November 2013, Volume 5, Issue 10
Check Your Calendars!!
National Young Readers Week
AASL National Conference & Exhibition
International Games Day
American Education Week
2014 Midwinter Meeting, Philadelphia, PA
January 24-28, 2014
Featured e-Resources of the Month
New Features in our old favorites!
Trends & More...
The Book Bag blog — growth from a challenge
Susan Schleicher, SDSU Briggs Library
The Book Bag would not be what it is today, if not for the State Library's Library 2.0 Challenge that I participated in, back in 2009. Never in my wildest dreams could I have ever imagined my blog becoming what it turned out to be. What started as a work related summer project to familiarize me with technology became so much more.
The Library 2.0 Challenge was a way for some of us who were lacking in tech knowledge to put into practice some of the 'hot' items of the time. The first thing we had to do was set up a blog. I love to read so it was natural to call my new blog, The Book Bag. Well, when summer was over I was left with the question, 'What do I do with it now?' I decided my new blog would be a perfect way for me to keep track of the books that I read and I could add a little note about what I thought of each story.
Now it's 2013 and somewhere along the line, The Book Bag exploded. Authors and blog tour companies are contacting me asking me to review books. I have worked with some authors who have come back to me, asking me to review their latest book. I now put up, on average, 25 posts a month and have several thousand people who follow my blog via email, various readers or RSS feeds, Twitter and Facebook.
I have a hard time calling myself a 'reviewer' when all I do is share my thoughts about books that I enjoy. But people keep coming back to see what I have to say. It still amazes me! Come on over for a visit to The Book Bag. I would love it if you stopped by and maybe left me a comment. And who knew, back in 2009, that The Book Bag would be the fun that it is today? I totally love my reading life!
Digital Gizmos: Diigo and Symbaloo
With the implementation of the Common Core standards, students are being asked to interact with informational text to develop their own opinions that are grounded in credible evidence. As librarians, we need to be the resident experts in our schools that help guide students during these activities. Digital bookmarking apps are one resource we can use to direct students to credible information, keeping track of resources, and keeping notes. Diigo [http://www.diigo.com] and Symbaloo [http://www.symbaloo.com]are two bookmarking apps that be accessed on iPads and tablets as well as PCs via the Internet.
The Symbaloo app is a way of visually bookmarking websites that students often use when they visit the library. Through the app you can also design a webmix of URLs that you want to direct students to visit. As you collaborate with teachers you can create webmixes for specific classroom projects. The webmixes can be linked on your library website and set as the default screen on computers in the library so students can access the sites easily at home and in the library. If you don't have a library website yet, you can link it to your school homepage. Here's a webmix we created and made public so you can use it to get started and easily direct students to the online resources provided by the State Library.
Diigo is a bookmarking app that can assist your students in research projects as they gather evidence for their claims. Diigo's features include the ability to tag websites, insert notes and highlight text. Students can group URLs into lists by topic or project. Teachers can create lists and share with students for reading assignments as well as use Diigo as a tool for many student projects such as creating annotated bibliographies. Diigo bookmarks can also be played back as webslides which gives it a more visual aspect. Try this sample Diigo list we created on the subject of text complexity.
Symbaloo is a great tool for students of all ages while Diigo lends itself to more middle school and up. Both tools have options for privacy and/or public sharing. Which websites and/or apps do you use with your students to help them manage their research and resources? Email Marta Stirling at email@example.com with ideas and any questions.