Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sharing on Facebook more popular than sharing through e-mails

Sharing posts on Facebook at 24% outnumbers e-mail sharing at 11.1% and Twitter at 10.8%.
Take a look at the graph to see what's popular now...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

I'm trying to keep up with my young adult fiction reading this summer. I just finished Anderson's (author of Speak) newest title: Wintergirls.

Six years after Cassie and Lia pledge to become the skinniest girls in their school, Cassie dies. Unable to bear the sadness and guilt after her friend's death, Lia spirals downward into her own eating disorder.

Although not a pleasant read, this book let me peak into the mind of an anorexic...

Learning to embed a Youtube video in blogger

Yeah! I just learned how to embed a Youtube video in Blogger.
Here's an example how an unknown couple has exploded on the scene! Over 5 million views!

Prezi- an alternative to the tired old Powerpoints...

I'd forgotten about this snazzy presentation tool until I saw a blog post using it.
It's a blank canvas where you can easily post text, pictures, etc. You can zoom in and out on the objects.

As they say: "Prezi is zooming sketches on a digital napkin. It's visualization and storytelling without slides."

Check it out-you can learn it in a matter of minutes.

Google Voice

Here's something handy for teachers: Google Voice-it allows you to keep some of your phone numbers private.

Check out the Youtube explanation...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Social Media Sparks School Policy Debate

Here's a great article that discusses schools' dilemma on what to do with social media. This includes a video of MIT media guru Henry Jenkins who states that media rich kids are being "de-skilled and de-tooled when the walk in the classroom." I agree...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

AASL's Best Websites for Teaching and Learning

American Assoc. of School Librarians came up with 25 best websites for educators.
They're divided into 6 categories: Organizing, Content Collaboration, Curriculum Sharing, Media Sharing, Virtual Environments, and Social Networking.

Wonderful Web 2.0 stuff!

See the following link:

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Wow! Jing and Screencast are so cool!

I love these tools! They are so user friendly. Here is a first attempt, and I mean a rough one, of showing how to use Discovery Education's Steaming service. Being loquacious, I went over the five minute time limit, so didn't get much into the explanation. Also, I noticed that on playback, it didn't show the video that I was seeing at the time of recording. It must be a copyright issue for Discovery Ed... Also, I noticed some of the screen was cut off when shown in Screencast but was all there during the Jing replay. Will have to do a lot more experimenting and editing before I use this in a real situation.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Library Book Cart Competition

OK, so even though we no longer have cat eye glasses and wear our hair in a bun, we librarians still can be a little odd. Just see for yourself in this Demco book cart competition video:

Free Webinar 7/23 on Cell Phones in the Classroom

Here's something worth considering. If you can't beat 'em join 'em! Why not use the technology that most teenagagers have on hand?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Virtual Author Vists via Skype

Joyce Valenza is spearheading an effort to set up a network of young adult and childrens authors who would be willing to virtually visit classrooms via Skype.

Is this a great idea or what?!

Five Filters

Here's a handy one: Five Filters lets you convert your blog's RSS feed into a PDF printable format.

I also like the PDF to Word Converter that's available free on-line!

Official Google Blog: Google accounts on Twitter

How neat! Twitter now has Google accounts!

Official Google Blog: Google accounts on Twitter

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Gravity Keeper by Michael Reisman

Kim Given, a colleague of mine, suggested this fun middle school title.
Thanks Kim!
Sixth grader Simon Bloom can't believe his luck when he finds a book that enables him to control the laws of physics. This is a very creative story about a facet of science that usually isn't the focal point of a novel.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Social Network Sites: Public, Private, or What-Section 3 Reading

Dana Boyd's article really struck a chord with me.
Teenagers today don't really worry about on-line privacy. When asked if they knew that anyone could access their profiles on-line, they replied "but why would they?" That concerns me because they don't realize that invisible audiences look up profiles of job or college applicants, lurkers might follow friends of friends to find juicy gossip, etc. What you say or post sticks around, it never goes away. Also, anything on-line can be copyable and searchable. Today, I came across an AP article Researchers Claim They've Cracked the Social Security Number Code which told how Carnegie Melon researchers could predict SS #'s by looking at the birth dates and hometowns listed on Facebook profiles.

These social networking sites are great and a big part of teen life. As educators, we need to teach students media literacy, on-line safety and responsibility. -quite a challenge!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Blue Skunk Blog

Hey! I found Will Richardson mentioned in The Blue Skunk blog, another one of my favorites!

Small world!

Free Technology for Teachers

I find a lot of gems reading this blog. Here's a posting from the NECC Conference-Week in Review, the most popular items:

I especially like to get new ideas from Glogster and find out what's coming soon...

Social Networking Changes Everything

Joyce Valenza, my library goddess heroine, has a great blog, The Never Ending Search, that I've been following for the last three years. In a recent post, she comments on Twitters finest hour.

The Last Dickens: A Novel by Mattew Pearl

I loved Pearl's book, and if you're a Dickens lover like I am, you will too!

Title Detail: "Full-Text Reviews
Booklist (January 1, 2009 (Vol. 105, No. 9))
Pearl’s latest literary historical mystery aligns perfectly with his two previous works, the widely applauded Dante Club (2002) and the equally esteemed Poe Shadow (2006); like its predecessors, the novel is a brilliant, exciting thriller exactingly set in past times and involving mysterious aspects of the lives of famous writers. This compelling yarn opens with a—yes, mysterious—scene set in 1870 India, in the wilds, when a mounted policeman invokes the name of Dickens while chasing a robber. Zoom off to Boston on the same day, when a clerk at a publishing house, who was sent to take into his own hands, for his boss, the advance sheets of the next installment of the recently deceased Charles Dickens’ novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood, is run down by an omnibus on his way back to the office, and the pages go missing. This situation necessitates the publisher’s going to England to attempt to ascertain how Dickens intended to end his novel. Just what do the seemingly disparate parts of the story have to do with one another? What the publisher becomes embroiled in, in London, is far more complicated than simply manuscript detection. A whole world of life-and-death nefariousness awaits both him and the reader, who will be well rewarded."

White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean

It's been cold in Traverse City this week- 60 as a high...seems only fitting that I should be reading a book about Antarctica. I can't fathom why anyone would want to visit this white wasteland, but McCaughrean's book was a good read, winner of the Printz Award (ALA's Best Book for Young Adults)

I've been in love with Titus Oates for quite a while now--which is ridiculous, since he's been dead for ninety years. But look at it this way. In ninety years, I'll be dead too, and the age difference won't matter. Sym is not your average teenage girl. She is obsessed with the Antarctic and the brave, romantic figure of Captain Oates, from Scott's doomed expedition to the South Pole. In fact, Oates is the secret confidant to whom she spills all her hopes and fears. But Sym's uncle Victor is even more obsessed--and when he takes her on a dream trip into the bleak Antarctic wilderness, it turns into a nightmarish struggle for survival that will challenge everything she knows and loves. In her first contemporary young adult novel, Carnegie Medalist and three time Whitbread Award winner Geraldine McCaughrean delivers a spellbinding journey ino the frozen heart of darkness. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.