Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Text 2 Mind Map

Text 2 Mind Map


Text 2 Mind Map is a free outlining tool that allows students and teachers to customize a mind map with colors, fonts, lines and even layouts. 


Mind Maps can be downloaded, saved as a PDF and even printed. Since you are generating the Mind Map by inputting your data/information, there is no copyright restrictions against adding them to your web pages, class notes, etc.

If you can type an outline, your can create a Mind Map:


As you can see below, Mind Maps can even be content heavy:

  As always, for more information on this Web 2.0 Tool and other 
resources, please visit with your campus librarian. Happy Mapping.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Infographics are visual representations of data.

In the olden days, creating an infographic required a great amount of design skill. But with the wonderful Web 2.0 world, it's as easy as clicking on a few choices and entering your data.

What makes a good infographic?

(Graphic from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/dashburst/8448339735/)

Think of all the possibilities for student projects - timelines, graphs representing scientific data, venn diagrams for character comparisions, annotated historical maps, math comparisons of data.

A few sites that help you create infographics:

Infogram allows you to add more than 30 different types of charts, includes the option to import data from spreadsheets and other files and the final product can be downloaded, embedded in your website and shared with other viewers.

Piktochart has ready to use themes that can be customized for your needs.  It has easy to use drag and drop functions, interactive charts and high resolution graphics.

Visually gives you templates that you can customize.  It will pull data from a social media network, including specific hashtags, and create a story.

Dipity is primarily a timeline product. You can show the progress of events over a period of time.

Easelly lets you create charts easily (easelly?) by clicking and moving your mouse.

For more information about infographics::
10 Fun Tools to Easily Make Your Own Infographics
10 of the Best Tools for Creating Infographics
10 Awesome Free Tools to Make Infographics

To see some great examples of infographics:
40 Useful and Creative Infographics
10 of My Favorite Infographics

Here's an infographic I created about a typical day in the ECISD Libraries created using info.gram.

Check out this tutorial for making an infographic using easel.ly and info.gram:

Creating infographics | screencast tutorial from School Library Journal on Vimeo.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Symbaloo is a free visual bookmarking application that allows you to organize your web links as buttons with icons or logos. However, it can be used as more than just a bookmarking site.  You can create webmixes that include sites you want students to visit on a particular subject matter for research and then embed that webmix on your webpage or in Edmodo. 

Here is an example of a webmix for WWII .

You can save your webmixes to adjust them annually as needed and create multiple mixes to coincide with individual lessons.  You can even share your webmixes with others and/or easily search for mixes already created.  It is extremely user friendly and easy to use.  All this for FREE.

Here is an example of the HMS Library Webmix.

To create an account and get started today for free, visit www.symbaloo.com.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013



Wordle has been around for some time, but is still a  valuable Web 2.0 tool.

From Wordle: "Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text. You can tweak your clouds with different fonts, layouts, and color schemes. The images you create with Wordle are yours to use however you like. You can print them out, or save them to the Wordle gallery to share with your friends."

Anyone can copy text into the Wordle Site and create a word cloud. Here is one of the                    ECISD Mission Statement:


Words that are considrered "common" (the, a, is, etc..) are automatically deleted from the Wordle.

For the classroom, a Wordle can be used to help students actualize on a dramatic scale how they use words in their writing. Here is an example of W.H. Auden's Poem, "Funeral Blues":

 Please visit your campus librarian for more information on Wordles or other Web 2.0 Tools.



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Social Reading - Goodreads and Shelfari

Reading is normally a private activity, something we do by ourselves.

However, there are several great online communities just for readers to share what they have read and get recommendations on what to read next.

Goodreads bills itself as "the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations." 

You can track books that you've read, rate and review them and give recommendations to other readers.  You can post your reviews and ratings to other social media including Facebook and Twitter.  You can join book discussion groups and take quizzes.  Many authors also use Goodreads.  Some of them blog through the site and have contests.

School Library Journal has a nice how to guide: "Get to Know Goodreads: Share this primer to the social reading site and help teachers and kids connect with great books"

Shelfari "introduces readers to our global community of book lovers and encourages them to share their literary inclinations and passions with peers, friends, and total strangers (for now)."

Just like Goodreads, you can track books, rate and review them and give recommendations to other readers.  You can also "tag" books with subjects to make them easier to find.  

My favorite part of Shelfari is the widgets.  You can create a widget (a piece of computer code) that you put on your webpage.  This widget will put a bookcase on your webpage that is automatically updated with whatever list you've chosen to post.  On the Legacy Library page, I have posted the books that I've read.  Readers can click on the book cover and read my review of the book as well as other readers' reviews.

Connect with EC Librarians

JSmith on GoodReads -goodreads.com/readjunkee  

JSmith on Shelfari - http://www.shelfari.com/readjunkee

LMerrifield on Shelfari - http://www.shelfari.com/echslibrary


Other social reading sites include LibraryThing and BiblioNasium.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Google Research Tool

Google Research Tool

Do students have a hard time citing their sources?  Google has developed a Research Tool to help.  It allows students to access information from the web while still in their document and create footnote citations automatically at the click of a button.  It offers MLA, APA, and Chicago citation styles and shows web results, images, quotations, maps, etc.

After teaching students the importance of plagiarism, web evaluation, and citing sources, you can now show them this tool to assist them in locating quality information.

Check out this short video for more information.

Click here to print out a Help Sheet.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Trading Card Creator


Need an interactive way to get your students to Organize and Summarize work?

Trading Card Creator allows students to create "baseball cards" of People, Places and Events -- real or fictitious.

Lisa's example for National Library Week:


 The cards can be emailed, saved or even printed and cut-out on card stock and then "traded" around the classroom to share information.

Similar Apps can be found for Apple Devices, but the website can be found HERE.

Find Lesson Plans HERE.