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July 4, 2015

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Dear ISTE (reprised)

This past week in Philadelphia I participated in a meeting that launched the year-long process of refreshing ISTE’s Standards for Students. The organization acknowledges the accelerated pace of change and is entering the process of seeing what works, what is still relevant, what is obsolete, what is still missing since the last refresh in 2007. […]

#ISTELIB

Greetings from my fair city.  Tech educators and, of course, librarians convened in Philadelphia over the past three days to share and explore thoughtful integration of technology in learning. Of course, librarians had a major presence at this event.  It’s so important that we be visible present.  That we represent. That’s why so many of […]

2015 AASL Best Apps and Best Websites revealed!

Need a little something to do this summer?  There’s plenty for you to explore. You may have missed the actual reveal live yesterday, but please don’t miss the big announcements made by your AASL colleagues at Annual in San Francisco. I was honored to serve on the Best Apps for Teaching and Learning Committee this […]

Font smashing (or pairing): it’s a thing too

I don’t know exactly how or when it happened, but I’ve become fussy about fonts.  And I find the proliferation of free fonts both satisfying and confounding. It goes like this.  I shop a font, usually through the options in Canva, Picmonkey and the frenzy of open source selections that pop up under More fonts […]

appoLearning Collections: a new tool for curating apps and resources

I had breakfast with a colleague from the Graduate School of Education yesterday and our conversation kept returning to how can classroom teachers possibly keep up with what looks like an educational app explosion?  How can they carve out the time it takes to effectively integrate apps and other new resources into instruction? How can […]

My first Cardboard experience

I jut received my Google Cardboard. I ordered the virtual reality viewer from among the choices recommended for my iPhone.  (A downloadable kit allows manufacturers to produce and sell Cardboards.) I folded the simple device together from its flat cardboard package. I matched together the strategically positioned slots, so that the magnets, velcro, little strap, […]

A little titling fun with Type to Design

For years I’ve returned to Erik Kastner’s  Spell with Flickr to help me create slides and titles. I just discovered that Type to Design curates letter designs from Instagram.  It’s a by-product of the 36 Days of Type project which challenged designers and illustrators to explore the endless graphic possibilities of type and upload those possibilities […]

Lesson Flows: app smashing instructional design

I’ve written quite a bit about app smashing, the understanding that it often takes more than one app or tool to effectively accomplish a digital task.  Well, that concept is also true about building instruction these days. How can we better harness and leverage all of those appealing digital tools we discover? CommonSense Media, the […]

TL=thought leaders (and light bulbs)

Outside of our own little world, the letters TL do not obviously identify us. In her opening remarks at the Library Managers’ Congress of the big eduTECH Conference this past week, chair Karen Bonanno not only pointed to this confusion.  She shed light on it. While my notes are a little sketchy, here are Karen’s […]

Give me some credit, please! (Exploring plagiarism through a series of clever case studies by Jen)

I am usually pretty darn proud of my MLIS students’ work.  In going through my grad students’ final workshop presentations this semester, I found one just too useful not to share.  So I asked for permission. Jennifer Bigioni is now the School Library Media Specialist at Princeton (NJ) High School. Designed as a professional development […]

If the Library of Congress pins . . .

If the largest library in the world, with millions of books, photographs, maps and manuscripts pins, it makes a pretty serious case for a new type of curation for libraries, learning, and learners. The white gloves are off.  The Library of Congress is a pretty serious pinner. It’s an example of how social media can open […]

Just for fun: Google Feud

(Potential time suck alert.) Who would have expected knew that you could leverage the collective power of Google’s auto complete by mashing it up with a classic television game show? Based on the Google API, and developed by Justin Hook, Google Feud is the new age Family Feud.  The game invites you to choose from […]

Playing around in 3D museums from Smithsonian and Google

Lately the digital galleries we visit have gotten a little more real.  3D scanned images allow us to get really up close and personal and around every bend. Recently launched, Smithsonian X 3D presents a variety of 3D collections. The objects are viewed in the sophisticated Explorer browser that allows incredible opportunities to manipulate, measure, […]

For me, Google Keep’s a keeper!

I don’t know why I haven’t discovered this super handy tool before, but I am delighted to find it.  If you love using stickies to organize your life, and you find yourself keep list after list, then Google Keep is a keeper. The digital sticky note service is available for the Web, for Android, and […]

Remind gets chatty

Parents crave communication and engagement with their kids’ teachers.  They want to know what’s going on. But crazy busy work and packed extracurricular schedules make communication a challenge.  As educators we need a safe, private and efficient way to send the occasional update and reminder to our most important stakeholders. Remind (formerly Remind 101), a […]

What’s in your pocket?

Say you were stranded on a desert island and you could only have one (or maybe two) apps, and recharging was not a problem.  Which ones would you choose? Okay, so here are a few better questions.  Look back over the course of the school year. Which of the apps on your phone or tablet […]

Translator is here. Forget the four walls thing.

Translator is here. Forget the four walls thing.

I am convinced. Global is a critical new literacy.  Now there’s no reason not to be global and to live it with learners. Just around a year ago I wrote a post about being  blown away by Microsoft’s demo of Skype’s Translator service for real-time conversations with captions across language barriers.  While it’s been available […]

Map of Life goes mobile

Map of Life goes mobile

This app is going to make travel, field trips, birdwatching and walks in the woods, on the beach and in the park way more fun. One of my very favorite examples of crowd-sourced reference sites has been Yale University’s Map of Life . Using a wide variety of data sources,  the biodiversity project endeavors to provide […]

Tweeting response to the NEA Opportunity Dashboard

Tweeting response to the NEA Opportunity Dashboard

Greetings from Hershey and #PSLA15 where AASL President Terri Grief shared a plan for responding to the omission of school libraries from the NEA Opportunity Dashboard literature. Terri urges NEA members to contact local and state officials.  She is composing an official letter to NEA and will meet with NEA leadership next week in Washington, […]

On capturing evidence in a few new containers

On capturing evidence in a few new containers

If we’re truly reflective practitioners, we think a lot about what happens in our libraries. In the old days we counted things–books we circulated, people who walked through our doors. But there are richer measures and more clearer lenses through which we can share and through which we can learn answers to such questions as” […]