How to host a virtual book club?

I am thinking of offering a book club for students over the summer, that will hopefully carry over and gain steam in the school year. I need to determine a book for middle schoolers and the best mode of interaction. Any suggestions? Perhaps a Facebook book club, but students will not be able to access it at school.


Book Review: I Am Number Four by Patticus Lore

I am a realistic person, so I was reluctant to read I Am Number Four. BUT, it was a Mother's Day gift from my three children. I found this sci-fi alien encounter to be believable, until they whipped out the chest that had magic tools in it to keep them alive during a battle. I am skeptical, so I felt it was the author's out to keep the characters alive. I read on and enjoyed the ending. If there is a sequel (which there will likely be, since I Am Number Four, the movie, was released in Feb 2011), I would read it. I liked the characters and it would be interesting to see how things go for them in their fictional world.


Sumbit a Book Review

I am pretty proud of myself today. I used Google Forms to create an online submission method of book reviews. Having two children and a third on the way, I don't/can't read as much as I would like - too tired. I also know that my tastes in literature are not a perfect match to everyone else's tastes. So, I am seeking guest book review bloggers. Look to the right of this post for the link to Submit a Book Review and daus me with your literature likes!


They say imitation is the kindest form of flattery.

With that in mind, I am going to begin to enhance the Literature component of my blog. I am going to start posting book reviews borrowing the format from Red House Books. I hope to post my own reviews as well as the reviews of students and a few friends. Here is the format. Any suggestions?

Suggested Age:
Publication Date:
# of Pages:
Series: Y or N
Book Acquisition:
What I liked:
What I didn't like:
Overall Rating:

I also thought about using sections for Quick Thoughts, Reminded Me of, and Who Would Like, but I think I will keep it simple for now. Please daus me with any suggestions for a strong book review format as well as a catchy title for my book reviews.


An Evaluation of Online Assessment Tools

A colleague asked me to evaluate five online tools for assessment as cited in a blog post from Free Technology for Teachers. I added one more tool that we use at our school... Blackboard. Below are my initial impressions.





* Security- students must login as themselves to access the quiz, then they are matched to the Bb gradebook
* many question types (t/f, matching, ordering, hot spot, etc)
* instant feedback
* control over the number of attempts and when the assessment is available to students

* can be cumbersome to create

* tricky to get a nice report out of the test data

Google Forms

* many question types (t/f, matching, ordering, hot spot, etc)
* easy to use format
* can generate a spreadsheet for results

* need a Google account

* must enter a question to know who is taking the quiz

Zoho Challenge

* can set a time limit and provide immediate feedback

* only multiple choice or open-ended questions

ProProfs Quiz Maker

* provides immediate feedback
* tracks attempts

* only multiple choice questions

My Studiyo

* modern look
* can embed video and audio

* no tracking of quiz takers
* only multiple choice questions

That Quiz

*wiki-like meaning you can use quizzes other teachers have made

* dated look

Overall: For me personally, I would stick with Blackboard because I am used to it. However, delving further into Google Forms might be worth the effort.


Google Bookshelf

Through a class at SOITA, I learned about Google Books. Essentially, I am able to create a digital bookshelf in which I can sort and review the titles I have read, am reading, or would like to read. Check out my Bookshelf using the link to the right. I am thinking of ways to get my teachers to utilize Google Books in their classrooms, hopefully they will be daused with great ideas.


A Bookshelf... on the computer!

So, does this post belong on my tech page or my literature page. I learned to use Google Books, which will be a very valuable tool as I enter my new role as a media specialist. I believe my personal reviews, which are easy to add, will help me jog my memory about books as I suggest them to students and teachers.

Daus me with your feedback about Google Books.