October 18, 2017

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Typito: Your post production buddy

More and more we communicate through video. And I’ll bet you know the feeling when you record that very effective screencast or tutorial, and it just doesn’t feel ready for primetime. Post-production is what makes your media feel professional and done. But not everyone has access to, or the chops to use, a robust video […]

Makerspaces: On Scanning the Road & Gently Easing the Brakes

As school librarians, we are driven by our mission and our vision, by our national standards, by the needs and interests of our communities, and to some degree, by our own talents, passions and dispositions. We are all about inspiring learners to think, create, share and grow.  We are all about becoming empowered leaders who […]

Heather’s Research Xpress

How many times have you stopped a lesson to review or re-teach a skill and wished you had a little video tutorial that meets the needs of your learning community? How many times have you wished you could share a little video to explain a search concept to your students who were working on their […]

Six Strategies for Virtual Field Trips

As a school librarian, I always thought of the notion of collection as expansive. Collections might include any of the experiences we discover, as well as any of the people we meet who might enhance learning for our communities. Among those experiences are virtual field trips. Opportunities now abound for connections to curriculum and student interests. And easier […]

Our first live #AASLstandards Twitter chat is coming!

Please help me spread the word and please save the date (actually the hour) for our first live Twitter chat in anticipation of the launch of our new National School Library Standards, prior to their official release at National Conference in Phoenix. Plan to join us on Twitter from 7:00 till 8:00 P.M. Eastern on […]

Just released: Horizon Report K12 (and how we’re leading these changes!)

As school leaders, you’ll want to dig into the NMC/CoSN Horizon Report: 2017 K-12 Edition. The annual K12 Horizon Report regularly identifies and profiles six key trends, six significant challenges, and six developments in educational technology likely to impact teaching and learning. This year, especially, you will find many opportunities for connections to our own mission and […]

Google launches Applied Digital Skills

Need a little inspiration and seeking to add a little fun to middle, high school, college, PD or independent technology learning as this school year opens? Google just launched Applied Digital Skills, designed to help your students succeed online and prepare for their careers.  The program includes free lesson plans and digital skills videos designed for […]

#flipgridfever: New features for fall

Amidst a fury of #FlipGridFever, our friends at Flipgrid recently announced major enhancements in a product I loved at first sight. (See just a couple of my posts from Let’s test drive FlipGrid to Announcing Flipgrid One (now free to all teachers). One thing you’ll notice if you go back and watch the live-streamed launch event that […]

Orientation Inspiration 2017

In years past, I’ve written about orientation and strategies for opening the school year. Check out Orientation Inspiration (2013) and Orientation Attitude (2016). This year, I asked folks in my network about their plans on this Padlet and I scanned the blogs I regularly follow. This year, a couple of very clear trends emerged. Engagement. […]

Google AutoDraw

What Auto-Tune does for singers, Google’s AutoDraw AI experiment now does for those of us with limited visual talent. I’ve just discovered this handy tool and considering its power in demonstrating AI, as well as its affordances for so many everyday tasks. AutoDraw got its start as Quick Draw  a Google game/experiment in which when you drew on your […]

Anchor: for painless podcasts

If you’ve been reluctant to attempt podcasting for yourself or for your students, Anchor, just might be your solution. Available free at either the App Store or Google Play or at Anchor.fm, Anchor makes podcasting from your phone or iPad or Chromebook a breeze. It also makes podcasting a social media event.  And there’s virtually no learning curve […]

Amazon Inspire’s relaunch

Following a year of retooling, the Amazon Inspire digital library reopened in public Beta this week. Offering a familiar, filtered Amazon search/shopping interface, Inspire allows educators to discover, download, curate and share Open Educational Resources (OER). Over the past year, Amazon Education has been working with groups of educators, including the Maryland State Department of Education and the […]

Nine Chrome Extensions (and a Google Add-On) too good to miss

Over the course of the past couple of years, I’ve become particularly fond of a few Chrome tools that I consider too good to miss.  These would be handy across the board, but especially in Google Classroom and Chromebook environments. Here’s a rundown of nine of my favorite discoveries in no particular order: 1. Google Keep is […]

Natural Reader and other free text-to-speech tools

I’ve been working on gathering resources on for our new Emerging Literacies course and wanted to share some of the resources/app lists I’ve gathered for learners with special needs. Among the tools I am discovering are a few free resources for supporting text-to-speech. These resources are so handy for struggling readers, for ESL students, for […]

Informing your PD efforts: New ISTE Standards for Educators and Future Ready Frameworks

As the 2017/2018 school year approaches, it would be good to know about a couple of documents/frameworks that will be influencing the ways we teach with, learn with and support our classroom educator and coach partners. First ISTE’s refresh of its Standards for Educators impacts our practice as educators as well as the practice of our […]

Plotagon now free for educators

A couple of years back I was thrilled to discover Plotagon and posted about it here. Today, I was thrilled to discover that free one-year teacher licenses are now available at Plotagon Education. (Currently, students may sign up for 30-day trials.) Reminiscent of Xtranormal, Plotagon encourages writing skills as users craft professional-looking animated movies. Plotagon movies […]

Collections by Destiny

It is quite possible that your catalog is the most expensive piece of software in your building. Are you leveraging it to its fullest potential? Follett is about to launch an add-on to its Destiny’s 15.0 release that might just make you and your community appreciate your OPAC in a very new way. Collections by […]

Curation Situations: Let us count the ways

What’s curation? Curation is a funny word. When my colleagues and I wrote our Social Media Curation Library Technology Report for ALA, we struggled with a definition. The folks we interviewed across library land curated in several different ways and we used the term curation differently depending on current community needs or where they were in any […]

AASL Best Apps and Best Websites

On Saturday, AASL committee members announced the 2017 Best Websites and 2017 Best Apps for Teaching & Learning at ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. In case you missed those big reveals, no worries!  Actually, worry–big time. You are in for a serious summer rabbit hole adventure. Now in its ninth year, The 2017 Best Websites for Teaching and […]

More News from ALA Annual 2017:

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#notatISTE (or ALA)

Because of a family health issue, for the first time in forever, I won’t be traveling to ALA or ISTE this year. I am finding ways to contribute to my committees remotely and will do a panel from home on Tuesday. But, ya know, it’s not quite the same and I will be missing special […]