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May 23, 2015

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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” […]

Adobe Slate and other new storytelling platforms

Adobe Slate and other new storytelling platforms

I’ve been in love with the elegance and free-ness of the Adobe Voice app for nearly a year now.  It’s one of the easiest strategies I’ve seen for creating effective video stories.  This week, Adobe introduced an equally elegant tool for digital publishing–for those times you want to tell a non-video story, largely based on […]

Are you building something bold?

Are you building something bold?

Are you engaged in integrating 1:1 technology? project-based learning instruction? makerspace learning? With all that making going on and all the thoughtful tech integration you share in your blogs, webinars and on your sites, my guess is that so many of you are very eligible for SLJ’s Build Something Bold award. Sponsored by LEGO® Education, […]

Smithsonian TTribune for differentiating and engaging reading (& global conversation!)

Smithsonian TTribune for differentiating and engaging reading (& global conversation!)

Looking for high quality news for all of your readers? The Smithsonian’s TTribune now offers K-12 teachers and librarians a carefully selected array of news content to meet the needs of all readers, including those who speak (or are learning) Spanish. The free content, includes text, images, audio and video–all available on any of these rich […]

YouTube introduces Cards

YouTube introduces Cards

Google recently announced the addition of Cards for YouTube. The interactive feature allows video creators to strategically point viewers to videos, merchandise, playlists, websites and more from the Video Manager.   While the feature is aimed at business, it offers features that easily translate for high school student projects, marketing school events and for supporting fundraisers. […]

Pivot and TakePart: network(ing) for social action

Pivot and TakePart: network(ing) for social action

I recently discovered Pivot, a relatively new television network devoted to presenting entertainment that inspires and compels social change. Its message to its viewers: What you watch does make a difference. Launched by Participant Media, the network and its digital sister site TakePart, target a millennial audience and conscious consumers. Though not all kids will […]

CS (Computer Science) First: for middle school libraries, and your CS program

CS (Computer Science) First: for middle school libraries, and your CS program

This looks like just the type of program a middle school librarian could love. CS, or Computer Science First is a free Google program designed to increase student exposure to computer science education through after-school, in-school, and summer programs in a club approach run by teachers and/or community volunteers. CS First works towards its goal […]

If you do school library research, please help us birth a community

If you do school library research, please help us birth a community

I am thrilled to be a member of AASL’s Community of Scholars Task Force and equally thrilled about our plans to move forward in creating a truly meaningful community. Discussed at last year’s CLASS (Causality: School Libraries and Student Success) Summit, the project is realized and described as one of three goals in the CLASS […]

LinkedIn: an underused K12 search tool?

LinkedIn: an underused K12 search tool?

For a variety of reasons, filters included, social search tools are underused in schools. We usually encourage use of our subscription databases and share effective strategies for leveraging search engines like Google, but in my experience, Twitter, Scoop.it, Pinterest and other tools also offer rich opportunities for learning, discovery, sharing and searching. While LinkedIn is […]

CyArk: digitally preserving and sharing our vulnerable heritage

CyArk: digitally preserving and sharing our vulnerable heritage

We’re losing the sites and the stories faster than we can physically preserve them.  Ben Kacyra Earthquakes and natural disasters are partly to blame.  But human factors–arson, acid rain, urban sprawl, terrorism and war–accelerate destruction of our global historic treasures. Rather than seeing this as a losing battle, Ben Kacyra, inventor of a groundbreaking 3D […]

James Patterson asks: What would your school library do with $1,000–$10,000?

James Patterson asks: What would your school library do with $1,000–$10,000?

James Patterson might just make your library a little better and your students a little happier this year. Well-known, well-loved author and literacy activist, James Patterson is donating $1.25 million to school libraries because he believes that: fewer children are growing up in a household full of books – and that the effects of this […]

On Meerkat

On Meerkat

Yesterday I wished my friends could see the beauty of my snowy backyard and I discovered the Meerkat app. It seems everyone is buzzing about the free app that allows you to connect your iPhone or iPad or iPod Touch camera to Twitter and live stream or schedule the video you shoot real-time to all […]

Agility is the word: Whither G+?

Agility is the word: Whither G+?

If you teach with technology, you learn that nothing is forever. My pre-service library grad students recently expressed concern about jumping in when we have no guarantee of platform immortality.  The problem is that, if you wait, you risk not experiencing anything. Another lesson you learn is that, along with grit, agility is an essential […]

Seesaw, the Learning Journal

Seesaw, the Learning Journal

Looking for an easy way to capture and manage student work and to encourage learners to reflect on their learning? I think it’s here. The developers of the very popular Shadow PuppetEdu recently released Seesaw, a free iPad/iPhone app that facilitates portfolio building.  Designed for independent use by students ages 5 and up, Seesaw allows […]