Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Benefits of Teaching Foreign YAL

I noticed that a variety of blogs deal with young adult literature and what we may or may not teach to our students in the classroom. I think that as a teacher I would definitely be open to having my students read some foreign young adult literature. It would open up a new found appreciation for other countries and their cultures as well as create a new learning experience for students. You could also connect it to other classes that students may have. Some of the titles that I would be interested in teaching are Crutches in which a German boy is separated from his mother after the war and befriended by a legless German soldier. Another title is Hand Full of Stars in which a teenager from the Middle East keeps a diary detailing his involvement in an anti-gov newspaper. Shizuko's Daughter is another novel about a young Japanese girl who resides in America after her mother kills herself so that her daughter can have a better life free from her father and stepmother. There are many benefits to teaching foreign YAL to students. The hardest part is actually being able to obtain these books. It is best to look for them with small publishing co. and university presses.

iEarn (International Education and Resource Network)

When I become a teacher I really would like to do something that would connect my students with other students across the world exposing them to other cultures, ideas and religions. I really wouldn't mind working with iEARN (International Education and Resource Network). The non -profit organization is made up of 30,000 schools and youth organizations in more than 130 countries. It allows students to work on educational projects with their peers in other countries. These projects are significant.They teach students about major issues and concerns going on in other countries and allow them to work together on a common goal.   For example, a classroom in Colorado helped their peers in Botswana participate in a project titled the Eradication of Malaria. Students analyze causes and effects as well as prevention and the treatment of Malaria. I feel that something like this can expand a student's perception and strengthen their reason as well as teach them that they themselves are capable of creating change no matter age,ethnicity,economic background,etc. To see the impact that iEARN can have on a student you can watch the video above.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Team E-book or Team Paper Book?

Books, we've all read at least one, one time or another. You know, the covered thing with the pages in the middle. No? How about all that text on that kindle you carry around. Yes? Now you know what I mean when I say book, or should I say E-book. Is one form really better than the other? You can find a paper book anywhere. However, you can carry multiple e-books on one device minus the back strain. Paper books are cheap yet e-books are good for the environment. You can take notes in a paper book but in an e-book you can find these notes quickly and easily. You better have a lamp or a flashlight handy if you want to read your paper book. You can read your e-book wherever you'd like. It comes with display lighting. However,you need to be careful when reading your e-book. It may cause significant eye strain. Paper books don't come with that sort of warning. You can spill a cup of coffee on your paper book and you can still use it. Good luck spilling anything on your e-book reader. If that's the case, you better hope your warranty is still good, otherwise I'd try putting that thing in some rice. Paper books don't catch nasty software bugs that cause them to freeze up, but if that's the case with your e-book you need to get to a software doctor stat. I'd try the Geek squad at Best Buy. You don't have to charge the battery life on your paper book however some e-book reader's battery life last only a few hours. Whatever it is that you prefer, the point is that you just READ! Afterall, it's the words themselves that are the most important. 


The Affects of Movies on Books and Vice Versa

Recently, I did a podcast on The Hunger Games with a fellow student. It prompted me to think about the affects movies have on books and vice versa. The whole reason I started reading The Hunger Games series was because I saw previews for the movie months ago and heard it was based on a series of books that people could not put down. I ordered all three books on my kindle and I too could not stop reading them. I was addicted. I told my girlfriend and my roommate about the books. They became addicted and then they told people about them. It spread like wildfire. I feel that movies can be helpful in elevating the popularity of a novel or a series of novels. I don't know a Walmart or Target that does not have all three books stocked on their shelves. The same may be said for the Twilight Series as well as Janet Evanovich novels. People like me see these movie trailers, find out they are based on books and want to read them. However, the same can be said for the influence of books on the movie industry. People fall in love with the characters and story  in a novel and  want to see the images they create in their mind come to life on the big screen. Hollywood knows this and takes these novels  and turns them into guaranteed box office hits. I feel that books help movies just as much as movies help books. It's something I'd call a win win.