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ESA Library: October 2013 Newsletter


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Your monthly newsletter from the Etobicoke School of the Arts Elizabeth Downie Media Library.

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ESA Library: October 2013 Newsletter

  1. 1. Do you Skype on a personal basis? Have you used - or have you ever considered using - Skype in your classroom? Skype in the Classroom can connect you with other teachers for personal professional development. You may also find ideas for lessons using Skype, join online workshops, bring guest speakers into your classroom, and more. You may also connect your students with other students from around the world. Join and get free group video calling for free for one year. Visit the Skype in the Classroom website to sign up and/or learn more. Skype in the Classroom Library OCT 2013 NEWSLETTER Happily we bask in this warm September sun, Which illuminates all creatures... Henry David Thoreau Now October is upon us... It’s hard to believe that the first month has come and gone already. I had forgotten just how hectic life at ESA is, right from the start. Nothing slow and gradual about coming back to work this year. All Grade 9 students have finished their first round of Library Orientation and Instruction. All Grade 9 classes will be back for the next phase in mid-October. Some of the Grade 12’s have also been down for a refresher course on Academic Honesty. During these sessions I shared the disposition of Tribunal Decisions from the UofT for the Winter Term 2012. It makes for interesting reading, and reinforces the need for everyone to take their responsibilities vis-a-vis academic honesty with great seriousness. All members of the ESA Community are reminded of the school policy on Academic Honesty. A copy of the full policy, as well as the Academic Honesty brochures for both Students and Parents, and Teachers, may be found online here. October in the Library kicks off with Mental Health Awareness Week, brought to you by the ESA Equity Group. The full listing of events may be found online at the ESA Library Daily Blog. Do come and be a part of the conversation. Great Soup is Back! ESA’s SEEDS Me to We group will host their first Great Soup Community Lunch of the year on Monday November 11th. Mark your calendars. For just $6 per person, we provide soups, salads, homemade breads and goodies. All proceeds go to charity. If you’d like to contribute a food item, fill out the Google Form by November 6th. Killbear Provincial Park. Copyright free photo sourced from Brittanica Image Quest. Available for home access - with password protection - via the ESA Virtual Library. News
  2. 2. Other News... Tidbits that hopefully will interest someone... Pocket Does your e-mail inbox serve as your to do list? or your “I have to remember this later” list? Try Pocket (formerly Read it Later). I’ve been using it since May and loving it. Send a link to your pocket in one easy step, and browse the contents later at your leisure. Clean and simple layout, totally user friendly interface. Cool Text Looking for some interesting graphic text to spice up that assignment handout or add to a presentation slide? Try the Cool Text Logo and Graphics Generator. Choose from a wide variety of styles, customise your colours and font size. Spicy Learning Blog EdTech blog by a York Region Teacher. Lots to say about Social Media in the Classroom. If you’re ready to jump into the Web 2.0 world in your classroom, check the June 15 2013 posting for a matrix comparing various options. Evernote Always losing those little slips of paper you write notes to yourself on? Never lose one again. Find everything at your fingertips from any computer anywhere. I’ve been using Evernote since early this summer. Another lifesaver. Also interesting educational applications. See link above for more. App of the Week Are you interested in a weekly e-mail highlighting an App which has interest from an educational perspective? Last month’s feature App’s are archived on the ESA Library EduBlog. If you are interested in being on the receiving end of the weekly e-mail, and/or interested in keeping up with what else is going on in the Library, sign up here. Happy App’ing. PDF Commenting Save paper by having your students submit work electronically, as PDF files, and then mark them online using a PDF commenting tool. I’ve been using PDF Escape (for no particular reason). Read about three more options at FreeTech4Teachers. CoffeeTime Edu The YouTube Channel belonging to US teacher Tim Childers, CoffeeTime Edu hosts a collection of EdTech videos on a variety of topics. One of the more recent posts is about Feedly, which is rapidly becoming the RSS reader of choice, following the shutdown of Google Reader. The videos are casual, informative, and easy to follow. If you are just starting to incorporate Web 2.0 tools into your personal and/or professional life, a quick stop at CoffeeTime Edu might help you gain confidence to incorporate some of these tools into your daily routine. Using OnLine Surveys Consider using online surveys in a variety of ways in your classroom. There are lots of free tools available to suit just about any need. For starter ideas, refer to a recent article, posted at Edudemic, titled 5 Ways to Use Online Surveys in the Classroom. Two great starting points, for developing online surveys are Survey Monkey and Zoho Survey. Google Forms, available through your TDSB Google Apps for Education account is another user friendly vehicle for online surveys. Time Toast Need students to generate timelines for a project in class? or simply as a teaching tool to help everyone keep the dates straight? Consider using TimeToast. Time Toast is user friendly and intuitive, with a very shallow learning curve. TimeToast allows for a couple of different presentation styles as well as opportunities to add your timeline to a blog or website. If you want to go the Open Source route, try Timeline JS. DropBox DropBox will allow you to store and sync your teaching life across all of the computers you encounter on a daily basis. The beauty of DropBox is that it doesn’t matter whether you work on a Mac at home but have to deal with PC’s at school (as I do). Another great aspect to DropBox is the ability to use it as a student repository for homework and assignments. No longer are you tied to connecting to the board network to access dropped off files. Learn more in an article written by Jennifer Carey and posted at the Powerful Learning Practice blog.