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Searching for Thing 9?

Your search is over, Thing 9  is here! Our next topic in Track 1 gives you a chance to explore the databases that you provide to your school community, new and old web search tools and more. You might think about new ways to teach searching skills or how to improve access to the resources you provide. Lots of options!

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Free Webinar – Helping Students Make Good Digital Decisions with Digital Compass

Free webinar on Wed April 29.  Helping Students Make Good Digital Decisions with Digital Compass

Digtial  Compass

Join Common Sense Education for a webinar to celebrate the launch of their newest free education resource, Digital Compass. Based on the concept of “choose your own adventure” books, Digital Compass guides students in grades 6-9 to learn the fundamentals of digital citizenship through animated, interactive experiences in which students choose several different paths for each character. Students explore digital dilemmas, making good (and not-so-good) decisions, and trying out possible solutions through stories and mini-games – all without risking their real-world reputations. Digital Compass is available at no cost as a web-based interactive, and will be available soon as an iOS app, Android app, and Edmodo app.

Join Common Sense Education’s Kelly Mendoza and Brisa Ayub for this live, interactive presentation and learn how you can implement Digital Compass into your own digital citizenship program. Get involved now by following Periwinkle, one of the characters from Digital Compass, on Twitter at @whereswink. Start sharing her great #digcittip recommendations with your class today!

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Track 3: Thing 28 – Tech Trends and Scanning the Horizon

As tech leaders in your schools, you know that keeping up with current technology often feels overwhelming (no kidding!). And sometimes it feels like we’re never going to catch up and be on top of things. So you may balk at our “look to the future” topic this week. But don’t!

One of the best ways to cope with the exhaustion of trying to keep up, is to learn from the experts who are carefully evaluating the trends and technologies that are most likely to affect education and libraries over the next few years. Once you’ve read a few trends/issues reports, you’ll start to pick out the tech and trends that are likely to be relevant to you, your students and colleagues. With that knowledge you’ll realize that you’re really ahead of the curve and will be ready for the changes to come. And also ready to lead the way through those changes.

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Track 2 – Thing 18: Online Learning & DIY PD

Learnning is a choiceAll of you have already had online learning and DIY professional development experiences through this workshop and likely through other courses and webinars as well. We have so many different ways to learn online – from short webinars to multi-week ecourses and even full degrees.

The resources in this week’s lesson focus on helping YOU find ways to learn the things that you want & need to learn. Though we aren’t going to cover online learning for students specifically, many of the ideas and resources can apply to them as well.  Enjoy exploring Thing 18!

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“You Choose” posts


So many choices!

I love reading all your blog posts and learn so much from all of you. And the “You Choose” posts in particular have always been like little  treasure chests for me. Since I have no idea what you’ll write about, each one is big treat!

So instead of keeping the treasure all to myself, I’ll post links to the “You Choose” posts as they come in.  Check back for more links. And if you haven’t written a “You Choose” post, do it! It’s a great chance to explore some tools and topics that YOU want to explore.

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Thing 8 – Collaboration Tools

Together we are stronger by Aeioux, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License  by  Aeioux 

It’s our 8th Thing for track 1. The tools this week focus on collaborating with others. This includes tools that help students work on projects together, build collaborative presentations, create team-built wikis around research topics, share calendars for scheduling, teleporting visitors into your classroom (well, videoing them in at least) and more.

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Tracks 2 & 3 Things 17 & 27 – You Pick!

Things 17 & 27: You Pick!word cloud of trends tools

Is there something you’re interested in exploring that we’re not covering? Is there a trend, topic or issue you want to dig into more? Do you have a project in mind that pulls together a bunch of tools, or a lesson plan you want to develop that incorporates what you’re learning?  Do you have a collaboration in mind, but haven’t had a chance to get started? Or maybe it’s time to put together a short presentation and share what you’ve learned with your colleagues. Whatever you want to do, this Thing is your chance to choose what you want to learn and focus on what is important and useful to you.  

Note: We scheduled this same topic for Tracks 2 and 3 because the calendar was getting a bit crunched trying to schedule 30 topics.  It really doesn’t matter whether you call your post Thing 17 or Thing 27!

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Thing 7 is Podcasting & Screencasting


photo credit: Ayton via photopin cc

Our next Track 1 topic introduces two ways for you and your students to record news, thoughts, ideas and presentations through audio recording (podcasting) and screen recordings (screencasting).  Handy skills for you and for your students. Have fun with Screencasting and Podcasting.

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Advocacy is the next topic for Track 3

Thing 26: Taking the Lead: Connecting with your Stakeholders  You already know all about the terrific service your library provides to the school and how you help transform student learning. Make sure the rest of your school community does too!

For this week’s topic, we have a great webinar for you to watch and a variety of readings. They’re guaranteed to help you put to use many of the tech tools and ideas you’ve been working without throughout the Cool Tools programs.

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Track 2: Thing 16 – Mapping & Geolocation Tools

Explore Your World

lights and reflections

Explore Your World : photo credit: Hamed Saber via photopin cc

Our next track 2 topic Mapping & Geolocation Tools and includes all sorts of ways to explore our world through maps and more.

This lesson focuses on ideas for combining maps, photos, literature, history and more.

With the development of online maps and mobile geolocation apps, there are endless possibilities for educational uses. Whether it’s exploring far flung or nearby locations with street view, viewing historic maps overlaid in Google Earth, building customized “lit trip” maps or pinning scanned historic photos in HistoryPin or creating a QR code scavenger hunt, there’s something for everyone in this lesson.

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