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April 15, 2014

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Free New Game Apps Support Children with Autism

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One of the new apps from the Center for Autism and Related Disorders aims to empower children on the autism spectrum to reach out to first responders and other community members when they need help.

Google Docs adds add-ons

Google Docs adds add-ons

Google has launched add-ons–easily accessible tools created by Google’s developer partners that offer on-the-fly features for your documents and spreadsheets.

One of Those Hideous Columns Where the App Dies | Tech Tidbits

Ken Burns

In this month’s Tech Tidbits column, Phil Goerner highlights perennial apps while also reminding us that learning isn’t about the tools, it’s about how we teach people to use the tools most effectively.

Axel’s Chain Reaction | Touch and Go

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‘Axel’s Chain Reaction,’ an original story app written by Allison Pomenta and illustrated by Mónica Armiño, provides multiple avenues to explore in a classroom, including a nonfiction investigation on kinetic art. It will also serve character education programs.

A Bevy of Alphabet Apps | Touch and Go

Interior screen from "Elmo Loves ABC" (Sesame Street)

Judging from the number of alphabet apps, it appears that every developer has created at least one. This week we look at five of them, each worthy of a child’s attention.

SLJ’s Top 10 Apps of 2013

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It’s a year-long process, but after watching hours upon hours of apps and debating their finer points, we have come up with “SLJ’s Top Ten Apps 2013.” Our list includes innovative works of stunning quality and depth, along with some familiar characters that host loads of engaging interactivity and game play.

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

Caught in a Labyrinth: ‘Roxie’s Puzzle Adventure’ | Touch and Go

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Roxie Munro has created a number of maze books; here she takes that concept and turns it into a puzzle app that offers both depth and detail for a range of ages.

Oyster’s “All You Can Read” Ebook Service Now Available For iPad

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Oyster, the “all you can read,” on-demand ebook app, is now available for iPhone and iPad. In addition, an invite to participate is no longer required. The service, which formally launched in early September, is one that the library community should become familiar with, advises librarian and INFOdocket editor Gary Price.

A ‘Midnight Feast’ In a Not-Too-Distant Future? | Touch and Go

Interior screen, 'Midnight Feast' (Slap Happy Larry) illus. by L. Stace

Teachers looking to share a short story in an interactive format should take a look at Midnight Feast, the latest production from Slap Happy Larry. It’s a haunting tale that will appeal to older elementary students, teens, and teachers alike who will all find different delights and messages within. It also comes with educator resources—a 17-page online PDF linked to the app.

Pictures of the Week: A Future Librarian Enjoys SLJ’s ‘Early Birds’ Cover Story

A reader's daughter (and hopefully future librarian) reads through SLJ's Early Literacy-focused July issue, which featured the iconic Sesame Street character, Big Bird, on the cover.

An SLJ reader’s daughter peruses our Early Learning-focused July issue, which featured the iconic Sesame Street character, Big Bird, on the cover.

Are Learning Apps Good for Babies?

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Rachel G. Payne, coordinator of early childhood services at Brooklyn Public Library, offers advice for parents.

A Brace of Apps | Touch and Go

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What child can resist a book or app about animals? Incorporating vocabulary-rich texts and gentle environmental lessons, these apps will also find favor with teachers and parents.

Best of Apps & Enhanced Books | August 2013

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Our favorite apps this month include a tribute to Ludwig Van Beethoven’s ‘Ninth Symphony,’ and a rhyme based on a classic children’s song. If summer’s lovely weather hasn’t got you humming, these productions will.

Tweets, Drums, and Warbles: A Digital Field Guide to North American Birds | Touch and Go

Blue Jays

The perfect companion on a summer hike? National Geographic’s digital guide to North American birds allows nature lovers to identify winged creatures, learn about their habits, and record sightings, all before they can say Ladder-backed Woodpecker.

Augmented Reality with Aurasma | Tech Tidbits

Aurasma Star Trek

Aurasma is an augmented reality tool which allows you to overlay images and videos on to static content, sort of like “QR codes on steroids.” The Guybrarian has incorporated it into his back-to-school library orientation plan, and thinks you should too.

The Early Bird: How Sesame Workshop is adapting its revolutionary educational content for devices

A young tester puts an app through its paces at the offices of Sesame Workshop.

A peek behind the scenes of Sesame Workshop, which is negotiating the digital shift with care. The venerable brand has conducted more than 76 tests over two and a half years to understand how children, ages three to five, adopt and adapt to touch devices in their learning.

Beyond the Diorama: Punch Up Presentations | Tech Tidbits

Dragon Diorama

Gone are the dioramas of yesteryear. Times have changed, and students can ditch ancient techniques for new cool tools that can give them a deeper understanding of what they are studying. Here are a few resourceful ways to create and implement multimedia presentations that educators should explore during the summer.

Burn Note: The Snapchat of Texting

Burn Note

Burn Note gives users the feeling that they can talk to anyone about anything because each text conversation “self-destructs,” much like Snapchat (the real-time picture chatting application) does with images.

Best of Apps & Enhanced Books | April 2013

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From stardust to remote galaxies, this month’s app standouts look toward the heavens.

Deluxe and Digital | Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’

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A deluxe edition of John Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’ offers educators a variety of multimedia resources to share with students.