Sunday, January 23, 2011

EduCon: Daring Conversations

Last year I blogged about EduCon from my couch whilst the snow piled up outside around me and I vicariously enjoyed & participated in this innovative concept for an exchange of ideas. This year I'm not only going but I'm honored to be involved with two different conversations. More about that below! You may ask what is EduCon, an unconference, and why a conversation?

A Conversation NOT a Presentation:
Viva la Unconference!

My gorgeous mentor Joyce Valenza has written a must-read SLJ article about the EduCon unconference experience:
"It's networking at its best," says Valenza. "It's critical, especially, that librarians network. It's clear to me that nobody knows who we are. I don't think we've gotten the word out. But we can't be in our buildings alone anymore."
Dare to be Out There!
More than ever we need to be "out there" not only in our school, local districts but on the state & national level. If you have a passionate voice & vision for our profession - don't be shy...TALK about it! The Educon conversation model is a perfect storm of opportunity to be in the mix and talk about the challenges & issues in education today. If you can't make it to EduCon consider following it via the Twitter hashtag #EduCon!
Do you have an ISTE affiliate in your state or vicinity? Join it! Do they have a yearly EdTech conference? Apply to present at it! That's how I got my start! Every year since 1997 I've presented at my ISTE affiliate conference MSET (formerly MICCA) not only did I get Free registration for the conference (Score!) but it forced me to keep up on my practice and SHARE SHARE SHARE!
Oh and If you're a DC Metro educator let me invite you to join our MSET Ning! Our yearly MSET conference is in April & I'm going to be a featured speaker! YAY!
It's Ok to be Feelin Kinda Shy!
Yes, you can start being "out there" from the comfort of your couch! Creating a 24/7 Library through blogging, wiki web resources, & Twittering Librarians can up their web presence and promote their practice to the community. And when you're ready to be "out there!" join us! Your voice is important!
Join US & the Conversation at EduCon!
I am honored to be involved with two conversations at EduCon this year.
The Future of Student Inquiry/Research: Environmental Scanning and Scenario BuildingJoyce Valenza and Shannon M. Miller!
What will student inquiry and investigation look like in the years to come and how can educators prepare learners for a world in which they can productively interact and contribute to research. Joyce, Shannon, and Gwyneth will lead the discussion and forecasting using Joyce and Doug's environmental scan as a launching pad.

Large group sharing of what new stuff goes into "buckets" involved in inquiry/research--tools, skills, dispositions. (Following by What Rocks; What Sucks--Research Edition)

Diane Cordell and I will be leading at EduCon in January (YAY!) The Power of the Product: Creative, Meaningful, & Daring Ways to Demonstrate Information Mastery

The conversation is a working and discovery session fueled by questions and assisted virtually by connected PLN members via Twitter with the goal of empowering our students by freeing them from repetitious, banal, and limiting assessments. How can meaningful products demonstrate student comprehension of information and concept mastery, but also provide an opportunity for students to apply skills and knowledge to practical situations? The goal - creatively and collaboratively build a Google slidedeck, & wiki pages of product ideas. Culmination: last 20 min have each group share round robin or gallery walk to create a combined slidedeck of Daring Creative Classroom & Research Products to share with our PLN.

This conversation will create a crowdsourced slidedeck of viable, creative, meaningful, and daring products that demonstrate information mastery, go beyond the regular research report and span the digital divide. The products of this conversation (Google slidedeck, Wallwisher, wiki, & published Slideshare) will generate layers of sharing, producing, and value.

I will be tweeting from the conference when I can and I will be sure to have a follow up review of the conference!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Walla Walla Webcast With Jon Scieszka

The super cool author of some of my most favourite books The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stoopid Tales & The True Story of the Three Little Pigs will be holding a live webcast for kids in March! It's FREE to sign up (and yes, to my MHMS Kids, we're so there!) and uber cool author of Trackers, Skeleton Creek, & friend of the MHMS Media Center - (See his signed posters below! Thank you SLJ Summit! Muwwa!) Patrick Carman will be the host!
From the website:

"Walla Walla Kids Read will webcast JON SCIESZKA, one of America’s most beloved children’s authors. This FREE event is hosted by Patrick Carman. Consult the events page for exact times, then sign up below if you would like to broadcast the author appearance in your classroom or library. All presentations last approximately 45 minutes and are presented on the web as they happen"

Visit the site for FREE Downloads:Learn more & Sign up your school today!

Which is your favourite Jon Scieszka book?

graphics & photos: © 2010 Walla Walla Kids Read

Sunday, January 9, 2011

iPad LOVE & App LUST

a long graphic for a long post. fitting.

I had a great time over break having a lovely Tweetup Lunch with some of my favourite Maryland iPad experts! As I'm still an iPad newbie I thought it only fitting to put it to them:
What are Coolest iPad techniques,
tips & tricks and most loved and must have APPS!??

Guest bloggers Donna Anderson the Digital Librarian21 @digilibrarian21 Joquetta Johnson, the Digital Diva @accordin2jo and Selena Ward the Tech Tiger @thetechtiger
3 educators who are amazing, forward thinking, and yes..DARING! (& fun, too! YAY!)

So as not to pay favourites I'm going alphabetically! And if you were expecting a SHORT blog post on this...heh heh Not so much... This one is lusciously lovely & long....Enjoy!

iPad Tweetup with Appalicious Apps
by Donna Anderson
aka Digital Librarian 21

"The iPad Tweetup went very well and we had nine awesome folks show up. I’m even in the process of planning another iPad tweetup. Stay tuned for that date. I always learn new things when talking iPad lingo with other geeks like myself and I love sharing what I’ve learned about the device. The one important thing I learned was I need to drain the battery completely at least once a month to preserve the battery life. I guess I was so excited when I got my iPad I didn’t even bother to read that part. I wonder if that’s the same for all Apple products because the Apple Princess has not been doing that at all. I shared how to lock the screen and Gwyneth, The Daring Librarian, was amazed. (Gwyneth notes: I was I was! My iPad was all of a week old & hadn't had time to play with it much yet! YAY Donna!)

·Double click your home button (located bottom center of your iPad)
·Swipe the bar one stroke to the right
·You will see your iPod controls
·Slide the toolbar to the far left of the screen and you’ll see a square with an arrow that is pointing clockwise
·Tap that square and your screen is locked in the current orientation
·Ta Daaa!!!

Also when double tapping the home button you will see all the apps on the bar at the bottom of the screen. These are the apps that are currently running in the background. Are they using up my battery? Yes, even though you aren’t using them. To close them until the next time you want to use them just click one of them in the bar until the begin to shake and click on the red minus “-” to close them. Who knew right?

I have a total of 195 apps on my iPad and wish list that is gigantic. I use my iPad a work a lot. So much that I wish I had two of them. My favorite apps to use as a library media specialist are many but I’ll list a few.

Corkulous ($4.99) I use to have sticky notes everywhere on my desk of to do’s, ideas to share, etc. The app has helped me to stay organized and keep my desk free of the expensive sticky notes. All to dos, notes, and ideas are in one place with no need to buy any more sticky notes. Check it out you might like it.

iA Writer ($4.99) Simple and clean writing app that syncs with the Dropbox app (free). I love this because I can write things on my iPad and put in Dropbox. I copy and paste into Word later if I need too. Great for just focusing on getting my ideas or blog articles like this one typed. I loved using it to type this blog entry. My 11 year old uses it a lot as well for school.

Keynote ($9.99) Great for creating presentations on the iPad which sometimes I often do on the go when I don’t have the laptop with me. It also allows me to share presentations with friends as well.

Last but not least we all shared our favorite Appalicious apps. We all know that the iPad can be used for so much fun and entertainment. During my time away from work I can say I use mine 100% for FUN. I love the following apps for just having fun and relaxing.

·Boxcar (free) Boxcar helps me to keep up with my PLN on twitter and my FB all in one place. Gives me alerts from people I really want to keep up with.

·Pandora (free) I love music and with being able to play while doing other things on my iPad is great. (Bouncing my head and wanting to snap my fingers but I’m typing as I listen to my music)

·Flipboard (free) FB, Twitter, GoogleReader, and more in one place. Beautiful layout and fun to use. So many things to read on Flipboard. You won’t be disappointed with this app.

Stay tuned for the next iPad tweetup. We share all our iPad favorites and we have lots of fun chatting too. Until next time tweeps!"

WOW! That was great! Now...let's hear from my sistah from another mistah! (yeah, i went there, whaaat?)

Joquetta Johnson - The Digital Diva

"I have owned my iPad (32g 3G & Wi-Fi) since May 2010. I still feel like a newbie. Why? Because, I am still learning sooooo many cool things. Every time I open my iPad, I continue to experience the thrill, excitement, and shear magic of this tantalizing thought-provoking technological tool, as if it were my first encounter. So, here are a few recommendations to ensure you get the most pleasure from your iPad.

Wrap It Up: Be sure to protect your digital baby and purchase a cover. I actually bought my cover prior to buying my iPad. You will probably buy several covers until you find your favorite or if you are like me, you will want to change your cover to match your mood or outfit. My first cover was orange (my favorite color). Great cover and great price, I purchased it from Currently, my iPad is covered in a YooBao Black leather case. Here is a great video review about YooBao. Be sure to visit the iPad cover and case blog for some of the latest updates on iPad covers, cases, skins, and more.
To maximize the potential of your iPad, there is one must have app... AppStart. I have downloaded several iPad manuals and get “started guides” but AppStart is the champion of them all. AppStart’s layout is visually appealing and fun to use. In addition to helping you learn the basics, AppStart also provides you with a list of “20 AppEssentials.” All of this for just $.99
Apps That Supplement My Professional Growth

You must have a Twitter App. Choose your weapon. I prefer the TweetDeck App. Other Twitter apps include HootSuite, TwitBird, TwitBird Pro, and Twittelator. Prices range from free to $4.99. is one of my essential web.20 tools. Therefore, the Slide By Slide app was a no brainer for me. Slide By Slide allows you browse and search presentations from Cost…FREE!!!
Too Good Not to Mention and Own Apps

MotionX GPS HD – an awesome talking navigation and GPS App. $4.99
Skyfire Browser – A video and social browser $4.99
TuneIn Radio – Listen and record thousands of radio stations $.99

That’s it for now. App with ya later!"

iPad Love - Selena Ward – tech tiger
iPad Tips- Geared around backgrounds.

Keep Calm & Carry On!
  • Make your iPad reflect you with custom backgrounds!
  • 1024 x 1024 images make the perfect lock and home screen.
  • In your browser, just hold your finger down on the image a couple of seconds to get the option to save it.
  • Any image in your Photos App can become a background by clicking on the icon that looks like a square with an outward arrow.
  • Why not have functional backgrounds? Smashing Magazine’s calendars each month make great iPad calendars.

Favorite School Apps
  • Noteshelf: $2.99. This app allows you to build a notebook library. Not only can you take notes, but create lists, graph math problems, write music, and more. For school using Cornell Notes there is a notebook template in that format.
  • Paperdesk: $1.99. This app is similar to Noteshelf, but it does have the typing text feature and can also audio record any session.
  • Sorted: $0.99. A nice, simple checklist app. I use this for school to-do lists, packing lists, or to capture a “grand” idea.
  • World Book This Day: Free. Each day is filled with interesting historical facts.
  • Rulla: $1.99. This app allows you to create different, large, rolling banners. Great for reminding students to slow down in the hallway.
  • GeoBee: $1.99. This is a real challenging app created by National Geographic. Perfect for any school participating in the National GeoBee.
The Must Haves
  • Netflix: Free, but an $8/month subscription to Netflix. Perfect app for catching up on all the movies you missed. Letting the user resume the movie where they left off makes this nice take-a-break app.
  • Kindle: Free, the cost comes purchasing the books from Amazon. While I have iBooks and the Nook App, I still like the Kindle App the best. I love their Archive feature and reading user-reviews on Amazon.
  • Flickstackr: $1.99. This app is going to appeal to Flickr users because you can have your photo collections on your iPad without taking up space. Each update has made this app even better.
  • Magic Piano: $0.99. I think any iPad user should buy a couple of apps that are fun and something you don’t normally do. Magic Piano can relax you after a rough day.
  • Friendly Plus for Facebook: $0.99. In the beginning of iPad usage there was no easy way to check Facebook, but Friendly changed that. While the free version is good, Plus allows the users to customize their look and add security features like a PIN number."
Well, that was a whole lot of AWEsome, right? Thank you ladies for giving of your time and experience to help us all love our iPads just a little bit more!

What's your favourite app? What did we miss? I'd love to hear from you!


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