Watch and learn

or just be entertained so much that you’re learning anyways!  Is that sneaky or what?  It is no surprise that video is used in many classrooms to enhance learning and discovery, as it is used in our own lives outside of the classroom to learn things for own edification – from investigating what goes into forging Mjolnir (swordsmiths still exist!) to learning more about the world of sleep and dreams and whether it is really just a biological process.

Video engages both our sense of sight and sound (and maybe even smell in the near future.  The Digital Olfaction Society is a real thing!) and stimulates interest and investment in a topic. When I was in school, videos weren’t shown often. When they were shown- it was a nice break from the lecture format.  It also made me think about the instructor’s intent in choosing to show a video and in what he had chosen to show.

With streaming video, it has become almost effortless to access video content on a variety of subjects, especially with many device options for playing them.  Wheelock offers many great, carefully-curated collections that you can watch because you want to teach something, learn something, or just watch anything because you’re in watch-anything kind of mood.

civilwarAcademic Video Online (highlighted last year here)
What it is:
20,000 videos on a variety of subjects.  On top of your usual Wheelock-y subjects, it includes fashion videos, Asian documentaries, business education videos, and silent films.
What to check out:  Videofashion Collections, Vol. 4, Ep. 28: Best of New York (2013), Civil War: The Cause

mediaeddinesMediaEd Streaming (highlighted last year here)
What it is:
  Documentaries that encourage viewers to think critically about the media and our consumption of it.
What to check out:  Pornland: How the Porn Industry Has Hijacked Our Sexuality. This was added to the collection only 2 weeks ago.  It is based on a book written by Wheelock professor, Gail Dines.

What it is: Early education & child development videos that makes children’s thought processes visible to viewers.
What to check out: The Special Education Assessment Playlist

understandingapaWheelock College Library YouTube Channel
What it is:  Library videos, featuring e-Learning & Reference Librarian, Maric Kramer, on how to find information that you need for your papers and assignments.
What to check out: Understanding APA Citations
What it is: 
Video tutorials on technology for education, audio and video production, business, print and web design, programming, photography, and 3D and animation.
What to check out:  Introduction to Graphic Design (you’d need to log into first)

Wheelock College YouTube Channel
What it is:
  Videos about Wheelock, what Wheelock does, and its mission to inspire a world of good.  When you’re buried in work, it’s nice to be reminded why you picked Wheelock in the first place and also, it’s weird and cool at the same time to see your professors and classmates on YouTube.  :)
What to check out: You Have to Be Tough to Serve

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Style by the Book – Daughter of Smoke and Bone

daughter smoke bone

Daughter of Smoke and Bone is the first in a trilogy written by Laini Taylor. The story introduces a world in which chimera and angels are trapped in a neverending war. Karou, a human teenage girl raised by chimera, struggles with her identity and mysterious past. She lives on earth, unaware of the feud that lurks just beyond in another world, running errands fetching teeth for her loving, but secretive chimera father. The story is unique and well-written with vibrant characters full of personality. As with many trilogies, the third book falls a little flat compared to the first two, but this series is still worth reading. For this Style by the Book, I decided to focus on Karou, and her best friend, Zusana. Feisty, loyal Zusana is easily my favorite character in the book.





Do you have a favorite book that you want to see featured on Style by the Book? Share your suggestions in the comments!

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Learn to Do Just About Anything with LogoIf you’ve ever frantically Googled how to do something in a certain software program or wished you had a step-by-step guide to new programs, Wheelock has a great new resource for you available through the Earl Center. provides more than 2,400 online video courses on topics in technology for education, audio and video production, business, print and web design, programming, photography, and 3D and animation. courses are broken down into short videos of 10 minutes or less, narrated by professionals who take you through every step in the learning process. So you can do a complete course in one sitting, break it up by video or by chapter, or search for the specific task or topic without committing to a several hour course. All the tutorials include transcripts to help you follow along, and many options to adjust the speed of playback, toggle a pop-out window or bookmark specific points in a video. You can also use Lynda through their iOS and Android apps.

Lynda Screenshot

An example of the interface.

Not sure where to start? Check out some of the playlists our library staff members have created!

Tip: Click the “Save this playlist” button and log in to move the playlist to your personal account and watch at your leisure.

And of course, you can always explore on your own by selecting from the Databases A-Z tab on the library website. The summer is the perfect time to finally pursue that skill you’ve been telling yourself you’d learn!

Find great courses you think should be highlighted in a library playlist or a research guide? Comment below or send us an email.

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Notes on Fear

“Fear is isolating for those that fear.  And I have come to believe that fear is a cruelty to those who are feared” (Biss 154).  This statement, like so many of Biss’ revelations in Notes From No Man’s Land, gave me pause.  Fear is isolating.  Fear is cruel.  And, as her cousin tells us, fear is violence. Biss

Growing up is, in many ways, about facing your fears and overcoming them.  Riding a bike is scary the first time you do it.  So is sleeping over at a friend’s house.  And going to college.  We are afraid of what is unfamiliar.  To accept these fears as absolute truths would be debilitating.  We would never venture into the world or try new things.  And yet, as adults, we allow our fears to become immutable.  We become settled in our routines, comfortable in our circles of friends, and we stagnate.  We cease to push the boundaries of our fears and we are instead penned-in by them.  As Biss points out, “Fear is accepted…as a kind of intelligence” (157-158).  It becomes prudent to be afraid.

I do not advise imprudence.  There are real dangers in the world and caution is often necessary.  But I wonder, with Biss, whether “insularity is a fair price to pay for safety” (154).  I strongly suspect that it is not.  Fear of people, especially fear of whole groups of people, demands that we avoid those people.  It demands that we do not take the bus through a particular neighborhood.  It demands that we carefully separate our homes from their homes, our schools from their schools.  It demands that we do not make eye contact, or smile, or offer a helping hand.  It demands that we treat other humans as less-than-human. It demands that we perpetuate age-old oppressions.

None of us lives without fears, but perhaps we can mitigate the damage they cause by examining them critically, by engaging them, and by growing out of them.

Biss, Eula.  Notes From No Man’s Land.  Minneapolis: Graywolf Press, 2009.  Print.

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When Words Get in the Way

Almost gone are the days of beach trips and flip flops. Too soon they will be replaced by stiff school shoes, scratchy leggings, and perfectly pleated pants. Books can feel like this. We (and by “we,” I mostly mean “I”) spent our summer reading fluff. Words like cotton candy stuck to the corners of our brains with the sticky- sweet consistency of burnt sugar. But then we realized that our children’s school sent home a summer reading list that we really ought to have started before August fifteenth. The school books, as good as they are, feel like a pair of new shoes; they are not yet broken in enough to be welcome to our warm weather frame of mind.

If you find this to be the case, I recommend trying books without words (or books with as few words as possible). Ease back into reading lists with tales that let your brain tell the story on its own terms. Soon enough, then, your syllabi will taste like warm apple pie, smell like crisp autumn air, and feel like your favorite fuzzy fleece against you skin.

Here are a few of my favorite (nearly) wordless wonders:

10.  Chalk by Bill Thomson


9.    Sector 7 by David Wiesner ( J-P W63s)

Sector 7

8.    Zoom by Istvan Banyai ( J-P B227z)


7.    The Arrival by Shaun Tan ( J 741.5 T153a0)

The Arrival

6.    Good Dog, Carl by Alexandra Day ( J-P D323g)

Good Dog Carl

5.    The Snowman by Raymond Briggs ( J-P B7644s)

The Snowman

4.    Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathman

Good Night Gorilla

3.    The Lion and the Mouse by Jerry Pinkney ( J-P P648L)

The Lion and the Mouse

2.    Flotsam by David Wiesner ( J-P W6365FL)


1.    The Mysteries of Harris Burdick  by Chris Van Allsburg ( J-P V265m)

Mysteries of Harris Burdick

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