Keeping Current

Our assignment this week is to select 3 of the many amazing websites from AASL’s 2015 Best List. I must say that I love how they have them broken down into categories: Media Sharing, Digital Storytelling, Manage & Organize, Social Networking & Communication, Content Resources, and Curriculum Collaboration.

Apps Bar – Appsbar is a free mobile app builder. All you have to do is create an account. The app builder is free to use, user friendly, includes video tutorials, and tech support. When you initially create your account it then takes you to a page that includes a variety of categories starting your app. The next step included a create with Facebook option and I chose create manually. You can customize your settings with an app name, picture, and options for pages. You can customize the information included in your app and publish it for others to view.

This is a technology that you don’t often hear about in school so it immediately sparked my interest. I can see kids coming up with amazing ideas for apps that they would like to create. You could certainly use this tool in the library or within the classroom. In the library you could have students create apps that relate to particular books or genres.

Bookopolis – This immediately caught my attention because it is like GoodReads but for younger children. Bookopolis is a fun and safe online community where kids can explore new books, create a bookshelf, share with friends, and earn points.

I could definitely see this being used in an elementary school library. Students love to see what their classmates and peers are reading and this is a great way to get and offer suggestions. Another incentive is that students can earn points for every book they put on their shelf they earn 5 points. Kids can also earn points for rating, reviewing, and book reporting.

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Hour of Code CC by 2.0

Code – I feel that it is essential that we offer coding as part of our curriculum. Even if we just integrate the Hour of Code where students have the ability to play around with coding to see if it is something they are interested in. There are interactive videos and lessons included in this website to engage students and educators as well.

 

This would be a great program to implement in the elementary library where students could practice coding. It could certainly be added to makerspaces or through particular classrooms. The current Hour of Code is Star Wars: Building a Galaxy with Code where students learn to program droids or create their own galaxy. I think this is a super cool theme to get kids excited about coding. If they don’t like Star Wars there are options to also select Minecraft and Frozen. There are options to create your own game, use play lab to create a story or game, and draw cool pictures and designs.

It’s not just for elementary school students though there are also 20 hour courses for Computer Science Fundamentals and JavaScript Tools for High School. There are certainly a variety of lessons to choose from.

Staying Current

I’m choosing to follow – dangerously ! irrelevant blog. I really like the theme of this site – technology, leadership, and the future of schools. The site is very easy to read which I love! The owner of this blog is Scott McLeod who has won numerous awards for his work integrating technology and leadership in schools. He is considered a leading expert in the field and was a co-creator in the popular video series Did You Know? (Shift Happens).

Resources

Best Websites for Teaching & Learning 2015. (2015). Retrieved July 24, 2016, from http://www.ala.org/aasl/standards/best/websites/2015

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3 thoughts on “Keeping Current

  1. libraryinparadiseblogger says:

    Creating apps – that sounds so interesting… for kids to do, not me! I am one who can’t fathom creating an app, but I am sure that there are loads of kids out there who already have ideas brewing for what they need and it sounds like this could be the tool to help them! I always find the kids to be much more creative than me! Code is a cool tool as well. My school participated in the Hour of Code last year and it was a very positive experience overall. I also enjoyed checking out the dangerously ! irrelevant blog. I love a clever title. He is a good one to follow – I’m finding that I’m following more than just one of these blogs as was required by this assignment!

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  2. Heather Flowers says:

    I love the simple description you give for the Hour of Code. I didn’t even look at it because i am so insecure about coding myself, but this does seem like a good way offer coding. The Star Wars, Frozen, and Minecraft themes are perfect for elementary students and helps connect it to something they already like. I will have to check this out, thanks for making it seem less scary!

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  3. shepherdsheepblog says:

    I chose Code as one of my websites, too. I am not very knowledgeable about coding. This class has given me the first taste of what coding it. While is scares me, I am determined to know more about it, because I feel it is essential to the children we teach to have a fair shot at a future. The jobs of tomorrow will all feature coding in some way, as we move toward being more and more technologically dependent. I’m planning on trying to integrate coding activities from this site into my classroom this year.

    I also chose Bookopolis, which is a great way to keep track of books online. I’m planning on using this one next year also. As for AppsBar, ack…..this is where my insecurities come back in to play. This sounds nuts to me, but I’m going to explore it anyway next week when class is over. Again, this is not about me, it’s about preparing kids to be competitive in the future. I need to push my boundaries.

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