Thoughts on Apps/Software

Some apps/software that have made my teaching/learning more fun and effective this year:

  • Tourwrist app: got into an even deeper New York State of Mind (book and song by Billy Joel) during grade 1 “Music and Books” unit. After enjoying the book/song, students used the Tourwrist app to get a panoramic view and interactive experience of places in New York. When Latin Gamma students came in to the library to research the Pantheon, we started off research viewing the Pantheon up close thanks to Tourwrist.
  • Nearpod app: deliver presentations (with interactive slides) to every device get immediate feedback from participants; get reports of participants’ responses; control their devices during the presentation.
  • EasyBib School Edition: students create projects, add citations, notes, and outlines all in one place; the LearnCite feature and evaluating sources feature are helpful tools to teach information literacy.
  • Edmodo: join professional groups and/or communities within Edmodo; create a group for each class; powerful and safe way to keep class organized; communicate with students individually through posts or allow them to post to the group (students cannot post directly to each other only to the whole class); attach links and documents to posts; assign projects; give out badges and so much more!

CPD23: Thing 1 and Thing 2

The Library Notes was created last July and not much got posted once the school year began. I’ve always wanted to take part in the 23 Things program (initially the adapted version in CT), but when I saw that the “official” 23 Things was going to start up again this summer, I knew I had to participate. Coincidentally, at my school all faculty have to learn a new software platform for summer PD. My “official” PD will be to use Schoolsuite to update the library’s web pages since I haven’t done that since I started last August. For me, though, 23 Things will definitely be a part of my summer PD and I’m looking forward to it.

As a school librarian, (maybe I should call myself a media specialist?!), I’m totally fascinated by and interested in technology. I love sharing with and learning from others. I’ll be hooking up a new LED projector in my library soon and I’m so excited. It’s going to make teaching/learning so much more efficient, interesting and productive. I will be so glad to get rid of the “media center” that is currently there.

I think I read that we will be looking at “branding” in 23 things. This is something that a colleague (also a newer school librarian) and I have frequently discussed. I always keep going back to “The Energized Librarian.” I think that’s what I’ll use. I have a bit of energy and this year during National Poetry month, I organized a Poetry Cafe, complete with some cool plasma globes and such. I find it challenging to see how much I can put my energy into at once.

I did glance at some other blogs that are a part of 23 Things. Looks like several have just started as a result of this program which is great. I’m looking forward to easily connecting with people from other parts of the world as well.

Looking forward to next week.

On vacation and have time to explore tech again

Attended a great edweb webinar today “Microblogging” #edwebet . Much discussion about Twitter. I should really make it a habit of checking Twitter daily. I always find great info there; from last summer when I learned about Apple’s free video camp for kids (thanks to David Pogue’s Tweet) to all the details about how Buffy Hamilton created a Kindle program in her library, and so much more. Thanks to Michelle Luhtala for renewing my interest in Twitter today. Michelle also mentioned Diigo. Coincidentally, I just created a Diigo account earlier today before the webinar; or did I create that account yesterday?! The days are pleasurably longer now that I’m on vacation! In any case, Diigo has been great to explore and it’s helping me to organize some of the information that’s floating around in my head from today’s webinar and yesterday’s webinar about eReaders.

edWeb.net–favorite site of the year??

If you aren’t familiar with edweb.net “where the education community meets,” take a tour. This is a social network that belongs in the “must experience” category of your web life for those involved in education.

EdWeb has communities that you can join;  I belong to communities such as Using Emerging Technology to Advance Your School Library Program and Amazing Resources for Educators. “Using Emerging Technology . . .” has put on two phenomenal webinars this summer. They provided great ideas for my library program and perhaps just as importantly gave me a place to meet other librarians from around the country to share thoughts/ideas/questions. The “Amazing Resources for Educators” community provides excellent, free e-newsletters too. If you’re an ELL/ESL teacher, for example, this community has an ELL newsletter; subscribe to it by clicking on the link to subscribe the ELL e-newsletter in the “Amazing Resources for Educators” community. (Note that if you click on the “Amazing Resources for Educators” link in the previous sentence, you’ll be prompted to sign in or create an account on edweb. Do create an account in edweb; it’s free and I promise you, you will be so happy that you joined. Resources galore for teaching!)

If you are a teacher, librarian, or school administrator, I highly recommend edWeb.net. I’m going to be searching all year for a site that I will like better than edWeb as a resource for educators. I doubt that I’ll find one. Did I mention that an account on edWeb is FREE?

Film Use in Classroom and Copyright

Meris Stansbury’s “New copyright law affects educators”

“Higher-ed film students get exemption; K-12, other studies left out”

If you don’t have time to read Stansbury’s whole article, here’s how the new ruling affects K-12 teachers/students:

“Students can rip movie excerpts legally, but only if they are film/media studies majors–meaning students in subjects like history and sociology still won’t have the exemption. K-12 students and teachers are still also at a disadvantage.

The Copyright Office deemed K-12 teachers and students ineligible for exemption, and indicated that they should instead use only screen captures of a film, because K-12 doesn’t need access to visually high-quality clips.” Not so sure that I agree with the Copyright Office’s logic.

To clarify, what K-12 teachers and students can legally do with film:

“According to Hobbs, if K-12 students or teachers are using clips to create a new work for purposes of comment and criticism, and they have a real need for higher-quality clips, they can legally rip video excerpts as long as they are for noncommercial purposes. This non-commercial exemption will enable elementary and secondary students and teachers to create and remix videos legally under these limitations.”

The article also mentions screen capture tools such as Camtasia and Jing (has a free version).

In order to read the full article at the link above, you will need to create an account (free) at eschoolnews.com. e School News is an excellent site that provides “Technology News for Today’s K-20 Educator.