February 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Google Docs and Drive Add-ons for CC0 images

If you use Google Docs and Slides to create and communicate, you may be interested in how easy it now is to incorporate free, copyright-friendly images into your projects without having to leave your document to search for them. I was surprised to discover my very favorite image portals were available in the form of […]

Negotiating Nuance

Recently, I was honored to be invited to speak at the 21CLHK Conference in Hong Kong. One of my archived talks addressed the Noah principle–why predicting rain doesn’t count, and why building arks does–as it relates to the credibility crisis or the challenges of container collapse. I see so many opportunities for us to take […]

Code.org launches new video series: How Computers Work

 Recently Bill Gates kicked off a new Code.org series How Computers Work. Developed as in-flight entertainment for Alaska Airlines, the Code.org series is available as part of its CS Discoveries course and as part of Khan Academy’s Computer Science curriculum. Following the Gates introduction, the other segments cover What Makes a Computer, a Computer? Binary & […]

News literacy tools: Advice, four sites and a new app (Swiipe)

One of the reasons our students find and use news that is less than credible is that their news habits are less than energetic. Among the ten key trends Pew researchers gathered from among their research reports on social and news media were: Use of mobile devices for news continues to grow. Two-thirds of Americans […]

Thinking with the Super Bowl

Here in Philadelphia, we’re particularly excited about this year’s Super Bowl. It’s a bit of a challenge to remember that a lot of learning that can happen beyond what happens on the field. Each year, media literacy consultant Frank Baker reminds me that this major sports event is also particularly ripe for media literacy learning. In a […]

Thinking about Google Arts and Culture’s “Is your portrait in a museum?”

You may remember that the Google Arts and Culture App was selected as an AASL Best App for 2017. The app’s new “Is your portrait in a museum?” feature uses facial recognition to connect your own selected selfie to a Google Arts and Culture doppelganger, a look-alike from among its millions of collected portraits. Introduced quietly […]

On search agility: There’s more than one place to start

I don’t think I know anyone who isn’t in a search rut. We usually begin our search in one of two search giants. But while they may not have achieved verb status, we have other choices well worth discovering. And it’s kinda in our ballpark to ensure that appropriate choices are easily available on both […]

Looking good is easy: Fun with logos

We’re seeing a bounty of cool design tools these days. In our correspondence, our promotional materials, our business cards, we can use these tools for our own purposes, to brand ourselves as professionals and to share our libraries in a more cohesive and polished way. These can also be used by our clubs, business and design […]

Reading challenges/resolutions for the new year

This time of year is ripe for resolutions. It’s a good time to resolve to read and, perhaps, to resolve to change things up a bit. The new year may be the perfect time to invite your kids to read a little differently–to suggest they build personal challenges based on their own passions, as well as an […]

A true gift from SHEG: DIY digital literacy assessments and tools for historical thinking

You may remember Stanford History Education Group (SHEG) for its groundbreaking and utterly depressing report, Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Online Civic Reasoning. In the November 2016 Executive Summary, the researchers shared: When thousands of students respond to dozens of tasks there are endless variations. That was certainly the case in our experience. However, at each level—middle […]

Library of Congress introduces three new apps (and a reminder of some older goodies)

Just a couple of weeks ago, the Library of Congress announced the launch of three new apps for Web and mobile, developed by educational organizations that were supported by an LOC grant for app development. The new interactive applications focus on citizenship, civic engagement, and exploration with primary sources. Lee Ann Potter, director of Educational Outreach […]

Curation and the School Librarian

It’s one of AASL’s Shared Foundations in the new National Standards. It’s identified as a leadership area on the Future Ready Librarians Framework. But what does it look like when the school librarian really dives into digital curation? A little while back I had the opportunity to create a video on school librarians and social media curation […]

Listennotes.com: a search engine for podcasts

Listen up, there’s a new search tool in town. Among my friends, at least, it seems that podcasts are a rediscovered treasure. (Check out Jayson DeMers’ Forbes piece, Why Podcasts are Popular, and the 2017 Edison Research Infinite Dial Study on  podcast statistics.) The demand is growing, but how do you find podcasts without the effort of subscribing […]

iSL (Internet Second Language) Collective

The Internet Second Language Collective or iSLCollective.com is a fine example of an online community of practice that will be an immediate and indispensable hit with your ESL/ELL and perhaps many other of your classroom teacher partners and coaches.  The English section of the site is now well over one million ESL/EFL language teachers strong.  The site […]

AASL National Standards: A few essentials to get started!

As a member of the AASL National Standards Implementation Taskforce, I was honored to take part in the rollout in Phoenix. Whether you were in Phoenix or were #NOTATAASL, you will need to get your arms around the Standards and share them with your colleagues or stakeholders, I’d like to highlight a few of my personal […]

Grid View in Google Slides (it’s the #littlethings)

Sometimes the little things can make you so happy. Over the past several years I was able to fairly happily migrate most of my presentations from those more robust presentation platforms to Google Slides because it is so darn portable and sharable and because it so encourages collaboration. But there was one feature I really grieved– […]

Can’t Make It to the AASL National Conference? Be a #NOTATAASL Virtual Attendee!

This past summer I could not make it to ISTE. Because of the efforts of the #notatISTE crew, I felt intimately connected to the conference. The same opportunity will be available for AASL National Conference this coming week. (The following post by Jane Lofton is cross-posted from the KnowledgeQuest blog with permission.) From Jane: I feel […]

The unConference @ AASL (National Standards edition) Help us get ready now!

If you are planning to join our tribe in Phoenix, please consider attending the unConference on Thursday night, November 9th. We’ll be learning together from 9:00 PM till midnight at the Phoenix Convention Center in a kind of meet and greet with our new National Standards. Here’s the official session description: Engage with the new […]

Some secret strategies for serious searchers

I designed and currently teach a course called Search and the Information Landscape.  What I love about the course is getting my graduate students to think about their search habits and recognize what works. I also introduce a few classic strategies that have been around in the literature about online searching since the pre-web days. What […]

A custom solution: Creating a Google Custom Search Engine

How do we keep our kids focused in their free Web searches while we ensure their discovery of the stuff we know is worthy of discovering?  A Google Custom Search Engine could be the answer. A Google Custom search (or CSE) allows you to guide searchers to the sites you want them to search or […]