All Posts (955)

Sort by

Sample Vision/Mission statements

Dear AllGreetings from a muggy Pretoria! It is at times like this that South Africans really long for a "white" Christmas! Anyway, i hope you are all taking a well-deserved break from educating and enriching your charges...I am busy doing some background reading for a new media center that we are planning to build in 2010 (hopefully!) I am working through Designing a school library media center for the future by Rolf Erikson and Carolyn Markuson which is proving absolutely invaluable, and am now casting around for some ideas for Vision and Mission Statements, Program goals and activities etc. Does anyone have statements/guidelines along these lines that they would be willing to share? I have an absolute paranoia about re-inventing the wheel, so any help would be most welcome!Thanks and take care, Andrew van Zyl
Read more…

Using an iPad as a Graphics Tablet

This title is really the case study for a wider topic on Remote Apps.

For me this is one of the most exciting (tech) influences on mobile learning ... the interconnectivity between devices.
I have two folders on my iPad [Remote1 and Remote2] which are full of Apps that enable connectivity between the iPad and other devices ... and that connectivity can be both ways.
See the two screen shots below.













































This topic could probably be a mini ebook in its own right ... so I've taken the easy route and did a screencast myself ... but just on the iPad 
[I used the App Display Recorder ($1.99) to make this screencast which then uploaded to YouTube]


I highlight just one App .... "LogMeIn"  ... there is a free version at  but I'm using the pro version called "Ignition" which costs over US$100

... and just in case you think I'm rich ... when the LogMeIn [Ingition] App first came out it had less funtionality and was only a few dollars ... and when they upgraded they auto upgraded early adopters to the full version ...  (phew).  

This gendre of Apps provide the functionality to mirror a screen from e.g. Laptop (Windoz or Mac) to the iPad with the iPad touch screen having full interactivity  ... so control your laptop/desktop from the other side of the room ... or the other side of the world.   Note that I'm not talking about mirroring the iPad screen to another machine or projector ... that's in another blog post/book chapter
If you are wondering which one to try first ... maybe give Splashtop ($4.99) a spin


Case Study : Using the iPad as a Graphics Tablet
To illustrate one possible use of these Apps see the video below which I made to answer the question in a Ning forum (thanks Juliana) ... "Can an iPad be used as a graphics tablet" for screencasting on a desktop/laptop.

Health Warning ... this video was made very late one night with assistance from my cats ... I used a hand-held Flip Camera.


More mobile learning resources on shambles.NET at

Screencasting info at


This Blog was originally posted on the Blog "Shamblesguru's iPad"


Have fun .... 




Read more…

Dewey Decimal Scavenger Hunt

Laura Brooks encouraged me to post here--my first time to visit this site. Below is the message I posted on LM_Net----and received over 50 requests for the word versions of my Dewey for kids and the cards I used for this activity. So I have attached the two files here.

Today I completed one of my favorite Dewey Decimal activities withfourth grade. We've studied Dewey quite a bit, so for this last classof the year (other activities will supersede class the next 2 weeks) Iused a variation of the Scavenger hunt found here: Marietta Sue Dennis. I'm sure that I found it originally throughLM_Net, but I can't find the post in the archives. I thought it wasSuby Wallace whose Thinkquest, Do We do Dewey, I use every year.
I pair up the students, give each pair a Dewey Decimal sheet with the categories from my Dewey for kids web site: each pair get a different card with a task. They may use only theDDC sheet to find a book that would answer the question or help them dothe task. Examples are: You have to explain football to Mrs. Oelke, orYou need to identify a tree in your back yard, Or You need to plan atrip to Hawaii. etc. When the pair find a book that will work, theyraise their hand and I check their work. If it is correct, I put acolored check on the post it note that has their names on it. Thenthey turn in that card and get a new one. I run around like crazy, butthey love it. In 20 minutes the top pairs got 8-9 cards, and everypair got at least 3. Noisy, crazy, but all of us had fun.

Download dewey scavenger cards.doc
Download deweyfor kids.doc
Read more…

Dewey Cutter Table

Dear Professionals,Use the following link to free download Cutter Table and easily getcutter numbers.,Naveed
Read more…

Week 6 Brainypics Contest: Imaginary Conversations

Say what?For week 6, we are asking for Brainypics where the sentence is what somebody is saying in an imaginary conversation that is happening in the picture. Just as you pick the word, picture and sentence, you get to come up with the conversation, too. The sillier, the better, of course. :]A little confused? Here are some examples I came up with to help you in your kids in their quest for iTunes and those dolla dolla billz.

Good luck!!! >>>>>
Read more…

Brainypics Halloween Winners

Thanks to everyone who got their students to create, vote for & comment on Brainypics last week. We received over 450 new flashcards! The kids must really love their vocabulary (or iTunes).Here are the 5 words for the SAT and ACT courtesy of last week's winners: jberestovoy, kody AND CHRIS, soccerrulz_93, vazquezd and libbrown.

P.S. - Don't be disappointed if your students didn't get picked! We are only at the halfway mark, so they have another 5 weeks to try to win iTunes and compete for our $200 Grand Prize.This upcoming week's contest: Imaginary Conversations. Create a sentence which is part of an imaginary conversation that is happening in the picture. Here are some examples of what we mean.Good luck! >>>>>
Read more…

6 Stages in Doing Thesis Papers

Thesis papers are considered the most essential tool to getting a diploma. Without going though writing thesis papers, receiving that very important paper would be far from reality.A thesis paper is a long-type of thesis paper work which requires the author’s mental and analytical capabilities. It also requires a maximum level of time and effort so as to come up with an impressive thesis paper outcome.Thesis papers might be a little time consuming if the writer doesn’t know the process or stages. But, it the author does know what should come first, it won’t bring any hassle.So how should one come up with an impressive thesis paper? Here are the six stages that a thesis paper author should undergo.Stage 1: Think of a Possible TopicRemember that the basic foundation in doing thesis papers is the topic. It would be hard for someone to start researching something if he doesn’t know what to research about at all. In choosing a topic, bear in mind that it should be something inclined to the author’s interest. Ideas will come pouring if the topic is something that interests the author.Stage 2: Prepare the ProposalAfter opting the topic, preparation o the proposal comes next. In this stage, make sure that all the necessary information regarding the topic will be presented. Also, keep in mind that the main purpose is to catch the both the professor’s interest, curiosity and approval.Stage 3: Conduct the ResearchAfter getting the professor’s go signal, then the next thing to do is to conduct the research proper. Look for the resources that will support the paper. Go to a specific area to conduct a survey regarding the topic. Make sure that all the needed information is at hand before ending your research.Stage 4: Write the Thesis PaperThis is the time to cuddle up the writer’s ideas and other essential information garnered during the surveying and researching process.Stage 5: Allowing Others to Read and Give Their OpinionsAs aforementioned, thesis papers are the key towards receiving that very important paper called diploma. With that, the author has to make sure that his research work is nothing but excellent. To achieve that goal, allowing other people read and comment about the paper will help the author attain his number one goal, to make an exemplary thesis paper to receive that very important diploma.Stage 6: Revise the Paper if NecessaryThis is basically the last part of doing thesis papers. Edit the paper I needed. This will be based from the feedback that the writer got from stage five. Keep in mind hat editing is an important tool to achieve excellence.To sum it all up, thesis papers are the pressure that one has to undergo to accomplish a particular goal, which is, to graduate. If the paper is nothing but fantastic, then there is no need worry about not wearing the toga.
Read more…

Brainypics: "Imaginary Conversation" Winners

Good job, everybody! Your students created over 540 Brainypics last week, which beat the previous record by about 100 pics. Wow. And we were quite impressed by those students who were up for the challenge of imagining fake conversations. Clearly, they are as crazy as we are, if not moreso. Hahaha.Here are 5 words to help on the SAT & ACT courtesy of our very deserving winners. Enjoy!

EDIT: In case you didn't understand this Brainypic, Brittney is being fatuous for thinking that fatuous means fat. Get it? Pretty clever!

The creators of these Brainypics were Emilychat, Lsliker, Ben Fiat, Drewprice11 and Dynamofan999, who has been submitting Brainypics for a few weeks now without ever getting picked but finally broke through with persistence and a rad Brainypic :DIf you are bummed that your students did not get picked, don't be! They've got 4 more weeks to earn iTunes and compete for our $200 Grand Prize.This week's theme: Your Funniest Photos. Yep, we want photos the kids have taken, and the photos can be of anything: your dog chasing its tail, the nasty food served in your cafeteria, whateva. Just make it yours and make it funny
Read more…

Brainypics: Funniest Photo Winners

Here are the 10 "Funniest Photo" Winners. You'll notice that we have an affinity for picking Brainypics where the creators weren't afraid of getting a bit goofy (kinda like us). Enjoy!

Congrats to Maddio28, Drewprice11, Sarahskewl, Countrymusiclover, Isaac12, Bsaia, A. Damitz, B. Rudy, E. Knezz, and C. Vandersnick for these Brainypics. And thanks again to everyone who participated by creating, voting and leaving comments.If you'd still like a chance to win iTunes and compete for our $200 Grand Prize, we've got 3 more weeks of our Brainypics contests left! This week's theme: Brainypics about Brainypics. Click here to learn more. :]
Read more…

Week 9 Brainypics Winners, 1 More Week Left!

Here are 5 tough SAT vocab words, taught by our hilarious winners from last week's Brainypics contest. Some were Thanksgiving-themed, others were just flat-out hilarious. All can be enjoyed. :]P.S. - We had some really great submissions which we had to pass on because there was no source listed. Ooooffffff. Please remember to tell your students to show the source!

Congrats to Misfit1, Lsliker, Asentimentalman, AlbertWesker and Anna Ellis. And thanks again to everyone who participated!

* * *

If you and your kids still want to win iTunes and get a shot at our $200 Grand prize, THIS IS OUR FINAL WEEK OF COMPETITION!Anyone can get involved. You just need to create a Brainypic at luck, everybody! :D
Read more…

Just Another Hero by Sharon Draper

Draper's final book in the Battle for Jericho trilogy, Just Another Hero, was great urban fiction. The plot was fast paced, the African American characters believable using as the backdrop---their final year of high school as seniors includes many fire drills, jobs after school and thoughts of getting into college. I just loved Draper's characterization of Arielle and her mother. They really grew from materialistic one dimensional characters to becoming thinking, feeling women. Kofi was an athlete, in love with Dana, but addicted to pain killers from surgery. He is able to beat his addiction, keep his promises to Dana, and win a scholarship to college. November is back at school, while her baby, Sunshine, is being cared for by friends. A few other memorable students include Osrick as the brainy wierdo that everyone makes fun of and Crazy Jack who clangs his cymbals in the hallway and may be pulling fire alarms to get out of taking tests. As the seniors move toward graduation, money and ipods are going missing, just Who is responsible? And what really makes a HERO? Draper's characters have grown, deepened, and work hard as they move towad their futures. Read all three Draper books and feel how these friends cope with the anguish and drama of everyday life. Great for the reluctant reader also
Read more…
If you're like me, you are continually thinking about what's next, for our profession and for the learners we serve.Every conversation I have ever had with the phenomenal David Loertscher (whom I consider a mentor), forces me to further consider and often to refine or rethink my vision.Don't miss this opportunity to meet David in Second Life.On behalf of ISTE's SIG-MS and AASL, Lisa Perez (aka Elaine Tulip) invites us all to attend Reinventing School Libraries and Computer Labs: The Time Has Come! The event takes place Tuesday, October 21 at 8pm ET/7pm CT/6pm MT/5pm PT.Here's the provocative official description:The advent of the Google Generation, who usually ignore the school library and surpass easily what is being taught in computer labs, causes us all to re-examine the entire model of school libraries designed fifty years ago. It requires the re-examination of everything we learned in library and technology education. It means starting with the customer to build information and technology systems that get used and that push learners toward excellence. David Loertscher will take us on a tour of a completely re-thought learning commons where all the specialists, not just teacher librarians or teacher technologiests operate, but a place that is really the heart of teaching and learning in the school. You can read his ideas in advance in the new book: The New School Learning Commons Where Learners Win, available from LMC Source. In any event, come not just to listen, but get in the creative mood yourself to examine bold new strategies equal to the excellence in education this country must pursue. Visit the companion wiki to continue the discussion.Instructions for joining the discussion:Log onto Second Life 15 minutes prior to the meeting time. Instant message Elaine Tulip for a teleport to the meeting location or use the SLURL. to Second Life?To set up an account to join Second Life, do the following:1. Go to the Second Life website several days in advance to set up your free basic account.2. Verify that your computer and connectivity meets the systems requirements/3. Click on the orange Get Started! button. Go through the subsequent screens to create your avatar account.4. Download and install the Second Life viewer software.5. Open the software and log into Second Life using your avatar first name, last name, and password. Watch your avatar be born. Complete the orientation activities to learn about how to communicate, move, search, and edit your appearance.6. When finished, search Places for locations such as Chicago Public Schools, ISTE, or the American Library Association. Teleport to a favorite location, explore, and become acquainted with Second Life. (When searching, make sure the “search mature places” square is checked.)7. Fifteen minutes prior to scheduled meetings, log on and IM Elaine Tulip for a teleport to the meeting location or use the SLURL. hope to see many of you in-world!
Read more…
Drop these resources into your library website or online course!


Information Fluency Teacher Resource Kits

This is the home page for our Full Circle Resource Kits. Each Kit is designed to provide online and face to face teachers with a comprehensive set of online articles about searching, evaluating, and ethically using digital content. Includes, games, assessment ideas, and curriculum building resources. 
Topics Include:
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.
Read more…

Research Made Easy

Okay, not easy, but much clearer! Kentucky Virtual Library's Research Rocket offers a student-friendly, step-by-step introduction to the research process.

While the screen shot to the right gives you a basic idea of the steps involved, what it doesn't show you is that each individual step provides its own easy to understand tutorial (see below).

For media center specialists or teachers introducing students to the research process, this is both a great introduction and a great stand-alone resource to which students can refer when going through the motions of information collection and organization.

(The picture to the right is the page a student would access if she clicked on the "Scan First" square of Step 4 on the map. As she reads over the information provided, she can also roll the mouse over the graphics, which provides additional visual cues).

And of course, there's always the option of using individual components of the whole process (such as the Scan/Survey module here) as reading comprehension skill builders in the elementary classroom.
Read more…

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson is a sure winner! Two friends are lured into starving themselves with a bet they make to each other "to to be the thinnest." Lia is destroyed when her best friend, Cassie, is found dead in a motel room. After two times in rehab, Lia now lies to everyone about her disease, seeing and talking to the ghost of Cassie, hating her parents and being really,really confused. Anderson does a great job of letting the reader see the compulsive, secretive life of an anorexic. We hold our breath as Lia keeps trying to control her life by not eating, not sleeping, and not communicating. We keep hoping she will get that her behavior is dangerous to her and sickens everyone who loves her. But if Lia doesn't love herself, why would she think anyone else loves her. What I learned from this book is that many teens will want to read this, talk about this,and hopefully see the author's message that this is a battle that many teens deal with on a daily basis. We need to lend our hearts and love to these "starved" girls and help them
Read more…

Lunch Bunch Ideas

Do any of you guys do Lunch Bunch Book Clubs? How do you organize them, how often do you meet, what do you read? I'm looking for some new ideas for this year's groups. I'll be working with 4th, 5th and 6th graders.
Read more…

Gearing up for September--best ideas?

I would love to hear what brilliant ideas you are planning for this coming school year. What 2.0 excitement is brewing? What new bulletin board ideas do you have? How will you be greeting and orienting your new learners? Please share any special, nifty ideas for the greater good.
Read more…

The Final Four by Paul Volponi

The Final FourThe Final Four by Paul Volponi
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love all of Paul Volponi's books and this is no exception! He gets the suspense and excitement just right in this book about basketball and 4 overtimes in a game that will totally drive you crazy with anticipation. Who will win this Final Four game between the Michigan State Spartans (Malcolm McBride and Michael Jordan) against the Troy University Trojans (Roko Bacic and Crispin Rice)is anyone's guess as we follow the story through the four main characters, (and there are so many more other memorable characters in this book!) newspaper stories, and news reporting by sportscasters. I so enjoyed Malcolm; he was easy to dislike with all his bravado, but he was a consummate player, who had a close-knit family, ethics that kept him away from the drug infested streets, parties and trouble. Volponi's trash-talking between the basketball players was cruel and amusing and created a dynamic that fueled the tension on the court. Roko's story was heartrending with his flight from Croatia and the loss of his uncle. But you knew he was going to do whatever it took to survive, be a leader, and be just like his uncle. I enjoyed the dynamics between Michael Jordan and Malcolm and loved his Reaction Paper: Basketball is Life! Crispin Rice's spur of the moment proposal teaches him (and his team) about living in the moment and the Troy of Hope good luck won't make them a winning team, but looking out for each other during the game is their winning strategy. I will be getting multiple copies of this book for our library and I know my reluctant readers, especially those that love basketball will be fighting for this book!

View all my reviews

Read more…

Blog Topics by Tags

Monthly Archives