Kindling Readers: The Ohio Digital Library



Reading on a Kindle or Nook app does not have to be expensive. The Ohio Digital Library is an amazing free resource–and all you need to use it is a library card from one of the Ohio libraries that partner with it. If you don’t happen to have a nearby library that is a member (most Ohio libraries are members), you can get a free State Library of Ohio card that includes access to the Ohio Digital Library (Click here for State Library of Ohio info).

The Ohio Digital Library has an amazing array of books and magazines, including current bestsellers and children’s books. It also offers audiobooks and streaming video.

If you have a smartphone, a tablet or a computer, you can get the free Kindle app from Amazon or the Nook app from Barnes and Noble. Then browse at the Ohio Digital Library, click on a book that you want to read, and you’ll find a variety of options, including Borrow, Place a Hold (if there are none available to Borrow), Sample, Bookmark, or Share. Most books can be delivered directly to your Amazon account for downloading to your device. Just a couple of clicks and your book appears, ready to read!

There are other places online to borrow books for free that are in public domain like Project Gutenberg, and there are book subscription websites such as Scribd and Amazon Unlimited. The Lima Public Library has an amazing array of resources, too.

One of the best parts of living in a digital age is the easy access to information!






Who Is Your Tech Spirit Guide?

This presentation was the opening ice breaker at the August 2016 Tech Training held for LCS teachers. One goal of the training was to reassure people that they can become more confident, more competent tech users. This self-assessment was part of that goal. Teachers want their students to have a growth mindset–the belief that they can learn–and one of the ways teachers can model it is to demonstrate a growth mindset about their relationship and use of technology.

How To Lock Your Computer

windowskeyarrowWindows Key + a lower case L = a locked computer. This command is essential. It locks your screen so that your computer cannot be used until you put in a password (if it’s password protected) or until you “wake” the computer by moving the mouse (if it’s not password protected).

This command makes it so you can walk away from your computer, even while you have work in progress, and know that it’s secure. When you log back in, you will see the screen that you were working on when you locked the computer.

The only trick to remember is to hold both the Windows key and thelower case L down at the same time. It’s that simple.

Even The United Nations Loves Minecraft

Minecraft is not simply an online building game with virtual “Lego” style blocks–it’s also a tool that the United Nations has used in community planning! The report “Using Minecraft for Youth Participation in Urban Design and Governance” explains how Minecraft was used in Nairobi, Haiti, Mexico, and Nepal to engage youth and marginalized stakeholders in discussions with establishment about how to best use community spaces.

As an art project in 2012, LSH student Ben Young created a Minecraft version of Lima Senior High. It’s an amazing piece of work; now imagine if this framework were used for groups to create and discuss ways to improve and use the various campus spaces. That’s essentially what the UN did!


Twitter Tricks: A Way to Archive and Curate Tweets

twitterDisclaimer: This article is for people who already use Twitter and are looking for ways to use it better.

Twitter can be an easy way to connect socially with friends and celebrities, but with a bit of planning, it’s a powerful professional tool, too. Identify hastags that relate to your interests or profession, then use the Google Chrome add-on “Twitter Archiver” to create a live Google spreadsheet of all the tweets that use your chosen hashtag.

One clever suggestion about how this add-on could be used in education comes from  Google user Samra Bufkins, MJ, APR

 I teach in a journalism program and require Twitter in all my courses. Each course has a hashtag and students are required to tweet course material daily. I have struggled with documenting student activities, but Twitter Archiver is the perfect tool. I can sort the spreadsheet by student name or by date to track their activity. I can share the sheets with my teaching assistants, too. I also show this tool to my students because many of them will be tracking hashtags as part of their internships, jobs or research.

Link to get the add-on:  Google Chrome Add-on Twitter Archiver

Instructional video:



Watching & Learning: Thought-Provoking Films about Education

Dead Poet’s Society. Teachers. Lean on Me. To Sir With Love. Blackboard Jungle. Stand and Deliver. Mr. Holland’s Opus. Movies such as those have at times shaped American dialogue about education, sometimes even influencing policy as well as inspiring a generation of teachers. However, all of them, even the ones that are ostensibly based on a true story, have one thing in common: they are Hollywood movies, crafted around an essentially myopic, artifical structure; we know that everything will end up so “our hero” will be battle-worn but victorious.

At the Movies: Films Focused on Education Reform is an annotated list of movies–mainly documentaries–about education today. The list, which is found on The George Lucas Foundation’s Edutopia website, is heavily focused on the modern school reform agenda, but the characters and stories told in these movies are compelling. The thirty-three movies on this list could provide many stimulating conversations–and may be an interesting alternative for book discussion groups, parent-teacher organizations or professional developement.