The Link: International Creativity Month

Creativity is reflected in human innovation and problem-solving endeavors throughout history. It is present in arts, education, technology, science, and in almost everything we do.  Creativity encourages children’s curiosity and helps them learn to think independently and critically. For adults, creativity inspires innovation, progress, and joy.  As we evolve as a species, creativity helps us evolve as a society.

January is International Creativity Month. Founded by motivational speaker and author Randall Munson, International Creativity Month is geared towards celebrating the power of creativity across the globe. Sources in this month’s newsletter illustrate how creativity is implemented in workplaces, in education, with food, with children, and across cultures.

Creativity in Work

100 Ways to Be More Creative at Work  

 Huffington Post (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mitch-ditkoff/workplace-creativity_b_3192893.html

Arianna Huffington is a nationally syndicated columnist and author of ten books. She has done numerous guest spots on political talk shows and news shows. Her blog attracts many well-known political figures and celebrities who comment on various events around the nation. In the Huff Post business section, readers learn how to express creativity in their jobs by reading the list of 100 examples on how to use creativity in the workplace.

5 Benefits Of Hiring Creative Employees

NEW! Careerealism

http://www.careerealism.com/hiring-creative-employees-benefits/

Careerealism was founded in 2009 on the idea of helping people solve their career and job search problems. The site evaluates and approves all contributors to ensure their content is cutting-edge and relevant. There are many ways to use creativity in the workplace, but what are the benefits of hiring creative employees? It is important to understand what creative people can do for a company and how these people can make a business even better. This article provides information on the benefits of hiring creative people in the workplace.

Motivating Creativity at Work: The Necessity of Others is the Mother of Invention

American Psychological Association (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.apa.org/science/about/psa/2011/07/motivating-creativity.aspx

The American Psychological Association is a Scientific and professional organization representing psychologists in the U.S. It promotes health, education, and human welfare. This article explains how connecting employees to end users and encouraging pro-social motivation can create a more creative work environment. For instance, creating events, circulating stories between employees and end users, along with collecting data on end users perspectives allows employees to become motivated to share creativity with future projects.

12 Ways to Be More Creative at Work

U.S. News Online (find it on the ipl2)

http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2011/07/19/12-ways-to-be-more-creative-at-work

This site from US News and World Report contains a lot of free content. The World Report financial section discusses 12 in depth ways to be more creative at work. Some of the examples included in the article are embracing diversity, thinking like a boss, branching out, and writing your ideas down. The article helps working individuals understand that everyone needs to add creativity to their working environment.

12 Ways Tech Companies Boost Creativity

Inc.com Technology (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.inc.com/ss/how-tech-companies-boost-creativity#12    

Inc.com Technology is the premiere U.S. publication for entrepreneurship. The site provides hands-on advice, case studies, and big-picture overviews on the state of small business in the U.S. In this slide show of companies, users receive an inside look at the ways tech companies are boosting creativity on a daily basis.

Creativity in Education

Student Creativity and the Common Core

NEW! Catapult Learning

https://www.catapultlearning.com/creativity-and-the-common-core/

Student Creativity and the Common Core is an article provided by Catapult Learning, which is an organization dedicated to helping struggling students in K-12 improve their academic achievements. This source explains how students across America in K-12 compete globally through common core by encouraging students to think creatively and innovatively.

The Lego Foundation (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.legofoundation.com/en-us/programs-and-partnerships/programmatic-focus/

The Lego Foundations and the Lego Group aim to encourage children to become future builders through the action of play. The Lego Foundations suggests that through play children are able to develop their skills as creative problem solvers, cultivate critical thinking, and establish a routine of collaboration. The Lego Foundation sponsors many international projects, from the World Robot Olympiad in Malaysia to robotics classes in Rural India, and from lectures on sustainable living in Copenhagen to creating global programs for children in environmental development. The Lego Foundation believes that play is training for the unexpected and attempts to give that training to children around the globe.

30 Ways to Promote Creativity in the Classroom 

NEW! Innovation Excellence

http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2013/01/10/30-ways-to-promote-creativity-in-your-classroom/

This article discusses the research of creativity in education performed by Sir Ken Robinson, David Hughes, and E. Paul Torrance, all of whom are advocates for more creative educational environments. The article offers 30 suggestions that could cultivate creativity in the classroom ranging from embracing creativity as a part of learning, the use of emotional connections to create ties to the classroom material, the use convergent and divergent thinking when creating assignments, to simply giving students time to ask questions, among many others. The majority of these suggestions illustrate the value of creativity in the classroom.

22 Simple Ideas for Harnessing Creativity in the Elementary Classroom

Edutopia (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.edutopia.org/blog/creativity-in-classroom-trisha-riche

Trisha Richie is a kindergarten teacher who offers 22 simple ideas for using young student’s natural creativity to encourage learning and increase comprehension. She categorizes her ideas into game learning, artsy activities, creative activities for science, students’ favorite things, and using creative time savers. Riche illustrates that creativity teaches students at young ages the art of innovation, thinking outside the box, improvisation, the benefits of taking risks, how to break the mold, and gives educators the chance of professional growth.

The Relevance of Creativity in Education

NEW! Johns Hopkins School of Education

http://education.jhu.edu/PD/newhorizons/Journals/spring2010/therelevanceofcreativityineducation/

Dr.Rosa Aurora Chavez-Eakle is the founder of the Washington International Center for Creativity and works for the Maryland State Department of Education’s Council for the Gifted and talented. In the article “The Relevance of Creativity in Education” written for John’s Hopkins University, Chavez-Eakle discusses creativity, how it affects the brain and a person’s temperament, and how creativity can help childhood development for children. Chavez-Eakle suggests that the key to providing quality education is creativity.

The Art Junction (find it on the ipl2)

http://artjunction.org/

Art Junction is a website that promotes student arts and collaborative art making online through Web 2.0 technologies like blogs, wikis, podcasts, photo and video sharing, social networks, and virtually. Art Junction experiments with promoting art education through web 2.0, to create Art Education 2.0.

Creativity and Food

National Geographic: Photo Gallery: Photographing Food

National Geographic (find it on the ipl2)

http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography/photo-tips/photographing-food

Learn how to find and set up creative photographs of food. This National Geographic photo gallery of gorgeous and intriguing images offers tips and advice for capturing the stories and moments surrounding food.

The Food Museum (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.foodmuseum.com/

Explore the eclectic FOOD Museum for articles, videos and links to discover the creative things people are doing and have done all around the world with food, about food, and to food. From vegetable gardens, to food-inspired camper vans, to a performance of “Food, Glorious Food” from the musical, Oliver, you will find inspiring ideas for getting creative with food and the FOOD Museum!

NEW! Incredible, Edible Crafts

http://ediblecraftsonline.com/index.htm

Learn how to make creative candy bouquets and interesting fruit and vegetable arrangements on this homey and informative site. There are also recipes and instructions for food crafts for children, creative food garnishes, and helpful tips for fun food presentation.

Food in the Arts (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.londonfoodfilmfiesta.co.uk/

This site provides a survey of the creative arts in connection with food. Themes include food in movies, music, literature, and art. Includes short essays on topics such as the movie “Like Water for Chocolate,” food in Puccini’s opera “La Bohème,” Hemingway and food, poverty, and still life paintings of food.

Poems About: Food

PoemHunter.com (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.poemhunter.com/poems/food/page-3

Visit this section on PoemHunter.com to discover hundreds of creative poems, classic and modern, about food. This collection of poetry is broadly representative and useful for information, reference and research.

Creativity and Children

Kid’s Crafts (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.ipl.org/IPLBrowse/GetSubject?vid=12&cid=3&tid=4511&parent=4252

The ipl2 provides an extensive list of resources focused on crafts for children. There are links to sites that offer free coloring pages, instructions for crafts, things to do with friends and family, and much more.

PBS Parents Creativity

NEW! PBS Parents

http://www.pbs.org/parents/creativity/

This site from the Public Broadcasting Company offers all kinds of resources for parents to help their children explore their creative side. The site is divided into sections to help parents find the right activities. There are plenty of hints, tips, games, activities, and more for both children and parents to use online and offline.

Art Safari (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.moma.org/interactives/artsafari/

Part of the Museum of Modern Art’s website, this activity walks children through paintings and lets them explore and create stories as well as learn about the history behind some famous paintings.

Writing with Writers: Poetry (find it on the ipl2)

http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/poetry/index.htm

Listen to poets read their poems aloud, print up activity worksheets, or write and share your own poetry! This Scholastic site has resources for children, parents, and teachers. It also offers hints from famous children poets like Jack Prelutsky, Karla Kuskin, and Jean Marzollo.

The Lemelson Center for Invention and Innovation (find it on the ipl2)

http://invention.smithsonian.org/home/

This site offers resources for young people and curiosity seekers of all ages. There are videos and audio files as well as stories about inventions, articles, printables, and classroom activities. Anyone who wants to know more about inventions and how creativity has helped push people to make the world a better place will enjoy browsing all of the interesting parts of this site.

Creativity Across Cultures

Creativity Across Cultures (find it on the ipl2)

Slideshare.net

http://www.slideshare.net/wggriffin/creativity-across-cultures

This source provides a PowerPoint created by Jingya Huang, Danielle Latta and Katie McCarney at the Temerlin Advertising Institute, in which they explain what creativity is, how it differs between Eastern and Western cultures, how different cultures use creativity differently in advertising, the process models for creativity, and how creativity affects society.

Understanding Creativity, Across Sectors and Across Cultures

NEW! Phys.org                                                                                          

http://phys.org/news/2013-07-creativity-sectors-cultures.html

The CREATIVE project is an EU funded research venture that analyzes creativity across cultures. The Project is led by Otto Friedrich University in Bamberg, Germany. They will first document cultural differences in five different countries, then analyze reasoning skills when solving complex problems, then by analyzing the result they are able to create models for business or to encourage development. Phys.org covers how professionals are applying creativity and innovation to the fields of science, technology, and medicine.

Why Diversity is the Mother of Creativity

NEW! Innovation Management

http://www.innovationmanagement.se/imtool-articles/why-diversity-is-the-mother-of-creativity/

Innovation Management is a current and professional website that discusses how creativity can cultivate innovation in multiple disciplines. It provides informative articles written by international professionals in the fields of marketing, public relations, communications, consulting, and education. This article looks at how professional diversity can encourage creativity, creative thinking, and problem solving in people’s personal lives, on team projects, in companies, and how managers can coordinate creativity in team members.

The Link: December “Firsts”

http://www.flickr.com/photos/71908569@N06/10954663785/

December might be the last month of the year, but it’s hosted a wide variety of interesting firsts. From the arts to books, from new inventions to technological beginnings, and from movies and television to historical events, December has proven to be an interesting month. So as the year comes to an end check out some famous – and not so famous – beginnings.

Firsts in the Arts:

December 22, 1808 - Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony given world premiere in Vienna

History.com, This Day in History (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/beethoven39s-fifth-symphony-given-world-premiere-in-vienna

Beethoven’s Fifth is arguably one of the world’s most recognizable songs, but despite its popularity, when it premiered on December 22, 1808 the song received extremely harsh reviews, since it is not uncommon for German winters reach below freezing, the instruments and the performers suffered. However Fifth Symphony quickly began to gain traction with critics like ETA Hoffman, who gave the symphony high praise in 1810. During World War II the song opened BBC broadcasts, and has been repurposed and covered in many Pop songs throughout time. Despite the harsh beginnings Beethoven’s Fifth has become an iconic piece of music throughout history.

December 12, 1913 - Stolen Mona Lisa is Recovered

History.com, This Day in History (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/imona-lisai-recovered-in-florence

On August 21, 1911 the famous painting of Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre. The heist quickly became known as the theft of the century. Newspapers across the world gave this story front page billing, directors of the museum were fired and suspended, and the Parisian Police blamed the museum’s poor security. It wasn’t until December 1913 when the painting was recovered in Florence, Italy. The thief Vincenzo Peruggia cited patriotic reasons for the theft, and spent 14 months in Jail. This was the first major art heist and recovery of the 20th century

December 1, 1933 - George Washington University, The Art of the New Deal 

NEW! The Art of the New Deal, Public Works Administration is set up

http://www.gwu.edu/~erpapers/teachinger/glossary/pwa.cfm

In times of economic hardship, when food and jobs are scarce, how important is art to a country’s sustainability? This question was answered for the first time in the 20th century for America as Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) implemented the New Deal, a set of reforms with the aim of getting America’s economy prospering again after the Great Depression. The Public Works Administration (PWA) was institution on December 1st, 1933 as a part of this New Deal. The PWA’s goal was to fund construction of over 30,000 projects ranging from airports, schools, libraries, and museums. The PWA was instrumental in providing jobs for artists during the last legs of the Depression and during the recovery. Without the PWA the 30’s would have been a black hole in American Art History. FDR dismantled the PWA on December 4th, 1942, and, while controversial for some, it was a sign that the economy was recovering.

December 3, 1947 - A Streetcar Named Desire Premiers on Broadway

Internet Broadway Database (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.ibdb.com/production.php?id=1804

The Tennessee Williams play first premiered on December 3rd, and was one of the first times in the modern era that a play used method acting and melodramatics to portray mental instability and produce a satire on the society. This play has become a classic that has been reproduced on Broadway, in film, in opera, and for the TV. In many high schools across the US this play is considered required reading.

December 12, 1980 - Da Vinci notebook sells for over 5 million

History.com, This Day in History (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/da-vinci-notebook-sells-for-over-5-million

The sale of the Da Vinci manuscripts was the first time that a manuscript ever sold for that high of a price: $5.12 million. Da Vinci is often also considered the first Renaissance Man, as he was a master of science, literature, painting, anatomy and many others.  Later in 1994, Bill Gates would purchase this manuscript for over $30 million, and he to this day Gates loans out the manuscripts to various museums across the US.

Firsts in Trademarks and Patents:

December 1, 1948 - Scrabble History

Official Scrabble Homepage (find on the ipl2)

http://www.hasbro.com/scrabble/en_US/story.cfm

On December 1st, 1948, Scrabble, the beloved word building board game, was copyright registered by its inventor, Alfred Mosher Butts. This classic game and creative versions of it continue to be popular today, especially online. For a history of the game’s development check out the Hasbro site.

December 5, 1905 & December 9, 1924 - The History of Chewing Gum and Bubble Gum

Inventors (find on the ipl2)

http://inventors.about.com/od/gstartinventions/a/gum.htm

December was a good month for chewing gum inventors! Chiclets gum, colorful and candy-coated, was trademark registered on December 5, 1905, and Wrigley’s gum was trademark registered on December 9, 1924.

December 10, 1878 - Black Inventors and Their Inventions List

NEW! Museum of Black Inventions and Innovations 

http://www.blackinventions101.com/inventionslist.html

The door knob and the door stop were invented by Osborn Dorsey and first patented on December 10, 1878. Documents for this patent and other exhibits are part of a touring collection of artifacts from the Museum of Black Inventions and Innovations which informs its audiences about Black, Latino and Native American inventors, achievers, pioneers and scientists. These exhibits appear at various venues throughout North America, including universities and professional conferences.

December 19, 1871 - Mark Twain Granted His First Patent on December 19, 1871

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.uspto.gov/news/pr/2001/01-61.jsp

Samuel L. Clemens, iconic American humorist and author known as Mark Twain, was also an inventor who held three patents. His first patent was granted for “an Improvement in Adjustable and Detachable Straps for Garments” to replace suspenders, which he felt were uncomfortable.

Firsts in Books:

December 5, 1768 - First edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica published

Encyclopedia Britannica (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/186618/Encyclopaedia-Britannica/301330/First-edition

Though it took 3 years for the whole encyclopaedia to be published, the first section was released in December of 1768. Although it wasn’t as long as some of the previous encyclopaedias that had been published, it was unique in its plan and the new way that it provided information on a more specific level.

December 1, 1835 - Hans Christian Andersen’s first book of fairy tales published

Hans Christian Andersen: Fairy Tales and Stories (find it on the ipl2)

http://hca.gilead.org.il/

Hans Christian Andersen is one of the most famous tellers of fairy tales. He was collecting and writing tales for years, but his first book was published in 1835. The full text of many of his stories are available to read for free.

December 19, 1843 - Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol first published

The Man Who Invented Christmas: Charles Dickens (find it on the ipl2)

http://library.sc.edu/zellatest/dickens/part1.html

This famous book which has become a major part of many people’s Christmas traditions and has inspired too many adaptations in books, tv, and film to count was first published about a week before Christmas in 1843. By Christmas Eve it had already sold 6,000 copies and it continues to sell well to this day.

December 1887 - First time Sherlock Holmes appeared

Sherlockian (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.sherlockian.net/canon/stories/stud.html

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s first Sherlock Holmes story, “A Study in Scarlet” appeared in the Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887 and was then published in book form the following year. The story wasn’t that successful, but the idea of Sherlock Holmes was and Doyle went on to publish an additional 55 stories starring the world famous detective.

Firsts in TV and Movies:

December 1934 - Bright Eyes was first released

Rottentomatoes.com (Find it on the ipl2)

http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/bright_eyes/

In December 1934, the movie Bright Eyes, starring Shirley Temple, was released for the first time. Rotten Tomatoes is a comprehensive movie review site which captures the consensus of professional critics from across the nation, and gives information and ratings about Bright Eyes. Shirley temple went on to win her first award for the song “The Good Ship Lollipop” which was featured in the movie.

December 12, 1937 - Broadcast Firsts

Tvacres.com  (Find it on the ipl2)

http://www.tvacres.com/broadnews.htm

This site contains information on “characters, places and things that appeared on television programs broadcast from the 1940s to the present (during prime time and Saturday mornings).”

On December 12, 1937, the first mobile television units for outdoor events were obtained from RCA Manufacturing Company in Camden, New Jersey by NBC station W2XBT in New York City

December 21, 1937 - Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs released

Disney.com (find it on the ipl2)

http://movies.disney.com/snow-white-and-the-seven-dwarfs

On December 21, 1937, the animated version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was released to RKO Radio Pictures. The film was based off of Brother’s Grimm Fairy Tales and produced by Walt Disney. Snow White was  the first animated feature film produced in America, the first produced in full color, the first to be produced by Walt Disney Productions, and the first in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series. Learn more about the film at Disney.com

December 15, 1939 - Gone with the Wind

Georgia Encyclopedia.org (Find it on the ipl2)

http://www.georgiaencyclopedia.org/articles/arts-culture/gone-wind-film

On December 15, 1939, Gone with the Wind starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh premiered for the first time. The New Georgia Encyclopedia gives readers a look at Gone with the Wind from the adaptation of the novel to film, along with information about the first premiere.

December 24, 1966 - The Good Old Yule Log Spreads To HDTV

Npr.org  (Find it on the ip l2)

http://www.npr.org/2011/12/24/143890552/the-good-old-yule-log-spreads-to-hdtv

Dec 24, 1966  the Yule Log Christmas Special premieres for the first time in New York City on WPIX. The Yule Log Christmas Special ran every year from 1966 to 1989, but returned in 2001. NRP.org gives the history behind the Yule Log and its transformation to HDTV.

Firsts in Technology:

December 11, 1901 - First wireless transmission across the Atlantic Ocean

PBS (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/rescue/peopleevents/pandeAMEX87.html

Guglielmo Marconi, who is considered the father of radio, is also the first man to have figured out a way to send a wireless transmission across the Atlantic Ocean. Although he only sent Morse code of the letter “s,” he did make history that day and confirmed that such a feat was possible.

December 1, 1956 - The first color photograph of Earth taken from Space

The Epoch Times (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/world/timelines-what-was-first-photographed-in-color-dec-1-1959-151306.html

The first photo was taken in 1946, but was black and white, and taken just above the New Mexico’s atmosphere. On December 1, 1959 the United States launched the Thor missile into space. On board was a color camera.  This camera was the first color camera to take photos of Earth from space. However the photos weren’t seen until February 16th, 1960, when the data capsule would come back to Earth.  Today telescopes are launched into space that are able to see ultraviolet light and are able to take photos of distant stars and galaxies.

December 1975 - First Digital Camera

Kodak (Find it on the ipl2)

http://www.kodak.com/ek/US/en/Our_Company/History_of_Kodak/Milestones_-_chronology/1960-1979.htm

In December of 1975 Steve Sasson, an engineer at Kodak, invented the first digital camera. It was about the size of a toaster, but it would revolutionize the way the world captured memories forever.

December 3, 1994 - First Sony Playstation

How Stuff Works (find it on the ipl2)

http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/playstation1.htm

The first Sony Playstation was released on December 3, 1994 in Japan. Although it wasn’t the first gaming system, it did become one of the most popular, and it also marked the movement away from the cartridge system of Nintendo and into the CD-ROM world of gaming.

Firsts in History:

December 7, 1787 - First ratified state of the USA

Stately Knowledge (Find it on the ipl2)

http://www.ipl.org/div/stateknow/dates.html

Delaware was ratified as the first state of the newly formed United States of America on Dec 7, 1787. Pennsylvania followed 5 days later with New Jersey 6 days after that, becoming the first 3 states of the new union. Delaware was originally a part of Pennsylvania, but it fought as a separate entity during the American Revolutionary War and was the first to ratify the Constitution. Find out more information about when each state joined the union on the ipl2 via the link above!

December 6, 1884 - Washington Monument is Completed

America’s Library (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.americaslibrary.gov/jb/gilded/jb_gilded_monument_1.html

The nation’s first president was honored with a monument in 1884. The Washington Monument is 555 ½ feet tall and was designed to resemble Ancient Egyptian Obelisk, which Pharaohs often used to mark the entrance of temple, mark a grave, or praise the Sun god.  The fact that the Washington Monument was designed in this fashion gave George Washington a god-like legacy. Throughout history this monument has seen protests, rallies, and community celebrations.

December 26-January 1, 1966 - First Kwanzaa celebrated

Official Kwanzaa Website (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.officialkwanzaawebsite.org/origins1.shtml

Kwanzaa is an African-American and pan-African holiday which is celebrated in honor of family, community, and culture. Its roots go back to “first fruits” celebrations which have taken place since ancient times. The modern celebration was founded by Dr. Maulana Karengo as a way to preserve the culture and history of African American culture.

December 3, 1967 - First human heart transplant

NEW! Western Cape Government

http://www.westerncape.gov.za/your_gov/163/documents/public_info/C/19638

Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa became famous when Professor Christiaan Barnard performed the first human heart transplant. Although the patient unfortunately died a few days later, this revolutionary procedure led the way for future transplants that would be complete successes and save thousands of lives.

December 08, 1980 - John Lennon is shot

John Lennon: The Official Site (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.johnlennon.com/biography

John Lennon was the first of the Beatles to die after being shot by Mark David Chapman. Chapman shot Lennon on New York’s Upper West Side and later pled insanity. Psychiatrists determined that Chapman was psychotic, vicious, and violent. Chapman has been denied parole 7 times.

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS. The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left page on the ipl2′s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all!

The Link: Everything you need to know about the Shutdown and the Affordable Care Act

10547430533_15f8ba18c3_o

Flags at the Washington Monument in DC

From the recent 16 day shutdown of the federal government and the previous shutdown of 1995, to the launching of the new Affordable Care Act (ACA), to the management of programs such as Women, Infants & Children (WIC) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the decisions and initiatives of the U.S. Federal government have great influence on the daily lives of regular citizens.  For information on U.S federal government programs that impact the daily life of American citizens, take a look at the A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies.

A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.usa.gov/directory/federal/index.shtml

Shutdown:
The ipl2 has resources to explore if you would like more information about the recent and previous federal government shutdowns and how they affected people across the country.

66 questions and answers about the government shutdown (Find it on the ipl2)
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2013/09/29/questions-and-answers-about-the-shutdown/2888419/

This informative video and article from USA Today discusses what led to the recent government shutdown, how the conflict was perpetuated, and what the effects of the closure were on federal programs, the economy, citizens, and the country.

Remarks by the President on the Reopening of the Government (find it on the ipl2)
http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/10/17/remarks-president-reopening-government

This is the complete transcript of President Barack Obama’s remarks on the signing of legislation to reopen the U.S. federal government on October 17th, 2013. He describes the financial and political costs of the recent shutdown and discusses the future.

The Clinton-Gingrich 1995 shutdown (find it on ipl2)
http://tv.msnbc.com/2013/09/30/watch-the-clinton-gingrich-1995-shutdown/

The U.S. government has shut down before. MSNBC takes viewers back in time with a newscast from 1995 on the government shutdown, with Tom Brokaw, Brian Williams and Robert Hager reporting.  This 4 minute video gives viewers an idea of the Republican and Democratic perspectives.

Affordable Care Act AKA Obamacare:
The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare, is a brand new federal program that impacts U.S. citizens across the nation. With the new website going live in October there have been a lot of questions about what this means for people in the United States. Check out the ipl2 resources below to find out how the Affordable Care Act affects you and your family and friends.

NEW! Health Insurance Basics
https://www.healthcare.gov/health-insurance-basics/

This useful page on the federal healthcare website provides many frequently asked questions concerning the Affordable Care Act and related issues such as exemptions and coverage. Each question gives a short answer and provides a link to a longer explanation.

NEW! US Health Policy Gateway: PPACA
http://ushealthpolicygateway.com/vii-key-policy-issues-regulation-and-reform/p-health-reform/patient-protection-and-affordable-care-act-ppaca/

This site is compiled by the Center for Health Policy & Inequalities Research, which is headed up by researchers at Duke University. The Affordable Care Act is broken down into sections, which provide explanations as well as links to other sites where information can be found.

Health Care Reform Pros and Cons (find it on the ipl2)
http://healthcarereform.procon.org/

The ProCon website provides a section with a variety of statements and sources debating the major issues of the Affordable Care Act. Their goal is to provide a balanced perspective showing the pros and cons using quotes and information from both sides of the issue.

Kaiser Family Foundation ACA Consumer Resources (find it on the ipl2)
http://kff.org/aca-consumer-resources/

The Kaiser Family Foundation is a well-respected non-profit that has been providing healthcare information for over 50 years. This section of their site contains videos as well as FAQs, infographics, and other tools to try to make the Affordable Care Act understandable to everyone.

WIC & SNAP:
The U.S. federal government oversees many programs that are intended to support and improve the lives of U.S. citizens. Two of these programs are Women, Infants & Children (WIC) and Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP), which are designed to help meet the nutritional, health and housing needs of low-income families. Though you can get more information about WIC and SNAP resources from your state and local governments’ websites, here are some links to the national organizations.

Women Infants & Children (WIC) (find it on the ipl2)
http://www.fns.usda.gov/wic

Women Infants & Children (WIC) is a supplemental nutrition and education program that is funded through federal grants to states. It supports low-income mothers and their children through age five. This site describes the program and provides information on accessing individual state programs.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) United States Department of Agriculture (find it on the ipl2)
http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is a government program that helps low income families in the U.S. pay for food based on the number of people who live in the household and the household income. The SNAP program has come under great scrutiny in recent months and was considered vulnerable during the shutdown.

For a comprehensive look at the U.S. federal government’s foundational documents as well as its roles and agencies, take a look at the United States Government Manual.

United States Government Manual (Find it in the ipl2)
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collection.action?collectionCode=GOVMAN

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS. The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left page on the ipl2′s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all!

The Link: Ovarian Cancer

Image retrieved from Women’s voiced for Change used via a Creative Commons license.

Image retrieved from Women’s voiced for Change used via a Creative Commons license.

This September newsletter marks the proposed designation from the White House as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month.  This House simple resolution (noted as H. Res. 301) was introduced back in 2012 President Obama. As of July 16, 2013, it is now awaiting congressional committee for approval before it is submitted to the House of Representatives.

Additional information about the tracking of this bill can be found on the link below:

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/113/hres301

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources can already be found in the ipl2 collection.

Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer

Image retrieved from Paper Masters used via a Creative Commons license.

Image retrieved from Paper Masters used via a Creative Commons license.

Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer (find it on the ipl2)

The Signs and Symptoms of Ovarian Cancer can be undetected in women and thus display a silent or whisper effect of battling this disease before it progresses to a dangerous level.  These symptoms shown in the image above are indicators that women should immediately go to their gynecologist for a proper examination.

Image retrieved from the website of Dr. Oz used via a Creative Commons license.

Image retrieved from the website of Dr. Oz used via a Creative Commons license.

NEW! 5 Ovarian Cancer Warning Signs, Pt 1

http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/5-ovarian-cancer-warning-signs-pt-1

Television Talk Show Host and Cardiac Surgeon, Dr. Mehmet Cengiz Oz, also known as “Dr. Oz,” provides sources on his website regarding Ovarian Cancer.  He provides a video on the five warning signs of this disease along with a tip sheet to the symptoms mentioned previously along with recognizing a person’s family history of Ovarian Cancer as well.  Check out the link below to review

Image retrieved from the website of Dr. Oz used via a Creative Commons license.

Image retrieved from the website of Dr. Oz used via a Creative Commons license.

Just Diagnosed? (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.ovariancancer.org/just-diagnosed/

This website gives information for women who have just been diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer.   On this website are resources that can be used for the following: (1) education and information, (2) finding a doctor, (3) support for patient, caregivers and family, (4) genetics testing and research, (5) financial and legal support, (6) clinical trials and, (7) end of life care.   Additionally, this source also contains a link to an ovarian cancer quiz, which can be helpful for women to determine if their symptoms are leaning towards a potential positive diagnosis of this disease.

Ovarian Cancer Quiz

http://www.ovariancancer.org/quiz/

Stages of Ovarian Cancer

Image retrieved from the National Cancer Institute via a Creative Commons License

Image retrieved from the National Cancer Institute via a Creative Commons License

What you need to know about Ovarian Cancer (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/wyntk/ovary/page3

This National Cancer Institute booklet gives information about Ovarian Cancer.  The section on understanding cancer outlines the process or stages that your body goes through when cancer cells grow.  Here you will also find information about benign and malignant tumors, benign and malignant cysts and the way “ovarian cancer can invade, shed, or spread to other organs.

Logo retrieved from American Cancer Society web page via a Creative Commons License

Logo retrieved from American Cancer Society web page via a Creative Commons License

How is Ovarian Cancer Staged? (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovariancancer/detailedguide/ovarian-cancer-staging

This resource gives a comprehensive look at the stages of ovarian cancer.  It explains what staging is and why it is so important.  It also explains the AJCC/TNM system which “describes the extent of the primary tumor (T), the absence or presence of metastasis to nearby lymph nodes (N), and the absence or presence of distant metastasis (M).”

Image retrieved from ovarian.org via a Creative Commons License

Image retrieved from ovarian.org via a Creative Commons License

Types and Stages of Ovarian Cancer (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.ovarian.org/types_and_stages.php

Ovarian.org is dedicated to empower people through educating them about ovarian cancer.  This section of the site outlines the different types of ovarian cancer and the stages of the disease.  It also provides information about the three most common cell types where cancerous ovarian tumors can begin.

Logo retrieved from ovariancancer.org via a Creative Commons License

Logo retrieved from ovariancancer.org via a Creative Commons License

Treatment (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.ovariancancer.org/about-ovarian-cancer/treatment/

This section of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance gives information about “navigating and understanding treatment options are critical for an ovarian cancer patient’s survival.”  It details what you can expect during different stages of treatment, as well as the various treatment options available to someone with ovarian cancer.

Ovarian Cancer Survival Rate

Image created by Melinda Wheeler via a Creative Commons License.

Image created by Melinda Wheeler via a Creative Commons License.

What is the Survival Rate for Ovarian Cancer? (find it on the ipl2)

Ovarian Cancer causes more deaths in women, than any other type of cancer affecting the reproductive system. In the United States, it is mandatory for doctors to report any diagnosis of cancer to the state registry board. The survival rate of Ovarian Cancer is determined by various different factors. Let’s explore them!

Check out the American Cancer Society, to learn more about Ovarian Cancer here: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/ovariancancer/detailedguide/ovarian-cancer-survival-rates

Statistics

The Ovarian Cancer survival rates are in lower numbers, than other cancers that affect women.

-       There is a five-year survival rate that is 44 percent, and varies depending on an individual’s stage of diagnosis.

-       Ovarian Cancer victims have a higher chance of surviving, if they are diagnosed at an early stage.

-       In 2013, the American Cancer Society predicted about 22,240 new cases of Ovarian Cancer will be diagnosed and 14,030 women will die from it.

-       The American Cancer Society reported in 2013, 93% of women diagnosed in early stages, survive five years.

 

Image created by Melinda Wheeler via a Creative Commons License.

Image created by Melinda Wheeler via a Creative Commons License.

Check out the Ovarian Cancer website for more details and information here:

http://www.ovariancancer.org/about-ovarian-cancer/statistics/

 

Image created by Melinda Wheeler via a Creative Commons License.

Image created by Melinda Wheeler via a Creative Commons License.

If you have any questions or concerns about Ovarian Cancer, please contact your Physician or visit/call the Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s website here:

http://www.cancercenter.com/about-us/contact-us/

Thank you for visiting the ipl2!

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS. The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2’s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all! 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The Link: The Royal Baby Brings About Change!

Late last month the world welcomed a new addition to the Royal Family.  This list of resources will keep you up to date with the baby news.  There are also resources dedicated to revealing the traditional and not so traditional ways people have celebrated the birth of the Royal Baby, His Royal Highness Prince of Cambridge, George Alexander Louis.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources can already be found in the ipl2 collection.

Royal Baby News

Photo retrieved from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge website used via a Creative Commons License.

Photo retrieved from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge website used via a Creative Commons License.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.dukeandduchessofcambridge.org/focus2/royal-baby

This resource is dedicated to providing information about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Most recently the site is providing up-to-date information about the Royal Birth and information and photographs about past Royal Births.

Photo retrieved from the BBC News website used via a Creative Commons License.

Photo retrieved from the BBC News website used via a Creative Commons License.

William and Kate Name Their Baby George (find it on ipl2)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23443504

This resource provides up-to-date information about the Royal Baby, including the history behind the traditional royal name chosen for their son.

Photo  retrieved from The British Monarchy Website used via a Creative Commons License.

Photo retrieved from The British Monarchy Website used via a Creative Commons License.

The Current Royal Family (find it on ipl2)

http://www.royal.gov.uk/ThecurrentRoyalFamily/Overview.aspx

This resource delivers information about the history of the monarchy and todays Royal Family. In this section, links are available to background information on each member of the current Royal Family. There are also links leading to information about The Royal Family Name, the difference between a Royal House and a surname, and the order of succession.

The Role of Social Media

Royal Baby Name Cloud retrieved from thedrum.com via a Creative Commons License.

Royal Baby Name Cloud retrieved from thedrum.com via a Creative Commons License.

Royal Baby image retrieved from abcnews.go.com via a Creative Commons License.

Royal Baby image retrieved from abcnews.go.com via a Creative Commons License.

NEW! Royal Baby Buzz Takes Social Media by Storm

http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/national-international/Royal-Baby-Buzz-on-Social-Media-Tweets-storify-memes-kate-will-216452221.html

This source gives images of Twitter tweets from people all over the world. Some of the responses were congratulatory and some are humorous as well. One of the funniest images on this website includes a royal golden throne, but it is not what your think. Take a look at this image.

Picture retrieved from AFP, Andrew Cowie via a Creative Commons License.

Picture retrieved from AFP, Andrew Cowie via a Creative Commons License.

Covering the Royal Baby Story (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0376ncs

This site discusses how the media in the United Kingdom conveyed fresh ideas to cover the important topic of the Royal Baby story. There is an accompanying 30-minute podcast that describes the factor in considering which news angle was relevant for this news story of a royal heir.

Picture retrieved from The British Monarchy Website used via a Creative Commons License.

Picture retrieved from The British Monarchy Website used via a Creative Commons License.

NEW! News of Birth of Royal Baby Born in Social Media Age Announced on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Google Plus

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/news-birth-royal-baby-born-2079184

This resource discusses the process of the royal baby’s birth announcement along with the social media sources that were used to convey this news. Social Media examples used in this article included Twitter, Clarence House Google Plus (under the Prince of Wales), and the Monarchy’s Instagram site.

NEW! Britain’s Royal Baby Arrives

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-207_162-57595091/prince-william-and-kate-debut-royal-baby-boy/

The resource link above is a video of all of the activities regarding the birth of the first child to Prince William Duke of Cambridge and Catherine Duchess of Cambridge. The newborn boy, who is third in line to the heir of the English throne, was recently named Prince George Alexander Louis.

Logo retrieved from US News.com used via a Creative Commons License.

Logo retrieved from US News.com used via a Creative Commons License.

How the World Learns About a Royal Baby’s Birth (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2013/07/22/how-the-world-will-learn-about-royal-babys-birth

This resource describes how a Royal Baby’s birth is traditionally announced. This details the method of announcement prior to social media like Facebook and Twitter. However, today the Royal Baby gets to have a hash tag and time-honored-royal-traditions!

Traditions and Celebrations

Photograph retrieved from the BBC News Website used via a Creative Commons License.

Photograph retrieved from the BBC News Website used via a Creative Commons License.

BBC News, Royal Baby: Gun Salutes Mark Royal Birth at Tower of London (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-23425326

This video recourse shows the 41-gun salute, which marked the birth of the Royal Baby!

Photo retrieved from Metro website used via a Creative Commons License.

Photo retrieved from Metro website used via a Creative Commons License.

New! Commemorative China to Mark the Royal Birth

http://metro.co.uk/2013/07/25/royal-baby-celebrate-the-birth-of-prince-george-with-a-195-commemorative-cup-3898188/

This site details how the birth of a royal isn’t just exciting. The birth of the Royal Prince will actually help to boost the economy! The Royal Collection Trust has released commemorative china to celebrate the birth of the Royal Baby. The proceeds from the sale of the items will go to preserve and upkeep the palace and art collections.

Photograph retrieved from Global News website used via a Creative Commons License.

Photograph retrieved from Global News website used via a Creative Commons License.

New! How Kate and Will Break with Tradition

http://globalnews.ca/news/736296/the-royal-baby-how-will-and-kate-are-breaking-with-tradition/

This site details the ways in which Kate and Will have broken with tradition, when it comes to the Royal Baby. While the baby was welcomed into the world with the traditional 41-gun salute, this article gives several of examples of more modernized choices that Will and Kate have made when it comes to their little bundle of joy!

Logo retrieved from CNN world website used via a Creative Commons License.

Logo retrieved from CNN world website used via a Creative Commons License.

Royal Babies: Five Things You Didn’t Know (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.cnn.com/2013/07/16/world/europe/five-things-to-know-about-royal-baby/index.html?iid=article_sidebar

This resource outlines 5 little known facts about the traditions surrounding the births of royal babies. Some of these might surprise you! This article details facts about where royal babies have been born and who was in the delivery room. Read on to find out who the first monarch was to use anesthesia during childbirth, and why royal babies do not need a surname!

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The Link: Parks and Recreation

In recognition of U.S. National Park and Recreation Month, we’ve compiled some resources that are sure to be helpful in planning the perfect mid-summer getaway. Whether your dream vacation is spent on a roller coaster, hiking through Yellowstone, camping with the kids, or visiting a few natural national treasures abroad, this month’s newsletter aims to assist with your parks and recreation research needs.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources can already be found in the ipl2 collection.

Theme Parks

Amusement Park Physics (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.learner.org/interactives/parkphysics/

This site provides simple explanations for the physics that make amusement park rides possible. Find out what Newton’s laws of motion have to do with bumper cars, design a roller coaster, see what Galileo has to do with the design of free fall rides.

Theme Park Insider (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.themeparkinsider.com

A consumers’ guide to the world’s most popular theme and amusement parks. The site is not run by or affiliated with any theme park company. It is an independent news resource offering coverage, information and opinion about themeparks.

Yesterland (find it on the ipl2)

This entertaining and informative site showcases discontinued Disneyland attractions. There are numerous links to both official and unofficial Disney sites. It is a delightful historical look at the park.

U.S. National Parks

Mapping the National Parks (find it on the ipl2)

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/gmdhtml/nphtml/nphome.html

This small part of the U.S. Library of Congress’s American Memory Collection documents the history, cultural aspects, and geological formations of four areas that eventually became National Parks. The maps date from the 17th century to the present for Acadia, Grand Canyon, Great Smoky Mountains and Yellowstone. Nautical charts are included for Acadia.

National Parks and Conservation Association (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.npca.org/

This site contains information about U.S. national parks, including wildlife, ecology, threats to the parks, and various conservation and preservation actions to protect the parks. The NPCA is dedicated to safeguarding “the scenic beauty, wildlife, and historical and cultural treasures of the largest and most diverse park system in the world.”

National Park Service: Digital Image Archives (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.nps.gov/history/history/park_histories/

The U.S. National Park Service provides all necessary information for visiting parks, each with its own homepage and links to other non-NPS sites. The Digital Image Archive is a collection of dozens of detailed histories of the national parks of the United States, written by National Park Service (NPS) staff.

National Park Service: Park Histories (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.nps.gov/history/history/park_histories/

This NPS collection contains public domain images of national parks, monuments, battlefields, and historic sites. You can easily browse by park name.

Camping

Mr. Steiro, Mr. Moon and another man at campfire along Turtle Creek in October, 1936.

Camping Health and Safety Tips and Packing Checklist – CDC (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.cdc.gov/family/camping/

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a mission to “promote quality of life through the prevention and control of disease, injury, and disability.” Their information on camping includes information on proper vaccinations before camping, the importance of safe physical activity, and maintaining of state of active preparedness.

NEW! Joy of Camping

http://www.joyofcamping.com/

Joy of Camping is a website dedicated to providing information on a wide variety of camping topics.  Some of these topics include basic camping skills, cooking while camping, proper camping gear, and information on safety.  From discussions on bugs to finding the right camping spot for you and your family, Joy of Camping is a useful website to explore before setting out on a camping adventure.

Love the Outdoors (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.lovetheoutdoors.com/

Love the Outdoors is a website and blog that focuses on camping and other outdoor activities such as hiking and mountain biking.  Information found within the site include tips on camp cooking, camping checklists, and keeping your campsite safe.

Kids and the Outdoors

30 Classic Games for Simple Outdoor Play – Wired (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2009/08/simpleoutdoorplay/

Wired Magazine typically publishes information on the future of business, culture, innovation, and science. While this list of outdoor games is a bit of a deviation from their normal technology-laden articles, it’s a reminder that imagination is important for kids of all ages.

NEW! Kids Outdoors Boston, NYC, and Philadelphia

http://kids.outdoors.org/

Kids Outdoors is a part of the Appalachian Mountain Club community that strives to get children outdoors. The website serves the greater Boston, New York City, and Philadelphia area, but has articles and information for parents and kids in all areas of the country.

Sun and Water Safety Tips – AAP (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.healthychildren.org/English/news/Pages/Summer-Safety-Tips-Sun-and-Water-Safety.aspx

Healthy Children is a part of the American Academy of Pediatrics. These safety tips are a good reminder of the needs that children have when out in the sun and in or around water sources.

International Parks and Recreation Sites

National Parks in England, Wales, & Scotland (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.tanzaniaparks.com/

The official website for the United Kingdom’s national parks provides details about visiting and preserving parks such as the mountain zone of the Cairngorms, Loch Lomond, the Lake District, and the Yorkshire Dales. The site also includes photos, news, and links to individual park websites.

NEW! National Parks of Japan

http://www.env.go.jp/en/nature/nps/park/

The Japanese Ministry of the Environment maintains this site. It offers information on park protection and maintenance, photos and profiles of each of the parks, and information on visiting each of them. The homepage includes an interactive map and a link to “live images” of several parks.

Parks Canada (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.pc.gc.ca/eng/index.aspx

This site contains information on Canada’s national parks, national historic sites, national marine conservation areas, heritage buildings, heritage rivers, and heritage railway stations. All content is searchable and available in both English and French.

Tanzania National Parks (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.tanzaniaparks.com/

The official website for the Tanzanian national park system features high-quality images and information about 14 parks, including Mount Kilimanjaro National Park, Serengeti National Park, Lake Manyara (location of the “mass deaths of water birds, mainly Lesser Flamingo,” in the summer of 2004), and more. Content is available in English, French, German, Japanese, and Chinese.

Thank you for visiting the ipl2!

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS. The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2’s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all!

The Link: Standardized Testing

In recognition of the ending school year, we’re looking at standardized testing this month. In many places around the world, moving on to the next grade, to the next institution, or to the next level of professional achievement means scoring well on some sort of standardized exam. Many accept this, but others think there are better ways to encourage educational and professional success.

This month we will take a look at the pros and cons of legislation such as the No Child Left Behind Act, explore the difference between college prep tests and graduate/professional tests, and compare standardized testing in the U.S. with the required tests around the globe.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources can already be found in the ipl2 collection.

No Child Left Behind: Pros and Cons of K-12 Standardized Testing

President George W. Bush signs into law the No Child Left Behind Act. Photo by the Executive Office of the President of the United States, public domain.

No Child Left Behind Act – U.S. Department of Education (find it on the ipl2)

http://www2.ed.gov/nclb/landing.jhtml

No Child Left Behind was an act of Congress signed in 2002 with the intention of establishing goals and criteria for students to meet. The act requires that all states assess students at specific points within their education in order to receive federal funding. The U.S. Department of Education’s website provides information on the initial act, the changes made with No Child Left Behind, and the more recent additions and changes made by President Obama. U.S. Department of Education’s main purpose is to “promote student achievement and preparation for global competitiveness by fostering educational excellence and ensuring equal access.” Their website serves as a portal of information about the department’s policies, goals, and information to the public.

The Inevitable Corruption of Indicators and Educators Through High-Stakes Testing – NEPC (find it on the ipl2)

http://epsl.asu.edu/epru/documents/EPSL-0503-101-EPRU.pdf

This study, conducted by the Education Policy Studies Laboratory at Arizona State University in 2005, examines the effects of standardized testing with the principle of standardized testing. According to the study, Campbell’s law is: “The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision making, the more subject it will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.” This study is a part of the National Education Policy Center whose mission is to produce quality research which helps inform education policy discussions. The NEPC is composed of academic staff including nationally recognized education researchers.

Standardized Testing – ProCon.org (find it on the ipl2)

http://standardizedtests.procon.org/

ProCon.org is a nonprofit public charity whose goal is “to provide resources for critical thinking and to educate without bias.” The page on standardized testing includes arguments both for and against standardized testing as well as information on the history of testing, and interesting facts about standardized tests.

FairTest.org (find it on the ipl2)

http://fairtest.org/

FairTest.org or The National Center for Fair and Open Testing “works to end the misuses and flaws of standardized testing and to ensure that evaluation of students, teachers and schools is fair, open, valid and educationally.” FairTest’s resources provide information for parents, teachers, and students. Information that can be found include a list of universities that no longer require SAT/ACT scores, data on the link between standardized testing and educational corruption, and discussions on high stakes testing.

College Prep Tests

The first standardized college entrance exam was given in 1901, and ever since the tests have gained prominence as a larger percentage of students plan to further their education at colleges and universities. Although these exams are only part of the college application process, some high school students prep years for the SAT and ACT tests in order optimize their chances for getting into their first choice school.

SAT vs. ACT: Choose Wisely – Huffington Post (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alex-mallory/sat-vs-act-choose-wisely_b_830093.html

The areas of popularity in the country is not the only difference between the two tests; did you know that the SAT and ACT also differ in test style and time length? Since colleges and universities accept either, make sure you take the one that best suits you.

Test Prep – Petersons (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.petersons.com/college-search/test-prep.aspx

Whether you choose the SAT or ACT route, it’s good to have an idea of what to expect before you actually take the exam. Peterson’s offers both full-length ACT and SAT free practice tests on their website (registration is required).

Graduate and Professional Tests

For students looking to go on to pursue their Master’s or even Doctoral Degree, even more standardized testing lies in your future: from the PRAXIS for teachers, GRE for general, MCAT for doctors, and LSAT for lawyers, an aptitude for the field needs to be shown before you can be admitted to a graduate program.

World’s Would-Be Grad Students – Inside Higher Ed (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/02/21/ets-releases-data-gre-averages-country

Educational Testing Service recently released data that illustrates “why foreign talent is so important to American graduate programs, especially in math, science and technology fields.”  The results allow colleges to understand the different contexts in which the scores are examined.

Business Schools Know How You Think – Wall Street Journal (find it on the ipl2)

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324582004578456770420379666.html?KEYWORDS=gmat

A trend among business schools is starting to take more than GMAT scores and academic achievements into account. Emotional intelligence quotient (EQ), a tool used by companies to assess top talent, is becoming a standard part of the business school application process. “While a low EQ won’t outright ruin someone who otherwise dazzles on paper, Mr. Garcia says, a high EQ—in certain cases, at least—can offset mediocre performance elsewhere.”

The G.R.E. vs. the GMAT – New York Times (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/04/education/edlife/strategy-t.html?_r=0

“The Educational Testing Service administers the G.R.E. and used to do the same for the GMAT before losing the rights two years ago to ACT Inc. and Pearson. Now it is trying to get some of that business back, lobbying business schools to accept the G.R.E. as an alternative to the GMAT: more than 115 have agreed, including at Stanford, M.I.T. and Johns Hopkins. What’s the difference between the tests? Both assess verbal and quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and writing. “Contrary to what people might think, there are no business or finance aspects of the GMAT that make it specialized,” says David G. Payne, an associate vice president of E.T.S.”

Standardized Testing Around the Globe

New! Action Canada Task Force on Standardized Testing

http://testingillusion.ca/

The Action Canada Task Force Project is comprised of young, educated Canadian citizens with brought together by Action Canada (www.actioncanada.ca), a national fellowship program that builds practical leadership skills and policy development experience. Three Action Canada three task force teams are formed each year and are given the challenge of selecting a policy research topic. This Task Force chose to focus specifically on standardized testing because of the importance that this accountability measure has taken during the past two decades in Canadian context.

Could You Pass the 11-Plus? – BBC News (find it on the ipl2)

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7773974.stm

BBC News gives its readers an opportunity to test their academic skill by taking a timed, 15-question sample of the formally required standardized test given to all U.K. schoolchildren in their final year of primary school. Are you smarter than an English 5th grader was expected to be 40 years ago?

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) – OECD (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.oecd.org/pisa/

PISA is an international study that was launched by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 1997. It aims to evaluate education systems worldwide every three years by assessing the competencies in the key subjects such as reading, mathematics and science of 15-year-old children all over the world. Over 70 countries and economies have participated in PISA. The OECD’s website provides several comprehensive videos on the benefits of this assessment.

New! Testing and Assessment – U.K. Department of Education

http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/teachingandlearning/assessment

The U.K. Department of Education uses this site to break down the National Curriculum assessments, or “the statutory assessments at the end of each Key Stage” of public education. This site links to official documentation on the material covered in standardized exams and other FAQs about administration of them. It also provides information on “optional tests.”

Thank you for visiting the ipl2!

Reminder: You can now subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS. The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2’s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all!

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The Link: National Poetry Month

Since its introduction by the Academy of American Poets in 1996, literature lovers across the United States have celebrated National Poetry Month in April.  Join us as we explore the many facets of this form!

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources can already be found in the ipl2 collection.

Teaching Poetry: Lesson Plans and More

Chalk poem detail, suburban Heathridge backyard, Western Australia. Photo by elliot k, used with permission under a Creative Commons license.

Chalk poem detail, suburban Heathridge backyard, Western Australia. Photo by elliot k, used with permission under a Creative Commons license.

Many people can be easily intimidated by poetry, but it can be a great learning activity. Learn more about this powerful art form by reading great works and finding your inner voice. Whether you are a teacher, instructor, parent, or student, here is a collection of creative ways to appreciate, internalize, replicate, and create poetry.

Poetry (Learn NC) (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/2796

Learn NC is maintained by the UNC School of Education at the University of North Carolina, and it features a collection of lesson plans for grades K-12 that align with state and national teaching standards. The poetry lessons span all grades and levels and encourage students to define poetry, analyze works for poetic elements, and create their own portfolios.

Poets.org (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.poets.org/

The Academy of American Poets presents Poets.org, an extensive collection of poems cataloged by poet and topic. There is also a For Educators tab which contains tips for teaching poetry, lesson plans, and other resources. Other great features include Poem-A-Day, a free daily e-newsletter that users can sign up for, and an events calendar that shows poetry events happening in your area.

NEW! ReadWriteThink

http://www.readwritethink.org/search/?resource_type=6&sort_order=relevance&q=poetry&old_q=&srchwhere=full-site&srchgo.x=27&srchgo.y=17

ReadWriteThink.org is maintained by the International Reading Association and National Council of Teachers of English. There is an abundance of classroom resources for poetry found here including lesson plans, activities, projects, and bulletin board ideas. All lessons align with the Common Core of Learning standards. An additional benefit is that many of the lesson plans address students of varying abilities and needs and include links to audio recordings and videos.

Civil War Poetry

Thousands of poems were written about the Civil War by citizens and soldiers of both the Union and the Confederacy. “These poems enable us to better understand the role of poetry during the war years and how poetry helped unify citizens, inspire troops, memorialize the dead, and bind the nation’s wounds in the aftermath of the war.” The Library of Congress has some excellent resources and examples of the 7 “types” of Civil War poetry and can be accessed here:

http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/lcpoetry/cwvc.html

Poetry and Music of the War Between the States (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.civilwarpoetry.org/

This is a collection of full-text Union and Confederate poetry and songs indexed by title, author, and first line. Information about some of the authors is available. Find lyrics, sound files, a history of Taps and Civil War Band Music, popular songs of the day, links to other sound files, and a discussion of “How Authentic Should Period Music Be?”

Henry Timrod: 1828–1867 (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.poetryfoundation.org/bio/henry-timrod

The Poetry Foundation website provides a lengthy biography of Timrod, as well as references, poems, and articles, including how Bob Dylan even weaved Henry Timrod’s phrases into songs on his “Modern Times” album in 1986. Henry Timrod (1828-1867), after limited success as a poet (publishing just one volume of works prior to the Civil War), became widely known as the “so-called poet laureate of the Confederacy,” after having his poetic imagination aroused by the possibility of the formation of a new nation, as well as the war’s impact.

Herman Melville (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.poets.org/poet.php/prmPID/236

Poets.org provides several of Herman Melville’s poems, related prose and external links, as well a selected bibliography of his works. On the Union side, Herman Melville (1819-1891) was nearing the end of his novel-writing career due to poor reception by critics and had stopped writing fiction altogether. The Civil War had a profound impact on Melville, with many of his family members involved in some aspect of it, and the war not only revived his writing spirit, but it became the main subject of his poetry. He made trips to Washington D.C. and even to the front lines with his brother to gather the sounds and sights of conflict for his verse.

Nursery Rhymes

Illustrations are by William Wallace Denslow from the book, “Denslow’s Mother Goose” (1902). Illustrations are left to right: Hey Diddle Diddle, Hickety Dickety Dock, and Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater.

Illustrations are by William Wallace Denslow from the book, “Denslow’s Mother Goose” (1902). Illustrations are left to right: Hey! Diddle, Diddle, Hickety, Dickety, Dock, and Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater.

Nursery rhymes are short, rhyming stories often set to music for young children. Hallmarks include simple vocabulary and catchy rhymes; these make them good learning tools to help build children’s vocabularies. The majority of nursery rhymes date from the 16th – 18th centuries from Europe, especially Britain. They often serve as an oral record of important political and historical events. Check out these resources for more information on nursery rhymes.

Nursery Rhymes ipl2 Pathfinder (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.ipl.org/div/pf/entry/48512

This ipl2 pathfinder covers one of England’s most enduring forms of oral culture: the nursery rhyme. Although we often take these funny little ditties for granted, some of them have been around since the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries, and were originally composed for adult entertainment. Both print and Internet sources are provided in this resource.

NEW! The Mother Goose Club Rhymes

http://www.mothergooseclub.com/rhyme_list.php

This site includes many nursery rhymes with illustrations set to music. The Parents’ Pages include historical background information about each rhyme and different known versions of the rhyme.

The Reason Behind the Rhyme from NPR’s All Things Considered (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.npr.org/templates/archives/archive.php?thingId=5038037

Radio clips of Chris Roberts, the author of “Heavy Words Lightly Thrown: The Reason Behind the Rhyme” and librarian of Lambeth College in South London, telling Debbie Elliott what lurks beneath the surface of several nursery rhymes we learned as children.

Poetry for Children

Abroad by Thomas Crane and Ellen Houghton. A children's book of poetry describing places, published in 1882.


Abroad by Thomas Crane and Ellen Houghton. A children’s book of poetry describing places, published in 1882.

Kids love poetry and National Poetry Month allows us time to celebrate those authors who keep our kids in stitches and tears through their work. The following websites honor poets Shel Silverstein and Jack Prelutsky. In addition, you will find the incredible resource of the Children’s Poetry Archive where families can hear poems in the voices of their authors. Whether you want to spend some time with Runny Babbitt by Shel Silverstein or My Dog May Be A Genius by Jack Prelutsky, you will find them at the following sites. Or, hear the words of Allan Ahlberg, Roald Dahl, Langston Hughes and many more.

Shel Silverstein.com-The Official Site for Kids (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.shelsilverstein.com/indexsite.html

Features the poems of beloved children’s author, Shel Silverstein. This prolific writer of books such as Falling Up (1996), The Light in the Attic (1981), The Giving Tree (1964) and Where the Sidewalk Ends (1974) is still read and relevant today. This website, dedicated to all things Shel Silverstein for kids, has games and puzzles, news, Shel’s books and where to get them, a biography of Shel Silverstein, and ideas for teachers and parents. Interestingly, on the contacts page, it says “The Silverstein Family accepts all correspondence to Shel Silverstein and all letters are saved in the Shel Silverstein Archives for posterity.”*  With that kind of endorsement and the links to additional fun, kids can both learn and play on this site.
*Retrieved from: http://www.shelsilverstein.com/play.asp

NEW! Welcome to Jack Prelutsky

http://www.jackprelutsky.com/

This fun and interactive website features the poems of Jack Prelutsky, author of A Pizza the Size of the Sun (1996) and Tyrannosaurus Was a Beast (1988). Once kids are on the site, they can read Jack’s poems, find letters written to him from children all over the world, and learn all about Jack. Parents and teachers have their own section where there are activities for the classroom and home, poems for parents/educators and a complete booklist. Kids and grownups alike will enjoy this website that celebrates the work and life of Jack Prelutsky!

Children’s Poetry Archive (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.poetryarchive.org/childrensarchive/home.do

This interactive site provides a different perspective on poetry, read aloud by the original authors, or in the case of classic poetry, read by people who love the work. The idea for this site came from Poet Laureate Andrew Motion and Recording Producer Richard Carrington. They understood that collecting these recordings and making them available to poetry lovers everywhere would make this art form that much more accessible to everyone.

Slam Poetry

Slam poet Tobias Kunze in action. Photo by Marvin Ruppert, used with permission under a Creative Commons license.Slam poet Tobias Kunze in action. Photo by Marvin Ruppert, used with permission under a Creative Commons license.

Slam poet Tobias Kunze in action. Photo by Marvin Ruppert, used with permission under a Creative Commons license.

Poets.org describes slam poetry as “a poetry competition in which poets perform original work alone or in teams before an audience, which serves as judge.” The below resources illuminate the history of this lively and dynamic form as well as ways to experience it firsthand.

Poetry Slam, Inc. (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.poetryslam.com/

This site features information, news, and links about poetry slams. It includes a FAQ with rules, definitions, and organizational tips, a directory of slam venues, a press section with a timeline and history of the slam movement, and links to other slam resources.

An Incomplete History of Slam (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.e-poets.net/library/slam/

This site provides a discussion of the people, places, and events in the development and spread of slam poetry from its beginnings in 1970s Chicago. Slam poet Kurt Heintz authors this page on the history of slam poetry.

A Brief Guide to Slam Poetry (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5672

Poets.org provides this short overview of slam poetry. In addition to describing the form and its history, the site also features sources for further reading on the topic and a lesson plan for teaching slam and spoken word. The related prose section provides links to documentaries and other media relating to this art form.

Found Poetry

IMG_7192 (Aftermath).  Photo by Cat Sidh, used with permission under a Creative Commons license.

IMG_7192 (Aftermath). Photo by Cat Sidh, used with permission under a Creative Commons license.

As Poets.org explains, found poetry is “the literary equivalent of collage” (Academy of American Poets, 2007-2013).  Honoring the same “remix” aesthetic as song mash-ups and internet memes, found poetry recombines extant pieces of text, utilizing everything from political speeches to craigslist ads to fashion inventive works of art.  Here are a few resources where you can “find” more information:

Poetic Form: Found Poem (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5780

This page, sponsored by the Academy of American Poets, provides a definition of found poetry as well as examples of found poems and poets with a penchant for this medium.  It also points out well-known poets whose work tended to borrow from existing texts in the manner of found poetry, such as Ezra Pound.

NEW! Found & Headline Poems

https://secure.ncte.org/library/NCTEFiles/Resources/Books/Sample/18488chap1.pdf

The National Council of Teachers of English presents this down-to-earth how-to guide for aspiring found poets.  This PDF document provides step-by-step directions for writing a found poem, as well as a special section on headline poetry, a subcategory of the genre.  Also included are numerous examples of found poetry to instruct and inspire.  The guide is excerpted from the book:

Dunning, S., & Stafford, W. (1992). Getting the knack: 20 poetry writing exercises. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.

NEW! Found Poetry Review

http://www.foundpoetryreview.com/

A literary magazine dedicated to found poetry, the Found Poetry Review celebrates “the poetry found in your newspaper articles, instruction booklets, dictionaries, product packaging, public speeches,” and so on.  While the most recent issue of this biannual publication is only available in physical form, the contents of previous issues are freely available in the site’s archives (“Past Issues”).  The Review accepts submissions for future issues, so if you’ve been bitten by the found poetry bug, send FBR a few stanzas!

Reminder: You can subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS.  The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2’s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all!

The Link: March Artists

This month we are celebrating several artists, musicians, writers, and performers who were born in March. The following selections will look at the lives and works of Vincent van Gogh, Piet Mondrian, Dr. Seuss, Diane Arbus, Mr. Rogers, and Townes Van Zandt. Learn more about these great artists and how they continue to influence our lives.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources can already be found in the ipl2 collection.

Vincent van Gogh

Self Portrait by Van Gogh

Self Portrait by Vincent van Gogh, used with permission from Miquel Real.

Vincent Willem van Gogh was a Dutch Post-Impressionist born on March 30, 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Netherlands. Throughout his life, Van Gogh created more than 2,000 paintings, drawings, sketches, and prints. His art is known for its highly emotional, vibrant depictions of people, landscapes, and still life. After struggling with mental illness for most of his life, van Gogh died at the age of 37 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Van Gogh Museum: Amsterdam (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/vgm/index.jsp?lang=en

The Van Gogh Museum provides an intimate look at the artist’s life, work, and times. Users can learn about the artist through an extensive collection of photographs and biographical information. The museum has also digitized its permanent collection so users can browse van Gogh’s art by category or time period.

Van Gogh’s Letters: Unabridged (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.webexhibits.org/vangogh/

This collection of unabridged and annotated letters provides a rare glimpse into the artist’s life and struggles. Throughout van Gogh’s life, he kept close correspondence with his younger brother, Theo van Gogh. In total, 819 letters were published in 1914; most of them were written to Theo. The letters are categorized by topic and the website includes memoirs from Vincent’s sister-in-law and nephew.

The Vincent van Gogh Gallery (find it on the ipl2)

http://vggallery.com/

The Vincent van Gogh Gallery features a comprehensive collection of the artist’s works and is endorsed by the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. This website also includes some of van Gogh’s letters, commentary about the works, and a world map of paintings.

Piet Mondrian

Piet Mondrian and Pétro van Doesburg

Photo, Piet Mondrian and Pétro van Doesburg, originally published in De Stijl, vol. VI (1924)

Piet Mondrian, born Pieter Cornelis Mondriaan on March 7, 1872 in Amersfoort, Netherlands, was a Dutch painter who spent periods in Paris, London, and New York. He was a major contributor to the De Stijl art movement founded in 1917. His most well-known works were geometric abstractions that only used black, white, and primary colors. His geometric grids, simplified visual compositions, and reduction to the essentials of color and form sought to express a new utopian ideal of spiritual harmony and order.

Piet Mondrian | Encyclopedia Britannica (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/389102/Piet-Mondrian

This comprehensive encyclopedia article covers Mondrian’s early life and work, various influences and different periods in this work, founding De Stijl, his later work, and his legacy.

Piet Mondrian MoMA Collection (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.moma.org/collection/artist.php?artist_id=4057

This site includes examples of Mondrian’s paintings from the Museum of Modern Art’s collection. Paintings included are from 1902-1943 and show his range from impressionistic to geometric abstractions. Information about the paintings is included.

Piet Mondrian Tate Collection (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/piet-mondrian-1651

This site includes examples of Mondrian’s paintings from Tate Museum’s collection. Paintings included are from 1909-1942. Biographical information and information about the paintings are included.

Dr. Seuss

Ted Geisel

Photo Ted Geisel (1957) from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Dr. Seuss, aka Theodor Seuss Geisel, was born on March 2, 1904 in Springfield, MA. He was a beloved and prolific writer/illustrator of over 60 children’s books, the best known being “The Cat in the Hat.” His books have been the topics of movies, TV shows, and art exhibits. At heart, Dr. Seuss was an artist and a poet. His honors include two Academy awards, two Emmy awards, a Peabody award and the Pulitzer Prize. He was married twice but never had children of his own.  When asked how he could so successfully write children’s literature, he stated, “You make ‘em, I amuse ‘em!” (Fadiman, 1962). Dr. Seuss passed away on September 24, 1991 at the age of 87.

Fadiman, C. (1962). Enter, Conversing. Michigan: THE WORLD PUBLISHING CO. pg. 108

NEW! The Art of Dr. Seuss

http://www.drseussart.com/gallery/index.html

The Chase Group, in cooperation with the Dr. Seuss Enterprise, hosts this web page that is the home for the Art of Dr. Seuss Retrospective Exhibition and the Touring Dr. Seuss Sculpture Garden. On this site, you will find the art of Dr. Seuss, a biography, what people are saying about the exhibits, FAQ’s and contact information. The artwork is broken up into pages for Illustration Art, Secret Art, Archive Collection, Unorthodox Taxidermy and Bronze Sculptures. It also gives information on how to acquire artwork by Dr. Seuss.

NEW! Dr. Seuss National Memorial Sculpture Garden at the Springfield Museums

http://www.catinthehat.org/history.htm

The Springfield Museums (MA) are celebrating the life and works of Dr. Seuss! This webpage is dedicated to the bronze sculptures of favorite Dr. Seuss characters and Dr. Seuss himself working at his drawing board. These works of art are housed at the National Memorial Museum in Springfield, MA. The webpage includes a biography of Dr. Seuss, information about the National Memorial, events you can attend when you visit, directions, and contact information.

Dr. Seuss (1904-1991) (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0317450/

The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) has an exhaustive list of all media related to Dr. Seuss’ life and work. Many of Dr. Seuss’ works became movies, TV specials and even video games. In addition, there have been several media biographies made of this famous artist. There are links for additional information on all of the media, the life of Dr. Seuss and all of his accomplishments. Here you will find pictures of Dr. Seuss and his works, videos, and news articles.

Diane Arbus

(no photo available)

Diane (pronounced Dee-ann) Arbus was born on March 14, 1923 in New York City, NY. Arbus was an influential American photographer in the mid-20th century, and her work documented the outcasts of 1950s and 60s New York, controversial subject matter that few had previously examined. Her death by suicide in 1971 caused many to reexamine her work through this lens of struggle.

Diane Arbus (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/biography/arbus.html

The Jewish Virtual Library hosts this biographical essay on Diane Arbus, which examines both the details of her life, as well as critical analysis of her professional work.

NEW! Diane Arbus at the Fraenkel Gallery

http://fraenkelgallery.com/artists/diane-arbus

The Fraenkel Gallery, a respected photography museum, outlines the important moments of Diane Arbus’s career. In addition to showcasing some of her famous photographs, the site also features links to past exhibitions at the Fraenkel Gallery, select exhibitions at other museums, and other press.

NEW! Diane Arbus Biography

http://www.biography.com/people/diane-arbus-9187461

Basic facts and a brief essay on Arbus’s life can be found at this Biography.com site. The site also shows the connections between Arbus and other artists, as well as links to other resources on famous photographers.

Fred Rogers

Fred Rogers

Fred Rogers photo taken by Kuht in the late 1960s. From the University of Houston Digital Library Collection.

Generations of PBS viewers have a special place in their hearts for their favorite television neighbor, Mr. Rogers.  Best known for his award-winning children’s program, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, Fred earned his undergraduate degree in music composition from Rolling College and wrote over 200 songs over the course of his life.  Other accomplishments include penning a number of books and receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2002.  His numerous talents – composing, puppetry, and writing, to name a few – and his creative and gentle approach to children’s education put Fred Rogers’ artistry in a league of its own.

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (The Fred Rogers Co.) (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.fredrogers.org/new-site/mrn.html

This site describes the history, philosophy, and 30-year success of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, created by Fred McFeely Rogers (1928-2003) and produced by his nonprofit company, Family Communications, Inc.  Noteworthy features include a biography of Mr. Rogers, television clips from his children’s program, and resources for parents and educators.

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood (PBS) (find it on the ipl2)

http://pbskids.org/rogers/

This colorful, interactive site offers plenty of resources and fun to neighbors young and old.  Watch full episodes of the television show, sing along with Mr. Rogers’ timeless tunes, and play games in the land of Make-Believe.  For older visitors, there is the “Neighbors of All Ages” section; its video clips include fascinating footage from Rogers’ 1969 testimony before the United States Senate in support of children’s educational programming.

Mister Rogers Remixed: Garden of Your Mind (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFzXaFbxDcM

This video is the brainchild of PBS Digital Studios and noted remixer melodysheep, aka John D. Boswell.  Known for his “Symphony of Science” video remixes of clips featuring the likes of Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson, Boswell was approached by PBS Digital Studios about a possible collaboration.  This video, featuring classic Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood footage, was the ultimate product of their discussions, and quickly went viral after its release in June 2012.

Townes Van Zandt

Townes Van Zandt

Photograph of Townes Van Zandt taken in concert at “Kult” Niederstetten, Germany by Michael Schwarz, 1995

John Townes Van Zandt (March 7, 1944 – January 1, 1997) was an American singer-songwriter from Texas who played country, folk, and Texas blues music. Many of his songs became hits for other artists during his lifetime and were recorded by artists such as Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, and Merle Haggard. After his death at 52 years old from cardiac arrhythmia due to decades of substance abuse, his work and life inspired a documentary film, numerous articles and books, and coverage of many of his songs.

Freeing a Mentor From His Mythology (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/10/arts/music/10decurtis.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0  

This article  provides first-hand insight into the life and motives of Townes Van Zandt by the person that probably knew him best. Singer-songwriter Steve Earle, another Texas songwriter better known in the smaller circuits of music’s smaller superstars, was Townes Van Zandt’s protégé. Earle is interviewed in advance of an album of Van Zandt songs that Earle recorded in his memory.

NEW! Van Zandt, John Townes

http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fva44

The Texas State Historical Society provides a brief, but compact biography of Van Zandt’s life from his wealthy upbringing, to his erratic behaviors in college and subsequent shock therapy, as well as his narrative style of writing songs about his own experiences, particularly depression, life on the road, and alcoholism. This site reveals the impact that Van Zandt had on others who recorded his tunes. It also examines his own reputation not only as an abuser of substances that eventually led to his death, but also as the “poet laureate of Texas,” “premier poet of the time,” “the James Joyce of Texan songwriting,” and “the best writer in the country genre.”

NEW! Townes Van Zandt, “Pancho and Lefty”

http://www.americansongwriter.com/2012/04/townes-van-zandt-pancho-and-lefty/

A review of perhaps one of Van Zandt’s most memorable songs, “Pancho and Lefty,” by Jim Beviglia. The song was made famous and was a top hit by Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. Beviglia, who writes about the superstar duo and Van Zandt’s versions, breaks down the meaning of the song, and gives a little of Van Zandt’s purpose for the song.

Reminder: You can subscribe to ipl2’s newsletter and weekly blog posts via email as well as RSS.  The “Email Subscription” feature appears prominently in the upper left-hand side of the page on the ipl2’s News and Information WordPress blog. Subscription is free and open to all!

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The Link: Black History Month

 

 Dr. Carter G. Woodson, Martin Luther King Jr, & Coretta Scott King, Billie Holiday photographed by Carl Van Vechten, Buffalo Soldier 9th Calvary Denver, Zora Neale Hurston, & Langston Hughes photographed by Carl Van Vechten

Images clock-wise from top-left: Dr. Carter G. Woodson, Martin Luther King, Jr. & Coretta Scott King, Billie Holiday photographed by Carl Van Vechten, Buffalo Soldier 9th Calvary Denver, Zora Neale Hurston, & Langston Hughes photographed by Carl Van Vechten

February marks Black History Month in the United States. Join us as we explore different facets of Black history and learn more about the ways that African Americans have contributed to the richness of American culture.

New resources that will be added to the ipl2 are noted NEW! All other resources can already be found in the ipl2 collection.

History

The History of Black History Month (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.infoplease.com/spot/bhmintro1.html

This Information Please site features articles on Black History and biographies of notable African Americans in politics, history, entertainment, arts, and sports. The articles focus on the history and timeline of events that lead up to the creation of Black History Month.

NEW! Origins of Black History Month

http://www.history.com/videos/origins-of-black-history-month

This video from the History Channel explores the origins of Black History Month. It follows Dr. Carter G. Woodson’s determination to have the history of African Americans acknowledged in history books and in the public conscience. His work and advocacy laid the groundwork for Black History Month.

The Harlem Renaissance

The Harlem Renaissance was a celebration of African American culture and art that began in New York City during the 1920s and 1930s. Its influence flourished throughout the United States and produced a movement that is still remembered and celebrated today. Writers, poets, musicians, and artists created beautiful works that captured the African American spirit and struggles of the time.

A Guide to the Harlem Renaissance (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.loc.gov/rr/program/bib/harlem/harlem.html

The Library of Congress sponsors collections from the Harlem Renaissance, including the Zora Neale Hurston plays, African American sheet music, and photographs from the time period.  There are also lesson plans here for poetry using Langston Hughes as a model.

Drop Me Off in Harlem (find it on the ipl2)

http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/interactives/harlem/facesmain_text.html

The Kennedy Center provides portraits of key members of the Harlem Renaissance including writers, actors, activists, and musicians. Read biographies and works of famous writers and poets of the era. There is also an embedded media player that plays audio files of poems by Claude McKay, Langston Hughes, and others.

Langston Hughes at 100 (find it on the ipl2)

http://brbl-archive.library.yale.edu/exhibitions/langstonhughes/web.html

Langston Hughes is perhaps the most well-known writer and poet of the Harlem Renaissance. This interactive Yale University collection focuses on his life and works. Some highlights include copies of his original manuscripts, playbills, photographs, and audio files.

Civil Rights Movement

The Civil Rights Movement describes the period in the 1950s and 1960s where African Americans and other minority groups organized to change the discriminatory laws that served to keep them from exercising their full equality. Marked by boycotts, civil disobedience, and other forms of nonviolent protest, participants in the Civil Rights Movement struggled against great resistance to achieve legislative and cultural change.

Civil Rights Digital Library (CRDL) (find it on the ipl2)

http://crdl.usg.edu/

The Civil Rights Digital Library (CRDL) promotes knowledge of the struggle for racial equality in the 1950s and 1960s by “helping users discover primary sources and other educational materials” about the Civil Rights Movement. Search, or browse by events, places, people, topics, or media types to locate sound recordings, texts, visual works (including video clips), websites, and instructional material. CRDL is a partnership among librarians, archivists, educators, public broadcasters, and others.

Reporting Civil Rights (find it on the ipl2)

http://reportingcivilrights.loa.org/

This site documents the reporters and journalism of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. Find writer profiles, a timeline for 1941 through 1973, and “Perspectives on Reporting,” which features personal recollections from reporters active in that era.

Voices of Civil Rights (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.voiceofcivilrights.org/

This site collects and preserves “personal accounts of America’s struggle to fulfill the promise of equality for all.” Voices of Civil Rights features a searchable archive of short personal stories submitted by individuals, longer stories with audio and transcripts, a timeline back to 1868, a list of related sites, and a bibliography. This resource is a joint effort of AARP, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights (LCCR), and the Library of Congress.

Biographies

Throughout history, African Americans have enriched every aspect of American life. From science and technology to the arts and the humanities, African Americans have contributed significantly to how we live our lives. Reading about these prominent figures in history and current events helps us understand how important African Americans have been to the development of American culture.

NEW! Black History Month Biographies: Movers and Shakers

http://www.who2.com/common-bonds/black-history-month-biographies/movers-and-shakers

Who2.com is a trusted ipl2 website with almost 4000 biographies of famous figures. Its page dedicated to Black History Month includes famous African Americans under the topics “Movers and Shakers,” “Science and Technology,” “People in the News,” “Writers,” “Entertainers,” “Athletes,” and “Religious Figures.” Who2 offers quick facts, thumbnail bios, and links to more information.

Black History (find it on ipl2)

http://www.biography.com/people/groups/black-history

Biography.com is a well-known, authoritative website that offers biographies of important African Americans in a variety of formats. Here you can find videos, photos, timelines, and study guides to learn about how these influential African Americans have impacted the American cultural landscape. In addition, this site has a discussion board where you can join the conversation.

NEW! Biographies of Famous African Americans

http://www.factmonster.com/spot/bhmbios1.html

FactMonster, a subsidiary of Pearson Publishing, offers an exhaustive number of biographies of African Americans in a child-friendly design. Broken down in alphabetical groups, FactMonster gives you fast facts on figures from Aaliyah to James Van der Zee with links to even more information. Using FactMonster for research is easy – it will create citations for you, you can print articles, and you can find multimedia on any of the biographies on the list!

Jazz

Jazz is a form of music that emphasizes improvisation, syncopation, and collaboration.  While today jazz music is played and enjoyed around the world by people of myriad ethnic backgrounds, the genre has its roots in African American culture.  Check out these resources to celebrate Black History Month in a most musical way.

Jazz: A Film by Ken Burns (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.pbs.org/jazz/

Created as a companion to Ken Burns’ documentary miniseries, this website explores the history of jazz, from its roots in spirituals and ragtime to its modern manifestations.  A primary focus of the site is the big band era, during which African American musicians like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington heavily influenced the genre.  Included are audio clips of many jazz performers (RealPlayer), and extensive biographies from the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz.

Smithsonian Jazz (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.smithsonianjazz.org/

The “Explore” section of this site features a number of resources, from a basic definition of the genre to an extensive collection of oral histories by jazz greats like Art Farmer and Sonny Rollins.  Smithsonian Jazz also offers a number of lesson planning resources for elementary and middle school teachers, such as handouts defining common jazz jargon and worksheets for comparing two or more musicians/pieces.

William P. Gottlieb: Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz (find it on the ipl2)

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/wghtml/wghome.html

Hosted by the Library of Congress, the William P. Gottlieb Collection documents the jazz scene from 1938 to 1948, primarily in New York City and Washington, D.C.  The collection’s hundreds of photographs feature such notable jazz personalities as Dizzy Gillespie, Billie Holiday, Charlie Parker, and Thelonious Monk.  In addition to the photographs, the site includes some biographical materials concerning photographer William Gottlieb, as well as 1940s-era articles from Down Beat, a prominent jazz magazine.

NPR Jazz (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.npr.org/music/genres/jazz-blues/

For the latest jazz buzz, check out NPR Jazz, which features blog posts, music and book reviews, descriptions and schedules of jazz programming on National Public Radio, profiles of musicians, and expert recommendations from the NPR Basic Jazz Record Library. Profiles and recommendations include audio clips.

Black-only Army Regiments in the 1800s

African Americans have served in every military action in U.S. history, often receiving poor assignments in dangerous or harsh environments.  The 24th and 25th U.S. Army infantry regiments were the two black-only regiments established in 1869. These regiments earned the name Buffalo Soldiers from the Indians who they fought in the late 1800s. It is a term of respect for the intense fighting spirit and courage the Indians experienced in their battles.

NEW! Buffalo Soldiers Research Museum

http://www.buffalosoldiersresearchmuseum.org/

The Buffalo Soldiers Research Museum features more than 2000 books, publications, and magazine and other media collections that examine the history of the Buffalo Soldiers. The museum’s website provides definitions, histories, research sources, collections of photographs, a newsletter archive, and contact information.

NEW! The Buffalo Soldiers

http://www.nps.gov/prsf/historyculture/buffalo-soldiers.htm

The Presidio of San Francisco once garrisoned a regiment of Buffalo Soldiers. Their National Parks Service website not only provides a history of the garrisoned Buffalo Soldiers, but also many chapters of Buffalo Soldiers’ exploits on the Western frontier, in the Spanish-American, Philippine, and first world wars, and various patrols they performed. The site also features a history of the creation, and ultimate disbanding, of the Buffalo Soldiers.

Buffalo Soldiers & Indian Wars (find it on the ipl2)

http://www.buffalosoldier.net/

This informative site details many of the skirmishes and campaigns that involved the Buffalo Soldiers and Native American Indians. It also provides an extensive list of links to many more Buffalo Soldiers resources, as well as sites discussing minorities, the West, the Civil War, and other educational and government resources.

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