Japanese Internment in the U.S. — Information to Share With Today’s Students

I have known six people whose families were forced to move into United States government Japanese internment camps. It’s been an honor for me and my family to listen to their stories — though not always easy to hear about or imagine the cruelty they experienced. The internment, a reaction to the war with Japan and called an evacuation by the United States government, began in 1942 and essentially imprisoned more than 117,000 people. Two-thirds of them were born as American citizens and over half were children,

February 19th, the day in 1942 that President Roosevelt signed an executive order known as the internment order, is a Day of Remembrance in many states. Educators and parents can use the day to understand more — and help 21st Century children learn more — about the internment of Japanese families during World War II. Today, as we deal with the challenges of increasing diversity in the United States and recognize our immigrant history, it’s more important than ever to understand what happened and why the United States now recognizes the internment policy as a mistake.

As U. S. President Gerald Ford said, “Not only was the evacuation wrong, but Japanese Americans were and are loyal Americans.”      Continue reading

Teach Digital Kids to Respect Ownership: Copyright Resource Update

copyright wordleSome time ago I chatted with a parent about the concept of copyright. Both of us were  concerned that digital kids understand very little about intellectual property. The free-for-all digital information climate ensures that children have considerable ease accessing information and considerable difficulty comprehending what belongs to whom. Given this easy access parents and educators need to spend time helping children understand the basics.

Copyright laws are arcane, and even a bit crazy, but it’s critical to teach kids that protecting the intellectual property of others is a necessary 21st Century skill. With your child take the Copyright Challenge quiz at Copyright for Kids to see how much you know. When you finish the quiz check out these frequently asked questions about copyright.

Continue reading

Our Library of Congress: Knowledge Moves into the Digital World

The LOC Reading Room - Picture taken from the entrance.

If you ever visit Washington, DC, save an afternoon or even a day to visit the Library of Congress (LOC). Filled with resources — primary and secondary, hands-on and digital — the Library is a delight for anyone who loves to learn. In my post , The Library of Congress: Go Exploring for Digital Resources, I wrote about a few LOC digital learning opportunities, and library website features many more. The digital learning resources are available no matter where a person lives, however there is much to see at the library itself, and a LOC library visit is fun for adults and children.

Last Monday, on the February holiday that honors Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, the Library of Congress, which was started with the book collection of another president, Thomas Jefferson, opened its main reading room to the public.

Continue reading