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.

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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.

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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:

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Track 1, Thing 5: Digital Storytelling & Presentation Tools

Our scissors are now digital

CC by pollyalida

Our next topic in Track 1 is Digital Storytelling & Presentation Tools. Storytelling and presenting are really too intertwined to separate since giving an effective presentation is really all about good storytelling.

This lesson will present a selection of tools to help tell stories through photos, voice, text, video and music.  Use these tools to share personal stories, create more effective presentations, present assignments, creative storytelling, and so much more.

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Tech Tools & Learning Standards

So many standards, so many tech tools, too little time. Kristina A. Holzweiss (Bay Shore Middle School, in Long Island, NY) has a great chart in Using Tech Tools for Learning with Standards that might help you match things up.

Here’s a snippet of the chart that includes our next topic on digital storytelling.  Take a look at the article for the full chart.


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Thing 2: Photo Fun Padlet

You’ve all been sharing so many interesting and fun ideas in your blog posts, I wanted to find a way to make it a bit easier for you to see what everyone is doing. So I thought I’d try to do a padlet for each of the things and highlight a couple of good ideas each week. What I hope you’ll do is look at the ideas and share your own too! Just copy and paste from your blog posts or just quickly jot down an idea.

So here’s the first one for Thing 2: Photo Fun.

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Makerspace Webinar – February 17

Makerspaces: The Now Revolution in School Libraries – free EdWeb webinar on February 17, 4pm (eastern)

Presented by Leslie Preddy, school librarian in Indianapolis, Indiana : Our student’s needs, interests, talents, and attentions continually evolve. School librarians are progressive and proactive, and adept at adapting to create new ways to connect to patrons and re-envision the facility to better facilitate changes in our patrons. Considering the new wave of participatory learners and the change in schools to more student-led learning, the impact on engaging patrons in school libraries is tremendous, making the library a destination.

One hot topic hitting public and school libraries is makerspaces where students (and sometimes staff and parents) create, problem solve, and develop thinking. Join school librarian Leslie Preddy for this webinar to learn what a makerspace in a library is and why it is needed for today’s learner. Leslie will field questions after her presentation during this interactive session. You will walk away energized and excited to get a makerspace, big or small, created in your own library!

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Track 3: Thing 24 – Infographics

Infographics! They’re everywhere. Though not a new idea, it’s easier than ever to create them. Learn more about how to use them, how to teach with them, how to create them in this week’s lesson.

(Isn’t this a great infographic about infographics? Very meta!)

What is an Infographic by

What is an Infographic by

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Track 2: Thing 14 – 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.

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