April 20, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Fake News or Free Speech: Is There a Right to be Misinformed? (Free webinar!)

I am delighted to participate in a free webinar next week that reaches across libraryland. Fake News or Free Speech: Is There a Right to be Misinformed? will be a live session at ALA Annual this summer, but we’re presenting a preview on Wednesday, April 25 courtesy of the Freedom to Read Foundation and the Office of […]

Google’s new Talk to Books: Semantic search for book and idea discovery

I am truly excited about sharing this new approach to search!  Imagine if you had the power to ask authors across time and disciplines your most burning questions or for their best advice.  Now you can. This week TED curator Chris Anderson and futurist Ray Kurzweil introduced Talk to Books. The feature was developed by a Google Research team […]

Google’s new Talk to Books: Semantic search for book and idea discovery

I am truly excited about sharing this new approach to search!  Imagine if you had the power to ask authors across time and disciplines your most burning questions or for their best advice.  Now you can. This week TED curator Chris Anderson and futurist Ray Kurzweil introduced Talk to Books. The feature was developed by a Google Research team […]

Your YAs are going to want to hear this: Audiobook SYNC is back

It’s back! Now in its 9th annual season, Audiobook SYNC just announced its free book pairings for teen listeners for this spring and summer.  You can dig into the first of the weekly pairings on April 26th. at 7:00 PM Eastern. Each week from April 26 through July 25, SYNC will release two high-interest titles for young adult readers. […]

One Book One School/Book Club Solutions

When I left Springfield, I had at least 15 copies each of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, The Soloist and Unbroken lying around.  A few copies of each were on the shelves; many more were crowded on the bottom shelves in our workroom, several copies deep. What do we do with the leftover books […]

A video visit with your academic librarian: an idea for your seniors

One of my exceptional former students, Lawrence (NJ) High School librarian Ewa Elliot, hosted a meeting a couple of weeks back. She invited middle and high school, public and academic librarians to have a conversation about Ewa scheduled time for us to chat about: our current programs across the board preparing students for life after […]

PuppetMaster: An app to inspire animated storytelling

I’ve been exploring the new PuppetMaster app and I am enchanted.  I see serious potential for this free, intuitive, open-ended tool to encourage creativity across a wide range of ages, from pre-school to adult! PuppetMaster allows children to animate anything and to record their action and sound to create movies. It encourages the creation of visual art in any medium and […]

Loom: Screencasting and sharing so simplified!

I am thrilled to discover Loom, a free screencasting tool available as a handy Chrome extension. Loom offers three recording options: screen and camera, screen only and camera only.  You may record your full desktop or just a tab using the familiar Cancel, Pause or Finish commands. I love that you can drag the circular camera screen around as you record […]

Seeing AI: Leveraging artificial intelligence to better view the world

I’ve been writing about apps for a long time, but they are not of equal importance. Microsoft’s free Seeing AI app may be a game changer for people with visual impairments.  The research project is designed to turn “turn the visual world into an audio experience,” narrating the world for those who cannot see it, in real […]

Kapwing: a very sweet web-based video editing suite

It solves so many problems. And it is sooooo easy. I just discovered Kapwing. The free web-based video editing suite offers nine features (and promises more to come) and I am so excited about sharing it with my students and using it in my teaching.  It’s a kind of media Swiss army knife perfect for schools. Kapwing […]

Join the YALSA Hub Reading Challenge (for us and our teens)

I was thrilled to be at the Youth Media Awards this year in Denver. Each year I get so excited about what I have read and so overwhelmed by what I’ve yet to read. I’ve borrowed a few and order a few more from Audible. (That long drive to New Brunswick is so much more […]

Google: On knowing where to start

We all search Google. But I am not sure if we’re always sure of the most effective place to begin our Google searches.  The basic and familiar search box may not be the only one and it may not be the smartest place to begin. Among the Google options are Books, Images, News, Newspapers and […]

#inTLchat

#inTLchat (in + tlchat) It seems so simple that I cannot figure out why it didn’t hit us sooner. Putting an “in” in front of the #tlchat hashtag we’ve been using forever, changes everything. It’s sticky. It’s (of course) international. And it’s already gaining global traction. Teacher librarians are the ultimate connectors and I don’t […]

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 […]