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Friday, August 15, 2014

Deep Reading on Digital Devices

Those of us who enjoy reading and who grew up with books printed on paper, may not see reading online as real reading.  But, that doesn't have to be true.  We know that reading levels have dropped, even for those in college, but once you understand why that does not have to the case.

Kids and adults learning to read and comprehend today don't know how to read deeply, but studies show they can learn.

Quotes from Being A Better Online Reader, July 16, 2014 The New Yorker 

The shift from print to digital reading may lead to more than changes in speed and physical processing. It may come at a cost to understanding, analyzing, and evaluating a text. Much of Mangen’s research focusses on how the format of reading material may affect not just eye movement or reading strategy but broader processing abilities. One of her main hypotheses is that the physical presence of a book—its heft, its feel, the weight and order of its pages—may have more than a purely emotional or nostalgic significance.

Deep reading defined: It’s the “sophisticated comprehension processes,” as Wolf calls it,......
“Reading is a bridge to thought,” she says. “And it’s that process that I think is the real endangered aspect of reading.

In a new study, the introduction of an interactive annotation component helped improve comprehension and reading strategy use in a group of fifth graders. It turns out that they could read deeply. They just had to be taught how.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Looking for a Free Team Management Tool --up to 15 people can use this one for free

Tech-Talk: WEB TOOL - For Project Management

Do you ever want to collaborate on projects with colleagues and need a way to keep track of who's working on what... and the progress each person is making?

project managementGroup efforts can involve whole teams of people, both inside your organization and outside. 

Even if you have a defined goal and know who is responsible for each part, it can turn into a mess of back-and-forth email communications, not knowing the progress other members are making.

Project management software can be expensive, have steep learning curves and people have different preferences in the tools they use. So how do you manage these tasks?

We discovered a web-based option that we'll call a "lite" project management (PM) tool that includes the must-have options -- AND has a free level for up to 15 team members so that you can stay organized and get your work done at no additional cost.
Asana is a web-based tool that gives you one place to create projects with tasks, assign work to team members, and share ideas and updates. 

While it may not be filled with some of the bells and whistles that other PM tools offer, it has all the functionality you need to stay connected to your team and is simple and easy to use.
Asana's tag line is "teamwork without email" -- so that you don't have to rely on reading, writing, sorting messages related to each group task.

Interestingly enough, Asana was founded by Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz and ex-engineer Justin Rosenstein, both of whom worked on improving the productivity of employees at Facebook.

The creators of this tool like to refer to it as more of a "teamwork communications manager," rather than a traditional project management tool. All communication in Asana is actionable and tied to the work that needs to be done. In one place you'll see the critical information of: 
·  Project list
·  Tasks within each individual project that can be broken down into subsections
·  Who is responsible for each task
·  The due date of a task and if has been done
·  Notes and comments from team members
·  Links to corresponding documents (in GoogleDocs or Dropbox)

Asana Lets You:
·  Assign team members to be part of a project or just be designated to "follow" it (and receive periodic updates).
·  Create templates for recurring projects to save time in the future.
·  Archive completed projects so that you can save the history if needed.
·  Work on-the-go from anywhere ... because it is web-based.
·  Connect via iPhone and Android smart phones with an app.
·  Receive email updates to give you a heads-up when task due dates are approaching or a team member has completed a phase of the project.
·  Invite guests and give them special permissions to be assigned tasks or just view projects.
Sometimes with free tools, you "get what you pay for." But even though we consider Asana to be a lite-weight tool, it is robust enough for project planning and working together as a team.  

AsanaHowever, there are benefits to upgrading to a paid version. When you upgrade, you'll be able to use it if your organization has 15 or more members who you want to create projects, work within teams and have unlimited guests (not officially part of your group).  

To stay productive, you can even use Asana by yourself to get a handle on your own projects and to-do list items. Take a look at

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Health Literacy

Here is a post by Julie McKinney I just saw on LINCS:

Have you tried using the MedlinePlus Interactive Health Tutorials in your adult ed classes? They are self-paced online tutorials that use pictures and animations to supplement the text, which is read by audio. They are interactive and include quiz question to test knowledge. You can also get a printout of the texts to use offline for previewing vocabulary, reading practice or review.

The topics available include a huge range of health issues and a good selection of tests, surgeries and other procedures. So you can learn about a condition you have, or about a procedure that you are preparing for or deciding about.

You could use these tutorials to teach technical skills, reading comprehension or health literacy, among other things.

LINCS has several discussion groups you can join.

Renew your VALF membership today.  We make it easy. Complete the online form and use the donate button to go to PayPal. It is only $15 for an individual and $25 for a group.  Business members only pay $100. 

Sandy Newell

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sign Up by Noon for this Free Program Management Workshop in Quincy

Sign up by noon today, if you plan to attend.

I am pleased to let you know that Sandy Newell will be providing a free program management workshop for adult volunteer literacy programs in the panhandle. It will be in Quincy next Thursday, July 31, and Friday, August 1.  The service is being provided by Volunteers for Adult Literacy in Florida (VALF).

Please share this announcement with anyone in your area running an adult volunteer literacy program or considering starting a program.

The Gadsden County Public Library Literacy Volunteers program is hosting a two-day workshop. Ideally you would attend both days, but you are welcome to attend one day. Please email me by Noon on Wednesday, July 30, if you plan to attend. Include your name, name of program, title if you are working with a program or in a library and your email address. Include why you would like to attend this training.

Here are objectives, times and location:  The workshop will be at the Gadsden County Public Library at the downtown library in Quincy at
732 South Pat Thomas Pky.
Quincy, FL 32351-4210
Phone: 850-627-7106

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Career Resources

Volunteer tutors can use this tool to help their students select careers. A tutor could use the articles to kickoff a language experience story (LES).  This can be used with low level learners and with English Lanugage Learners.

Career Information Center
Check out this lastest addition to Gale Virtual Reference Library (GVRL), available to your patrons through the Florida Electronic Library (FEL).

Career Information Center, 10th edition provides the most current information available on careers in the United States and Canada, to people of all ages and all stages of career development. Each volume covers a career cluster and its common career pathways. Job profiles cover the following: job facts; nature of work; work environment; education; licenses; certification and training; job outlook; similar occupations; and sources of additional information, such as books, audio/visual materials and organizations.

GVRL is a database of encyclopedias, and specialized reference sources, for multidisciplinary research. Your patrons can access these reference materials online from the library, or remotely through the FEL.