When tech works!

I went to NCTIES last week. Every workshop I went to was fantastic! And I could talk for hours about those workshops, but I’ve started looking at conferences in a new light. That’s probably for a couple of reasons. 1) I’ve gone to so many this year. This alone is incredible. The more you go to, the more you learn how to conference. And 2) I’m planning the conference for NCSLMA for October of 2018. (Just in case you hadn’t heard!) So I’m looking at the things I like, and then thinking about the how in making those my own.

This year, I’d really (really, really) like to go paperless at conference. NCSLMA is 100% volunteer. When new leadership comes in, we have to decide what to do with old stuff. So I’ve been thinking more and more about that stuff. We’ve got it down to amazingly small pile for the number of members, but still, there is stuff.

One of the things I wanted to tame this year was the collecting of CEU papers,  along with it’s evil twin – the handing out of certificates of completion. School districts are funny in their requirements. Many insist on that certificate. And yet, I hadn’t seen or found a way to do this yet that I found satisfactorily paper free. That is until I ran across a little google add-on called autoCrat. And now I can say, fill out a google form to document your CEUs, and I’ll email you a certificate!

AutoCrat lets you prebuild a certificate with empty fields and populate it from a form with matching fields. You can set the certificates to be mailed out immediately or you can send them out periodically.

Below is what I found (from Jeffrey Bradbury) in my search for generating a certificate from a google form. AutoCrat has been updated since this was made, but it got me through. Now that I know what autoCrat is, I’ve found lots of newer videos.

Amazing facebook banner (1)


My Google Drive FAIL

files-1633406_640.jpgThis morning, I’ve been going through my google files. What a mess! I’m a fairly organized person, but keeping up with digital papers is apparently a ridiculous task for someone who touches so many areas of the curriculum. And I’m a jack of all trades with interests in soooo many things. And this is not a problem I have with items I can hold in my hand. Those I can evaluate and toss.

When I taught math and the occasional science course, I could divide things up in courses and then units. There was overlap, but not like this. I had created an archeologist nightmare. I could dig for days to find related files in multiple folders.Virtually identical files were everywhere. Folders were in folders that were in folders. I felt like Alice exploring Wonderland looking at the baffling and unexplainable.

Some decisions have to be made. Topical, seasonal, type of lesson? What made me think I could do all three? Why do I have five copies of this same file? Is this a library skill or a literary skill? Have I ever used this? Will I ever use this? Why in the world did I keep it?


Well, muchis gone now – at least for this moment. But this is truly a digital problem – maybe just mine, but I suspect I’m not alone. I can easily keep it, so I do. At what point will my drive resemble the internet?

I guess I should confess I have the same problem with pictures, but that will have to be tackled another day.

Google inbox

 I requested to use Google Inbox. Got the link within 24 hours. I like it. It’s only got one major flaw that I can see and that’s the fact that there is no signature. Since I primarily use my mobile devices, I thought the signature from gmail was there. Everything else seems to be there, but this morning I sent one off on my computer, and on the bigger screen, it was clear that the signature was absent. A little digging proved that signatures are not currently available. Seriously. So now, I’m wondering how many LM_Net emails (where certain identifying requirements are requested) I’ve responded to through inbox.

But, I do like the way it works. It bundles like emails together including those it considers low priority – which you can remove from that list. I’m sure there are some other features besides the signature that its missing. I just don’t know what they are yet. I’ve got at least one invite if anyone is interested.

School Wires discovery

I have moaned over School Wires – although it is better than what we have before. I was missing something. I didn’t know what. Well, I figured out a partial today. Apps.

When you create a page, it asks you what kind of page you’d like to create. I almost always picked Flex because it would do so much. What I discovered today was I can have a dozen apps on a page.

A page with links like this one was made with stacking apps like this:

  • Flex editor 1- header
  • Link app 1 – Copyright Links
  • Link app 2 – Fair Use Links
  • Link app 3 – Plagiarism Links
  • Flex editor 2 – footer

So, the page might not be a smooth as I’d like, but the way things shift around when trying to get everything on one page, this is better.

Any of the apps can be stacked. Pod casts, blogs, wikis – you see it, you can add it. I’ve been fiddling around with pages that I can keep on the website that give instructions for the class to be read when they sit down and I’m having to help someone with something. I tried several of the different page types and wasn’t happy with any of them. Not that I can add different apps, I might be able to make this work.

Couple of things I haven’t figured out how to do yet. Get the calendar to merge with another one (one that is more user friendly) and make an easy site map for just my pages. Oh well, maybe a light will go off for those another day!

56 days of summer – 31

The Cold Dish Yesterday, I did seriously write before and after church. I have approximately 4 more pages of content (unless I decide one of these last topics needs more, then I have to discard earlier work). It was exhausting and extremely satisfying.

I’m in a Smart Notebook workshop Tues & Wed. I’ve got to go in today and get the program loaded on my computer. I’ll think I’ll stay and work a while. Always something to do donchano!

I started a Longmire book, The Cold Dish. Having just finished a Dan Brown book, these chapters are really meaty! Surprisingly, it’s terribly funny in parts.

Last night, I was in a twitter chat. Sedley Abercrombie (another NCSLMA Emerging Leader) founded this Sunday night chat. 7:30 pm. #NCTLchat. Topic is different each week. Don’t have to join in the conversation, but you’ll have a hard time not jumping in! You don’t have to be in NC to participate. This week was on Promoting the Library with Elissa MalespinaEdie Crook shared her LiveBinder for Media Center PR and Advocacy.

This check list for AASL standards came across my feed.


QR in the library

I got involved in an interesting conversation on LinkedIn about ways to use QR codes in the library.

Here’s a PowerPoint on Slide Share that is very informative:

Here’s a library that uses them in their newsletters.
Any more ideas? I’d love to hear how you think they can be used.