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RELATED RESEARCH PROJECTS

appgapii
Institute of Museum and Library Services

The focus of this three-year, multisite project is development of app-based curricula and tools for use in school and public libraries. These tools will teach children aged eight to twelve how to build their own apps, providing them with early programming experience, and allow them to share their creations with other children. The project further establishes libraries as places to engage youth in STEM exploration and digital development that reflects their own experiences.

This project builds on a project conducted with support from a planning-phase grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services titled, "Closing the App Gap." 

“The App Authors project is an exciting expansion...

childrecomicsprint
University of Illinois Research Board

This project expands Tilley’s investigation of comics from the perspective of readers, a much-neglected group in both contemporary and historical research. Comics readership among young people peaked in the mid-twentieth century with levels reaching near 100%, yet there has been little scholarly investigation of this phenomenon. Funding for this project will enable archival research trips and hourly research support to complete data collection necessary for a single-author monograph that will provide a coherent examination of the social and cultural role of comics in United States’s children’s print culture throughout the twentieth century.

mapping_info_access

Mapping Information Access is a collaborative academic research project to study and understand the landscape of information access and availability in public schools and libraries in the United States.

There are more than 18,000 public school districts and more than 9,000 public library systems in the US. Each of these institutions is as a central node of information access for the communities they serve. Administrators must balance ideals of free speech and information with concerns about social norms, age-appropriateness, and budgets. These decisions then shape the flow of information to students, patrons, and other constituents. Yet the contours of this flow are not well understood. There exists no comprehensive record of the sorts of challenges faced, or decisions made,...

mechanicalliteracies

This project examines writers who represent education as an embodied experience, with learning and literacy grounded in what they called “object learning” or “the education of things.” Denouncing rote-learning in favor of an induction method, object lessons promised to coordinate the development of body and mind by using the pupil’s senses as a catalyst for higher cognitive thought. Children place themselves above the elements composing their environment, which they control through what Hoiem calls “mechanical literacy”—that is, by learning the dependable laws governing how things are sensed, manipulated, created, purchased, manufactured, and exchanged. The project mobilizes a uniquely diverse archive of material and print cultures—pedagogical treatises, radical newspapers, automaton...

somethingbeautiful_cooke

Picture books, such as those in the Marantz Collection (Kent State University’s School of Library and Information Science), play an important role in developing literacy in our library users—from traditional literacy (as it relates to reading), to visual literacy, to cultural literacy. Exposing patrons of all ages to the messages contained in children’s literature can have lasting and beneficial effects, and can shape how readers view the world. It is for this reason that it is vitally important to examine the social justice messages that exist in the current literature and to advocate for even more social justice and diversity in the world of picture books. Per her interests in incorporating social justice into LIS pedagogy, Cooke will look for the messages contained in the texts (e.g...

IN THE NEWS

Apr. 13, 2017
chip-bruce_1

Professor Emeritus Bertram (Chip) Bruce will present two brownbag sessions sponsored by the iSchool and the College of Education. This session will cover progressive education efforts in Nepal.

We think of progressive education as an early 20th century movement in US schools, or perhaps as what occurs in modern, “progressive” schools, often small, private schools serving more privileged students. But the progressive impulse has been an important factor in many places and many eras.

In Nepal today, there is a strong progressive education movement, one that I worked with during Fall 2016. That movement is especially noteworthy given the country’s extremely low resources (it’s a UN Least Developed Country). But many Nepalis see progressive education as aligned...

Apr. 12, 2017

Assistant Professor Rachel Magee has been named an American Library Association (ALA)-Google Ready to Code (RtC) Faculty Fellow. As an RtC Fellow, she will participate in Phase II of the Libraries Ready to Code project, which ALA and Google launched in January 2017 to help equip librarians with the right skills and tools to encourage kids to code. 

Magee and her five RtC Fellow cohorts will collaborate to redesign one of their courses to integrate Ready to Code ideas. After piloting their new courses this fall, they will share their revised syllabi and course models with library and information science colleagues at other institutions.

"For the fellowship, I'll be working on redesigning the syllabus for Youth Services Community Engagement (LIS 490YSL) to include coding and computational thinking concepts. The new version of the course will be offered in Fall 2017 through the Leep online learning...

Apr. 5, 2017

Hear from teen researchers who co-develop a survey focused on teen social media use. We'll discuss the research process, their findings, and future directions.

Questions? Contact rmmagee [at] illinois.edu (Rachel Magee)

Feb. 28, 2017
Doctoral student Melissa Hahn helps a Kenwood Elementary School student build an app. (Photo by L. Brian Stauffer)

Students at Kenwood Elementary School in Champaign are building their own phone apps. Some hope their apps will help solve big problems, such as curbing pollution or money management. Others will let users fight monsters that are trying to take over the world, or let users design a look for their nails.

Through an after-school program called App Authors, the students are getting an idea of what the career of a software designer might be like, as well as gaining experience in coding and learning to work as a team to solve problems.

The program was designed by researchers at the iSchool. The goal is to get students – especially those with limited access to technology...

Jan. 31, 2017
weekend-max

Weekends with Max and His Dad, written by Linda Urban and illustrated by Katie Kath, and published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, is the winner of the 2017 Gryphon Award for Children’s Literature. The Gryphon Award, which includes a $1,000 prize, is given annually by The Center for Children's Books (CCB). This year's committee was chaired by Assistant Professor Deborah Stevenson, CCB director, and Kate Quealy-Gainer, assistant editor of The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books.

The prize is awarded to the author of an outstanding English-language work of fiction or nonfiction, for which the primary audience is children in kindergarten through fourth grade...

Jan. 10, 2017

The staff at The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (BCCB) has announced the 2016 Blue Ribbons, their choices for the best of children's and young adult literature for the year. Blue Ribbons are chosen annually by BCCB reviewers and represent what they believe to be outstanding examples of fiction, nonfiction, and picture books for youth. Thirty-three titles received Blue Ribbons for 2016; the full list is available on the BCCB website.

According to BCCB editor Deborah Stevenson, "This year's list runs the gamut from hilarious picture books to pulse-pounding true tales of history to captivating takes on classic folktales. What's not to love about a lineup that includes samurais, bears dealing with bedtime, and Baba Yaga?"

Founded in 1945, BCCB is one of the nation's leading children's book review journals for...

Nov. 16, 2016

Assistant Professor Emily Knox will participate in the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) Annual Convention, to be held November 17-20 in Atlanta, Georgia. The convention attracts thousands of authors, advocates, and literacy educators and offers more than 700 concurrent sessions.

Knox will serve as a panelist for the session, "How Teachers, Parents, and Communities Can Keep Students Reading." The panel will address the question of how teachers can keep students reading in the face of censorship challenges to books they have assigned or recommended.  Through its theme, "Faces of Advocacy," the convention will explore the role of educators as advocates for their students, communities, and profession.

"I'll be discussing my research on why people challenge books and the final project that my students complete in my class, in which they create a portfolio responding to a challenge scenario," Knox said...

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