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Blog posts from May 2013

Common Sense Media's New App: Kids Media

Submitted by Sarah Ludwig on May 21, 2013 - 10:37am

Kids Media is Common Sense Media’s new app. Free and available for Android, iPhone, and iPad, it's a convenient way to access the content from the website offering parents and educators reviews of games, movies, books, TV shows, and more.

I have a love-hate relationship with Common Sense Media, Unlike typical reviews, Common Sense Media helps parents find age-appropriate media for their children. Each review identifies the most appropriate age group to consume the media, as well as specific content that might concern parents: sex, violence, drug use, materialism. For example, the review of the new "The Great Gatsby" movie identifies the target age as 14 and alerts readers to the following acts of violence, among other things: “A man is held by two others while someone else hits him, in a very brief scene. Another character runs over a woman with a car; her body is shown many times hitting the windshield and thudding to the ground. A man is also shown shooting someone from a distance and then putting the same gun in his mouth. A man strikes a woman hard.” Read More »


Books-to-Shorts Learning

Submitted by Sarah Ludwig on May 14, 2013 - 10:23am

One of the best parts of my job is sharing books with students. Sometimes, as a school librarian, I get so overwhelmed with research and technology instruction that I forget about books (it’s true!). But we have a robust YA collection that enjoys high circulation, and partly because three times a year, our middle school students are required to read a free-choice book over a long break in fall, winter, and spring. While requiring reading goes a bit against the grain of pleasure reading, the students can select any book they like and they do not have to finish it, which takes some of the pressure off. Before the break, every one of our middle school English classes comes into the library to hear about new books from me and to browse our collection for something to take home. The best part of this cycle, however, is the reflection. Read More »


The Stories We Tell Ourselves: Memory and Technology

Submitted by Kate Sheehan on May 10, 2013 - 8:51am

Last time, I said I’d talk about memory, but I just went back and checked the post to be sure. Our memories are dark, murky backwaters where events shift, timelines change, and we’re never really on stable ground. The more I read about how untrustworthy our memories are, the more I feel like I’m sliding into a more tedious, daily-life version of the movie Memento (did I do the dishes? Did I send that email? Not exactly murder and mayhem, thankfully.)  Read More »