Gearing up for 2016/17

photo by unsplash CC0 Pixabay

This site will start shifting about as we prep content for the coming school year. None of the content is going away, but topics might get shifted about a bit and some new topics will be added.

While we’re reorganizing, the easiest way to find content might be through the search box on the sidebar.

This year our workshop will welcome participants from outside of New York State for the first time. I’m excited to expand the project! If your region, state organization, school district or other group is interested in participating, please let me know. You can email me at pollyalida on gmail. There will be a limit on how many registrants we can handle, so please get in touch by August 20. Thanks!


Cool Tools for Schools 2015-16 Concludes

heart clouds sky
CC0 Pixabay: oo11o

Thank you all for participating in Cool Tools this past year!

This year we had 65 active participants from 15 regional School Library Systems. 45 participants completed the program and earned a Professional Development hours. 590 PD hours were awarded and on average, each PD hour cost $11. Not a bad return on investment.

Hard to believe that this is the 8th time that we’ve run this program for K12 librarians and classroom teachers since 2011. In that time we’ve had over 700 participants.

We’re already committed to offering the workshop again this coming year and hope to see the project expand as we welcome our first out-of-state group of school librarians this year. See you in the fall!



List of people who have finished

This is the list of people who have filled out the Final Log Form and have officially completed the workshop. I still have lots of names to check, so don’t worry if your name isn’t listed. I’ve been working through the list based on the earliest SLS deadlines. I’ll update this list as I check more blogs! Amazing work everybody!!!

(p.s. – Final Log Form – For those of you who are just finishing up, don’t forget to fill out the Final Log Form when you’ve finished all your blog posts.)

List last updated: June 13 @ 2:00 PM

Last Name BOCES SLS Region Your Blog URL
Abdul Capital Region
Buckley Capital Region
Curry Capital Region
Gable Capital Region
Kirkpatrick Capital Region
Molle Capital Region
Berner Dutchess County
Cohen Dutchess County
Green Dutchess County
Morton Dutchess County
Sasvary Dutchess County
Coady Nassau BOCES
Babbie OHM: Oneida/Herkimer BOCES
Keck OHM: Oneida/Herkimer BOCES
Bell Oswego
Kowalski Oswego
McHugh Oswego
Waldron Oswego
Duffy Questar III
Berky Rochester City School District
Daitz Rochester City School District
Daly Rochester City School District
Kelly Rochester City School District
Kendrick Rochester City School District
Leckinger Rochester City School District
Mohney Rochester City School District
Ortiz Brazak Rochester City School District
Paris Rochester City School District
Quinones-Dunlap Rochester City School District
Robillard Rochester City School District
Rosen Rochester City School District
Satta Rochester City School District
Tilley Rochester City School District
Useda Rochester City School District
Gladle St. Lawrence-Lewis
Hoag Sullivan County
Fronhofer WSWHE
Nemeth WSWHE

Final Log Form – You MUST Fill it out!

Cool Tools deadlines are coming up quickly for some of your School Library Systems.

  • Check the list of deadlines for your region. If your SLS isn’t listed, please contact your SLS administrator for more info.

Final Log Form – Even though everyone has been pretty good about logging work throughout the workshop, please fill out this one last log form indicating which topics you expect to get credit for. Your SLS admins and I will be reviewing your blogs to make sure we assign the right PD credit.

p.s. – I’m still reading lots of posts and commenting. I’ll leave a note on each blog when I’m done with your posts. Will also make a list here of everyone who has finished. Be patient with me though! :)  Thanks!

How to finish Cool Tools in a flash!

JourneyThe end of the Cool Tools workshop is sneaking up on us. (Check for your SLS deadline here.) And I’m still catching up on reading blog posts. So if you haven’t heard from me in a while, I promise I haven’t forgotten you. Some of you have already finished. Congrats!

But for those of you who might be feeling a bit behind schedule, don’t give up! Here are some ideas for how you can finish Cool Tools and make sure you get your PD hours. You’ve all started your blogs already, so that’s 1 Thing done. Yay! That leaves 4 lessons to go to get the minimum of 5 topics done.

Some ideas:

  • DIYNo doubt there is something you’ve spent time pondering and exploring during the school year. Maybe a project that you worked on with a colleague? Or a special program you ran with your students? Tell us about that in a DIY post.
  • Curation Tools: Love Pinterest? Spend too much time there already?:) Then indulge yourself and put together a board of great ideas for a project your want to do next school year. Or set up a board of great resources to share with colleagues when school starts up.
  • School Library Web Presence: Were you planning to spiff up your website but didn’t get to it this year?? Explore the resources in this lesson and start planning for next year.
  • AppPalooza – What apps are you using all the time? Share your favorite apps with us. Check out the AASL Best Apps for Teaching & Learning 2015 and try out something new.
  • Online Learning & DIY PD – Do the “double dip!” Watch a webinar from, earn PD for watching and earn PD for completing Thing ??. Both the Tech Tools for the Classroom and Emerging Tech: Using Technology to Advance Your School Library Program communities have tons of great (free) webinars to choose from.
  • Productivity Tools – Is there a productivity/organizational that you already love, but would like to explore further? Dig into that tool and share your tips with us.
  • Final Reflection: Sum up what you’ve learned through this program and how you’ve put the knowledge to work!

Remember – this is YOUR professional development – do the work that is most important to you. Pick topics that really interest you and will help you out the most.

Thing 39: News Literacy

news-literacyMy apologies for this last Thing taking soooo long to prepare. But Thing 39: News Literacy is finally posted.

And with that, all the lessons are posted. Things 1-40, plus a bonus lesson. Hoorah!

Hope you’re all starting to think about wrapping up your posts for the year. Check out the Final Deadlines list to see when your SLS deadline is for the workshop. You’ll need to complete 5 or 10 Things to receive PD credit. If your SLS region isn’t listed, please contact your SLS administrator.

Final Deadlines

runner at the finish line
Race to the Finish!

Hard to believe that the end of the year isn’t terribly far off.  But it is and that means the end of the Cool Tools workshop too. Each SLS region has a different deadline and I’ve just asked all the SLS admins for that info. I’ll update this post as I get updates.

Final Deadlines:

  • Capital Region SLS : June 3, 2016
  • DCMO SLS – June 30, 2016
  • Dutchess County SLS : May 31, 2016
  • HFM SLS – June 10, 2016
  • Oswego SLS – May 31, 2016
  • Questar III SLS : June 11, 2016
  • Rochester SLS : May 31, 2016
  • St. Lawrence Lewis SLS : May 31, 2016
  • Sullivan County SLS : June 1, 2016
  • WSWHE SLS : June 30, 2016

Final Log Form – Even though everyone has been pretty good about logging work throughout the workshop, please fill out this one last log form indicating which topics you expect to get credit for. Your SLS admins and I will be reviewing your blogs to make sure we assign the right PD credit.