Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Week 3 - Really?

The school year is off to a great beginning, but wow, has it been busy! Here are a few updates at the (near) start of the school year:

  • Every student grades 3-12 and every staff member has the ability to create individual accounts in our online library system, DestinyQuest. DestinyQuest allows you to monitor your checkouts, place holds, create reading lists and share recommendations. Let me know if you need help resetting your password or setting up a new account.

  • We now have ebooks at each building! They are accessible via DestinyQuest using any kind of  computer or you can use either an iPad or Android tablet. The iPad and Android tablets require the installation of 2 apps available through the iTunes store or GooglePlay. (Our ebooks are not supported on Kindle or Nook). Instructions for using these ebooks are posted on the APP CENTRAL page on the SCSD Media Services web site. Most check out just like a regular book, but we have a few that have a license for unlimited usage by our students and staff. You must be signed in to your DestinyQuest account to use the ebooks.

  • EasyBib School Edition, which integrates very nicely with Google Docs,  is now available to students and staff at the high school. Contact me if you need any assistance using it. It does MUCH more than cite sources.

  • EasyBib is one of the many apps available for smart phones and tablets. Think of these apps as a library in your pocket. I would be happy to demonstrate these to you and your students and help them set up helpful apps on their devices.

  • Iowa AEA Online labels are available at each of the Media Centers. For most of the databases, students do not need to login if their device is connected via our network, but if they are at home or connecting via their telephone service provider, the district's user name and password is required. This information is privileged and due to licensing agreements, not to be shared on any publicly available online sites.

  • Iowa AEA Online has added one new service this year, the AEA digital library, which is a collection of videos. Right now, it is fairly limited, but you might find old favorites there that are not available through Learn360.

  • Iowa AEA Online login and other ID/password combinations  (and more) are available to all staff signed into their Google Apps account by clicking on the Media Services Support link on the Staff Quicklinks page or by going directly to the Media Services Support site at: https://sites.google.com/a/solon.k12.ia.us/media-services-staff-support/ (You might want to bookmark it).

  • Almost all of the district's overhead projectors have now been replaced by document cameras (primarily ELMO brand), but maintenance is still required, especially for the projector. A dirty filter on the LCD projector (we have primarily EPSON brand) can cause it to overheat and shut down. Information on cleaning your filter can be found on the Media Services Support site. We have compressed air in each of the Media Centers if you would like to use that. 

  • The best way to reach me is via email or iChat. If I am with a class and not available, I will get back to you ASAP! There are lots of really great things going on already this school year. I'd love to collaborate with you.