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Joyce Valenza

About Joyce Valenza

Joyce is an Assistant Professor of Teaching at Rutgers University School of Information and Communication, a technology writer, speaker, blogger and learner. Follow her on Twitter: @joycevalenza

Orientation Inspiration 2017

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In years past, I’ve written about orientation and strategies for opening the school year. Check out Orientation Inspiration (2013) and Orientation Attitude (2016). This year, I asked folks in my network about their plans on this Padlet and I scanned the blogs I regularly follow. This year, a couple of very clear trends emerged. Engagement. […]

Google AutoDraw

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What Auto-Tune does for singers, Google’s AutoDraw AI experiment now does for those of us with limited visual talent. I’ve just discovered this handy tool and considering its power in demonstrating AI, as well as its affordances for so many everyday tasks. AutoDraw got its start as Quick Draw  a Google game/experiment in which when you drew on your […]

Anchor: for painless podcasts

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If you’ve been reluctant to attempt podcasting for yourself or for your students, Anchor, just might be your solution. Available free at either the App Store or Google Play or at Anchor.fm, Anchor makes podcasting from your phone or iPad or Chromebook a breeze. It also makes podcasting a social media event.  And there’s virtually no learning curve […]

Amazon Inspire’s relaunch

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Following a year of retooling, the Amazon Inspire digital library reopened in public Beta this week. Offering a familiar, filtered Amazon search/shopping interface, Inspire allows educators to discover, download, curate and share Open Educational Resources (OER). Over the past year, Amazon Education has been working with groups of educators, including the Maryland State Department of Education and the […]

Ten Chrome Extensions (and a Google Add-On) too good to miss

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Over the course of the past couple of years, I’ve become particularly fond of a few Chrome tools that I consider too good to miss.  These would be handy across the board, but especially in Google Classroom and Chromebook environments. Here’s a rundown of nine of my favorite discoveries in no particular order: 1. Google Keep is […]

Natural Reader and other free text-to-speech tools

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I’ve been working on gathering resources on for our new Emerging Literacies course and wanted to share some of the resources/app lists I’ve gathered for learners with special needs. Among the tools I am discovering are a few free resources for supporting text-to-speech. These resources are so handy for struggling readers, for ESL students, for […]

Informing your PD efforts: New ISTE Standards for Educators and Future Ready Frameworks

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As the 2017/2018 school year approaches, it would be good to know about a couple of documents/frameworks that will be influencing the ways we teach with, learn with and support our classroom educator and coach partners. First ISTE’s refresh of its Standards for Educators impacts our practice as educators as well as the practice of our […]

Plotagon now free for educators

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A couple of years back I was thrilled to discover Plotagon and posted about it here. Today, I was thrilled to discover that free one-year teacher licenses are now available at Plotagon Education. (Currently, students may sign up for 30-day trials.) Reminiscent of Xtranormal, Plotagon encourages writing skills as users craft professional-looking animated movies. Plotagon movies […]

Collections by Destiny

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It is quite possible that your catalog is the most expensive piece of software in your building. Are you leveraging it to its fullest potential? Follett is about to launch an add-on to its Destiny’s 15.0 release that might just make you and your community appreciate your OPAC in a very new way. Collections by […]

Curation Situations: Let us count the ways

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Curation is a funny word. When my colleagues and I wrote our Social Media Curation Library Technology Report for ALA, we struggled with a definition. The folks we interviewed across library land curated in several different ways and we used the term curation differently depending on current community needs or where they were in any particular project. […]