Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Made for Librarians

Lee LeFever has posted another video on the CommonCraft site called Web Search Strategies in Plain English. This would make a great addition to any library's home page to serve as a reminder to students. He highlights the use of quotation marks and excluding search terms for more effective searching.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Create like a pro.

For me, the world of web2.0 is like a giant box of chocolates. I keep an eye out for new applications that are free, easy to use and make the user look like a pro. Two I have been trying out lately have lots of potential. The first one is Flowgram. It allows you to create a presentation with images, web sites or powerpoint slides and add in voice, notes and highlighting. And here's the exciting part, in Flowgram's words, "Viewers can control the pages, scroll, click on links, view videos and more.

Teachers can package tutorials or lessons in a neat bundle that students can access when they need them and view as often as they like. Flowgrams can be embedded in webpages, blogs or wikis. I'm working on a demo to post here.

The other application is called dabbleBoard. It acts as a whiteboard allowing you to draw freehand or set the program to recognize your scribble and turn it into the perfect circle, rectangle or triangle for you. You can import pictures. You can write anywhere on the board just by clicking the spot where you want text to be and typing. Each object you create can be resized or copied. You can save your work for future use or access the public library and use other's drawings. And it allows you to share or collaborate with other people. Take their tour to learn more. This site is in BETA and I can't wait to see what other features they add. Good stuff!

Photo credit: Romanlily at
Box of Chocolates

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Fall events

Many exciting events take place over the next few months. Here is a sampling:

Fall Book Harvest is a chance to meet local authors and illustrators on Sunday Oct. 5. Click on the website to learn how to win a free author visit to your school.

International School Library month takes place in October. The IASL website has good resources: flyers, bookmarks, event planning tips and more.

The BCTLA is promoting a province-wide Drop Everything and Read day for Oct. 27 to celebrate International / National School Library Day. They are suggesting 11:00 to 11:20 am. For more information and ideas see the BCTLA forum. The BCTLA is using Google Calendar to post upcoming events.

For a smorgasbord of free online ProD offerings set some time aside for this year's k-12 Online Conference. It runs Oct. 20-24 and Oct. 27-31.

Other Online Offerings:
For science teachers, the last season of Nova Science is available for download free from PBS.

Listen to Time's interview with author Stephenie Meyer.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Tales of Dystopia

For high school English classes, committed Science Fiction fans or just lovers of good fiction here are several booklists recommending dystopic fiction.

Slayground in Livejournal.
Cynthia Leitch Smith's YA Science Fiction List.
Library Thing: Young Adult Dystopias
ATN Reading Lists

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Get a Book/Write a Review

Back to school means back to blogging. I feel a little rusty. A morning spent presenting to librarians in another district forced me to get back on track quickly. There's nothing like a room full of librarians for inspiration. They are just so eager to learn!

I have ignored my RSS feeds for over a month and this morning it was time to delve back into that goodie bag. The first treasure came from Tara's TLC=Tech+Library+Classroom blog. She writes about receiving free books to review from Library Thing. They will mail to Canada.

I wrote book reviews for BCTLA's The Bookmark some years ago. If you have the gift of writing or just love to book talk try out it out. They are always looking for new reviewers. Download the application form. Check the latest issue of The Bookmark online for the new review coordinator's address. The one given on the form is outdated.

Are you headed to Victoria for the 2008 BCTLA conference in October? Check it out at Mission: Literacy.