I have to admit, the sole reason this blog jumped out at me was because the title of the blog, Langwitches, reminded me of Me First, a picture book by Helen Lester, that includes a Sandwitch (a witch that lives in the sand…).  This blog not only has a catchy title, but it has a wealth of knowledge for the common teacher.  Langwitches was created by Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano, of the many credentials she holds, being a 21st Century Learning Specialist is ideal for creating an educational tech blog.

Langwitches is a comprehensive blog that allows the teacher librarian, or teacher, to learn about new teachnology for their classroom.  I noted many new things I have learned through browsing this blog, such as Screencasting, Creating Infopraphics, and How to Create Your Own E-book. I really enjoy how the step by step directions are easy to follow and comprehend.  Not only that, but Ms. Tolisano reviews programs related to each topic and notes what she likes and does not like about each.  This type of reviewing is my favorite, it makes me feel as though I am on Amazon ready to purchase an item, allowing me to save time on researching the product! 

As a teacher, I can see myself readily using this blog to quickly grab new, free, resources to help create a more motivating lesson for my first graders.  I love how teacher friendly this blog is, even a novice, technological impaired teacher could learn something new from this blog! 

Langwitches is a resource for the teacher librarian as well.  I found that there were many blog posts and Scribd’s that implemented collaboration between Ms. Tolisano and her fellow teachers.  Ms. Tolisano includes a 21st Centruty Skills Literacies Fluency Scribd that educates the teacher librarian on what it means to be an effective collaborator in this technologically advanced world.  One of my favorite blog posts that samples the many collaboration projects she has created was the 1st Graders Create Their Own Read Along Audio Book.

This blog is definitely a favorite of mine now that I have been introduced!

 iLearn Technology:

Another blog that caught my attention right away (I love it!) is iLearn Technology.  As a first grade teacher, it only takes the home page to entice me.  As I entered this blog I was greeted by a screen shot of digital base ten blocks… “I must read more” is my only thought!  Kelly Tenkely is the creater of the iLearn Technology blog and she knows how to grab a teachers attention!  Ms. Tenkely was a former educator herself, so perhaps this is why she is so good at what she does…she gets “us teachers!”

While browsing through this blog, I could not help thing that Ms. Tenkely audience in mind is the classroom teacher.  It feels as though she is talking to us, giving us wonderful, free resources to enhance lessons by using technology.  Children’s Books Forever is a blog post that displays a free site that display’s children’s books online (www.childrensbooksforever.com).  This blog was immediately book marked and will be shared with my fellow teachers!  While looking at this blog, I noticed that below the title, there were highlighted, key words, such as “primary.”  By clicking this key word, it took be to all the blogs posted by Ms. Tenkely that related to the primary grades.  I LOVE this feature because it allows teachers to quickly find ideas specific to their grade/students level. 

iLearn Technology blogs the vast amount of resources out there for teachers and teacher librarians.  Ms. Tenkely knows her curriculum and what may appeal to teachers as well.  Math Pickle is an example of this.  Not only does this blog host a cool math website, but Ms. Tenkely introduces ways you can incorporate this site into your classroom. 

As a collaboration tool, iLearn Technology is a blog that should be book marked by all teacher librarians.  Visiting this blog will allow the teacher librarian to see what is new out in the web world.  It is a blog that is meant to save educator’s time.  If a neat source is posted, the teacher librarian can take this information and pass it along to her fellow teachers.  Sharing resources found is not true collaboration, but it does open the communication doors between teacher and librarian!

 Creating Lifelong Learners:

Creating Lifelong Learners is a simply formatted blog created by Matthew Needleman.  Mr. Needleman describes himself as a “K-5 educator, literacy coach, Apple Distinguished Educator, and author of his blog.” Does this mean he is a teacher librarian?! Mr. Needleman also creates applications, which can be purchased, to improve literacy (Reading Remedies for iPhone and iPad).

If you are teacher that has no time, but needs fresh ideas, Creating Lifelong Learners blog takes the website search to a new level.  Mr. Needleman compiles ready to use resources within his blog, some of which can be found on the “home” page (i.e.- First Day of School Activities). This blog also incorporates new found information that holds important information that may affect students and/or teachers (What Value Do Teachers Add to the Classroom?).

This is a solid, educational blog, but not one of my favorites, from a teacher perspective.  While Mr. Needleman does the brunt work for you in posting neat sites/programs to visit and information to know, navigating the site is tricky. Inaccurate search keywords adds a dent to this blog as well.  Teachers need quick, to the point, researched tools to use in the classroom.  We do not have time to read “fluff!”

As a collaboration tool, this blog can be utilized as an information site for teacher librarians.  While this blog holds some wonderful resources, as a teacher librarian I would not send my fellow teachers to this blog, but instead mark it for myself to read every once in a while and note reliable sources that could be used in the curriculum for collaborative units.     



Library Blogs

A Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet…

Julie Greller hosts this comprehensive, yet fun, library blog!  How can a library blog be fun? Well, when you find neat and motivating ideas to pass along to your fellow teachers, it’s fun!  In particular, this blog gathers ideas for the school librarian from grades K-12.  There are not enough blogs hosting elementary school library ideas, but this blog takes the prize with a K-5 tab to stay focused and organized!  We cannot forget that our K-5 learners are 21st century learners too!

Teacher Librarian’s will enjoy each blog, with suggestions “You may also like…” to previous, topic related blogs.  This makes the search process easier and user friendly without getting lost amongst the links.  Resources are posted for the teacher librarian to use within their classroom as well. Research Information with an Interactive Spin allows the librarian to teach the research process in an engaging game like approach.  Keeping with the “You may also like…” theme, this blog will guide you to Wow! 100 Interactive Games, Lessons, and Quizzes For Your Students.  The teacher librarian can easily take this overwhelming list and compile a condensed list for each grade, level, or subject area. 

A Media Specialist’s Guide to the Internet is not just a blog! Ms. Greller has compiled a list of free programs, games, software, etc., a reference page (as any good librarian should do J) with words to know and sites to look at, and a “New Teacher” page loaded with fresh ideas and how to survive tactics. 

As a collaboration piece this blog can easily be accessed and utilized by both teacher librarians and teachers.  The teacher librarian could introduce this blog to her fellow teachers as an opening to educational blogs.  I am ashamed to admit, but before this blog assignment, as a teacher I would have never have thought to look up a blog for classroom ideas and lessons.  Ms. Greller is filled to the brim with ideas, so if this blog is overwhelming to the teachers, the school librarian could easily take it upon herself to use the student curriculum and plug in the best ideas where she sees fit, thus a readymade resource for the teachers!

 The Daring Librarian…

The Daring Librarian, Gwyneth Anne Bronwynne Jones, dares school librarians to seek the unknown and spark the interest of all students and teachers in her motivating, eye popping blog!  A middle school librarian, blogger and self proclaimed geek, Ms. Jones compiles all the must haves and must dos for your school librarian. As soon as you “log in” to this blog, you will be sure to be hooked with its graphic novel feel and on the edge technology!

Readers will enjoy The Daring Librarian’s casual tone to posts and ideas.  Easily scan new ideas on the main blog page, like how to set up a school facebook, or search blogs through a Google search box.  To the right, readers can scan previous blog posts. The school librarian may love, or hate, the tone that The Daring Librarian portrays, but maybe that is why she is the Daring librarian!  Sarcasm is wonderfully posted through new information that should not be missed (Rocketboom, Meme Molly, Me, & Google+). Library lessons are shared as well throughout this blog. School librarians may particularly like QR Code Quest: A Library Scavenger Hunt, an informational, move around the room, library lesson that can be adapted for all levels and all needs of students.

With so many positives in this blog, the school librarian has to be careful of their searches and readings. Some posts really have nothing to do with the school library field, unless you consider these types of blogs keeping up with the lingo of your students (Jersey Shore Gone Wilde).

As a collaborative piece, I see this blog as a means of collaboration amongst teacher librarians.  The Daring Librarian is entertaining and educational at the same time.  Teacher librarians can easily gather new ideas, resources, and lessons by visiting this blog.  Personally, I enjoyed this blog because The Daring Librarian does not make it feel like you “have” to read this blog for school library ideas, but you want to! 


NeverEndingSearch is managed by Joyce Valenza, a high school teacher librarian and technology writer.  Ms. Valenza’s blog is hosted by School Library Journal and captures resources as far back as June 2007.  This blog site compiles (almost) daily blogs including rich school library ideas and resources.  It is also a blog that promotes continued learning in the school library and classroom. 

NeverEndingSearch is a blog that allows school librarians and teachers to grab new and fascinating ideas and resources (9/11 Resources).  The short, to the point blogs allow any busy teacher librarian to quickly scan Ms. Valenza’s ideas.  NeverEndingSearch is visually appealing as well with YouTube clips, images, and links to new resources that teachers can easily use as their own (Back to School with the TL Café). 

For the teacher librarian, NeverEndingSearch provides a boost of motivation (It was Shannon!) and updated information on the latest technology (Web 3.0: We have so much stuff!).  This is also a blog spot that readily shares classroom resources to pass along to willing teachers (Wikispaces introduces Projects) during collaboration. 

As a collaborative piece, this blog is a site I believe any teacher librarian can visit and find new ideas to pass onto their fellow teachers.  I especially like the idea of sharing the new resources as a “Library Minute” at faculty meetings!  This blog is not overwhelming in visuals and text either, so it could be a good resource, in general, to share with teachers as well.

Only2Clicks is a tool to simplify your web direction. So simple “even  your mom will love it!”  Create a free user account in 30 seconds and add your favorite links.  This tool easily organizes your links into personalized “tabs” as well! My favorite feature is that with each link saved, you have a visual of what that link is.  There are so many times where I am searching through my favorites for “that link about…” but I can’t remember what it was titled, but do remember what it looked like! 

This tool can be used in the educational world for ALL the wonderful Web 2.0, learning, and social network sites.  This can also be used as a collaboration tool to share amongst your staff as a “go to” resource tool. New, public, accounts can be created for teachers, students and parents.  You can even get as specific as making a Only2Clicks page for each grade level! Tabs can easily be created (i.e. Reading, Writing, Math, etc.). 

Take a tour of Only2Clicks!

Hello world!

My first blog site, ever! Hope this goes well…