May 21, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Going Rogue to Teach Code: A school librarian offers strategies for teaching every age group

Once we inspire our students to love coding, how do we transition them from the safety of block-based languages to the kind of coding that solves real-world problems?

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

VR Use Should be Minutes, Not Hours. New Study on Kids and Virtual Reality Advises Parents, Educators.

A new report addresses the potential impact of virtual reality on kids’ cognitive, social, and physical well-being.

Don’t Stress About Coding: Focus Shifts To Teaching Problem Solving Not Computer Skills

Educators look at coding in a new context, with computational thinking and basic computer literacy as the goal.

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

In Time for Spring: “Bloom” | Touch and Go

A STEM app for young learners that encourages discussion and exploration.

Apple to Help Chicago Educators Bring Computer Science to the Classroom

In addition to new, lower-priced iPad for schools, Apple is launching a professional development coding program for Chicago educators.

Hands-On Ways To De-Stress | Library Hacks

From test anxiety to worries about school safety, many students are stretched thin. Help them unwind with projects to make stress balls, fidget spinners, and more.

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.

The Astute Miss Fisher Goes Interactive | Touch and Go

This engaging game will intrigue mystery buffs and entertain fans of the “Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries” television series.

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.