February 21, 2017

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SLJ Tech Reviews

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Lucy & Pogo | Touch and Go

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A digital story imbued with activities and a message about tolerance.

Wonders 2017: McGraw-Hill’s K–6 ELA Program | SLJ Review

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Packed with new features, the updated English Language Arts program includes a student interface where teachers can assign independent work.

Ardusat Space Kit: A Launching Pad for Imagination | SLJ Review

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With this kit—and a generous budget—your students can create code that will be sent into orbit, collecting data from a satellite.

Top 10 Tech | 2016

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Our picks highlight leading tech trends, with an eye toward the future.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Swift Playgrounds: Not Just Another Coding App |SLJ Review

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Are your students budding coders? Apple has just released a sophisticated app for students serious about programming. Our review of Swift Playgrounds.

Breakout EDU Brings “Escape Room” Strategy to the Classroom | SLJ Review

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Facilitating inquiry, problem solving, and collaboration, the Breakout EDU kit facilitates student problem solving in libraries and classrooms with minimal setup.

Mark up and Organize the Web with Scrible | SLJ Review

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Our intrepid tech reviewer Wendy Stephens sizes up the tool for organizing and annotating web research, as well as the potential benefit of purchasing the new premium version.

Web Stories and Social Graphics Made Easy with Adobe Spark | SLJ Review

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Looking to help students craft digital stories? Or spice up library promotional materials? Adobe’s free Spark suite can serve a variety of creation needs, from explainer videos and student narratives to social memes.

Test-Driving Google Arts & Culture | SLJ Review

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Google Arts & Culture offers virtual tours and a wealth of multimedia content related to art and museum and historic locations around the world. Carli Spina reviews the learning potential.

SLJ Reviews Sphero’s New Robot, SPRK+

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An upgrade of the popular robotic sphere, SPRK+ sports a tougher, transparent shell and other features, all toward making STEAM learning fun.

MakerSpace: Challenge Cards, getting teens to try new activities in the Teen MakerSpace

We are having tremendous success with our Teen MakerSpace at The Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County (OH) and are very excited to see the teens in our community using the space and learning new things. We have learned that certain items are more popular than others, with the button makers and 3D […]

SLJ Reviews the MaKey MaKey | Test Drive

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The popular Arduino kit makes a game of learning and banana pianos are just a start. School Library Journal Test Drive columnist unpacks the learning potential of MaKey Makey.

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

The HP Chromebook 11 Has Strength and Charm | Test Drive

The HP Chromebook 11 Has Strength and Charm | Test Drive

With its clean, kid-friendly design and cheery accent colors, the HP Chromebook 11 could fit nicely into K–12 classrooms and libraries, writes Test Drive reviewer Joelle Alcaidinho.

This article was published in School Library Journal's March 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Build Better Robots with LEGO Mindstorms Education EV3 | SLJ Review

Build Better Robots with LEGO Mindstorms Education EV3 | SLJ Review

“The EV3 is one of those toys that transcends consumerism and becomes a pathway into new kinds of hands-on production and learning for kids and adults alike,” writes Chad Sansing in our review of LEGO’s latest version of the popular Mindstorms robotics platform.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

SLJ’s Top 10 Tech Trends for 2013

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Flexibility and personalized education: That’s what the learners of 2014 will expect from their libraries. We must be available everywhere, nimbly respond to students’ needs, and allow kids to learn in ways that suit them. It’s an exciting time. Here are the top trends for 2013 and beyond.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2013 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The Best PowerPoint Alternatives for Creating Great Presentations

The Best PowerPoint Alternatives for Creating Great Presentations

We’ve all endured “death by PowerPoint.” It’s a painful experience for the audience and probably not all that fun for the presenter either. To help students deliver effective presentations—free of those deadly bullet points—SLJ columnist Richard Byrne cites his go-to applications.

The Debut: The Teen Technology Project, Jeremie Miller

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Former teacher and virtual event entrepreneur Jeremie Miller created the Teen Technology Project to marry his passion for technology, teens and social issues. After discovering his project through its Facebook page, I got in touch with Jeremie and asked him to tell me more about his hopes and aspirations for the project.

Tech Tidbits from the Guybrarian: Where do you get your ideas?

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The smartest teachers in the world work in my school—they have brilliant lesson plans, amazing classroom management and solid assessment skills. It is really enjoyable to work with them on a project and just when we need it the most, I can say, “This looks like a job for Sound Cloud!” or “Storybird would be great for this fable unit.” I love pulling the perfect tool out of thin air. My teachers think I’m a genius!

SLJ Speaks to National Book Award Finalists

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A story about the race to build the atomic bomb, a harrowing tale of the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror in Cambodia, and an adventure about love, loss, and family are among the National Book Foundation’s five finalists in the Young People’s Literature category.

Make-your-own-ebooks platform: Aerbook Maker

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SLJ columnist Jeff Hastings test drives Aerbook Maker, a new platform for creating your very own tablet-ready graphical ebooks.