Wednesday, July 01, 2015

ALA on Best Web Sites for Teaching and Learning 2015

Last week the American Library Association released their Best Websites for Teaching and Learning 2015.   
http://www.ala.org/aasl/standards-guidelines/best-websites/2015
Though I had heard of some (IFTTT, gooru, knowimania, etc.), I found plenty that were new to me and look forward to exploring them.  I was especially happy to several digital storyboarding ideas since we know that students struggle with outlining.  Here are all the categories:
Note also that the ALA page (at the bottom) provides links to past recommendations from 2009 to 2014 so that readers have even more links to explore.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Tech Day Learning


Several of us had a great professional development day recently as we played with a variety of technology and explored some new additions to our toolkits for next year.

Our exploration spanned a number of areas, although my subgroup concentrated primarily on assessment.  We discussed various methods for data collection, including, for example, Socrative and Nearpod apps for use with the iPad.  Another suggested option which we will probably look at more for “flipping the classroom” is EDpuzzle.  We also looked at the LibSurveys and polling options available through LibGuides.  There, we found that the short answer questions in LibSurvey do not play especially nicely with iPads although the polling (multiple choice) option would give us a chance to share some quick results in real time with classes.  We considered Survey Monkey but were quick to return to an old favorite: Google Forms, especially when we learned that you can now insert images and then ask questions about them.

Here is a very quick example of Google Forms, using an image of a bibliographic citation. Our next step will be looking at sources for ideas for questions.  We will certainly consider input from our own experiences and local teachers’ suggestions, plus input from colleagues like Michelle Luhtala and others.  We have also started exploring nationally developed Trails, NILRC, Dominican U and other college surveys.

During part of the day we learned about the new interactive capabilities for PowerPoint with using Office Mix – you do need Office 2013 but this looks like it will be useful, too. We also looked at a new database, Statista which has some video tutorials here from Loyola University. We are excited to learn more about using this tool, especially since it will help students hone their visual literacy skills, creating and interpreting infographics. Other subgroups were looking at Explain Everything, Lynda.com, Remind and many more!  Overall, we had a great day; it was important to have the time to brainstorm ideas and share suggestions with each other across disciplines.

Added 6/14 about additional Professional Development: 50 FREE  June Webinars for Library Staff originally posted on WebJunction at OCLC.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Summer reading options

Time to start thinking about summer reading … there are tons of lists of great titles – old and new – plus the choice of technology. Of course, we are encouraging teachers and students to grab print copies or to select eBooks from Follett (Winnetka or Northfield) or OverDrive as we have offered in the past. Other places to look for eBooks include the Daily Deal offered by amazon’s Kindle or perhaps choose from the list of Vintage Shorts. And do not forget the many options for all ages available through the local public libraries.

http://www.audiobooksync.com/
There are a couple of other programs worth attention, too. In case you are interested in listening to audiobooks for free this summer (or even during the next school year), please check out the program at: http://www.audiobooksync.com/   These titles (YA Lit and a classic) are available in pairs and change every Thursday morning. I just downloaded a free audio book in a few minutes and my understanding is that these MP3 files are the user’s to keep BUT the download period is limited to a specific week. Note, for example, that both Monster and Lord of the Flies are available during week 8 (June 25th to July 2nd).
 

As mentioned, we support the OverDrive app since we offer a number of eBooks through New Trier’s Library, AND local public librarians would also be familiar with the technology and be able to help. More directions for download prep are available on the sync site.   Plus, (helpful for teachers who are parents, too) they will send you to a literacytoolkit with links for reading lists ACROSS the K-12 spectrum, including ones for high school and adult titles for high school students.   

http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/05/07/the-sixth-annual-new-york-times-summer-reading-contest/?_r=0
Students who are interested in combining reading with some writing should consider participating in the 6th Annual New York Times Summer Reading Contest.  Every Friday from June 12 through August 14, they will pose the same question: "What interested you most in The Times this week?"  According to the Learning Network, anyone 13 to 19 years old from anywhere in the world can post an answer, and contestants can choose any Times article, essay, video, interactive or photograph published n 2015, on any topic they like.  If chosen your response will be posted on the blog. 


HEY, LIBRARIANS and other avid readers: Are you looking forward to Fall and Winter previews? Buzz Books is offering another free download with a big (33 excerpts) selection of both Fiction and Non-Fiction titles for adults and high school students. Plus, there is a special YA Fiction set (20 titles) available with excerpts of upcoming titles from James Dashner, Patrick Ness, and Jennifer E. Smith to name just a few.  These collections from Buzz Books keep getting better and better, even offering links to request the full text. They encourage you to experiment by sampling work from debut authors and a variety of publishers. It is a source for ideas on many books that are reviewed at our Book Talk blog. Be sure to enjoy the summer and keep reading!!!

Have any other summer reading ideas to recommend?  Please let us know!

Thursday, April 02, 2015

School Library Month Resources




Happy April! Take a few minutes and celebrate School Library Month. 

Watch and SHARE this great, short new video from Common Craft called “Libraries in the Internet Age.”  They say, “We love libraries and librarians. We want them to succeed and we made this video to help the public understand how libraries have changed in the Internet Age.”


This year’s theme for School Library Month is “Your School Library Where Learning Never Ends” which reprises the very first theme celebrated 30 years ago on the steps of the U.S. Capitol. So much has happened since 1985 and so much innovation, imagination and collaboration is underway as essential school libraries transform learning across the country.  For a few more facts, browse this infographic from AASL which is available online (and for download) :


Also available to download is the recent American Libraries issue which was produced in partnership with AASL and focuses on advocacy for school libraries.

With articles titled “Do Kids Even Use the Library Anymore?” and “Creating Coalitions,” it is designed for librarians to share with stakeholders like parents, colleagues and administrators.  So keep sharing … it’s exactly what school librarians are all about … learning that never ends!