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Kudos Wall: for building that first portfolio

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We build portfolios in school. We use tools like Seesaw and Easy Portfolio.  And yet, the onus is usually on the teacher or the librarian to get the ball rolling and sustain the efforts across grade levels. I wonder if the kids themselves get invested in the importance of safely beginning to build a footprint.  […]

Unpaywall: Free, legal access to scholarly articles! (and a couple of other strategies)

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Greetings from Computers in Libraries 2017  from which I’ll be sharing a few discoveries. One exciting share from yesterday was the limited release of Unpaywall.org.  (The official release date is April 4.) High school librarians and education researchers take note! Installed as a  free browser extension for Firefox or Chrome, Unpaywall allows searchers to legally access full-text research papers from its […]

Untethering the blocks: Building beyond walls and tables

Remember the scene in Singing in the Rain where Donald O’Connor magically dances on the walls?  Remember Fred Astaire’s famous ceiling dance in Royal Wedding?  Till now kids’ work with interlocking blocks has been bound to tables and floors and a few installations of LEGO walls. (See Diana Rendina’s epic instructions.) Till now blocks kinda […]

Spiral: Four Apps in One!

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I recently discovered an incredibly versatile participation tool.  Spiral is a free suite of  four powerful apps that promote classroom engagement and collaboration.  It makes so much of what we already do so much easier and it is a must-have tool for 1:1 settings.  Students may login to lessons using Google, Facebook, Clever or Edmodo. […]

Cool new Google Slides video functionality!

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You’ll want to share these tips with both teachers and students.  Google Slides recently added some new functionality for working with video.  Slides has become my go-to presentation platform for the easy ability to collaborate and build with others and for its portability. If, like me, you regularly use Slides as a platform for presenting, […]

Announcing Flipgrid One (now free to all teachers)

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Today, one of my favorite communication/creativity platforms shared some major enhancements and re-declared its commitment to equity. (See below for the big news!) I have been a devoted fan of Flipgrid since the beginning. For me it’s one of those few wifi desert island must-packs. Created by LT Media Lab at the University of Minnesota, […]

Introduce myShakespeare to your students!

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Fun fact: You may know I was an English major. You may not know that my serious focus was 16th century poetry and drama. My favorite course ever was Shakespeare’s Problem Plays. Not every student I’ve met over the years felt the same draw to Shakespeare. The play is just not every kid’s thing. The […]

Presidential Primary Sources Project: Free interactive videoconferencing

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The National Park Service, U.S Presidential Libraries, and Museums, the Internet2 community, and cultural and historic organizations nationwide recently announced the schedule for their annual Presidential Primary Source Project (PPSP).  This is a perfect opportunity for librarians to connect teachers and students to memorable experiences that will make history and Presidential politics come alive. This […]

Libraries Ready to Code!

The library is a great place to introduce the ready to code concept because we’re public, we’re free, we’re easily accessible. After School Services Manager (Queens, New York) It’s really not just coding. It is a way of thinking and perceiving and problem-solving. Teacher Librarian (Norman, Oklahoma) When I’m coding… I really feel like I […]

Truth, truthiness, triangulation: A news literacy toolkit for a “post-truth” world

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We were guaranteed a free press,  We were not guaranteed a neutral or a true press. We can celebrate the journalistic freedom to publish without interference from the state.  We can also celebrate our freedom to share multiple stories through multiple lenses. But it has always been up to the reader or viewer to make […]