April 24, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

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 […]

Typito: Your post production buddy

More and more we communicate through video. And I’ll bet you know the feeling when you record that very effective screencast or tutorial, and it just doesn’t feel ready for primetime. Post-production is what makes your media feel professional and done. But not everyone has access to, or the chops to use, a robust video […]

Makerspaces: On Scanning the Road & Gently Easing the Brakes

As school librarians, we are driven by our mission and our vision, by our national standards, by the needs and interests of our communities, and to some degree, by our own talents, passions and dispositions. We are all about inspiring learners to think, create, share and grow.  We are all about becoming empowered leaders who […]

Heather’s Research Xpress

How many times have you stopped a lesson to review or re-teach a skill and wished you had a little video tutorial that meets the needs of your learning community? How many times have you wished you could share a little video to explain a search concept to your students who were working on their […]

Six Strategies for Virtual Field Trips

As a school librarian, I always thought of the notion of collection as expansive. Collections might include any of the experiences we discover, as well as any of the people we meet who might enhance learning for our communities. Among those experiences are virtual field trips. Opportunities now abound for connections to curriculum and student interests. And easier […]

Our first live #AASLstandards Twitter chat is coming!

Please help me spread the word and please save the date (actually the hour) for our first live Twitter chat in anticipation of the launch of our new National School Library Standards, prior to their official release at National Conference in Phoenix. Plan to join us on Twitter from 7:00 till 8:00 P.M. Eastern on […]

Just released: Horizon Report K12 (and how we’re leading these changes!)

As school leaders, you’ll want to dig into the NMC/CoSN Horizon Report: 2017 K-12 Edition. The annual K12 Horizon Report regularly identifies and profiles six key trends, six significant challenges, and six developments in educational technology likely to impact teaching and learning. This year, especially, you will find many opportunities for connections to our own mission and […]

Google launches Applied Digital Skills

Need a little inspiration and seeking to add a little fun to middle, high school, college, PD or independent technology learning as this school year opens? Google just launched Applied Digital Skills, designed to help your students succeed online and prepare for their careers.  The program includes free lesson plans and digital skills videos designed for […]