Thank you, Evergreen School District Foundation, for  awarding an Educational Excellence Grant 2013-14 to the Heritage High School Library program:  “Fiction for the Reluctant Reader”.  I ordered titles from the YALSA list directed at this population of readers.

See these titles on Pinterest!

According to YALSA:  “The Quick Picks list, presented annually at the ALA Midwinter Meeting suggests books that teens, ages 12-18, will pick up on their own and read for pleasure; it is geared to the teenager who, for whatever reason, does not like to read. “

  • In 2007 the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) found that students who read for fun almost every day had higher reading scores than those who said that they never or hardly ever read for fun.
  •  The average reader reads 300 words per minute. If a teen reads just 15 minutes per day, that adds up to 31,500 words per week. Studies show that for every 100,000 words read, the reader’s vocabulary growth is 50%.
  •  In a 2005 online survey via, the majority of teens responding said they would read more if they knew about more good books and other materials to read.”
Link | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Close reading of texts plus organization with Scrible!

Scrible is a free service that offers a nice set of tools for highlighting, annotating, and bookmarking webpages.

Scrible offers browser bookmarklets for Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Internet Explorer. With the Scrible bookmarklet installed, anytime you’re on a page just click the bookmarklet to launch a menu of bookmarking tools. The Scrible tool set includes highlighters, sticky notes, and font change tools. When you annotate and bookmark a page in Scrible it is saved as it appeared to you when you were done altering it. And as you would expect from a web-based bookmarking tool, you can share your bookmarked pages with others.

Students can get a free Scrible account that has double the storage capacity of the standard free account. Scrible recently added an options for formatting bibliographies as you bookmark. Scrible also has a new feature that allows you to compile your article clippings into one package.”

~ from Free Technology for Teachers blog by Richard Byrne

Link | Posted on by | Leave a comment

Note-Taking Apps for Apple iPad – Slideshow

My sister is hooked on the Notability app for iPad.  She emailed me a JPG of a note she took using a stylus and Notability: “Teachers would love this app!  I use this for my sales meetings now!”.  I phoned her right away because the handwriting ACTUALLY WAS HER WRITING–nothing like when we sign for a credit card sale.  (ugh!)  She said the app works with finger or stylus.

Here’s a slideshow from PC Magazine (digital).  Just enough apps are reviewed, and the reviews are short and sweet.  Hope this helps!

Link | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

~ Google URL Shortener ~

So elegantly short, these URLs–thanks to this super easy Google tool.  Create your private Google account to keep your URL shortening history plus have access to manyother free products such as GoogleSites and GoogleDocs.



Example in my email signature:  

Victoria Zadeh
Teacher-Librarian / AP Club Adviser

Currently reading:

The Circle by DaveEggers

Posted in Education, organization, Presentation Tool, student, Teacher | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

~ Evernote ~

“Evernote makes it easy to remember things big and small from your everyday life using your computer, phone, tablet and the web.”    free and premium versions

Moleskine + Evernote = Now Possible!

“Write, sketch, or draw in the specially designed Evernote Notebooks by Moleskine. Take a photo of any page in this Moleskine notebook with the Evernote Page Camera and it instantly becomes digital so that you can save it, search it and share it with the world.”     subscription required

My Take:  Desktop, tablet and smartphone, any or all, keep your brain free from clutter.  A couple of my teacher pals use Evernote– raved about all its uses.  I now have my toe in the water, and plan to ask them for tips.  Evernote is not difficult at all but tips from actual humans are refreshing.

Posted in Education, organization, student, Teacher | Leave a comment

~ Moleskine ~

“The Moleskine notebook is, in fact, the heir and successor to the legendary notebook used by artists and thinkers over the past two centuries: among them Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway. . .The filling is you.”

Digital options! If you want to go beyond pen & ink, Moleskine has it all.

My Take:  Classic.  Say no more.

Posted in Education, organization, student, Teacher | Leave a comment

~ Futurescape ~

Furturescape Hosted by James Woods : “Futurescape explores event horizons that will critically alter life as we know it.” 6 episodes began November 2013.  Set your DVR for new and repeats if you missed episodes.

My Take:  Episodes like 3-D printing human body parts and digitizing our thoughts make you wonder about ethics as well as science–this program covers all the bases.

Posted in Education, student, Teacher | Leave a comment

Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

“We have an obligation to imagine”  ~ Neil Gaiman

The Powell’s City of Books (Portland, OR) bookseller to libraries emailed me this eloquent, moving speech by author Neil Gaiman.  Below is an excerpt.  You can read more of Gaiman’s annual lecture on the future of reading and libraries by using the above link to The Guardian (UK) article, Oct 14, 2013.

“Fiction has two uses. Firstly, it’s a gateway drug to reading. The drive to know what happens next, to want to turn the page, the need to keep going, even if it’s hard, because someone’s in trouble and you have to know how it’s all going to end … that’s a very real drive. Andit forces you to learn new words, to think new thoughts, to keep going. To discover that reading per se is pleasurable. Once you learn that, you’re on the road to reading everything. And reading is key. There were noises made briefly, a few years ago, about the idea that we were living in a post-literate world, in which the ability to make sense out of written words was somehow redundant, but those days are gone: words are more important than they ever were: we navigate the world with words, and as the world slips onto the web, we need to follow, to communicate and to comprehend what we are reading. People who cannot understand each other cannot exchange ideas, cannot communicate, and translation programs only go so far.”

Link | Posted on by | Leave a comment

~ LiveBinder ~

“Take control of information

  • View links like pages in a book instead of URLs on a page
  • Combine uploaded PDFs and Word docs with links in one binder
  • Go paperless one LiveBinder at a time”

My Take:  A fellow teacher and I stumbled upon this easy (really!) to use web-based tool.  The possibilities are ENDLESS.  This paralyzed me at first in getting started.  Kinda like going to Powell’s City of Books for the first time (confession: I still get overwhelmed there.  I want to LIVE there, but of course, that is not okay).

My relaxed teacher friend charged ahead though, and I did follow.  LiveBinder even allows you to lock and create a passcode for a page, “subtab” in LiveBinderese.

Cost:  FREE for basic plan — up to 100MB of storage and up to 5 MB file size limit .  So far, I have found this sufficient for my needs.

Link | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

      Library Likes  ~  Library Likes  ~ Library Likes       

thumb up full figure shadow

~ Radio Lab ~

WNYC Public Radio

Listen. Read. Watch.  Radiolab is a show about curiosity. Where sound illuminates ideas, and the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.”

 My take:  Last year my daughter got me hooked with the episode “Colors”–now I AM ADDICTED TO THESE PODCASTS!  I dare you to listen to this and not be in an utter state of amazement!  You can also read and watch.

 “Colors–To what extent is color a physical thing in the physical world, and to what extent is it created in our minds?”  Free—but thrives on donations.

Profile Theatre ~

3430 SE Belmont St., Portland OR Phone: 503.242.0080

“…one of the most significant theater companies in Portland, with a reputation for bringing intelligence, excellence, and passion to the stage. Each year, we feature a single playwright, giving our audiences the opportunity to enter the writer’s world for a full season – to experience each play as part of a flowing dialogue, seeing the important connections that help us to grow and learn and understand…”

 My take:  This small theatre of about 100 seats makes you wonder at first if the quality is good—it is not, it is GREAT!  I have been a subscriber for two years after enjoying previous years of single performances.

Cost:  Ticket prices are reasonable at $18-32 and this small venue means ALL seats are close!  Season tickets bring the individual ticket prices even lower.  Many seasons they offer FREE tickets to any K-12 teacher!

~ CBS Sunday Morning ~

Channel 6 or 706 – Portland, OR metro

“…Since 1979, a news broadcast …celebrating human accomplishments and achievements and journeying through the world of fine art, music, nature, sports, science and Americana”

 My take:  By far one of the few intelligent major network shows left standing.  My mother got me hooked when I was in college, and now my entire family is devoted. Just set your DVR cause this show is on EARLY Sunday mornings (remember, this is an intelligent show, hence the time slot!)

Edward R. Hamilton Bookseller Co. ~

 “…great source for publishers’ closeouts, overstocks, imports, remainders, and some current titles at special prices–some titles are as much as 80% off…”

 My take:  Mom found this company!  Without any Internet even! We supplement our Powell’s purchases with these orphan bargain books.  Powell’s will always be #1. Always.

Cost:  Using their catalog instead of website cuts cost down to “order all you want and s/h is  one low $3.50 charge.”

~ Powell’s Indispensable ~

Powell’s City of Books

1005 W. Burnside, Portland OR 97209


“Powell’s subscription club delivers the best new books, with special attention to independent publishers. Signed first editions. Inventive, original sets. Exclusive printings…. Every six weeks, another installment to read and admire. Plus, every package is stocked with exciting surprises.”

My take:  I subscribed and never looked back!  This is a darn good bargain—signed, first editions in their own custom bookcases.  The surprises are items from local businesses, e.g. bamboo travel cutlery, and advance copies of books.  Plus you are helping to support indie Powell’s, our cultural treasure.

Cost:  $39.95 total / every 6 week

~ Through the Wormhole ~

video documentaries         The Science Channel

Current Season 3    just clips but has TV schedule for full episodes

“…hosted by Morgan Freeman…brings together the brightest minds and best ideas from the very edges of science – Astrophysics, Astrobiology, Quantum Mechanics, String Theory, and more – to reveal the extraordinary truth of our Universe. What are we made of? What was there before the beginning? Are we really alone? Is there a creator? These questions have been pondered by the most exquisite minds of the human race.”


~ Philosophy Talk ~   

radio    OPB  91.5 FM     recurring Thursdays, 9-10pm

for one free weekly download:

 “Hosts John Taylor and Ken Perry’s down-to-earth and no-nonsense approach brings the richness of philosophic thought to everyday subjects… Receive one (free download) intellectually stimulating program on a different topic every week.”


~ Frontline ~ 

video documentaries   OPB channel 10    Portland, OR metro

Drop Out Nation    “An unforgettable portrait of four students in crisis and the adults waging a daily,  personal struggle to get them to graduation.” 1:53:17

 The Real CSI     “How reliable is the science behind forensics?” 53:39

Football High    “High school football has never had a higher profile…but is winning worth the risks?” 53:47

College Inc.     “How Wall Street and a new breed of for-profit universities are transforming the way we think about college in America.” 55:34

Digital Nation     “Has our 24/7 wired world causing us to lose as much as we’ve gained?” 1:26:05

Growing Up Online     “What does it mean to be part of the first generation coming of age in the Internet era?” 56:38

 Inside the Teenage Brain     “What’s behind teens’ seemingly inexplicable behavior? Surprising answers from new scientific studies.” 55:53

Teacher Center for All Frontline Episodes

~ 101 Best Web 2.0 tools for Teachers  ~         website/blog        Erik Schreefel this page has Web tools broken down by subject/grade level

Says Schreefel:   I chose to include each site based on several factors:

Ease of use;applications in education–could a teacher actually use it for something?

Compatibility with popular educational technology and digital teaching materials”

Aside | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment