Tag Archives: AASL

AASL Recommended Apps: Humanities and Arts: English Central

Last summer, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) announced their Best Apps for Teaching and Learning 2017. The apps encourage qualities such as creativity and collaboration, and encourage discovery and curiosity.

 

Level: Kindergarten +
Platform: iOS  and Android
Cost: FREE

The app English Central helps students learn English through the thousands of videos it makes available. Videos range from casual to formal speaking situations. The app also includes courses specifically for those entering certain professions like hotel and service and offer levels from beginner to advanced. Students can focus on specific skills like grammar, pronunciation, and useful expressions and also take assessments to see how well they are learning material.  Students can even have daily lessons delivered to their phones, if they choose. A tip to make English Central even more useful would be to suggest that ESL students take the app home with them to share with other family members who might also be learning English.

English Central has a Teacher Portal which offers webinars, video lessons, and other tools specifically for teachers. The app has been reviewed by the MidAmerica Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, and also by Busy Teachers.org who posted this detailed review.

Watch this quick video to see English Central in action:

New AASL Standards: What Do They Mean for You?

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It is seldom that a new rollout of an intiative does not turn into the dreaded “One More Thing” situation. Honestly, the AASL National School Library Standards that have been unveiled at the AASL 2017 National Convention is anything but. They are written in such a way that will help school librarians everywhere celebrate the learning that is happening right now in your schools and libraries. Or, perhaps, give directions to those of us who need a plan.Who shouts out “I need a hot drink!” when you are smack in the middle of a fire? (i.e. Twenty-eight things going on simultaneously such as parent nights, meetings, book fairs, holiday concerts, spirit weeks and the list goes on.) Well, not me. I am looking for a cool drink with ice. Or, in this case, I.I.C.C.E.E. Inquire. Include. Collaborate. Curate. Explore. Engage.

The six core values that serve as the foundation for the new standards allow for easy integration of library standards to all curriculums. Gone is the jargon that can sidetrack even the best intentions and in its place are words that every educator uses in their lesson planning and delivery.

We have the opportunity to establish ourselves as the bridge over the curriculum current and really, the current curriculum—no matter how often it changes or doesn’t. The new standards empower each one of us to pick a place that works best for our stakeholders and incorporate this fresh way of thinking about best practices. Student-centered learning is key for success in education, whether your student is 2 or 92 or somewhere in between.  Opportunities to engage in meaningful and authentic learning experiences are threaded throughout each of the standards. As we spend time unpacking each of them, I am almost giddy to think about where we will be as a profession as the shift to the new standards begin.

So. What does this mean for you? It means that you now have a document and loads of resources to support you as you strive to make—or keep—your library indispensable to your school. It means that you have research readily available for your administrator that will prove how you should be at the table when it comes to planning for curriculum support. It means that you have to step up, step out of the library doors, and make the effort to connect with teachers and prove that you want to support their instruction with instruction of your own. It means that you have to push yourselves before you can expect others to push themselves. It means you have to make a safe space to fail as you learn because after all failure is really just a more in-depth path to success. Most importantly, it means that you are living in an exciting time to be in the library.

Now get out there and do what you do best: facilitate the learning! Drink the Kool-Aid (with I.I.C.C.E.E) and get on board for the grandest ride of all. It is implementation time, folks! *glitter throw* ”

From the ALA:

Designed to empower leaders to transform teaching and learning, the new “National School Library Standards for Learners, School Librarians, and School Libraries” from the American Association of School Librarians (AASL), published by ALA Editions, reflect an evolution of AASL Standards. The standards and guidelines found in three previously separate publications—”AASL Standards for the 21st-Century Learner,” “Standards in Action,” and “Empowering Learners”—have been integrated, remodeled, and framed within a single text. Featuring a new streamlined AASL Standards Integrated Framework for learners, school librarians, and school libraries, these standards emphasize the importance of all three standards sets while ensuring that standards-related activities are mutually reinforcing.

Also available is the AASL Standards Framework for Learners pamphlet, the ideal collaborative and advocacy piece to introduce stakeholders to this student-focused segment at the heart of AASL’s standards. In addition to the framework for learners, this convenient pamphlet includes Common Beliefs reflecting current learning environments and professional best practices that form the foundation of the standards and a summary of the essential elements in the standards framework structure. The pamphlet is sold in full-color glossy packs of 10. It’s the perfect piece to share and present at district school board meetings, PTA/PTO meetings, and teacher in-service days.

AASL Recommended Apps: STEM: Lifeliqe

Last summer, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) announced their Best Apps for Teaching and Learning 2017. The apps encourage qualities such as creativity and collaboration, and encourage discovery and curiosity.

The app Lifeliqe is a digital science curriculum that helps to engage students with its interactive 3D models. The app is aligned with Next Generation Science Standards and Common Core curriculum. Students can use augmented, virtual, and mixed reality to learn science concepts. Educators can make and share their own 3D lesson plans and presentations or customize the ones that come with the app. Check out the Lifeliqe blog for more more ways to incorporate the app into your classroom!

Level: All
Platform: iOS
Cost: Yearly plan $99, school discounts available

Common Sense Education has this review of Lifeliqe which includes lesson and activity ideas, and this article from Emerging Ed Tech has more information on the app, including some short demonstrations.

Watch this video to see how Lifeliqe works:

 

AASL Recommended Apps: Humanities and Arts: Google Arts and Culture

Last summer, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) announced their Best Apps for Teaching and Learning 2017. The apps encourage qualities such as creativity and collaboration, and encourage discovery and curiosity.

The app Google Arts and Culture “offers a smorgasbord of art related topics for the “culturally curious”. From art stories to art exhibits, users can explore the world of art by reading the latest feature stories, or by going on a 3D tour of a museum.” You are able to zoom up close for a detailed look at artwork, browse the art by time period or color, or filter your search by artist or medium. To generate classroom discussion, use the “Experiments” feature.

Level: High School +
Platform iOS and Android
Cost: Free

School Library Journal has this review of the app that describes it as a “versatile tool that can be integrated into many classroom activities.” And Business Insider has a detailed description and how-to for the app that you can read here.

Watch a trailer of the app below:

AASL Recommended Apps: STEM: Cosmic Watch

Last summer, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) announced their Best Apps for Teaching and Learning 2017. The apps encourage qualities such as creativity and collaboration, and encourage discovery and curiosity.

This app is a celestial watch based on a 3D model of the solar system as experienced from earth, and is a world and astronomical clock.
“It shows time as what it really is – our position and motion in the cosmos. Students can learn more about astronomy and our solar system, watch the real time movement of sun, moon and stars or simply enjoy the beautiful design of the celestial sphere.” The app’s website features tutorials as well as some educational resources that  feature images from NASA missions.

Level: Middle School +
Platform: iOS/Android
Cost: $4.49

Read this review from PC Mag for a detailed description of the app as well as pro/con items. You can also read a review by a teacher here, from EducationalAppStore.com.