Atlantic – Tuskar Rock)

Alan Warner The Stars in the Bright Sky
(Random House – Jonathan Cape)

The chair of judges, Andrew Motion, comments:

"Here are thirteen exceptional novels – books we have chosen for their intrinsic quality, without reference to the past work of their authors. Wide-ranging in their geography and their concern, they tell powerful stories which make the familiar strange and cover an enormous range of history and feeling. We feel confident that they will provoke and entertain."

Peter Carey is one of only two authors to have won the prize twice, in 1988 for Oscar and Lucinda and 2001 for True History of the Kelly Gang. In 1985 his book Illywhacker was shortlisted for the prize and Theft: A Love Story was longlisted in 2006.

Three authors have been shortlisted before: David Mitchell (twice shortlisted in 2001 for number9dream and in 2004 for Cloud Atlas), Damon Galgut (in 2003 for The Good Doctor) and Rose Tremain (shortlisted in 1989 for Restoration). She was also a judge for the Booker Prize in 1988 and 2000.

Howard Jacobson has been longlisted twice for his book Kalooki Nights in 2006 and for Who’s Sorry Now? in 2002.

The 2010 shortlist will be announced on Tuesday 7 September at a press conference at Man Group’s London headquarters. The winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2010 will be revealed on Tuesday 12 October at a dinner at London’s Guildhall and will be broadcast on the BBC Ten O’Clock News.

The winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction will receive £50,000 and can look forward to greatly increased sales and worldwide recognition. Each of the six shortlisted authors, including the winner, will receive £2,500 and a designer bound edition of their shortlisted book.

Chaired by Andrew Motion, former Poet Laureate, the 2010 judges are Rosie Blau, Literary Editor of the Financial Times; Deborah Bull, formerly a dancer, now Creative Director of the Royal Opera House as well as a writer and broadcaster; Tom Sutcliffe, journalist, broadcaster and author and Frances Wilson, biographer and critic.

Source: http://www.themanbookerprize.com/news/stories/1427

Filed under: Book of the week

It’s birthday time

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The New Indian Express, 28 July 2010

Filed under: Library in the News

Obsolateskills.com : Website of the Week

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http://obsoleteskills.com

Robert Scoble came up with the idea in a recent blog post to make a list of ‘obsolete skills.’ He describes these skills as things we used to know that are no longer very useful to us, a few examples include:

The community has started to create a much larger list of these obsolete skills, check out the full A-Z list. Feel free to contribute more if you can, and if you have the time, please make a page with a short description of the skill.

Filed under: Website of the week

Harry Potter Birthday Wishes Contest: Winners

Shift-I

Position Name, Class & Division
I Salini johnson, XII A
II Arjun B., IX D
III Vinayan, H., IX D

 

Shift-II

Position Name, Class & Division
I Jayakrishna A.K., XI A
II Nikhila V. S., XI A
III Anand V., VII B

(Held from 22 to 24, July 2010)

 

Harry Potter Birthday wishes !!!!

Dear Harry,

Happy birthday to the magical hero who has come wading through words to conquer the continents.

Let your wand wield its power to establish good over evil until the end of time!!!

From

One of your sincerest fans

(Salini Johnson)

 

 The Sun will rise and set, but you will never set in my life, Harry. You will never be gone from my mind even if you fade into the clouds. Wishing you a happy birthday.

(Arjun B. )

 

You casted a spell in my mind, the spell of friendship. A spell that lasts forever, and which is more powerful than any other magic spell. The spell that grows with the passage of time. Happy Birthday Harry.

(Vinayan H.)

Keep on bringing glory to Gryffindor!

Keep on breaking necks of Dementors!

Keep living everyday,

With glory and fame!

Happy Birthday Harry!

Let’s start the game……..

(Jaikrishna. A K )

 

To

Our Dear Harry,

Thank you for making our life Magical.

You made us feel the magic

In this Muggle World!

Magic is Might

Happy Birthday to our “Boy who lived” with loads of love.

(Nikhila. V S )

 

Keep smiling!!!! Happy Birthday.

May you always be the richest teenager in the world.

Keep rocking.

Love U !

Filed under: Winners of library competitions

Harry Potter Quiz: Winners

Held on 23rd July 2010, in connection with the Harry Potter Birthday celebrations

Position

Name, Class & Division

I

Meera S. Nazar, IX A

II

Rachna Ramesh, IX A

III

Salini Johnson, XII A

III

Abhijit Lal, XII A

Filed under: Winners of library competitions,

The ups and downs of social networks

Facebook has announced that it now has 500m active users, just six years after it was launched. The site has become the poster child of social networking on the web. While some others have seen growth, MySpace, Flickr and Bebo appear to have declined in the past year, according to these figures from Nielsen. Interesting international variations are seen, both in the amount of time Facebook users spend on the site each month and in the competing networks’ popularity in different countries.

Graphic showing Facebook's size in comparison to other social 
networking sites

Courtesy: BBC Technology http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-10719042

Filed under: Snippets, ,

Ebooks outsell hardbacks at Amazon

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by

David Teather

It is an announcement that will provoke horror among those who can think of nothing better than spending an afternoon rummaging around a musty old bookshop. In what could be a watershed for the publishing industry, Amazon said sales of digital books have outstripped U.S. sales of hardbacks on its website for the first time.

Amazon claims to have sold 143 digital books for its e-reader, the Kindle, for every 100 hardback books over the past three months. The pace of change is also accelerating. Amazon said that in the most recent four weeks, the rate reached 180 ebooks for every 100 hardbacks sold. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, said sales of the Kindle and ebooks had reached a “tipping point”, with five authors including Steig Larsson, the writer of Girl with a Dragon Tattoo, and Stephenie Meyer, who penned the Twilight series, each selling more than 500,000 digital books. Earlier this month, Hachette said James Patterson had sold 1.1 million ebooks to date.

Neill Denny, editor-in-chief of the Bookseller, said the figures from Amazon were “eye-catching”, but added a note of scepticism. He said that while ebooks had outnumbered hardbacks in volume, they were likely to be some distance behind in value. Some of the bestsellers listed on the Kindle top 10 list were retailing for as little as $1.16. Free downloads of books no longer in copyright were excluded from the figures.

It does not appear that the growth of ebooks is damaging sales of physical books. According to the Association of American Publishers, hardback sales are still growing in the U.S., up 22 per cent this year.

The association says that ebook sales in the U.S. account for six per cent of the consumer book market. One publisher in London said the U.S. was “two or three years ahead of us. But there is no reason to suppose we won’t see the same thing happening here.”

Kate Pool, deputy general-secretary of the Royal Society of Authors, said most authors would be “delighted” to sell large numbers of digital books. “If you speak to most authors, they couldn’t bear to get rid of their old bookshelves, but if their readers want to read on an e-reader, then great. They are in it to earn a living after all.” The market is still relatively small in Britain. Digital sales were around £150 million last year, says the Publishers’ Association, over 80 per cent in the academic-professional sector, with only £5 million in consumer sales.

The Kindle has been available in the U.K. since October, although customers still need to visit the U.S. site and get the device delivered from America.

The books catalogue is also available only through the American site and the titles priced in dollars. A spokesman said there were 390,000 titles available for U.K. readers to download. The company will not release figures on the number of Kindles sold. “We are nowhere near the same level as the U.S.,” Denny added. “I have never seen anyone using a Kindle in Britain. The iPad is more interesting.” Amazon cut the price of its device in June in response to the launch of Apple’s iPad, which many believe could provide a substantial threat to the Kindle’s market. Waterstones has sold ebooks from its website for the Sony Reader since September 2008 and will sell its one-millionth title this year, a spokesman said.

Ms Pool said she had yet to invest in an ebook reader. “I have played around with one, but I haven’t read a full book on one. It is not that I am a Luddite, more of a scrooge, which I think is the same for many people. I am waiting for the price to come down, for the amount of content available to go up and I want to be sure I am not buying the wrong thing. I don’t want to be left with a Betamax when everyone else is watching VHS.”

 

© Guardian Newspapers Limited, 2010

Courtesy: The Hindu, http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article527066.ece

Filed under: E-Books, ,

World on course for hottest year since 1880

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The world is on course for the hottest year since records began in 1880 after record-breaking temperatures in four of the first six months of the year, according to meteorologists.

The first six months of 2010 brought a string of warmest-ever global temperatures – not only was last month the hottest June ever recorded, it was the fourth consecutive month in which the standing high mark was topped, according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The records show that 2010 has surpassed 1998 for the most record-breaking months in a calendar year, reports The Telegraph, Britain.

The January to June period registered the warmest combined global land and ocean surface temperatures since 1880, when reliable temperature readings began, NOAA said.

The combined land and ocean temperature for the first six months of 2010 are 57.5 degrees Fahrenheit (14.2 degrees Celsius), which is 1.2F (0.68C) above the 20th century average for the January to June period.

In June the combined land and ocean temperature was 61.1F (16.2C), which is 1.2F (0.68C) above the 20th century average of 59.9F (15.5C).

Arctic ice cover – another critical yardstick of global warming – had also retreated more than ever before by July 1, putting it on track to shrink beyond its smallest area to date, in 2007.

On the face of it, these numbers would seem to be alarming confirmation of climate models that put Earth on a path towards an environmental catastrophe.

Without steep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, the global thermometer could rise by 6C (10.8F) compared to pre-industrial levels, making large swathes of the planet unliveable, the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned.

June was the 304th consecutive month with a global surface temperature above the 20th century average, the NOAA reported.

The most recent month to dip below that average was February 1985, more than a quarter century ago.

 

Courtesy: http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/article526705.ece

Filed under: Snippets, , , , ,

Top 25 Websites for Teaching and Learning

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The "Top 25" Websites foster the qualities of innovation, creativity, active participation, and collaboration. They are free, Web-based sites that are user friendly and encourage a community of learners to explore and discover.


Media Sharing

Standards for the 21st-Century Learner

  • 2.1.4 – Use technology and other information tools to organize and display knowledge and und understanding in ways that others can view, use and assess.
  • 3.3.4 – Create products that apply to authentic, real-world context
  • 4.1.8 – Use creative and artistic formats to express personal learning

Glogster this link goes to an external site
Remember the old the poster board presentations? Well, they are now digital, motivating and very visually exciting. Use these digital posters to create a book review, an interactive front page for a wiki, an innovative topic exploration or any other demonstration of learning using video, graphics, text, etc.

Masher this link goes to an external site
Are you a little hesitant to create videos? Masher makes it’s easy. You can "mix, mash, and share" video clips, audio files, and photos into polished movies. Students own content as well as media from the BBC Motion Gallery and Rip Curl free for the mashing, and can then be shared on social media sites or via email.

Prezi this link 
goes to an external site
Getting tired of the old linear PowerPoint presentations? Then switch to Prezi and start to create fantastic, brain-friendly presentations. Use the "zebra wheel" to customize, non-linear creative presentations that can kept for online access or downloaded for personal or professional use. Include pictures, videos, and more. Free presentations for anyone and extended options for teachers and those in Education.

Professor Garfield this link goes to an external site
Are you looking to engage kids in a safe online setting and provide 21st century learning opportunities? Professor Garfield provides an environment where children can safely create, interact, read, engage, and express themselves through a variety of innovative online tools including an e-book reader and comics lab.

SchoolTube this link goes to an external site
This is the ideal place for teachers and students to share videos online. Create your own channel for your school or share videos with other students and educators. Instructions on how to load, create, and compress videos as well as how to create video contests and TV shows for your school. It’s all here in SchoolTube.

Scratch this link goes to an external site
Targeted to 8- to 16-year olds, Scratch allows students to create and share projects, presentations, stories and best of all – videos games! The emphasis is on multi-media and includes graphics, sound, music, and photos. Supported by National Science Foundation research, Scratch encourages creativity, problem-solving, and collaboration.

WatchKnow.org this link goes to an external site
Don’t let you students’ videos languish on your computer’s hard drive. WatchKnow is a free and easily accessible way to share educational videos with students and staff. Organized for easy searching, you can even search by age, and has the ability for you to download your own videos to share with others.

Digital Storytelling

International Children’s Digital Library this link goes to an external site
The largest digital collections of children’s book, ICDL contains over 4,400 books in 54 languages representing 64 countries with applications for the iPhone and the new larger screen, iPad.

Jing this link 
goes to an external site
Do you need to quickly snap a picture of your screen or record a video of an onscreen action? Jing is the solution; it’s free software that adds visuals to your online conversations. Include it in an email, Website, or IM.

Storybird this link goes to an external site
Do your students like to tell stories? Storybird will help them to create short, visual stories. You can save them, share them and (soon) print them. Use Storybird’s beautiful watercolor illustrations to tell your story.

Manage and Organize

Standards for the 21st-Century Learner

  • 2.1.2 – Organize knowledge so that it is useful.
  • 2.1.4 – Use technology and other information tools to analyze and organize information.
  • 3.1.4 – Use technology and other information tools to organize and display knowledge and understanding in ways that others can view, use and assess.

Evernote this link goes to an external site
Tired of trying to keep track or find your various notes on taken throughout the day and want to be able to organize your thoughts from a variety of sources? Evernote will do this and you can access it from anywhere, even your iPhone.

jogtheweb this link goes to an external site
Do you want an easy and innovative way to guide students through the Internet? jogtheweb is a web-based tool that allows anyone to create a synchronous guide to a series of Websites. Its step-by-step approach of taking viewers through Websites allowing the author to annotate and ask guiding questions for each page is unique. Give it a try and start creating your own jogs.

Live Binders this link goes to an external site
This fun and easy-to-use site makes it easy to organize and share sources. Teachers can use it as a presentation tool, plan an interactive lesson, or engage with students on the research process.

MuseumBox this link goes to an external site
This site allows students to place items into virtual boxes; these items can include images, video, text, and sound. MuseumBox can be used across the curriculum and can help students to describe a person, place, thing, event, idea, or issue. The site facilitates description, debate, investigation, and exploration and development of ideas and issues.

Pageflakes this link goes to an external site
Create your own personalized homepage with Pageflakes. You can include all of your favorite internet sites and arrange them as you wish on your page. The "flakes" – small versions of the web pages you prefer – could include sites that focus on a specific hobby or interest, a particular subject area, a classroom study topic or current events.

Weblist this link goes to an external site
Weblist is a great way to gather and organize content based on a theme with the added feature of one URL. Your weblist can then be shared through social media networks or posted on a blog or Website. No time to make your own list, then search their playlist for subjects from music to science and everything in between.

Social Networking and Communication
  • 3.1.2 – Participate and collaborate as members of a social and intellectual network of learners
  • 4.1.7 – Use social networks and information tools to gather and share information
  • 4.3.1 – Participate in the social exchange of ideas, both electronically and in person.

Creative Commons this link goes to an external site
Teach students and colleagues to collaborate as integral partners in the digital evolution as they discover and share content to use, re-purpose and remix with Creative Commons. Here you will find all the resources needed to learn appropriate use of Creative Commons licensing for written, graphic and multimedia content.

Learn Central this link goes to an
 external site
Connect with Steve Hargadon and an ever-growing number of educators on Learn Central, the social network for professional development that is ready when you are. Join free webinars and discussions in real time or participate with members asynchronously. Host a group of up to three participants for free. Develop networks with colleagues across town or around the world. Lifelong learning is just a few clicks away!

TED this link goes to an external 
site
TED is a remarkable Website sharing ideas from the world’s most innovative thinkers and experts related to technology, entertainment, design, business, science, and global issues. Watch, listen to, learn, discuss and spread TED.

Content Collaboration

  • 1.3.4 – Contribute to the exchange of ideas within a learning community.

  • 3.1.2 – Participate and collaborate as members of a social and intellectual network of learners.

debategraph this link goes to an external site
Seeking diverse perspectives, interpretations or new understandings of topicsand issues impacting our world? Join debategraph, a browser based, wiki-style site, where students can synthesize, evaluate, expand, collaborate, contribute and substantiate their own thoughts and ideas to both sides of the issues. Debategraph utilizes visual depiction to deepen and enrich student understanding for a continuous and robust debate.

Curriculum Sharing

Exploratree this link goes to an external site
Create "thinking guides" using Exploratree’s endless options. You can fill in the guides online or print them out for student use–both options offer the option to save your work for future use. Thinking guides are divided into five broad categories for use by educators and students: map your ideas, solve problems, explore, analyse (they’re British!), and different perspectives.

The Jason Project this link goes to an external site
Are you looking for a way to connect your students with great explorers and great events in Science? You do not have to look any further than The Jason Project! Their free online curriculum is designed primarily for the middle grades but can be adapted to fit any grade level.

National Science Digital Library this link goes 
to an external site
The National Science Digital Library includes a variety of educational resources to further STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education. Browse the science literacy maps, short science refreshers, free multimedia downloads, or subject area collections to find just what you need to enhance student learning!

Content Resources: Lesson Plans and More

Edsitement this link goes to an external site
Check out this site for great educational material -suggested Websites and lesson plans – in literature/language arts, art/culture, social studies/history and foreign language.

The National Archives’ Digital Classroom this link goes to an external site
The National Archives’ Digital Classroom offers a multitude of resources for the use of primary sources in the classroom. With access to copies of primary documents from the holdings of the National Archives of the United States, teachers can develop their own activities and lesson plans that make historical periods come alive for their students or choose from dozens of resources that have already been developed and are featured here.

 

Courtesy : American Association of School Librarians http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/aasl/guidelinesandstandards/bestlist/bestwebsitestop25.cfm

Filed under: Internet search tips

Books and Literacy in the Digital Age

Can we grow technophiles who are also bibliophiles?

By Ralph Raab

I’d like to admit something to you upfront: I love books. I don’t mean the "isn’t-the-new-Stephen-King-great" type of love. I’m talking about a real passion here: I love the way the binding cracks the first time you open a new hardcover book; the little globules of glue that cling to the corners of the binding; the feel of a small book held in one hand, or the heft of a large book as it sits on your lap. But most of all—and I admit this without the least iota of shame—I love the smell of ink and paper, whether old or new. It’s absolute olfactory heaven.

Don’t get me wrong. I still love my BlackBerry, my Xbox, and using the internet for research or to shop at all hours of the day. In fact, technology shares my life with books in equal parts. And that’s precisely why I’m so perplexed when I read articles or hear on the news that books are slowly and inexorably vanishing, that computers, handheld eReaders, and iPods will surely win out and force books out of our schools, our libraries, and ultimately, our lives.

Not so fast! Codices—or books as we know them now—have been in their current form for nearly 2,000 years, and the technology that threatens their existence has only been around for four decades—two decades if you count widespread use. But before we can discuss how the new technology can be used side-by-side with books to promote literacy, it behooves us to first understand how we got to this point as well as the demographic that is sounding the death knell for printed matter.

Millennials and the Matthew effect

As a librarian, it stands to reason that at some point in your career you’ve wondered just how you can help get young people to enjoy reading. Well, I’m here to tell you that if you’ve ever felt like a failure in that regard—don’t. The simple fact is this: Literacy starts at home. If parents surround their child with books, read to him or her from the start, and promote reading throughout the child’s development, chances are quite good that the child will grow up to be a reader. And the more he or she reads, the more he or she will read.

This is illustrated by the Matthew effect, a term coined by sociologist Robert K. Merton. It’s a phenomenon whereby the rich get richer and the poor get poorer; when applied to reading, it can be said that the more a child reads, the more he or she can read. Vocabulary skills get stronger, more intricate plots can be followed, and what once seemed a chore can soon be enjoyable. It’s just like exercise: Do it every day and you’ll feel energized; do it once a month and you’ll be in pain.

Millennials—people who were born roughly between 1980 and 1995—have been quite literally growing up alongside the technological advances in the informational realm. As such, many have grown into technophiles and bibliophobes, as well as people who feel at home doing five things at once. It’s easy to pick them out in a crowd: They can frequently be seen texting, listening to music, watching TV, instant messaging, and doing homework—all at the same time. Some would argue that the proliferation of electronic media in children’s lives would cause them to become functionally illiterate. This isn’t really true; in fact the opposite is true—our youth in recent years have become e-literate.

E-literacy and the false promise of technology

The milestones in the history of the printed word were initially spread out over several thousand years. It took civilization nearly 7,000 years to get from the invention of writing, through the inventions of the scroll and the codex, and eventually to the invention of moveable type—introduced through the printing of the Gutenberg Bible in 1455. Since that milestone, though, there haven’t been many earth-shattering developments to advance the printed word. But with the advent of the internet in 1969, information technology accelerated at an exponential rate—something that has not escaped the notice of one particular global demographic, the millennials.

A 2007 study showed that frequent television viewing during adolescence caused attention deficiencies—a fact that can only make you wonder what the added effect of all the new technology has done to the average attention span and the ability to read anything longer than a blog entry. You would think that schools would try to counter this trend by putting more funding into their school libraries and reading programs. You’d be wrong.

According to Todd Oppenheimer in his book The Flickering Mind: The False Promise of Technology in the Classroom, and How Learning Can Be Saved, from the early 1990s through the first part of this century, school districts across the country spent billions of dollars promoting computer-based learning, promising that computers would engage students in a way that books could not. A school district in Union City, California, spent $37 million to buy computer equipment and software—and paid for it by cutting science equipment and field trips. An elementary school in Los Angeles dropped its music program in order to hire a “technology manager.” But we need to ask ourselves: After nearly two decades of this philosophy, have we seen a rise in literacy? The answer, sadly, is no—or at the very least, not nearly enough to justify what we have lost in the process.

But there is one bright spot in these sobering statistics: You must be functionally literate in order to use the internet. This has led to a phenomenon called e-literacy, a practice begun and perfected by millennials.

E-literacy incorporates all of the reading children do online as opposed to offline hard-copy text. Chances are that any random child spends more time instant messaging, texting, blogging, creating or adding to wikis, doing online research, tweeting, or using social networks like Facebook or MySpace than curled up with a good book. But when parents and teachers criticize the amount of time kids spend online, they’re forgetting one key fact: You have to be literate to use the internet effectively. By focusing children’s enthusiasm for online exploration and expression on powerful educational tools, parents and teachers can promote literacy alongside technology.

Kindles and Readers and Nooks—Oh, my!

The Amazon Kindle, the Sony Reader, and the new Barnes and Noble Nook are great tools to have for casual and avid readers alike—with some drawbacks. You can put thousands of books into your digital reader and take it on vacation with you. It also allows you to adjust the font size for easier reading; if you need a large-print book, you can simply buy the original version and resize it. And e-book pricing can’t be beat: You’ll pay anywhere from $6 to $10 per book, so if you’re a voracious reader, the digital reader will pay for itself in lower book prices. You can even take notes in the electronic margins of the e-book you’re reading, just as you would in a hard copy. And the ability to wirelessly download a book instantaneously makes it almost a no-brainer to buy, right? Wrong.

The same things that make digital readers great can make them not so great, and sometimes in a scary way. In July 2009, Amazon pulled digital copies of George Orwell’s Animal Farm and 1984 from its Kindle store because the publisher of those books decided it didn’t want to offer a Kindle edition anymore. In an ironic Big Brother-esque twist, Amazon also remotely deleted every copy of those e-books that people had already purchased and offered instead a voucher for a future purchase. This action was tantamount to somebody sneaking into your house in the middle of the night, taking one of your books off your shelf, and leaving in its place a bookstore gift card for a different title. One major problem (besides the obvious one) is that some people—college students in particular—had taken notes in the margins of their e-book copies of 1984 and Animal Farm in advance of writing a paper or taking an exam. Those notes—along with their books—vanished into thin air.

This is the biggest drawback to digital readers. There are other e-book downsides that hard-copy book readers don’t need to worry about. Books don’t have batteries that run out. You don’t have to turn your book off on takeoff and landing, which has to be very annoying to e-book readers; after all, isn’t one of the biggest advantages that you can take lots of books with you on vacation in one small device? And at the beach, spilled tanning lotion or rogue waves are apt to be less destructive to your paperback.

But Kindles, Readers, and Nooks can actually help parents, teachers, and librarians make children more literate. In a recent informal poll of a 5th-grade class, students were asked how many would admit to not reading as much as they think they should—to which approximately half replied in the affirmative. That half were then asked how many thought getting a digital reader for the holidays would inspire them to read more. Half raised their hands. Simply by having a cool new gadget in their hands with the ability to download their books instantly,  could potentially increase literacy in one grade in one school by 25%. If boards of education across the country still want to spend the bulk of their funds on digital initiatives, I would submit that they consider putting digital readers in the hands of their students, instead of subscribing to the Next Great Thing in the digital realm: the digital library.

The Google Project and digital libraries

One of the greatest advantages to having a digital reader is the ability to wirelessly download content 24 hours a day. If you’re just looking for free e-books, then Project Gutenberg is the place for you. There are over 30,000 books available for download to any portable device: PC, cell phones, or readers. Most works are classics whose copyright has expired—hence the cost-free price tag.

The convenience and accessibility of e-books haven’t gone unnoticed by many library organizations, most notably the Internet Archive, which boasts “over one million books—free to the print-disabled.” But there’s much more than that; the archive allows for downloads of movies, software, and audio files as well. Other similar projects include the World Digital Library, sponsored by UNESCO, NetLibrary (until recently operated by OCLC and now operated by EBSCO), and the Internet Public Library, which has special areas for kids and teens. Many online libraries allow for the download of digital content for a specified period of time, after which the content is disabled.

But no digital library has garnered nearly the attention that Google has for its efforts to digitize every book ever printed. To that end, in 2004 Google teamed up with the New York Public Library to digitize its collection and shortly thereafter joined forces with the Library of Congress to do the same. It didn’t take long for Google to run into a wall: authors didn’t want people to be able to download their books for free. Lawsuits were filed, and to date the issue hasn’t been resolved. And although Google continues digitizing books each day some book content simply cannot be accessed online—most notably books written after 1915 (most books are copyrighted until 95 years of publication, after which they fall into the public domain).

You may have heard about this but never realized what a great research tool it can be for use in the classroom, library, and at home. Let’s say you need to find the passage that depicts one of the greatest images in American literature: Tom Sawyer whitewashing a fence. Navigate your web browser to Google. At the top where it says "More," use the dropdown menu and click on "Books." Type “Tom Sawyer” in the search box, then click on the first book that comes up, which should be The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (if not, it should be second or third). In the search box on the left, type “fence.” Every instance of the word fence in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer will be displayed on the screen. The scene you’re looking for can be found within the first 20 or so pages, so you’ll want to click on one of the lower page numbers. And there you have it: You’ve found a famous literary passage in less than a minute (with practice). Using the advanced book search at the top helps you to refine search terms and keywords to get exactly what you’re looking for.

This powerful tool in helping children to “get back to literature” uses the thing they love most—technology. It’s also just one small thing that parents, teachers, and librarians can use to help society develop a culture of literacy and get our kids reading again.

Creating a culture of literacy

Computers, it must be said, are causing irreparable harm to our literary history and heritage. Visit the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City some time and revel in the different drafts written by Dickens, Hemingway, Faulkner, and the like. Look at all the cross-outs and notes in margins that give us a peek into the creative process like nothing else can. Read entire sections of text that never made it into the finished masterpiece as you ponder what, exactly, made this passage unworthy of the final book.

Then, think of the fact that books aren’t written like that anymore. Future masterpieces may not have drafts that we can look at and pore over in wonder. Everything is done by computer now; the first draft is written, then changed and changed again—possibly with previous versions deleted or unsaved. We may never have any way of knowing what was going on in the thought processes of our present and future literary masters.

But we will always have the buildings they helped to create: temples built for the love of books. It always escapes me why teachers hardly ever think to take their classes on field trips to our country’s greatest libraries. For me, every trip to Washington, D.C., is crowned by a visit to the main reading room of the Library of Congress. You think the dome in the Capitol Building is beautiful? It pales in comparison to the pantheon of books at the Library of Congress, and the new myLOC program allows students to register a passport, then use it to answer questions about the library by examining their surroundings. They can also download and save images from LC to their passport account and view it all online from home.

New York Public Library is one of the most beautiful structures in the city and houses one of the 48 copies in existence of the Gutenberg Bible as well as the original Winnie-the-Pooh stuffed animals that A. A. Milne based his books on—all on public display. Blocks away is the Morgan Library and Museum, which houses one of the greatest private collections of books and manuscripts ever amassed. The items on display are constantly rotated, so frequent visits there are always rewarded with something new.

Another way to get children interested in reading is through reading groups. Adults have them and should encourage their children to get friends together and form groups of their own. The Harry Potter rage was a phenomenon because it became a social event. It transcended the literary realm because it was marketed into every facet of our culture: movies, T-shirts, games. Midnight release parties and costumed events became part of a child’s social world and were accepted by almost everyone. We’ll probably never see its like again—the Twilight series came close but only gained a fraction of the interest worldwide.

If we can’t socialize books on such a grand scale again, we can do it on a smaller town-by-town basis. Reading groups socialize children and make them feel like they belong to a club. They can choose what they want to read without being told what to read by a teacher. Each child feels important when it’s his or her turn to choose the next book for the group to read, and groups held at different houses allow the parents to host their own social event while the children discuss the book. I’ve seen it work in various towns, and it has a somewhat viral effect; the more kids who are involved in the group, the more kids who want to join. Nonmembers begin to feel like they’re missing out on something. Physical–not digital–libraries are the cornerstone of democracy. They must not–and will not–fail.

Robert Darnton of Harvard University makes this point in The Case for Books: Past, Present, and Future. Libraries are the one place in the world where books and technology meet. And since copyright issues will most likely never be resolved, people will always need to find a physical book on a physical shelf. Also, not every book can be digitized; there have been different versions of books throughout history, and permission will never be granted by every institution to digitize those editions. The works of William Shakespeare are an example: They have been changed and modified through successive editions over the last 500 years. We will never see every version of his works on Google.

And if you’re still thinking that I’m a little strange for dwelling so much on a book’s physical properties—size, shape, feel, and, yes, even smell—consider this interesting tidbit from Darnton’s book: In a recent poll taken at a French university, 43% of students queried considered smell to be an important aspect of a book and refused to buy the electronic edition. CafeScribe, a French online publisher, has tried to counter this aversion to digital books by supplying stickers to their customers that give off a “bookish” smell when affixed to their computers. It turns out that the tactical and olfactory experience is just as important to a reader’s enjoyment of a book as its content. I feel vindicated.

 

RALPH RAAB has been a teacher of music, computers, and study skills in East Hanover, New Jersey, for over 20 years and is the author of The Dewey Deception: The First Adventure from the Biblio Files, as well as the forthcoming The Gutenberg Gambit. He can be reached at www.deweydeception.com.

Courtesy: American Library Association http://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/features/07132010/books-and-literacy-digital-age

 

Filed under: Article of the Week, , ,

Harry Potter Birthday Celebrations 2010

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Fans of Harry Potter all over the world celebrate his Birthday on 31st July every year. Our Library along with the Reader’s Club also takes part in the event with competitions and displays.

1. Harry Potter Quiz

Quiz competition on Harry Potter series of Books (all seven parts). Students from class VI to XII can participate in the contest. Interested students should reach the library at 10.30 a.m on Friday, 16th July 2010.

2. Writing Birthday Wishes to Harry Potter Contest

Write birthday wishes to Harry Potter on the Bulletin board fixed outside the Library (22-24 July 2010). Three Best wishes will get fantastic prizes.

3. E-mail a birthday card to Harry Potter

Create a birthday card and add birthday wishes in your own words. Then mail that to librarykvpattom@gmail.com . Best entries will get prizes. The entries should reach on or before 31st July 2010.

 

Display of Harry Potter Books in the Library from 26 to 31st July 2010.

Filed under: Library activities,

Global Climate Change: Website of the Week

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Global Climate Change: NASA’s eyes on the Earth

Tons of resources on global climate change and environment for students and educators.

Filed under: Website of the week

Indian Rupee got a new Symbol

The Indian rupee will soon have a unique symbol — a blend of the Devanagri ‘Ra’ and Roman ‘R’ — joining elite currencies like the US dollar, euro, British pound and Japanese yen in having a distinct identity.

The new symbol, designed by Bombay IIT post-graduate D Udaya Kumar, was approved by the cabinet  — reflecting that the Indian currency, backed by an over-trillion dollar economy, was finally making its presence felt on the international scene.

Mr. Kumar’s winning entry was chosen from 3,000 designs received for the currency symbol competition. He will get an award of Rs. 2.5 lakh from the Finance Ministry. The jury, headed by an RBI Deputy Governor, had sent five short-listed entries for the Cabinet’s approval.

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D Udaya Kumar

Udaya Kumar’s design is based on the Tricolour and ‘arithmetic equivalence’. The white space between the two horizontal lines gives the impression of the national flag with the Ashok Chakra, the two bold parallel lines stand for ‘equals to’, representing balance in the economy, both within and with other economies of the world.

The other shortlisted entries are given below.

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Shahrukh J Irani

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K K Shibin.

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Hitesh Padmashali

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Nondita Correa-Mehrotra

 

Exlore More: World Currency Symbols

Filed under: Article of the Week, , , ,

Reader’s Club 2010-2011, Office bearers

The General body meeting of Reader’s Club held on 14th July 2010 elected a new office bearers for its functioning.

 

President : Meera Anand, XII B

Vice President: Neema K. Saji , IX C

General Secretary : Nazrine, XI A

Joint. Secretaries: Aravind, IX D

                            : Shobhita, X B

Class Representatives : Aarcha, VII D

                                   : Atheena VIII, A

                                   : Deepak, IX B

                                   : Gayathri, X A

                                   : Varsha Vijay, XI A

                                   : Meera A.M, XI B

Filed under: Reader's Club,

World Social Science Report 2010

UNESCO published 2010 World Social Science Report, the first thorough overview of this important field in more than a decade. Edited by and co-published with the International Social Science Council (ISSC), it is the product of the active engagement of hundreds of professional social scientists.

Click to download World Social Science Report 2010

Filed under: Downloads,

Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder

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Sophie’s World

by

Jostein Gaarder

Phoenix; London,1996

(Available at your Library, Call No.823 GAR-S)

First, think of a beginner’s guide to philosophy, written by a schoolteacher for teens and young adults. Next, imagine a fantasy novel — something like a modern-day version of Through the Looking Glass. Meld these disparate genres, and what do you get? Well, what you get is an improbable international best seller.

To the amazement of its Norwegian author, Jostein Gaarder, 42, Sophie’s World, subtitled A Novel About the History of Philosophy, has become a runaway hit practically everywhere it has appeared. In the author’s homeland, it has been on the best-seller lists for nearly four years. The novel has been published in 30 countries, including China, Germany, Italy, Japan and South Korea. Late last month Farrar, Straus & Giroux issued an English version in the U.S. (403 pages; $19). Despite reviews that were mixed at best, the first edition of 50,000 copies sold out in less than two weeks.
Sophie Amundsen, the eponymous heroine of this peculiar book, is an ordinary 14-year-old schoolgirl who lives with her mother in an ordinary Norwegian suburb. (Her dad captains an oil tanker and is away most of the time.) One day Sophie gets an unsigned letter in the mail containing only a three-word question: "Who are you?" Soon she receives another anonymous message, asking, "Where did the world come from?"

As Sophie ponders these questions, a three-page typewritten letter arrives, also unsigned, that turns out to be the first lesson in a course on the history of philosophy. At first by letter and then in person, a mysterious guru who calls himself Alberto Knox guides Sophie through the ideas of great thinkers, from the pre-Socratics to Jean-Paul Sartre. Philosophy’s quest for truth, Knox tells his pupil, "resembles a detective story."

Meanwhile, Sophie has to play detective on another front. From time to time she gets postcards that are intended for another 14-year-old, Hilde Moller Knag, who by coincidence also has an absentee father, serving with the U.N. forces in Lebanon. Who is this Hilde? Why is her mail addressed to Sophie? And is it just coincidence that Hilde and Sophie have the same birthday? Suffice it to say that the answers involve a talking dog and a magic mirror, as well as the relation of illusion to reality, free will vs. predetermination and — shades of Pirandello — fictional characters seeking to escape their author’s plot.

Gaarder, who is married and the father of two sons ages 10 and 18, teaches at a high school in Oslo. He wrote Sophie’s World to fill a gap. Stores were full of New Age pap and other mystical mush, but there were no books that would introduce young people to serious philosophy. By trying to blend fantasy with head-cracking summaries of deep thought, Gaarder feared that he had "sat down between two stools. But I was mistaken. Sophie’s World fell on top of all the stools."

So why is this book doing so well? Ole Vind, who teaches philosophy at a Danish high school, believes more and more people are seeking the answers to life’s mystery in what he calls "the real thing" rather than in astrology or pseudo-religion. On both sides of the Atlantic, the book is being used as a text in college philosophy courses. And despite the author’s disdain for New Age spirituality, Thomas Hallock, marketing director of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, suggests that Sophie’s World appeals to the kind of reader who made Jonathan Livingston Seagull a touchy-feely hit of the ’70s.
Still, Sophie’s World may not be for everyone. The characters are half- dimensional, the plot creaks, and Gaarder’s prose (or the translation by Paulette Moller) has a distinct flavor of bark. As fiction, Sophie’s World deserves no better than a D+. But as a precis of great thought, Gaarder’s tour de force rates a solid B.

********************************

Reviewed by JOHN ELSON

Courtesy: http://www.stjohns-chs.org/general_studies/philosophy/TIME%27SREVIEWOFSOPHIE/TIMESOPHIE.html

Filed under: Book of the week, , ,

Gotta Keep Reading: Video

Filed under: Literary Videos, ,

School Library Committee 2010-‘11

Chairman

Mr. C.P.KUMARAN, Principal

Library Committee

  1. Mr. R. John, PGT (Comm)
  2. Mrs. Leena Mary, PGT(Phy)
  3. Mrs. L.Jayalekshmi, TGT(Eng)
  4. Mrs. V.S.Syamala Devi Amma, TGT(Hindi)
  5. Mrs. G.S.Ranjini, PRT
  6. Mrs. Bindu K.P.Lal, PRT

Student members

  1. Zarin, XI A
  2. Neema K. Saji, IX C

Member Secretary

Faisal S.L., Librarian

Filed under: School Library Committee,

How tech impacts people skills

Our screen-bound lives don’t train us for the real world..

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Though not a new book, Talk to the Hand by Lynne Truss (www.harpercollins.co.in) should make an interesting reading especially to those suffering from ‘the utter bloody rudeness of everyday life’ arising from new technology.

When people look for a piece of technology to blame for modern manners, it is often television that cops the lot, but we forget what an impact the telephone had when it was first introduced, the author reminds. With the advent of the phone, people could choose to conduct real-time private conversations with people who weren’t there, she adds.

Among the many ‘phone’ fears that were voiced in the last quarter of the nineteenth century, this alarmist warning came from the editor of a Philadelphia newspaper: he cautioned his readers ‘not to converse by phone with ill persons for fear of contracting contagious diseases.’

But why is it that a phone wields so much power? Because a phone conversation, being both blind and one-to-one, is a more intense and concentrated form of communication than talking face-to-face, reasons Truss.

“Inevitably, then, when a phone call competes for attention with a real-word conversation, it wins. Everyone knows the distinctive high-and-dry feeling of being abandoned for a phone call, and of having to compensate — with quite elaborate behaviours — for the sudden half-disappearance of the person we were just speaking to.”

Mobile rudeness

Conceding that mobile phone behaviour can often be rude to others, does the answer lie in switching on a tape recorder and placing it in front of the person speaking, or in picking up their phone and throwing it out of the window?

Wait, rudeness is not in answering a mobile phone, because answering a ringing phone is a kind of conditioned reflex that few of us can resist, the author explains.

She agrees, however, that inconsiderateness is a proper cause of concern, and in particular highlights a new development of relations in public: that group pressure no longer operates in the way that it once did. “‘Whatever happened to consideration?’ we cry.” For, the prerequisite of consideration, as Truss lays down, is the ability to imagine being someone other than oneself.

To those who despise new technology, it can be shocking to know that interactivity with machines and virtual worlds is believed to be making people smart in important ways. It seems the neurotransmitter called dopamine (associated with craving) responds with high excitement when there is seeking and searching to be done, as the book informs.

The craving instinct triggers a desire to explore, as if the dopamine system says, ‘Can’t find the reward you were promised? Perhaps if you just look a little harder you’ll be in luck — it’s got to be around here somewhere.’ Citing Steven Johnson’s ‘Everything Bad is Good for You,’ the author says that intelligence nowadays is all about application, instead of IQ. It is the ability ‘to take in a complex system and learn its rules on the fly.’

Screen-bound lives

Truss doesn’t accept, though, that the Internet and social networking applications are ‘augmenting our people skills,’ as Johnson asserts.

True, each of us has a virtual social group in our email address book, but the group has no existence beyond us; it is not a ‘group’ at all, she protests.

“True, hot information whizzes around the world with the speed of supersonic gossip, but, crucially, we can choose to ignore it.”

Many aspects of our screen-bound lives, avers the author, are bad for our social skills because we get accustomed to controlling the information that comes in, managing our relationships electronically, deleting stuff that doesn’t interest us. “We edit the world; we select from menus; we pick and choose; our social ‘group’ focuses on us and disintegrates without us.”

But why should this be a matter of concern? Because of the confusion that arises when we step outdoors and discover that other people’s behaviour can’t be deleted with a simple one-stroke command or dragged to the trash icon, the author observes. She laments that sitting at screens and clicking buttons is a very bad training for life in the real world.

Limitless self-absorption

In the author’s ‘grand theory of social alienation in the early twenty-first century,’ we are kings of click-and-buy, capable of customising any service, publishing on the Net, communicating through multiple platforms, and accessing tonnes of favourite entertainment content. Disturbingly, the effect of all this limitless self-absorption is to make us ‘isolated, solipsistic, grandiose, exhausted, inconsiderate, and anti-social,’ Truss warns. “In these days of relative affluence, people are persuaded to believe that more choice equals more happiness, and that life should be approached as a kind of happiness expedition to the shops. This attitude is not only paltry and degenerate, but it breeds misery and monsters…”

Engaging re-read.

Creating a living, breathing character

As an animator, you are basically doing the job of an actor, write John and Kristin Kundert-Gibbs in Action! Acting lessons for CG animators (www.wileyindia.com). You are creating a living, breathing character that tells a story, shares an experience, and moves an audience; and your character becomes ‘animated’ with the body, voice, and emotions that you breathe into it,” the authors add.

They are of the firm belief that it is virtually impossible to understand and internalise the work and process of an actor without participating in it.

“Even if an individual never intends to set foot on the stage but wants to design, write, or direct, he must fully participate in an acting class to understand the art of acting that is central to the creation of character. As you, the animator, are also creating characters, you too must participate in training as an actor.”

Injection of humanness

Tracing the word animation to Latin ‘animare,’ meaning ‘to give breath to,’ the authors find the need for anthropomorphism, with characters being given an injection of humanness to allow us to relate to them on a gut level.

“If we as audience are not engaged with the animated character on screen, then we don’t imbue that character with personality and intention, and thus we are unlikely to remain emotionally involved and therefore become uninterested in the animation as a whole.”

Exaggeration, simplification, abstraction, and stylisation can all be good reasons to create an animation as opposed to filming something live, but what can be insightful is the scope for refinement and freedom in animation that allows one to find the more truly, starkly real.

“Just as a hand-drawn medical illustration of a heart is often more succinct and clear in presenting information about a heart than is a photograph of one sitting in a patient’s chest, the ability to highlight some details while diminishing or eliminating others allows good animators to communicate more directly and possibly viscerally than filming actual actors on a set.”

Recommended addition to the aspiring animators’ shelf.

dmurali@thehindu.co.in

Tailpiece

“We allowed him to go…”

“Lock, stock and barrel?”

“No, login, server, and BlackBerry!”

 

By D Murali

Courtesy: http://www.blonnet.com/ew/2010/07/05/stories/2010070550050200.htm

Filed under: Article of the Week, ,

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Students can call 1800 11 8002 from any part of the country. The operators will answer general queries and also connect them to the counselors for psychological counseling. The helpline will be operational from 08 a.m to 10 p.m. On-line counseling on: counselling.cecbse@gmail.com

S. L. FAISAL
Librarian
Kendriya Vidyalaya (Shift-I)
Pattom
Thiruvananthapuram-695 004
Kerala India

Mail: librarykvpattom at gmail.com