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 EdWeb.net, 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
  • HFM SLS – June 10, 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

Next week, I’ll post a form for you to do a final report of the things you completed. In the meantime, hope to see some of you at NYLA/SSL in Albany!

Track 4: Thing 38 – App-Palooza!

photo credit: César Poyatos via photopin cc
photo credit: César Poyatos via photopin cc

It’s App-Palooza time! Whether you have a mobile device or not, this is your chance to explore apps.

Apps can serve so many different purposes: access to content, tools for organizing content, assessments of student work, classroom management tools, tons of tools for creating content and so much more. This lesson includes articles about using mobile devices and apps in school, sources for reviews of apps and some lists of apps to whet your appetite.

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

railroad tracks bending around a curve
What’s around the bend?

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.

Track 2 is now complete

photo credit: Elizabeth Thomsen via photopin cc

Thing 19: Social Reading and Book Stuff covers lots of fun tools for readers. Social tools to share books and reviews, tools to organize your personal ebook collections, apps for reading and more. So let’s dig in. Remember, you don’t need to explore all the tools here. Pick a couple things that interest you and explore.

And with this lesson, all of the track 2 lessons are posted.

Track 2: