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Teen Tech Week 2017

ttw17The Young Adult Library Services Association sponsors Teen Tech Week to draw attention to the importance and availability of various technologies in libraries. Besides offering technologies such as audiobooks, DVDs, electronic games, computers with Internet access, and more, libraries also have librarians with expertise in using many of these resources effectively. This year, Teen Tech Week (March 5-11) celebrates the teen-selected theme: “Be the Source of Change.” The 2017 theme encourages teens to take advantage of all the great digital resources offered through the library to make a positive change in their life and community. Here are resources to support that change:

Teens as Change Agents
Books featuring teens as change agents call attention to young people who are lobbying for change in their schools, communities, and the larger world. Tune in to this podcast episode to hear about teens who work for change by participating in political campaigns, defying social hierarchies, and even going to war.

Making Memories: An End-of-Year Digital Scrapbook
Students reflect on their school year, creating a digital scrapbook consisting of images and text to present to their school community.

Exploring Plagiarism, Copyright, and Paraphrasing
Students investigate issues of plagiarism, fair use, and paraphrasing using KWL charts, discussion, and practice.

Copyright Law: From Digital Reprints to Downloads
Students investigate how and why copyright law has changed over time, and apply this information to recent copyright issues, creating persuasive arguments based on the perspective of a particular group.

Copyright Infringement or Not? The Debate over Downloading Music
This lesson takes advantage of students’ interest in music and audio sharing. Students investigate multiple perspectives in the music downloading debate and develop a persuasive argument for a classroom debate.

Digital Reflections: Expressing Understanding of Content Through Photography
Striking images can leave lasting impressions on viewers. In this lesson, students make text–self–world connections to a nature- or science-related topic as they collaboratively design a multimedia presentation.

How will you recognize Teen Tech Week?

Award Winning and Other Titles from NCTE

bookIf there’s one thing every teacher relies on, it’s probably books. Fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels, picture books—no matter what genre you prefer, you probably bring books to the classroom to stimulate and inspire students, to connect to the content you’re covering, and to add fun and entertainment to class discussion. There are lots of great places to look for book recommendations.

The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) has several committees that select
the best of children’s literature each year.

The Orbis Pictus Award was established by the NCTE Elementary Section in 1989 to honor nonfiction for children. “The Significance of Topics of Orbis Pictus Award-Winning Books,” a chapter from NCTE’s The Best in Children’s Nonfiction explores the elements that come into play as the committee chooses the winner. The book offers readers a fascinating glimpse into the world of children’s nonfiction, as well as practical tips on teaching these texts.

The NCTE Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children was established in 2014 to promote and recognize excellence in the writing of fiction for children. This award recognizes fiction that has the potential to transform children’s lives by inviting compassion, imagination, and wonder. Learn more about Huck in this calendar entry from ReadWriteThink.org.

The 2015 NCTE Charlotte Huck Award for Outstanding Fiction for Children and the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children Honor Award winners speak about their work in “From History to Homonyms” from #NCTEonAir Discussions on Google.

In addition, The Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE (ALAN) promotes communication and cooperation among all individuals who have a special interest in adolescent literature; to present programs and conferences on this subject; to promote and increase the number of articles and publications devoted to it; and to integrate the efforts of all those with an interest in this literature. Members receive three issues annually of The ALAN Review, a journal emphasizing new books, research, and methods of teaching adolescent literature. Hear more about ALAN in this ReadWriteThink.org podcast episode.

Several NCTE journals review new texts in every issue. Language Arts includes the column “Children’s Literature Reviews” which provides reviews of children’s and young adolescent literature. In English Journal, the column “Carpe Librum: Seize the (YA) Book” explores a wide range of topics related to literature written for and/or read by young adults, with a strong emphasis on recently published works.

ReadWriteThink.org has two podcasts, for instance, that provide monthly recommendations:

What award winning titles do you use in your classroom?

An Invitation to the ALAN Workshop

RWT1-small_35Text Messages is a monthly podcast hosted by ReadWriteThink.org focusing on the best of young adult literature. This podcast series provides families, educators, out-of-school practitioners, and tutors reading recommendations they can pass along to teen readers. Each episode will feature in-depth recommendations of titles that will engage and excite teen readers. The most recent podcast, episode 80, is “An Invitation to the ALAN Workshop”. The ALAN Workshop is an event unlike anything else you can experience in the world of young adult literature. Held each year on the Monday and Tuesday before Thanksgiving, the workshop brings together books, authors, and readers in a passionate celebration of all things YA. Sponsored by the Assembly on Literature for Adolescents of NCTE, the program consists of panel discussions, breakout sessions, and keynote speeches by leading authors in our field.

Tune in to hear testimonials from a variety of this year’s attendees. Some are relatively new to ALAN, while others have been involved for years. What they all have in common is a passion for the workshop and a willingness to talk about their experience with others. As one attendee stated about the ALAN Workshop, “I get the strength to do the hard work that we do every day at school.”

Links to resources mentioned in this episode:

For additional information and images from the 2014 ALAN workshop, download this handout.

Jennifer Buehler is the host of Text Messages: Recommendations for Teen Readers. As a teacher consultant with the Eastern Michigan Writing Project, Jennifer led workshops on young adult literature for parents, teachers, and students in university methods classes. Now Assistant Professor of English Education at Saint Louis University, Jennifer teaches classes on young adult literature, English methods, writing pedagogy, content area literacy, and urban education. She was recently elected president of NCTE’s Assembly on Literature for Adolescents (ALAN), and she served as a member of ALAN’s first Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award Committee.