Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Backpack For Their eBooks And Other Resources Within mackinVIA

Today, for the fourth graders library and technology time, I went to their classroom for a little workshop on how to set up their "Backpacks" within mackinVIA.    
We have dozens of new eBooks added to our mackinVIA from Heartland AEA.  I just LOVE the new state eBooks that have been added.  With our 4th graders focusing on the states throughout the year, these will be a perfect match for their curriculum.  

When I told Staci Braun, the 4th grade teacher who teaches social studies, about the state eBooks, she was so excited and asked me to help her incorporate mackinVIA and the eBooks into her classrooms more.  Since we already had our library time planned, we decided it would be beneficial for me to come to their classroom and teach not just the students, but also work with Staci too.  

She was especially interested in all of the students setting up their Backpacks within mackinVIA.  Staci and I spoke to the students about being able to read the eBooks during their daily reading time.  They could pick a few eBooks and even put them into their Backpacks so they always had something to read.  The students could keep track of what they were reading and even bring it home with them since everything is online.  
Once you are logged into your mackinVIA, you can log into your Backpack in the right hand corner.  You will have three choices.  We clicked on "My Backpack" to sign in.  
You will need to type your "User ID" and "Password" into the "Backpack Login" fields.  If you have not registered for a Backpack yet, you can also click on "Register" to do that here.  
Once you are logged into your Backpack, you will see a message that says "Welcome, Shannon!"...of course with your name or number, by the Backpack.  

It is now time to find an eBook that you would like to put into your Backpack.  When you click on an eBook, it will give you two messages, "Add to Backpack" or "Read Now."  You can add it to your Backpack with the click of that one button.  
After you have a couple of eBooks in your Backpack, check it out!  Go to the Backpack again, and click on "My Backpack".  It will bring up a list of the eBooks you have within your Backpack.  
The students in Staci's class had so much fun adding eBooks that they wanted to read at school and home.  They found so many that were new to our mackinVIA and ones that have become favorites too.
You might be thinking.....

What if my students and teachers do not have Backpacks yet?  What do I do then?  How do I set them up?  Can I do this myself?  

It is very simple to set up Backpacks within mackinVIA.  

First, go to and to the "My Mackin" tab at the top of the webpage.  From the drop down menu, choose "My Mackin VIA" and "Settings".  
This will take you into the "Mackin VIA Settings" page.  Within this page, you can set all kinds of things within your mackinVIA.  You can manage the titles, get the VIA widget to embed into other websites or blogs, and even manage the different mackinVIA categories.

For setting up the Backpacks, you will go to "Backpack Management" and click on "Manage Backpacks."
This will take you into the "MackinVIA Backpack Management" page.
On the far right hand side of the page, you will see a blue button that says "Register New User".
This is where you can add new users.  All you need is an "User ID" and "Password".  The "First Name" is optional, but the kids do love seeing their Backpack personalized with their names, so I always set them up with their first name.  I made our user id's and passwords very simple....they are the ones that they used for lunch and to log into Destiny Quest.

It is as easy as that!
So as you can see, mackinVIA and all of the eBooks sure do bring a lot of fun and exciting reading experiences to our students.

And to add a little Backpack for keeping all of these wonderful eBooks to the mix makes it even better!

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