Thursday, May 4, 2017

Reserve Your Spot in the ThingLink Teacher Challenge in June!

I have had the opportunity to take 3 ThingLink teacher challenges and I must say they have all been the best summer professional development experience.  Not only have I been welcomed into a community of talented educators but I have taken my challenges back to share with my students and teachers.  The projects have been a springboard to many new ideas and interactive lessons that are popular with my students.  Join me and come as you are without any knowledge or expertise in this new 2017 ThingLink Summer Challenge.  Click on this link for more information on the challenge.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Breakout With Follett Lightbox

After discovering the uniqueness of a virtual Breakout, I've smashed our next Breakout with Bones : All About the Skeletal System, a Destiny Discover Lightbox.  Using Thinglink has made the tagging of the Planning document, Hint sheet, and the Breakout very easy.  Taking a science lesson and merging it into a Breakout has been fun to watch the students master. It has also added to another strategy for using our eContent.

The interactive unlimited access Lightbox was the perfect tool to use with our latest Breakout. With vacation upon us I want our students to access our digital content over the long summer. Not only did this activity reinforced items in our digital collection but it added a science lesson into the process.  Add this to your ideas for promoting access to your digital content.

This is the second virtual Breakout that we have introduced to our students.  When given the choice of activities today the students overwhelming choose the Breakout. We will have to start a bank of Breakouts to pull from as classes visit the library.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Used for this Breakout:
ThingLink Premium Teacher Account
Google document
Google forms
Follett Lightbox
Student Chromebooks

Monday, April 24, 2017

Poetry Month

We have had a great time celebrating National Poetry Month with a variety of activities.  We first listened to the YouTube version of The Giving Tree spoken by Shel Silverstein.  I know it's not officially a poem but it's one of my favorite stories.

Next students were given the option to recite a poem or add an original poem using flipgrid. Students who didn't feel comfortable on the camera were given the option to participate in Post-it Poetry.

The white boards that we installed at the
end of each book case was the perfect spot
to display our Post-it Poetry.

This written option gave students who 
preferred not to be in the video an option
to participate during our Poetry Month festivities.

The library was a bustling hug of activities during our monthly celebrations.  Some students preferred to record on flipgrid as a group while others recorded individual poetry. Adding the option of Post-it Poetry allowed everyone to participate.

How could we forget one of my favorite days?  Poem in Your Pocket day has been a celebration in 4 of my libraries and it's just a cool day with everyone sharing a poetry throughout the day. We smashed Poem in Your Pocket Day with Super Hero Day and wrote poems about our super heroes.

Our celebrations my seem simple but that is the beauty of a month long recognition to poetry. 

360 VR Breakout!

After completing the ThingLink 360 VR Breakout Challenge I am pleased to announce the success of the Pike Library Breakout.  Over 300 students have successfully completed the virtual Breakout.  The fun and enthusiasm was abundant during all sessions.  All images from the Breakout were taken on my iPhone (even the 360 image). The success of the program has inspired me to think of our next (per the request of our students) Breakout.

Tools used in this Breakout include:

Learning Tips
  • In the Planning document URL change the word edit to copy.  This allows students to copy the document in their Google Drive
This activity was an overwhelming success with students indicating it was fun, they had to think, and they wanted another Breakout soon.  The challenge is on for us to collaborate and produce many more creative lessons in the library.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions about this project.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Teleport 360 Editor - New ThingLink App

Teleport 360 Editor - New ThingLink App

As a ThingLink Certified Educator the announcement of the newly released Teleport 360° Editor for iPads, and soon to be released for Android tablets, was exciting news.  After downloading the App on my iPad I found the start to finish process easy for all students and teachers interested in creating interactive content.

I logged into the App through my Premium ThingLink account and found my existing 360° images (MY MEDIA) was available through the App. I was also delighted to have direct access to copyright free 360° images (LIBRARY)  in a photo library gallery.  Uploading the media from the gallery to my media content was seamless with a one tap upload function.  Adding the tags was similar to the web browser desktop version that I have used with numerous devices. Taking a 360° image and enhancing it with video, audio, images, embedded codes, or links to other 360° VR Thinglinks content has the ability to not only offer students interactive VR lessons but it brings the outside world into the classroom.  

As a librarian and master collaborator, my favorite tags include links to Google Drive.  It allows collaboration not only with a single teacher but across the curriculum.  This application is not only a useful teaching tool but it may be used for dynamic student created projects.  This is definitely a go-to tool for all students and teachers interesting in creating interactive content. For more information see ThingLink Support page.

The following screen shots are actual images from the Teleport 360° Editor App

Take a trip to Sydney, Australia with tags in this 360° VR image

Take a trip to Dublin, Ireland with tags in this 360° image

Take a trip to Washington D.C., USA with tags in this 360° image

Friday, March 24, 2017

VR Book Club

I always have my eyes and ears open and when I heard that our 8th graders were about to begin a Holocaust book club I sprang into action. I asked my ELA teachers for the titles and began curating a presentation for them to use and post on their teacher websites. It was an easy but effective collaboration that can be tweaked for future book clubs. I found the 360 image in flickr and used the virtual reality option in ThingLink.  My next project will be to design a virtual Breakout using the same tool.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Let's Move it @ Pike

Collaboration and relationships may be the key to success in your library. The results of this collaborative project between the library, the district nurse, and our PTSA has been overwhelmingly positive. As we begin, the enthusiasm for this competition many staff members can be seen walking before and after school. Weekly miles will be logged into a Google form and faculty recognition will be posted outside each classroom.

With recent news about library friends loosing positions, it is imperative that we continue to be master collaborators on our campuses.  Take the initiative and be the model for others to follow.


Friday, March 3, 2017

Literary March Madness

It's that time of year when our students and staff vote for their favorite book during our Literary March Madness campaign.  This year I curated the information on a weebly.

Here are our top books for our competition.

We added a new component to our program and allowed our students and staff to added their predictions to the Prediction Wall.  Click here to view our Prediction Wall.

The excitement that Literary March Madness brings to our school with literary conversations is well worth the time.  

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Smashing Snapchat and eBooks

You never know what will inspire your next great idea.  For me that came from a reply to all from our secondary librarians' email group.  The message was short and simple.  
"We all know that kids don’t use QR code readers but you can use Snapchat as a QR code reader!"  
I already had QR eBook codes from Destiny Discover on display for an author visit and Blind Date With an eBook so I knew what my plans were for my 8th grade classes that would visit the following day.
As usual, the class began with a few library infomercials.  I then pulled up a 90 second student produced video demonstrating how to use Snapchat as a QR code reader. As the video was playing I pulled out my iPhone 7 plus, pulled up my Snapchat app, walked up to one of our eBook QR codes, and scanned the code as it was being described in the video.  It immediately went to a message to click here for the link and I was waving my phone screen for all to see the eBook in Destiny Discover.  I wish I could have captured the student reaction because it was priceless.  I can image what was going through their 8th grade minds.  First might have been, does this 37 year educator really have a Snapchat account? Or, did she really show me how to check out an eBook using Snapchat?

After the demonstration I released everyone to checkout books, eBooks, or whatever content they desired.  It was exciting to me to make this connection with a sometimes reluctant crowd and I was amazed to see the rush to scan our eBook QR codes.  The excitement from the students was well worth the demonstration.

Here's a photo of a student scanning our Blind Date With an eBook on display in the library windows.

Here you can see the link request on Snapchat on one phone and Destiny Discover on the other phone.

This photo captured some of the excitement that occurred during each class visit.

In reflection I ask myself did students really check out our eBooks after this demonstration? I can check my statistics but what was more important to me was making that connection with my students and building on our relationship.  As a veteran education I know all too well that our successes can be directly related to our relationships.

What did I love about this simple activity:

  1. I made a positive connection from their world to mine using a mutual tool
  2. Many of those enthused were our most reluctant readers
  3. I brings more options and choices to students
  4. Library day was a FUN day
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