May 2, 2016

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A letter of support

It’s hard to make sense of the current climate for school libraries. In some areas, school districts recognize our value and are struggling to find the best qualified, well-prepared professionals to fill multiple positions. I get letters and see postings seeking excellent candidates nearly every day.  In other areas, library programs are being cut because […]

Smore’s New Educator Hive

Many of us rely on Smore for student projects, for our flyers, announcements to parents, instruction and more.  Many of us love it for its super-low, truly accessible learning curve. This week, the folks at Smore introduced The Educator Hive.  The Hive currently features more than 450 flyer and newsletter templates shared by other educators […]

Act now: Important IAL funding news from the DOE!

An ALA District Dispatch post by Kevin Maher yesterday, shared an important clarification from the Department of Education regarding the Innovative Approaches to Literacy (IAL) program. The notice in the Federal Register shared that 50 percent of all grant funds, more than $13 million, are reserved for use by school libraries serving high need LEAs. […]

Shifting into 8th (On MLA’s new edition)

MLA just released the 8th Edition of its Handbook.  And, there are some key changes between MLA 7 and MLA 8 in this fresh look at documenting sources that you will need to note! I chatted with Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Associate Executive Director and Director of Scholarly Communications at MLA. She shared: Our hope for the […]

#READTransformed: remixing the celebrity poster

Perhaps it’s an inside librarian joke, but I so love this idea. I think it was Topeka Library that started the #READTransformed meme. If you’ve collected ALA’s Celebrity READ posters in your library, your students and faculty may just jump on board to help you reinterpret and remix these classics. So, pick a hero. Strike […]

On magazine covers and media literacy

Whether they are composed of photographs or illustrations, magazine covers are one of many examples of media offering candidates free coverage.  They are also carefully constructed media messages ripe for closer reading and deconstruction to further our students’ digital, visual and political literacies. In his recent article in MiddleWeb, media literacy expert and consultant Frank […]

It’s about time: a round-up of time-lining tools

Timelines are a perfect tool for inquiry projects. They force students to see contexts; to make critical decisions about relative importance; to make connections among people, events and movements; to visualize history and processes; to discover patterns and sequences; to examine cause and effect; and to juxtapose content from across disciplines and media. We now […]

I dare you NOT to share! (So many AASL School Library Month goodies!)

It’s just the beginning of School Library Month.  Tweet it out! If you happen to be struggling for a few new ways to celebrate, don’t worry.  AASL has been doing some seriously creative thinking about how we might use the month of April to celebrate the 2016 theme: the essential role that strong school library […]

Smashing Adobe

I’ve been doing a lot of app smashing these days, but I recently discovered that sometimes suites are just, well, sweet.  Even sweeter when they are free. A little over a year ago, I kinda fell in love with Adobe Voice, for its easy, elegant storytelling affordances.  Gather your images, hit the record button and […]

A belated confession

I’ve avoided writing this post for years.  But a couple of recent conference breakfasts and beverages, with librarians you all know well and admire, and a few questions from my grad students, pushed me into a reflective confession. I don’t think we can really rock every aspect of our jobs at once, however much we […]

What is my movie? a cool new movie search

What is my movie is a remarkable search tool that can help those of us with memory issues remember the title of that film we are struggling to remember.  Simply type anything you do remember in the search box and What is my movie will try to match your search terms among metadata from field […]

ESSA learning more, doing more

I’d venture to say that most of us could stand to learn a little more about ESSA and its potential for school libraries and the communities we serve. On the SchoolLibraryAdvocacy.org website, Deb Kachel offers some clarity. Deb’s presentation ESSA: Every Student Succeeds Act: Implications for School Library Programs, shares critical background on the ESSA […]

The DOE, the Makerspace Challenge and you (if you act now!)

For those of you secondary school folks planning, or planning to enhance, makerspaces in your libraries, check out the news from the White House and act before the April 1st deadline! A press release shared that Acting Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. asked that Congress to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and […]

Choosito! Supporting kid search, discovery and literacy

With more than a billion websites out there and 100 million new webpages published each days, it’s tough work for a kid to find resources that are both relevant and readable. Choosito is designed to support K12 learning and information literacy. Choosito’s Web search may be filtered by reading level and by subject.  The Choosito […]

OER and you. The curation mandate

At the #GoOpen Exchange on Friday, everyone was talking about OER and the need to curate.  The Twiter feed shows the buzz around the trending event and it shows school librarians were at the table. As the initiative moves forward, it is critical for us to choose to be at the head of this particular table. Hosted at […]

Wonderful news! The launch of the Open eBooks app for your children in need

Some wonderful news!  First Lady Michelle Obama’s video below announces a significant new initiative designed to address the challenge of providing children living in low income households with equitable access to digital reading materials. Open eBooks, is a free app, offering thousands of popular and award-winning titles, available without checkout or cost.  It targets all […]

Global Oneness Project: free, interdisciplinary instruction and engagement

If you are seeking to inspire global awareness, critical thinking and student engagement, share the Global Oneness Project with your secondary classroom teacher partners. The Global Oneness Project offers an award-winning, interdisciplinary collection of films, photo essays, and articles exploring cultural, social, and environmental issues. All resources are free and are accompanied by rich standards-aligned lesson plans that […]

Participate: curating with communities

I’ve added a new platform to my list of curation favorites.  The Participate Learning search engine offers access to thousands of educator-vetted K12 learning resources–apps, videos, and websites. Apps, for both iOS and Android, as well as other learning resources, are browsable and searchable by keyword, category, or standard.  Searches may be filtered by whether […]

Political TV Ad Archive (and a resource round-up)

A media literacy opportunity like this comes along every four years. Political advertising is expected to reach several billions of dollars this season, leaving most Americans both barraged and confused. Political TV Ad Archive, a free project recently launched by the Internet Archive, arrived just in time to support this learning opportunity.  It is already […]

CloudSchool a simple and elegant platform for instruction

I recently discovered CloudSchool, incredibly simple (and free) platform for creating and sharing standards-aligned instruction. The teaching space (LMS) allows you and any teacher partners to deliver full courses or individual lessons. The WYSIWYG interface makes it easy to create and publish media-rich lessons, assignments and homework. CloudSchool can also be a platform for professional […]