Computers are a tool, not a reward

We are almost (almost!) at the point where teachers can have a set of tablets in the classroom or bring their students to the library computers and have it be like a normal lesson. Almost. When computers were first introduced at school, there were so few they often only got used as game rewards or working on skill building. Now that we have more computers, teachers can expect students to view them as a tool for the lesson. It used to happen that teachers would book the library computer lab for a few sessions for “those students who don’t have a computer at home so that they can get the assignment done.” Then what would the others do? Waste time. But now, thanks to my district buying many computer tablets, the novelty of “oh we have computers today in our lesson, time for fun and games” has almost worn off in our school. The lesson that I hope finally sinks in is- when we’re at school we need to work during class time- whether that class time is in the library or in the classroom – whether the lesson involves pencil and paper or computers. Teacher have been working hard to make computers a part of everyday lessons.


They’ve also been very cognizant of students who don’t have computers at home and making sure they have time to visit the school or public library to use a computer. Many students have phones and teachers are encouraging students to use apps on their phones such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs. Our library has a few tablets for check out as well.




Touch ID is the best thing ever and Siri commands

I am thrilled right down to my bones whenever I use/ findĀ  an app that uses Touch ID to sign in instead of a Username and Password. Kudos to my local credit union (EECU) and Mint and LastPass and Dropbox and Evernote, etc. Why don’t the rest of the apps get on this bandwagon? See more below.

appsusingtouchidimage from:

And on a barely related topic- here’s what Siri can do for you –

Notes Apps- which is best?

We have two and a half wonderful notes apps to choose from in our digital lives. (three and a half if you count LiveBinders) I have been researching many apps for my CSLA Workshop on “The Digital Magic of Organizational Tools for Diverse Users.” For taking notes and more, I really like OneNote, Evernote, and Google Keep. The half I refer to is Google Keep. Google Keep has everything the other two have except notebooks, which is practically a dealbreaker, but it was not meant to be a “notebook” type app, so that is fine. I prefer OneNote’s organization of notebooks, sections, and pages. Evernote only has notebooks and notes (pages). But they are both super easy to use and very easily searchable. I wonder which one others prefer?




Useful book for Teachers and Librarians

I’m recommending Nicole Hennig’s Apps for Librarians: Using the Best Mobile Technology to Educate, Create, and Engage. She details the developer, version, platform, price, explanation of how it works and what it does, Audience, Examples, and Other Apps Worth Trying on several apps in several categories. The chapters include Apps for Research and Reference, Apps for Taking Notes and Writing, Apps for Communication, Apps for Reading, and many more. Because a book like this might have a short shelf-life (ha!) she also has a website in which she writes about the changes made in some of the apps since the book was written. And she has a newsletter!

Check this all out if you’re a teacher librarian, a teacher, or a student and you love apps.


Bikes and Movie: Spotlight

  1. One of my students in Fresno saw my bicycle and said- oh- just like a security guard’s! What she means is that she has NO associations with bicycles other than security guards riding them. How sad.
  2. Go see the movie Spotlight. Excellent tale of Catholic priests and abuse the power of great journalism! 10 out of 10