March 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Hachette, Mackin Partner to Distribute Ebooks

Mackin Educational Resources, national distributor of PreK–12 books, ebooks and digital resources, has announced a new partnership with Hachette Book Group (HBG), beginning this month. As part of the deal, HBG’s entire catalog of more than 6,000 eBooks will be available to Mackin customers, on and offline, through their school’s exclusive MackinVIA platform.

Updated ClassDojo App Lets Teachers Collectively Respond to Student Behavior

ClassDojo, the free application for recording and managing student behavior, has been updated. As of today, ClassDojo sports a new “Class Sharing” feature, allowing multiple teachers to communicate more easily about their students’ behavior and collectively foster behavioral development.

YALSA Updates Teen Book Finder App with 2013 Titles

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) has just launched an updated version of its free Teen Book Finder app—which debuted in June, 2012—to include all of the books the association honored in 2013. The first of its kind, Teen Book Finder gives teens, librarians, parents, and young adult literature aficionados access to YALSA’s recommended reading and award-winning titles from the past three years.

Ten Websites Added to ALSC’s “Great Websites for Kids”

The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC) Great Websites for Kids (GWS) committee announced the inclusion of 10 additions to its compilation of exemplary websites for children on July 29. These online resources are geared to children from birth to age 14, and range in subjects as diverse as animals and dinosaurs; games and entertainment; history and science; art and music; and resources for teachers and parents.

‘Here Be Fiction’ Site Launches with 500+ Ebooks

The School Library System of the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership (GVEP) has announced the launch this week of “Here Be Fiction,” a site devoted to the discovery of fiction ebooks available with school library friendly licensing terms, with over 500 ebooks from 17 participating publishers.

StarWalk Kids Media Offers Free July Access to eBook Collection

StarWalk Kids Media has announced that it has made all 160-plus ebooks in its collection available free of charge to children, families, and educators during the entire month of July. In just the first three days after the initiative was launched via Twitter (#PopUpLibrary), nearly 3,000 ebooks have been read, the company says.

Kiera Parrott’s Picks from the Best Apps for Teaching and Learning | ALA 2013

The American Association of School Librarians (AASL) revealed its inaugural Best Apps for Teaching and Learning list on Jun 30 at the American Library Association annual conference. Head of children’s services at Darien Library, CT, Kiera Parrott highlights some of her favorites from the 25 winning apps that cover a broad range of subjects, inspire curriculum connections, and can be used for classroom instruction and public library programming.

Limitless Learning: Empowering Students to Build Big | ISTE 2013

The central theme of year’s lively ISTE conference encouraged educators to take away limits that hinder their students’ learning, and let students build something that matters.

Flipped Classrooms, Librarians as “Defenders of Wisdom,” and the Hottest Tech Tools | ISTE 2013

The ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) Conference in San Antonio from June 23-26 offered unique opportunities for educators to interact, learn about the latest ed tech resources, and hear new ideas from education leaders. At a conference this size, it’s impossible to see and do it all, but here are some highlights that librarians can take back to their schools in the fall.

Common Sense Media Unveils Graphite, New Review Site for Apps, Digital Content

June 24 marked the debut of Graphite, a free, online guide to digital learning products compiled by and for educators. Created by Common Sense Media, a national nonprofit, the new resource reviews and rates digital products, including apps, games, websites and digital curricula for K-12.

Pew Study: Why Parents Love Libraries

The vast majority of parents with children younger than 18 feel libraries are very important for their kids, leading to higher-than-average use of a wide range of library services, a new national report from the Pew Research Center shows.

Create Your Own Magazines with Flipboard | screencast tutorial

Now anyone can create a beautiful digital zine of customized content, thanks to Flipboard. In a highly touted feature, version 2.0 of the iconic newsstand app allows users to select content they find on Flipboard to create magazines on any interest or topic. SLJ’s screencast shows you how to make your own publication in the image-rich format, add articles, and publish to the world or select subscribers.

Computers in Libraries Conference Supports Student Learning

This year’s Computers in Libraries conference included sessions particularly useful to school librarians, with topics ranging from ebook creation to the flipped classroom.

ISTE Calls on Obama to Support Broadband for Education

The International Society for Technology in Education has initiated an online petition urging the White House to take action to invest in school broadband connectivity to bridge the digital divide in education.

Interactive Storytelling App Versu | screencast tutorial

In her latest screencast, School Library Journal contributor Linda W. Braun test drives Versu in an assessment that considers the potential of interactive platforms that blur the lines between reader and creator—a particularly compelling concept when it comes to kids and teens.

Minecraft Club: Want to bring the hottest game into your classroom or library? Here’s how.

The popular game Minecraft “is accessible, fun, and, ultimately, an excellent learning tool for both nerds and non-nerds,” says Sarah Ludwig, who takes us step by step through her process of creating a thriving Minecraft club in her library. New to Minecraft? There’s a video primer.

Pew Study: 37% of Teens Now Have Smartphones

Smartphone adoption among American teens has increased substantially in the past year, and one in four teens now connects to the internet primarily on mobile devices, according to a national technology-based report from the Pew Research Center.

Understanding HTML Is Critical to Web Literacy, Especially for Young Creators | Opinion

In a rebuttal to Roy Tennant’s recent blog post, Paul Oh of the National Writing Project, maintains “that knowing HTML—even just knowing how to find the HTML on a webpage or knowing just a few of the tags that comprise the language—makes us increasingly Web literate and gives us critical knowledge in relation to the most important writing production engine of our lifetime, the Internet.”

Bookshare Launches New eBook Tools for Kids with Print Disabilities

Bookshare has announced that it is launching two new additions to its product line as part of its continuing effort to help kids with print disabilities connect with books. Bookshare Web Reader allows readers to directly open books with a browser without requiring them to download the book or utilize separate software, while Bookshelf allows readers (or their teachers) to organize selections by any system they choose.

The DPLA and School Libraries: Partners Focused on Digital-Era Learners

If we build it well, a Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) can help school libraries meet the information needs of students even as local budgets shrink. The DPLA can provide important resources to the partnership between library-based and classroom-based teachers, especially during this period of rapid change in education, in libraries, in technology, and in the world of information generally.