My Librarian gave to me...

12 AWESOME Days of Library and Technology Tools & Resources

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12 Days of Sharing!

'Tis the Season for sharing! For the next 12 days, I will be sharing with you a new library or technology tool that you can use in your classroom. Hopefully, by the holiday break you will have added some great tools to your technology collection. #sharingiscaring


Explain Everything

Explain Everything is an easy-to-use design, screencasting, and interactive whiteboard tool that lets you annotate, animate, narrate, import, and export almost anything to and from almost anywhere. Create slides, draw in any color, add shapes, add text, and use a laser pointer.

  • Import and insert: any document, picture or video
  • Move and animate: ideas in motion

  • Draw and annotate: total freedom of drawing on anything

  • Zoom and pan: space with no limits

  • Record and play: scrubbing is easy

  • Export and share: integrated with everything

Christmas trivia: The Winter Solstice is Sunday, December 21st. Test your knowledge on the shortest day/longest night of the year. Visit the Winter Solstice Quiz Google form and answer the questions.

Explain Everything


BryteWave K-12 Edition

The BryteWave K-12 Edition is a FREE app that allows you to engage, empower and enlighten students within an interactive reading environment focused on universal access and building critical thinking skills through reading, studying and note taking.

Education focused tools designed to:

  • Improve studying and note taking skills
  • Provide one consistent reading and learning environment across multiple devices
  • Engage teachers and students with more instructional features
  • Provide grade appropriate definitions with the multiple level dictionary

All of our digital fiction (and lots of nonfiction) ebooks and audiobooks are accessible through BryteWave. Click HERE for instructions on how to use BryteWave. (Disclaimer: Audiobooks cannot be downloaded onto devices YET, however, that feature will be available within the next couple of months. Update: I was just notified that audiobooks can now be downloaded onto an iPhone device! *doing the happy dance*)

I hope you all enjoy some great books over the holidays. We have lots of great holiday picture books in the library, too!

Christmas trivia: It's time for a logic puzzle! Help figure out what the Jacob kids like about Christmas with this interactive grid/printable grid logic puzzle. Then post how you did on our Logic Puzzle padlet.



PicMonkey makes creative tools for photo editing and graphic design. It allows you to edit your photos easily while giving you the freedom to add your own style and creativity. Add filters, frames, text, and effects with this free online photo editing tool! (Some editing options require you to have a paid membership.)

Christmas Trivia:
Since today is our staff holiday get together, let's find our Party Elf Names. Then use PicMonkey to create/edit a quick picture of your elf self. Make sure you add your elf name to the picture! Then post the picture to our Party Elf Name Padlet.
Quick photo fixes with PicMonkey's Basic Edits


Access my School Library app

Access your library — even when you're not at school! Imagine using the library anywhere, anytime to do research, get vital information, or just settle a bet.

It's as simple as using the Access My Library School Edition app from Gale. After a simple, one-time log-in using your library's password (ask your librarian for the details!), the mobile app will give you free, unlimited access to your school library's reputable, authoritative Gale online resources. These include ALL our reference ebooks and Katy ISD Gale Databases. (This does not include our fiction ebooks/audiobooks. Information regarding those will be featured on 12 AWESOME Days of Technology SOON!)

Want to create promotional resources such as bookmarks, posters, etc for your students? Ask your librarian for details!

Christmas trivia: Test your knowledge on traditional Christmas carols. Visit the Here We Come A Caroling Google Form and name that tune!

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Kahoot is a game-based classroom response system.

  • Through a simple 'drag & drop' creator tool (using any device), build quizzes with embedded imagery and video, based on educational content. Or, find public content to play.
  • Engage the room and focus attention by projecting the quiz onto the screen at the front. Without needing an account, everyone in the room quickly joins through their personal device, seeing their name appear at the front.
  • Answering questions in real time through an easy-to-use interface, they play against each other aiming to top the on-screen leaderboard, whilst you facilitate and discuss the content.

Christmas trivia: Visit the Holiday Trivia Google Form and answer the 10 holiday trivia questions. If you would like to see how Kahoot works, let me know. I created this same quiz using Kahoot, but you will have to come to the library and take the quiz with me.

Kahoot Demo



TodaysMeet is the premier backchannel chat platform for classroom teachers and learners. The backchannel is the conversation that goes on alongside the primary activity, presentation, or discussion.

TodaysMeet helps harness the backchannel and turn it into a platform that can enable new activities and discussions, extend conversations beyond the classroom, and give all students a voice.

Students join fast, easy to start rooms with no sign up, and can immediately start powerful conversations that augment the traditional classroom.

Drawback: It is a form of social media and may be blocked to student access.

Christmas trivia activity: Join the TompkinsLibrary TodaysMeet room and join in the conversation about holiday traditions.

Todays Meet Backchannel 2014 Tutorial


What to Read Next...

Are you looking to add some great reads to your Christmas list, but aren't sure where to look? Check out these great resources to help you find your next read!

YourNextRead: search for titles, author, or genres OR browse their visual bookshelf

WhatShouldIReadNext: search for titles in their database and save lists (if member).

OpeningTheBook: choose up to 4 different factors to find books that match your needs. (ex. safe or disturbing, expected or unpredictable, etc.)

Reminder: The Tompkins Library will be hosting a book fair today and tomorrow. Come on down and buy yourself an early Christmas present!

Christmas trivia: It's the 12 Days of Christmas, but how many French Hens, Ladies Dancing, etc. are there? View this HANDOUT and figure out the answers. Get your thinking caps on! Click the GOOGLE FORM to submit your answers.



Powtoon allows you to create animated videos and presentations. This tool is FREE and very easy to use.
  • Teachers - flip your classroom, inspire, engage and delight your students
  • Students - have fun presenting your assignments with a Wow!

Check out our animated holiday message to you using Powtoon! Did I mention how easy it is to use Powtoon?? Give it a try!

Christmas trivia: Test your knowledge on Christmas Songs. Visit our Christmas Songs Quiz Powtoon Presentation (took me literally 5 minutes to create it!) and follow the instructions. Good luck!

What is Powtoon - Find out what Powtoon is and what it can be used for


Poll Everywhere

Poll Everywhere lets you engage your class anywhere in real time.

  1. Ask your class a question with the FREE Poll Everywhere app OR simply display the created poll question.
  2. Class answers in real time using mobile phones, Twitter, or web browsers.
  3. See your response live on the web or in a in a PowerPoint presentation.

This tool is FREE. However, there are some features that require a paid membership. Watch the video below to see just how quick and easy this technology is to use!

Christmas trivia: In an effort to show you a couple of ways you can use Poll Everywhere, today's activity will have two parts.

  1. Visit the Would you rather... Poll and answer the questions. (This is one way you can poll students.)
  2. After you answer the questions, click HERE to enter your name. The poll will require you to text 771439 and your first and last name to 37607.

We will draw for 2 book ornament winners at 3:00!

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Symbaloo is a visual bookmarking tool that makes it simple to organize the best websites on the web. You have all your favorite websites at your fingertips. With an account, you can access your bookmarks from everywhere with any device and share your online resources with others.

In honor of Computer Science Week, Mr. Tully and I created this Hour of Code Symbaloo with some great coding resources. Check them out and share them with your students!

Christmas trivia: In honor of Hour of Code, use code to light up a Christmas tree in the nation's capital. Visit Code the Holidays (click the CODE THE HOLIDAYS button), use code to light up your tree, save the image, and post the image on our Light up the Nation's Christmas tree padlet (make sure you add your name!) Two book ornament winners will be announced today at 3:00!

SymbalooEDU Introduction



Padlet is FREE and allows you to quickly create interactive webpages.

  • Students do not need accounts to create a Padlet
  • Information can be added or edited with computers, tablets and phones - multiplatform capable
  • Add text, pictures, videos, links, documents (use PDF if students/parents are viewing)
  • Padlet walls are infinite in size
  • Each sticky note is limited to 150 characters

Padlet can be used in so many ways! Watch the video below for information on how to get started. It's easy, I promise!!

Christmas Trivia: Visit THIS WEBSITE and take the Classic Christmas Characters quiz. Simply click on the PLAY button and start typing in the names of the characters you know. You only have 4 minutes, so use your time wisely! After you take the quiz, visit THIS PADLET and type in your name and score. We will draw for 2 book ornament winners today at 3:00. Good luck!

Higher Ed Tech Tutorials Padlet for YouTube

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Nearpod is a collaborative presentation tool that allows teachers to engage and assess their students using mobile devices. Educators can easily create interactive presentations anywhere with the Nearpod Content Tool, then monitor classroom activity for individual students or groups, as well as receiving post-session reports.

Christmas Trivia: How much do you know about Christmas trees? Take THIS QUIZ and find out! We will draw for 2 book ornament winners today at 3:00. Good luck!

Let's Nearpod!
Thank you to librarian, Shannon Miller, for this great idea!