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April 27, 2015

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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.

Common Sense Education Launches Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Gaming Platform

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Digital Compass, a choose-your-own-adventure gaming platform, aims to teach middle school students about the opportunities and pitfalls of the digital world.

Capstone Announces New PebbleGo Dinosaurs

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At the Texas Library Association annual conference in Austin (April 14−17), Capstone unveils its pre-K−3 database PebbleGo Dinosaurs.

Fun National Poetry Month Apps and Resources for Teens | Tech Tidbits

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Colorado teacher librarian Phil Goerner shares a curated list of fun (and educational) apps and resources for teens celebrating National Poetry Month.

Applications Close April 30 for SLJ Build Something Bold Award

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The award honors creativity in school library programming and lesson plans that incorporate hands-on learning.

First Book and Unbound Concepts Partner to Match Low-Income Readers with Books

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First Book, a nonprofit that provides books to low-income schools and programs for a steep discount, has partnered with Unbound Concepts, a reading-focused tech company, to announce an app Artifact, matching books with low-income readers.

MinecraftEdu Takes Hold in Schools

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With myriad adaptations for use in the classroom, MinecraftEdu brings Common Core–enhanced gaming to students.

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

Our Public Library Minecraft Community

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A library system’s countywide Minecraft program is a core service, an afterschool sanctuary, and a peer support group.

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

One-to-One: Let’s Have One Librarian for Every 1:1 School | Pivot Points

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Despite seasons of budget cutbacks, education leaders are spending again. One-to-one devices are a favorite. How might teacher librarians support the strategic work involved?

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

Lulzbot 3-D Printer Giveaway

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Some lucky classrooms and libraries will receive 3-D printers in a giveaway sponsored by Aleph Objects, in conjunction with the White House Science Fair.

Five Top Collaborative Research Tools | Cool Tools

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Collaborative research prompts students to share their discoveries, exposing them to more material than if they go it alone. It can also teach them to work together, defend choices, and think critically about Web content. Here, Richard Byrne’s picks to help jumpstart the process.

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

Little, Brown Partners with LEGO; Lambda Literary Award Finalists | News Bites

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In the latest News Bites: voting for the Children’s Choice Book Award is wide open until May 3; Little, Brown will release its first LEGO graphic novel in September 2015; and the finalists for the Lambda Literary Award for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender books published in 2014 have been announced.

Critics Sound off on “Clean Reader” App | Storify

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UPDATE: As of March 27, all books have been removed from the Clean Reader catalog, states its Facebook page. A survey of some responses to “Clean Reader.” The application, for IOS and Android, removes profanity, references to anatomical features, and language deemed offensive from titles available in an online bookstore.

Virtual Preschool? Believe It or not, It’s a Thing

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A curriculum from Vinci, available to parents by subscription, promises to “inspire the genius” in young children. Public libraries have actually been offering remote services to families for a while now, maintains Lisa Kropp, who further considers the notion of virtual preschool.

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

UMass Amherst Opens First Large-Scale MakerBot Innovation Center at a University Library

Housed at the Digital Media Lab of the Du Bois Library at UMass Amherst, the new Center is equipped with over 30 MakerBot Replicators, bringing 3-D printing technology to faculty, researchers and students to enhance research, design, and entrepreneurial projects.

“Clean Reader” App Strips Ebooks of Profanity

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The filter, represented by a small electronic broom, blocks offensive words and can be set to “clean,” “cleaner,” or “squeaky clean.”

SLJ Reviews Duolingo for Schools | Test Drive

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Duolingo has released Duolingo for Schools for grades 6 and up, based on its popular free site for foreign language learners. Melissa Techman covers the teacher dashboard and the application’s potential use in the classroom.

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

Maker Librarians Bring It to SXSWEdu 2015

School librarians Colleen Graves and Leah Mann present on makerspaces to a packed room at SXSWEdu 2015.

Design thinking and making were top of mind at SXSWEdu, as participants considered the learning potential around these hot topics. In official programming, in the hallways, and over barbecue, librarians were on hand to help advance that conversation.

The Maker Space Difference: Amazing Inquiry, Shared Learning | Tech Tidbits

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Teacher librarian Phil Goerner shares updates on the creation and establishment of his high school’s first maker space.

Illinois Public Library Partners with Middle School on Eighth Grade Maker Program

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Due to the partnership between Thomas Middle School in Arlington, IL, and Arlington Heights Memorial Library, a group of 29 eighth graders participated in a maker class creating everyday objects, including jewelry and take-apart scissors.