May 6, 2016

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A Personal Top 10 (or so) List of Top 10 (or so) Lists

This time of year we are flooded by best or Top 10 lists.  I love them, but it’s easy to drown. So I selected My Top 10 (or so) List of Top 10 (or so) Lists listing my personal favorites in hopes you might find some of my choices interesting. And here, just for fun, is […]

How Did You Do That? Photo Apps Version

I get a lot of email where people ask how I created such and such of a graphic. Today, I thought I would share some of my favorite tips, tricks, and filters. A decent portion of my current teen programming involves teaching teens how to do fun photo tricks and then to translate that into […]

Plotagon for scripting cool animated stories

I recently discovered Plotagon, an digital storytelling app for iPhone, iPad, PC or Mac to tell animated digital stories. Reminiscent of Xtranormal (now called Nawmal), Plotagon encouragesusers to script a story–selecting locations; building dialogue;  adding emotions, attitudes and postures;  responding to characters; choosing sound effects and music.  Dialogues can be read by a choice of computer  […]

App Review: FotoRus

It’s been a couple of weeks since I talked about a photo app, so you probably thought that my obsession with photos and photo apps was dying down – but no! It is alive and well, I have just been waiting for the right moment. Like now, now feels like the right moment to discuss […]

Parents, Privacy, and Pesky Sibs: A Middle School Perspective | Touch and Go

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Titles in Annie Fox’s “Middle School Confidential” series have been popular with middle grade readers since they were first published in print. The books—and apps—tackle real-life situations and issues—from self confidence and stress to friendships and crushes—that a group of fictional tweens and teens encounter, along with positive suggestions and commentary.

Celebrating the lives of the uncelebrated: StoryCorps.me

What if Anne Frank hadn’t kept her diary? What if no one could listen to Martin Luther King’s Mountaintop speech? What if the camera hadn’t been rolling during the first moon landing? But what if, this Thanksgiving, the youngest member of every family interviewed the oldest? Or if on February 14th, you asked a person […]

Time for our annual TLCafé Smackdown!

It’s that time again!  For the fifth (I think) year, put away the last of the turkey leftovers and get serious about remembering your very favorite techy tools and strategies of the year.  Get ready to Smackdown your favorite learning tools, friends! Librarians and teachers and friends of other types are all invited to join […]

Top 10 Apps 2015

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Daryl Grabarek, SLJ’s resident app guru, curates a stellar list of the best educational and story apps produced in the past year.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2015 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

“World Wildlife Fund Together” | Touch and Go

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Children love photo-essays and stories about animals and educators looking to introduce global issues into the curriculum often find endangered animals a good place to start. The World Wildlife Fund provides a digital offering on the topic, with an update to their WWF Together app, available free on iOS, Android, and Kindle Fire.

PromptSmart: a sweet utility for speeches and more

Public speaking is not only a part of our curricula, it’s a huge part of our lives. For some of us, it a serious fear. Founded by a Communications Fellow at Wharton Business School, PromptSmart, turns your device into a teleprompter.  It is a seriously handy tool I wish we had years ago, While I […]

On Tour Through “My Incredible Body” | Touch and Go

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3-D perspectives, detailed illustrations, and narrated text features are just some of the features Zybright offers in its stunning tour of of the human body, available on a variety of devices.

WonderBox: Explorations in Science, Geography, Music, and Design | Touch and Go

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The WonderBox app provides content, creation opportunities, and a mini social network—with features and safeguards that will please parents.

App Review: Image Chef

Recently, The Teen had to do a complex poetry assignment. One of the poems she had to create was a Concrete Poem, a poem that takes a shape. I would like to point out that the subject of her poem was me – go Mom! But we went looking for a way to easily create […]

MIT App inventor

  A few years back, in a powerful TEDx talk, Heidi Hayes Jacobs suggested, I think every student should design an app. I can’t think of a more practical, more challenging way to see if students could solve a specific problem, get it out there and make a difference to help people.  Or don’t. Instead, […]

Haunted Houses & Headless Horsemen: Halloween Apps | Touch and Go

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Halloween is here! From classic to contemporary stories (and a bit of augmented reality thrown in for good measure) we have apps for every age and sensibility.

Dr. Seuss in a New, Digital “Read & Learn” Series | Touch and Go

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When do you take an already successful app and improve upon it? And from a consumer’s point of view: does the new product warrant replacing a perfectly readable book or functioning program?

“iBiomes—Wetlands” | Touch and Go

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A cheery professor guides students through “iBiome-Wetland,” an app designed to teach students about biodiversity through a series of gamelike activities featuring a fresh water marsh, a salt water marsh, and a mangrove swamp.

PopBoardz: a media dashboard for instruction and presentation

So, what would happen if Pinterest and Symbaloo and Blendspace had a baby?  Well, it might look a little like PopBoardz, one of my new favorite options for personal curation and presentation. PopBoardz allows you to organize the content you need and easily present from your iPad, iPhone or Mac desktop.  For educators, it can […]

Skill Building with “Fiete” Apps | Touch and Go

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A cheerful sailor named Fiete invites children to join him on a number of his daily activities in a series of colorful apps produced by Ahoiii Entertainment. The apps will have kids flexing their pre- reading and numeracy skills and challenging their memories.

App Review & Blended Pic Tutorial: Fused (with an assist from the Silhouette app)

Monday my co-blogger Heather Booth sent me a text that said,” you might really like this app called Fused.” She had no idea what she was starting as I quickly became obsessed, for the MakerSpace and my teens of course! Using the app I was able to create these images: Now I have been seeing […]