Sunday, October 23, 2011

NPR Loves Reading, Teens, & Neil Gaiman!

I'm a shameless NPR fan! In fact, I just spent about 3 hours driving home from #MASL11, #MSEA11, & Bethany Beach today laughing along with Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me & the Prairie Home Companion. I was also honored & gobsmacked to be interviewed by Bob Edwards last year! SQUEE!) /boasting So, when I got the below astounding tweet this afternoon from NPR rock star Michele Norris alerting me to a VERY AWESOME new NPR bookclub - I put my planed Sunday blog post on the back burner and started writing this!

Neil Gaiman Geeky Uber Cool & Oh So Generous! first Neil Gaiman proves his geek street cred by pairing up with Dr. Who and now he's combining his superpowers with that of NPR, All Things Considered, & Michele Norris to give our kids....ages 9-14 a Back-seat Book Club of their very own! So teens listen up!
"Finally, NPR For YOU! For all those kids in the back seat who are fed a steady diet of NPR news, here's a book club just for you! Read along with us and send us questions you have for the authors. We're asking young people and their parents to join us in reading a special book each month. We also want young readers to join in the conversation with that book's author. We want to know what you think about the book. And most important, we want to give authors a chance to answer your questions. This is a great way for All Things Considered to celebrate kids' books and to provide a special treat for all those youngsters..." & Librarians, too!
The first book of the book club is Neil Gaiman's wonderfully creepy book The Graveyard Book. (You can hear Gaiman read the whole book here.) He's also going to be launching this new book club on guessed it, HALLOWEEN! Tune into All Things Considered to hear Neil Gaiman answer questions that kids can submit! Tell your students about this, maybe create some questions together & let's encourage kids to keep a book (or iPad, Kindle, or Nook!) in the backseat of their car, kitchen, nightstand, and backpack! what's better than listening to Neil Gaiman reading a book? Having Neil Gaiman on NPR & getting kids passionately hooked on life-long reading! Thank you NPR, Michele Norris and Neil Gaiman! You rock!
Second life photos taken in Ceejay Writer's car at Java Jive in Seraph City - In the top photo Capt. Red Llewellyn is wearing Terry Lightfoot's Winter Waltz gown from her amazing shop To-A-T Designs.... and is holding a book & a lorngette from Wardrobe Trunk

Thursday, October 13, 2011

How to Create a QR Code In 3 Easy Steps

(click for more sizes & to download)
It's been a while since I've added to my Comic Tutorial Collection - not surprising since September & October are always a busy time for teachers, right? But I was asked several times recently not WHAT WAS A QR my previous Comic Tutorial explained (below) ...but exactly HOW to CREATE A QR CODE! So, here's a new comic tutorial that shows you how, in three easy steps, by copying & pasting a URL and using URL Shortener & QR Code Monkey how to save that created QR CODE graphic (.PNG format) and using it in a document or graphic, it's easy! With the AMAZING BONUS feature of aggregated data on that code! (see below) 
QR CODE UPDATE! - 7/27/2014
Bitly doesn't do this anymore! [sad face] but Google URL shortener, does! YAY! Also, my fav QR Code creator right now for jazzy QR Codes is QR Code Monkey

This is the coolest thing ever! Google saves the the statistics on that code I think for a year. How many times it was scanned & clicked, which country, which days, via which social media sharing format like Tweets, Shares, and Likes, and more! Done!

Included in the comic are optional directions for creating a Text Message using QRCodeMonkey!. Here's an example of one that was sent to me from one of my awesome 8th grade Tech Team kids, Kasim! My kids rock!

But Mrs. Jones? Why is it that all kids think teachers are married? AS IF! LOL My dearly departed four ex husbands would tell you I'm darn difficult to get down the aisle! (heh heh kidding. Vegas.)
For those of you new to my blog here's my other tutorial on QR Codes. Click the image to get a variety of sizes for download.

Want to know how I make these lovely Comic Infographics? Well, of course I've blogged about it! Creating a Comic Life! Naturally, it's Creative Commons!
Creative Commons...
It's not just a license,
It's a way of life!

I was SO thrilled, honored, & excited to see that Creative Commons works when I got the following Tweet.

" @ghartman Gina Hartman to @gwynethjones Wow...your QR Code tutorial is hanging in St. Louis Science Center (in tech section) "
What the What!?? Like, OMG!

That is SO cool! I love Science! Museums! (Thanks to Thomas Dolby I am incapable of saying or writing the word Science without an evident exclamation mark!) I contacted the museum to thank them for featuring my comic in their exhibit and they were very enthusiastic & kind!

Snag the whole collection - again...did I mention that they're all Creative Commons?! LOL

Beautiful QR Codes In My Urban Decay!

A new set I got from Sephora that included QR Code links to makeup videos & a special tiny speaker! Urban Decay Book of Shadows - $64.

"A mirrored compact of 16 eye shadows, including 10 new shades and "QR" codes that let you use your phone to access Urban Decay's exclusive how-to videos.

What it does:

This much-awaited collection of 16 eye shadows includes never-boring neutrals, provocative hits of shimmer and vibrant hues, as well as a Book of Shadows first—a portable speaker and how-to videos that reveal Urban Decay's five newest looks. All you need is a phone with a camera and a web browser to scan their QR (quick response) codes and instantly download videos. Pick your look, scan the corresponding QR code, plug your smart phone into the speaker, and drop your phone in the cradle. Then, open the drawer of shadows and recreate the look right along with the how-to video. This kit also include a 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner, a travel-size Eyeshadow Primer Potion, and a travel-size Supercurl Curling Mascara."Oh What FUN!
Can't find what you're looking for? Search the blog!
(heck, I do it all the time to quickly find stuffs!)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Melvil Dewey: International Library Hip Hop Superstar

Melvil Dewey! Kablam! International Library Hip Hop Superstar! That's right, in Winston Salem where I was honored to be keynoting at the amazing North Carolina School Library Media (NCSLMA11) conference this past weekend I got to meet him! AND WOW! This guy is the real deal! Sporting a blingtastic gold & diamond encrusted library card, glasses, magic hoodie, & a rhyming dictionary this self-proclaimed Story Yeller can write some mad library & literacy rhymes! Check check check it out! His YouTube vid has gotten over half a MILLION hits!

Amazing! Who is this guy? From the bio on his website:
"Melvil Dewey teaches children the importance of libraries in our communities (and schools!), advocates reading and introduces basic library skills. His first single, The Dewey Decimal Rap, has over half a million hits on YouTube and is being distributed worldwide by McGraw-Hill in 2012. Meanwhile, two of his music videos have been deemed by The Huffington Post as two of the nine funniest library videos ever. Complete with book turntables, a rapping book drop and golden library cards, this high-energy hip hop artist empowers children to speak up for their library and encourages them to become lifelong readers."

Hey Flocbulary!...I'm lookin at you darlings...why not get together with this guy and add his library rhymes to the amazing topics you now offer on your site that I blogged about last post? Just sayin. This. Dude. Rocks.
His latest CD "Deweylicious" has dropped "Containing 15 tracks of superfly library hip hop songs for kids, Melvil’s debut album advocates reading, teaches the importance of libraries in our communities, and introduces children to basic library skills such as using the Dewey Decimal System. An album like this one has been long overdue." Thanks to my dear BFF Jennifer LaGarde, Library Girl -- I got my own CD....AUTOGRAPHED!!! (don't be jealous!)
Melvil Dewey’s debut album DEWEYLICIOUS! Library Hip Hop is now available to purchase on iTunes. Related to this Melvile's video Welcome to the Library made the Huffington Posts' Librarians Go Gaga: 9 Of The Funniest Library Videos Ever
Personal Appearances!
I've seen the magic of a live Melvil Dewey show and it's Electrifying! From kids, teens, to grownups Scooter's style and charm is hard to resist! Invite Melvil Dewey to visit YOUR School or library & spread his brilliant Hip Hop lyrics, rhymes & amazing energy to your peeps! You won't be sorry & you'll be singing his rhymes!

Credits & Resources:
Top photo: by Paul Stephen from the article: A kids' performer turned Internet hip-hop star just might save libraries
Second photo: from the website
Third photo: CD cover available online
Press Kit

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Flocabulary Makes My BrainPop!

I blogged about my unabashed love for The Week in Rap back in 2009 on my school library blog ....I went on and on about how AWEsome it was bringing current events & news written for students in an immediately engaging and Oh so Hip Hop way! Now, Flocabulary just gets even better! But it will cost you -though not too much...and it's totally worth it! Now, before you ask...NO! Neither Flocabulary (nor BrainPop) have asked me to write this or paid me for posting (AS IF!) I can't be bought! I only blog about sites, software, and products I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE! (of course, I'd obvi take a hoodie!)

Of course, the peeps at Flocabulary are going to keep the super popular and lauded Week In Rap -- With ARCHIVES ....AND Special Features! But this young, talented company, have also added SO many other subject categories of sweet rhymes & songs that immediately engage learning & inspire substantive conversations!
What's for FREE? LOTS! According to VP of Sales Vlad Gutkovich, Flocabulary "will always have free videos, but they will cycle around our content, featuring different songs or videos each month, as it stands now. There will always be a Week in Rap episode featured as one of these free songs/units, but it may on occasion be a "special" episode, e.g. "Summer Recap" or "Year in Rap" in December." Teachers: Sign up now for a FREE 14 day trial! BUT wait...there's more! Since you read this blog - dear Vlad has given us a special PROMO CODE: Put in TDL30 and you'll get a double Trial of 30 days!!! Thanks Vlad! Oh and check out the Shakespeare! Say, WHAT!?
Yo Juliet, You Whack. Don't drink that poison, it ain't no snack! (Sorry, couldn't help myself!)

Let Your BrainPop Over Animation & Learning

BrainPop is another one of those incredibly rich, engaging, sites that kids will flock to - learn and not even realize that they're learning.
A. Lot. And kids LOVE them! We've used their learning "games" in our after-school program for years! And yes, they have TONS of FREE stuff! A multitude of subject areas are covered from Arts & Music, Engineering, Social Studies, Science!, English, MATH, to Health!

And now...they've added a new category...wait for it...ESL!!!

Yo Yo MA!
Confession: I'm an unabashed Yo Yo Ma Fan! See? (he's hanging out on one of my bookcases!) and wouldn't you know it but they even have a animated short on famous historical figures including one amazing cellist, Yo Yo Ma! in the FREE STUFF area! They also include comprehension Quizzes (Graded, Review, & Printable!) activities, graphic organizers, vocabulary, and really a cool Q & A!
It's so amazingly multidimensional and rich! Speaking of rich- my school isn't! That's why I really wish my PTA or school could someday find the money for a school wide subscription along with home access. But really, if one can't pony up the cash for the subscription, there are amazing and effective resources to be found in the FREE section! Check it out!
So, two great resources, both with FREE materials, that create instant engagement and meaningful student learnig.....and both bring it....with COOLNESS!


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