Friday, December 8, 2017

Virtual and Augmented Reality Favorites For The Second Week 'Til New Year's!

On the Second Week 'Til New Year's, I am going to share virtual and augmented reality resources, tools and Collections to use in the library and classroom and even for your students to use at home.

A lot of you have used VR and AR in your libraries and classrooms, but some might be asking, What exactly is virtual and augmented reality?

Let me start by sharing the definitions from Merriam-Webster with you.

Virtual Reality is an artificial environment which is experienced through sensory stimuli (such as sights and sounds) provided by a computer and in which one's actions partially determine what happens in the environment; also it is the technology used to create or access a virtual reality.

Augmented Reality is an enhanced version of reality created by the use of technology to overlay digital information on an image of something being viewed through a device (such as a smartphone camera); also, it is the technology used to create augmented reality.

By using VR and AR in education, we are changing the way our students interact and see the subject matter being taught to them and the world around them. These tools engage and excite them in wonderful ways and bring learning to life.

I love using VR and AR with young people. To see eyes light up when putting these tools and resources into their hands makes it so rewarding for me, as a librarian and educator too.

I hope they will bring something special to your library and classroom during this holiday month too.
You will find My Favorite Things on The 5 Weeks 'Til New's Year Smore here

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Register For The Next Future Ready Librarian Webinar on December 12

Don't miss the last Future Ready Librarian webinar of 2017 as we talk about cultivating community partnerships.  

The webinar is on December 12, 2017 from 4:00-5:00pm EST with Sue Kowalski and Gina Seymour joining me as they share their stories and advice for cultivating community partnerships in their libraries and school communities.  

You can register for this free webinar here

We hope to see everyone there.  

Monday, December 4, 2017

10 Ways To Celebrate Holidays Around the World With Buncee!

As we head into the holiday season, there are so many wonderful things we can celebrate within our culture and other cultures around the world.  This is one of the most special parts of the holidays and something that we can bring to our students and school communities in meaningful, creative and engaging ways.  

We can also tie in geography, history, math, writing, reading, art, digital citizenship and so much more.

When looking for a tool and app to be part of this amazing adventure for learning, connecting, collaborating and creating, Buncee will be just what you are looking for and I will tell you how.  

Here are 10 Ways to Celebrate Holidays Around the World with Buncee....
1. With all of the different stickers, animations and backgrounds focused on Holidays, students will be able to create Buncee's for the various holidays around the world including Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, St. Lucia, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year, New Year and even Mardi Gras.
I just love all of the new Santa characters for China, South Africa, England, Italy and more.  This is a fun way to teach them about the holidays around the world and to have them teach us and each other by creating in Buncee too.
2. If they create Buncee's about the different holidays around the world, it would be super helpful to create a Holidays Around theWorld Buncee Board so everyone can share.

And the cool thing with Buncee can even share this around the world using the link on Twitter, Facebook, email, and in other online ways.  Now in Buncee Boards, comments can even be made making it a great place for conversations between the different schools and students. 
3. As your students are learning about all of the holidays, have them research dishes and goodies from around the world and bring these together in the Holiday Recipes From Around the World Buncee.  

I love this one above that my friend Sean Farnum has been creating.  

You can even have the students bake their recipe and bring it to school for a special holidays around the world celebration.  They could record themselves baking and embed that into their Buncee as well. 
4. And what about sharing their Holiday Recipes From Around the World Buncee with other students around the world.  The Buncee Buddies program would be a terrific way to kick off this collaboration.

As the Buncee site states, 

Buncee Buddies is a digital pen pal project bringing together students and teachers from across the globe! The Buncee team’s goal through this program is to connect classrooms to share Buncee creations, learn about other cultures, and make new friends along the way. Throughout the program, the goal is to encourage cross-cultural exchanges, critical thinking based on a prompt, creativity, and the growth of new friendships.

How perfect is that!  

5.  When celebrating Holidays Around the World with my students in the library and their classroom, we brought in lots of different cultures using Skype in the Classroom.  
We can share our holidays online with others as we learn first hand with them by going to the Mystery Skype section of Skype in the Classroom here

6. As we Skyped with them, I would have the students journal about all of the different holidays and cultures using Buncee.  

Within Buncee, they can add stickers, backgrounds, animations and other assets like I showed above for all of the different cultures.  

7.  As they are creating and connecting through Buncee, 
the students can use the platform as a research and resource tool as they search the web using Pixabay within Buncee to find images and videos.  
8. Another element that can be added here is an interview with others about their holidays that can be captured in Buncee using the Record Video feature.  It can even be someone from their family sharing holiday traditions, recipes and other fun.
9.  I love using Buncee for creating book talks to share with students, teachers and families. 

Cantata Learning has the best new set, Holidays in Rhythm and Rhyme, that is paired with wonderful stories, songs and illustrations.  

You could use this Cantata Learning series to create a Buncee Book Talk....or in this case, a Buncee Series Talk.  

With the books all being part of the Cantata Learning YouTube Channel, you could add these to your Buncee as a video too. When a video is embedded, you can play it right from the Buncee online or app.  
10. One more idea I have been tossing around is to host a Holiday Christmas Buncee Exchange.  

Students can use the Buncee app or website to create a holiday greeting Buncee.  When they are finished, they can be shared with others around the world.  This could be part of a geography or history project keeping track of the different locations on a Google Map or paper map...even a globe.

In the one above, I added a video, Cantata Learning's Merry Christmas, to make my holiday greeting for others around the world even more special and engaging.  They can sing along as they learn about Christmas. 

As you can see, Buncee has brought together the best tool box for holidays, learning, creating, and fun.  

I also wanted to point out all of the ideas for Holidays Around the World on Pinterest.  You will find so many here

Happy Holidays Friends....Please share how you will use Buncee in your library, classroom and at home during the holiday too. 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

"New for You" In Titlewave Makes Suggestions For New Titles In Your Collection

During the AASL Conference last month, I was excited to see this tweet from my friend Jenny Takeda, district teacher librarian on the Beaverton School District Services Team.

She was sharing the super awesome New for You feature in Titlewave, which as Jenny shared makes suggestions for new titles based on series and authors in your library collection.  

You will find New for You under Your Account.  

I just love this feature. 

We can share this feature and information with our teachers and students too.  It will engage them in collection development with a wonderful collaborative collaboration on the suggestions Titlewave makes.  

Thank you for sharing Jenny...and thank you Follett for making our libraries the best they can be.

Friday, December 1, 2017

On The 5 Weeks 'Til New Year's, Shannon Shared With Me....

It is December 1st, friends and the holidays are here.  To celebrate, I have created something very special for all of us!  

As you sing or hum The 12 Days of Christmas, read the photograph above.... 

On The 5 Weeks 'Til New Year's, Shannon shared with me...

Every Friday up to the New Year, I will be sharing learning and library ideas, books and songs, digital tools and apps, maker resources and lots of fun for Shannon's Favorite Finds each Friday.  
You will find the schedule on the Smore here too.
Today, on the first week 'til New Year's, I am sharing Coding and Robotics with all of you.  

With Hour of Code coming up on December 4-10, it is perfect to kick off these special 5 weeks with coding and robotics.  

You will find two new Coding and Robotics just for our studnents, a few of my favorite coding and robotics tools and resources, 

and several awesome Titlewave Lists that will point you to wonderful resources for your library and Makerspaces.  

I hope you bookmark the On The 5 Weeks 'Til New Year's, Shannon Shared With Me...Smore to find out what I will be sharing and what you are sharing too.  
Please share your ideas, resources and holiday fun on this Padlet.  We can't wait to see what you have to share!  

Take in every moment and share the joy, learning, creating and collaborating with your students, teachers, families and global community this holiday season.  

See you next Friday for the second week 'til New Year's, friends. 

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Staying Safe Online With Kindergarten Friends In This New Jersey School Library, Their Amazing Librarian Cheryl Bonsall and Cantata Learning!

I was so happy when my friend and fellow teacher librarian Cheryl Bonsall shared this on Twitter.  
She was sharing my new book Staying Safe Online with her kindergarteners in New Jersey. 
I just loved watching this video of them singing and doing hand motions to the song.  I hope you watch this too.  

Let me share a little more about this story and song.  

Staying Safe Online teaches our youngest learners all about the online world and what they need to know to stay safe online and be productive, engaging digital citizens.   
Not only will they learn along with the adorable animal characters created by illustrator Kathryn Durst, they will sing along with Emily Arrow, who wrote and sang the music for Staying Safe Online and the other three books in this series, 

Click above to listen to Staying Safe Online...

I just love how Emily took this story and made it into such a sweet and catchy tune for all of our young learners to sing as they learn how to stay safe online and practice their digital citizen skills.   

I know you will love it too!  
As you are singing along with your students, you will find the music.... 
...and lyrics in the back of the book and on the Cantata Learning site. 
You can also scan the QR codes, which is on the back of the book and inside the book, can be scanned to go to the music....
...on the Cantata Learning site too.  

The music can be streamed, download and there is even an instrumental version of Staying Safe Online too. 

You will find Staying Safe Online here
Staying Safe Online is perfect to use when teaching your students simple digital citizenship skills and as you kick off another year.  
Here is a lesson plan for this book and the entire Library Skills series. 

I hope you love reading and singing it just as much as I do.  
You will find it on the Capstone site here.  It is available as an eBook in Capstone Interactive too.  

I know you will love this one and all of the Library Skills series,  just like Cheryl's students do too!  

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Storyline Online Brings Celebrated Actors To Read Aloud To Your Students, Libraries and Communities

One of my favorite places to go and send young readers too is Storyline Online.  This site is filled with wonderful actors reading children's books paired with beautifully produced illustrations.
From the Storyline Online website....

The SAG-AFTRA Foundation’s award-winning children’s literacy website, Storyline Online, streams videos featuring celebrated actors reading children’s books alongside creatively produced illustrations. Readers include Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Kevin Costner, Annette Bening, James Earl Jones, Betty White and dozens more.
Storyline Online receives over 100 million views annually from children all over the world.
Reading aloud to children has been shown to improve reading, writing and communication skills, logical thinking and concentration, and general academic aptitude, as well as inspire a lifelong love of reading. Teachers use Storyline Online in their classrooms, and doctors and nurses play Storyline Online in children’s hospitals.
Storyline Online is available 24 hours a day for children, parents, caregivers and educators worldwide. Each book includes supplemental curriculum developed by a credentialed elementary educator, aiming to strengthen comprehension and verbal and written skills for English-language learners.
Storyline Online is a program of the SAG-AFTRA Foundation. The Foundation is a nonprofit organization that relies entirely on gifts, grants and donations to fund Storyline Online and produce all of its videos.
You can help the SAG-AFTRA Foundation create more Storyline Online videos and new content, so that we can read to millions more children every month. By giving a gift to Storyline Online, you can help advance children’s literacy, and improve children’s lives. Your support makes a world of difference.

Not only are there lots of amazing videos to share, 
Storyline Online is free for all of our readers, along with their teachers, librarians and families. 
Each story has a teacher guide that goes along with it.  
These can be found under the video by clicking Activity Guides. 
There is even a Storyline Online app for different devices too!  You can find out more here.

Thank you SAG-AFTRA Foundation and all of the amazing actors who have created these special Storyline Online videos for us.  We love your story telling and can't wait to see what is added next. 
And don't forget to click on Subscribe at the top of the site to stay informed with email updates and social media postings too.  

Create Polaroid-Like Images & More With Photo Notes!

I love finding digital tools and apps to use with my own photographs, those of family and friends, and the ones I find online.

When adding filters, effects and other fun things to photos, they can then be smashed into projects, social media shares, invitations and so much more!

Tonight when working on a new project, I needed to create one that looked like a Polaroid picture.  I usually use PicMonkey for this, but I couldn't resize it the way I wanted so I found Photo Notes, which let me resize it super quick.

As the site states, Photo Notes is a free service for generating Polaroid-like images and sending them to family and friends. 
You will find Photo Notes here.

You can choose an image they have, upload a photo from your computer or get a photo from the internet.
I uploaded an image of Brianna, Hagan and me.

Once it was uploaded, I could edit the Photo and Text.  
With the Text feature, we can choose the font, size, color and even change the location and rotation.  
There is also a little switch that lets you Flip the switch to draw!  
With the Draw feature, you can draw on top of your photo changing the color and brush size. 
 You can also choose from lots of different Frames, which you will find are seasonal too.
 Once you have your Photo Note ready, you can save and send it to yourself and others.
I really love how Photo Notes took my image and turned it into a cool Polaroid photo with text and holly.

This is one I will be adding to my tool box! I hope you do too. 

You will find Photo Notes here.

#CreateYourHype....Tracey Wong's New Post Celebrating Teacher Librarians

I am honored to be part of Tracey Wong's new article from October's Teacher Librarian, #CreateYourHype. 

You will find this on Tracey's amazing blog here.

Thank you Tracey for sharing my story and others inspiration too.  

Bring Augmented Reading Experiences To Your Students With Capstone's 4D!

There was something very exciting going on within the Capstone booth at the AASL Conference a few weeks ago!
Our friends at Capstone were showing all of us their amazing augmented reading experience product....Capstone 4D!  
Augmented reality or AR has become a popular way to deliver educational content.  It provides students with an enriched and creative learning experience that encourages retention, learning outcomes and the development of new skills and passions.

Augmented Reality (AR) content can be accessed by scanning or viewing a trigger image with a mobile device that creates a subsequent action. This action can be a video, another image, 3D Animations, Games, QR code, or whatever you want it to be.  

There are a variety of ways to bring AR to your library and classroom such as Chromville (which is one of my favorites), Quiver, Daqri and teachers can even create their own augmented reality educational content for students with AUGTHAT, which is perfect for differentiating instruction and driving student growth.  
And now our friends at Capstone have created a very special augmented READING experience for our students, libraries and classrooms too!  

Capstone 4D brings our readers an augmented reading experience through books. It blends the benefits of print books with bonus digital content to enhance learning and appeal to the YouTube generation. 
Readers can download the free Capstone 4D app to their favorite device from the Apple App Store or Google Play, or access through with a password found inside a 4D book, and see videos that relate to that book.
Currently students can experience Origami Crafting in 4D, 
which includes decorating, scrapbooking, ornaments and creating cards, and...
Curious Pearl Science Girl, where Pearl shares her excitement for STEM knowledge through four 4D books. 
The Curious Pearl series includes Curious Pearl Explains States of Matter, Curious Pearl Identifies the Reasons for Seasons, Curious Pearl Investigates Light and Curious Pearl Observes Migration.  

As the Capstone site explains, Curious Pearl, Science Girl is fun and quirky, and she's totally into science! Who says a girl can't love science? Pearl sure does, and she's out to tell everyone all about important STEM topics. 

With augmented reality features, readers will be able to scan sidebars and bring up videos to enhance their understanding of science topics.
With all of these books, it is very easy to launch and explore the augmented reality experience with Capstone 4D.
Watch this video and see how she creates origami while reading and interacting with the pages.  I can just picture this series in a Makerspace, which would be a terrific resource for creating something special and unique.

I love how the girl in the video is at home with the 4D book.  I know these would have been a favorite of my daughters to check out from the library as she created origami and learned about science too.

You can find the Curious Pearl 4D series here and Origami Crafting in 4D here on the Capstone site.

And one more exciting thing about Capstone 4D....This is just the start.
As Capstone's special press release about 4D states,

Capstone 4D spring releases are available for pre-order now on the publisher’s website. Books in the makerspace brand Dabble Lab will feature video content to help show how projects come together. 

New series will include: Epic Cardboard AdventuresJunior Makers 4DNext Chapter Crafts 4DAmazing Magic Tricks 4D, and Paper Airplanes with a Side of Science. Several series within the publisher’s Pebble Plus brand will also feature video content to help readers learn more on the topic, including Hands-On Science FunA Visit to…Animal OffspringInvestigate the Seasons, and Understanding Differences.
You will find the complete list of Capstone 4D including those coming up in the spring with a publish dates of January 1, 2018 here.
Matt Keller, Capstone Chief Marketing Officer shared,

Capstone 4D is an exciting way to bring another dimension to the pages of a book, engaging kids with a 360-degree view of a topic. Readers get the best of both worlds – kids who prefer print get bonus video content, and kids who prefer digital technology are highly motivated to explore the pages within a book. We hope librarians who haven’t had a chance to see Capstone 4D in action will visit us at AASL and see firsthand how these books can engage their readers and create inspired learning experiences in their schools.

Check out Capstone's 4D today....I know that you and your students will love this augmented reading experience too!