Friday, January 27, 2012

Educreations : New iPad App turns your ipad into Interactive Smartboard

Educreations turns your iPad into a recordable whiteboard.  Educreations stands above other Apps such as Show and Screenchomp in terms of ease of use and design.  The most touted feature however is the ability to use multiple pages.  Read the Edudemic review or download the free App from iTunes and test for yourself.

Friday, January 20, 2012


Some Prize Winning Books and Movies from 1972 - 10 years after the school was founded.
Solyaris by Andrei Tarovsky
Cannes Grand Prix

#1 Bestselling fiction book

Prix Goncourt

Grand Prix du roman de l'Academie francaise
Newbery Award


Heinrich Boll
Nobel Prize for Literature

Best Picture and Best Actor at the
Academy Awards
Best Actess - Jane Fonda in Klute

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


In honor of our 50th anniversary, we have created a display of books and movies that were topping the charts in 1962.  

We still read some of the popular books from 50 yearas ago. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger is the most enduring of the bestsellers.  And the Hugo award winner that year, Stranger in a Strange Land is probably the source of the name for the SAT prep site just pitched to our 11th graders, Grockit.   

The movies that won oscars that year have proved to have even more staying power.  Lawernce of Arabia won best picture and the performance that won best actor is still shown in classrooms every year, Gregory Peck in To Kill a Mockingbird

1962 Bestsellers
1. Ship of FoolsKatherine Anne Porter 
2. Dearly Beloved: A Theme and Variations
3. A Shade of Difference, Allen Drury
4. Youngblood Hawke, Herman Wouk
5. Franny and Zooey, J.D. Salinger
6. Fail-Safe, Eugene Burdick and Havey Wheeler
7. Seven Days in MayFletcher Knebel and Charles W. Bailey II 
8. The PrizeIrving Wallace
9. The Agony and the EcstasyIrving Stone
10. The ReiversWilliam Faulkner 

Coming up: Bestsellers and Award Winners from 1972, 1982, and 1992!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Surf Now, Read Later

It must be a fundamental law that you will discover the most interesting, useful information online when you have the least time to sit down and read it.  And then when you have some quiet time with your handheld device of choice (smartphones, tablets, and e-readers, oh my!) you end up playing angry birds because you can't remember where that list of the best 100 iPad apps was.

There are a lot of options out there for saving web content to view later - here are just two to consider:

Both require you to create a log in and work by giving you a bookmarklet to put in your bookmark bar so you can just click when you're on a page and the content will be saved to your account.

Read It Later
This app is currently implementing a new interface that looks great, includes a picture from the saved page, and seems very well suited to iPad use. Integrates with quite a few apps, including Flipboard and Zite.

A little more established and robust than Read It Later. Integrates with lots and lots of apps.  Exports to more formats (including epub, which interests me as a new Nook owner) for reading offline.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars (Amazon) by John Green was finally released today, and will arrive in the library soon. Whether this means anything to you is probably directly connected to whether you are familiar with the acronym "DFTBA" or the term "Nerdfighter."
John Green has written several bestselling books for young adults: Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns, An Abundance of Katherines and (with co-author David Levithan) Will Grayson, Will Grayson.  All of his books have been well received but the pre-publication buzz for The Fault in Our Stars has been fueled primarily by an on-line community that John and his brother Hank (scientist and musician) created when they began communicating via a public video blog.  

The day that The Fault in Our Stars was made available for pre-order the book rose to number one on Amazon.  John's promise to sign every single pre-ordered book became a gargantuan task, chronicled with increasing absurdity in the continuing video blog between the brothers.  

The community of nerdfighters that John and Hank started has gone on to send planes full of supplies to Haiti, create a yearly IRL conference for you tube stars and fans, and to create the Project for Awesome where YouTube is taken over by videos promoting charities. More than $70,00 was raised by the project this year and will divided among those organizations that get the most votes. 

John and Hank Green remind us that the internet isn't all videos of cats and cyberbullying, it's also a place that can create real friendships and foster improvements in the world.  Or, as a nerdfighter would put it, "decrease world suck."

Here are John and Hank explaining How to be a Nerdfighter: 

DFTBA: Don't Forget to be Awesome
Nerdfighters: People who instead of being made up of cells and organs and stuff are actually made out of awesome. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

One School, One Book: our first selection

The Shallows: What the Internet is doing to our Brains by Nicolas Carr

Carr made a splash with his 2008 Atlantic Monthly Article "Is Google Making us Stupid?"  His book continues the theme and explores the ways that our constant connection to a digital flood of information is changing how we think and process ideas. Carr describes the loss of the ability for deep sustained thought.
Thanks to Mireille Rabate for the suggestion of this book as the first in our "One School, One Book" program.  There will be opportunities to discuss this book later in the year.  The high school library has copies of The Shallows available on kindles and in print.  So come check it out and see for yourself if you agree with Carr's arguments.

And for another perspective:
Review from NYT written by Jonah Lehrer, author of Proust Was a Neuroscientist (also available in the high school library)

Review on Slate

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Book'em: What we're reading.

"Welcome to a surreal version of Great Britain, circa 1985, where time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously."  
- The Eyre Affair book jacket

Join the High School Book Club in reading The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde.  We will discuss the book next Tuesday, January 10th,  at lunch in the library.
One of my personal favorites, this book combines science fiction with  references to literary classics and clever word play. The heroine, Thursday Next must contend with battling gangs of Baconians, a father lost in time, and  corporate tool Jack Schitt (with siblings Horse and Bull).    Then Jane Eyre goes missing and this LiteraTec agent must go to the source to save the beloved heroine.  Absurd and Hilarious, Fforde creates a world that will draw you in even if you (like me) have never read Jane Eyre.

Find out more on amazon or on the wikipedia page. 

For those who get hooked, there are five sequels where we meet a cast including cloned Neanderthals, Prometheus and a disastrously decisive Hamlet.