Saturday, April 19, 2014

Want to Learn About Makerspaces? Here are 26 Resources to Assist You

Have I peaked your interest? Do you know about #makerspaces? As you are already well-aware, technology has dramatically changed the way we live our lives, and no other teacher has seen more changes than the school media specialist or teacher-librarian. According to,  makerspaces are "community centers with tools. Makerspaces combine manufacturing equipment, community, and education for the purposes of enabling community members to design, prototype and create manufactured works that wouldn’t be possible to create with the resources available to individuals working alone." Places where students can find makerspaces include their school library, public library or local museum. provides a directory of makerspaces HERE and maker community groups HERE. Does your school have a makerspace you would like to showcase? If so, drop me an email: jgreller (AT) gmail (DOT) com.

7 Things You Should Know About Makerspaces- PDF

21st Century Learning Lab Locations- a dozen listed covering the United States

DIY- kids can post their creations on the site; app available HERE

Fab Labs at the Library

Instructables- "a place that lets you explore, document, and share your creations."

Libraries, Hackspaces and E-waste: how libraries can be the hub of a young maker revolution- article written by author Cory Doctorow

Library MakerSpaces- Pinterest board

Make- a digital magazine focusing on DIY projects with step-by-step instructions

Maker Faire- "The Greatest Show and Tell on Earth"; find Maker Faire materials LiveBinder HERE

The Maker Map- "
An online and mobile map of makerspaces in museums, retail outlets, etc. "

The Maker Movement Goes Global- article about "tinkering"

Makerspace- "creating a space for young makers and educators"; request a free makerspace playbook

Makerspace Educational Library Ideas- LiveBinder

The Makery- "
a pop-up Makerspace - part shop, part workshop, part exploratorium."

Planning a Makerspace with Teens- PDF presentation

Some Thoughts on Knowledge Production, Makerspaces and Libraries- from the Official ALA Washington Office Blog

Spark Fun- online tutorials, lessons on reading schematics and much more

Starting a #MakerEd Class for Middle School- for grades 6-7 science classes

Strengthening Communities with Makerspaces- Jeff Sturges' chat covers many questions you might have about makerspaces

Sylvia's Super Awesome Maker Show- young Sylvia offers video tutorials on 
"everything cool and worth making"

Want to Start a Makerspace at School? Tips to Get Started

Worlds of Making- New Milford NJ media specialist Laura Fleming describes her school's maker space

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The Best 30 Technology and Education Podcasts

Learning doesn't always have to be visual. Podcasts can be listened to while you do other things. You can download the audio file and relax at your leisure. Here are 30 I have hand-picked for you. Please add your suggestions below after the post.

Assistive Technology: Tools in Public Schools- assistive technology specialist Chris Bugaj

Astronomy Cast- astronomy concepts covered

BAM Radio: Connecting the Voices of the Education Village

Concordia EdTech Podcast

Distillations Podcast- focuses on chemistry


The Ed Tech Crew Podcast- hosted by Darrel Branson (The ICT Guy) and Tony Richards from

The EdTech Roundup- Michael Karlin

English as a Second Language Podcast

Flipped Learning Network- hosted by Troy Cockrum

The Google Educast- hosted by Google certified teachers

Great Speeches in History Podcast- famous speeches include JFK, Reagan, Obama

The History Chicks- "
our goal is to introduce you to female characters in history, factual or fictional. An introduction, an overview and a little push to explore and learn more on your own."

House of #EdTech- NJ Social Studies teacher Christopher J. Nesi

How Stuff Works- broad range of topics

Instructional Tech Talk- tech integration assistance

ISTE Casts- produced by the International Society fro Technology in Education

LitTech- hosted by learning technologies librarian Emily Thompson and media specialist Addie Matteson

The Learning Revolution Has Begun: Are We Ready?- Steve Hargadon

Moving at the Speed of Creativity- "education, twenty-first century literacy, blended learning, technology integration, and educational leadership."

#NerdyCast- Nicholas Provenzano's podcast features smart and funny people in education

NPR Education Podcast- from National Public Radio

Practical Money Skills for Life

Spark- Nora Young

The State of Tech- bi-weekly podcast

Talks with Teachers- "inspiring stories from today's educators"

Teaching with Technology Podcast- from Cablevision's Power to Learn Initiative

Teacher Created Materials- strategies for the classroom

Tech Chicks- "Two Texas Chicks Who Love Technology and the Digital Lifestyle"

TED Talks Education- if you are familiar with TED, you know that these podcasts will be well done

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Throwback Thursday #10: Old Comic Books Covers

There are many students in my school who don't like reading but will gladly pick up a graphic novel. There are real fiction stories in the form of graphic novels, as well as classic literature. (Shakespeare) When I was growing up, you couldn't find comic books in your school library, but if a kid reads a comic book, graphic novel, magazine or a book, isn't it all the same? I believe that reading is reading, and that's why graphic novels have a place in my school library. Here's the link to the post I did in 2011, "Why I Order Graphic Novels for the Library." How many of these comic books did you read as a child?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

RPHS is Happy: Meet the Wonderful Kids and Colleagues I Work With Every Day!

My colleague Sasha and her journalism class put together our version of "Happy".  I'm sure you have seen many versions, but I wanted to you meet the people I am with every day Monday-Friday. We are happy folks, especially since spring is finally here in New Jersey!!!!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Throwback Thursday #9

I just love digging up old library photos, videos and posters. So much has changed over the decades in library science. Today's throwback has a classroom photo with the exact desks I had in elementary school at P.S. 98 in Manhattan. (Oops. Just gave away my age...)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

38 Great Sites For Earth Day

This year, Earth Day falls on Tuesday, April 22, 2014. The following list has been updated and can also be found with the mega-list on holidays, "What a Listing!" which is located in the right column of this blog.

10 Engaging Earth Day Activities for Kids- from Help Teaching Blog

22 Interactive Lessons to Bring Earth Day to Life- PBS LearningMedia

50 Earth Day Activities for Kids- from Tinkerlab

A to Z Teacher Stuff Resources

Billy Bear's Playground

Crafts for Earth Day

Earth Day-crafts, online games, clip art, puzzles, coloring pages and downloads are on this site.

Earth Day Activities: Helping the Environment- from apples4theteacher

Earth Day Activities for the Classroom- ten choices from Education World

Earth Day and All Days: 10 Ways to Learn About the Environment- from the NY Times Learning Network

Earth Day Groceries Project

Earth Day Ideas From My School to Yours- Huffington Post blogger and fourth grade teacher Ted Wells

The Earth Day Network

Earth Day Printables- from Play2Learn printables

Earth Day Teacher Resources- large listing of printables, lesson plans, activities, resources from TeacherVision

Earth Day Through the Years- from the Atlanta Journal Constitution

Earth Day Video Writing Prompts- from TeachHub

Earth Day Videos- WatchKnow

Earth's Birthday Project- activities, fun stuff, photos

Every Day is Earth Day- for younger children or ESL students

Happy Earth Day Coloring and Activities Book- download this 11 page booklet

History Channel- Earth Day resources

Planet Pals- clip art, magazines, earth poetry, eco books....

Population Education-lessons show how humans affect the environment; resource packets for all grade levels

The Science Spot- lesson plans and resources

Teacher Planet- lesson plans, worksheets, activities, clip art, videos, more

Think Green Guide- download PDF from Edutopia

Top 5 Earth Day 
Activities to Use in the Classroom

Using Google Earth on Earth Day- make sure the program is on your school computers!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Self-Promotion is a Good Thing

There is nothing wrong with self-promotion. In fact, as a school librarian, it is necessary to let your administrators know what you do, because the majority of them do not know what we do. Here are some infographics, signs and videos for your reports, webpage or blog.

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