SLS Weekly Update

March 26, 2021

Upcoming Opportunities

Mr. Schu April 14, 3:30-4:30. MLP link

Great Reads with Sora- Elementary. April 20 MLP Link

Great Reads with Sora- Secondary. April 22 MLP link

Author Shaun David Hutchinson MLP link. May 5 MLP link

Council Meeting May 18th

PebbleGo Next Trial

· Username: linkobserve

Password: lovetoread

Kids Discover Trial

Educators and students will have access to the Kids Discover Online platform, via our Library Media Plan, through June of 2021. It is a web-based platform, accessible from any internet-enabled device, offering:

- Over 2,000 interactive science, social studies, and ELA articles, perfect for grades 3 through 8

- All articles come in 3 reading levels, with read-aloud, translations, dictionary, and more

- Search by Standards feature to find content that aligns to NY-state standards

- Discover Map empowers students to build cross-curricular connections while promoting inquiry-based learning

- NY Ed-Law 2d compliant/no PII collected from students

URL to Access:



- or -

PW-Embedded URL:

Here's a 20 minute demo for educators, highlighting all of the plan's features, and I've attached a 1-pager on the plan. I'm also CCing our Library Media Team (, who educators can feel free to reach out to with any questions during the trial period.

We'd also be more than happy to hold a short (~30min) onboarding session, if you have any professional development opportunities in the near future.

They are very reasonably priced and this is a great option for me to make a regional purchase. Please let me know if you have any questions, would like a session, and if you would be interested in a regional purchase.

When You Picture a Scientist, Who Do You See?

Thank you for joining our live panel discussion: When You Picture a Scientist, Who Do You See?. We hope you were as inspired as we were with the conversation.

Promising Practices EdCamp March 31

Join Us | 3/31/21

Promising Practices Edcamp

Be a part of an exciting learning experience!

What is Promising Practices Edcamp?

Edcamp is a powerful learning experience designed just for educators and those in the education field. You set the topics and the design of the conversations. Simply learn what you want to learn. There are no experts and no prepared sessions. Edcamp provides the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues, share experiences, ask questions, discuss ideas, challenge your thinking, debate, communicate, and network!

Where is Promising Practices Edcamp?

Join from ANYWHERE! It’s online and will be accessible through Zoom.

How much does it cost?

FREE! (free?) YES! Completely free! Receive virtual swag, discount coupons to attend PD Sessions, CTLE credits, raffles, and more!

What’s the catch?

NO CATCH! We are as excited as you are! We can’t wait to see you there!

Visit our Edcamp website!

Let’s Get Registered!


Wednesday, March 31, 2021, 9:00am - 3:00pm

Social Media Plan! Simple Social Media Planning Tips for Library Promotion

PebbleGo Pulse


One Week left in Women's History Month with PebbleGo!

Featured Lesson Plan: Bio Poem
Ideas to Celebrate Poetry Month with PebbleGo

Women's History Month is going strong in PebbleGo!

Women's History Month may be coming to an end next week, but students can continue learning about amazing women throughout history all year long with any subscription that includes PebbleGo and/or PebbleGo Next Biographies. If your school doesn't yet subscribe to either Biographies module, you can still sign up for free access to articles about women in PebbleGo and PebbleGo Next through the end of March. We also created an engaging quiz and activities so students can learn about women who did amazing things—and shared similar interests to the students themselves!


Featured Lesson Plan: Bio Poem

March's featured lesson plan was designed for use with PebbleGo Next Biographies for your 3rd-5th grade students, but can be easily modified for even the youngest learner to use with PebbleGo Biographies. This lesson plan will help you guide students through writing a biographical poem based on a set formula and information they learned from researching a biography of their choice. This is an especially engaging lesson, well-suited for sharing on Flipgrid, Seesaw, or other edtech platforms that allow students to record themselves reading their poems and share with the class.


Ideas to Celebrate Poetry Month with PebbleGo​​​​​​

This is a time to bring words to life through special experiences, projects, and celebrations with your students and school community. One resource that is especially helpful to tie all of the different subjects into Poetry Month is PebbleGo. PebbleGo is not only the best place for sending our youngest learners to research, read, and navigate topics they love, it is also a place to inspire play-on words in which they can create their own poetry from this exploration and fun. Discover 3 ways to use PebbleGo in poetry projects with your students and community.


Teaching Books Teaching Ideas (April)


Explore resources for jumping-off points that deepen discussions, inspire reading interest, and support virtual connections to books and authors. Easily share and include in your instructional plans, newsletters, and social media.


Don't forget to explore our newly added April Timely Topics.

For more, see all of our Virtual Teaching Ideas.

Best Wishes,

The TeachingBooks Implementation Team

Swank Movies

Explore Environmental Films

Whether you're teaching students about pollution, policies or ways that they can impact the environment, Swank K-12 Streaming offers a variety of films to support your lesson plan.








Did You Know?

During the last year, COVID-19 has reshaped how schools across the country approach education. Teachers have been forced to find new ways to engage students in a variety of learning environments, and as a result, digital resources have become a priority. But how much of this change is temporary and how much is here to stay? Our recent webinar explores the long-lasting impact COVID-19 will have on education and why streaming access to films is here to stay.

Date/Time: Thursday, March 18 at 2 pm CST


The Sift- News Literacy

Learn about news literacy this week
Atlanta coverage fallout | Biden press illusion | Russia's 2020 strategy

NOTE: Get Smart About News is going on spring break next week. We’ll be back in your inbox on Tuesday, April 6.

Shooting coverage debates

News coverage of the March 16 fatal shootings at Atlanta-area spas that occurred amid a recent spate of anti-Asian violence across the country spurred important debates over journalism ethics and news decisions — especially as the story first unfolded. Questions and criticisms of coverage highlighted several notable issues, including the bias and credibility of law enforcement sources; the need for more diverse news organizations, journalists and sources; and hesitation by newsrooms to call the shootings a “hate crime.”

As the story developed, the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) published guidance for newsrooms covering the shootings. Its recommendations include providing context on the recent increasing violence, and understanding the history of anti-Asian racism. It also underscored the need to consult Asian American and Pacific Islander expert sources and to be careful with language that could contribute to “the hypersexualization of Asian women.”

AAJA reported that some newsrooms have questioned whether Asian American and Pacific Islander journalists will show bias or are “too emotionally invested” to cover the shootings. Calling such reports “deeply concerning,” it urged news organizations to empower these journalists “by recognizing both the unique value they bring to the coverage of the Atlanta shootings and the invisible labor they regularly take on, especially in newsrooms where they are severely underrepresented.”

Note: AAJA also released a pronunciation guide for Asian victims of the shootings.


Viral rumor rundown

NO: Video of President Joe Biden speaking to reporters at the White House on March 16 was not staged or manipulated using a green screen or computer-generated imagery. YES: Biden had an actual exchange with reporters, and the video of him with microphones in the foreground is authentic. YES: An illusion of depth caused Biden’s hands to appear to move through the microphones when they actually were moving over and in front of mics extended on boom poles to maintain social distancing.

Note: This is a fragment of the QAnon conspiracy belief system in which followers believe that Biden — or an actor, hologram or other illusory device — is only pretending to be president until former President Donald Trump returns to power to reveal a vast satanic cabal of child traffickers. This claim circulated beyond QAnon communities online.

Screenshots from a YouTube video created by conspiracy theory researcher and debunker Mick West that dissects the visual illusion created by the boom mics in the viral clip of Biden’s exchange with reporters outside the White House.

NO: The alleged shooter in the deadly Atlanta-area spa shootings on March 16 did not claim that COVID-19 is part of China's "plan to secure global domination" and did not call for Americans to “fight back.” NO: The Facebook post shared as an image at the bottom of this tweet is not authentic. YES: Fact-checkers at Lead Stories noted irregularities in the image, including outdated blue lettering no longer in use on the platform, that prove it is a manufactured hoax. NO: The suspect in the killings did not live in Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene’s district.

NO: The gas prices in this photo are not representative of the current gas prices across the United States. YES: These are recent prices at just one gas station in downtown Los Angeles that is notorious for prices that are substantially higher than other stations nearby and around the country. YES: The average price of gas nationwide — $2.86 per gallon as of March 15 — has increased significantly in recent weeks due to increased demand, rising crude prices and limited supply due to the February power outages in Texas. YES: Gas prices collapsed at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and have recently returned to pre-pandemic levels.

This chart showing average gasoline prices since January 2018 helps put current gas prices into context. Source: The American Automobile Association (AAA)

★ NewsLit Picks


“Foreign Threats to the 2020 U.S. Federal Elections” (National Intelligence Council).

The National Intelligence Council on March 16 released a report outlining actions taken by foreign actors to influence the 2020 U.S. presidential election. It concluded that while no foreign actors “attempted to alter any technical aspect of the voting process” in 2020, Russia and Iran did engage in significant information influence operations to manipulate the outcome of the election. Those operations aimed to erode Americans’ confidence in U.S. institutions and the integrity of the electoral process and to intensify social divisions. Both countries worked to push false narratives and misleading “evidence” of alleged voting irregularities and voting fraud.

While Iran worked to undercut former President Donald Trump, Russia used U.S. media outlets, public officials, influential figures close to Trump along with its own state-run media to “launder” and legitimize false and misleading narratives to try to damage then-Democratic nominee Joe Biden.


Quick Picks

“Amazon Is Pushing Readers Down A ‘Rabbit Hole’ Of Conspiracy Theories About The Coronavirus” (Craig Silverman and Jane Lytvynenko, BuzzFeed News).

“That’s not real!: Six tips to help you detect fake science news” (Marc Zimmer, Local News Matters, Bay City News Foundation).

Analysis: “What Conspiracy Theorists Don’t Believe” (Tim Harford, The Atlantic).

Thanks for reading!

Your weekly issue of Get Smart About News is created by Peter Adams(@PeterD_Adams), Suzannah Gonzales and Hannah Covington (@HannahCov) of the News Literacy Project. It is edited by NLP’s Mary Kane (@marykkane).

Sign up to receive NLP Connections (news about our work) or switch your subscription to the educator version of Get Smart About News called The Sift® here.

NYS Talking Book and Braille- IMPORTANT CHANGES

Good afternoon,

The NYS Talking Book and Braille Library would like to share a significant change to our library’s certification requirements.

The National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled (NLS) has implemented changes to the application certification process, making it easier for individuals with reading disabilities to apply for Talking Book and Braille Library service.

Now, librarians, social workers, school psychologists, counselors, reading specialists, speech pathologists, and educators may certify the eligibility of applicants with reading disabilities.

Until recently, individuals with reading disabilities were required to have a diagnosis and signature from a doctor of medicine to approve their eligibility for service. NLS has eased this requirement so a medical diagnosis is no longer necessary.

NYS Talking Book and Braille Library applications will be updated soon to include the following certification language from NLS:

Eligibility must be certified by one of the following: doctor of medicine, doctor of osteopathy, ophthalmologist, optometrist, psychologist, registered nurse, therapist, and professional staff of hospitals, institutions, and public or welfare agencies (such as an educator, a social worker, case worker, counselor, rehabilitation teacher, certified reading specialist, school psychologist, superintendent, or librarian).

If you have questions about service or certification, please do not hesitate to contact our library.

NYS Talking Book and Braille Library
Cultural Education Center
Albany, NY 12230

Talking Book and Braille Summer Reading Info Session

Please plan to attend this upcoming "Lunch and Learn" information session on Talking Book and Braille Library resources and connecting students with print disabilities to Summer Reading and Summer Learning and "Tails and Tales."

Details are below and on the attached flyer. We hope you can join us to learn more about the audio and braille book resources and services available from the New York State Talking Book and Braille Library.

The information session will be recorded and archived for future viewing.

Title: Summer Reading Resources for Younger Readers with Print Disabilities

When: Weds., March 31, 2021, 12:00 – 12:45 pm

Presented by: Jane Bentley, Librarian, New York State Talking Book and Braille Library

Please join us on Wednesday, March 31, 2021 from 12:00 PM - 12:45 PM EST, for an online informational session with the New York State Talking Book and Braille Library (TBBL). TBBL librarian, Jane Bentley, will provide an overview of services, focusing on audio and braille resources you can use to engage students and young readers with print disabilities. Discover how your library can access TBBL materials as you plan for your upcoming Summer Reading programs, activities, and events.

Who should attend:

• Public library staff interested in incorporating TBBL materials into their Summer Reading program.

• School library staff interested in learning more about TBBL and promoting the service with eligible students and their families.

Find the registration link at:

NYSCATE 2021-2024 Learning Technology Grant Program

The New York State Education Department is seeking applications from public school districts and consortia of districts or district(s) and BOCES for Learning Technology Grant funding to develop, implement, and share

    • innovative programs that utilize learning technologies to personalize learning and/or increase access to high-quality, rigorous learning experiences (such as through online, distance, or blended learning), as well as
    • professional development programs to assist teachers and educational leaders in effectively utilizing learning technology to enhance teaching and learning.
  • The Learning Technology Grant (LTG) application and additional information can be found on the Department’s Funding Website.
  • The deadline to submit questions is April 5th. Responses (Q&A) will be posted by April 26th.
  • Proposals must be postmarked by May 10th.
  • Questions can be directed to

NYLA Webinar

The Art of Service
Date: Thursday, April 15, 2021
Time: 2:30pm-3:30pm

Volunteer work is the foundation that joins charitable service and hard work. While an individual generally does not receive compensation for volunteer hours, the rewards of service go far beyond that of monetary payment.

Besides the personal satisfaction and the opportunity to either learn or hone your skills, you will gain a deeper understanding of the community and develop a network of contacts that are useful when searching for that next career move.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Understand their role as a volunteer and the importance of service.
  2. Identify potential service opportunities that intersect with professional goals.


Sandra Michele Echols

S. Michele Echols has quite a diverse array of experience and education. Her love for libraries recently garnered her the New York Library Association 2020 Outstanding Services to Libraries Awards. Echols has served in various leadership positions for the New York Black Librarians Caucus (NYBLC), New York Librarians Association (NYLA) and Black Caucus of the American Library Association (BCALA). Since 2015, Echols has also taught both undergraduate and graduate courses at several colleges and universities in New York State specializing in Information Literacy, Grant-writing, Career Development and Reference and Information Sources.

Dr. Jennifer Cannell

Dr. Jen Cannell is an Assistant Professor and Director of the Graduate School Library Media Specialist Program at St. John Fisher College. She began her career as a middle school librarian in Fairport, NY where her colleagues awarded her with the Crystal Apple for teacher of the year. She went on to become a library automation coordinator and a school library system director. Jen is Past President of the New York Library Association, has a passion for learning, and thrives on challenging work.

Cost and Registration:

The charge for the webinar is $25 for NYLA personal or organizational members and $35 for those who are not members of NYLA.

Group registrations are also available ($75 member rate /$99 nonmember rate) per webinar. Interested participants may choose to join NYLA prior to registering for the webinar to receive the NYLA member rate.

Beginning on March 2, 2021 registration will be open through the NYLA Online Membership Center and a credit card is required for payment. Checks and purchase orders are not accepted. Registration is closed 48 hours prior to the start time of the webinar.

Register Here