November 17, 2017

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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 […]

Didn’t you get my message? (Or I don’t know what’s ringing, beeping, pinging anymore!)

One morning when I thought I was on top of everything, a friend emailed me to ask, “Didn’t you get my Voxer message?” Lately I am having trouble communicating. Every device I have seems to be ringing or beeping or pinging on an increasing number of platforms. My son who works abroad uses WhatsApp. Some […]

New Creative Commons image search in beta

I am a little late to the table in discovering Creative Commons’ new search tool.  But if you are late like me, you’ll want to update your links to include this important resource. Creative Commons, of course, offers alternate copyright licenses that allow creators to decide how and if they want their work to be attributed, […]

Keep school libraries weird

A couple of weeks back I presented at a conference about the value of out-of -the-box thinking. On a whim I included a slide that read: “Keep School Libraries Weird.” I’ve been doing a little thinking about why, like Austin, we might want to keep school libraries a little weird. Interestingly, it was Austin Community College […]

News for Padlet fans and newbies

If you’re like me, Padlet has been a go-to tool for brainstorming, back channeling, collaborating, collecting ideas and media and even for portfolio building–well, forever. Over the past few weeks one of our favorite platforms added some features that make it an even more powerful teaching and learning tool. 1. Formats  In addition to Wall, […]

Check123 Video Encyclopedia

Sometimes you just need a little video to act as a hook, to activate prior learning, to get kiddos up to speed, to engage. You search the usual video platforms and sift through lists of noisy results. Check123 Video Encyclopedia is a promising solution. The social video platform curates more than 20,000 from all over […]

SLJ’s Innovator Basecamp

I am just home from Boston where I attended SLJ’s inaugural Innovator Basecamp. Don’t get me wrong. I love attending conferences where I see my dear friends, some of whom I grew up with as a baby librarian. But yesterday, when I asked how many of the participants in my morning session were new librarians, nearly […]

Canva: Those templates rock!

My buddies know that Canva is one of my true desert-island digital tools. I’ve long loved the tutorials, the photo editor, the color palette generator, the font combinations matchmaker, and all those lovely images and templates for banners and that staggeringly huge library of graphic elements. And while I’ve use so many of those millions […]

Battle summer slump with two programs: Summer Sparks and SYNC

Looking for a way to beat the summer reading slump?  Check out these two programs to help kids of all ages keep their reading going all summer long.   1. Summer Sparks Classroom teachers and librarians are invited to join our friends Buncee and Capstone Publishing in their first Summer Sparks Reading Contest designed to […]

ClassHook for finding that perfect clip in record time

I am always searching YouTube for that perfect clip to open a lesson or to illustrate a point in a presentation. And, if I remember a moment from a movie or a television show, searching for that video to cue that specific clip, if that video exists online, presents yet another challenge. Clip searching is a colossal […]

The New Google Earth 9

Google recently released a serious redesign of Google Earth for both Web (Chrome) and Android and it now packs even more learning punch. (Versions for iOS and other browsers are in the works.) Google Earth 9 invites users to explore stunning 3D maps of random and selected locations, view curated video content, and to choose […]

JSTOR Text Analyzer

JSTOR Labs recently announced Text Analyzer.  If you have access to the JSTOR database, you’ll want share this new search strategy with your students and faculty. Upload or drag a document–an article, a Google document, a paper you are writing, a PDF or even an image–into what JSTOR is calling its magic box, and Text Analyzer will analyze it to […]

HyperDocs and the teacher librarian

The concept of HyperDocs is spreading all over edtech land. HyperDocs are perfect opportunities to grow teacher librarian/ classroom teacher partnerships. A true extension of what TLs do or should be doing in a hyperlinked information landscape, HyperDocs are all about curation and collaboration,  instruction based on engaged inquiry, as well as our mission to […]

Kudos Wall: for building that first portfolio

We build portfolios in school. We use tools like Seesaw and Easy Portfolio.  And yet, the onus is usually on the teacher or the librarian to get the ball rolling and sustain the efforts across grade levels. I wonder if the kids themselves get invested in the importance of safely beginning to build a footprint.  […]

Launching #tlmatch: for connecting with that special other librarian

What if we considered some new equations? At a recent webinar the subject of opening our library walls came up. It often does. The subject of equations came up as well. I love the idea of considering our reach as librarians without borders. Of considering how we might connect our learners in meaningful inquiry beyond the […]

Unpaywall: Free, legal access to scholarly articles! (and a couple of other strategies)

Greetings from Computers in Libraries 2017  from which I’ll be sharing a few discoveries. One exciting share from yesterday was the limited release of Unpaywall.org.  (The official release date is April 4.) High school librarians and education researchers take note! Installed as a  free browser extension for Firefox or Chrome, Unpaywall allows searchers to legally access full-text research papers from its […]