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Posted in News

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.

Posted in News

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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Track 1, Thing 6: Curation Tools


Have you been looking for an excuse to play with Pinterest? Or trying to find the time to collect and organize some resources for an upcoming project? Do you want to start storing all your favorite browser bookmarks online instead of on your computer? Thing 6 is just the thing then. Curation Tools.

Posted in News

Catching up!

Super woman I’m not, but I am getting caught up on your blog posts! As of tonight, I’ve read everything that was posted through the end of January and have read lots of February posts too. Really enjoying all the great ideas you’re sharing.

Please, please, please check for comments on your posts.  Everyone should have some comments from me. If you don’t see any comments on your posts, check to see if there are any waiting for you in your blog’s admin dashboard.

If you’re not sure if you’ve posted all your work to the class log sheet, follow the link at the top of the of the Class FAQ  to check to see what’s been posted.

Posted in News

Power Up Your Browser with Thing 25

This is an all new lesson this week. Thing 25: Power Up Your Browser! 

As we do more collaborating, connecting and creating with online, web-based services, our web browsers have become the tool we use more than anything else.  Whether you use Firefox, Chrome, Safari or IE, there’s always more to learn more about how your favorite browser works and how you can customize it with add-ons/extensions.

This lesson is your chance to a take a closer look at your browser’s settings and learn more about adding tools that can trick out your browser through add-ons, extensions and bookmarklets that can make your online life simpler.

Posted in News

Get ecourses through NYPL!

lynda.comMany thanks to Allison Leckinger for sharing this terrific tip on her SmartALeck CoolTools blog.

I recently learned on Twitter that you can use your @NYPL card (if you have one and anyone in NYS is eligible) to gain access to courses. I checked it out and have already added a few of them to my free account! If you aren’t familiar with, it is an online educational program with courses (videos) on a ton of different topics.  It is usually quite expensive, which is why I am shocked you can get it free through the library.  It looks like maybe you don’t get access to the practice files that go along with some of the courses, but you get all the video.  I can only assume that it is not all of their courses, but I see a lot in there so it is a good amount of them anyway.

Here is info on the program I got from twitter:

If anyone else is interested, to get a NYPL card, here is info:
I have had mine for a few years, so I can’t remember exactly all what is involved,but I know you get a temporary card, but then you have to send a copy of your license to prove you are a NYS resident.
Even if you don’t want it for courses, it is awesome for free ebooks to read!

Then here is the NYPL login page for
Once you have your NYPL card, you can log in here and get free courses!

nyplAnd many thanks to the NYPL for providing this service. Double check with your own regional library systems, some of them are providing access to this as well.

Posted in Tips

Do You Have a Digital Tattoo?

What is your Digital Footprint? What trails are you leaving online? Have you Googled yourself lately? What is public about you on Facebook? The things you share online are permanent, just like a tattoo! What does your Digital Tattoo look like?

In Thing 15, we explore Digital Citizenship.  Our students (and many of us!) are living huge portions of their lives online, and as educators we need to understand this world and help them navigate it.

“Digital citizenship is a messy subject, and schools should be a safe place to explore it.” Sarah Ludwig, Skills We Can’t Teach: Facilitating Authentic Experiences with Digital Citizenship

Some interesting posts on this topic from some of last year’s participants:

Posted in News