January 20, 2017

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Toontastic 3D: New and free from Google Education

Check out Toontastic 3D, a wonderful, free, open-ended digital storytelling app just launched by Google Education for tablet, phone and Chromebook. You may be familiar with Toontastic launched in 2011 or Toontastic Jr. Now, with the help of Google, the platform is impressively redesigned for Android, iPad and iPhone.  The new app allows students to […]

Explore Primary Sources in Free Program Series

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The Presidential Primary Source Project presents free, live-streamed programs for middle and high school students. Covering “Culture, Society, and Presidential Decision-Making,” the presentations run through March 2017.

This article was published in School Library Journal's January 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Announcing Flipgrid One (free and fabulous)

Today, one of my favorite communication/creativity platforms shared some major enhancements and a commitment to equity. I have been a devoted fan of Flipgrid since the beginning. For me it’s one of those wifi desert island web tools. Created by LT Media Lab at the University of Minnesota, Flipgrid is a simple and elegant video-based discussion platform […]

Introduce myShakespeare to your students!

Fun fact: You may know I was an English major. You may not know that my serious focus was 16th century poetry and drama. My favorite course ever was Shakespeare’s Problem Plays. Not every student I’ve met over the years felt the same draw to Shakespeare. The play is just not every kid’s thing. The […]

On “poetical science” and making beyond the “space”

In his history of the digital revolution, The Innovators, Walter Isaacson reveals Ada Lovelace’s significant legacy–that the humanities and technology could happily coexist as a poetical science. This particular coexistence, he notes, does not usually exist in our schools. Many people who celebrate the arts and the humanities, who applaud vigorously the tributes to their […]

Apps: a call for nominations and a round-up of review ources

I am a proud member of AASL’s Best Apps for Teaching and Learning Committee.  And we need your help.  You’ve been exploring apps with your students and faculty over the course of the year, now’s the time to nominate your faves! But while you wait for the completion of the nomination process and our always […]

Presidential Primary Sources Project: Free interactive videoconferencing

The National Park Service, U.S Presidential Libraries, and Museums, the Internet2 community, and cultural and historic organizations nationwide recently announced the schedule for their annual Presidential Primary Source Project (PPSP).  This is a perfect opportunity for librarians to connect teachers and students to memorable experiences that will make history and Presidential politics come alive. This […]

Libraries Ready to Code!

The library is a great place to introduce the ready to code concept because we’re public, we’re free, we’re easily accessible. After School Services Manager (Queens, New York) It’s really not just coding. It is a way of thinking and perceiving and problem-solving. Teacher Librarian (Norman, Oklahoma) When I’m coding… I really feel like I […]

PhotoScan for no-glare, super easy archiving of your old pics!

Okay, this one may not be for school, but it sure is handy and I will use it to death. I just discovered Google Photo’s new PhotoScan app.  If, like me, you’ve got thousands of family photos in albums in your basement or attic, this may be the perfect holiday activity for the gang. The […]

Truth, truthiness, triangulation and the librarian way: A news literacy toolkit for a “post-truth” world

We were guaranteed a free press,  We were not guaranteed a neutral or a true press. We can celebrate the journalistic freedom to publish without interference from the state.  We can also celebrate our freedom to share multiple stories through multiple lenses. But it has always been up to the reader or viewer to make […]

UniversityVideos.org: search, transcripts, and automatic clipping!

I make so many discoveries through my grad students’ Weekly Search News presentations. This week, Emma shared Universityvideos.org. The new free video library, created by the MicroSearch Corporation curates academic videos and the metadata from a vast array of Univerisity YouTube channels, as well as TED and TEDx talks, scientific and cultural institutions like NASA […]

On dot connecting: sharing your whys, what ifs and innovations?

Last week I presented about whys, why nots, what ifs and the nature of innovation. I crowd-sourced part of the presentation, asking some of the most creative colleagues I know if they could easily connect their whys to their innovations. It turns out that was not a challenge. First: What are your whys?  Simon Sinek […]

Changes Ahead for #TLChat–it’s your turn!

(This is slightly edited cross post with Tiffany Whitehead’s Mighty Little Librarian blog.) Seven years ago, our amazing tribe of Teacher Librarians embarked on a journey to deliver much needed professional development on library and technology topics. At the time, there were few such free opportunities to meet this need, so the TL Virtual Cafe […]

Our “bus tour” experiment

We’ve just concluded an exciting experiment and I am thrilled to share our story. Rutgers MI program, NJASL and the South Brunswick School District partnered this week to offer a School Library “Bus Tour.” Okay, no buses were actually involved. (Think “garden tour.”) We simply opened up school libraries representing effective practice and invited students, […]

Play Me a Memory

Son, can you play me a memory? I’m not really sure how it goes But it’s sad and it’s sweet and I knew it complete When I wore a younger man’s clothes  Billy Joel, Piano Man Every man’s memory is his private literature.  Aldous Huxley Our memories are important. They form the tapestry of our […]

Exploring news visually

News junkie alert!  Check out IBM Watson’s News Explorer, a fascinating semantic strategy for navigating up-to-the-minute news, and lots of it. News Explorer presents and connects 300,00 articles a day from 70,000 sources including newspapers, radio and Twitter–visualizing this vast textual content into entities and concepts. The application uses Watson’s AlchemyData News API and allows […]

Oh where, oh where has Tortilla gone? Join the Technicolor Adventures of Catalina Neon

Where is Catalina’s doggy, Tortilla? Our nation’s 21st U.S. Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera poses a question he would like children to answer, as creatively and as poetically as possible!  He and artist/illustrator Juana Medina invite your second and third grade kiddos to join a bilingual poetry party! This week, the Library of Congress debuted the […]

Ormiboard: an IWB without the IWB (and a lot more interactive goodness_

If you are looking for ways to make your presentations more interactive and if you are working in a 1:1 environment and if you are looking for an instructional platform that easily moves across devices and if you’d like to have an interactive whiteboard with you wherever you share and teach, I think you’ll want […]

TLCafe for October (and it’s YOUR turn to lead!)

This coming Monday, October 3 at 8:00 PM Eastern, TLCafé  features a very special conversation.  Are You Ready? with guests Andrew Marcinek, CIO at Worcester Academy and Former Chief Open Education Advisor for the Office of Educational Technology, and Stony Evans, library media specialist at Lakeview (AK) High School will address Open Education Resources and what […]

DPLA Primary Source Sets

Just in time for instructional planning, the Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) reminds us that their 100 Primary Source Sets were designed  to help students develop critical thinking skills by exploring topics in history, literature, and culture. If you work with middle or high school learners, you’re going to love these sets created by the teachers from […]