Dig Lit News

August 2019

Reminder on Shout-Outs

Want to tell someone, "thanks"? You can just e-mail me who you want to thank and what you want to say, or you can use this document. Either make a copy and share it back with me or print it and bring it to Tracy or me in the library. No anonymous shout-outs, please.

Intro for New Staff

One thing I love is reading blogs and searching for new ways to make technology work better for you (and our students) in the classroom! I just passed my Level 1 Google Certified Educator exam and will be trying for Level 2, soon! With all I learn, I love to work with students (and teachers!) to make sure our graduates are ready to be productive, digitally literate members of society when they leave MRHS. (They are 21st Century Learners-and that's part of Elevate!)

Anytime you are having your students create a presentation or research something, I'd love to be in your room with you! I'm happy to co-teach with you side-by-side, especially if it's something around technology you don't feel comfortable doing. :) Have something coming up? I'll sit down and plan with you and help you find the right tool for your students. There are lots of options out there, and together we can find what works for you (and be sure it's approved for student use).

Making sure our students know how to use the abundance of information that is literally at their fingertips is important. They need to be able to evaluate and sift through information from a variety of sources. And, they should be able to decide what they can use when creating new media of their own. From Google Apps tips to presentation tools to simple shortcuts, this newsletter covers it all. Everything will also be posted on the Library News page. Have questions about something I shared? I'll come work with you and show more, if you'd like.

Color Poster Maker

Last spring, we purchased a color poster maker! We still have the older one, and that would be great for things like Senior Summit signups that will just be up for a few days and then thrown away...but this new one can do both color and black and white. We can make posters in a variety of sizes, too. All I need is a PDF of what you want made into a poster and what size you'd like (full size, half size, or 13 x 9). It's not as smooth as if you created a poster at the print shop (which is still a cheap option), but it's pretty good. The master schedules by the teacher offices were printed on the new poster maker.

Google Keep

If you aren't using Google Keep, check it out. Sticky notes meet technology. Keep is right there in your email, or you can open it up in a new tab. That's where I keep things like my RANDA login info, Spanish keyboard shortcuts for the Newsletter, links to look at later, and more. I love how I can get to it on my computer or on my phone, and it's always up to date.

Things I like?

  • Tag your notes with a topic so you can keep them all together.
  • Use it for reminders and checklists, and upload photos. Even add voice memos.
  • Share a note with another teacher or student and both have access.
  • Search all your notes at once to find what you need.
  • Keep works on your phone, tablet, and computer.
  • Keep syncs across your devices so your important stuff is always with you.

Check out this quick video to see how it works, and search for Keep on your app store to add it to your phone.

More Info: The Short & Sweet Guide to Google Keep and Google Keep

Adobe Spark

I shared this last year, but I wanted to re-share. It's the same app you saw being used during our recent COPPA presentation. It's so easy for students to use if you need them to create quick videos using photos.

Adobe Spark is a free online and mobile graphic design app. You can easily create beautiful images and videos (and webpages) in no time. Last year, I used this in English classes with students creating videos. Compared to the other tools we used, this was by far the most simple to use. You can use your own photos in projects, or upload from their large library of free photos. Music is built-in and organized by the "feel" of the music, but you can also upload music from your own. Bensound is a great place to get royalty-free music for projects.

There are also iOS Apps. (Android has Spark Post, I think.) What's awesome about the apps is you can start on the computer and continue on the app (or vice versa). I created a video using the website with my own photos, and I recorded voiceover using my iPhone app. It's all saved in the cloud, so it was all there when I got back to my computer.

Here's an example of what a finished video looks like. With Adobe Spark Post, you can create photos, flyers, and more that you can then print or post on your website or social media. Want more ideas?Ten Ways to Use Adobe Spark in Schools

Favorite Past Tips

  • Check out Explora, one of our EBSCO databases that supports mobile searching and features text to speech capabilities.
  • Share entire folders in Google Docs instead of individual documents...it's so much easier! Any new documents in that folder automatically have the same sharing capabilities as the folder.
  • Create quick video tutorials with Screencastify. (Or, check out Loom, my new favorite...)
  • Model being a good "digital citizen" by using public domain photos on Pixabay, Unsplash, or Pexels.


*Don't forget to check out NoodleTools! This citation builder replaces EasyBib. Here are some of the perks:

  • No ads!
  • Create MLA and APA citations.
  • Export to Google Docs, and link papers in Google Docs within NoodleTools.
  • Students can create notecards to organize their research.
  • See student projects while they are in-progress so you can make comments along the way!
  • Find out how to create an account below.
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Our Library Website

Our library website is under "Learning Resources" on the MRHS home page. If you're new to The Mountain, check it out. There are lots of resources, sites, and tools for both students and staff! We have access to many great databases, and it's all available for use off campus, too! You just need to log in. I also purchase a variety of tech tools for student use.

Digital LIteracy Partnership

If you ever hear anyone mention the Digital Literacy Partnership (or the DLP), that's me! Across the district, there are Digital Literacy Teacher Librarians or Digital Literacy Teachers in every school. Our job is to support teachers and help our students with information literacy, digital literacy, and technology!

Again, I am available to collaborate and plan with you, co-teach a lesson, work with individual students or groups that need more help, or whatever else you need! I'm happy to come to department or common course meetings or sit down with you individually anytime!

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