Friday, September 25, 2009

AASL Exec Director elected as vice chair of P21

Good news. From American Libraries Direct:

"CHICAGO – Julie Walker, executive director of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has been elected to serve as vice chair of the Strategic Council of The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21).

Prior to serving as executive director of AASL, Walker held the post of director of library and media services for the Round Rock (Texas) Independent School District. During her tenure at AASL, her association was responsible for publishing new learning standards and guidelines for school library media specialists, including the most recent "Standards for the 21st-Century Learner" and "Empowering Learners: Guidelines for School Library Media Programs." She will also be directing the completion of AASL's strategic plan, with the goal of achieving universal recognition of school library media specialists as indispensable educational leaders. Her association has also been a strong advocate for funding for school libraries and staffing them with certified school library media specialists.

Walker works extensively in promoting information literacy - the ability to find and use information - as an essential skill for lifelong learning. She currently serves on the National Education Advisory Board of Cable in the Classroom and the Advisory Committee for the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries. Walker is also a past-Chair of the Alliance for Curriculum Reform, a group of organizations committed to improving curriculum, instruction and assessment in P-12 schools.

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills is a national advocacy organization focused on infusing 21st Century skills into education. It brings together the business community, education leaders and policymakers to define a powerful vision for 21st century education to ensure every child’s success as citizens and workers in the 21st century. It also encourages schools, districts, and states to advocate for the infusion of 21st century skills into education and provides tools and resources to help facilitate and drive change."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Google Fast Flip

Google Fast Flip (Beta) is provided to by Google Labs for preview.
Thumbnails of news stories provided through Google News give a quick glance at news site pages in all media.
Lots of different ways are provided to narrow your search/browse experience.

14 Great Cheat Sheets to Make You a Software Wizard

Find these on the Make-Use-Of blog. (Thank you ALDirect)

Did You Know 4.0

The latest version of this famous vid about current tech trends.

Monday, September 14, 2009

AudioPal widget

AudioPal - widget adds audio to your site

Add another layer of communication to your website, blog, or other web 2.0 tool with AudioPal. To order, you need to first call and add your voice by phone. Enter a passcode. Preview (listen). Then type in your e-mail address so you will get AudioPal e-mail with with link for your voice message. Could be useful for school or library websites or blogs. Could be used for an opening greeting or regular messages.

Features include:
  • Record and use your OWN voice
  • Select from a number of voices (TTS)
  • Playback controls
  • Update your audio anytime
  • Free
AudioPal is a companion to SitePal, which lets you add talking avatars.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Another Avatar - Madmen

As project manager for CSLA online web 2.0 courses, I get to welcome new students and learn all sorts of new cool tools that they discover. Today, a "student" introduced me to MadMen avatars. What a kick!

Once you select an avatar, outfit, accessories, and background, you then pick which view you want: face (for Twitter and Facebook), top half of avatar (Facebook and iPhones), or full screen for your monitor wallpaper. All the while you are making your avatar, music is playing. The music is fun at first, but will soon drive you crazy! Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New Ed Tech blog

I just found via my favorite heads-up publication, ALDirect, the weekly zine from ALA, an ed tech blog which bears paying attention to.

It's called The Power of Educational Technology and is written by Liz B. Davis, a teacher at a private school outside of Boston.

Ms. Davis is also the author of a self-published book called 21st Century Technology Tools, a collection of tutorials on Web 2.0 technology tools such as Google Docs, Google Reader, Wikispaces, Ning, VoiceThread, Twitter, Flickr, Diigo and Delicious. It can be downloaded from Lulu for $0.99.

Take a look.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Race to the Top Fund

Race to the Top: ALA Comments to US Dept of Ed

SEE ALA Washington Office news BELOW:
August 31st, 2009

Contact: Jenni Terry

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Library Association (ALA) recently filed comments to the Department of Education regarding the Race to the Top Fund, a competitive one-time grant program funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) that aims to encourage and reward states that are leading education innovation and reform.

The ALA’s comments highlighted the need for the Secretary of Education to strongly acknowledge the important role that school libraries play in a student’s education and to encourage states submitting proposals for Race to Top Funds to include resources for school libraries. The comments also called for an increase to the number of school libraries served by a state-licensed school librarian.

“State statistics consistently show that schools with a school library staffed by a state-licensed school librarian produce better test scores. More importantly, these schools produced well-rounded students that are prepared to function in a global society,” American Association of School Librarians (AASL) President Cassandra Barnett said.

“A school library staffed by a state-licensed school librarian adds another classroom to the school and another teacher to help boost achievement scores, help struggling readers, and teach the 21st-century skills that are so critical to a student’s education.”