Get Ready to Participate in Cool Tools for School

We’re getting ready to start our 2014/15 Cool Tools for School program.

We’ll officially launch on Monday Nov 5 with an Introductions post. And the first activities will be posted soon after.

Some things you can do ahead of time!



  • I encourage you to take a look around our web site here and read the pages listed on the right sidebar under “About the Project.” You’ll find the schedule, frequently asked questions and more.


  • Please sign up to receive updates from the project website via email or RSS. You’ll see those options over there on the right sidebar too. Whenever news is posted to this site, you’ll get an update. And this will be the primary way that you’ll receive updates about the program
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Almost ready to launch!

And we’re almost ready to launch the next Cool Tools for Schools workshop. We’ll begin officially on Nov 3. In the meantime, you can check out the tentative schedule for the year. There are new topics in Track 3 and all the other topics will be updated to include new tools, ideas and resources.

Other pages of the site are still being updated, but do take a minute to have a look around and see what’s new for 2014/15. Looking forward to an exciting program and learning lots of new stuff along with you all.

Questions? Post a comment and we’ll get back to you!

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2014-2015 Program

A quick update – we’re getting organized to offer this workshop again, starting in November and running through next April/May. I’ll have a flyer available for participating SLS directors in the next day or so. And I’ll be emailing everyone who expressed an interest in participating.

In the meantime, if you’re a school librarian and want to participate, contact your BOCES SLS Director to see if they’re planning to offer this workshop. And if you’re an SLS Director, there’s still room for more BOCES regions to join in. Let me know if you’re interested and I’ll get you more details!

(Update: Here’s a PDF of the Cool Tools for School Flyer and a DOC file Cool Tools for School)

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Cool Tools for 2014-2015

Cool Tools for SchoolI’m excited, it looks like there will definitely be another Cool Tools for School learning program for this coming school year. Based on the feedback from the BOCES School Library Systems that participated last year, we’ll have enough participants to run it again. And room to offer it to other regions as well.

After we got started last year, I heard from some SLS directors who said they wished they had known about the project. So this year, I want to make sure everyone knows about it.

For those not familiar with the project, here are some details. The program is conducted completely online. New lessons/topics are posted on a regular basis over about 6 months and participants choose 5 or 10 topics  to explore and then write 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.

Last year, we offered 20 different topics for participants to choose from since many people were participating in the program for a second time. There will be more new topics this year. Professional development hours are awarded by each BOCES SLS.  Each system used their own methods for deciding who and how many could participate, depending on budget constraints. Many systems encouraged librarians to collaborate with other teachers.

For more information, take a look at the About the Project and FAQ pages on the project website. If your SLS is interested in participating, let me know and I’ll send you more details. My gmail account is pollyalida, twitter is @pollyalida or post in the SLS Cool Tools Facebook group.




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