Posted on 4 July 2010 Sunday

Last Sunday, I was completing a 10 hour drive from Mississippi. Today, I’m home and relaxing in the shade!

First, I have to say I haven’t been doing much to advance my tech skills this summer. I did sign up for a session at the local Apple store (they offer free training on their software!) but I neglected to put it onto any of my calendars and can’t find the confirmation email ūüė¶ ¬† I’ve been doing a little more with GoodReads, not much, just a little. I’m not using that as a networking resource at all. If you’re one there, let’s link up!

I use GoodReads, Twitter and this blog to build my PLN–personal learning network. Both WRITEON and Multiculturalism Rocks write about their personal learning networks. Back in the day, it was just ‘networking’ with professionals we knew personally. Via the internet our network grows¬†exponentially¬†to include a vast array of professionals we can turn to for advice and support on issues that concern us. I try to be careful of the personal stuff I put in the ether as I’ve seen too many ways everything we do is traced and linked. I’d like to create a trail that really shows the strength of what I try to do, where I’ve given or obtained advice and what I’m learning along the way. Sometimes, maybe I’m too careful, but I don’t know if that’s possible on the Internet.

One thing I’ve learned from my students is that they were as likely to read manga online as they were to find it at the library. Looks like the free online read is about to end. Can you say ‘copyright violation’? Also in Publisher’s Weekly there is a small insight into deciding what goes on a cover. ¬†I think this quote is quite telling:

According to Bank, Alloy is not planning to move away from showing teens on the front of its books, but it is diversifying. In fact the packager’s bestselling series, Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, uses the iconic image of a faded pair of jeans. Even if having teens on the covers is getting a little tired, both Bank and Jacobs agree that the right teen girl in the right pose can still move a lot of books. Another factor Bank likes to keep in mind is to make sure that the cover makes the book feel commercial.

(emphasis my own.) Diversity here is using jeans rather than teens. And the ‘right teen’?

When you click the link to read the entire article, be sure to look in the column to the right where they list the top 5 selling ‘children’s fiction’. These are actually YA books and from the title they give the list to how old these bools are, we get a clear reminder of how conservative and slow to change the world of ‘children’s books’ really is. When our PLN consists of bloggers and other contemporary sources, we can miss a lot. We have to maintain diverse PLNs if we really want to stretch ourselves. Diversity here means ethnically, politically and socially.

AHhhhhhhhhh! The 4th of July!! Too much food. Fireworks. Leisure.  A summer half gone. Soldiers still fighting. Oil still leaking. I should have waxed poetic with that!

Here’s really good 4th reading: Douglass’ What to the Slave is the 4th of July?’

Let’s celebrate all that keeps us free!

Posted in: Sunday Reads