Bulletin Board Tips from Laura Candler

I follow Laura Candler’s Corkboard Connections blog, a great resource for lesson plans, display ideas, and free printables. This summer, she posted an invaluable list: bulletin boards you can keep up all year! I know I struggle with keeping the displays in the libraries fresh, and having something that can stay up all year (with revolving content) is so helpful! Head on over to her post to check it out!

Copyright Savvy: How to Find Music and Sound Effects You’re Legally Allowed to Use

This summer, I learned all about copyright law as it pertains to education. One of the major lesson that I took home from the course is that music copyright is especially complex. While attribution will suffice when borrowing small amounts of text or pictures, it’s not enough when borrowing music. Any clip of copyrighted music over 3 seconds must have permission and payment to the rights holder (usually the record company), which means that for education purposes, copyrighted music is not an option. Continue reading

Made With Code

Google is trying to get young girls interested in coding, and they’ve got a pretty cool new initiative called Made With Code to do it. According to the website,

“Made with Code is an initiative to champion creativity, girls, and code, all at once. The movement is designed to do three things: To inspire girls by celebrating women and girls who are using code to do great things; to engage girls to try coding through introductory projects and resources; and to sustain their interest by creating alliances and community around girls and coding.”

There are some (very) easy coding projects, including a 3D printed bracelet that you can  design and have sent to you for free. It’s a fun way to introduce code to folks who don’t think they have any interest in it.

In addition to the projects, there are testimonials by “mentors,” inspiring women who have used computer programming to make the world a better or more interesting place.

National Coding Week is coming up, and if you’d like to dip your toes into the world of programming without any need for experience, check out the projects and resources available through Made With Code.


ABCMouse is the new favorite in the Ed Tech world. It is an entire learning environment with lessons and activities designed to prepare little ones (2-5) for school. Users can either pick and choose the activities they want to try, or follow a pre-set path that works its way through a standards-aligned curriculum.


If you have an account, you can log in as a teacher and create student accounts, complete with avatars, ability levels, and pre-set lessons. Students can then log into their own accounts, and have everything set up for them to learn and explore the site. There are dozens of printables, too. 

For those of you with younger students just learning the alphabet, colors, numbers, and other basics, this is a fantastic place for interactive practice. It is free for teachers and librarians, and requires a subscription for parents. 

Welcome to 2014-2015!

Here we are at the beginning of another school year. We’re bravely undertaking a transition to Gmail, and Mike and I hope to offer all kinds of tips and tricks to help smooth some of the rough edges of trying something new. Keep an eye on the blog, and posts tagged “gmail” or “google” for more.

We also put in lots of work on our curriculum review last year, and will use the Applewild Technology blog to help us reach our goals of better teacher education in technology. If you have any great ed tech tools that you want to share, please let me know and you can have a post as a guest blogger!

Happy New Year!