November 21, 2017

The Advocate's Toolbox

SLJ Tech Reviews

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A DIY Computer, plus Minecraft: The Piper Computer Kit teaches perseverance as well as engineering

“Constructing a Piper Computer Kit is a memorable STEM learning experience that builds in problem-solving and technical skills,” writes Addie Matteson in SLJ’s review.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Drawnimal, Miximal, and Loopimal: A Trio of Skill-Building Apps | Touch and Go

A set of pre-literacy concept apps that has much to offer adults seeking entertaining ways to engage young learners.

Coding Made Inventive: LittleBits’ Code Kit | SLJ Review

SLJ reviews the littleBits Code Kit, a suite of hardware, software, and resources that enable kids to apply computer code to their inventions.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The King’s Ears | Touch and Go

A lively retelling of a Slavic folktale about a king who keeps firing barbers because he’s ashamed of the secret they discover while cutting his hair: he has goat ears.

Test-Driving the Starling: Can a word-tracking device make babies smarter? | SLJ Review

SLJ reviews the Starling, a word-tracking device for babies. Our “First Steps” columnist Lisa Kropp considers its potential use in libraries.

This article was published in School Library Journal's July 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Kids Create Video Games with Bloxels, no Coding Required | SLJ Review

Bloxels pairs an app with a physical board to give students the tools they need to create their own arcade-style video games.

This article was published in School Library Journal's May 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Build Your Own Speaker: SLJ Reviews BOSEbuild Speaker Cube

Teachers and librarians can use the activities to design in-depth lessons on how sound is created, magnets work, and frequency and vibration affect pitch.

Curiosity Machine: Science Tied to the Curriculum and the Maker Movement | SLJ Review

The 80-plus engineering challenges on the Curiosity Machine site are inspired by man-made and natural structures.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Labdisc: A Data-logging STEM Device with Maker Potential |SLJ Review

Billed as an all-in-one STEM lab, the handheld Labdisc Gensci by Globisens is a useful tool to measure and record data for a wide range of experiments.

This article was published in School Library Journal's March 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Lucy & Pogo | Touch and Go

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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+

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 […]