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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 […]

AASL Best Apps and Best Websites

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On Saturday, AASL committee members announced the 2017 Best Websites and 2017 Best Apps for Teaching & Learning at ALA Annual Conference in Chicago. In case you missed those big reveals, no worries!  Actually, worry–big time. You are in for a serious summer rabbit hole adventure. Now in its ninth year, The 2017 Best Websites for Teaching and […]

Toontastic 3D: New and free from Google Education

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Check out Toontastic 3D, a wonderful, free, open-ended digital storytelling app just launched by Google Education for tablet, phone and Chromebook. You may be familiar with Toontastic launched in 2011 or Toontastic Jr. Now, with the help of Google, the platform is impressively redesigned for Android, iPad and iPhone.  The new app allows students to […]

Apps: a call for nominations and a round-up of review ources

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I am a proud member of AASL’s Best Apps for Teaching and Learning Committee.  And we need your help.  You’ve been exploring apps with your students and faculty over the course of the year, now’s the time to nominate your faves! But while you wait for the completion of the nomination process and our always […]

PhotoScan for no-glare, super easy archiving of your old pics!

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Okay, this one may not be for school, but it sure is handy and I will use it to death. I just discovered Google Photo’s new PhotoScan app.  If, like me, you’ve got thousands of family photos in albums in your basement or attic, this may be the perfect holiday activity for the gang. The […]

Ormiboard: an IWB without the IWB (and a lot more interactive goodness_

If you are looking for ways to make your presentations more interactive and if you are working in a 1:1 environment and if you are looking for an instructional platform that easily moves across devices and if you’d like to have an interactive whiteboard with you wherever you share and teach, I think you’ll want […]

Bloomz: a powerful tool for home/school communication

Bloomz is a game changer, a kind of Swiss Army knife for school communication that does the job of multiple single purpose apps. It’s free and it works across platforms and devices and it’s got the  communications arena covered. I first discovered Bloomz from this year’s Best Websites for Teaching and Learning Committee, but it […]

PBS KIDS Video App

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Chock full of quality children’s programs, the newly updated PBS KIDS Video App is an absolute no-brainer download for families, and for preschool and primary classrooms and libraries. The app is free, easy to navigate and available for both iOS (iPads & iPhones) and Android. The attractive, kid-friendly interface offers immediate access to such series […]

New Student Discovery Sets for Tablets from LOC

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A couple of years ago, I wrote about the first six Student Discovery Sets published by the Library of Congress. The collection, now at 15 titles, covers so many of the themes studied in our school programs. This week, three new sets launched: Scientific Data: Observing, Recording, and Communicating Information Weather Forecasting The New Deal […]

Adobe Spark: rebranded apps & a platform-agnostic website for free student creation

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A little over a month ago, I posted about my affection for the growing Adobe suite of tools/apps in Smashing Adobe. A couple of years ago, I kinda raved about Adobe Voice in Adobe Voice: Elegant, easy(!) storytelling. This week Adobe announced an official smashing of its apps with its integrated Adobe Spark, designed as […]