YOUmedia Hartford is a digital learning and maker space for teens ages 13-19. The space is a research-informed, informal learning environment utilizing principles of connected learning, the HOMAGO learning theory and positive youth development. Students come to Hang Out, Mess Around and Geek Out in content areas that include video and photo production, music production, game design, computer programming, design and making. Through partnerships with local artists and professionals, businesses, schools and other informal learning spaces, students discover new opportunities and build knowledge and skills in areas of interest. For instance, this coming summer students will work with award-winning producer Quadeer Shakur to produce, distribute and market a Best of Hartford Hip Hop album. Others will work with a local botanist to build a hydroponic window garden from recycled materials. Still more will enter 3D modeling, design and film contests under the guidance of our mentors. Hundreds others will seek help with homework and personal projects, meet new friends and attend social events.
For Teen Tech Week the YOUmedia Hartford staff wanted to get out of the library and into classrooms, and so we did! Through partnerships with several local schools we were able to take e-textiles and stop motion animation workshops on the road. The projects showcased the variety of activities available at YOUmedia and to expose students to the processes behind some very fun and practical technologies. These workshops also acted as carrots to attract new youth to the space, so that they might find themselves immersed in a resource-rich environment, staffed with knowledgeable mentors and full-to-the-brim with other young people exploring similar pursuits. All of the materials used for the workshops are available freely to any youth in the space.
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Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman is cause for celebration at libraries this summer. The expected July 14th release date has fans of To Kill A Mockingbird all a twitter. Here are a few ideas to use at your library to celebrate this great literary occasion.
- Turn your inside book drop into a tree knot hole. Use paper or a large painted sheet to create a tree to drape in front of it. Have the children knock and ask for Boo Radley. Children can reach in and get candy, bookmarks or anything else you would like to give away.
- Host a scavenger hunt in your children’s area for items found in the tree knot such as gum, balls of twine and pennies.
- Have a community reads program and discussion group at your library. Buy a number of copies to giveaway to the first people who sign up.
- If you are having a book group and want to serve refreshments, you can try recipes inspired by the book at http://leafsandleaves.blogspot.com/2011/08/recipes-from-to-kill-mockingbird.html. You can find Calpurnia’s crackling bread, Miss Maudie’s Lane Cake, frosted tea cakes and fresh lemonade.
- Invite Paul Acampora for an author visit. He wrote I Kill The Mockingbird. It is about a group of middle school students who hide the books in local libraries and bookstores to create hype to get their classmates to read it.
- Hide the books and have your own I Kill The Mockingbird hype event.
- Do a reader’s theater with children and or teens with certain scenes from the book such as a courtroom scene.
Kris Hickey, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, OH
Maybe you want to quit Van Halen to pursue a solo career.
As I have mentioned, engaging in outreach and community partnerships takes a lot of time. Since you probably don’t currently have a lot of slack in your work day, making time for outreach will likely mean giving up something else. But what? Read More →
This is my 2nd year of being a media specialist so this is my first go around with Teen Tech Week. We have come up with about 17 activities at Chestatee High School for our students to try their hand with at learning. Some activities are limited for just a few students to be working with at a time like the Spheros, Exofabulatronixx Robot, slow motion animation, Makey Makey, K’nex, Chaos Tower and littleBits. These items will help our students to learn about coding, building, circuitry, and video making. This allows our students a new opportunity to learn something or to further their knowledge of a passion they already enjoy. We received the grant from YALSA and Best Buy and we were able to purchase Spheros and an Exofabulatronixx Robot. Both of these items will help our students learn the skill of coding. The Sphero is merely a remote controlled ball in which they can program its movements. We hope to incorporate the Sphero and coding into a math course next year. Teen Tech Week will give the students the first glimpse of what they can accomplish with such a simple tool. The Exofabulatronixx Robot is one in which our students can put together and take apart and put together in a different form again. Its pieces connect by means of magnets. When the students have finished creating their robot, they are then able to create a program which will tell their robot what path to take.
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In 2012 the Teen Advisory Board received a grant from the Nebraska Library Commission (NLC) of $1,900 to start a Teen Media Club to give teens a chance to learn how to create digital content. Many of my teens do not have access to basic technologies. The library’s computer lab does not have filters so you must be 17 to enter which means that our community’s teens that do not have access to computers outside of school can’t even use the library’s resources. Many of my teens do not have Internet at home, have outdated computers that seem to freeze all the time and not connect to the library’s wireless, and many do not have smartphones.
The goal of Media Club was to use technology to enable teens to create such things as book trailers and the creation and maintenance of a teen library website. The original NLC grant funds were used to purchase an HD Digital Recorder, a laptop for the teens, and various props for their videos. While there still is a lot of interest in Media Club we realized that just having a camera and a laptop was not enough. As we went about beginning to create, draft, and record various video projects we learned that we really need certain other tech equipment to properly be able to run our club. We discovered this after a large-scale project (La Vista’s Next Top Project Snazz Maszter—a “reality” show cross between America’s Next Top Model and Project Runway) which we filmed during a 17-hour lock-in (filming all 17 hours!) and discovered afterward that a lot of the film was unusable. Our library has 20-foot ceilings and the sound on most of our film was barely audible because of echoes. We also realized free film editing software can’t do things like green screen effects. The teens decided they wanted me to apply for a YALSA/Best Buy Teen Tech Week grant for funds to be used toward the purchase of the additional equipment we need to get Media Club properly equipped and off the ground again.
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