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September 19, 2014

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Touch Van Gogh

Touch Van Gogh

Share this with your favorite art teachers and art-loving learners. I love that technology removes the theater rope.  That great art can be less guarded, more accessible, nearly touchable. And I sincerely hope that Touch Van Gogh, the newly updated, free, award-winning app from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is only the beginning of [...]

Librarians wanted for smashing, blending, toolkit building.

Librarians wanted for smashing, blending, toolkit building.

Tell me if you’ve seen this happen. A classroom teacher or a teacher librarian friend attends a workshop or a webinar about a certain app, masters it and tries to use it, a lot.  There are likely better tools for the various tasks at hand, but they aren’t easily discoverable. Pre-service training does not prepare [...]

So you think you know your phone

So you think you know your phone

Confession: I love my iPhone and I thought I knew how to use it, until I attended Michelle Luhtala’s latest edWeb webinar. I couldn’t make the session live, but I am actually kinda glad I watched it first in archived form.  The recording allowed me to pause and take a good look at the features [...]

Why it’s important to smash a few apps (or what’s on your palette?)

Why it’s important to smash a few apps

Lately when I think about how I am going to accomplish a digital task, I find that I automatically consider the task as a creative process, a process that makes me dig into my digital toolkit or examine my digital palette, usually more than once, to discover new synergies. I’ve come to discover what I’ve [...]

AASL’s picks for apps and websites

AASL’s picks for apps and websites

On Saturday, two hard-working AASL committees presented juried lists of resources. While I try my best to keep up with this stuff, these two darn committees just filled my summer with new explorations. I take that back.  They’ve actually significantly narrowed the field by pointing to the learning tools most worthy of exploring and integrating [...]

Adobe Voice: Elegant, easy(!) storytelling

Adobe Voice: Elegant, easy(!) storytelling

Okay, this may be the easiest way yet to tell a professional looking story on your iPad.  I can see this app used with kiddos of nearly any age. I can see it becoming a classroom staple. (Especially when it moves to multiple platforms.) Adobe Voice is a new, free app that allows you to: [...]

Fusenews: Of talking tigers and square penguins

Fusenews: Of talking tigers and square penguins

So the big news this week was that a writer at Slate decided that now was an ideal time to take a potshot at adults reading young adult books.  And, as you might expect, everyone got quite hot under the collar about it.  To arms!  To arms!  Considering that this sort of thing happens pretty [...]

edshelf: it’s a directory, it’s a review portal, it’s a community, it’s a curation tool . . .

edshelf: it’s a directory, it’s a review portal, it’s a community, it’s a curation tool . . .

Look, up in the cloud!  It’s a directory.  It’s a review portal.  It’s a community. It’s a launchpad. It’s a curation tool.  It’s a playlist creator.  It’s an easy source of icons and QR codes. I’ve been using edshelf for some time now and it’s kinda become one of my superheroes for curating apps and [...]

Michelle’s smashing app fest

Michelle Luhtala had been crowd-sourcing her latest edWeb,net webinar for a few weeks and we were all feeding her tips and faves. Her resulting edWeb app-share on Wednesday kinda blew my mind. It was so much more than a list of tools. It demonstrated how educators are creatively using tools for real learning and serious [...]

Commencement: What do the speeches teach us?

Commencement: What do the speeches tell us?

If you are connected to a university, you’ve likely already gotten your annual dose of inspiration. If you are connected to a high school, you are either awaiting that traditional commencement moment, or preparing for it. Commencement speeches are also interesting to study. They are primary sources.  They are models for learning about rhetoric.  And [...]

Google Classroom announced (sign up to text drive!)

Google Classroom announced (sign up to text drive!)

The Official Google Blog announced today a preview of its new Classroom, a free and also ad-free tool in the Google Apps for Education suite.  I am hopeful that this will prove the answer to my hopelessly messy Drive issues and a serious organizational and communication solution for my our classes. The post shares that Classroom [...]

iPad Use and Babies: Throwing a Wrench in the Works

iPad Use and Babies: Throwing a Wrench in the Works

I think we all uttered a collective scream as one when news of this particular Fisher Price toy came to our attention this holiday season past: It’s called the Newborn-to-Toddler Apptivity Seat and out of curiosity I wondered if it was still on the market.  Indeed it is, and the comments on Amazon make for [...]

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.

buncee.edu for easy and adorable storytelling

buncee.edu for easy and adorable storytelling

Buncee is “an easy fit for digital storytelling and scrapbooking, flipping, presenting, marketing, and for communicating with parents and community,” says Joyce Valenza.

Animation Made Easy: The best tools for student projects, from stop motion to GIFs

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With accessible tools, you and your students can create your own simple animations to convey powerful ideas. Screencast tutorials will have you up and running with the latest “Cool Tools” from Richard Byrne, SLJ columnist and blogger at “Free Technology for Teachers.”

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

Top ten tech trends (expanded)

Top ten tech trends (expanded)

A week ago I shared ten digital tech trends within the confines of a word count.  Here’s an expanded version with all the links and details. For a profession situated at the intersection of metaliteracy, education and emerging technologies, forecasting is kind of exciting. For a profession threatened by severe cuts in educational spending and [...]

Free-range scanning

Free-range scanning

The other day my desktop printer/scanner decided it would no longer scan. Panicked, I wondered if I could simply take a picture of the page I needed with my smartphone camera. That sorta worked, but the text didn’t look as clear as I hoped it would, so I searched the app store for options. That’s [...]

Selecting Apps for Babies; Is ‘Part-Time Indian’ Appropriate for Sixth Grade? | Feedback

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Should babies be exposed to apps? Rachel Payne responds to a comment on her “Are Learning Apps Good for Babies?” piece. Is removing a book from a required reading list a form of censorship? One reader questions the inclusion of Sherman Alexie’sThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian on a sixth-grade reading list.

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

Scholastic Art and Writing Awards; 2014 IRA Conference Program | News Bites

scholastic art and writing awards

The annual Scholastic Art and Writing Awards is accepting original works in 28 categories. Terri Soutor, former vice president at Lerner Publishing Group, a sister company to Brain Hive and a key player in the formation of the company, has been named Brain Hive’s president. Storybots founders Gregg and Evan Spiridellis launch Educade, a portal of free, ready to use lesson plans paired with learning tools. The International Reading Association has announced some of the renowned authors speaking at its 59th Annual Conference in May. Krup has announced a teacher’s lounge makeover contest.

QR Codes for (y)our Apps

QR Codes for (y)our Apps

I am on a serious mission to push our library out onto the platforms my kiddos love most–their phones, and to a lesser extent, their tablets.  I so want our library to be in the pockets. As I finished preparing our QR code handout, it occurred to me that most of the codes, in fact [...]