Sunday, October 6, 2013

Do You Know About BiblioNasium?

I heard about this site, but when one of my former students, a middle school special education teacher, ready to go off to Argentina, to teach there, recommended it, I decided to look into it. After I did, I was convinced it was an excellent site to engage students in reading and sharing what they are reading.

I even set up a site myself to explore how the tool works. Here is a glimpse into what I have so far, but I invite you to check out BiblioNasium for yourself, and set up a site for your class regardless of the age of the students you teach.

If you work with young students who are not yet reading, you can post on your site picture books you recommend for parents to read aloud at home or share with parents the ones you are already reading aloud in the classroom. If you work with older students, set up a class account, where students can post what they are reading, write reviews, make recommendations, and add books to a wish list. This truly is an interactive site that engages students in the reading, writing, and information literacy processes.

I love this site, and it makes me wish I were teaching students grades PreK through 8th grade, although I did start to set up a site for EDUC 584 just to experiment with the tools. I found the site user-friendly and liked its search box feature and links to "Resources," which includes a full list of Newberry Award winners.

I have also seen rave reviews about the site from teachers. Here are just a few Twitter tweets to give you an idea of teacher reactions.

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And here is a video I found in the School Library Journal's review of the site, which you can also read: "BibliorNassium, Social Reading for Kids."

Have you heard of the site? Would you consider checking it out and using it with students?

Global Collaborations

Recently, Jess Lussier and Michelle Gohagon of Regional School District 13 in Connecticut, shared an excellent Google Presentation of the variety of ways in which their students, K-6, have been collaborating globally.  These collaborations include Global Read Aloud, International Dot Day, World Blogging Day, and Poem in Your Pocket Day. To see their presentation, click on the image below, which will take you to the post with the embedded slide show. It's worth your time to learn about the ways young students forge global connections. Each slide about a project indicates how it aligns with Common Core State Standards (CCSS).

Have you considered ways to connect your students globally, or even regionally? Share your plans or any projects you have already done to connect students with people beyond the walls of your classroom or school? What do you see as the merits of global collaborations?

The Power of Images on Your Blog Posts

Image: my niece Lauren
Yes, images add interest, but they also help to convey your message. We all know the saying, "A Picture is Worth a 1,000 Words."

So, here are 3 posts about why you should use images and where and how to find images, as well as an infographic about copyright infringement myths, which relates to the use of found material on the Internet.

Another place to find images is Pic4Learning, but still Flickr remains my favorite. Just use the Advanced Search feature on Flickr, and you should be set. Open an account to store your own photos in Sets and save the photos you find in Collections. You will then be organized when you need to grab that photo you found months ago or stored ages ago.

I used to recommend PhotoPin, an easy-to-use site, but  once you enter a search term, often you are brought right to Flickr.

Now, here is the infographic, which clears up several myths about copyright infringement. The  infographic has been circulating on various social networks, so you might have seen it already.

Copyright Infringement: 5 Myths vs Facts
by floydworx.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

Where do you go to find images for blogs, websites, and other uses? What do you tell students about where to find images to use in their own work?

Do you agree that blog posts and websites benefit from images?