Friday, November 30, 2012

Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green


I love John Green audio books.  Here's what I'm currently listening to...

When two teens, one gay and one straight, meet accidentally and discover that they share the same name, their lives become intertwined as one begins dating the other's best friend, who produces a play revealing his relationship with them both. 

App of the Week- 12/1/12


Diet without a diet: Scan a product, See what's inside, Make healthier choices!
Don't Diet - Eat Healthy with Fooducate! Featured App on Android Market Dec 2011.
Scan and choose healthy groceries. Over 200,000 unique UPCs!
As featured in Oprah's O Magazine, USAToday, NYTimes, WSJ, Lifehacker, Gizmodo and on ABC, FOX, NBC and more...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

App of the Week!

Periodic Droid is a free Android app for studying and learning the elements on the Periodic Table. Unlike similar apps in the Android Marketplace, Periodic Droid is more than just a set of flashcards to put on a phone. Periodic Droid allows students to click through each element to discover information like the boiling point, crystal structure, and ionization potential of that element. Students can also click through to Wikipedia entries about each element.

Monday, October 22, 2012

App of the Week 10-22-12

Free eBooks

Grab Your 
Mobile Apps: Apple iOS or Android
Gain access to thousands of eBooks, fiction and non-fiction, directly on your iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch or Android device, with's handy new Apps. Best thing is, it works with your existing account. If you don't have a membership, no worries, use the app as a guest or register for the membership type of your choice below:

Ashfall by Mike Mullin


A super volcano erupts in Yellowstone Park sending a meteor into 16-year-old Alex's house in Cedar Falls, Iowa. He's home alone, and after extricating himself from his fire-engulfed room he heads to the neighbors who take him in as sonic booms echo for days and ash falls down like snow. Alex is determined to find his family so he sets off on his dad's cross-country skis. His trek takes him through an inhospitable landscape with gritty ash falling constantly. Along the way he sees humanity change as much as the environment, with most people out for their own survival. Mullen weaves a gripping and powerful adventure story of surviving a cataclysmic event while also unfolding Alex's journey from self-absorbed teen to thoughtful, caring adult.

See what' I've been reading to get some ideas for your next book!

Vicky's bookshelf: read

The Bookseller of Kabul
Thirteen Moons: A Novel
Pearl of China
The False Friend
Remarkable Creatures
North of Beautiful
The Paris Wife
The Help
I Am Number Four
Snow Falling on Cedars
The Tiger's Wife
Half Broke Horses
The Glass Castle
The Grilling Season
Dark Tort
Sweet Revenge
The Sense of an Ending
Claude & Camille
The Night Circus

Vicky's favorite books »

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Our Media Production Studio is Expanding!

Stop down in the IHHS Media Center to see what' new in our Production Studio! Click the play button on the avatar to hear more about it.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

IHHS Media Services

Hi Teachers, 

Click on the play button on my avatar below to find out about workshops that I can present to you and your classes!

Friday, October 5, 2012


Ma Yan's diary chronicles her struggle to escape the desperate poverty in rural China through education. But, with so little money to pay the fees, she must be persistent and resourceful.

App of the Week 10/5/12

Lapse It is an Android app that makes it easy to create short time lapse videos. The app comes in two versions, free and pro ($1.99). The free version is adequate for most uses, but the pro version offers additional editing effects and a much higher output resolution.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

App of the Week 9/26/12

Visual Anatomy - An App for Anatomy Students

Visual Anatomy is an iPad app designed to help students learn the names of muscles, bones, organs, and systems in the human body. To use the app students select a system then click on the pinmarks in each image to learn about those parts of the body. The free version of the app has 300 pinmarks in standard resolution. The paid version of the app has 700 pinmarks with high resolution images.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Where am I Wearing: a Global Tour of the Countries, Factories, and People that Make our Clothes- by Kelsey Timmerman


A must read for anyone who cares about globalization...

From the Publisher: Globalization makes it difficult to know where the things you buy come from. Journalist and travel writer Kelsey Timmerman wanted to know where his clothes came from and who made them, so he traveled from Honduras to Bangladesh to Cambodia to China and back. Along the way, he met the people who made his favorite clothes and learned as much about them as he did about globalization itself. Enlightening and controversial at once, this book puts a human face on globalization.

App of the Week 9-19-12

Toastr – Unlock Your Phone, See a Reminder

 There are lots of apps that allow you to create to-do lists on your phone and tablet. But to-do lists are only useful if you look at them. Toastr is a free Android app that forces you to look at the reminders you create for yourself. Toastr reminders appear whenever you unlock the screen on your Android phone or Android tablet.
I couldn’t create a long list in Toastr. Instead I just created a reminder that said, “look at to-do list.” Sometimes a simple reminder is all it takes to prompt an action. If your students obsessively check their phones, Toastr could be a great app for them because they will see their reminders every time they unlock their phones.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Libba Bray Coming to Joseph Beth in Rookwood

New York Times Bestselling Author
Libba Braydiscussing and signing

The DivinersWednesday, September 19 at 7:00 PM

Evie O'Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City--and she is pos-i-toot-ly thrilled. New York is the city of speakeasies, shopping, and movie palaces! Soon enough, Evie is running with glamorous Ziegfield girls and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is Evie has to live with her Uncle Will, curator of The Museum of American Folklore, Superstition, and the Occult--also known as "The Museum of the Creepy Crawlies." When a rash of occult-based murders comes to light, Evie and her uncle are right in the thick of the investigation. And through it all, Evie has a secret: a mysterious power that could help catch the killer--if he doesn't catch her first. 
This is a ticketed event. Line tickets are free and available with the purchase of "The Diviners", available at Joseph-Beth Booksellers. Gives Back Members will have a limited opportunity to meet the Author first.

Books by the Banks is Coming!

Books by the Banks is Coming!

Come to the sixth annual Books by the Banks October 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and meet more than 100 national, regional and local authors and book illustrators. Children’s authors include Tad Hills and Gracie Desserich, while teen authors include Ellen Schreiber and Cinda Chima. The Kids’ Corner presented by the Haile/U.S. Bank Foundation will feature a full schedule of fun activities for the entire family to enjoy throughout the day.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Nerdfighters-John Green is Coming!!!

Nerdfighters—John Green is coming!
Teens and nerdfighters unite! John Green, author of Looking for Alaska and The Fault in Our Stars, will be coming to the Main Branch of the Cincinnati Public  Library on Monday, October 15 at 7:00 p.m., and you can win front row seats to the show. Just get out your webcam or phone and make a short video explaining what makes you a huge nerd. Our favorites will win reserved seating to see bestselling author John Green. Visit to submit your video, and let the nerd-off begin!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night...

This book is so imaginative! Loved Morgenstern's sumptuous descriptions of the sights and smells of this magical circus.  I think the Freshmen Book Club would enjoy reading this.

App of the Week-Animation Desk

Turn Drawings into Animations 

Animation Desk is an iPad app (free and premium versions available) that allows users to create hand-drawn animations. The drawing interface provided by the app resembles the real working environment of a professional animator, who completes each frame of an animation on a specially designed desk, the animation desk. With the app, students can create drawings using just their finger on an iPad screen. The free version allows users to create up to 50 scenes in each of their projects. In each scene, they can include as little or as much detail as they want, they can use different brush and pencil effects in their drawings, and they can alter the opacity of the colors they choose. Users can also add audio effects to spice up their animations. When they’ve completed drawing all of their scenes, users simply hit the Play button to watch the animation unfold. If they don’t like an aspect of their animation, they can go back and edit any of the scenes. If they’re happy with their animation, they can export it to YouTube. They can also transfer animations between different iDevices and enjoy animating anytime, anywhere.
Click Here to Download Free App

Monday, August 13, 2012

App of the Week 8/14/12

Don't forget to add Evernote to your laptop and mobile device for iTech!  A great way  to keep and access all your notes...

Evernote allows you to take school notes, personal notes, archive pictures and share notes with others and across multiple devices. All notes are stored in the cloud so that you can access them anywhere with an internet connection.

Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater


Just started reading this as the summer comes to an end.  Love the lure of this mystical sea story.

"Some race to win. Others race to survive. It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die. At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them. Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn't given her much of a choice. So she enters the competition - the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen. As she did in her bestselling Shiver trilogy, author Maggie Stiefvater takes us to the breaking point, where both love and life meet their greatest obstacles, and only the strong of heart can survive. The Scorpio Races is an unforgettable reading experience."

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I'm Up North at the cottage and reading this on the hammock.  This story, set in the swamps of the Florida panhandle, is keeping me warm during the brisk Michigan evenings...

As their island home and alligator-wrestling theme park is threatened by a sophisticated competitor, twelve-year-old Ava struggles to cope with her mother's death while her sister, brother, and father all try to deal with their grief in their own unusual ways.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Desert Angel by Charlie Price


Fourteen-year-old Angel wakes up one morning at her desert trailer home to discover her mother has been murdered by a lowlife named Scotty, who has vanished. Angel has no water, no weapon, but she knows that Scotty, an expert tracker and hunter, will surface soon in order to eliminate her as a witness. She has to run, to disappear, if she is to survive and tell the world what happened. Her flight takes her through a harsh landscape to places she never expected to be, forcing her to trust others for the first time and strengthening her in ways she doesn't even anticipate . . . until it's time to take a stand.

App of the Week 5-21-12

Paper: FREE
Paper is an easy and beautiful way to create on iPad. Capture your ideas as sketches, diagrams, illustrations, notes or drawings and share them across the web. Paper was designed from the ground up for touch and creating on the go. No fussy buttons, settings or other distractions. Paper works the way you think, like a familiar notebook or journal. Have all of your ideas with you in one place.

Friday, May 11, 2012

App of the Week 5/11/12

Play the Piano on your Droid!

Piano Lesson Tutor is a free app offering video lessons for students. The lessons are designed for beginner to intermediate level piano students. The videos are hosted on YouTube so you could just find them there. Piano Lesson Tutor organizes the videos into lessons for you.
Piano Pro is a free app that puts a virtual piano keyboard on your tablet or phone. The keys are labeled to help beginners. Piano Pro has a series of play-along songs to help you learn to play the piano. The play-along activities are completed by playing the keys above which notes are appearing.
xPiano is a free app that also puts a virtual piano keyboard on your tablet. The keys are not labeled so you do have to know which notes are associated with which keys. xPiano has twelve different instrument sounds with which you can experiment. The app also has a recording option that you can use to save your music and export it to other projects.

The List by Siobhan Vivian


Emily and seven other high school girls struggle with the way they see themselves and the way others see them after a list ranking the prettiest and ugliest girls is posted.

Monday, May 7, 2012

App of the Week 5/7/12

Instagram in Education

Part of this post also appeared on Free Technology for Teachers
Last month when Instagram became available for Android devices, Android users everywhere, myself included, clamored to install it right away. Instagram provides a platform for adding nice effects to the images you capture on your phone and sharing them with your friends on Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, and Tumblr. Earlier this week I drafted a post about  about using Instagram to have students post short photo essays to Tumblr. I scrapped the post because I wasn’t sure if that was really a viable option. As it turns out, I should have run with that post.

Valiant: a Modern Tale of the Faerie by Holly Black


 Seventeen-year-old Valerie Russell runs away to New York City and befriends a group of very unusual characters who live in the city's subway tunnels and soon finds herself bound into service by a troll named Ravus.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Girls Don't Fly by Kristen Chandler


Myra, a high school senior, will do almost anything to win a contest and earn money for a study trip to the Galapagos Islands, which would mean getting away from her demanding family life in Utah and ex-boyfriend Erik, but Erik is set on winning the same contest.

Check out EBSCO host Database on your smart phone!

Friday, April 20, 2012

The Obsidian Blade by Pete Hautman

I enjoyed reading Pete Hautman's Godless so I'm looking forward to starting his newest title!


After thirteen-year-old Tucker Feye's parents disappear, he suspects that the strange disks of shimmering air that he keeps seeing are somehow involved, and, when he steps inside one, he is whisked away on a time-twisting journey trailed by a shadowy sect of priests and haunted by ghostlike figures.