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Nearpod is launching 3D Virtual Field Trips

Nearpod is launching 3D Virtual Field Trips and also offering an opportunity to apply for classroom viewing kits. This Wall Street journal article, Virtual Reality Learns How to Get Into the Classroom, provides some interesting background on the project.

Google cardboard

Of course, Google Cardboard is in the 3D Virtual Reality biz too. There are lots of apps and services producing content for these viewers. The New York Times is promoting their 3D content by sending subscribers a viewer for free. Which is how I ended up with one. (more…)

Amazing Seeds: A Kids Guide to Strange and Wonderful Garden Veggies

From Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Is your library or school running a gardening program for kids? Are you homeschooling and have kids interested in gardening? Baker Creek is offering a gardening booklet for kids – free multiple copies.

From an email:

“Baker Creek has published a kids’ gardening booklet? Yes! This fun and informative publication, Amazing Seeds: A Kids Guide to Strange and Wonderful Garden Veggies, contains 32 color pages of interesting facts and how tos for growing veggies. And the best part? We are happy to send quantities of booklets for FREE to schools and homeschool groups, as well as to libraries and special events. Just send an email to,“Attn: Free Kids Book” in the subject line.”

Dreaming of summer and seed starting? The Voorheesville (NY) Public Library has started a Seed Library. Stop by the library and check out some seeds. I understand some of them were donated by Baker Creek! The library has a fun Pinterest board for seed library ideas.

Webinar: Helping Students Make Good Digital Decisions with Digital Compass

Free webinar on Wed April 29. Helping Students Make Good Digital Decisions with Digital Compass

Digtial  Compass

Join Common Sense Education for a webinar to celebrate the launch of their newest free education resource, Digital Compass. Based on the concept of “choose your own adventure” books, Digital Compass guides students in grades 6-9 to learn the fundamentals of digital citizenship through animated, interactive experiences in which students choose several different paths for each character. Students explore digital dilemmas, making good (and not-so-good) decisions, and trying out possible solutions through stories and mini-games – all without risking their real-world reputations. Digital Compass is available at no cost as a web-based interactive, and will be available soon as an iOS app, Android app, and Edmodo app.

Join Common Sense Education’s Kelly Mendoza and Brisa Ayub for this live, interactive presentation and learn how you can implement Digital Compass into your own digital citizenship program. Get involved now by following Periwinkle, one of the characters from Digital Compass, on Twitter at @whereswink. Start sharing her great #digcittip recommendations with your class today!

Tech in the classroom

Looking around a room of over 130 librarians at the NYLA/SSL leadership conference this year, I’m impressed at how many more tech tools I see. The iPads, tablets, chrome books, laptops, etc are so much more a part of everyone’s everyday tools than they were even a year ago. And two years ago, I remember being one of the few folks in the room with a tablet. In the Tech Tools Smackdown last night, the majority of the tools shared were apps and great examples of how they’re using them in their schools, we even ran out of time for sharing, we could have gone on for another hour!

Just having tech doesn’t mean it’s being used effectively to support learning, but these guys are leading the way, they’re doing it! Excited to be here, seeing and hearing the enthusiasm and ideas being shared.

What do we Know Infographic

Coursera to offer K-12 Teacher Professional Development MOOCs

An interesting move : Coursera Announces Professional Development Courses to Facilitate Lifelong Learning for Teachers


photo credit: opensourceway via photopin cc

“Today we are extremely pleased to announce the launch of a teacher professional development category on Coursera. We believe that helping teachers improve their skills is an important contribution that we can make to the education of students everywhere. We are truly excited about the possibilities that having these courses available for free online, to be used independently or in a blended learning capacity, (more…)

Cool Tools for Schools 2013/14 – Interested?

evaluationI’ve had several requests to run another round of the Cool Tools for Schools project starting in October 2013.  It would be great to get a few more BOCES SLS regions involved as well.

If you’re not familiar with the project, it’s an online learning program based on the original 23 Things  Learning 2.0 program developed by Helene Blowers. Participants read through an online lesson, explore tools and examples, then do a learning activity to gain experience with the tools covered in each lesson.

Goals for the program are:

  • Gain familiarity with a variety of technology tools and explore how they can be used in K12 settings.
  • Opportunities to make connections with other educators and develop collaborations.
  • Increased confidence in exploring technology tools.

The two Cool Tools programs that have just finished running are:

Past Programs:

If you want to hear more about whether the program was valuable to the participants, the SLS Directors of the participating regions will be happy to share their experience with you.

And I’ll be happy to provide you with additional information about fees and how the programs are structured.