Sunday, October 30, 2011

We Have an Author in the House at New Trier Library

And, I'm not even talking about the upcoming Literary Festival on November 4...where we have a full line up of authors speaking to students.

What I recently discovered is an ebook published and co-authored by teachers and library media specialists:
School Libraries: What's Now, What's Next, What's Yet to Come edited by
Kristin Fontichiaro and Buffy Hamilton
Foreword by R. David Lankes

Our own librarian, Linda Straube wrote an essay for


"Together We Light the Way"
Linda's essay speaks to the power of crowdsourcing our library work and she highlights a vast array of resources for every discipline via the Libguide Community.  Linda has been an "early adopter" in this area working tirelessly in at the New Trier Library to train colleagues in the use of the software enabling contributions to the larger sharing community.

In that same chapter I also enjoyed Joyce Kasman Valenza's essay: "I Want to Be an App".  Here Valenza writes about the necessity of going both virtual and mobile with our catalogs, our databases, and other electronic resources. Valenza argues that "mobile practice is no longer optional. Our practice should be cloud-based, participatory, portable, and attractive."

This crowdsourced collection of over 100 essays from around the world about trends in school libraries is written by librarians, teachers, publishers, and library vendors.
Get your free copy of this ebook in a variety of formats from

Available Ebook reading formats:

This book is free. 
FormatFull Book
Online Reading (HTML, good for sampling in web browser)View
Online Reading (JavaScript, experimental, buggy)View
Kindle (.mobi for Kindle devices and Kindle apps)Download
Epub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others)Download
PDF (good for reading on PC, or for home printing)Download

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Dropbox - Pogue and our students agree

Recently as part of Banned Sites Awareness Day, we asked students to tell us about their use of certain sites for school/learning. One we asked about was Dropbox.

The result? Almost half (45%) of our students use it for school work and their comments indicate that they would agree with David Pogue's recent enthusiastic review in The New York Times:

Here are some comments from our students:
• For Policy Debate class, we used DropBox to share debate files on our computer so that all members of the team had the same files and access to all of them.

• DropBox is literally the best way for students working on projects to collaborate and share information. I have used this tool many times over the years, and my partners and I have been extremely organized and successful thanks to this technology.

• I believe Dropbox is a great website to share vital files.

• In my opinion, more teachers should encourage Dropbox use.

• Since I was introduced to Dropbox a few years ago, I've considered it one of the most useful (free) web services outside of Google's Web Apps.

• Dropbox seamlessly synchronizes files across computers and you can access your complete archive of documents from any computer with an Internet connection.

• This is incredible, as I can keep all of my school documents (and various other files) on Dropbox, and this enables me to: allow people to download files from my Public folder, given an explicit public link, share files and folders with classmates for collaboration, *automatically update my documents at school to my computers at home*, and host photo albums.

• We used DropBox in all my classes in middle school for sharing files and submitting homework/projects to teachers. We also used it to see who turned in what assignment and who still needed to turn assignments in.

• We used dropbox for my Debate class to share files with our whole team. It spreads info to everybody who needs it.

We will be working to raise awareness amongst teachers and the 36% of our students had not heard of Dropbox.

Afghanistan Resources

Homeland Afghanistan is a new, fabulous resource for classes which are studying Afghanistan. Produced by the Asia Society, it contains many links to videos and other information (map, glossary, bibliography).

Although navigating it is a little complicated, there is a very long timeline (one section focuses on Afghanistan today) and there are several themes which are explored, including:
• Geography and Destiny
• Identity and Perception
• Traditions and Modernization and
• Traces and Narratives

See also the companion webinars (free to teachers). As we pass the 10 year mark of US military involvement, I have gathered more resources on Afghanistan, including timelines and various media perspectives, which are available here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

I made my own 'flippin book' with FlipSnack

The free version allows you no more than 15 pdf pages. So it was necessary to trim down my resources significantly.

Really easy/fun to use.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Web Tool Mashup

Integrating Bloom's Digital Taxonomy, Gardner's Multiple Intelligences and Web Tools for Student Centered Learning

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Audio-Visual from NASA

Still Images, Audio Recordings, Video, and Related Computer Files

NASA still images; audio files; video; and computer files used in the rendition of 3-dimensional models, such as texture maps and polygon data in any format, generally are not copyrighted. You may use NASA imagery, video, audio, and data files used for the rendition of 3-dimensional models for educational or informational purposes, including photo collections, textbooks, public exhibits, computer graphical simulations and Internet Web pages. This general permission extends to personal Web pages.

This general permission does not extend to use of the NASA insignia logo (the blue "meatball" insignia), the retired NASA logotype (the red "worm" logo) and the NASA seal. These images may not be used by persons who are not NASA employees or on products (including Web pages) that are not NASA-sponsored.

NASA should be acknowledged as the source of the material except in cases of advertising. See NASA Advertising Guidelines.

If the NASA material is to be used for commercial purposes, especially including advertisements, it must not explicitly or implicitly convey NASA's endorsement of commercial goods or services. If a NASA image includes an identifiable person, using the image for commercial purposes may infringe that person's right of privacy or publicity, and permission should be obtained from the person.

For contact information, restrictions, or more information, see:

Monday, October 03, 2011

"Purposeful Play" - theme of K-12 Online Conference

2011 K-12 Online Conference
Post By August 26, 2011

The 2011 K-12 Online Conference is coming to a computer near you soon! This year’s FREE online conference will take place the weeks of November 28th and December 5th, 2011, with a pre-conference keynote on Monday, November 21st.

The 2011 theme is, “Purposeful Play.” Educators and students worldwide are invited to respond to our 2011 call for proposals. Presenters create twenty minute, engaging video presentations shared during our two week conference. Please check out some of last year’s presentations.

Not sure what the conference theme “Purposeful Play” includes? Bud Hunt provided a great description on his blog. “To play on purpose is to take risks. To challenge what you know. To ride the edge between what is and what might be, what never was and what should’ve been. How are you making time for play in your learning? And we mean “play” in the best sense of the word. Fiddle. Tinker. Explore. Discover. Try. Fail. Reengage. “

More information at: