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August 2014
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Posts Tagged ‘Web 2.0’

PostHeaderIcon EasyBib & Google Addons

 

Easybib Icon

Image Source: http://bit.ly/1yePTHL

EasyBib is a great app and it has recently been included in Google Docs Addons.  Addons are a recent addition to Google Docs and a great one.  I can only assume that more addons will be added in the future.  Students can easily add their citations in their papers with the add on.  The addon allows students to stay in the same window.  You are able to achieve a lot with the free version.  The paid version gives you more options including taking notes.  Though I will review Evernote very soon and I am starting to prefer this to noodletools and other notetaking sites.

Citation is the bread and butter of librarianship along with research.  Anything to make the process easier for students is key for me.  Bibliographies and giving credit is a big problem for students.  It is imperative for us, as teacher librarians, to instill in students an understanding of digital ownership.  If we are going to go to Google Images use creativecommons.org.  Okay, I am off my soapbox.

EasyBib is an app that takes the wonderful free citation creator website and repackages it as an app.  You can keep track of your bibliography and email it to yourself and it is even easier with the addon.  It is very easy to use on an iPad because you can save to the app and access later if you are logged in.  Three styles are included on the site: MLA, APA, and Chicago/Turabian (however to use all the types you have to pay).  (From Appstore: Create accurate MLA, APA, and Chicago style citations in seconds by scanning a book bar code or by typing the name of a book. Build and manage your works cited. Once done, email your citations and then export your citations to EasyBib.com’s popular bibliography management service.)  The scanning of the barcode is exciting to me.  It is also a GoogleApp.  Your Google Administrator can add it to your Google Apps account.  The App is free and has MLA styling.  

There are, of course, other options out there including:  Oregon School Library Information System (OSLIS) Citation Maker

 

PostHeaderIcon Marketing & CCLS

Although the Common Core is here to stay at least for now it is more important that every for librarians to continue to market themselves.  We have Common Core and inquiry-based learning written across out foreheads.  AASL’s Standards for the 21st Century Learner was in effect long before Common Core was a glimmer in the distance.

I have found it effective to use the students who have ownership of the library.  I have created videos about how the students use the library for the school board.  I also attend as many professional developments with the teachers that I am able so I can talk in their language.  In New York especially with the rise of the required research paper this falls in the purview of the librarian.  Even if you cannot directly collaborate with the teachers providing resources and being available is key.

Create an online newsletter that is sent out monthly to the staff.  Include tools the teachers can use to make CCLS compliance a little easier.  MailChimp is a great free website to use for professional looking newsletters.  If you have less than 2000 subscribers and less than 12,0000 emails per month then it is free.  Presenting at Faculty Meetings even if it is a 1 minute website highlight or a new database that can help teachers find primary source documents.

“MailChimp is an email marketing service provider, founded in 2001. It has 3.5 million users that collectively send over 4 billion emails a month through the service.” (Wikipedia)

Once you have the newsletter setup it is very quick to just add information when you want to use it.  In fact I plan to use this monthly for my own school.  I was excited to find it because I had been sporadically sending out information to staff as I came across it.  To have a regular information source for staff is important.

A good article on getting to the heart of the Common Core Learning Standards.  Barbara Stripling and  Diane Ravitch mentioned.  Don’t be an island onto yourself.  Use the resources around you.

PostHeaderIcon HTML & CSS CodeAcademy

Students are always asking me how to code HTML and CSS.  In the past there are very few places to send them to go step by step in understanding how it all works.  Thankfully this has changed with the recent update to CodeAcademy.  CodeAcademy is an interactive site designed to help people understand and create HTML, CSS, and much much more (including

Codeacademy Photo

Image Source: http://bit.ly/1rjAVNw

Coding Java).

I am so excited to share this site with my students.  Thanks Technology for Teachers for pointing out the update in the site.  I can see myself using this site to brush up on some basics and beyond.  The lessons in basic HTML really break down the component parts of creation.  It is a language unto itself and this allows students to learn by doing.  Reading a website giving me HTML tags does not really prompt higher level thinking and experience.  I would just have to keep going back to that site rather than retaining the understanding and information internally.

PostHeaderIcon Meograph: Timeline Creator

Source of Image: http://bit.ly/U2NMr7

Timelines are a staple in social studies and ela.  They help students keep track of dates and facts.  I have been searching for a good online-timeline creator for a while.  I have tried Dipity which is good but I find that it is very slow to load and is limited to the number you can create and information mediums.  So I searched and searched for an alternative and lo and behold I found Meograph.  Not only is it free (YAY!) it can embed videos, text, audio, and uses Google Maps.  I was in heaven.  I did this with a class and it went smoothly.  Well almost smoothly (internet went down once).

Example of a Moment on Meograph

Source: Meograph by Heather Turner

As you can see at the left you can add an event, then a when (date), where (location), link (with more information).  You can also add a photo, youtube video, and even narration.  The narration online is limited to 30 secs.  However, you can upload unlimited audio.  I used Audacity (remember you need the LAME encoder to save as MP3) and had the students record and publish as a MP3.

A note on location:  You must use the current name of the city or town.  Therefore if you are talking about Ancient Persia you need to find the modern country.

PostHeaderIcon Livebinders

Livebinders Uses

Image Source: http://bit.ly/1qWGAcY

Quite awhile ago I talked about how I found the livebinders site a bit clunky.  Well I must revise my statement because the site has worked very well for several research projects I have been doing.  It is so nice to be able to embed websites within one website.  This is extremely helpful with databases because no one can ever find the sheet with the passwords.  We want students, staff, and parents to access and utilize the resources we sink tons of money into.  They are fabulous resources and anything I can do to increase use and accessibility is key.

In terms of how I have been using the product.  I have embedded those databases relevant to the research as well as websites I have  come across that are relevant to the project.  I even embed EasyBib so they can begin thinking about the Bibliography at the beginning of the project.  It does not matter what the end product consists of because citing sources is pivotal in my mind and that of the common core.  In the following example, the students were researching for a Roaring Twenties Glog.  I love Glogster Edu for poster projects because you are not limited by paper.  Adding videos and audio are a welcome perk.  Not to mention adding document, drawing, and much much more.  However, back to Livebinder.  I was able to embed my video/audio converter, video resources, audio resources, databases, and well researched websites.  The goal of this project was to have students be successful locating information within a bunch of good resources.  This is challenging for students.

If you want to create a project based resource for your students, LiveBinders is a great choice.  It is flexible for and above all extremely easy to use and create on the fly.

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