March 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

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 […]

A Lively Database Instruction Game Gets an Upgrade with Digital Badges

A high school librarian improves her popular Search App Smackdown! challenge with badges and breakouts.

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 […]

How a Connecticut Library Became a Community STEM Hub

A well conceived tech center and maker lab draws students and community members of all ages.

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 […]

Trolling An Underwater Ecosystem: Tinybop Inc.’s “Coral Reef” | Touch and Go

The 10th entry in Tinybop Inc.’s “Explorer’s Library” is now available.

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 […]

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.

Partnership Prepares Teens for College

A teacher and librarian team up to give high schoolers better research and presentation skills.

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

3 Steps for Introducing Teens to Virtual Reality | ALA Midwinter 2018

Digital Services Librarian Maddie Clybourn offers tips for those curious about using virtual reality with their teen patrons.

STEM & the Standards: Librarians and the NGSS

Librarians are getting involved in NGSS implementation at schools with maker space projects or other activities that incorporate NGSS principles.

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 […]

Trend Alert: Breakerspaces | Library Hacks

Breakerspace. Toy Takeapart. Break & Make. Whatever you call it, a breakerspace lets kids take stuff apart to see what makes it tick.

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 […]

Artie’s Magic Pencil | Touch and Go

An interactive adventure in which children help the protagonist move through a story while they exercise their fine-motor skills.

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 […]

Fiete Puzzle | Touch and Go

A new app from Ahoiii Entertainment offers children an opportunity to exercise their fine-motor and visual discrimination skills.

Librarians Use “Ready to Code” Grants, Learn From Each Other

Librarians from across the country are helping ALA create a toolkit of coding resources.

The Five Ed Tech Elephants in the PreK–12 Classroom | Opinion

From OER to equitable access, schools continue to battle challenges to the digital revolution.

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