Thursday, March 26, 2015

Exciting News From Canva As They Launch Their Education Program and Teacher Resource Center!

We had some exciting news from our friends at Canva this week!  They have launced their education program and teacher resource center!  You just have to check out Canva for Education here.....You will love it and all that it has to offer our young people and teachers.  

My friend Hannah at Canva shared this wonderful press release with me, explaining more about Canva for Education...
Canva makes educational resources freely available for school teachers to spread visual literacy to students around the world
  • Canva launches initiatives aimed at helping teachers educate students to communicate visually
  • Partners with teachers to develop lesson plan content and announces advisory board of influential classroom teachers and Edtech consultants

Canva, the web-based graphic design startup, has announced a range of initiatives aimed at supporting teachers to educate students about visual communication. Canva will bring together a new education resource center, complete with teaching materials from an advisory board of classroom teachers and Edtech influencers, as well as a new integration with Google Apps for Education log-in.

With more than 1.8 million users and 15 million designs on its consumer design platform alone, Canva reinforces its commitment to the education space by providing a tool that enables teachers and students to innovate, collaborate, and communicate through visual design. Canva’s new education center is aimed at providing learning resources for teachers looking for dynamic and engaging ways to integrate visual project-based learning into their core curriculum.

“Understanding how to communicate through visual mediums is becoming increasingly important as we live in a world driven by technology and interactive multimedia,” says Canva CEO Melanie Perkins. “By providing teachers with resources centered on teaching visual literacy, we’re facilitating an environment in which students can develop fluency in a skill that will be essential when they enter the workforce.”

In addition to lesson plans authored by classroom teachers, Canva has established an Education Advisory Board comprised of some of the most influential educators in the education technology space. Advisors include thought leaders like Richard Byrne (author of Free Tech 4 Teachers), Vicki Davis (Cool Cat Teacher), and Steven Anderson (#Edchat co-founder), who are internationally respected for their contributions to the education space. Their involvement will include not only creating content for other teachers, but also providing guidance on Canva’s future education initiatives.

Vicki Davis has said of Canva’s education initiatives, “Graphics are an essential part of today’s communication and influence. It isn’t just about making it look pretty. Effective graphics help us better articulate ideas and inspire action.” Richard Byrne said, “Creating with Canva isn’t just about making great visuals, it’s about inspiring ideas too.”

All of Canva’s education and classroom initiatives is available to anyone and can be access by visiting

The key components of Canva’s Education Center are:

  • Canva for Education Access
    • A drag and drop design tool made for teachers and students. Canva for Education includes Google Apps for Education integration, allowing for easy registration and deployment in the classroom.  
    • A comprehensive series of workshops and lesson plans designed for teachers to use in the classroom. Teach your students the importance of visual communication with practical classroom activities.
  • Educational Advisory Board
    • Canva establishes an advisory board of influential teachers in the edtech space. The board provides guidance and insights on the role technology plays in the classroom and day-to-day learning.
I am very honored to be part of this amazing group of educators and friends.  I can't wait to see what we do next.

Canva for Education is one tool you will definitely want to use within your library and classroom.

We can't wait to see how you use it too.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

It Is Time To Choose Our AASL Leaders.....Hear Dorcas Hand Speak About Her Presidential Candidacy

It is that time of year again.....Time for all of us to support libraries, librarians, and the organizations we belong to including the American Association of School Librarians and the American Library Association by voting for our leaders in both.  
Tonight, my friend Craig Seasholes and I had the honor of speaking with our wonderful friend Dorcas Hand, who is running for AASL President.

We hope that you take the time to listen to our conversation and to vote for this office and the others, including Craig, who is running for the District 9 Representative. 
You can find out more about Dorcas and her campaign at her website, Strong School Libraries.   
It is an important time for school libraries and school librarians.  It is essential that all of us become members of our national and state organizations.....and to advocate wherever we can.  

And to vote, you can go to the AASL 2015 Elections page.  What an amazing group there is this year. 

It is an exciting time for all of us.  Make sure your voice is heard too. 

You Will Love These Fun & Engaging New Songs and Books From Cantata Learning! Check Them Out On Our Symbaloo's!

I love new finds in children's literature.....In fact, it is one of my favorite things to do.

My friends at Cantata Learning have 42 amazing new books, along with fun and engaging songs, coming soon for the fall.... And I LOVE them all!
One of the best things....

there are three ways to get the music from each Cantata book....a CD in the back of each book, downloadable from iTunes, and also on their website at the Listen and Look page.
You can see all of the titles and listen to the music on the Cantata Learning Listen and Look page under Fall 2015.

From all of these, I created a new Symbaloo for the Fall 2015 Cantata Learning books and songs.

On this webmix, each tile links to one of the 42 new songs from the books.

You can use this with your students, teachers, and others since Symbaloo is a social bookmarking site where once the webmix is made public, it can be used by all of us.

And even embedded onto other sites, such as the front page of Follett's Destiny...perfect for any library and school.
I also created a webmix for the Fall 2014 Cantata Learning books and songs.

In the right-hand corner of each webmix, there is a hot pink tile which takes you back and forth between the two webmixes.  This makes it very easy for your young learners to use.
I hope you have fun listening to all of the wonderful books from Cantata Learning just as much as we do in our home.  There is something for everyone.

And remember one of the BEST things about the Cantata books.....You can send them home with your students and they can listen to the songs anywhere with the online access through the website and these Symbaloo's.

How fun is that!

Now you can see one more reason these are some of my favorite new books.