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October 31, 2014

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Is This It for the Nook?: While its future is unclear, the Nook is an ideal ereader for schools

Is This It for the Nook?: While its future is unclear, the Nook is an ideal ereader for schools

While the future of Barnes & Noble’s hardware division is still playing out, the Nook line of ereaders boasts a quality user experience and library-loan friendly features. Jeff Hastings provides a rundown of the Nook Simple Touch with Glowlight and the Nook HD tablet in his video review.

SLJ Reviews Information Literacy Courseware ResearchReady

SLJ Reviews Information Literacy Courseware ResearchReady

What is ResearchReady? The new information literacy courseware is “just about everything we try and teach condensed into a single convenient, Web-based and tablet-friendly can,” according to SLJ columnist Jeff Hastings.

SLJ Reviews Gobstopper and Subtext: Apps that Enable Interactive Classroom Reading

SLJ Reviews Gobstopper and Subtext: Apps that Enable Interactive Classroom Reading

The ability for teachers and students to embed their own content into digital texts, write notes, and get feedback on student reading—classroom reading just got a lot more dynamic. SLJ columnist Jeff Hastings test driives Gobstopper and Subtext.

SLJ Reviews the WiFi Smartpen Sky by Livescribe | Test Drive

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Beyond the bells and whistles, “where the Sky smartpen really shines—like the Echo and Pulse models before it—is its capacity to record and post audio-enhanced notes called “pencasts,” writes School Library Journal gadget columnist Jeff Hastings.

CES 2013 Top Trends for Schools: From adaptive ebooks to crowd-funded technology, products to look out for

CES 2013 Top Trends for Schools: From adaptive ebooks to crowd-funded technology, products to look out for

Grumbling about the relevance of CES notwithstanding, several standout products are set to impact K–12 education. SLJ columnist Jeff Hastings taps the highlights, including one overarching trend that’s bound to affect a wide range of devices for all users.

Ebook Toolkit: SLJ Reviews StarWalk Kids

Ebook toolkit: SLJ Reviews StarWalk Kids

School Library Journal columnist Jeff Hastings test drives the new Web- and subscription-based ebook collection StarWalk Kids.

Ebook toolkit: Rosen Interactive Ebooks

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Rosen Digital has introduced a free, interactive ebook platform that customers can populate, à la carte, with unlimited, simultaneous access licensed, nonfiction titles for $34.95 each or $209.70 for a set of six.Sixty titles are currently available and an additional 60 will be released in January 2013. The ebooks feature colorful designs, eye-popping photographs, plenty [...]

SLJ Reviews | Multimedia Storytelling Platform Meograph

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New storytelling application Meograph helps users create uniquely dynamic, interactive projects, incorporating Google Maps and Google Earth to generate a story time line, which can be enhanced with images, video, text, audio, and links for more information. SLJ columnist Jeff Hastings walks us through the platform in his video review.

Make-your-own-ebooks platform: Aerbook Maker

MentorMob and me

SLJ columnist Jeff Hastings test drives Aerbook Maker, a new platform for creating your very own tablet-ready graphical ebooks.

Ebook toolkit: Storia

Ebook toolkit: Storia

You might want to check out Storia, says SLJ columnist Jeff Hastings. Scholastic’s slick and promising ereader platform is in soft launch, and they’re preparing to go big with it this fall.

Ebook toolkit: Mackin VIA

SLJ’s Jeff Hastings test drives the integrated ebook/database platform Mackin VIA.

Don’t Worry, Be Scrappy: Good, Cheap Tech for Schools, Cloud Computing and More

It’s the perfect time to try cheap new technologies

Illustration by Hal Mayforth

When asked to weigh in on what might be the next big thing in educational technology, I first did what I felt an SLJ gadget guy should do: I scanned the horizon for the next gizmo or software advance that would eventually grow legs, rise up, and utterly transform our profession. But what I saw was more about evolution than revolution. Sure, Windows Vista will become Windows 7, [...]

Acer Aspire One Netbook

Operating system: Linpus Linux Lite, a customized version of Linux Fedora. Processor: 1.6 GHz Intel Atom. A model with 512 MB RAM, 8 GB solid state flash drive (expandable), Linux OS, and 3-cell lithium ion battery costs about $325. www.acer.com/aspireone.

It’s come to my attention that avid followers of my Test Drive column as well as pathologically obsessive numerologists—three people, in all (Hi, Mom!)—have detected an industry-driven trend in my superb reportage. On the even-numbered months of the last half of [...]