Saturday, February 16, 2019

5 Top Virtual Reality Products To Learn English via TechGenYZ

5 Top Virtual Reality products to learn English
TechGenYZ: 5.31.2018 by Annabelle Fee

Virtual Reality is transforming the world in unprecedented ways. In fact, industries such as marketing, entertainment, and education will change entirely as the use of VR technology increases. For example, several VR products are now available for English learners. These products are inexpensive, practical, and entertaining. You can use them to learn English while you are at home or at the office. Activate them at any time. In other words, you can learn English at a comfortable pace. However, choosing the right VR product for this purpose is critical. Doing so enhances your learning experience in addition to helping you learn as much about this language as possible. Here are the five top VR products to learn English. Try one of them today.

This VR product focuses on helping you learn English so that you can maximize the opportunities that exist in your business environment.

Sometimes, people find it easier to learn English with others than learning it alone. They are social learners and AltspaceVR is the ideal product for them. It connects people from more than 150 countries worldwide.

This VR product is one of the most innovative ones in the market. For example, teachers and students can use it to create their ideal learning environment. That means an English tutor can develop VR scenarios that resonate with the students he is teaching.

Mondly is an online language learning application. Currently, it has 25 million users. It teaches 33 different languages to these users and English is one of them.

Developed by Avantis Systems Limited, this VR platform thrives on a school model for learning languages. For example, the content in this system falls in line with curriculum-based lessons in educational institutions that teach English. Moreover, it hires qualified teachers as English specialists.  READ MORE >>

Friday, February 15, 2019

What Are Wordless Children’s Books and Where Can I Find Them? via Words Alive

What Are Wordless Children’s Books and Where Can I Find Them?
Words Alive: 1.31.2019 by Jennifer Van Pelt

Wordless children’s books rely on illustrations to tell the story and allow children to create their own narrative in their head. These books may have no words at all or may have just a few words on each page. Wordless books are commonly found in school and public libraries and can cater to children of all ages in elementary school. Popular examples include The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney, Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann, and Journey by Aaron Becker.

Why are Wordless Books Important?
Wordless books are important in building  literacy skills and confidence with books. Without a set storyline, there are a lot of different directions and discussions that the book can take the reader on. This allows for a more diverse method of learning. More specific benefits include:

➤It familiarizes children with books.
➤They allow children to use their imagination.
➤The story changes depending on who is reading it
➤You can read them in any language. Illustrations have no language.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

What Are The 13 Types of Literacy? via Edvocate

What Are The 13 Types of Literacy ?
Edvocate: 1.29.2019 by Matthew Lynch

When we think of literacy, we usually think of the ability to read and write. However, the understanding of literacy that we possess is often curtailed by our educational experiences. Those of us in the field of education know that there are numerous types of literacy, all of which help us navigate life and fully engage in our democratic society. In this short piece, I will briefly define each of the 13 types of literacy, and I hope to cover each one in an upcoming article series.

Digital Literacy- By this definition, encompasses a wide range of skills, all of which are necessary to succeed in an increasingly digital world.

Media Literacy- According to the National Association for Media Literacy Education, media literacy is the ability to access, analyze, evaluate, create, and act using all forms of communication.

Recreational Literacy- Independent activities that cultivate positive attitudes, interests, and literacy habits.

Disciplinary Literacy- The treatment by experts in various disciplines of students’ reading, writing, and critical thinking abilities specific to the different disciplines.

Civic Literacy- Knowledge of how to actively participate and effect change in the local community and society.

Multicultural Literacy- The ability to understand and appreciate the parallels and differences between customs, values, and beliefs.

Information Literacy- A transformational process first described by Abilock where the learner needs to find, understand, evaluate, and use information in various forms for their own personal gain. This can include personal, social, or global purposes.

Functional Literacy- The literacy skills required to navigate society successfully.

Content Literacy- The use of literacy in specific areas such as math literacy or science literacy.

Early Literacy- What a child knows about communication, reading, and writing before they learn to read and write.

Developmental Literacy- A form of literacy instruction that takes a child’s stage of development in consideration.

Balanced Literacy- A reading program that uses several different reading methods to offer differentiated reading instruction.

Critical Literacy- Is a collection of dispositions and skills that cultivate innovative teaching, critical thinking, and active inquiry.  READ MORE >>

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Oklahoma City OK :: Carlsbad CA :: Hamilton MT

Literacy: Spanning the U.S.     

Project Oklahoma: Dropout Rate Rises
KOKH Fox 25: 1.16.2019 by Phil Cross

For the last decade Oklahoma’s dropout rate seemed to be going down, but now it's back on the rise. Project Oklahoma found out there’s a good reason why the dropout rate rose dramatically, it is because the state’s previous reporting for students who quit school was not accurate.

In 1997 the state’s dropout rate was reported as 5.5% and for a decade the rate fell until it was 1.9% in the 2015-2016 school year. However, in the last reporting year the Oklahoma Department of Oklahoma reported a sharp uptick in the number of dropouts, raising the rate to 3% which represented 5,668 students.

Keeping tabs on struggling students or those who leave the education system has not always been as much of a priority as it is now.

“There's just not a whole lot of options jobs that pay well when you don't have a high school diploma,” said Riz White of the Community Literacy Centers. White runs the organization that teaches Oklahomans to read. Some people dropped out of school and some had technically graduated, but failed to ever learn to read in a traditional classroom.

“There's a huge problem with illiteracy,” White said, “And it is intergenerational and we are hoping to move the needle a little bit.”

According to the Oklahoma Literacy Resource Office, 16% of adults under the age of 24 do not have a high school diploma. For adults over the age of 24 the percentage of people who have no high school degree is 9% and both of those percentages are often much higher in rural communities.  WATCH 03:13

Literacy Breakthroughs: Carlsbad Library Learning Center Literacy Pairs
Learning Connections: January/February 2019 by Carrie Scott

Even with the most effective tutoring pairs, plateaus can happen. Sometimes, you may find you’re in a rut, struggling with a new learning theory or needing a different approach.

Here are three Carlsbad Library Learning Center literacy pairs who shared their recent breakthroughs and leaps forward! We hope that their stories will inspire you to try new techniques, tools and ideas.

Andrea G. and Anastasio S — Writer to Writer
Anastasio had never typed a letter before. He'd written some paragraphs, but never a complete letter, and certainly not to an author! Last year, he entered the Writer to Writer Challenge, a contest for adult learners to read a book and write a letter to the author about how the book impacted their life. Anastasio chose the book "Road Trip" by Gary Paulson. He said he liked the book, because he enjoyed how the characters became friends on the trip.

Stephanie S. and Adriana M. — Phono-Graphix
Tutor Stephanie had been working with her learner on Phono-Graphix for about six weeks. Because her learner had been in the program before, she flew through the initial lessons and even the advanced code sound lessons, because the words were familiar to her.

Rylee C. and Souad B. — Read Live
This pair had been meeting for about 6 months, and even though they were making progress, the learner was eager to learn faster. That's when we introduced them to Read Live, a computer program where the learner reads along with a story, while learning new vocabulary.  READ MORE >>

Donors Keep Literacy Bitterroot Funded Until Tax Monies Kick In
Ravalli Republic: 1.20.2019 by Perry Backus

In November, Ravalli County residents passed a 1.5 mill levy to support adult literacy with 54 percent of the vote.

It was great news for Literacy Bitterroot director Dixie Stark, whose 30-year-old program was facing a financial challenge after losing about half its annual budget following changes made by the Montana Office of Public Instruction that made it impossible for the program to apply for a federal grant.

“We were so grateful to see the message was clear,” Stark said. “Our community understood that our program was both necessary and that its services needed to be provided locally.”

The levy is expected to bring in about $120,000 a year for the adult literacy program based in Hamilton. But that funding won’t be available for Literacy Bitterroot until the end of the year.

“The levy passed in November,” Stark said. “Tax bills go out in October, which means the levy won’t appear on tax bills until Oct. 2019. I assume we’ll get some funding sometime after that.”

Until then, Stark said the program will run off money that it has in the bank and generous donations from people interested in ensuring the adult literacy program continues to help the wide range of people who come through its doors.  READ MORE >>

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Advancing Community Goals: The Evolving Role of the Public Library via ICMA

Advancing Community Goals: The Evolving Role of the Public Library
ICMA: 11.26.2018 by Rebecca DeSantis

Libraries have always served as a resource and gathering place for communities, but their role is evolving as community needs change. Jessica Cadiente, ICMA member and library director of the Santa Barbara Library in California for just over three years, is actively helping her library fit the needs of the residents in Santa Barbara. "Local libraries are flexible and nimble," she states. "We joke that we are always in draft form because as our communities change so do we."

When the Thomas fire hit the area in December 2017, the library sprang into action to help provide services for the community. Cadiente explains: "While everyone was trying to leave town and many other organizations, businesses, and community centers across town closed, our library team stayed. We knew it was an all hands on deck moment and everyone stepped up to extend services. We immediately added more programming, more classes, more events."

In both immediate actions and long-term initiatives, libraries across the country are working with the community to provide resources and services that meet the needs of each generation of library users. In 2016, ICMA partnered with the Aspen Institute and the Public Libraries Association to conduct the nationwide survey “Local Libraries Advancing Community Goals,” which focused on the evolving role of public libraries in advancing community goals. In this month's "facts and stats" blog, we pull out some of the highlights from this survey and what this means for libraries today.

> 53% of jurisdictions cited foundations and nonprofit organizations as part of their strategy to ensure financial sustainability of the library system.

> 73% of responding jurisdictions ranked “access to high-speed internet service” as an important or highly important role of their local library.

> 60.1% of respondents rate the level of public interest in library services in the community as “high” or “very high.”  READ MORE >>

Monday, February 11, 2019

StoryWalk® Project via Kellogg Hubbard Library

StoryWalk® Project

StoryWalk® is an innovative and delightful way for children — and adults! — to enjoy reading and the outdoors at the same time. Laminated pages from a children's book are attached to wooden stakes, which are installed along an outdoor path. As you stroll down the trail, you're directed to the next page in the story.

StoryWalks® have been installed in 50 states and 12 countries including, Germany, Canada, England, Bermuda, Russia, Malaysia, Pakistan and South Korea! They are always received with appreciation.
StoryWalk® was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and has developed with the help of Rachel Senechal, Kellogg-Hubbard Library. If you are interested in having a StoryWalk® in your community,  see our FAQs at the bottom of the page.

When I created the StoryWalk® Project in 2007, I knew I had a great idea; I just didn’t anticipate how well it would be received across the country and beyond. The idea was quite simple actually. Take the pages from a children’s picture book, attach each one to a stake and line them up along a path for folks to read and enjoy.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Literacy – Spanning the US :: Ypsilanti MI :: Citrus Co FL :: Washington Co MO :: Rockwall Co TX

Literacy: Spanning the U.S.     

Changing Lives One Word At A Time
Washtenaw Voice: 1.14.2019 by Catherine Engstrom-Hadley

According to the National Adult Literacy Survey, an estimated one in six adults in Washtenaw County do not have the skills to keep a job, read a map or prescription bottles, or fill out a job application. For over 50 years, Washtenaw Literacy, a local organization, has fought to help citizens learn and improve on basic skills.

The organization offers free tutoring for basic reading, writing, math and English as a second language.

Washtenaw Literacy was founded by group of professors from the University of Michigan, who later partnered with the Ypsilanti Public library. The group offers free tutoring for anyone who needs it.

Unemployment for low-skilled adults is higher than any other group, at 7.7 percent in 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.  READ MORE >>

Local Students Graduate From Library System’s Online Program
Chronicle: 1.15.2019 by Claire Phillips Laxton

It’s never too late to get your high school diploma or a GED (Graduate Equivalency Degree.) Both are offered to future qualified adult graduates, age 19 or older, through the Citrus County Libraries.

In 2016, the Citrus County Library Systems began a Career Online High School (COHS) program, where if qualified, students can earn a high school diploma and also get a career certificate.

Graduates complete the program anywhere from four months, if they have other high school credits, to 18 months. Candidates must also have a library card in good standing.

In addition, they get a certified coach to help them reach their goal and graduate.

It’s an adult program: Participants must be 19 and have attended some high school, even as a freshman. Thus far, the program has seen graduates from 19 to 63 years old.  READ MORE >>

There Y Literacy and Washington Public Library Offer Free Citizenship Classes
eMissourian: 1.16.2019

Last year when then-Lt. Gov. Mike Parson was sworn in June 1 as Missouri’s 57th governor, following the resignation of Gov. Eric Greitens, Melanie Schmitt was quick to text a few of the students in the free monthly citizenship classes she teaches at Washington Public Library.

She wanted to be sure they were aware of the sudden change in case they were specifically asked about the Missouri governor during the interview portion of their naturalization test.

For more than a year now, Schmitt has been helping immigrants study and prepare for their citizenship tests. It’s a volunteer service that grew out of her work as a literacy tutor with Four Rivers Area YMCA.

Becoming an American citizen isn’t easy. There’s a lot of information to know and understand, such as:

>What is the supreme law of the land?
>How many amendments does the Constitution have?
>What are the first three words of the Constitution?

Those are just some of the 100 questions immigrants could be asked in the civics portion of their naturalization test. An applicant is asked up to 10 questions out of a possible 100 and has to answer six correctly during an oral interview in order to pass, said Schmitt.

And that is just the beginning.

Applicants also must prove their understanding of the English language through speaking, reading and writing tests.  READ MORE >>

Reading for Adults Literacy Center Celebrates 100th New Citizen

The Reading for Adults Literacy Center, a part of the Rockwall County Library,  will celebrate almost twenty years of the RFA program and honor eleven students who have recently passed their test to become a United States Citizen. The reception will be Saturday, January 26th, 2019 at 10 a.m., in the Community Room of the Rockwall County Library, 1215 E. Yellowjacket Lane, Rockwall.

Special recognition will be given to the 100th new citizenship, achieved with the RFA’s Citizenship classes. Each new citizen will be recognized and awarded a certificate and US flag. Local Girls Scouts will be present plus a choir composed of existing RFA students and tutors.

More than 70 tutors have been trained and contributed thousands of volunteer hours to assist the 300-400 ESL, GED and Citizenship students annually.  The current enrollment for all classes is 357 adult students according to Carol Cease, Director of the RFA program.  READ MORE >>