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March 30, 2015

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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.

Kobo Parent Acquires OverDrive

Kobo Parent Acquires OverDrive

Leading library ebook distributor OverDrive was sold to Rakuten on March 19 for $410 million cash, more than 16 times OverDrive’s annual earnings of $25 million. The purchase from private equity firm Insight Venture Partners, OverDrive’s majority owner since 2010, is scheduled to close in April. OverDrive will become a subsidiary of Rakuten USA, the U.S. arm of Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten. CEO Steve Potash will continue to lead OverDrive, and its headquarters will remain in Cleveland, OH.

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.

“Google It” Better With Google Search Education

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School librarian Tiffany Whitehead suggests student lesson plans and exercises using Google Search Education.

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

Flipped, Blended, or Stirred: Using Video to Enhance Learning in the Classroom | Tech Tidbits

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Video in the classroom is a promising, effective tool for student and teacher learning and education. Colorado teacher librarian Phil Goerner shares some tips on how to use digital video resources in the classroom.

Theodore Gray’s ‘Molecules’ | Touch and Go

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Here’s SLJ’s reviewer Paula Willey on ‘Molecules': A new app from Touch Press—home of the exquisitely lit razor-sharp 360-degree image floating on a velvet-black background—is like getting a VIP tour of a fabulous new exhibit at a richly funded museum.”

SLJ Reviews LittleBits: These bright, appealing sets encourage tinkerers to explore electronics

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Imagine if building a flashlight was as easy as stacking blocks, or that you could build a robot with a shoebox, nine-volt battery, and a pile of components small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Enter LittleBits, a modular, à la carte electronics prototyping platform for users of all skill levels

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

Britannica ImageQuest: One image database to rule them all | Reference Online

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Britannica’s ImageQuest, a comprehensive, beautifully curated compendium of images, is back and better than ever, with a million new options for kids of all ages.

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

David Wiesner’s Spot-On App | Touch and Go

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Pushing boundaries? That’s nothing new for three-time Caldecott winner David Wiesner, author and illustrator of stunningly original picture books. Lately he’s been busy working on an app for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt that offers viewers intriguing imaginary worlds to explore. The title is Spot, and it’s due to release on February 19th. We had a chance to view a demo of the app and talk with Wiesner about the fruition of a story he describes as “long simmering.”

Congratulations on the upcoming […]

IPad Games Blend with the Physical World | SLJ Reviews Osmo

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“Osmo is part app and part iPad, with a little physical hackery thrown in,” writes Chad Sansing, who considers the new gaming platform’s potential for the classroom in his review.

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

Tennessee School District’s Tech Policy Blocks Students’ Constitutional Rights, ACLU Says

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A Tennessee parent and the ACLU claim that a school district’s tech policy, which students much sign to participate in activities on campus computers, violates free speech and compromises student privacy.

Project ReimaginED: Online Coffee Klatch for Educators

Project ReimaginED: Online Coffee Klatch for Educators

Educators encourage their students to head online for digital resources that enhance their classroom learning. Now it’s time for them to do the same.

Survey: Library Ebook Growth Slowing but Still Substantial

Survey: Library Ebook Growth Slowing but Still Substantial

Ninety-five percent of public libraries currently offer ebooks to patrons, up from 72 percent in 2010, and 89 percent in both 2012 and 2013. However, money remains the biggest impediment for libraries looking to add ebooks or expand collections, according to Library Journal’s fifth annual Ebook Usage in U.S. Public Libraries report, sponsored by Freading.

Classroom Management Tricks: Timers and a tool to control noise | Cool Tools

Classroom Management Tricks: Timers and a tool to control noise | Cool Tools

As every teacher knows, good classroom management can make the difference between a great class experience and a poor one. While technology doesn’t replace the need for a solid approach to classroom management, tech tools, including these, can certainly help.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The True Cost of Free Internet Services | Next Big Thing

The True Cost of Free Internet Services | Next Big Thing

We must be willing to pay for Internet products that enhance learning.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Adobe’s Lax Security Raises Concerns About Student Privacy

Adobe’s Lax Security Raises Concerns About Student Privacy

Privacy around what students read, along with other personal data, may be at risk due to software giant Adobe’s transmission of the data without encryption. Student rights are protected under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which protects the confidentiality of student records.

Westport Maker Space Expands with Robots, SolidWorks Courses, and Volunteer Training

Westport Maker Space Expands with Robots, SolidWorks Courses, and Volunteer Training

The Westport Library’s ongoing efforts to support its Maker Space, including Maker in Residence programs and the recent acquisition of two programmable robots, have helped establish a virtuous cycle in which residents have begun working on their own projects and helping one another independently.

Ryann Uden and Shaun Kelly on “Active Learning in the Library” | TDS14

Ryann Uden and Shaun Kelly on “Active Learning in the Library” | TDS14

In “Active Learning in the Library,” presented as part of LJ and SLJ’s virtual event The Digital Shift: Libraries @ the Center, held October 1, Ryann Uden and Shaun Kelly provided advice and suggestions for creating learning environments in libraries, based on Barrington Area Library’s successful model in Chicago.

Librarians, IT Experts Respond to Adobe Spying Accusations

Librarians, IT Experts Respond to Adobe Spying Accusations

Adobe this week confirmed reports that it has been logging data on the reading activity of people who use the free Adobe Digital Editions service, and that the company has been transmitting those logs to its servers as unencrypted text files, raising privacy and security concerns.

SLJ Reviews zSpace, a 3-D Platform for the Classroom

SLJ Reviews zSpace, a 3-D Platform for the Classroom

Educator Jason Sellers reviews zSpace, which enables users to view and manipulate objects in a unique, immersive experience.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2014 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.