Sunday, March 1, 2015

MackinVIA Brings All Our Digital Content Together....Including Websites, Videos & Even Student Created Content Into Our Collections!

I am so excited to share some big news from Mackin Educational Resources!  

You all know how much I love using MackinVIA with students, teachers, and school communities to share eResources such as eBooks, databases, and audio books.  This FREE platform is not only the perfect platform to bring together all of these eResources, students can also personalize MackinVIA with their own Backpack and additions they can make through Highlighting, Note Taking, Citation Creation with EasyBib, and the Dictionary

When we brought MackinVIA to our school it made such a difference.

Now Mackin has done something really awesome with MackinVIA!  
We can now Add and Edit Resources within MackinVIA and this is going to truly change and enhance the experience for everyone within our libraries and schools.  
As we have always been able to add any eBooks, database, or audiobook to MackinVIA, we can now add Links from the internet and Videos.  

As many digital tools and resources that we all use from the internet, just think how much this will bring to our library collections and libraries. 

And it is very easy to start building these resources with MackinVIA too.  

Here is how I added and edited within my MackinVIA. 
You will need to log into your school MackinVIA through the administrator side.

Go to the top under Manage and then to Groups.  I created a few new Groups within mine for Makerspace eBooks and Resources, 1st Grade PBL Project, and Digital Tools.  

I will use the Digital Tools Group to show you how to add and edit too.
 Go to the right hand side of the Group and click on Manage Resources.  

If you want to change anything about the title, description, etc.... within any Group, then you would click on Edit. 
 Once you are in the Group, you can click on Add New Resources.....
to open this window.  The first thing you will need to do is choose what Resource Type you are adding.
 You have the choice to add Databases, eBooks, Audiobooks, Videos, and Links.  
For the Digital Tools Group, I clicked on Links to add different digital or Web 2.0 tools to this group.

You will need to add the title, author or company, and website to create a new entry within MackinVIA.  The other fields are optional.

Once you have added these items, click on Save Changes. 
You will then need to click on Active at the top to make this new entry Active.  If you ever want to limit access, click on that again to make it Inactive. 
At the bottom of the entry you also have other options including Additional Details, Index Terms, Classification, and Resource Image. 

For all of the digital tools within the Digital Tools Group I added that to the Classification to make them easier to locate.
Next, you can add a Resource Image to each entry at the very bottom of this page.  I just took little screen shots of each digital tool logo and uploaded them into the record.
After the entry is added, go back to the Manage Resources page for the particiular Group you want to add resources to.  You will need to find that new entry and click on Add to add it to the Group. 

I found the digital tool I just added,, and added it to the Digital Tools Group.  
To make sure and all of the other digital tools are added to the Digital Tools Group, I went to my MackinVIA to double check.

And here it is!  
When you click on Open Now it takes you right into
I am very excited about using the new updated MackinVIA for bringing together resources for projects, classes and units....especially with PBL projects!

Over the last few years I have been using Smore and other digital tools as pathfinders in bringing all of the resources together for certain projects, grade levels, and events.

When our 1st graders did their Safety PBL Project last year, I created the Safety Safety Safety Smore, a digital pathfinder, to share all of the eBooks, Capstone's PebbleGO, and various websites.

Now, I can create these pathfinders right in MackinVIA!  I love this.
It was very easy to do.  I first created the 1st Grade Safety PBL Project Group within my MackinVIA.

Then I added Links, eBooks, Databases (PebbleGO), and Videos. 
I included a link to the Safety Safety Safety Smore....
One to the 1st Grade Symbaloo where all of their resources for the year are located....
Two eBooks included within my MackinVIA....
I even added an easy way to get to the books in the library collection by adding a link to Destiny.This will take the 1st grades directly to the print books as well.
Two free online eBooks from Scholastic as Links....
And several safety websites for children as Links. 

One of the digital tools the first graders used to create their projects was TuxPaint.  I included this as a Link within the MackinVIA Group.
I also included a Video that two of the first graders created demonstrating using TuxPaint.

This is a great way to tie Flipped Learning right into MackinVIA and your library.
At the end of the Safety PBL Project, all of the children created videos to showcase their projects.  I put these together in a Symbaloo.   
With the updated MackinVIA I can also add these to the Group within MackinVIA cataloging student work right into our digital collection.  Just think about the ownership that this will give our young people.  And so easy to share with classmates, parents, and others.

As you can see, MackinVIA brings it all together for us within our libraries and schools making a difference for everyone.  I can't wait to see how all of you use MackinVIA and make a difference too. 

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Just Look What You Can Create With StoryBoard That....The World's Best Online Storyboard Creator

It's Saturday and one of my favorite things to do on these weekend days is to try out and share new digital tools.  And do I have an awesome one for you today!

It is called Storyboard That and is known as The World's Best Online Storyboard Creator for our students, educators and others.
Storyboard That is easy to use, yet provides so many choices and tools for users to be as creative as they can possibly be.
Within the simple and fun interface, users can drag and drop content to customize numerous aspects of the storyboard including Scenes, Characters, Textables, Shapes, and Web & Technology.
Once you click on the Create a Storyboard button you can choose....
to customize your storyboard.
To start, pull different Scenes or backgrounds into the boxes of the storyboard.  You can choose from 225 different places and settings.
 Storyboard That also allows you to upload your own images to use with your creations.
Next, you can add your Characters.....and WOW there are a lot of ways to completely personalize the characters within your storyboard.  There are 325 characters to choose from.
I love how you can also change everything about your characters including hair, eyes, skin, size, costumes...
and even the pose ranging from speaking, angry, walking, sitting, and sad.  Within the Character Poser you can select even more.....what fun this is!
 You can add words to your storyboard through a variety of Texables or speech bubbles.
It is fun to add words and position them within the storyboard.  You can change the color, size and type of font.
There are loads of Shapes....
and Web & Technology to add to your creations.
There are also over 45,000 images using Search in the top bar if you can't find what you need in the other sections.
After you complete your storyboard...
Save and Exit it at the fact, it is a great idea to Save as you are creating.

Storyboard That gives you several options at the bottom of your storyboard.
You can Print the storyboard, turn it into a Template, that can be shared with a group,....
create a Slide Show....
Download Images or Download Powerpoint, which would be perfect for using your storyboard frames with other digital tools such as FlipSnack or BunceeEdu....
or Make a Folding Card choosing from different holiday themes.
Not only can you be as creative as you want within StoryBoard, it also contains a wealth of resources such as Educational Articles which showcase different uses for Storyboards in your classroom and how they relate to the Common Core; Workshops and Webinars; and one of my favorite parts...
amazing Teacher Guides that are Common Core aligned for grades K-12 in every subject.
As you can see Storyboard That is one digital tool that everyone could find a way to use within the library, classroom, and school community.

In my next post about Storyboard That, I will dig a little deeper into the Teacher Guides and how to set up your students and classes.

But today I will leave you with a wonderful video for Getting Started With Storyboard That....

I just know your students will love it as much as mine.