Author Spotlight: Allyssa Loya

Allyssa Loya author

by Jenny Krueger, Publishing Director for School and Library

I met Disney Coding Adventures author Allyssa Loya at the 2017 TLA (Texas Library Association) conference when she presented to a packed house about how she got a coding club up and running in her library. As she presented, I heard a familiar refrain from the librarians in attendance—they knew they needed to get started with coding in their libraries, but they didn’t know where to start. It’s a common problem, as coding comes with a fear factor for students and educators who aren’t familiar with it. Read More

On Volunteering, Good Apples, and Bad Apples

by Jenny Krueger, Publishing Director for School and Library

We recently had the opportunity to volunteer at Second Harvest Heartland. This  organization collects food from farmers, manufacturers, and retailers around our home state of Minnesota. They then distribute the food to food pantries, soup kitchens, and other organizations that serve those in need. According to Second Harvest, more than 500,000 people in Minnesota alone struggle with hunger. That’s 1 in 10 people every day who don’t have enough to eat. By collecting food for distribution to the community, Second Harvest Heartland also saves millions of pounds of food from going to waste. Read More

5 Activities to Boost Computational Thinking in the Library

computational thinking skills activity

At the National Association of School Librarian’s Conference in November, I had the pleasure of meeting Lorena Swetnam and Cynthia Johnson, middle school librarians at Blythwood Middle School and Longleaf Middle School in Columbia, South Carolina. They presented on how they’ve introduced computational thinking in their libraries. They’ve pulled together their story with some great example activities and photos. Check it out!—School and Library Publishing Director Jenny Krueger 

Working in a middle school means every day with our students is unique and full of surprises. In the last year, we have worked together to create opportunities for our students and teachers to tinker, create, and collaborate. These makerspace activities allow us to see computational thinking skills in action: logics, algorithms, decomposition, patterns abstraction, and evaluation.

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