Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Getting Our MackinVIA Backpacks Ready To Fill Up On Digital Learning Day!

Today we are celebrating Digital Learning Day at Van Meter with thousands of others around the country.  

We have a lot of special activities planned in the libraries.  The elementary students will be using, collaborating, and creating with awesome online tools such as Wallwisher, Symbaloo, BiblioNasium, and Edmodo.  We will be using the interactive eBooks from Rosen Publishing to create digital postcards.  

They will see how technology and media have evolved by visiting an awesome display and creating in the "Digital Learning Day Makerspace" in the secondary library with our friend Michele Beschen. 

We will be Skyping in with the Digital Town Hall Meeting and my friend Tom Murray.  The 8th graders will be showing off their "Little Free Library" Google Sketch Up plans.  The 6th and 8th graders will be sharing the progress of their "Technology Passion Projects." Our friends at Mackin and Symbaloo will be stopping in virtually to say "Hi" and connect to our students.  The "Somewhat Virtual Book Club" #SWVBC will be meeting after school to discuss the book Unwind.  

They will be reading on various devices such as iPads, iTouches, tablets, and laptops.  We will be sharing our favorite StarWalk Kids Media eBook using these devices and writing about the eBooks  on their KidBlogs.  

One thing we will have a lot of today and throughout this week is researching and searching for the right eBooks and print books within our library collection, while finding other resources online.  

The 3rd graders will be gathering resources for their country projects and the 4th graders for their state projects. The 2nd graders are researching national monuments and the 5th graders are learning more about their gardens.  

The students will get to these eBooks and the others in Van Meter's MackinVIA.  This is the portal that holds all of our eBooks and databases.  One of the things that we love most about MackinVIA is the ability to have our very own Mackin Backpack.  

And this week....We are going to get our MackinVIA Backpacks ready to fill up!  
The Backpacks are very easy to set up and manage through on the "Backpack Management" page.  
My awesome cadet Olivia got all of the Backpacks ready with me today.  Most of our students have a MackinVIA Backpack, but there were some who needed updating and we had a few new students to add as well.
Olivia and I went through each class and created a personalized "MackinVIA Backpack Login" bookmark for them to use at school and home.
For the bookmarks I took a screen shot of the opening MackinVIA screen.  I made sure that the "School" space was populated with "Van Meter Elementary School" because the little ones always need extra help with this part. I then covered up the "User ID" and "Password" spaces with a little piece of white paper, so there would be a bigger space to write the students information.
I cut them all out and stapeled them to the MackinVIA bookmarks.  Then Olivia and I wrote each students "User ID" and "Password" on one of the bookmarks.
During library and technology time, I am reviewing and teaching them about their MackinVIA Backpack.  We passed out their new bookmarks when they came into the library today. They did a really great job using their bookmarks to login.  
Here are a few tips to get you started with your MackinVIA Backpacks too.  These are the directions that I gave my students this week at Van Meter too. 
After you log into your laptop, find MackinVIA on our "Van Meter Elementary Library Resources" Symbaloo.
You will then take your MackinVIA bookmark and and find the School, User ID, and Password.
On the opening screen, you start typing in your school.  After you type a few letters, a little drop down menu will come up with choices.  You will select your school.

Next, type in the UserID and Password that was assigned to you for your Backpack.

On the next screen, it will show that you are logged into your Backpack by reading the "Welcome" message in the top right hand corner.  Nathan B. was excited to see his name when he logged in.
When you click on your Backpack a drop down menu will show four options.  The only one we talked about this week was "My Favorites."  Students and teachers can put eBooks and databases into "My Favorites" that they want to read and use.
It is very simple to add things to your Backpack.  You can click and drag the covers of eBooks to your Backpack like Hagan is doing in this picture above.  He has the Alaska: The Last Frontier eBook almost in his Backpack. 
The eBooks can also be added by clicking on the "Add To Favorites" button underneath the eBook cover which is shown in this picture.  
When Hagan clicked on "My Favorites" within his Backpack, the eBooks and database came up as a list.  You can see that Alaska: The Last Frontier is the first one in the list
What a super fun day we had getting our MackinVIA Backpacks ready to fill up this week.

I can't wait to see what the students put in them.  With our wonderful eBook collection there is always something perfect for everyone.

Happy "Digital Learning Day" friends.  We can't wait to hear what you are doing in your library and school too.


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