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July 24, 2014

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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 [...]

Girl Power! All about that acceptance

In the past couple of weeks I’ve come across a couple of videos that refreshingly reaffirm the importance of girls’ voice and what beauty is really about. In case you missed them  . . . Twenty-year-old Nashville songwriter Meghan Trainer creates a pastel universe that is all about acceptance and positive body image in her [...]

A ThingLink challenge and new video tagging

One of the most versatile and easiest-to-use platforms I’ve used over the past several years is ThingLink. I’ve used the interactive poster tagging tool to create and embed media-rich image maps, to annotate and evaluate the claims infographics make, as a portfolio and as a curation tool. This summer, educator, consultant and ThingLink Education Community Manager, [...]

Top Stories of the Week

Two librarians lead high-energy sing-alongs at the Cambridge (MA) Public Library. From the July feature story "Why Your Library Needs Music."

The loss of a giant in the field, Walter Dean Myers, is juxtaposed against the ongoing tension around print/digital and our popular feature on music’s role in early learning in our top 10 stories of the past week.

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 [...]

On the Horizon for K12 (and for libraries!)

On the Horizon for K12 (and for libraries!)

As we close one year and begin to think about what’s on the horizon for 2014/15, consider a peek at the recently released draft of the NMC Horizon Report 2014 for K-12 education. This sixth edition of the annual, internationally recognized NMC Horizon Report series and regional NMC Technology Outlooks are part of the NMC [...]

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: [...]

Microsoft demoes Skype Translator

Microsoft demoes Skype Translator

Imagine in the very near future, technology allowing  humans to bridge geographic and language boundaries to connect mind to mind and heart to heart in ways never before possible.  Gurdeep Pall This blew my mind.  Please watch this video and consider the possibilities. Earlier this week, at the the Re/Code Conference, Gurdeep Pall, Microsoft Vice President of Skype and [...]

Michelle asks: RU Ready 2 Trust ‘em? (@TEDxWestport)

Michelle Luhtala suggests we judge millennials unfairly. Are they really coddled or are they resourceful?  Are they narcissistic or transparent? Unfocused or hyper-focused? Is taking a selfie narcissistic, or is it a way to connect with the world? In her kid-focused TEDx talk, Michelle, head librarian at New Canaan (CT) High School shares the importance [...]

Booktrack for amplifying story

Booktrack for amplifying story

Booktrack is a new, free platform designed to encourage readers to immerse themselves in their readings by accompanying digital texts with movie-style soundtracks. Booktrack Classroom offers a library of public domain books to which soundtracks have already been added.  Students may opt to create their own soundtracks content they’ve authored themselves. And teachers may create [...]

FCC Takes Another Swing at Net Neutrality While Netflix Agrees To Pay for Faster Streaming

FCC Takes Another Swing at Net Neutrality While Netflix Agrees To Pay for Faster Streaming

In the wake of a January court ruling that struck down the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) standards for ensuring that Internet traffic is delivered without bias—a standard industry watchers refer to as ‘net neutrality’—the agency has issued a new proposal outlining a new set of rules to ensure Internet users have uncensored access to the full content of the Internet. Some experts, though, don’t think these new rules will be any more enforceable than those overturned earlier this year.

ASU Students Aim To Turn Used Food Trucks Into Mobile School Libraries

ASU Students Aim To Turn Used Food Trucks Into Mobile School Libraries

Students at Arizona State University (ASU) have proposed a revamp of the traditional bookmobile, one that aims to provide school library services to schools that may not have access to those resources. The program, Bibliotrucka, recycles out-of-commission food trucks into modular moving libraries that can be customized on a day-to-day basis for students of different learning levels and cultural backgrounds.

Nashville’s Limitless Libraries Hopes to Merge School and Public Library ILS

Nashville’s Limitless Libraries Hopes to Merge School and Public Library ILS

Limitless Libraries, an ongoing partnership between Nashville Public Library (NPL) and Metro Nashville Public Schools (MNPS), is planning a move to a shared ILS system, and has requested funding for the transition from the office of Nashville’s mayor.

Kansas Boy Gets New Hand, Created at a Library Makerspace

Kansas Boy Gets New Hand, Created at a Library Makerspace

Nine-year-old Matthew is the owner of a brightly-colored prosthetic Robohand that was created in the MakerSpace of the Johnson County Library in Overland Park, KS.

TEDEd Clubs

TEDEd Clubs

Thinking about you can inspire the young people you teach to think more deeply and communicate more powerfully? Wondering how you can provide kids space and time to pursue their passions and share their voices? Interested in sponsoring a club that will truly make a difference in children’s lives?  That may encourage them to make [...]

Follow a scholar?

Follow a scholar?

Because we subscribe to ActiveHistory, we get active updates from site publisher and history teacher, Russel Tarr (@activehistory). A little while back, Russel shared his list of professional Historians on Twitter. The caused me to think about PLN building in an expanded way. As educators, many of us follow other educators, and perhaps, the journals [...]

Tackling the questions in 2014

Tackling the questions in 2014

I love Jennifer LaGarde’s idea of beginning the year with questions, rather than resolutions. Jennifer recently asked 11 Questions (About Libraries) That Need Answers.  And Doug Johnson added a few of his own in a Blue Skunk Blog post. (See below.) The lovely part about this whole social media thing is that we can attack [...]

British Library expands The Commons with Public Domain Goodness

British Library expands The Commons with Public Domain Goodness

The British Library recently uploaded one million scanned public domain images onto The Commons, the world’s largest photo archive hosted by Flickr. Taken from the pages of 17th, 18th and 19th century books, and digitized by Microsoft, the first set of public domain images–Highlights from the Mechanical Curator–is available for use, remix and repurpose. The set includes: [...]

Common Craft goes to school

Common Craft goes to school

For many of us, Common Craft has been a learning fixture.  We’ve relied on those delightfully simple and brief introductions to explain complex ideas from apps to zombies. We’ve shared them in professional development sessions. We’ve used them to introduce concepts in digital citizenship.  They helped us introduce new technologies to classes. When we needed to [...]

Remixing TED with Popcorn Maker

Remixing TED with Popcorn Maker

I’ve written about how we’ve use  Mozilla Popcorn Maker to add life (pop-ups, maps, images, text, Wikipedia articles) to our German textbooks and to annotate Cold War propaganda films. This past week, we’ve explored its use in close reading of  TED talks, with an eye toward deconstructing what makes a good speaker and a good speech. [...]