Sunday, November 17, 2013

Using ThingLink With W.A.R.P. : The Reluctant Assassin by Eoin Colfer

As one of the Texas Lone Star 2014 books, I thought this would be an excellent example to demonstrate the use of one of my new favorite sites ThingLink. It is easy to use with a quick tutorial to get started with linking "things" within an image. In this example, by clicking on areas of the image one can access a book trailer, more information on the author, and the Good Reads reviews. This will be a website that I share with my teachers with unlimited possibilities in all curricular areas. With our Google Apps for Education accounts, it will allow student produced resources to be easily linked to any image. The easy share option allows the interactive image to be linked, embedded, or shared through many social media sites. The image can even be a collaborative activity with an the option for others to edit. This will be another awesome site that I will share for some creative student driven assignments.


 Many in our district having been enjoying creative lessons using Aurasma . This augmented reality app is awesome but our secondary schools are limited on Apple devices. Thinglink might be an alternative for those using our Dell tablets.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Awesome Google Story Builder Site

I discovered an awesome site called  Google Story Builder through my PLN last week that I wanted to share.  I was so excited about the potential use of the site that I immediately made a quick story and emailed it to my L.A. department chair.  Within a few minutes I receive and email back asking me if I would present this in their next L.A. PLC (department meeting). 

This is an intuitive site that allows up to 10 different participants to build an online story. Music may be added to the story.  Once the story is produced, others may view the story easily through a link.  It’s easy to use, fun, and can be integrated in almost any writing activity.

Sue’s story:

Uses in the classroom:

  • Story starters
  • SBBB (Standard Based Bulletin Board) commentaries
  • Introductions to lessons
  • Retell a story
  • Collaborative writing activities
  • Write a different point of view
  • Embed into presentations
  • Discussions between historical figures


  • Easy and intuitive
  • Just link the story
  • Fun
  • Can be used cross curricular
  • Music is built in
  • Can be easily screencast
  • Can use with a QR code


  • Cannot edit once it’s produced
  • Not user friendly with editing
  • Cannot hear the music with Apple devices

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Google Apps for Education

As a new Google Apps for Education school what better way to curate than Pinterest. I've started this board in collaboration with an Instructional Technology Support Teacher and another librarian in our district to share with our teachers on the use of these new tools and applications. As I read pertinent articles via my Feedly feed, I quickly pin them to the Google Pinterest board. It's an exciting learning opportunity to share information with both faculty and students. I've introduced Google sites in a faculty meeting and used Google presentation on numerous occasions when presenting and screencasting. I have also embedded the board into my library website with a quick HTML code. Believe me when I tell you I know very little about HTML and once you have the code you just change out the board name that you want to embed. I am an advocate to model when introducing new and exciting technology integration opportunities. As our district surges forward with our new accounts, I will continue to curate, motivate, and teach.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Tools of the Day

As a connected educator, with so many resources available, I find that I must choose the tools that best fits my needs.  This is a short list of my favorite tools that I use regularly.

Symbaloo - As teachers ask for suggestions, I send them the Symbaloo with some awesome Web. 2.0 tools. - View my smore flyers
I love using and suggesting smore to my students and faculty.  It has a quick and easy sign-up process that needs no confirmation email.  It’s an intuitive online platform that provides bulletins, online posters, advertisements, and event announcements.  It allows the user to write or upload articles, links, pictures, audio files, forms, and more.  YouTube videos may be easily embedded to view within the flyer.  Once you have 30 views, it opens analytics with a wealth of data and information.  The flyer can be linked or embedded on a blog or website.  The best part is that it’s free.

Popplet is another easy set-up online tool for students and faculty.  This website features users to create mind maps that can be collaborative, customized, or shared.  The quick tutorials will help with setting up your first mind map.  You are only allowed 5 popplets with the free account but you can save your popplets and delete them as you go.    Popplet lite is an APP available for the iPhone or iPad. 

Twitter - View my Twitter
I use Twitter for daily professional development, as a curation tool, to communicate with my learning community, to answer questions from teachers and students, and to promote our latest programming venture in the library.  This simple to use free social media has been a very useful tool of mine since 2008.  At first I was a lurker until I realized the power of the collaboration within this tool.  I use and follow some of the basic library hash tags such as #tlchat and #txlchat and I participate in many chats globally along with other educators.   Our district is filled with a variety of useful hash tags and I started one specifically for our school library.  

This free RSS feeder saves me time with scanning through the many blogs and websites that I follow.  I check for new entries on Feedly 2-3 times per day either on my iPhone or iPad.  I have categorized my feeds allowing me to check particular article topics or I can browse through the entire unread list.  It’s very easy to retweet, email, save, or favor data.  I have read you must have a Google+ account but since I already had one this did not pose an issue. 

Pinterest - View my Pinterest

This easy to use free curation tool has become a popular destination for many educators.  What better place to gather than the great visual displays and ideas on Pinterest.  You can divide your ideas and interests up by boards, follow others with the same interest, and easily pin items on to your board from a tremendous list of possibilities. I again use it to curate but I also share library information, gather topics that might be helpful my faculty, or pin for my personal interest.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Leveled Up My Blog!

It was during last night's webinar Level Up Your Blog with the awesome Sue Waters, that I was inspired to try something new with my blog this morning. The back chatting was just as interesting to read as was listening to Sue and friends talk about writing what you are passionate about, embedding options in your blog, and inspiring us to find time to blog. It was during this chatting that I spotted a comment about embedding Vine videos in blogger. WOW! That was my next project. I picked up my phone and in no time I had embedded a quick Vine video into blogger.

Here are the steps:

  1. First, you must set-up a Vine account and download the APP. I use my iPhone and iPad. 
  2. Next, using the APP make a Vine video in your library, classroom, or around your school. 
  3. Once the video is made, in the lower right hand corner there are 3 dots. Tap on these dots and an option to Share the post will appear. 
  4. Click on the share option and then choose Embed. 
  5. An email page will appear and type in your email address. 
  6. Once the email is sent to you it's easy. Copy and paste the embedded code into your blog post. Make sure you select the HTML button when pasting. 
  7. I always like to click on the Compose button in the upper left hand corner to test the code. You should see an embedded Vine video. 
I have successfully embedded a Pinterest board in the past and I will post those directions later. That too is easy but for someone who knows little about coding I simply change the board names in an existing HTML code. I like things simple and easy. I hope this helps!

This is a video taken on Crazy Day @ our school. The Drama class is presenting a short skit in the library.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Share Your Monthly Data With An Online Newsletter

I have written about the power of your data on other occasions. What better way to share your programs and successes than with a visual online flyer? I love to produce flyers in smore for an easy to use platform with many of my promotional projects. The flyer can be linked or embedded (I usually embed it into our schoolwires website) with options to share. I also encourage our students to use this website since it's easy to set-up an account with no confirmation email needed. Linked Flyer Click on the link for a better view.
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