Farewell to iLibrarian


After 7+ wonderful years of blogging for the OEDb, it’s time to say goodbye to iLibrarian. Although the iLibrarian blog will no longer be updated, I will still be blogging!

Please follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/ellyssa and here on my blog (http://ellyssakroski.com/blog) for updates about my new ventures!!! And you can always contact me at ellyssakroski@yahoo.com.

It’s been an absolute pleasure blogging at iLibrarian, thank you to all of my readers for your loyal support and attention all these years. A post similar to this one will be going up on OEDb/iLibrarian in a week or two as well. Thank you!

The Latest in EdTech Trends: 70 Resources Roundup


Trying to keep up with the latest in EdTech trends? Discover all the latest news happening in EdTech with this roundup post. And if you’re still getting up to speed in this area, also check out the post: 7 Ed Tech Trends to Watch in 2014.


  1. Universities Rethinking Their Use of Massive Online Courses
  2. The Real Revolution in Online Education Isn’t MOOCs
  3. Moocs ‘will not transform education’, says FutureLearn chief
  4. Disrupting and Transforming the University
  5. Weekly Trend: The MOOC Revolution Changes Shape
  6. MOOC U: The Revolution Isn’t Over
  7. edX turns attention to high school MOOCs
  8. Why Free Online Classes Are Still the Future of Education
  9. Online Learning is Just as Effective as Traditional Education, According to a New MIT Study
  10. Invasion of the MOOCs: The Promise and Perils of Massive Open Online Courses (eBook)

  11. Big Data

  12. Big Data MOOC Research Breakthrough: Learning Activities Lead to Achievement
  13. Big data and education: the power of transformation
  14. Can Universities Use Data to Fix What Ails the Lecture?
  15. Big Data: An Evolution in Higher Education’s Technology Landscape
  16. Can Data Analytics Make Teachers Better Educators?
  17. Education is the Next Great Opportunity for Big Data
  18. The Modern Classroom: Students, Teachers and Data-Driven Education
  19. The Mathematics of Effectiveness
  20. Empower Teachers with Data and They Can Spark Change
  21. The Coming Big Data Education Revolution

  22. Gamification

  23. Gamification: Why It’s Good
  24. Using Gaming Principles to Engage Students
  25. The 15 Best Gamification Resources for Trainers and Educators
  26. Gamification and Game-Based Learning: What’s the Difference?
  27. A Guide to Game-Based Learning
  28. Gamification of Education Infographic
  29. Game On: Why Gamification Works
  30. Digital Badges for the That-Was-Due-Last-Week-Student
  31. Are Serious Video Games Ready For School Time?
  32. Gamification 101: Introducing Gamification in Education

  33. The Flipped Classroom

  34. Flipped classrooms test new ways of learning
  35. Starting a Project-Based School
  36. Flipping Your Classroom? 5 Technology Details You’ll Need to Succeed
  37. Flipped Classrooms Can’t Be Passive Environments
  38. Transforming the Lecture Space
  39. 27 Ideas for Flipping The Classroom: Infographic
  40. The Top 5 Blended And Flipped Classroom Tools
  41. Summer Reading List: What You Need to Know To Flip Your Classroom Next Year
  42. Flipped Learning – turning traditional teaching on its head!
  43. Flipping the classroom – from the student’s perspective

  44. 3D Printing

  45. World’s first live concert with ’3D-printed band’
  46. Colleges Offer Hands-On Tech Engagement
  47. 7 Hands-On Projects That Use 3D Printers
  48. Making Sense of Makerspaces: Do-it-yourself ed tech opportunities abound for some schools.
  49. New Future Takes Shape for 3D Printers in Schools
  50. NASA Educator Sees Bright STEM Future in 3D Printing
  51. 3D Printing Made Cool: MIT Students Print Ice Cream
  52. 3D Printing – Coming to a Classroom Near you (Sooner Than you Think)!
  53. How (And Why) To Get Started With 3D Printing In The Classroom
  54. High school students in Texas create prosthetic hand for young boy

  55. Mobile learning

  56. Six Tips to Implement a Mobile Learning Initiative
  57. 50 Resources For Teaching With iPads
  58. Mobile Learning: Resource Roundup
  59. 9 Ways Mobile Learning is Moving into Academia
  60. 50 questions to start your mobile learning strategy
  61. 10 Mobile Learning Stats You Need to See and Why
  62. Trends | K-12 Students See A Brighter Future Learning with Tablets
  63. The merging of Informal and Mobile Learning
  64. 3 Ways Mobile Learning Stands Out From Other Learning Technologies
  65. The Ultimate Guide to Mobile eLearning

  66. Digital Textbooks

  67. There’s Something Missing From This College Bookstore: Books
  68. Digital textbooks for increasing educational outcomes
  69. Students Fail to Embrace Digital Textbooks
  70. Changing how people learn with digital textbooks
  71. Speak Up: The current state of digital learning
  72. This University Has a Revolutionary Idea to Make Students’ Textbooks Free
  73. Experts share tips on digital textbook transition
  74. Realizing the Promise of Digital Textbooks
  75. El Paso uses digital textbooks for high school science
  76. 10 Reasons Why Students Aren’t Using eTextbooks

The post The Latest in EdTech Trends: 70 Resources Roundup appeared first on OEDB.org.

The 4 Flavors of Makerspaces

Did you know that there are many different types of makerspaces, each with their own set of unique characteristics? This was news to me until recently so I thought I’d pass along my research on what I found were the important distinctions as well as important links.



Amsterdam Fab Lab at The Waag Society

A FabLab is a type of makerspace that was created by the Center for Bits and Atoms headed by Prof. Dr. Neil Gershenfeld at MIT. It began as an outreach project to provide access to modern means for invention such as electronics equipment, laser cutters, routers and milling machines in order to enable makers to create nearly anything. There are currently over 200 FabLabs in over 30 countries around the world.

Learn More:




NYC Resistor Hackerspace

Also called a hacklab or hackspace, hackerspaces are places where computer programmers, makers, DIY’ers and artists converge to collaborate and socialize. Hackerspaces have been around since 1995 with the founding of c-base in Berlin which according to Wikipedia is one of the first independent, stand-alone hackerspaces in the world, not affiliated with a school, university, or company. Hackerspaces were originally started by computer hackers however they have since expanded to encompass many other activities such as creating physical objects, conducting instructional workshops, etc. There are currently over 1,800 hackerspaces in over 20 countries around the world.

Learn More:





TechShops are a chain of for-profit spaces which offer public access to industrial tools and equipment such as welding equipment, sewing machines, woodworking equipment, 3D printers, and more to build their own projects. They charge a membership fee beginning a $125/month. They currently have 8 shops in the US with their flagship shop in San Francisco and future locations in Dublin and Munich.

Learn More:




Milwaukee Makerspace

Makerspaces are creative, DIY spaces where people can gather to create, invent, and learn. The usually have 3D printers as well as electronic equipment available, some also have metalworking, woodworking, and traditional arts and crafts equipment available. They are used by schools and libraries to provide valuable skills in math and engineering to children and patrons of all ages.

Learn More:



And even more resources are available here:

The post The 4 Flavors of Makerspaces appeared first on OEDB.org.

50 Library Stories You May Have Missed in September

September was back-to-school and back to writing for many librarians.  Blogs, journals, and news outlets were jam-packed with library and information stories ranging from articles about makerspaces, digital collections, 3D printing, and free technology for libraries as well as some offbeat topics such as medieval selfies and snapchats from Harry Potter!  Check out these 50 posts, infographics, and articles to get you caught up on what’s happening in the LIS world.

  1. 15 Geeky Back-to-School Supplies
  2. 28 Snapchats From Harry Potter
  3. Stay Focused! 5 Tools to Avoid Distractions
  4. Polling the Classroom: 4 Free Polling Tools to Keep Students Engaged
  5. 25 Great Resources for Breaking into Academic Publishing
  6. 15 Free Technologies for Libraries
  7. New OverDrive app eliminates Adobe authorization step
  8. (Rethinking) Makerspaces
  9. Engaging Adventures with Gamification
  10. Rosa Parks papers go to Library of Congress
  11. Librarianship: A philosophical investigation
  12. 6 Ways To Become a Power User of the Public Library
  13. The Case for 3D Printing
  14. 9 great books on library marketing
  15. For library web developers: Performance and austerity
  16. Collect library fines with an online payment app
  17. Long Nights build library use
  18. Digitize old slides on the cheap
  19. Collaborating with your public librarian
  20. Makerspaces can make new patrons
  21. Libraries balk at OverDrive changes
  22. 48 Library Stories You May Have Missed in August
  23. Getting into schools for booktalks
  24. Eight fun children’s libraries
  25. Self-service library technology
  26. New Austin Public Library will have food demos
  27. Seed libraries: Challenges and opportunities
  28. Teaser for new series, The Librarians
  29. Artist uses LC images to animate his GIFs
  30. Utica woman organizes refugee library in Thailand
  31. Czech National Library digitizes rare collections
  32. Younger Americans and public libraries
  33. Checking out America’s libraries
  34. Getting staff and patrons to accept RFID tags
  35. Serving adults with special needs in the children’s library
  36. Libraries that lend tools
  37. OSU seeks help transcribing Cold War letters
  38. Library jobs math
  39. Massachusetts librarians work to ensure privacy
  40. The Loeb Classical Library goes digital
  41. Jane Austen fans break world record
  42. The Value of Information Professionals
  43. Five best language translation tools
  44. New York insists on more school librarians
  45. Library student helps create Ebola tracking site
  46. Create an online catalog with Google Drive
  47. ProQuest digitizes Thomas Edison
  48. Famous historical book bannings
  49. Art painted on discarded library books
  50. Medieval selfies

The post 50 Library Stories You May Have Missed in September appeared first on OEDB.org.

A Quick Guide to the Flipped Classroom


The flipped classroom is a teaching model in which the traditional lecture and homework assignments are reversed. Students watch video lectures before class and the class session is made up of exercises, discussions, and problem solving with students receiving personalized attention from the professor. This model has grown in popularity over the past several years




Twitter Hashtags

Pinterest Boards







The post A Quick Guide to the Flipped Classroom appeared first on OEDB.org.

15 Geeky Back-to-School Supplies

One of the best parts of the new semester is shopping for all of the geeky gear that’s available for students (and teachers!)  Here are 15 suggestions of truly geeky back to school supplies.


Backpacks and Bags

Every student needs a bag that shows their personality and pop culture preferences and these are all great choices. But if you don’t see one you like, check out 40+ more geeky bags here!


1) Star Wars Darth Vader Lunch Bag with Sound



Represent the Dark Side with this Sith Lord lunch bag which makes Vader’s signature sound effect.


2) Aperture Laboratories 80’s Logo Messenger Bag


If you’re a Portal fan, this Aperture Laboratories sling bag is perfect to carry all of your testing supplies, I mean school books!


3) Firefly Kaylee-Inspired Messenger Bag


With two side pockets, two pockets under the front flap, and four small pockets that line the interior, this is the best messenger bag in the ‘Verse! Based on Kaylee’s coveralls in Firefly.




The hoodie is a fundamental item in every student’s wardrobe. And there are now many geeky creations to choose from.

4) Assassin’s Creed Hoodies


Gamer geeks everywhere will want one of these Connor Kenway jacket hoodies. Available in 3 different colors, the garment is not guaranteed to increase stealth or stamina.


5) Time Lord Hoodie


Billed as “What the High Council wears on casual Fridays”, this stylish hoodie is sure to impress Dr. Who fans everywhere.


6) Captain America Men’s Fleece Hoodie


Marvel fans assemble for this stylish yet comfortable hoodie jacket!


7) Star Trek The Next Generation Uniform Hoodie


We can’t have a Star Wars-inspired item on this list without also mentioning these amazing Star Trek: The Next Generation hoodies. Make it so!


Actual School Supplies


8.) Mimibot Pop Culture Flash Drives


Mimoco creates USB flash drives inspired by pop culture, artists, or legendary figures such as Albert Einstein. Sizes range between 8GB – 64 GB for these adorable drives.


9) The Smartphone And Tablet Virtual Keyboard


This futuristic Bluetooth device projects a full-size keyboard onto any flat surface. It will connect to most any Bluetooth-enabled device including iPad, iPhone and most laptops.

10) LIX 3D Printing Pen


This amazing pen will bring your imagination to life by creating actual 3D objects as you draw them! Check out this brief video for a demonstration:


11) Ramen iPhone/iPad Dock


Who eats more ramen than students? The answer is no one!!! Which is why this iPad and iPhone dock made of a bowl of ramen is the perfect addition to any student’s school supplies.



For the Dorm Room

12) Star Trek Borg Cube Fridge


The perfect appliance for any dorm room, this Borg Cube will cool all of your food collective-ly! As a big Star Trek fan, I personally will be ordering one of these for my own home!


13) The NASA Sleep Promoting Light Bulb


For the space fan who wants to get a good night’s sleep. This hi-tech bulb is used by NASA to help astronauts sleep in space by encouraging the production of melatonin.


14) The Caffeine Craver’s Colossal Coffee Cup


And for those times when you don’t want to sleep, this giant coffee cup that holds 20 servings is guaranteed to keep you up! Great for those all-night study sessions!!!


15) The Barisieur Coffee Brewing Alarm Clock


What’s guaranteed to wake up students first thing in the morning? Coffee being brewed while their alarm clock is going off!! This one is genius!



The post 15 Geeky Back-to-School Supplies appeared first on OEDB.org.

10 Best Wearable Tech Devices for Back to School

Wearable technology is the next big thing, and tech-savvy college students will want to be in-the-know about these new and just launching consumer devices.  From sleep monitors to fitness trackers to GPS-enabled shoes, there are some truly incredible wearables now available for consumers to purchase.  Here are my top ten picks for back to school:

1) Vigo Energy Gauge

This Bluetooth headset is the perfect companion for all-night study sessions.  Vigo uses an infrared sensor and accelerometer to track patterns in your blinks and movements to learn when you’re the most alert and when you need a break.  The device can even give you gentle nudges to keep you alert when you need to be in the form of a soft pulsing vibration, a discrete LED light, or even your favorite pump-up song!  The Vigo app will also log and track your alertness data and provide you with visualizations and reports.  It’s $79 and ships out this October.

2) Nike Lunar TR1+

These amazing fitness trainers have pressure and motion sensors built in along with Bluetooth accelerometers.  The sensors work with the Nike+ Training app that offers Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced daily or weekly drills and workouts and the Nike+ Running app that tracks your jogging.  You can share your progress and get ranked on the Nike+ website.  What I love most about these trainers is that the sensors detect your weight distribution when you’re doing the exercises and will correct you if you’re doing a position or exercise the wrong way, so they are in essence just like having a robotic personal trainer!  They are $110 and are available in a variety of colors.

3) The Pebble Steel Smart Watch

This great-looking, 5 ATM water resistant watch can hold up to 8 apps at a time, displays texts and notifications from your phone, and will even pay for your latte at Starbucks!  The new and improved version of the Pebble smartwatch can control the music on your phone, track your fitness workout, and display your grocery lists.  You can change the watchface by downloading other designs and choose from thousands of apps in the official Pebble app store.  The Steel watch is $249 and is shipping now.

4) Smarty Ring

This fashionable stainless steel smart ring sports an LED display on the front that delivers notifications from your phone.  Similar to a smart watch, this wearabe enables you to make phone calls, screen your calls, receive text notifications, and control the music and the camera on your phone like a remote.  It’s waterproof, has a 24 hour battery life and is currently available for $175.

5) Lechal GPS Shoes

The Ducere Tech startup has created GPS-enabled “smart shoes” that literally mean “take me there” in Hindi.  These amazing shoes work via Bluetooth that connects to your phone. You just tell the app (for Android or iOS devices) your detisnation and they will vibrate the directions for you.  The best part is that if you like your current sneakers/shoes, you can just buy the insoles!  They range from $100-$150 and are available in red and black.  Perfect for those students who have trouble finding their way back to their dorm!! They won’t ship until the spring semester, but still made this list due to their uniqueness and affordability.

Read the full post 10 Best Wearable Tech Devices for Back to School on OEDB.org.

10 Remarkably Free Digital Tools for Educators and Students

1) Hemingway Editor


This is a free Web-based app that lets you paste in your writing to be analyzed and edited for optimal readability. The app quickly identifies hard to read sentences, passive voice, and overuse of adverbs. It also will instantly grade your work according to level of writing. I pasted in a couple paragraphs from my last article and got a grade 16 but needed to fix 6 hard-to-read sentences. I’ll be using this for all of my writing going forward! They’ve just released a desktop version for $6.99.


2) Coffitivity


I absolutely love the idea of this app, especially being a New Yorker. This creative app gives you the ambient noise of a coffee shop, university campus, or lunch-time conversations on your phone or Mac desktop. The best part? You can still use your music apps at the same time!!! This one is genius.


3) TheBrain


TheBrain combines the best of note taking, file synchronization and mind mapping apps to give you the ultimate digital memory. This app is perfect for anyone who wants to get super organized and have brainstorming tools at their fingertips. There are apps for Windows, Mac, IOS, and Android. The Wall Street Journal describes the app as “Software that thinks like you do”.


4) ZooBurst


ZooBurst is a ditial storytelling tool that lets you easily create your own 3D pop-up books and even interact with them via augmented reality. This is a fantastic app that’s quick and easy to use. Educators that want to teach lectures in a visual way or assign 3D books such as the one pictured above titled “the Battle of Hastings” will get a lot out of this free application


Read the full post 10 Remarkably Free Digital Tools for Educators and Students on OEDB.org.

4 Great iPad Apps for Creating Educational Videos

If you’re a teacher or a librarian who creates instructional materials regularly, you’ll want to have a look at these great apps for the iPad that let you easily create educational videos with your tablet.

1) Knowmia Teach iPad App

This is a free lesson planning and recording tool for teachers and their students. It helps you create short video lessons on any subject and publish them on Knowmia.com so students, other teachers and the public can find them. You can record everything that you do as well as your voice and video to create the lesson step-by-step and even capture your face in the video as you narrate the steps. You can import images, graphics or video clips from the iPad’s media library and built-in camera.

2) ShowMe

Show Me
This is an interactive whiteboard app that allows you to record voice-over whiteboard tutorials and share them online. You can drop in images onto the whiteboard and switch between drawing and erasing (as well as pausing and playing) to make your ShowMe flow from concept to concept.

Read the full post 4 Great iPad Apps for Creating Educational Videos on OEDB.org.

10 Finance Hacks for College Students

Cash-strapped college students need to watch every penny they have and luckily there are a lot of great new ways to do just that. This article will give you 10 tips for how to make the most of new devices, apps, and strategies that will stretch your dollar, organize your wallet, and plan your finances. With the latest technology available, it’s quick and easy to set yourself up to monitor your spending on a daily basis.  Here are some recommendations:

1) Make the Most of Rewards Cards

Students who are savvy about rewards will end up getting back for every dollar that they give out. Before doling out hundreds of dollars on textbooks at the start of the semester, pay attention to how you’re paying for them. If you pay with a rewards credit card you could receive airline miles in return that might help fund your spring break getaway, other credit cards offer cash back for certain types of purchases. Check out annual review lists such as the NerdWallet’s Best Rewards Credit Cards, Spring 2014.

Aside from credit cards, there are also loyalty programs available for nearly every retailer and many restaurants, nail salons, etc. Ask about rewards programs at stores, coffee shops, and restaurants that you frequent so you can cash in on some of the benefits of being a regular.


2) Use One Card to Rule Them All!


Organize your wallet and your life by combining all of those rewards cards onto one device – an actual credit card that holds multiple credit, loyalty, membership, and gift cards in one.  You can scroll through your stored cards, click the button, and swipe away for any purchase. Right now there are two contenders in this space. Coin and Wallaby. You can sign up to take part in Wallaby’s beta program, or pre-order a Coin card for $50 -half the price they’ll be charging when they officially launch. Coin cards will ship this summer.


3) Use Mint for Budgeting and Notifications


Mint is a free application that lets your view all of your financial accounts into one place. Set a budget, track your goals and make your money go further. You can also take Mint with you on your phone, tablet, or any mobile device so that you can keep track of your spending at all times. Mint will also send you notifications of activity in your accounts such as low balance alerts, bill payment reminders, etc. What I really appreciate about Mint is all of the colorful graphs and pie charts it provides to give you an idea of how you’re spending your money at a glance.


4) Put Your Wallet on Your Phone


New mobile wallets enable smartphone owners to store coupons, boarding passes, event tickets, store cards, ‘generic’ cards, and other forms of mobile payment in their cell phones. Apple’s iOS Passbook stores and displays a variety of 2D barcodes such as QR codes, each of which is considered a “pass” that can be used for boarding most major airlines, as a mobile movie ticket, or to pay at Starbucks, Subway, Walgreens, Sephora, and many more retailers. The Square Wallet app also works with Starbucks and a variety of other merchants, as does the Google Wallet. Why not organize all of these into the one place that’s most convenient and always at hand – your phone?!


5) Use Handy Budget Apps


  •  ATM Hunter to Avoid Fees – Locate the closest ATMs with this handy app. You can specify which banking networks to search for to avoid fees or only search for your own bank.
  • Scoutmob For Your Next Meal – Scoutmob is a local, budget-friendly app that helps you find real-time deals on restaurants, retailers, and events. Once you have the app it will alert you whenever you walk into a restaurant with a dining discount or a store with a coupon.


  • Cash-Strapped for Controlled Spending – Set a daily, weekly or monthly budget for all your disposable income and keep track of it with Cash-Strapped. Each time you spend money at Starbucks, buy a slice of pizza, or go out to the movies, simply enter the amount and your remaining budget will be recalculated immediately.


  • PayMeBack to Track $ Borrowed – If you’re following all of these budgeting tips, you may be in better shape than many of your friends who may come calling to borrow money. Whether you lent someone a few bucks or covered a dinner bill for a group, this app will keep track of who borrowed what and how much.



Read the full post 10 Finance Hacks for College Students on OEDB.org.