May 27, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

SLJ Tech Reviews

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An Appealing Slice–of Fractions | Touch and Go

Appealing graphics and a series of solid foundational skill-building exercises make this app a winner.

Axel Scheffler’s Flip Flap Ocean | Touch and Go

A new entrée in a popular series will delight fans.

Frankenstein200: An Interactive Story & STEM Experience | Touch and Go

Although published two hundred years ago, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein still generates questions concerning the ethics and boundaries of scientific exploration. Arizona State University’s Frankenstein Bicentennial Project celebrates the novel’s continued currency with an assortment of programs intended “to engage the public around issues in science, technology, and creative responsibility.” Middle schoolers are invited to explore these complexities via the free Frankenstein200, “an interactive story experience” designed to spark curiosity and encourage critical thinking in STEM topics, including artificial intelligence, robotics, […]

Cue: A Robot for Middle Schoolers Offers Advanced Coding Capabilities | Tech Review

Roll aside, Dash, Cue is in the house. Wonder Workshop’s new robot, Cue, is a follow-up to the popular Dash and Dot and the company’s first product designed for middle school students.

This article was published in School Library Journal's March 2018 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Cubetto: A Wooden Robot That Teaches Toddlers How to Code | Tech Review

The purposefully unstructured nature of Cubetto will make it a wonderful addition to pre-K and early elementary classrooms.

This article was published in School Library Journal's February 2018 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

For Budding Coders, the Micro:bit Promises to Grow with a Learner’s Skill Level | Tech Review

SLJ reviews the micro:bit, a codable computer you can put in your pocket.

This article was published in School Library Journal's November 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

A DIY Computer, plus Minecraft: The Piper Computer Kit teaches perseverance as well as engineering

“Constructing a Piper Computer Kit is a memorable STEM learning experience that builds in problem-solving and technical skills,” writes Addie Matteson in SLJ’s review.

This article was published in School Library Journal's October 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Drawnimal, Miximal, and Loopimal: A Trio of Skill-Building Apps | Touch and Go

A set of pre-literacy concept apps that has much to offer adults seeking entertaining ways to engage young learners.

Coding Made Inventive: LittleBits’ Code Kit | SLJ Review

SLJ reviews the littleBits Code Kit, a suite of hardware, software, and resources that enable kids to apply computer code to their inventions.

This article was published in School Library Journal's August 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

The King’s Ears | Touch and Go

A lively retelling of a Slavic folktale about a king who keeps firing barbers because he’s ashamed of the secret they discover while cutting his hair: he has goat ears.

Test-Driving the Starling: Can a word-tracking device make babies smarter? | SLJ Review

SLJ reviews the Starling, a word-tracking device for babies. Our “First Steps” columnist Lisa Kropp considers its potential use in libraries.

This article was published in School Library Journal's July 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Kids Create Video Games with Bloxels, no Coding Required | SLJ Review

Bloxels pairs an app with a physical board to give students the tools they need to create their own arcade-style video games.

This article was published in School Library Journal's May 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Build Your Own Speaker: SLJ Reviews BOSEbuild Speaker Cube

Teachers and librarians can use the activities to design in-depth lessons on how sound is created, magnets work, and frequency and vibration affect pitch.

Curiosity Machine: Science Tied to the Curriculum and the Maker Movement | SLJ Review

The 80-plus engineering challenges on the Curiosity Machine site are inspired by man-made and natural structures.

This article was published in School Library Journal's April 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Labdisc: A Data-logging STEM Device with Maker Potential |SLJ Review

Billed as an all-in-one STEM lab, the handheld Labdisc Gensci by Globisens is a useful tool to measure and record data for a wide range of experiments.

This article was published in School Library Journal's March 2017 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Lucy & Pogo | Touch and Go

A digital story imbued with activities and a message about tolerance.

Wonders 2017: McGraw-Hill’s K–6 ELA Program | SLJ Review

Packed with new features, the updated English Language Arts program includes a student interface where teachers can assign independent work.

Ardusat Space Kit: A Launching Pad for Imagination | SLJ Review

With this kit—and a generous budget—your students can create code that will be sent into orbit, collecting data from a satellite.

Top 10 Tech | 2016

Our picks highlight leading tech trends, with an eye toward the future.

This article was published in School Library Journal's December 2016 issue. Subscribe today and save up to 35% off the regular subscription rate.

Swift Playgrounds: Not Just Another Coding App |SLJ Review

Are your students budding coders? Apple has just released a sophisticated app for students serious about programming. Our review of Swift Playgrounds.