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Making inside the space and outside the box

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AASL’s new mission: empowers leaders to transform teaching and learning.  I keep thinking about how this mission also applies to learning that is is informal and interest-driven. A couple of days back, Michelle Luhtala, Shannon Miller and I brainstormed informally about informal learning, and makerspaces, and where we are all going. Michelle was preparing for [...]

Peter Reynolds on facing the “testing camera”

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I cried a little this morning when I watched it. Peter H. Reynolds’ new animated short, The Testing Camera, is a frightening look at the message our focus on high-stakes testing sends to our children.  Saddened that her art class is canceled young Daisy is forced into a room to face her turn with the [...]

Three things Emily shared

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Among the Valenza family traditions are the little app share sessions I have with my daughter.  Emily, an art teacher in Boston, regularly introduces me to tools and platforms I don’t find elsewhere in my network. Here are some of Emily’s current faves from this Thanksgiving: Koma Koma: Anyone, from kindergarten to adult, can use [...]

White House Student Film Festival: On Giving Back

Here’s an opportunity for all of us working both formally and informally with young filmmakers. For the second year The White House invites students to share their stories. This year, the targeted topic is one students often choose on their own. It’s about agency, making a difference, giving back. Every day in classrooms and communities [...]

Glogster for iPad

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I’ve been a fan of Glogster since its beginning back in 2007.  A couple of weeks back the Glogster app launched. Built specifically for iPad and for Glogster EDU users, the interface is easy and elegant and allows for simple placement and linking of media objects on an intuitive drag-and-drop Glog canvas. Especially nice is [...]

A round-up of interactive video options

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We take for granted that we can interact with text, but up until recently it’s been a challenge to interact (read/write/talk) with media.  I last looked at tools for annotating and interacting with video more than a year ago.  The field has changed a bit. Why interact with video? Being able to interact with video [...]

Why it’s important to smash a few apps (or what’s on your palette?)

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Lately when I think about how I am going to accomplish a digital task, I find that I automatically consider the task as a creative process, a process that makes me dig into my digital toolkit or examine my digital palette, usually more than once, to discover new synergies. I’ve come to discover what I’ve [...]

Mt. Alvernia: the journey to iCentre

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I am nearing the end of my visit to Australia where I was honored to speak and offer a MasterClass at EduTECH 2014.  Among the nine strands offered was the K12 Library Managers Congress where I met and reconnected with movers and shakers who are rethinking library, engaging learners, and inspiring each other.  I hope [...]

Close Poetry Month with the NYT Poetry in Prose

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If you cling April because it is National Poetry Month, here’s an activity to make the last week a special one.  You can use it to create a spontaneous slam. This week, The New York Times allows you to uncover poetry in prose.  This blackout poetry activity, popularized by writer/artist Austin Kleon, encourages readers to [...]

ds106 Assignment Bank

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For years, I’ve been a fan of Alan Levine’s (@cogdog) 50 Ways to Tell a Digital Story and his groundbreaking, open kick-butt DS106 (digital storytelling) course. I recently rediscovered the DS106 Assignment Bank and I see it as a truly inspiring resource for inspiring K12 creativity. This collection presents an array of options for student [...]