I've decided to make this the last WWHs of the school year. I always like to do a "Best of" for the final post, so...in no particular order...here are my favorite Weekly Web Hits from the past 10 months! (Please contain your excitement. You're just embarrassing yourself.)
The 80s were so awesome, weren't they? I mean, MTV actually showed music videos all day, and our vocabulary was enhanced by words like bodacious, hoser (or its alternative, hosehead), and Eurotrash. You never hear those words anymore, unless you're watching this. We've lost a lot of great words to time, but it looks like some long-dead words may enjoy a resurgence soon. Linguists and historians at the University of York have put together a list of 30 "lost words" that they believe could be relevant to our lives today. The researchers looked at historical texts and etymological dictionaries to build the list, and the insurance company that paid for the research is now sponsoring a vote by the public as to which words warrant a comeback. The list contains some truly useful words, like slug-a-bed (a lazy person who lays in bed all day) and rouker (a person who spreads rumors). But the best? Betrump, a verb meaning to deceive or cheat. I coney-catch you not.
You MUST try Breakout EDU, an "immersive learning games platform" created for the classroom. In a BreakoutEDU challenge, students have to work together and use a lot of critical thinking to solve a series of puzzles. The end goal is to unlock a box that contains a "prize" of some sort. It's kind of like an escape room game but without the zombies. BreakoutEDU comes as a kit, with boxes and locks and such. You make up the clues, and you provide the denouement, so to speak. There are also subject packs available, so your breakout game can align with your curriculum. It's an awesome idea. If you're interested in trying BreakoutEDU, let me know. The library will happy to host your students!
*UPDATE: Michelle P. and I went to a BreakoutEDU workshop in April, and we each have a Breakout kit that's fully stocked with all you need to make your Breakout experience a great one. Maybe a bit late for this year...although you can't beat a good interactive game for the last week of school!
Oh, Canva, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways! I've written about Canva before, but they just keep making it better, so it's worth re-posting about this amazing design tool. The lovely US librarians and I were just singing Canva's praises the other day! I use Canva to create all of the JAG meeting invites. You can design presentations, posters, photo collages, infographics, and more. Now Canva offers a ton of teaching materials and lesson plans on all kinds of topics, everything from biodiversity to product branding and marketing. You can also peruse design articles and tutorials on a whole host of topics. Whitney and I had our advisories make initial selfie posters this morning, and they're adorbs! I don't gush about web tools all that often, but Canva is a gem.
*UPDATE: The above JAG logo was created on Canva, and it will be used on a snazzy table banner and buttons for the Affinity Group Fair on the last day of school.
Take a look at What Unites Us, a really interesting interactive from The Washington Post. For What Unites Us, photographers from the WaPo gathered answers to that question from people in every state plus Washington, D.C. In a country that seems so polarized by the current political climate, what values and beliefs connect Americans today? What does it mean to be an American today? You can explore the site thematically, through topics like Community and Empathy, Opportunity and Drive, and Freedom and Fundamental Rights. Another way to explore the site is to click on the thumbnail photos of the 100+ participants in the journalists' interviews. The interviews "reveal commonalities and convictions that bridge geography, gender, occupation, race or religion — an indication that perhaps what unites Americans to one another is as powerful as what divides them." After exploring the site, students could conduct their own interviews with fellow students and faculty to find out what unites us right here at CA. Could be a thought-provoking project...
In my never-ending quest to slay the fake news dragon, I've been thinking a lot about media bias. I think I can skip over the question "Is media bias a real thing?" and go straight to "How does media bias affect journalism today and what can we do about it?" Truth is, people do want unbiased news, but we also think our country's media is doing a very mediocre job at being unbiased. Of course, as citizens living in a polarized political climate, "a significant proportion of the public feels that powerful people are using the media to push their own political or economic interests, rather than represent ordinary readers or viewers." Interestingly, the Pew Research Center found that the U.S. is "one of only a few countries where governing party supporters are less satisfied with their news media than are nonsupporters." All of this is very confusing. If we believe that the media is biased, does that mean it is? According to this chart, one of many you can find online, the answer is yes. But then again, we really can't trust our ourselves because of our own biases, so I think I'm back at square one. Clearly, this is going to take a lot more research to unravel...
Search challenge time!
Last week's challenge:
There are some pretty strange symbols on the emoji keyboard on my iPhone. I don't know for certain, but I'm kinda sure that the same symbols appear on all emoji keyboards? Anyway, this one looks like a gold circle or horn with a red belt on it. There's even another emoji of a building with this circle on it (without the red belt). What is this symbol and what is its meaning?
If you see tears streaming down my face, don't worry; they are tears of joy. I'm so proud of so many of you- especially my Star Searchers- because you've grown so much in your search skills this year. I don't think there's any challenge that you cannot tackle! You've become excellent query formers, and you don't become discouraged if your first attempt doesn't yield the results you want. Stellar work this year, kiddos! Maybe the time for search challenges has passed. You're just that good.
As for the solution to the above challenge: Many of you were able to figure this one out quickly. Various search queries included [emoji meaning horn red] and [gold circle emoji with red belt]. Even if these initial queries did not yield desired results, you persisted! You may have been led, like Star Searcher Dan, to an emoji search engine, or to an emojipedia (yes, that's a thing). Detective Benson's search led to her to the following, the perfect answer:
Postal Horn A postal horn (usually called a post horn) was used in the 18th and 19th centuries to indicate that a mail coach was arriving to deliver the mail. When the horn was blown, people would have to get out of the way, sort of like a siren today.The appearance of a postal horn is similar to that of a bugle — a trumpet-like brass musical instrument without any valves.This postal horn can be found in the logos of many European postal services, and is also shown on the front of the European Post Office emoji in the Apple artwork. Postal Horn was approved as part of Unicode 6.0 in 2010 and added to Emoji 1.0 in 2015.
Dan confirmed what I'd read: This postal horn can be found in the logos of many European postal services, and is also shown on the front of the European Post Office emoji in the Apple artwork.
Congratulations to all of our amazing colleagues who are retiring this year! You are loved and will be missed by all!
And to those friends who are moving on to other opportunities: Best of luck in all you pursue! You are loved and will be missed as well...
Have a great summer, everyone!