Saturday, October 27, 2007

Power Shift 2007

At the end of next week the first national youth summit devoted to the climate crisis will take place in Washington D. C. Their goal is to respond to the challenges of the 21st Century with a vision to achieve energy independence. At this conference, young adults are focused on establishing a national voice and send a message to 2008 U.S. Presidential candidates and Congress to take global warming seriously.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw It

Environmentmentalist Paul Hawken's new book is on my list of purchases to support the IGSS. It gives us an intriguing history of our perception of nature and human rights and assesses the roles of indigenous cultures play in the human quest for ecological responsibility. Hawken believes that we are living in a time of unprecedented activism working toward ecological sustainability and social justice.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

This American Life - Mapping

According to cartographer Denis Wood, "we live in the Age of Maps: more than 99.9 percent of all the maps that have ever existed have been made in this century". Host Ira Glass interviews Wood who tells us how maps are not impartial reference objects, but instruments of communication, persuasion, and power. Every map is a world seen through a different lens.

I plan on purchasing Wood's book, The Power of Maps for the IGSS. It should work as a resource for the questions "Where am I?"

Judy Gressel, librarian

Monday, October 22, 2007

Visions of Concern

Tara Donovan, Maya Lin, David Opdyke and Margaret Wertheim will explore environmental concerns through installation, sculpture, illustration and fiber works in conjunction with the Chicago Humanities Festival. "Visions of Concern" will be shown at the David Weinberg Collection.

One of the themes of this year's festival is the "Climate of Concern". The festival will feature over 120 programs examining global environmental and ecological disruption, one of the most important long-term issue facing civilization today. View all programs which run October 27 - November 11, 2007.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Digital Fluency

I like the Illinois Math and Science Academy's (IMSA) Digital Fluency Model.
Our job as librarians increasingly involves teaching students how digital information is different from print information and then giving them the skills to use a variety of tools for finding digital information,and knowing how to operate in a digital information environment. Our 2st Century researchers are truly "hunters and gatherers" and not note-takers in the traditional sense. The important thing for us as teachers is to ask the right kinds of questions (and teach them to ask questions) to focus their research.

Judy Gressel

Personal Geographies and other Maps of the Imagination

I am ordering a new book called You Are Here : Personal Geographies and other Maps of the Imagination by Katharine Harmon. You can explore it in Google Books--

Tom Lau, our new art teacher, has a wonderful lesson on Identity Mapping using examples in Harmon's book.
His questions:
Where do I fit in the landscape?
Where shall I go?
What values will I pack for the trip?
What culture of knowledge allows me to know what I know?

Harmon says, " The coded visual language of maps is one we all know, but in making maps of our world we each have our own dialect." Further, Stephen S. Hall, author of Mapping the Next Millennium (1992)says, "It is hard to look at a map without sensing, in our bones, private hopes and secret fears about change."

After hearing Mr. Lau's wonderful lesson, I could imagine students wanting to build an elective on Mapping, which could include not only geography and orienteering, but all kinds of mapping, such as genetic mapping. Maps are a way to show our belief in exploration and how humans relate to the planet --mapping is usually a way that we "make do" with incomplete information as we make choices and decisions. Hall, says Perhaps the most important things maps show is "all the things we still do not know".

Judy Gressel

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Artivist Film Festival

The 2007 Artivist Film Festival will be held in three cities: London, Lisbon and Hollywood.

"Artivist" is the first international film festival dedicated to addressing Human Rights, Children's Advocacy, Environmental Preservation, and Animal Rights. Their mission is to strengthen the voice of activist artists and raising public awareness for social global causes.

Each year, more than 70 Producers, Associate Producers, and Assistants volunteer their valuable time to bring the Annual Artivist Film Festival and The Artivist Awards to reality by "merging art and activism for global consciousness". In the past 3 years, Artivist has screened more than 200 international activist films from 35 countries.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Our Climate Matters

Be sure to check the schedule of the Four-day Symposium on Global Warming October 18-21, 2007 at the Glenview Park Center. Open to the public and admission is free.

Think Global, Map Local!

Just thought I'd just jump right in and start exploring some resources more publicly to give students and parents a chance to get a better idea about IGSS. I found this resource while search for visual mapping resources for one of our art teachers. It's called Green Map System which promotes inclusive participation in sustainable community development around the world, using mapmaking.

Local Green Mapmakers are able to create perspective-changing community ‘portraits’ which act as comprehensive inventories for decision-making and as practical guides for residents and tourists. The mapmaking teams use local knowledge and leadership to chart green living, ecological, social and cultural resources. The mapmaking process promises to have some tangible benefits which include spreading the word about local initiatives and expanding the demand for healthier greener choices.

We may want to give this a trial! Judy Gressel

New Trier Organic Garden