A long overdue roundup of the online Cool Tools workshop that we offered last school year. The program ran from November to June and was conducted completely online. New lessons/topics were posted on a regular basis and participants chose which topics they wanted to explore and then wrote blog posts about their learning. This project was modeled after Helene Blowers innovative 23 Things project that has been replicated and reinvented many times over the past 8 years.
Since this was the 3rd or 4th incarnation of our Cool Tools for School project and we had many educators who had participated before, we offered 2 tracks of 10 topics each this past year. People new to the workshop were encouraged to do the Track 1 topics. While folks who were returning had 10 new topics to choose from.
Even so, everyone was given the flexibility to pick whatever topics they really wanted to pursue. And since many topics were very broad, people were also able to return to topics they’d done in (more…)
Thanks to Deb Booth, Edie Willcox and Sara Randolph at HFM BOCES School Library System for inviting me to teach a workshop last week. We had a diverse group of 30 terrific educators: school librarians, classroom teachers, support staff and more, representing all grade levels and many different subject areas.
The resources for the day are available on the Tech Tools Update/K12 Workshop website. At the end of the day, about half the group shared their take-aways on this padlet. It’s not too late to share, if you didn’t have time during the workshop.
One of my favorite tools, Edshelf, was slated to close down soon. But that was before the education community started to campaign to #saveedshelf. This encouragement spurred Mike Lee, the brains behind Edshelf, to start a kickstarter to help save it.
What is Edshelf? Find out via this quick video from Michael Britt.
Basically, it’s an awesome directory of education tools with reviews and ratings by educators. It’s easy to find resources, add them to your own curated boards and then embed them on your web pages. Know of tools not in the directory? Add them! Follow other educators and benefit from their knowledge and expertise. It’s an invaluable treasure trove.
I recently mentioned to a colleague that if we had to, we could walk into a workshop on a moment’s notice and get through the session by having participants explore the resources and tools in Edshelf. And it would be a great session!
I’ve written about how much I like Edshelf before and others have written & spoken more eloquently than me about it’s value.
Basically, Edshelf saves you time and makes you look even smarter than you already are! Isn’t that worth a donation to the kickstarter? And besides, cool t-shirt anyone??
One of the major projects I worked on over the past year was the SALS Ten Mobile Things project that concluded in June. This was part of a Digital Literacy project run by Jill Ryder, Jennifer Ferriss and Sara Dallas at the Southern Adirondack Library System.
It was modeled on 23MobileThings project originally developed by Jan Holmquist for the Guldborgsund Bibliotekern in Denmark. That project was translated into English by Jan, Kathryn Barwick and Mylee Joseph (both from the State Library of New South Wales, Australia). Like Helene Blowers’ original 23Things project, this mobile project is being translated into multiple languages and spreading like wildfire. There’s no doubt that the time was right for this!
For our project, we focused on many of the same topics, but condensed them into 10 topics (more…)
One of the many fun projects that I have the privilege of working on is the New York State Summer Reading program website. We’ve been working on some redesigning, which is always a work in progress, and also lots of updates for this summer (not done yet)
I was checking stats today to see what pages were getting hits and was pleased to see the Teen Booklists (boring name I know) was the top hit getter.
Since I’m in no way an expert on YA titles, I wanted an easy way to add titles that appear on the many booklists available from different sources. But also wanted something that had some graphic appeal. Since it’s a statewide site, I couldn’t pull a list of covers from a library catalog and link directly back to the titles.
Enter LibraryThing. I added titles from lots of different lists and used their widget building tool to create a widget that randomly displays 15 titles at a time. There’s also a YouTube playlist of book trailers (again, that needs updating)
It’s easy enough to build your own widget, but if you want to use ours, here’s the code you can use to embed it on your own website.
at <a href="http://www.librarything.com">LibraryThing</a></noscript>
If you have suggestions for the booklist or the booktrailers widgets, let me know. Maybe I’ll spend my summer vacation reading YA lit? What do you suggest?