South Carolina Young Adult Book Award Nominees 2010-2011

Although the voting for the 2009-2010 award is still a few weeks away, I have been preparing a book order for next year’s nominees which inspired this video.

Hawk Library BookRap Contest



   Check out this awesome video and contest created by Cheryl Laucher, media specialist at Springs Woods Middle School in Houston, Texas.  

   Cheryl is the author of the blog La Bibliotecaria Loca and one creative lady!  Can’t wait to see what her students create.

   As Cheryl says, “Check out your ‘brary ’cause your visit’s overdue!”

Take Five: YouTube Alternatives


What do you do when YouTube is blocked at your school?  There are many other sites where you can find educational videos.  Hopefully, you will be able to access some of these from your school:

“ was started in April of 2008 to help students, teachers, educators, and the public get educated on a variety of topics. As the first user powered online learning network, you can expect to come away with knowledge that both challenges and empowers you.

By harnessing the power of social communities and video sharing, is able to provide the best documentaries and educational videos found on the web. It is our goal to make the process of watching, adding, rating, and discussing the videos as simple as possible. “

Categories:  Conspiracy, History, Political, Religious, Science, Sports, Weird, Music, War, Nature, and Society

How Stuff Works

How Stuff Works’ Video site includes categroized videos from Discovery, The Learning Channel, the Science Channel, and Reuters.  Categories include Adventure, Animals, Auto, Computer, Electronics, Entertainment, Food, Geography, Health, History, Home and Garden, Money, People, and Science. 

What a wide range of videos!  I watched “Loch Ness Monster Evidence” and “It’s All Geek to Me: Cell Phone Tricks” (cut through the carrier’s message you usually have to wait through to be able to leave someone a voice mail) from just the home page.

Edublogs TV

This video hosting site is dedicated to education.  Categories included Career and Technology Education, College and University, Elementary, Fine Arts, Globalstudent, Globalteacher, High School, Languages, Math, Middle School, Moodle, Professional Development, Reading, Science, Social Studies, and Writing.

Connect with like-minded educators through the social networking aspect of the site, listen and download audio clips (including dance, electronic, hip-hop, Latin, pop, and new age among others), and join and upload your own videos.

TeacherTube and SchoolTube

Both of these sites are offered to educators as alternatives to YouTube.  Just as at YouTube, there are gems to be found at each site. 

Now, if my addition is correct, I’ve offered five alternatives.  But perhaps I should ask Ma and Pa Kettle to check my figures.

Scholastic Videos


more about “Scholastic Videos“, posted with vodpod





Scholastic Videos offers a variety of videos that will interest media specialists and teachers.  Since I am currently reading The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins, I found the above embedded author interview especially interesting.

Author Interviews

Other in-depth author interviews that can be found on the site include Gordon Korman, David Shannon, Cornelia Funke, Holly Black, Rick Riordan, Kate Klise, Meg Cabot, and Jordan Sonnenblick.

Authors discuss a variety of topics in the interviews including how they get ideas for their books, how they conduct research for books, what the best and worst parts of being an author are, and give advice to students wishing to pursue writing or artistic careers.  They also discuss specific books they have written and/or illustrated.

Exploring Books

This section of the site offers video booktalks, video book trailers, author read-alouds, and the Hugo Cabret Flashlight Reader. 

Transcripts are available for many of the video booktalks (which were written by Joni Bodart). The book trailers are done in a variety of formats including authors discussing their books, animation, and video footage.  The trailer for Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carmen which is to be released on Feb. 10, 2009, looks intriguing!

Scholastic News

This section of the site offers both professional and student created videos on a number of topics including National News, International News, Sports, and Movies, TV, and Music.

Professional Development

This section provides Classroom Management in Photos videos, Pam Allyn Talkabouts, and Our Advisors’ Classrooms videos. 

The Pam Allyn videos discuss topics such as teachers retaining their own teaching styles while preparing students for high stakes testing, optimizing teaching and learning time,  supporting ELL students,  advice for teachers, and two other topics.

Our Advisors’ Classrooms videos take viewers inside the classrooms where they can get a feel of how other teachers at various grade levels set up their classrooms for success.

The Classroom Management in Photos videos give explanations on how to set up classroom routines including taking attendance, end of the day routines, morning arrival routines, and transitions routines.


Scholastic has compiled a wonderful set of resources for teachers and media specialists at this site that are worth checking out!

Christmas Greetings Animoto-Style

Use Animoto to create a holiday greeting card!

To simplify the process, create an Animoto folder in your pictures.  Copy and paste all of the images you wish to include in your greeting card to the folder so that when you are asked to upload your images, you can choose all of the photos at once (Control + shift). 

I originally uploaded 18 pictures to my working file in Animoto, but only 9 of them were incorporated into the free 30 second greeting card.  Using the remix feature, I was able to delete 5 of the pictures, rearrange the order of the remaining ones,  and choose another tune which allowed all 13 images to be used.

Animoto simplifies posting your videos to many sites, including Facebook, WordPress, MySpace, and more.

Dean Koontz Video Blog

My favorite author – hands down – is Dean Koontz.  He is a master of characterization and storytelling. 

Imagine my joy today when I opened an email from Barnes and Noble and found out that Koontz’s newest novel Your Heart Belongs to Me was released today!  Yes! 

Now, multiply that joy by, ummm, about 1000 times.  Dean Koontz has a video blog on the Barnes and Noble site where he answers fans’ questions.  I knew he had to have a great sense of humor from the wonderful characters like Odd Thomas that he has created.  To watch him talk about books and characters that have brought me such pleasure must be like what teens feel about watching their favorite actor discuss a recent movie and role on a show such as Entertainment Tonight.

Google Enters the Wiki World through a Back Door

Google acquired Jotspot and in February of this year, launched Google Sites. Although those who are familiar with creating wikis will immediately recognize Google Sites as wiki-like, Google decided not to use the term “wiki” to describe this application.

So what does this mean for educators?  We now have another choice in wiki services, although the service is not promoted as a wiki.  Other popular wiki hosting sites, wikispaces, pbwiki, wetpaint, now have to contend with the ever-growing Google machine.

With so many wiki hosting sites available, how can you find the one that best suits your needs?  You might try WikiMatrix which offers a Wiki Choice Wizard.  You answer a few questions and WikiMatrix reveals the services that will meet your needs.  You can also use their Compare feature and choose from a long list of wikis (Google Sites NOT included) and see a side by side comparison of features.

Why should educators use wikis?  A Google search with the words “wiki,” “uses,” and “education” turned up 78,500,000 hits, so there is no lack of information to answer that question.

So the next question?  Why should YOU use a wiki for your classroom or library media center?  Answers are requested!

On the Prowl…Again

Again looking for book trailers and came across this intriguing one – a new novel by Nancy Werlin, the author of Rules of Survival which is on the 2008 – 2009 South Carolina Young Adult Book Award List.

Impossible by Nancy Werlin


Penguin Young Readers now has its own YouTube channel where you can watch other book trailers.  Here you will find an interview with Sarah Dessen, author of The Truth About Forever, the 2006 – 2007 winner of the South Carolina Young Adult Book Award.

Image attribution:

Gizmo - on the prowl

On the Prowl – Video Booktalks

I’m on the prowl again – this time for more video booktalks to share with my students.  Today I’ve been browisng Vidlit. The site offers several ways to search for video booktalks:  author, title, genre, and popular.  By clicking on “popular”  I found

The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga. This vidlit is cleverly done and I’m sure would encourage my students to pick up this title.

Clicking on “genre” supplies “Young Adult” as one of the genres, but few titles are offered here. I’d love to see more, but do like one other feature here that SLMS could use:  you can download Vidlits for your iPod.

Image by Connecticut-Outdoors found at

Gizmo - on the prowl

Book Trailers

For more than fifteen years I have been using booktalks to encourage teens to try new books and authors.  Booktalks work, plain and simple.  Advertising a book sells it just as advertising shampoo or jeans sells them.  Presentation is everything in grabbing a reader’s interest.

So last spring, my media center showed the book trailers produced for the 2006 Teen Book Video Awards during the kick off for our READissance program.  The three trailers included the one above as well as The Book Thief and How I Live Now

 Not only did these beautifully crafted videos spark student interest, they lead me to purchase two of the titles for our collection.  As our students raptly watched the videos, I thought, “Why not have our students create book trailers?”  This idea never came to fruition as life, work, and grad school seemed to crowd out my fleeting moments of free time.  Luckily the world was not depending on me to provide new book trailers.

How else can my media center increase the use of Web 2.0 tools for book advertisement? 

 Joyce Valenza, media specialist extraordinaire, explored the use of book trailers, vodcasts, and podcasts in October 2007’s issue of e-Voya.  Her article, entitled “Booktalking 2.0″  provides links to many professionally and student-produced podcasts. These can be used in conjunction with your already prepared booktalks to encourage your students to read.

Now, another set of book trailers have been honored by the Teen Book Video Awards,  doubling our small arsenal of high quality book trailers to entice readers to try new books. Many other book trailers can be found on video hosting sites like Youtube, Teachertube, and Google Video

Here is another trailer for a newly released young adult book that looks interesting.

 The Adoration of Jenna Fox (from Henry Holt and Company)


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