Minecraft club: the first meeting

A productive half hour. Five sophomores showed up and were surprised more people weren’t there. The kids’ main concern is getting a critical mass of 15-20 people to play which would make a fun game.

Most of our potential members are in the Anime Club which meets during activity blocks like us. We can’t move to after school because kids’ schedules are too busy.

Also, no freshmen showed up which I attribute to their being mad at me for the frustrating research and technology class I taught at the beginning of the year. I hope that that will change, but if it doesn’t there is a large group of minecrafting freshman arriving next year.

Since Minecraft is drama filled, there was discussion about barring entry to players who were likely to be trouble. The club decided everyone would be innocent until proven guilty. Also, since this server is donated by a student who has used it to play with kids in town there is a history associated with it.

We are thinking of starting with a high stakes, fast, super dangerous kind of game to get things moving.

I am charged with getting the software downloaded on three computers in the lab. I will give more details on that later.

Can We Talk: How school librarians discuss social media with stakeholders

by Alida Hanson

By now you should know that I’m interested in new media and how we can use it in schools.  I researched and wrote an article about school librarians and social media which was published in the winter 2013 issue of Young Adult Library Services. YALS is the journal of the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association.

The main things I learned were don’t expect perfection, be realistic, and anticipate and validate the anxieties that most stakeholders have about using social media in school.

Thanks to Linda Braun for asking me to write the article.  Now I’m interested in learning more about how educators construct Acceptable Use Policies, so maybe that’s next.

Can We Talk: How school librarians discuss social media with stakeholders

Haiku Deck

I played around with the free iPad app Haiku Deck tonight and think it’s an excellent way to present a short lesson. It’s also a nice summarizing tool for students. You must create presentations on the iPad but you can view them in any web based browser.

The presentations have a fresh design, and great pictures to choose from.  It’s not completely intuitive, but after a few tries I got it down.  I suggest making nonsense-trial slide decks until you figure out how it works.  It took me about 45 minutes to figure out how to use it and make the following presentation. (Just click on the picture to advance to the next slide.)

Article Query: School Librarians and Social Media

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Kamishibai, a traditional, low-tech form of Japanese storytelling, has magical effects on your audience.  I fell in love with it last month thanks to Deborah Abner, my friend and wonderful librarian at Lincoln School in Brookline, which has an ELL program for its large Japanese student population. She asked me to use it for library lessons during Sakura Week when I subbed for her. It’s easy, fun, and totally engaging. Yes, that’s me up there, having a great time!

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Come on, really, why do we cite?

Image courtesy Flickr user Photos by Stan

As librarians and graduate students, we know that citations are the basis of scholarship.  Academic careers are made and broken on the strength of citations (academics track citations of their own work, which increases their influence and value).

But what about high school students?  Yes, they need to know how to cite and make bibliographies for papers, and it’s a tool to consider plagiarism.  But what do students actually learn from citations?

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Everyone’s talking about curation these days, and who better to talk curation than librarians?  We’re all about sorting through information avalanches.

Enter Scoop.it, an easy way to build attractive, annotated, librarian-approved webpages of online resources for your students. 


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Ipad app of “On the Road”

Enhanced versions of novels and nonfiction are coming out in ebooks and ipad apps.  Penguin calls their ipad app of On the Road an “amplified edition.”  These apps can be preloaded in library ipads, and librarians can keep their students informed about free apps (like this one from the British Library) to download on personal devices.

On the Road app costs about $16.00.

77 Web Resources for Teachers to Try This Summer

Richard Byrne writes a great blog called Free Technology for Teachers, and also writes a column for School Library Journal.  Byrne has put together a handy book of technologies that I’ll be taking a look at this summer.  I’ll be familiar with some of them, but there’s always something new to learn. Thank you, Richard Byrne.

77 Web Resources for Teachers to Try This Summer


School Library Journal and Brodart are sponsoring a free online panel on using graphic novels in libraries.

The library seminar is on June 21 (Tuesday) from 2:00-3:00 PM EDT BUT if you can’t attend you can still register to hear the panel playback.


  • Katharine “Kat” Kan,…

(Source: shellytotter)


I’ve been exploring Flickr lately, mainly by posting pictures of recent travels and my garden.  Thinking about privacy, content and permissions when opening the account, I chose a pseudonym.  I decided to post images that are viewable by everyone, with an attribution/non-commercial/share-alike Creative Commons license Creative Commons License.  I often use CC Flickr photos for projects and think it’s time I threw some images into the bank.

School librarians can display a Flickr slideshow of new books on their websites.  Flickr can host a book club: upload bookshots and invite students to write reviews in the comments.  A Flickr book club can be an adjunct to the catalog:  tag each image with the book title so students can call up peer reviews.

The tagging of the setting of books can be handled in two different ways.  The name of the city/region can be written in the tags, or the location can be geo-tagged on the new map feature.

All this talk about tagging is making me think….

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