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July 4, 2015

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Creating and Using an iPad Technology Lab as Part of a Library Teen Makerspace

As part of my teen area Makerspace, I want to buy a number of iPads. Here is some of the information I have been putting together to discuss the who, what, when, where and why of it for my library administration. The iPad can be used in a variety of ways to incorporate more technology […]

For me, Google Keep’s a keeper!

I don’t know why I haven’t discovered this super handy tool before, but I am delighted to find it.  If you love using stickies to organize your life, and you find yourself keep list after list, then Google Keep is a keeper. The digital sticky note service is available for the Web, for Android, and […]

What’s in your pocket?

Say you were stranded on a desert island and you could only have one (or maybe two) apps, and recharging was not a problem.  Which ones would you choose? Okay, so here are a few better questions.  Look back over the course of the school year. Which of the apps on your phone or tablet […]

Map of Life goes mobile

Map of Life goes mobile

This app is going to make travel, field trips, birdwatching and walks in the woods, on the beach and in the park way more fun. One of my very favorite examples of crowd-sourced reference sites has been Yale University’s Map of Life . Using a wide variety of data sources,  the biodiversity project endeavors to provide […]

SLJ Reviews Duolingo for Schools | Test Drive

SLJ1503-TK-Duoling1

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.

What Are the Best Literary Apps Available Today?

What Are the Best Literary Apps Available Today?

The question came to me and I admit I was a bit stumped at first.  A colleague was looking for recommendations of the best literary apps for kids.  Put another way, apps with a distinct tie-in to specific children’s books.  So I thought about it. I’ve toyed about with several apps for years.  I could […]

Fusenews: Starring the World’s Creepiest Cat in the Hat!

Fusenews: Starring the World’s Creepiest Cat in the Hat!

Here in New York we’re getting very excited.  The 90-Second Film Festival is coming!!  And soon too!  Here’s a PW interview with James Kennedy about the festival and for those of you in the NYC area you can see it at NYPL on Saturday, March 7th at 3:00 p.m. In fact, now that I think […]

ReadWriteThink rocks: with free apps

ReadWriteThink rocks: with free apps

If it’s been a while since you’ve returned to ReadWriteThink, I urge you to consider a visit today. The quality portal, rich with free resources and sponsored by the International Reading Association (IRA), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) and the Verizon Foundation has grown even more interactive. So what’s new?  There’s an array […]

Surveying the silver and gold

Surveying the silver and gold

In my last post, Find new apps, but keep the old . . ., I listed a few portals and lists I regularly visit to discover new apps and to search for tried and true tools to accomplish learning goals and tasks.  I see making these discoveries, old and new, as a new form of […]

Find new apps and sites, but keep the old . . .

Find new apps and sites, but keep the old . . .

Find new apps, but keep the old. One is silver, the other is gold. As the holiday shopping season draws to a close, the classroom teachers and teacher librarians I know will continue to shop. We’re looking for a few perfect apps to introduce to learners. We don’t want to waste time opening pretty packages […]

Three things Emily shared

Three things Emily shared

Among the Valenza family traditions are the little app share sessions I have with my daughter.  Emily, an art teacher in Boston, regularly introduces me to tools and platforms I don’t find elsewhere in my network. Here are some of Emily’s current faves from this Thanksgiving: Koma Koma: Anyone, from kindergarten to adult, can use […]

Best Apps for Teaching and Learning needs your input

Best Apps for Teaching and Learning needs your input

I am honored and kinda thrilled to be a member of AASL’s Best Apps for Teaching and Learning Committee. This particular best list is now three years old and recognizes apps of exceptional value to inquiry-based teaching and learning as embodied in the AASL’s Standards for the 21st-Century Learner. The apps foster the qualities of […]

Glogster for iPad

Glogster for iPad

I’ve been a fan of Glogster since its beginning back in 2007.  A couple of weeks back the Glogster app launched. Built specifically for iPad and for Glogster EDU users, the interface is easy and elegant and allows for simple placement and linking of media objects on an intuitive drag-and-drop Glog canvas. Especially nice is […]

Hyperlapse: for telling and sharing your story a little more quickly

Hyperlapse: for telling and sharing your story a little more quickly

I’m been brainstorming all the things we might do with Instragram’s recently released (and free) Hyperlapse app. Introducing Hyperlapse from Instagram from Instagram on Vimeo. Quite simply, it makes filming time-lapse videos a simple point and shoot experience, no fancy equipment necessary.  There is virtually NO learning curve.   Instagram’s announcement shared: We designed Hyperlapse to be […]

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: […]