Thursday, September 26, 2013

Visualead: QR Codes improved

How do you take a QR Code and make it pretty? Visualead!

Visualead is a QR code generator that you can use with images.

So how does this apply to libraries? Perhaps if you are doing group work, you may want to provide a different QR code trail for each group to follow, like Monica Burns does.  What a great way to differentiate!

Visual QR Code Color QR Code

Like many apps, you can pay for additional features. I've generated this one with the free version.

Library Check In Forms - Creating Pages within Google Forms

Customizing Google Forms for Library Check In Forms

When teachers and students come into the library, I like to keep track of class visits and student visits. Since I am going to be the new Elementary Librarian at Fields Elementary in McAllen, I wanted to create one form that both teachers and students could use to avoid two different spreadsheets.

Also - please note that I was able to customize my form by adding a picture (no HTML needed.)

When creating the form I made sure that the first name on the Check In was I am a student.  

That way students can immediately select that option and continue on to their questions.

Teachers would find their name and enter how many students visited the library with them.

And here is what the finished product looks like!  

I absolutely love Google Forms and all the wonderful options you have with them!  I also use Google Forms for my Resource Requests from teachers....

Any ideas on other forms you can use in the library?  If so - please share them in the comments below!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Creating Customized Google Forms for Your Library

Cindy contacted me this morning and asked if I knew how to customize Google Forms.  I did a little research so that we could learn together.

If you know how to write some HTML or how to get your pictures or logos in HTML format then this whole procedure is quite simple.  The first thing I did was upload our Librarians On The Fly Logo to Photobucket then access the  HTML format code. You can use Photobucket or a different photo site that will give you HTML code for your pictures.

After you have uploaded your school library logo or branding logo - click on the link button located on the top left side to access the HTML code.

Next thing you need is a Google form you have already created.   If you don't already have a Google form then create a quick one to experiment with.  After you have created your Google Form - access the live version by selecting Form and then selecting Go to Live Form.   See below....

Here is what a live form looks like: 

Now you will need to access the HTML code in order to add your logo. Once you have your form in live version,  you will need to right click on the page and select view source from the menu. Next, copy the whole form onto a workspace, like a word document, in order to customize it the way you want it.  The source code will look like this:

Now you will need to access your logo in HTML format.  (I used our Librarians On The Fly logo in HTML.) In your word document,  you will need to find  the command <form> to <form> in the source code. (Probably in the 20th line or close by.)   Once you find it, delete from <form> to <form>  and then paste the HTML code you want to add.  Don't be intimidated with HTML - you may need to play around with it to get it in the proper format.  I had to add  the command <center> in order to center the logo.  

The updated form is below and any data added to it will still go to  Google Docs.   I hope find many ways to use customized Google Forms in your library.  Please feel free to share some of your ideas in the comments below!

Library Check In

Library Check In

 photo librarians_zps1f770d90.jpg

Never submit passwords through Google Forms.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Interactive Calendars for Your Library using Thinglink and MoveNote

Cindy and I worked diligently on preparing calendars for our libraries that highlighted upcoming events like Teen Read Week or National Library Week.  I wanted to try to create an interactive calendar that would give students a heads up on what would be happening during the month.  I also wanted to incorporate a couple of great tools like ThingLink and MoveNote.

When you take a look at the Calendar below for October, notice that if you scroll over the calendar, there are links that will take to you sites and video.  We have blogged numerous times on ThingLink and that is what we used to make the calendar interactive.   Now, look specifically at October 14th and 15th.  You will see two MoveNote presentations on those dates.
MoveNote is a wonderful tool that allows you to upload PowerPoint presentations and create video to go along with it.

Move note is free and allows you to upload PDF's and JPG's.  I had to save my PPT presentation into JPEG files then upload them afterwards.  

Once you create an account, you can use MoveNote to enhance educational presentations.    Here is MoveNote's video on how easy it is to create a presentation.

Interactive Calendars for your library can be a lifesaver especially with events like Teen Read Week.  Tools like ThingLink and MoveNote make that calendar something that in the long run will make your life easier!  Can you see yourself making interactive calendars or what about interactive flyers for library events.  Share some of the ways you think you can use any of these tools; Cindy and I would love to hear from you!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Apps for the Inquiry Process

Our school just unrolled the first phase of our 1:1 iPad program tonight.  In preparation of this big event, I spent some time this summer looking into how I could support and guide students through the research process using apps.

It was tougher than I expected to build a list like this....  

Apps come and go.

Opinions vary.
And upgrades can leave a favorite app on the bottom of the heap.

But it was also a lot of fun to read through suggestions, try new apps, and build a chart that includes all phases of the research process.  You are welcome to take it, use it, and share it:

At my school, we follow Kath Murdoch's Inquiry Cycle so I have grouped the apps according to the steps of that model.  But I think they can easily be adapted to other models. 

My simple hope in sharing this is that I get you thinking about which apps you use with students during the research process.

And let's keep the conversation going...

Because apps come and go

Technology evolves.
But the need to be able to locate, evaluate, and use information will continue.

What would you add to the list?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Destiny Quest - From a Teacher's Perspective

Two of the teachers I worked with last year, Jeff Hoffart and Tosca Killoran, have written and published a guide to Destiny Quest for teachers, available through Titlewave:

One purchase provides unlimited access to everyone at your school.  What a great way for teachers to learn at their own pace about all the features of DestinyQuest and how to incorporate them into the classroom.

With your purchase, you also receive a code to unlock the additional features of their website, with extension activities, printable worksheets, and how-to videos.

Having teachers familiar with Destiny and using it in the classroom has an AMAZING effect on the library!  Mr. Hoffart would have his students search for books and create a list BEFORE they left the classroom.  They hit the library door knowing EXACTLY what they were there for and would ask clear, coherent questions of library staff.  His students also contributed the highest numbers of online reviews and recommendations to their friends.