Random Thoughts: Change, Primary Sources & Other Stuff

Posts Tagged ‘Change

STOCKTONBRANCFLOURThe high gluten promotion in historic Stockton flour sack displayed at the Winona County History Center caught my eye. A Wingold flour sack also promotes high gluten. High gluten flour hasn’t gone away, but we know the promotion now (and dietary need for others) is Gluten Free.

How – and why – have our eating habits have changed? The Tastemakers, a fascinating look at past, current and emerging food trends gives insight and a cultural history of recent food trends such as Cupcakes, Celebrity chefs, Cronuts, Fondue, Health foods, Ethnic foods  & BACON!

Journalist David Sax who analyzed trends and data, explains clever promotion along with the economic need to increase pork sales during the “other white meat” trend” were factors in the recent bacon trend. All the trends I had encountered – chia seeds, Red Prince apples, Indian cooking, food trucks – were ultimately motivated by commerce. What drove people to open one more cupcake bakery. . . wasn’t their desire to unleash the perfect strawberry buttercream on the world – it was to make a buck. Food trends were products of capitalism. . . . (Baconomics: 101, Ch 10)

“Marketing: Someday my Red Prince Will Come” offers a look at the high cost of developing and marketing specialty apples such as the Red Prince grown in Canada or specialty apples like Honeycrisp or Sweet Tango developed by the University of Minnesota.

“Taco Trucks: Food Politics” is an interesting account of the difficulty food truck operators faced trying to get more selling spaces in Washington D.C. Now we see them everywhere.

What about Bacon? Some reports claim say the trend is fading, others disagree.

The Tastemakers is a fun read for foodies or people interested in advertising and change.

I loved this book and an excited about interesting possibilities for curriculum connections in economics, family and consumer science or sociology. It would be fun to enhance the study the history of food and food related trends with primary sources. There are an abundance of resources. Here a couple to get you thinking.

PantryShelf The story of a pantry shelf, an outline history of grocery specialties (Butterick, 1925) discusses  the “evolution of  five [food} decades.” Advertising and the ingenuity of American enterprise were identified as key influences on what we eat. How does your panty shelf compare to the 1925 example? The book is one of hundreds of items in Prosperity and Thrift: The Coolidge Era and the Consumer Economy, a Library of Congress collection of documents, books, photos and ephemera.

Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project  highlights a part of America’s cultural heritage for teachers, students and researchers. 76 digital cookbooks represent influential and important cookbooks from the late 18th century to the 20th century. They are for lifelong learners of all ages.

What cookbooks would you include in your historic cookbook collection?

What are you nominations for an update to The Tastemakers?

Primary sources offer engaging learning opportunities for  classrooms. Learn how!

Sax, David. The Tastemakers: Why we’re crazy for cupcakes but fed up with Fondue. Public Affairs/Perseus Books Group, 2014.

catalogA delightful display greets visitors arriving at the home of a Minnesota Media Services and
Instructional Technology Program Director. Click the photo to view these reminders of school library media center things past in more detail! How many of these artifacts do you remember?  How many were part of your career? Are some things puzzling?

Enjoy. . . reminisce. . .  think about how much school media centers and technology have changed since 1980.   Change is sometimes hard to see when we are part of it!  Celebrate!

Jane Prestebak, the owner of this collection, would like to know if anyone  has a book that held the cards that one checked magazines in with?  “What’s it called?”  She hopes someone “can part with one of those magazine thingys.”

A picture really is worth a thousand words!


CD Rom Encyclopedia

I loved being an early adapter and introducing technology to students when technology first became available for school media centers. We piloted a circulation system on an Apple II, the text only CD-ROM  version of World Book on CD-Rom, and Gopher Internet with its text driven commands.  We explored software, collaborative initiatives and multimedia.  We  tried out a few non-computer innovations such as video disks and created a video production studio with a mix of scavenged old and new technology.  Cutting edge technology was not without it stress and there were a few failures But, through trials, errors, and frustrations we learned what works, what doesn’t work and what’s best for real learning.  We expanded possibilities for students and the media program. We were part of change and it created change.     The Verge post of photos and animated GIFs of old-school technology (including a few audio visual items) are worth a few seconds of reminiscing. Be thankful for wireless, and no longer hooking up zip drives or pry jammed floppy disks out of drives.
Enjoy  Reboot: these stunning still-life photos will take you back to the future

Photo: The CD-ROM still worked after a  dunking in a boys’ bathroom toilet!  Remember making signs with Print Shop?

growingschoolsStaff development is an important, exciting role for school library media specialists. Media specialists have a unique perspective of the school and curriculum; they work with all learners and staff and have the expertise in technologies, literacies and information resources.

I was excited to see that Noodle Tools founder Debbie Abilock, along with co-editors Kristin Fontichiaro and Violet Harada have compiled sixteen essays by a diverse group of contributors that address both the why and practicality of the staff development role. I enjoyed the “real-life” examples, tips, and sample lessons.

This welcome book is available from Libraries Unlimited. It’s a great addition to all professional development collections and for media specialists who want to be instructional leaders and impact change. It will be a wonderful resource for me as an online educator.

A few personal real-life examples.

Change!  The student tendency to “just Google it” while ignoring other resources is raises concern among media specialists and teachers. Discussions about banning or limiting Google are not uncommon.  One suggested even banning searching .com sites.  Google and web searching are not going away.

Google Lesson plans are Google’s new tool designed to help media specialists and teachers teach students how to be effective users of information.  There are multiple lesson plans for beginning, intermediate and advanced searchers are aligned with Common Core Standards and both AASL and ISTE information and technology literacy standards.

  • Picking search terms
  • Understanding search results
  • narrowing a search for better results
  • Searching for evidence for research tasks
  • Evaluating source credibility

A lesson plan map  gives a succinct overview  of each lesson; the very complete step-by-step lessons are accessible as Google Docs files. The lessons fit with standard research processes such as the Big 6. Take a look at Google Lessons. 

Thank you to Debbie Abilock from Noodle Tools for introducing me to these helpful literacy resources.

Learn more about teaching information and technology literacy and engaging, critical thinking activities for students in an online course. Teaching Digital Media Literacy in the Content Areas: Using Primary Sources .

Newer post with comments from Users

The arrival of enhanced e-Books and iTextbooks is exciting; both add a new dimension to the continuing discussions about the future of the book.  Media specialists are purchasing e-readers, e-books; media centers and classrooms are providing iPads and other tablets for students. This week I visited with a former teacher who has been retired for several years.  She is an avid reader and book lover.  Her iPad filled with books, videos and photos is her constant companion.  She “blames” me for dragging her into the technology age in the 1990’s.  The reading/technology projects we developed for her middle school students are among my favorites.  I’d love to see enhanced e-books of the Gary Paulsen novels her students couldn’t get enough of. Last night I explored a biology textbook on our iPad;  It makes makes total sense to enhance textbook learning with built-in audio and video.

Media specialists are asking what to purchase; some are getting requests or suggestions to replace all books with digital content.  It’s a more daunting mind-shift than the “why do we need books when we have the Internet?” questions of a few years ago.

These discussions always bring to mind From Scribes to Printers, to You/Me,  a seminar I attended three year’s ago. The English professor’s entertaining, scholarly, and thought-provoking history of the book stuck with me. He chronicled the evolution of the book and reactions to its changing formats throughout the centuries. Hstorically, he placed books publishing in three eras.

The medium: Stone, clay, parchment, paper, disk
The container: Book, html, and scroll
The production/dissemination method

He included visuals and a fun video, “The Medieval Helpdesk with Subtitles,” in the session.  Take a look if you haven’t seen it. Enjoy watching the scribes who are both amazed and afraid when they examine a book, the printed word in a new format. They had to turn pages! I left the seminar full of thoughts, excited and comforted.  Books will remain, they just will they will be different.

Learn more!
Medieval  Help Desk with Subtitles

The New Media Specialist.  Internet@ Schools, Jan/Feb 2012
   or  http://wp.me/P9FeO-9z
Teaching Digital Media Literacy in the Content Areas Online class
Learning Together: The Evolution of a 1:1 iPad Program Internet@ Schools, Jan/Feb 2012

An email signature tells a familiar story:

________, Librarian
Lincoln/Century/John Marshall/Golden Hill

The signature represents media specialists serving multiple buildings or working at new grade levels as media positions are reduced. Cuts abound despite an infusion of technology, restructured media programs,and research connecting media specialists to improved student achievement. Verbal and written support about the value of a library or media specialist has not translated  into monetary support at a time of universal funding problems.  . .More      The decline  in positions is disturbing and disheartening.

The experiences shared by several media specialists who responded to my request for their stories are shared in a journal article, What Happens When Media Positions Are Cut? is available as a full text article via Ebsco Databases.

Select the Link for a PDF version.   What Happens when Media Positions are Cut?   (Library Media Connection, May/June, 2011, Vol. 29 Issue 6, p16-18 3p) Reproduced with permission of ABC-CLIO, LLC.

Updated October 2011

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