Tag Archives: AASL Best Apps for Teaching & Learning

AASL Recommended App: Content Creation: Canva

canvaIn June 2016, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) announced their 25 Best Apps for Teaching and Learning. The apps encourage qualities such as innovation and active participation, and are user-friendly.

The design tool Canva provides fonts, design templates, layouts, and more to use on social media or slide presentations. The app has more than a million images to choose from, and also allows you to use pictures uploaded from your camera roll. Great for use on school websites, flyers, and social media branding. The Canva site also features helpful tutorials.

Cost: Free
Level: Middle and High School
Platforms: iOS

The blog Disrupt Education has a great article about how to incorporate Canva into the classroom, with relation to teaching 21st century learning skills like succinct writing and using creative commons. Another site to visit that discusses the usefulness of Canva in schools is Ed Tech Teacher. Their article about using Canva includes examples, videos, and links to additional resources and articles.

Watch their promotional video:

Check out some fun library apps: Boopsie, Gabbie, and Remind

Technology is even better when it can help you and your library! We are investigating three apps that are supposed to support communication with patrons, promote your library, and connect your services with the community.

boopsieBoopsie for Libraries is probably the most well-known library app, and is useful for all types of libraries, from K-12 to Special Libraries. According to their site, the app has been downloaded 3.4 million times, with 500,000 app users per month. The app enables libraries to provide patrons with constant access to digital and print collections and services. It also features a “Library locator” to help users find a location close to them. The app can connect patrons with their library’s social media and event calendar. Click here for more information on Boopsie.

gabbie-redNext up is Gabbie, which is a two-way texting app with auto-commands. Some of the features are providing patrons with free texts for overdues and reserves, the ability to add an “Ask a Librarian” link to your website or newsletters, and a console to communicate with patrons with visual and audio alerts. For some examples, check out these libraries in Iowa that have taken advantage of the Gabbie app: the Wilton Public Library and the Earlham Public Library. For more information on how to get Gabbie for your library, click here.

remindFinally, Remind is an app that was included in the 2015 AASL Best Apps for Teaching & Learning. It’s a messaging app that allows schools or libraries to communicate with large groups or just an individual. It also allows you to set reminders. To see how it can be helpful for libraries, check out this free webinar from AASL. If you don’t want to watch a whole webinar, the presentation slides are also available.

Do you use any of these apps in your libraries, or do you have other ones that you have found helpful? Share your experience with us!

 

AASL Recommended App: Humanities and Arts: MusiQuest

musiquestIn June 2016, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) announced their 25 Best Apps for Teaching and Learning. The apps encourage qualities such as innovation and active participation, and are user-friendly.

MusiQuest is an app that teaches young students music theory through engaging activities. Using a variety of instruments, users are able to compose and share their own songs. Illustrations and animal characters help to teach students about harmony, melody, chords, and different musical styles. This article from Edify explains in more detail the features of MusiQuest, including the fact that it makes composing sounds and music for an entire orchestra accessible to a young child.

Cost: Free!
Level: Elementary
Platforms: iOS

Want to give it a try with an actual orchestra? Click here for a link to the New York Philharmonic Kidzone and select “MusiQuest” (in the bottom row) to play instruments and get a backstage tour!

Watch the video below to get a feel for how to use the MusiQuest app:

AASL Recommended App: STEM: The Foos

the_foosIn June 2016, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) announced their 25 Best Apps for Teaching and Learning. The apps encourage qualities such as innovation and active participation, and are user-friendly.

The Foos are characters in this app of the same name that follow commands instructing them how to move (jump, walk, etc) which helps to teach kids coding concepts like sequencing, loops, and conditionals.  It’s an interactive game that encourages problem solving, and even has the option for students to design their own games. Teachers are able to download lesson plans as well.

This article from Beyond the Hour of Code gets a little more in-depth with game explanation and the includes a video about teaching using The Foos. You can also check out this evaluation of the game from the site Common Sense Education.

Cost: Free
Level: Elementary
Platforms: iOS and Android

AASL Recommended App: Organization & Management: OneNote

one_noteIn June 2016, the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) announced their 25 Best Apps for Teaching and Learning. The apps encourage qualities such as innovation and active participation, and are user-friendly.

OneNote is an organizational app designed for note-taking. It has pages and tabs just like a physical notebook, but also allows users to record audio, make comments on existing text, and capture images. The app can easily transfer between platforms like desktops, tablets, and mobile devices. Educators can create notebooks to share assignments and feedback with students.

This article from MakeUseOf gives ten tips (including several helpful videos) on how to effectively use the OneNote app, both for teachers and students. Author Saikat Basu has also written an another article detailing how helpful OneNote can be in everyday life, outside of the classroom. Looking for more examples of OneNote success stories? Check out the OneNote education blog.

Cost: Free
Level: Elementary, Middle, and High School
Platforms: iOS and Android