Free Online Chart Tool, K-12
Charts and graphs are great tools because they communicate information visually. Students can design and share graphs online for free. The application supports a number of different chart types which include: bar charts, pie charts, line charts, bubble charts and radar plots.

Users can build charts in 5 easy steps:
* Design Graph. In this step, you choose your Chart type (e.g. bar or line graph).
* Add Data. In this step you add the data of your graph.
* Labels and Fonts. Determine the settings for the data labels and you can set your font type and font size.
* Preview Graph.
* Save and Share. Send the graph via email or save it as an image on your computer. If you are registered and logged in on our site you can also save your graphs online for further editing at a later stage.

Where the Wild Things Are, K-12

Here are some instructional resources to teach about the book, related themes, and Maurice Sendak.

Watch a trailer of the film or video of Sendak guiding your students through the forest of his imagination.

Harper Collins' Official Web Site

Reading Rockets' Where The Wild Things Are Interviews, Activities & More

National Wildlife Federation Activity Guide

Remember to check out the Heartland Resources too!
Video for Loan:
Where the Wild Things Are, 8min. (#066417)

Discovery Education Streaming:
Where the Wild Things Are, 7min.
Where the Wild Things Are, French Version, 6min.
Where the Wild Things Are, Japanese Version, 6min.
Where the Wild Things Are, Spanish Version, 6min.
Log in to with your email address to access an author interview, book guide, and book reading for Where the Wild Things Are.

Language and Translation Tools, K-12

Interesting translation tools...
Yahoo! Babel Fish: Text Translation and Web Page Translation

Google Translate
Translate text or Web pages, the quality is questionable but you can search in other languages.

Language Tools: iTools
Check several dictionaries at once.

Free Translation Online
Like Babelfish but offering many more language combinations.

Nice Translator
This dictionary translates into multiple languages of your choice at the same time.

Easy to use translator for multiple languages.

Free Online Translator

Currencies and Other Metrics
Currency Converter – Yahoo! Finance;to=EUR;amt=1 Calculators

XE – Universal Currency Converter

Metric Conversions Comprehensive Conversion Utility

Unit Conversion

Language Maps
World Atlas of Language Structures

World Language Mapping System

Modern Language Association: Language Map of the USA

Other Alphabets
Russian alphabet (aka Cyrillic alphabet)

Arabic alphabet, pronunciation and language

Japanese alphabet

Science and Geography, 4-12
The 21st Century Skills Maps for Science and Geography shows how integrating problem solving, communicating and critical thinking into science and geography classes supports teaching and prepares students to become effective and productive citizens. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills collaborated with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE) to create the frameworks. The maps are the third and fourth of a series. The last map, for math, will be released later this year. The maps are awareness tools that show what 21st century skills look like in core subjects. The teacher-created vignettes help guide classroom practices in grades four, eight and 12, which link science and geography to the skills required for college and work.

Explore Our National Parks, 7-10
Free digital media resources from Ken Burns’ documentary series The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, including on-demand video, lessons plans, student activities and historical archives, are available through PBS Teachers®. Among the unique resources to help educators infuse technology into instruction are the place-based digital storytelling modules. Several video screencasts, along with printable quick-start guides, provide step-by-step instructions on using the latest technologies to create digital storytelling projects, addressing basic- to advanced-level technology skills. The modules illustrate the processes of geotagging, video editing and special effects, uploading stories to a public section of the National Parks site, and more. In addition, the National Parks project offers 10 standards-based lesson plans, nine day-trip activities and five “Untold Stories” discussion guides. The “Untold Stories” tell the roles of African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans in the creation and protection of individual parks. One of the mini-documentaries, “City Kids,” explores the efforts to bring inner-city youth into the parks, often for their first encounters with wilderness, to learn about the earth, teamwork, and themselves.

The History Lab, 3-12
The History Lab offers teachers a template for creating primary source based lessons and activities for their students. The completed labs are archived for use by anyone. Registration is required but it is free.

This site offers teachers a framework for teaching history through primary sources. Teachers simply complete a fill in the blank template and choose the available resources and primary documents to create the lab. Teachers can store their lessons in the History Lab database and retrieve or modify them at any time. The archive of labs includes lessons in American history, world history, ancient history, and European history. Included is a resource section that can be used for creating the labs or just for teaching with primary sources. It includes links for each of the history topics as well as multimedia sites.

Remember the following Heartland online databases also contain primary source documents: EBSCO, SIRS, World Book Web.

Inside Out: An Introduction to Psychology, K-12
This new DVD series from Heartland features interviews with experts and researchers along with case studies that provide a look at the evolving world of psychological science.

New Edutopia DVDs, K-12

The George Lucas Educational Foundation provides a variety of educational media resources designed to connect and inspire positive change in all areas of education. Edutopia video is “a catalyst for innovation by helping educators and parents, as well as business and community leaders, see and understand pioneering best practices.” These DVDs are available for checkout from Heartland.

Edutopia presents a new day for learning, 12 min. (#256088)
This program profiles after-school and summer programs that engage community partners to extend the learning day and year. Some of the programs profiled are those featured in the report "A New Day for Learning" by the Time, Learning and Afterschool Task Force. This report calls for a complete rethinking of how students spend time learning, highlights school programs and community efforts-from after-school and summer programs to extended-day programs and internships.

Edutopia presents a world class education, volume 2, 35 min (#256090)
The documentaries in this collection demonstrate the importance of international awareness and provide real-world examples of programs that foster global understanding.

Edutopia presents assessment, 62 min. (#256089)
The documentaries in this collection look at the ways to assess students.

Edutopia presents integrated studies, 71 min. (#256095)
The documentaries in this collection look at programs involving integrated studies.

Edutopia presents math and science, 65 min. (#256091)
The documentaries in this collection describe ways math and science are being taught.

Edutopia presents project-based learning, 80 min. (#256087)
The documentaries in this collection explore how project-based learning is being used in a variety of educational environments.

Edutopia presents school-to-career, 60 min. (#256086)
The documentaries in this collection examine the key role of school-to-career programs in education.

Edutopia presents: social and emotional learning, volume 1, 65 min. (#256084)
The documentaries in this collection look at the important part that social and emotional learning plays in reducing negative behaviors and improving academic achievement.

Edutopia presents: social and emotional learning, volume 2, 80 min. (#256085)
The documentaries in this collection examine social and emotional learning programs.

Eutopia presents: teacher development, 60 min. (#256094)
The documentaries in this collection look at exemplary teacher-preparation programs that allow teacher candidates the time to spend in classrooms with experienced mentors.

Eutopia presents technology integration, volume 2, 70 min. (#256093)
The documentaries in this collection look at programs involving technology integration.

Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age, K-12
This public Ning is designed to support a learning community based on the book discussion for Teaching Every Student in the Digital Age. It is the result of research by the Center for Applied Special Technology (CAST). It features discussion forums, blogs, videos, photos, live chat, links to other resources, etc.

The e-book version, available for free at , has links to resources that make it a wealth of information regarding universal design for learning (UDL). UDL is a framework that can help educators turn the challenges posed by high standards and increasing learner diversity into opportunities to maximize learning for every student. Drawing upon new knowledge of how the brain works and new technologies and media now available for teaching and learning, UDL frames a systematic approach to setting goals, choosing or creating flexible materials and media, and assessing students accurately.

Watch Know, K-12
This is a non-profit online community devoted to finding the best videos for students from Watch Learn, Teacher Tube, Google Video, School Tube, and You Tube. It includes age level filtering and they are categorized by subject and placed in the order in which the topics are typically taught. Harvard educator Christopher Dede is on the Advisory Committee.

Iowa Core Curriculum Scenarios Database, K-12
This database includes scenarios (and lessons) that educators can borrow and adapt to their own teaching.

Achievement and Video Streaming, K-12
Based on two years of data, a recent independent research report illustrates a link between usage of Discovery Education streaming and higher achievement scores. Specifically, the report data shows there is clear evidence that frequent usage of Discovery Education streaming is associated with higher achievement scores in grades 3-8 in math and reading.

The research was completed by Cometrika, an independent research firm, and led by Dr. Frank Boster. The study focused on 2006-2007 and 2007-2008 school year data, and three geographically diverse states, examining more than 7,500 school buildings in Texas, Indiana and Florida. State-level department of education achievement data and Discovery Education streaming data for building-level usage was used to correlate building-level, high-stakes test results for grades 3-8 in math and reading and the frequency of use of Discovery Education streaming within each building.

"The major focus of the study was to scientifically answer the question: ‘Does Discovery Education streaming improve student achievement in the classroom?’ and the answer is ‘Yes,’” said Kelli Campbell, Discovery Education Senior Vice President of Content and Product Development. “The compelling digital media found in Discovery Education streaming can truly engage today’s students in the curriculum beyond traditional methods.”

Wordle: Word Cloud Creator, K-12

A word cloud is a visual depiction of a set of related words. The clouds use font sizes and other visual clues to words that appear more frequently in the source text. Wordle is a free Web 2.0 tool for generating “word clouds” from text or tags that users provide. Users can create artwork from words, and use the built in properties to identify key words within a written passage and analyze content. Users can tweak their clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images created with Wordle are the creators to use however they like. Wordles can be printed or saved to the Wordle gallery to share with students, parents, or friends. Just copy text in any language, paste it into Wordle and it will sift through it and create clouds with the most commonly occurring words in the text. You can then edit the shape, the colors and the font, and remove words. Listed below are several examples of how teachers are using Wordle in the classroom. Read this article in Tech For Learning on how it supports instruction. Click here to see the text of this article in a word cloud.

H.S. English
Dawn Hogue, author of the Polliwog Journal blog, shared this high school English idea.
Before reading a word of the book, I pasted the first paragraph of the story A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings by Gabriel Garcia Marquez into Wordle. I then handed the Wordle out (nothing more, not even the title) to the class before reading and had students work in groups to answer the following questions:

  • What is the story going to be about?
  • Who might the main characters be?
  • What will the setting be like?
  • What is the tone of the story?
  • What words might we need to define?
  • What questions do you have about anything so far?
  • Whatever else you can think of . . .
  • The groups could save their predictions and revisit them in their writing journals during and after reading.
She also uses Wordle for test corrections. Students type in the questions and answers that were missed on a test. They then color-schemed the words to their individual talents. It is a fun way to "jazz" up the dreary task of test review.

H.S. Science
Below is a high school science example from the Technology and Education Blog, Box of Tricks:
Choose two online newspaper articles about the current topic being studied.
Copy and paste the articles into Wordle, creating two word clouds.
Print copies of the full articles for the entire class.
Print both word clouds on one piece of paper and make enough copies for the entire class.
Hand out the hard copies of the word clouds to pupils and ask them to fold their papers in half so every other pupil would be looking at a different word cloud.
Ask students to look at the word cloud, and using a dictionary, try to ascertain the purpose of the original articles.
Ask one half of the class to explain to the other half what they thought their article was about while the teacher displays each word cloud on the interactive whiteboard. The teacher can highlight words one at a time and extract relevant /useful vocabulary.
Finally, hand out copies of the original articles in full to the students and discuss the vocabulary further.

Wordle is used for a discussion on bullying. The students each create a list of words that describe a "friend" and a list that describes a "bully". Then take all of their words and create a "friend" Wordle and a "bully" Wordle. Make a classroom poster that had each Wordle on it and in big text had the question "Which one are You?". Post it on the classroom door so when they leave the classroom, they see this question.

GuessTheWordle Wiki created by Jen Wagner
Every day a new Wordle is posted for teachers and your students to view. Each wordle has a TOPIC. Students need to use their sleuthing skills to figure out exactly what that topic is. They must be careful though, some have more than one thing in common. Teachers and students can also create their own Wordle puzzles using this wiki.

There is also a good Slideshare presentation from the Ideas To Inspire website; Forty Interesting Ways To Use Wordle in the Classroom, that gives some more great examples.

Book Rotation, K-8
Teachers can refresh their classroom collections with a box of new books every 5-6 weeks. Register online. Curriculum Resource Center, K-12
This Curriculum Resource Center was created by with the support of the Coretta Scott King Book Award 40th Anniversary Public Awareness Campaign Committee. It honors books that "promote understanding and appreciation of the culture of all peoples and their contribution to the realization of the American dream of a pluralistic society” and is given to “African American authors and illustrators for outstanding inspirational and educational contributions.” This collection is continually updated and includes resources most recently added in September 2009.

Search this site to:
* Hear directly from African American authors and illustrators as they talk about and read from their books.
* Enjoy audio recordings, book readings, videos, and more.
* Teach the Coretta Scott King Book Award-winning books with this free, online collection of primary source materials and lesson plans.

Focus on Reading Strategies, K-4
Into the Book is a reading comprehension resource that focuses on eight research-based strategies: using prior knowledge, making connections, questioning, visualizing, inferring, summarizing, evaluating and synthesizing. Students can view the fifteen minute videos and try the online interactive activities. “Behind the Lesson” provides information and teaching resources for each strategy. Teachers can view the ten minute professional development videos and explore the Web site for lesson plans, video and audio clips, and more.

New Iconographic Videos, K-3
Click this link to 35 favorite stories on DVD that are available for checkout.

New Iconographic Videos, K-3
Click this link to 35 favorite stories on DVD that are available for checkout.

Use Math and Science in Everyday Life, K-12
Practical Uses of Math and Science (PUMAS) offers more than 60 one-page examples of how science and math can be used in interesting settings and everyday life. Topics include clouds (why they float), Social Security benefits (algebra), Pythagorean theorem (cabinet corners), ice sheets and sea level (logarithms), matching birthdays (statistics), traffic signals (probability), seasons (causes), volcanic clouds, wind chill (algebra) and more. The examples are written primarily by scientists, engineers, and other content experts.

Math Online Tools, K-12

Interesting Web sites for teaching math...
The Maths Apprentice
This is a primary and middle school site for mathematics directed at the younger audience.

Kids Online: Me and Mymaths
This is a primary and middle school site, but a useful math site.

Dan’s Maths
This site is directed at the more senior school audience but is still applicable to middle school students.

Video tutorials and resources for mathematics

US Government Data
This is a great source of accurate information and statistics. Applicable to mathematics, humanities and many other subject areas.

Discovery Education Science K-8
DEScience was purchased for schools this fall. This hyperlink includes two short screencasts that show how to create a teacher account and how to navigate the site.

Bloom's Taxonomy Revised

Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy of cognitive objectives is one of the best ways to differentiate curriculum to meet the needs of students. Teachers can use the six levels of thinking—Remembering, Understanding, Applying, Analyzing, Evaluating and Creating—as a framework for planning units that incorporate low to high-level thinking activities. A free, downloadable set of colorful posters explains each of the six levels of the taxonomy. Contact the Heartland graphics department to request copies be produced in color (minimal cost).

(Based on Pohl, 2000, Learning to Think, Thinking to Learn, p. 8)

Go to the following article, Bloom’s Taxonomy Blooms Digitally, at to discover how the revised Bloom’s Taxonomy helps teachers meet the information and communication technology skills that are part of the Iowa Core Curriculum.

Did You Know Version 4.0
This is an official update to the original 2004 "Shift Happens" video. This completely new Fall 2009 version includes facts and stats focusing on the changing media landscape, including convergence and technology, and was developed in partnership with The Economist.

A 21st Century Education Videos
This series includes 10-15 minute videos on the best ideas in school reform and innovation. It is meant to start the conversation about how to make change happen. Created by Pearson Foundation and Mobile Learning Institute.

The first set of films profile and explore the following:

  • Steve Barr and the Takeover of Locke High School in Watts
  • James Dierke and Leadership Models for Urban Middle Schools
  • David “T.C.” Ellis and Essential Learning at Hip Hop High
  • Randall Fielding and Designing Schools for 21st Century Learning
  • Stephen Heppell and Empowering Young Learners
  • Jean Johnson, and Online Learning for Disaffected Youth
  • Doug McCurry and the Success of Achievement First
  • George McKenna and Personalizing Public Education
  • Alan November and the Myths and Opportunities of Technology
  • Larry Rosenstock and Project-based Learning at High Tech High
  • Elliot Soloway/Cathie Norris and Educating the Mobile Generation
  • Yong Zhao: No Child Left Behind and Global Competitiveness

Leadership: Recommended Readings
The Heartland AEA library has books that have appeared in several recommended reading lists on 21st century learners. Authors discuss the globalization of economics; the explosion of scientific and technological knowledge; the increasingly international dimensions of the issues we face; and changing demographics.

IPTV Programming, K-12
New and returning programs are scheduled in IPTV’s Overnight Block Feeds Monday-Saturday from 2-6 a.m.

Driver’s Education/Parents
Teens Behind the Wheel
Fine Arts
2009 Iowa Bandmasters Highlights
2009 Iowa Jazz Championships
2009 Terrace Hill Piano Competition
The Music Instinct: Science and Song
National Gallery of Art Collection (New program)
Energy Conservation
Kilowatt Ours: A Plan to Re-energize America
Environmental Science
Natural Heroes (NEW Programs)
Financial Literacy
The Road to Riches
Human Sexuality and Responsibility
In the Mix (NEW programs)
The World of Work
Language Arts/Literature
Great American Authors Since 1650
Social Studies/Diversity
My Brand New Life
Social Studies/History
Ancient History – NEW program “The Maya”
Assignment: The World (NEW season)
Athens: The Dawn of Democracy
Eyes on the Prize II: A Special Presentation of the American Experience
Intelligent Talk Television (NEW programs)
The Story of India
Social Studies/History/Nature
The National Parks: America’s Best Idea
Professional Development
Intelligent Talk Television (NEW programs)
P.O.V. The Principal Story
Dragonfly TV (NEW programs)
Exploring Space: The Quest for Life
The Music Instinct: Science and Song
Special Education
Special Education Guidance Series

Discovery Education's Closed Captioned Videos
The number of available resources with closed captions and audio description to ensure greater access to digital content for all students has increased. This is important as it is a tool to differentiate instruction for every learner. Discovery Education's streaming video collection currently offers more than 1,700 full length programs and 13,000 core concept video clips with closed captioning.

Many videos will also be audio described (AD) to allow visually impaired students to access the program’s content through a voice-over that describes key visual elements. This description is mixed into the original program audio. AD also can benefit students that learn best aurally or through multi-sensory input. The teacher or student may choose to turn the AD on or off. Audio description is a newly added feature to Discovery Education streaming content. “Visually impaired students often find themselves in a classroom where the teacher is showing a video to complement the lesson and are left with no access to the messages that are provided on the screen,” said Jill Soule, high school teacher in San Diego, Calif. The few times my students have experienced video description, they have been ecstatic. The insight these descriptions afforded them was unlike anything they had experienced before.”

Teach About the U.S. Census
“The 2010 Census in Schools: It’s About Us” program is designed to provide K–12 students with information about the importance of the 2010 Census. Program brochures were sent to all grade 9–12 principals, social studies department chairs, and school service coordinators during the summer of 2009. At the Census in Schools Web site, teachers can find lesson plans and teaching kits and access free products including a monthly newsletter, maps, and historical data for teaching about the census. There are coloring pages, quizzes, word finds, and other activities for grades K-5. S
tudents can take a quiz to test their census knowledge or learn facts about how going to college can affect their future salary. They can also learn about the importance of census data and how it affects the world.

Learn About the Brain: Brains Rule! , 3-8
The Brains Rule Web site helps students learn about the brain and nervous system. The interactive site can be navigated using the four tabs (Kids, Teachers, Neuroscience Professionals and Partners) at the top of the page. This kid-friendly site will help students learn about the brain and nervous system. The sections for students offers several interactive animated games that help them learn how the brain develops, the anatomy of a neuron, and a virtual tour of the brain. Students can also meet a “Brainwhiz,” sign up to have their questions answered by a neuroscientist, or build their own Web page. Teachers can access a set of lesson plans for grades 3-8 that include background material, vocabulary, science standards, hands-on and Web-based activities, and other resources and links.

Encyclopedia of Life, 6-12
The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) has a mission to describe all the 1.8 million known species from apples to zebras, within a decade and help provide research into aging, climate change and even the spread of insect pests. EOL is a collaborative global effort involving natural history museums, research institutions, botanical gardens, and many highly dedicated individuals.

Anyone can use the EOL as a "field guide" or contribute a photograph or an observation of an animal in an area where it was not found before, in some cases a sign of a changing climate. Already the Encyclopedia was aiding scientists who look at human aging, for instance, by examining the widely differing lifespans of related species. The EOL said it would help "public recognition and awareness of invasive species through detailed descriptions and maps, helping to slow their global spread and enable more rapid and effective remedial measures." And the EOL was trying to help researchers find out how global warming may affect species, such as by making them move to cooler habitats.

The number of entries has just reached 170,000 and, if current funding holds, the project is estimated to be completed in approximately 2019.

Museum of Online Museums
This portal links to online exhibits, virtual tours, collections, and galleries around the world.

Get SmART About ART, 2-7

Admission is free at the Smart Museum (University of Chicago). Students can meet an artist, visit a studio, and see some great art. It shows students different ways to look at art and how to tell a story using art. The art includes photography, sculpture, painting, and other genres. Although some smARTkids activities are structured, most promote open-ended exploration of art. Visit the site with your students to learn the language of art, understand that artworks invite multiple interpretations, and see how art is created for a wide variety of personal and social purposes.

NoveList Plus, 9-12,uid&profile=novplus

To introduce classics to your teen readers check out the 15 BookTalks from NovLlist Plus. The BookTalks are available in text and abridged audio versions of the most often-used classics. Look for audio BookTalks on:

  • The Great Gatsby
  • The Catcher in the Rye
  • Things Fall Apart
  • Cry, the Beloved Country
  • The Crucible
  • Death of a Salesman
  • Night
  • Frankenstein
  • Wuthering Heights
  • The Grapes of Wrath
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four
  • Lord of the Flies
  • A Separate Peace
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Beowulf

Teachers can quickly locate all these text and audio BookTalks by performing a search for the Curricular Connections article in NoveList Plus titled "Great Stories: Classics for the High School Reader" by Tom Reynolds. See below for instructions.

1. Type "classics for the high school reader" in the Basic Search box.

2. Click the Search button.

3. From the Result List, click the Curricular Connections tab, and select the "Great Stories: Classics for the High School Reader" article.

4. Download the audio BookTalks from within the article by clicking the blue audio icon.

The National Day on Writing: Oct. 20

Americans are writing more than ever whether it’s texting, IMing, jotting a note, writing a letter, posting an email, blogging, making a video, building an electronic presentation, composing a memo, keeping a diary, or simply pulling together a report. Recent research suggests that writing, in its many forms, has become a daily practice for millions of Americans. According to the National Association of Teachers of English (NCTE), “It may be the quintessential 21st century skill.”

NCTE is building an online National Gallery of Writing by inviting people to select and post one thing they have written that is important to them. NCTE guidelines state, “Anyone can share any composition; it can be any format—from word processing to photography, audio recording to text messages—and any type of writing—from letters to lists, memoirs to memos. Even cell phone writing and PDFs of handwritten notes are appropriate submissions to the National Gallery of Writing, as long as they are pieces meaningful to their authors.” The writing in the National Gallery is meant to represent all the many ways we’re writing today and all the many reasons for writing: personally, on-the-job, and educationally.

Teachers and students are invited to share their meaningful pieces in the National Gallery or start a Local Gallery and celebrate with thousands of other writers on October 20, 2009, the National Day on Writing. The National Gallery will be open for viewing/reading through June 1, 2010. Everyone who visits the Gallery of NCTE can find useful tips and guidelines for writers from the National Council of Teachers of English.

Book Rotation, K-8
Teachers can refresh their classroom collections with a box (@ 30 titles) of new books every 5-6 weeks. Register online.

Creately: Online Diagramming and Design Tool
Creately, a free online diagramming and design application lets anyone create and collaborate on flow charts, wireframes, network diagrams, sitemaps and more. The key to Creately’s application is that it manages to harness the abilities and tools that traditional design and graphics software offer, but packages this functionality in an easy to use application that allows for collaboration between users.

The design features are varied but relatively easy to use. For example, "Contextual Toolbars" appear when you click on any object on the drawing canvas and depending on the object and its size will offer all the commonly used operations within the toolbar. Collaboration is another crucial part to the design process, says co-founder Charanjit Singh, so the startup built in commenting, sharing, publishing, embedding and the ability to publish directly to Twitter. Creately's free version lets users make an unlimited amount of public diagrams that can be published on Creately and visible to anyone. Free customers are restricted to a maximum of 5 collaborators and all diagrams will be published with the Creately logo. Diagrams can also be embedded and shared.

Blogs for Librarians and Technology

This article lists dozens of blogs to subscribe to or add to your social bookmarking site.

Wired Librarian
An elementary teacher librarian shares thoughts on library conventions, blogging, information literacy, and more.

Free Range Librarian
Blogs about writing, tech toys, and more.

Information Wants to Be Free
Meredith Farkas is the distance learning librarian.

Librarians Matter
How new technology systems can be used in libraries.

This young librarian likes stirring up new ideas and controversial new technology systems and trends for libraries.

Resources and discussions on technology trends and developments.

ALA TechSource Blog
How to bring your library into the 21st century.

The Library and Information Technology Association blog.

Emerging web technologies and systems.

Theoretical Librarian
New technology and how it may be used in libraries.

Tech tips for librarians.
Privacy, surveillance, new media, ethics and technology.

Peter Scott’s Library Blog
Google books, e-learning, web archiving, and more.

The Handheld Librarian
Librarians submit articles about computers and technology.

Blog Without a Library
Learn about library and tech news and trends from Blog without a library.

The Ubiquitous Librarian
Media, design, and the future of libraries.

Hey Jude
Learning in an online world.

Social Networking Librarian
Using social networking in the library.

Tame the Web
2.0, librarians and leadership.

Library Clips
Wikis, blogging, and social media.

The Uncommon Commons
Library and IT-related commentary.

Disruptive Library Technology Jester
Straddling the line between traditional librarianship and technology.

What I Learned Today
Web 2.0 and programming tips.

Media and Communication
Networking and social media in an education and library context.

Public Knowledge
Future of digital media and communications.

Covers publishing, media and e-books.

Professional Blogs
Librarian’s Rant
Keep up with the changing library landscape.

The LibVocate
Promotes librarianship and information literacy.

ALA Weblog Service
News in politics, libraries, and education.

AL Inside Scoop
Blog from the American Libraries.

The Days and Nights of the Lipstick Librarian!
This librarian is anything but the stuffy old stereotype.

Lauren’s Library Blog
Future of libraries.

Accidentally Curious
Modernizing the library for a new generation of readers and researchers.

Attempting Elegance
Sharing what it’s like to work as a librarian.

025.431 The Dewey Blog
Brush up on your Dewey Decimal classification knowledge here.

Head Tale
Library science and the "spirit of librarianship."

Classroom 2.0, K-12
This is a social network created on Ning for those interested in Web 2.0 and collaborative technologies in education. PBS Teachers® and Classroom 2.0, with support from Elluminate, are partnering on a series of free monthly webinars designed to help educators learn new ways to integrate online instructional resources in the classroom and engage students.

New IEC Software Prime Vendor
Beginning October 1, 2009, the Iowa Educators Consortium’s new prime vendor for school software will be Academic Superstore. Products available include: Adobe, Crick, FileMaker, Inspiration, Microsoft, NUANCE, McAfee, SOPHOS, Symantec and Tom Synder. In addition to discounts on the products listed, all other products on the Academic Superstore exclusive IEC website (software, hardware, supplies, etc.) have additional discounts off their regular school price.

New FaCS DVDs|017063|&ay=2Y&submit=1
Check this hyperlink to 32 new DVDs for family and consumer sciences. Topics: clothing, nutrition, and kitchen fundamentals.

Draw Me a Story DVDs, K-6
Each title in this series presents a story and shows the illustrations as they are being created. Illustrations are shown in various stages with voice-over narration. Available for checkout from Heartland AEA.

New Between the Lions DVDs, K-6
Click here for a listing of the new titles in the video series that are available for checkout from Heartland AEA.

APPLAUSE! Series, K-12
The Civic Center of Greater Des Moines brings world-class performing artists and diverse art forms in one-hour matinee performance. All tickets are $1 each.

Atomic Learning, K-12
Atomic Learning includes professional development resources and curriculum materials that encourage educators to bring 21st century skills into the classroom. Modules include 21st Century Skills Collection, Technology Skills Collection, and Assistive Technology Collection. Use the online database username/password assigned to your school.

21st Century Skills Collection:
* Teacher Assessment to gauge technology skill levels and provide prescriptive training paths
* 21st century skills concept training
* Professional development projects
* Lesson Accelerator Tech Integration Projects for seamless classroom integration
* Workshops that cover Web 2.0, Seven Steps to a Flat Classroom, and much more
* Tech Skills Student Assessment to measure students ability to apply technology skills, an important part of being 21st century-ready.
* Full access to all tutorials and training included in the Technology Skills Collection
* Concrete examples of how 21st century skills might be taught in the classroom, within the context of a specific subject and commonly taught topic.
* Easily adapted and extended skills to more fully support the teaching and learning of other 21st century concepts and skills, beyond those related to technology.
* Projects that correlate to several NETS-T standards if adapted and implemented as suggested.

Technology Skills Collection:
* Just-in-time training on more than 110 of the most common software applications
* Technology “how-to” Self Assessment to review your individual skill level
* Video Storytelling Guide to planning and creating quality movies
* Includes training on Office 2007 and 2008, Adobe CS3 & CS4 applications, Blackboard and Moodle, iLife applications, Inspiration, Google Docs, Windows Vista, Mac OS X Leopard, and many more.

Assistive Technology Collection:
* Special education software
* Assistive technology devices
* Software accessibility training tutorials
* Examples of tutorials: Boardmaker 6, JAWS 9, Overboard, WordQ, SpeakQ, Co:Writer, Inspiration, Kidspiration, as well as accessibility features in Leopard, Windows XP and Vista.

Inspiring Teaching Videos, K-12

For the past ten years David Warlick has operated The Landmark Project, a consulting and innovations firm in Raleigh, North Carolina. His web site, Landmarks for Schools, serves more than a half-million visits a day with some of the most popular teacher tools available on the Net. David is also the author of three books on instructional technology and 21st century literacy, and has spoken to audiences throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, Asia, The Middle East, and South America.

David has compiled a number of videos that are designed to inspire new thinking and new stories about teaching, learning, and classrooms today. Many of these videos were produced by teachers and by students working in collaboration with their teachers. To learn more about about David Warlick and get access to his educational tools/resources, go to

Taylor Mali on What Teachers Make
Taylor Mali, slam poet, gives his mind on what teachers make.

Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?
He makes an entertaining case for an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.

We Think
Based on a book by Charles Leadbeater. It explores the potential of the latest developments of the Internet.

Pay Attention
Why are some teacher reluctant to enter the digital age with their teaching practices?

Learning to Change-Changing to Learn

Did You Know By Karl Fisch (original)
This video helps raise awareness of the issues of globalization in our newly connected world first raised in Thomas Friedman's book, The World is Flat.

Did You Know 2.0
An official update to the original "Shift Happens" video from Karl Fisch. This 2007 update includes new and updated statistics, thought-provoking questions and a fresh design.

EPIC 2015
The updated version of EPIC 2014. It is the best of times, it is the worst of times.

Digital Students @ Analog Schools

No Future Left Behind
Middle school students were asked to talk about education and their future. This film was created as the Keynote for Net Generation Education Project.

A Vision of Students Today

Twouble with Twitters: SuperNews!
A young man struggles against the pressure to Twitter his life away.

The Machine is Us/ing Us (Final Version)

"PIL InfoLit Dialog, No. 1: Wikipedia"

Lesson Plan Support, K-12
Heartland AEA developed a database where you can search for lesson plans and Web sites to support lessons in math, language arts, science, social studies, reading, and technology.

Spotlight on Careers DVDs, 7-12
This is a new series available for checkout from Heartland AEA.

IPTV's K-12 Classroom Series
There are 24 new series, many of which support 21st century skills as outlined in the Iowa Core Curriculum. In addition to core subjects, new programs address such topics as financial literacy, technology skills, diversity, career skills, personal responsibility and communication. Most titles include online resources and are streamed online.

New Environmental Education DVDs, K-12
This is a link to new DVDs that can be checked out from Heartland AEA.

Career Forward , 7-12
This is a free online course covering globalization, career planning, financial literacy and entrepreneurship. It uses a variety of multimedia tools and can be used with other career planning tools to help students assess their career interests, explore career options, and create an education development plan.

Students can work with local educators to access the online course, which takes about four to six weeks (or approximately 20 hours) to complete. The course is designed to be facilitated by a local teacher and can be used independently or as part of an existing face-to-face course in career planning, business, or global studies.

Throughout the course, students are asked frequently to reflect on what they’re learning, to write their thoughts down as a continual refinement of their thinking, and to discuss those thoughts with other students-either in person or online.

Dot Physics: Physics and Stuff Blog, 9-12
Most of the posts are aimed at an advanced high school student level. The video analysis would make very interesting discussion starters: why elephants can’t jump, everyday stuff and physics, myth busters, etc.

Discovery Channel App, K-12

The Discovery Channel has released an iPhone or iTouch application that will allow you to watch videos, view photos and take quizzes from your favorite Discovery shows. The app is currently the most popular free app on iTunes.

WaterLife: Where Rivers Meet the Sea, 4-7
A new online video game occurs inside the ecosystem of an estuary on the West Coast. Players must learn about the factors that produce healthy estuaries, food webs, and why estuaries are essential to both ocean life and humans.

New EZ Math Trix DVD Series, K-8
Click for a listing of the new series that can be checked out.

New EZ Math Trix DVD Series, K-8

New Math DVDs, K-12
Click for a list of the new DVDs available for checkout.

Free Civic Literacy Online Classroom Tools, 6-12

This article includes online resources to help support civic literacy within the Iowa Core Curriculum.

History and Civil Rights
Civics Online

Democracy for Kids

Democracy Project

Online Civics Text

US History Lesson Plans Library

Bill of Rights Institute

C-SPAN Classroom

Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement



Free Federal Resources for Educational Excellence

Madison's Treasures

The National Archives

Our Documents

Picturing America

Voices for Votes

We the People

Youth Justice Bulletin

American Social History Project

American Memory Collections

Black History: Exploring African-American Issues

Discovery of America

History Matters

The Power of Words Curriculum

Teaching with Historic Places

Time Lines: Connecting Your Life to History

Immigrant Experience

The Lower East Side Tenement Museum

Ancestors in the Americas

Media Literacy
Center for Media Literacy

CNN San Francisco Interactive Learning Resources

The Democracy Project

Evaluating Websites


International Newspapers

Digital Citizenship
Digital Citizenship: Using Technology Appropriately

Be a Safe Surfer

Cable in the Classroom Digital Ethics

Center for Media Literacy




Media Awareness Network on Chat Rooms

History of Televised Presidential Debates, 7-12
The Great Debate and Beyond: The History of Televised Presidential Debates is a free interactive, multimedia celebration of 40 years of television and politics. It features video and other primary sources, curriculum resources, glossaries, activities, and lines of inquiry. It explores television's impact on the American political arena through essays, interviews, and statistics. Political insight as seen through the pages of TV Guide is also presented.

Smithsonian Online Tours 7-12
The Smithsonian Center for Education and Museum Studies is offering a series of free online tours that invite educators, families, and students to learn about America’s diverse cultural heritage by examining objects drawn from the Smithsonian’s vast collections. The cultural heritage tours "allow viewers to delve deeper and learn even more about African American and Latino history and culture through the prism of art and historical objects," said Director of Programs Stevie Engelke.

New Online Databases

Heartland AEA has purchased some outstanding online databases for students and educators. They can be searched individually or through federated searching (think Google) at Use the online database username/password assigned to your school.

Learn360 Video Streaming, K-12
Thousands of videos and video clips are available through this new database. Some of the major content is from PBS, National Geographic, Slim Goodbody, Standard Deviants, Sunburst Visual Media, etc. Learn360 supplements the other streaming video service, DE Streaming.

iCLIPART for Schools
This online database replaces It includes excellent photos, sounds, fonts, videos, and web graphics and animations.

NoveList K-8 Plus
This is a readers advisory tool for the library or classroom.

DE Science K-8
This new database includes virtual labs, simulations, reading passages, real-time assessment components, and more. It is organized around an inquiry framework in physical, earth and space, and life sciences. It’s integrated into DE Streaming for elementary and middle/junior high schools, or search it separately.

New World Book Online Databases, K-12
Eight new databases are now available for beginning researchers in third grade, high school researchers, and researchers reading below grade level. A variety of content and search interfaces help make each student successful while differentiating instruction. Includes text-to-speech, videos, interactive activities, etc. New Spanish and French encyclopedias are also available.

World Book Digital Libraries, 6-12
Living Green, Early Peoples, and Inventions & Discoveries are unique libraries that include videos and animations, read-aloud capabilities, text translation into 13 languages, interactive activities, curriculum correlations, and web links.

World Book Kids, K-6
Includes simple navigation, easy-to-read articles, thousands of illustrations, and activities.

World Book Student, 6-12
Includes all the encyclopedia articles plus a Biography Center and a How To Do Research section.

World Book Advanced, 9-12
This version integrates primary and secondary source databases in a single search. It includes Pathfinders for research, Timeline Builder, multimedia, and e-books.

World Book Discoverer, 6-12
This version was developed for students (and adults) reading below grade level because of language or learning difficulties. It includes articles, text-to-speech, multimedia, interactive video, timeline, etc.

EBSCO HS and AP Databases, 9-12
Seven new databases have been added this year for high school students. Use the online databases username/password assigned to your school.

Advanced Placement Source

History Reference Source

Science Reference Center

Literary Reference Center

Newspaper Source Plus

Points of View Reference Center

NoveList Plus

Share to Facebook or Social Bookmarks

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Learning Quests, 4-9
Quest Atlantis (QA) is an international learning and teaching project that uses a 3-dimensional gaming multi-user environment. A storyline is presented through an introductory video, novel, and comic book. QA includes both curricular and optional projects that can be completed both online and offline as students work alone or together to accomplish tasks within the international community.

Sample Unit:
“The Taiga Fishkill unit is an interactive narrative set within an aquatic habitat (the Taiga Park) with a serious ecological problem. Students navigate through the virtual park and interact with other players and non-player characters that communicate their perspective on the problem. After students learn about potential causes of the fish demise in Taiga Park, they are asked to make a recommendation about how to resolve the issue. In making this decision, students have to consider their conceptual tools (i.e. understanding eutrophication, erosion, and over fishing) in order to make a recommendation about what to do (i.e. stop the indigenous people from farming, tell the loggers they can no longer cut trees in the park, or shut down the game fishing company). After making a recommendation, students travel 20 years forward in game time and see the results of their recommendations (experiential consequentiality)., 7-12 includes the entire archives of photo giants Life magazine and Getty Images. Users can view galleries curated by the site's editors or search the library by names, dates, subjects, and locations. The archive chronicles current events, too, with daily news galleries and the addition of 3,000 new Getty photos a day. Life's last editor, Bill Shapiro, who heads up the new project, wants students, teachers, and parents to use the site to make history more tangible. "We didn't want simply to create a historical repository or a dusty archive. We wanted these events to feel as alive as they did when they happened."

Photos on the site are organized into five channels: news, celebrity, travel, animals, and sports. Visitors can print individual images and share them through sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Del.ic.ious. New features of, due to roll out in the coming months, will allow users to create their own photo galleries (on, say, the life and work of Maya Angelou, for English class, or animal life in the Everglades, for science). All the site's tools will be free.

This is a free European digital library, museum and archive. The Web site gives users direct access to some 2 million digital objects, including film material, photos, paintings, sounds, maps, manuscripts, books, newspapers and archival papers. From the Magna Carta to music scores by Mozart, Europeana features multilingual searching and plans to have 10 million items by 2010.

Experience Nobel Laureates, 9-12 draws students’ interest with games, experiments, and simulated environments where they can test and build their knowledge in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, peace, and economics. A central thought or issue is explored during 10-20 minutes of activity, using a specific Nobel Prize-awarded work as a springboard for the exercise. The activities offer an effective way of using the Internet for in-class activities, homework, or enrichment. The high level of interactivity and the sophisticated illustrations provide a quality learning experience.

LabWrite, 9-12
LabWrite helps students learn science through writing better lab reports. It is a free, online student resource tool that provides just-in-time instruction for students throughout the lab experience. Each section allows students to complete the lab by self-guiding, with hardcopy handouts, or through interactive tutoring. It provides full support for descriptive labs and labs that students design for themselves. It includes a set of resources, such as an Excel tutorial and guides for creating tables and graphs.

Chemistry Collective, 9-12
This is a collection of virtual labs, scenario-based learning activities, and concepts tests that can be incorporated into a variety of teaching approaches as pre-labs, alternatives to textbook homework, and in-class activities for individuals or teams. It is organized by a group of faculty and staff at Carnegie Mellon University for teachers who are interested in using, assessing, and creating engaging online activities for chemistry education. The National Science Foundation currently funds it, so the software is available free of charge to all educators and students.

Classroom Earth, 7-12
The National Environmental Education Foundation, in partnership with The Weather Channel, has launched this free program designed to enhance and strengthen environmental education. It uses the expertise and passion of teachers and students around the country to integrate environmental education. Through experiential learning, students are empowered to take positive action to improve the environment now and in the future.

* Resources for teachers: Helps weave cutting-edge environmental curricula into core high school classes, from art to science. In the News includes environmental news article(s) to connect to classroom content. News articles are linked to suggested curricula. Where in the World offers geographically based environmental information.

* Grants: Offers three competitive grant programs for students and teachers.

* Online Communities: Provides two exciting interactive on-line hubs of practical environmental education resources.

Chemistry Series DVDs, 9-12

This DVD series features content from the "Standard Deviants: The Super-Charged World of Chemistry" series with extra content. The DVDs are designed to capture students' attention and make chemistry come alive. Each DVD is about 26 minutes.

E2: Economies of Being Environmentally Conscious, 7-12

This new DVD series from PBS Video explores sustainable solutions to environmental and social challenges, presented with a combination of storytelling. Each program is about 180 minutes. Click here.

Electricity: A 3-D Animated Demonstration, 9-12

This is a series of seven new DVDs: Circuits, Electric Generators, Electric Motors, Electricity and Magnetism, Electrostatics, Ohm's Law, and Power and Efficiency. Click here.

Middle School Math Teachers’ Circle
A Math Teachers’ Circle brings teachers together and gives them a chance to work on engaging topics and problems, and at the same time become acquainted with an effective problem solving approach to math. Any education professional involved with Iowa middle school mathematics can participate. Expenses for the Teachers’ Circle will be paid for by a grant from the Iowa Mathematics and Science Education Partnership (IMSEP). Expenses covered include room and board for the week of the workshop June 7-12, 2009), reimbursement for travel to and from the workshop, and materials.

Digital Citizenship, 6-12
The Digital Citizenship and Creative Content curriculum is a no-cost instructional program designed to “raise awareness and foster better understanding of the rights connected with creative content”. The curriculum resources offer a set of cross-curricular classroom activities that are divided into four thematic units. Each unit consists of standalone yet complementary lesson plans that center around a creative rights scenario presented through a case study. Each unit has 4-6 project-oriented activities. Includes pre/post assessments. This curriculum aligns with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Standards for the 21st-Century Learner and covers subject areas that include civics, computer science, debate, fine arts, economics, government, journalism, language arts, drama and video production.

10 Ideas for Using Cell Phones in Education, K-12

In today's "flat world" millions of students in China, Japan, the Philippines, and Germany are using their mobile phones to learn English; study math, health and spelling; and to access live and archived university lectures. Marc Prensky shares that the average cell phone has more computing power than many of the computers of 10 years ago. He goes on to ask, “How can we harness that power in education?” Below are 10 easy ideas for integrating cell phones into learning and instruction.

1. Student response polling or pop quizzes
2. Find definitions, currency conversion, math equations, translations
3. Use as an Internet browser to access information
4. Research
5. Read news articles and current events
6. Read books
7. Download and use education programs such as Google Maps and use as GPS
8. Use as a digital or video camera to accompany school projects, publishing, etc.
9. Educate students on appropriate and acceptable social use
10. Use the voice technology to share engaging lectures or lessons

Listed below are additional resources for learning more about integrating cell phones into instruction.
Toy to Tools Blog by Liz Kolb
This blog is dedicated to conversing on methods for integrating cell phones into classroom learning.

Cell Phones in Learning Wiki

10 Ways to Use a Camera Phone in Education Blog by Jeff VanDrimmelen

Mobile Phones in Education: Constructive Not Destructive Power Point by Sharon Tonner

2009 Horizon Report for K-12 Edition focused on Mobile Technologies

Teach Digital Wiki by Wes Fryer

Duke University Center for Instructional Technology: Mobile Devices in Education

Cell Phones Get Top Marks in Classroom - article from eSchool News

iPods in the Classroom, K-12
Your district may be exploring ways to use the iTouch or iPods in classrooms. Heartland has collected resources for helping you with future decisions concerning these devices. We hope these resources are of benefit to you.

Nine Reasons for Teachers to Twitter, K-12

According to EduCause, Twitter is an online application that is part blog, part social networking site, part cell phone and instant messaging tool, designed to let users answer the question “What are you doing?” Many tweets do answer the question of what the user is doing, but plenty of others are responses to other tweets, pointers to online resources that the user found interesting, product reviews, customer satisfaction queries, or questions. Twitter lets users create formal friendships, which collectively establish numerous and interconnected networks of users. In addition to the social aspect, you can use Twitter to follow experts in various fields. Twitter works with cell phones and other SMS clients, making it an easy way for mobile users to stay in touch.

Listed below are nine reasons to Twitter developed by Laura Walker, a middle school educator in England.

1. Together we’re better
Twitter can be like a virtual staff room where teachers can access a stream of links, ideas, opinions, and resources from a handpicked selection of global professionals.

2. Global or local--you choose
Educators can actively compare what’s happening in their world with others on different continents. GPS-enabled devices and advanced Web searching allow searches that tell you what people are tweeting within a certain distance of a location.

3. Self-awareness and reflective practice
Teachers on Twitter share their reflections and both support and challenge each other.

4. Ideas workshop and sounding board
Twitter is a great medium for sharing ideas and getting instant feedback. You can gather a range of opinions and constructive criticism within minutes, which can help enormously, whether you are planning a learning experience, writing a policy, or putting a job application together.

5. Newsroom and innovation showcase
Twitter helps you stay up-to-date on news and current affairs, as well as on the latest developments in areas of interest like school leadership and technology.

6. Professional development and critical friends
One of the best things about training days is the breakout time between sessions, when teachers can get together to talk about what they are working on or struggling with. Twitter enables users to have that kind of powerful networking capacity with them all the time. It’s just a matter of finding the right people to follow.

7. Quality-assured searching
Trust the people you follow. Hone and develop the list of people whose insights you value. Once your Twitter network grows past a critical mass, you can ask them detailed questions and get higher-quality information back than a Google search would generally provide.

8. Communicate, communicate, communicate
Expressing yourself in 140 characters is a great discipline. You can become better at saying what needs to be said in my professional communications (even without txtspk).

9. Getting with the times has never been so easy!

Go to and create a free account. A little light searching using key words for your areas of interest will soon yield a list of interesting people to follow. There are plenty of Web sites offering advice on getting started and how to avoid a few common beginners’ mistake.

New NSF Report On Cyberlearning

Fostering Learning in the Networked World: The Cyberlearning Opportunity and Challenge, A 21st Century Agenda for the National Science Foundation identifies cyberlearning as having "…the potential to transform education throughout a lifetime, enabling customized interaction with diverse learning materials on any topic..."

The task force report identifies potential ways in which advanced computing and communications technologies might be leveraged to support learning, highlighting opportunities for further research. In it, the task force offers 5 recommendations for the NSF to pursue:

* Help build a vibrant cyberlearning field by promoting cross-disciplinary communities of cyberlearning researchers and practitioners
* Instill a "platform perspective"—shared, interoperable designs of hardware, software, and services—into NSF's cyberlearning activities
* Emphasize the transformative power of information and communications technology for learning, from K to grey
* Adopt programs and policies to promote open educational resources
* Take responsibility for sustaining NSF-sponsored cyberlearning innovation beyond the length of the grant

To view an online presentation about this report by Professor Christine L. Borgman, the NSF Task Force Chair, go to

eSchool News on Twitter, K-12

You can stay on top of all the latest news and information in educational technology. News stories and other information are posted daily. Click here to learn more.