August 30, 2016

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On orientation attitude

A couple of years back, I posted a little round-up of Orientation inspiration, gathering ideas from a few friends in the field. This year I find myself collecting creative ideas for my School Library Management class from blogs and tweets coming across my network in the form of an Orientation And Getting Ready For Action […]

CommonLit: OER Curation and Creation

As librarians, wehn we gear up for a new school year, it’s exciting to have a few new strategies for engaging learners with literature and for building our own literature discovery/selection toolkit. You’ll absolutely want to introduce CommonLit to your classroom teachers and you’ll absolutely use it yourself to make curricular discoveries and to help […]

Bloomz: a powerful tool for home/school communication

Bloomz is a game changer, a kind of Swiss Army knife for school communication that does the job of multiple single purpose apps. It’s free and it works across platforms and devices and it’s got the  communications arena covered. I first discovered Bloomz from this year’s Best Websites for Teaching and Learning Committee, but it […]

AnswerGarden a powerful, minimalistic feedback/brainstorming tool

Gathering quick feedback and initiating a brainstorm have never been easier.  AnswerGarden looks like what would happen if Twitter, TodaysMeet, Padlet and Wordle and Tagxedo had a little baby app. Here’s a little introduction I pulled together. AnswerGarden rightly describes itself as a minimalistic feedback tool. It takes under 10 minutes to master. You can […]

Kidcasts: Podcasts for kiddos

Last week I enjoyed the great variety of edCamp Global sessions across a variety of platforms–Periscope, Twitter chats, and Google+ Hangouts. One session that continues to resonate with me is the Hangout on Kidcasts, or podcasts for kids.  I suppose it’s because I was largely unaware that kidscasts were a thing, a potentially important thing.  […]

Tales2Go as an audio collection (and a literacy solution)

I LOVE audiobooks!  They make it possible for me to always be reading. But for kiddos, access to audiobooks represents far more than a simple, hands-free convenience. Audiobooks allow children to build vocabulary, to attack sophisticated text and ideas beyond their current reading levels, Audiobooks can introduce children to new vocabulary, improve reading comprehension and fluency, […]

Hello Ruby, Adventures in Coding

So, imagine with me, for a moment, a world where the stories we tell about how things get made don’t only include the twentysomething-year-old Silicon Valley boys, but also Kenyan schoolgirls and Norwegian librarians. Imagine a world where the little Ada Lovelaces of tomorrow, who live in a permanent reality of 1s and 0s, they […]

Happier sharing: Google Chromecast (2nd gen) and Cast for Education

I experienced a bit of gadget lust this weekend. Visiting my daughter and her boyfriend in Boston, I tried out Google’s 2nd generation Chromecast tool. Available for a modest $35, Google’s cute little device plugs easily into the HDMI port on your TV and allows you to stream media from your mobile device or your laptop or […]

JournalTOCs and other “pushy” scholarly tools

Here’s a little current awareness tip. But first, a little library history.  In my first library jobs, in special libraries at the Newspaper Advertising Bureau and the Franklin Institute, one of my jobs was to copy and distribute tables of contents from new issues of journals and magazines to the professionals and scientists whose practice […]

Best Apps and Best Websites Reveals

Each year many of us look forward to the annual reveal of the AASL Best Websites and Best Apps at ALA Annual Conference. In case you missed those big reveals a couple of week ago, no worries!  (Rather, worry. For you are in for a serious rabbit hole experience.) Summer is here and you will […]

Are you future ready?

The Future Ready Librarians initiative launched at ALA and ISTE this week. We heard the buzz at AASL sessions, in the ISTE Librarians Playground, at the ISTELibrarians breakfast, and more importantly, at sessions at both conferences where others outside our little tent could hear the message. The Future Ready Schools (FRS) initiative itself launched at the White […]

ISTE Launches Refreshed Standards for Students

At ISTE 2016, this week in Denver, we saw the official release of a refreshed and aspirational set of Standards for Students focused on empowering student voice. We’ve come a long way from 1998 when our students exposure technology was largely limited to a weekly computer lab visit. ISTE describes the nearly twenty year progression of their standards as […]

ISTE Librarians Network Playground and the resources shared

I arrived from ALA a bit too late to catch the excitement at the ISTE Librarians Playground yesterday, so I asked current and incoming ISTELib Network presidents Sherry Gick and Jonathan Werner to help describe the vibrant scene I caught at the tail end.     As it has been for the last several years, one of […]

Essential Conference Tips: An Infographic

At this point in my travel career, I’ve learned a bit about how to do library conferences with fewer pain points. On the plane to ALA Orlando 2016, and at lunch in the hotel before I got my room, I shared my tips with a few friends who offered additional crowd-sourced advice. If conference travel […]

Essential Conference Tips: An Infographic

At this point in my travel career, I’ve learned a bit about how to do library conferences with fewer pain points. On the plane to ALA Orlando 2016, and at lunch in the hotel before I got my room, I shared my tips with a few friends who offered additional crowd-sourced advice. If conference travel […]

Getting closer to campus: Virtual reality college tours

The online college tour can be a very important experience, influencing what might be the first critical decision a young adult makes. Virtual tours of colleges and universities have been around since the beginning of the Web. They were later enriched as multimedia experiences. The game has changed. The new tours are significantly more immersive, revealing and […]

PBS KIDS Video App

Chock full of quality children’s programs, the newly updated PBS KIDS Video App is an absolute no-brainer download for families, and for preschool and primary classrooms and libraries. The app is free, easy to navigate and available for both iOS (iPads & iPhones) and Android. The attractive, kid-friendly interface offers immediate access to such series […]

On innovative practice: There is no box!

A few years back, I was stuck in an airport on a long layover. I found myself chatting over dinner and wine with an extraordinary woman who excitedly described the new business empire she was building.  I said, “Wow, you sure think outside the box!”  She responded: “Joyce, what makes you think there’s a box?” […]

New Student Discovery Sets for Tablets from LOC

A couple of years ago, I wrote about the first six Student Discovery Sets published by the Library of Congress. The collection, now at 15 titles, covers so many of the themes studied in our school programs. This week, three new sets launched: Scientific Data: Observing, Recording, and Communicating Information Weather Forecasting The New Deal […]

MLA Style Center Launches with Sample Papers and a Practice Template

Back in April, I wrote about the publication of MLA’s 8th edition and its significant shift in focus (Shifting into 8th (On MLA’s new edition). The simplified approach is a response to the increasing mobility of digital texts and to what Tim Parks calls “an element of fetishism” that has “perhaps crept into what was […]