Common Sense Media, eSchool News, BWi’s Title Tales, and Transliteracy

Thanks to the “geniuses/counselors” at the Danbury Apple Store for an excellent, FREE, movie-making camp for my oldest son and one of his buddies this week. They even provided parents with a free program about how to use the parental controls feature on Macintosh computers. Another tip I learned from Valerie diLorenzo (yes, there is ¬†another Valerie diLorenzo who did the instruction for parents and then she helped out with the camp too) was Common Sense Media. Common Sense Media gives reviews of all sorts of media (movies, games, Websites, TV, music, books, etc.) I like their Ten Common Sense Beliefs too. Our children/tweens/teens will use all sorts of media throughout their lives. As a teacher and a parent, I feel it is imperative that, as best as we possibly can, we teach them how to be safe and make good choices when using media.

eSchool News is offering a free one-year subscription to educators. (I signed up to receive this at the Rumsey Library.) eSchool News provides “Technology News for Today’s K-20 Educator.”

Marissa Ciullo, Children’s Librarian in CT, recommends¬†BWi’s Title Tales. She found out about it from Linda Williams (of Willimantic Library Service Center–another of my favorite people/libraries). Ciullo writes about BWi’s Title Tales:

“BWI sells books, but you can join and still use its book review service for free. . . The service is called Title Tales. . . . You can search for a specific title or by subject and find books that have been published in the past few years. Many of them have several reviews from places like Kirkus, School Library Journal, Booklist, and Publisher’s Weekly, which you can compare all at once. It’s extremely useful!”

What is transliteracy?


Digital Goonies

Digital Goonies, whoa, what a blog/resource. Just skimmed it a bit and came across the following:

  • Five Card Flickr (great place to get ideas for writing assignments, inspired by pictures)
  • Resources to keep elementary and middle school students safe when using Web 2.0 Tools–for example, piggybacking allows a teacher to let students piggyback on his/her gmail account–just add + initials (or whatever, just not students’ full name) to teachers’ gmail account; and can be used too.
  • issuu: you publish allows you to digitally publish your docs, presentations, etc.

Digital Goonies has much more than what I just posted, so check it out for yourself. Thanks to Zandra Lopez of the edweb community for sharing Digital Goonies.

Need a place for new lessons? from TeAchnology; the search box works well on this site too if you’re looking for lessons on a specific topic. Also, check out the links along the top of this site: “Teacher Timesavers,” “Teacher Resources,” Lesson Plan Center,” “Rubric Center,” “Graphic Organizers.”

That’s enough work for me for today! Son/sun and the pool await!

The Unquiet Librarian and When is Good

The Unquiet Librarian: She uses Mindomo to pull together all her swirling ideas. I’ve been using Google Docs to pull together all of my ideas for next year’s instruction. I wonder if Mindomo would work better for me. Looks cool, but costs money.

That “Emerging Technologies” webinar last week just keeps on giving ideas: “When Is Good” is a site that allows people to figure out the best time to set up an online meeting conference for a large number of attendees.

Been on my to do list for a couple of years

CT State Library’s continuing education: Connecticut’s 23 Things

This looks like an amazing program that contains instruction about all sorts of emerging technologies.

I thought I’d have time to go through CT’s 23 Things this summer, but a new job will prevent me again. Maybe next summer! I’m sure CT’s 23 Things has a ton of great tech secrets. Do me a favor if you have the time to go through some or all of the program: share some secrets here!

Several new favs

If you tweet, then you’re probably familiar with I used to use TinyURL which is great too, but goes a few steps beyond. not only lets you shorten those unwieldy URLs, it also lets you track your visitors. When signed in to, you also can immediately post your links to Twitter. is so fast, easy, and truly amazing.

I learned the secret of just last week at a webinar: “10 Social Media Tips & Tricks”. If you’d like to skim my notes from the webinar, click here. (The links to view/hear the actual webinar are in my webinar notes too.) The webinar was geared toward non-profits, but it also includes excellent tips for teachers/librarians. This webinar is one of the reasons I started this blog.

Just came across Plinky (thanks to WordPress): Plinky delivers a writing prompt to your computer daily.

Some of my favorite sites

Below are just a few of my favs. I hope that all of my teacher, librarian, and otherwise techy friends will share their favorite sites via this blog too!
Teachers can create FREE accounts for themselves and their students at animoto. I used animoto to create a library orientation video for the school at which I last worked:
“Young Adult Books Reviewed by Young Adult Reviewers” If you’re a librarian who works with teens/tweens, you must explore this site. That’s all I’m going to say.
Super fun site; you can experience Booktalks 2.0 that Janet Kenney and I created a couple of years ago on the following link:

Of course, twitter is a must too. I follow people like David Pogue, John Green, and Joyce Valenza. I wish I could keep up with all of the amazing stuff out there.

How can I forget Google Docs?! Gosh, I almost forgot too.

That’s all for now. Please do share your own favorites via this blog too.