Friday, April 17, 2009

Catching Up

Dear RASL,

Below you will find the meeting minutes for the March 31st meeting. Sorry for the delay. April meeting minutes have already been posted (see below this post).

RASL Meeting Minutes: March 31, 2009

1. Scheduling Questions and Concerns
-This part of the agenda was N/A since everyone in attendance will be graduating next month. Please see your adviser if you need assistance in scheduling classes or to be sure that you are on track to graduate.

2. Review of the Celebrating Teaching and Learning Conference by Dr. Gordon
-this conference is held annually in Manhattan and sponsored by PBS
-There were approx.8,000 attendees this year and Dr. Gordon recommends going next year!
-Panels, workshops, sessions
-Kenneth Robinson, a British professor based in Los Angeles spoke about the importance of creativity
-Dr. Robinson believes that education often prevents creativity
-He talked about visiting the school that Paul McCartney and George Harrison attended, where they were told that they weren't musically talented
-Discussed the question: "What are they doing wrong in schools so that creativity isn't being fostered?"
-spoke about Las Vegas as a "place of imagination": Americans take it for grated/see it as tacky
-education has taken on a manufacturing model: quality-control approach, thanks in part to standards-based education
-calls for a more organic model: combine emotions and intellect into education
-focus on divergent thinking
-by 13-15 years of age, only 10% of students in a study that the professor spoke about demonstrated divergent thinking
-we live in a culture where making mistakes is seen as "bad"
-school libraries are a place where we can encourage kids to embrace divergent thinking, explore their passions, and realize that mistakes lead to learning
-Go to youtube and type in "Ken Robinson" to see more about his creativity lectures

Other speakers:

-Erik Schmidt, CEO of Google also spoke (interviewed by Charlie Rose)
-1 day per week employees can work on whatever they want--creativity is an integral part of Google's work culture
-provide child care, casual working environment, encouragement to produce NOT pressure to produce

Joel Kline and Pedro Nagoaes "Closing the Achievement Gap"
-discussion about inequality in education
-idea of schools and society taking on issue of "what is education?"
-1 view: social problems are conditions of the environment that can prohibit/promote education
-other view: we have to cure poverty before improving education
"we have to teach children the way that they learn": focus on authentic assessment

Lucille Dewey: What Is 21st century education?
-concentrate on student outcomes
-use studies that investigate what works
-partner with states and look at states as warehouses for what works and what doesn't
-school reform is needed

Resources for Media Literacy:
-National Association for Media Literacy
-Journal of Media Literacy in Education
-book: "Reading the Media" by Renee Hobbs

3. Revisions to the NJ Core Curriculum Standards by Dr. Todd
-SLMS are part of a working system: we need support systems to help us; these include: standards and assessments, curriculum and instruction, professional development, learning environments
-expectation that students will develop various skills
-The library is not specifically mentioned in the Framework for 21st Century Learning: it's our role to define our relationship to the vision
-framework provides us a vocabulary to define who we are and what our role in the school is

4. Elections will be held at our next meeting (date: TBA) so stay tuned!

In the meantime, if you're looking for jobs, check out:
BCCLS Want Ads

NJLA Job Hotline

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April meeting minutes

Dear RASL-blog readers,

First off, apologies for not posting the March (or um, February) meeting minutes yet. This post is coming to you live from our April Anime meeting. Stay tuned for previous meeting minutes- (I promise)!

Special guests: Jill Ratzan and Chris Centofanti

What is a manga?
Manga is a form of comics from Japan; 7 1/2 by 5 inches in size.
-characters generally have large eyes, crazy hair
-Pokemon originally based on a manga
-reads backwards (right to left)..reflects traditional Japanese writing
-on the page itself, written right to left, top to down
-often written in vertical style; columns are longer than they are wide
-manga is a FORMAT of book, not a genre in itself (there are lots of different genres represented in manga and graphic novels)

Genres of manga:
-Shonen: action/adventure manga; often "like a Jackie Chan film" (action but silliness to it too)
-Shonen Jump; Naruto
-Shojo: "high school musical" version of manga; appeals to girls; romance is big part of the genre; outlandish scenarios; Chinese zodiac and animal spirits come into play
-Shojo Pink; Little Butterfly; Marmalade Boy
-Yowie! manga:
-Seinan manga: artwork is very realistic; similar to well-drawn Western comics today
-Josie manga: realistic, appeals to girls; "like a Julia Roberts movie"
-re-tellings: ex. manga Hamlet; many different brands are turning Shakespeare's work into manga to appeal to teens; Star Wars manga
-Great way to get those who might not be into manga into it!
-Western original stories: written in manga style but not based on Japanese legends

Why do teens like manga?
-it's new; it's different
-parents don't understand it! (how to read it, etc.)--sense of pride in "getting it"
-doesn't take as much concentration and time as a novel--sense of accomplishment in finishing 1 or 2 per day is obtainable goal
-can connect to the stories
-visual appeal

Library considerations:
-fall apart very easily
-some publishers offer better versions (more expensive; often available at conferences)
-easy to steal because they're small
-many, many volumes in a series: buy first few in the series and see if they circulate or try to have some sort of inter-library loan agreement with other libraries
-Volume one is often the one that's never in the library (buy extra copies of first one, maybe)

-often violent; lots of blood
-content often varies from volume to volume
-frequent nudity: female toplessness isn't a big deal in Japan
-characters look very young: nudity/sex might be controversial but Japanese standard of beauty sees youth as the ideal

What to Collect:
Tokyo Pop rating system: offers a ratings system and tells you WHY a book is rated that way (ie. nudity but not violent)

How manga supports curriculum:
-shows cultural diversity
-shows life in Japan; way house is set up, packing lunch, etc.: reading manga can teach you about Japanese culture
-inaccessible text is made accessible (ie. Hamlet)
-inspire an interest in medieval Japan, etc.; could be paired with "serious" non-fiction
-they're fun to read!!

-video version of manga
-we also viewed scenes from the anime movie: "My Neighbor Totoro" directed by Hayao Miyazaki

For more information: email Jill Ratzan at; or Chris Centofanti at

Check out Scott McCloud's book "Understanding Comics" for more information!
Other books to check out include: Stephen Krashen's "The Power of Reading: Insights from the Research" (2004).

**handout will be posted on the website!

(your very frazzled) RASL secretary