Sunday, April 19, 2015

Digital Compass....A Brand New Way To Teach Digital Literacy and Citizenship To Our Kids!

Our friends at Common Sense Media have done it again!  They have brought us something wonderful to use with our young people in grades 6th through 9th.
It is called Digital Compass and it is an animated, choose-your-own-adventure online, educational game that lets our students explore digital literacy and citizenship situations in a meaningful and engaging way. 
As you can see from the picture above, Digital Compass has used characters to illustrate several different digital dilemma's such as.... Cyberbullying and Digital Drama, Self-Image and Identity, Internet Safety & Privacy, Creative Credit & Copyright, Relationships & Communication, and more. 
I have used a lot of the amazing Common Sense Digital Literacy and Citizenship Classroom Curriculum when teaching the K-12 students, teachers, and parents at Van Meter.
One of my favorite tools is Digital Passport, which I used with students in grades 3 to 5.  It includes videos, games and interactive classroom activities.   It is available online, in iTunes and Google Play.

Now with Digital Compass, we can involve our older students in this important conversation too through something fun.
On the Digital Compass page, there is a fantastic Educator Guide...
and a Quick Start Guide that will take you through the eight thematic modules of Digital Compass.
I played Digital Compass tonight....It was so much fun.

To start you come to Anywhere where you pick the character you want.
 I picked cute little Wink!
I worked through this mini-game and helped Wink not cross the line online and think about her digital footprint.
It was fun working through the interactive activity and educational in thinking about the choices Wink and her friend had to make.
When I finished, Wink gave me a scorecard, along with badges for various accomplishments.

I can print this off or continue with a new character.
This will be so great with assessment, both quantitative and qualitative.....Digital Compass can also be integrated with Edmodo.
Check out the Digital Compass video that Common Sense created to give us an overview.

Teaching digital citizenship and literacy is one of the most important things you can do.  And with Digital Compass, this become a little bit easier and a lot more fun!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Exciting News From Capstone....PebbleGo Dinosaurs Is Coming In August!

While I was in Austin, Texas for the Texas Library Association Conference last week I learned something SUPER exciting in the Capstone booth.
They have announced a new PebbleGo database......PebbleGo Dinosaurs!  How exciting is that!
PebbleGO is my favorite database for our young learners.

It helped my little ones so much in the library, classroom and at home.  It turned them into great researchers and made them curious about everything included in the other four PebbleGo databases....Science, Biographies, Animals and Social Studies.  

You can read about one way we used PebbleGo here in this post... A Room Full Of Kindergarten Researchers Connecting To Eric Carle, Global Read Aloud, Cats, PebbleGo....and of course a whole lot of curiosity!
To read more about PebbleGo Dinosaurs, check out the review on the School Library Journal site and the official press release on
With all of the excitement about Jurassic World coming out in 53 days, PebbleGo Dinosaurs will surely be a huge hit with children wanting to learn more about all the dinosaurs they love.

To find out more about PebbleGo Dinosaurs or any of the other databases, visit the Capstone website.....and for a free trial go here.

You Just Have To Hear This Student's Voice....My 5th Grade Friend Meridan and Her Blog!

As you know I think there is nothing greater than the voice our young people have within them. They have the power to change the world with their voice....and the power to inspire others to do the same. 

And one of the best things.... It doesn't matter how old they are.  With support, motivation, and places to share their voice, any child can make a difference.  
I am blessed to know so many amazing young people.

I would like to introduce you to a very special one today.  Her name is Meridan.  I have known her since kindergarten and she is now in 5th grade at Van Meter Community School.

Last year I helped Meridan start her blog, Meridan's Little Voice.  She loves to write and has been honored for her wonderful writing voice.

You can read about when she was a finalist in Mrs. P Writing Contest here.

Over the last few weeks, Meridan and I have been brainstorming through Skype and emails.  We have decided to do some super fun work together through our blogs and other ways.  I am excited for us to be blogging partners.
I wrote a post about one of my favorite digital tools Tackk last week.....
and Meridan did the same on her blog.  It was so much fun to read what Meridan thought about Tackk too.

To read her take on Tackk and other digital tools is very valuable for all us as we use it with our students and others too.
You can follow Meridan on her blog, Meridan's Little Voice....
and on her new Twitter at @Meridan101.  

I can't wait to see what we plan next....I promise it will always be something fun, creative, and definitely worth sharing.