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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: apps, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. App of the Week: Party Party

Title:  Party Party
Platforms:  iOS
Cost:  $.99

 

Party Party Icon

If youre anything like me, you probably have so many photography apps that you sometimes call your phone a camera by mistake.  The trouble with such a bounty is that each app usually offers a singular use or function, forcing you to thumb through all the options for each photo op.

The Party Party app cuts through some of that cumbersome decision-making by offering an easy way to take and edit single photos, or take sequential photos that can be formatted as a photo booth collage or stitched together to create stop-motion animations.  In essence, you get three apps in one.

The interface is bright, playful, and intuitive, opening to a photo capture screen with minimal and clearly defined icons:  toggle the lightning bolt for flash, change the orientation of the camera, select the number of photos you want in your sequence (1, 4, 9, or 16), select the gear icon for further options, or hit the shutter button to begin.

partypartyhomescreen

The camera then takes the selected number of photos with a couple of seconds lag time between each — long enough to change facial expressions or move the star of your stop-motion project.  If the product isn’t to your liking, selecting the gear icon allows you to change the amount of delay between pictures in the sequence or choose Manual mode to set up shots without being rushed.

Once satisfied with your photos, you can move to the Layouts page to choose how fast you’d like your animation to run (from turtle to rabbit) or choose the style of your photo booth collage.  Next, a basic photo editor allows you to apply filters and adjust brightness and contrast before exporting your creation as a photo, video, or GIF to social media sites or your camera roll.

partypartylayoutscreen

The ability to import photos and opt out of the automatic looping that occurs with the animations might make this party a bit more fun.  Still, Party Party will appeal to teens looking to enhance their Instagram experience and offer those of us who program for them lots of options with one icon on our homescreen.

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2. My client’s online presence

By Jan Willer


Social media and other technologies have changed how we communicate. Consider how we coordinate events and contact our friends and family members today, versus how we did it 20 or 30 years ago. Today, we often text, email, or communicate through social media more frequently than we phone or get together in person.

Now contrast that with psychotherapy, which is still about two people getting together in a room and talking. Certainly, technology has changed psychotherapy. There are now apps for mental health issues. There are virtual reality treatments. Psychotherapy can now be provided through videoconferencing (a.k.a. telehealth). But still, it’s usually simply two people talking in a room.

Our psychotherapy clients communicate with everyone else they know through multiple technological platforms. Should we let them “friend” us on social media? Should we link to them on professional networking sites? Is it ok to text with them? What about email? When are these ok and not ok?

Social Media Explained (with Donuts). Uploaded by Chris Lott. CC-BY-2.0 via Flickr.

Social Media Explained (with Donuts). Uploaded by Chris Lott. CC-BY-2.0 via Flickr.

Some consensus is emerging about these issues. Experts agree that psychotherapists should not connect with current or former clients on social media. This is to help preserve the clients’ confidentiality. Emailing and texting are fine for communicating brief messages about the parameters of the session, such as confirming the appointment time, or informing the psychotherapist that the client is running late. Research has shown that emotional tone is frequently miscommunicated in texting and email, so emotion-laden topics are best discussed during the session.

How do we learn about new people we’ve met? In the past, we’d talk directly to them, and maybe also talk to people we knew in common. Now everyone seems to search online for everyone else. This happens frequently with first dates, college applicants, and job applicants.

Again, contrast this with psychotherapy. Again, two people are sitting in a room, talking and learning about each other. When is it ok for a psychotherapist to search for information about a client online? What if the psychotherapist discovers important information that the client withheld? How do these discoveries impact the psychotherapy?

No clear consensus has emerged on these issues. Some experts assert that psychotherapists should almost never search online for clients. Other experts respond that it is unreasonable to expect that psychotherapists should not access publicly available information. Others suggest examining each situation on a case-by-case basis. One thing is clear: psychotherapists should communicate with their clients about their policies on internet searches. This should be done in the beginning of psychotherapy, as part of the informed consent process.

When we’ve voluntarily posted information online–and when information about us is readily available in news stories, court documents, or other public sources–we don’t expect this information to be private. For this reason, I find the assertion that psychotherapists can access publically available information to be more compelling. On my intake forms, I invite clients to send me a link to their LinkedIn profile instead of describing their work history, if they prefer. If a client mentions posting her artwork online, I’ll suggest that she send me a link to it or ask her how to find it. I find that clients are pleased that I take an interest.

What about the psychotherapist’s privacy? What if the client follows the psychotherapist’s Twitter account or blog? What if the client searches online for the psychotherapist? What if the client discovers personal information about the psychotherapist by searching? Here’s the short answer: psychotherapists need to avoid posting anything online that we don’t want everyone, including our clients, to see.

Ways to communicate online continue to proliferate. For example, an app that sends only the word “Yo” was recently capitalized to the tune of $2.5 million and was downloaded over 2 million times. Our professional ethics codes are revised infrequently (think years), while new apps and social media are emerging monthly, even daily. Expert consensus on how to manage these new communications technologies emerges slowly (again, think years). But psychotherapists have to respond to new communications technologies in the moment, every day. All we can do is keep the client’s well-being and confidentiality as our highest aspiration.

Jan Willer is a clinical psychologist in private practice. For many years, she trained psychology interns at the VA. She is the author of The Beginning Psychotherapist’s Companion, which offers practical suggestions and multicultural clinical examples to illustrate the foundations of ethical psychotherapy practice. She is interested in continuing to bridge the notorious research-practice gap in clinical psychology. Her seminars have been featured at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and DePaul University. 

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3. App of the Week: ScratchJr

Name: ScratchJr
Platform: iOS 7 or later/compatible with iPad
Cost: Free

scratchjr logoOK, I know some of you are saying, “Wait, I thought this was the YALSAblog for those working with teens. What’s up with a review of an app that’s for really young kids?” It seems crazy that the YALSAblog App of the week would review something like ScratchJr, but I have to say, there’s a lot to make it worth recommending to staff working with teens and to teens themselves.

  • ScratchJr is a perfect way for any adult – library staff member, parent, teacher, etc. – to start learning about why all of this talk about teaching young people how to code is important, to begin to understand what block-based coding is all about, and to be able to gain some skills so to be better prepared for STEM-based programs that might be rolled out that integrate critical thinking, problem-solving, etc. within a coding environment.
  • Any library that is giving teens the chance to work with younger children on coding projects will want to know about ScratchJr. It’s a perfect app for teens to use with kids to get the younger kids started on learning how coding works and on STEM-based activities that integrate critical thinking and problem-solving. If the teens you work with are working on this kind of project, it’s also a perfect opportunity for teens to have a chance to talk and think about how to present the information to children, how to plan and implement a program of this kind, and so on. It will take a lot of critical thinking and problem-solving on a teen’s part to put together a ScratchJr program for younger children, and that’s great.


When you get started with ScratchJr you’ll need to start a new project. As with all Scratch software and apps, the new project starts with a cat as the main character of the story, or game, or activity you are going to program. And, as with all Scratch programs you can change that character and/or add more characters to the project you work on.
screen showing start of a scratchjr project

What ScratchJr and other programs of the same type is all about is learning how to program by creating a process that tells the cat – or other character that you use – to move in a certain way, say something, stop and pause for a period of time, and so on. The focus is on learning how the commands you put together have an impact on what’s going on on the screen.

ScratchJr doesn’t have as many commands to work with as it’s parent product Scratch, but it has plenty to get started with for those who are learning how to program in this way. Users can move characters in all directions, have the character speak, record narration, hide and show characters and more. Users can also add backgrounds and change the look of a character using some simple character editing tools.
sample of a scratch project in the works with blocks and characters on the screen

Any adult that is wondering what this coding thing that people are talking about as a part of learning for children and teens is all about, should try out ScratchJr as a first step in their own learning. Teens working to help younger kids will do well learning ScratchJr as well. It’s worth the time to take a look and think about how ScratchJr does have an impact on the teens and the families that you work with.

Have a suggestion for App of the Week? Let us know. And find more great Apps in the YALSA Blog’s App of the Week Archive.

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4. Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: August 8

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include book lists, growing bookworms, ebooks, apps, KidLitCon, Cybils, reading, schools, libraries, and summer reading.

Books and Authors

I can't believe that people are protesting The Scarecrows' Wedding b/c the bad guy smokes http://ow.ly/zYVlU via @bkshelvesofdoom

Children’s Lit Questions From Beyond the Grave: A Wild Things! Interview of @SevenImp + @FuseEight by @100scopenotes http://ow.ly/zZ2fS

Book Lists

es! RT @BookChook: @JensBookPage Think u wd like: @BooksBabiesBows Ten Reasons to Read Aloud During Times of Tragedy http://www.booksbabiesandbows.com/2014/06/ten-reasons-to-read-aloud-during-times.html?spref=tw …

New Stacked #BookList and general thoughts from Kimberly on Matriarchal Societies http://ow.ly/zZ2a2 #yalit

Stacked: Get Genrefied: Climate Fiction (Cli-Fi) http://ow.ly/zVYbo #yalit @catagator #BookList

Top Ten Novels in Verse by @katiestrawser @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/zTWpJ #kidlit

THIS is a great resource | Easy Reader Books That Are Actually Easy, selected by @momandkiddo http://ow.ly/zVXDe

Nice list of Back to School Books for different ages from @bankstreetedu http://ow.ly/zTSEw via @ChoiceLiteracy

Children's and YA books featuring unlikely friendships from the SSHEL #Library http://ow.ly/zRc5C #BookList

5 Superhero Comics with Girl Power | Friday’s Five @5M4B http://ow.ly/zRbP1

25 Contemporary Picture Books To Help Parents, Teachers, And Kids Talk About #Diversity @buzzfeed http://ow.ly/A1RrK via @FuseEight

eBooks and Apps

Eight Apps to Support Early Reading and Writing | Cool Tools @ShiftTheDigital http://ow.ly/zZv6r

Important thoughts from @MaryAnnScheuer | Reading Online: How will it affect developing readers? http://ow.ly/zZ0ED

Smartphones: The Silent Killer Of The Web As You Know It @ow at The Next Web via @cmirabile http://ow.ly/zRkWL

Growing Bookworms

Great advice from @TrevorHCairney | Helping toddlers to develop reading comprehension http://ow.ly/zVXip #literacy

#RT @ReadAloud_org Babies are born learning and parents are a child's first and most important teacher. Download our 15 Books & Tips http://www2.readaloud.org/15ReadAloudTips

Raising Readers: The Power of Rereading from @SunlitPages http://ow.ly/zZ37Y #literacy

10 easy tips for keeping the love of books alive in an early childhood classroom | @NorahColvin http://ow.ly/zYW43

Kidlitosphere

On Poetry Friday, @JoneMac53 has A Couple of Announcements about #KidLitCon + the call for #Cybils judges http://ow.ly/zRdZ3

Various interesting #kidlit tidbits in: Morning Notes: See You in 2114 Edition — @100scopenotes http://ow.ly/A56VN

Kidlit PictureRT @KidLitCon: Check out some of the people who will be at this year's #KidLitCon. Will you be there, too? http://t.co/pk1Xzlpcpw

A #Kidlitcon program teaser @charlotteslib (+a note that the deadline for panel ideas has been extended a week) http://ow.ly/zTWrA

Congratulations to @FuseEight + @SevenImp on the publication of Wild Things! Lots of fun stuff planned http://ow.ly/zYXuu

At A Year of Reading, @MaryLeeHahn + @frankisibberson are Celebrating the fabulous @KateMessner http://ow.ly/zRcCR

On Reading, Writing, and Publishing

"Being readers makes us friends" | Happy Esther Day, Nerdy Friends! | @CBethM @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/zTVLN

Gorgeous post on The State of Photography Illustration in 2014 @100scopenotes http://ow.ly/zRewm #kidlit

Interesting: Wikipedia, Amelia Bedelia, and Our Responsibility Regarding Online Sources — @fuseeight http://ow.ly/zRd6s

Programs and Research

New @RalphLauren program has designs to promote kids' #Literacy, 25% of price goes to @ReachOutAndRead http://ow.ly/zYSvJ @Scholastic

Very nice, from SFC Blog: The Y Helps Kids Combat ‘Summer Slide’ http://ow.ly/A1QVQ via @FuseEight #literacy

Scientists Say Child's Play Helps Build A Better Brain, more important than class time | @NPR http://ow.ly/A5lT5  via @PWKidsBookshelf

Schools and Libraries

Love it! A Librarian's Guide to getting to 10,000 Steps in a day from @abbylibrarian http://ow.ly/zTWjU

TEN TIPS FOR A PERFECT AUTHOR VISIT at school by Michael Shoulders | @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/zYWTv #kidlit

Nice idea to encourage reading outside of class | The Phenomenon of the 100 Page Club @stephaseverson @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/zVXYK

Summer Reading

Rocking #SummerReading and STEAM @RIFWEB http://ow.ly/A56jG

#SummerReading Tip36 @aliposner | As we head into August, take a moment to reflect on your kids’ reading lives | http://ow.ly/zTW4c

#SummerReading Tip37 @aliposner | When in transit to your destination this summer, establish some no technology time http://ow.ly/zTWgh

#SummerReading Tip38 @aliposner | Parents of boys, pay special attention to your boys’ reading this summer http://ow.ly/zZ2QI

#SummerReading Tip39 @aliposner | Consider motivating summer reading with some great graphic novels! http://ow.ly/A2GJN

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook.

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5. Cultural Competence in the Digital Realm: #WeNeedDiverseApps!

At the recent ALA Annual in Las Vegas, I was part of a panel named “Whet Your Appetite: Rapid Reviews of Apps for Children from Preschool to Tweens” along with Paige Bentley-Flannery, Cen Campbell, and Claire Moore. Our session provided rapid reviews of an assortment of apps, and my portion was on multicultural apps for young people. Based on the ever-growing number of book apps for young readers available in the iTunes store, I wanted to learn more about multicultural book app offerings. Limiting our search to Apple products for the sake of convenience (since I am an iPad user), my graduate assistant Rebecca Price and I combed through the iTunes store, various review sites including Kirkus, School Library Journal, Hornbook, Publishers Weekly, many of the blogger sites that cover apps, such as Carisa Cluver’s Digital Storytime and Cen Campbell’s Little eLit. Frankly, we had a terrible time finding quality apps that reflected diversity. And of those that were available, many were flawed.

One such book app, A Song for Miles, by Tiffany Simpkins Russell, Ph.D., with illustrations by Raheli Scarborough, features beautiful illustrations that look like oil or acrylic on canvas, but there is no explanatory note about the art. The app has very limited interactivity, and is subsequently more of an enhanced book rather than a book app.  The text is about a father educating his young son about the music that inspires him, and he describes songs by artists from Earth, Wind, & Fire to Stevie Wonder, but unfortunately, none of this music is included in the app. In order to hear the music, on the last page, there is a list of the music described, and readers can “Tap on the song titles below to view artist catalog in iTunes.” I imagine that the author and illustrator may not have realized the licensing roadblock their story posed, and they may have had other intentions at the outset, but unfortunately, in the end, this book ends up being little more than a commercial of songs available for purchase.

The Story of Kalkalilh, by Bramble Berry Tales, developed by Loud Crow Interactive, is a book app based on an oral story told by the Squamish people of southwestern British Columbia. According to the developer’s site: “With Bramble Berry Tales we saw a need to bring three oral histories incredibly dear to the Squamish, Sto:lo, and Cree Nations to life”. In addition to English, French, and Spanish, the app can be played in Squamish. The app received a starred review from Kirkus and was included on the 2013 Kirkus list of Best Book Apps. Unfortunately, while this app featured easy navigation throughout and a nice feature of being able to click on icons to hear Squamish words pronounced and get background information on terms such as Potlach (Tl’enk) and Longhouse (Lam’), which are specifically relevant to the setting of the story, I am not able to judge the cultural authenticity of this app, nor could I find reviews that spoke to the app’s cultural accuracy.

The New York Times recently published articles by the late Walter Dean Myers and his son Christopher about the lack of diverse books in the US. Christopher Myers cited a study by the Cooperative Children’s book center at the University of Wisconsin which found that Of 3,200 children’s books published in 2013, only 92 featured an African American character. As a result of these articles, writer Ellen Oh created the Twitter hastag #WeNeedDiverseBooks.

As our roles shift and we increasingly are tasked with providing digital resources for our patrons, it is important that we seek out, collect, and provide access to balanced digital collections, just as we do with print resources. We need diverse book apps indeed. But we must maintain a critical perspective as we evaluate those, and separate blatantly commercial products from quality ones worth sharing with our communities.

Title: The Story of Kalkalilh

Title: A Song for Miles

Marianne Martens is Assistant Professor at Kent State University’s School of Library and Information Science and a member of ALSC’s Children and Technology Committee. You can read more about her work at mariannemartens.org, and she can be reached at mmarten3@kent.edu.

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6. Big Picture Classes “Phone Photography Project 2″ Class

balboa walkwayOne of the many long galleries at Balboa Park. Assignment: In a Row.

At Comic-Con two years ago (or was it three? they begin to blur), I dropped my camera in the street, and it has never been the same since. Even before that, I was finding myself more likely to reach for my smartphone than the camera when I wanted to snap a pic. I gather I’m not alone in this. As phone cameras have improved and apps like Instagram make uploading and sharing easier, more and more of us are relying on our phones to capture the memories we want to save.

At times, though, I’ve been frustrated by the frankly mediocre quality of my phone photos compared to the kind of pictures I used to get with my camera. When I saw that Big Picture Classes was offering an online course in phone photography—and furthermore, that my fellow former ClubMom blogger Tracey Clark was one of the instructors—I decided to take the plunge.

Oh you guys, I am SO happy I’m taking this class. The “Before and After” videos, in which various instructors walk you through the editing process on a single photo, using their favorite apps, made an immediate difference in my pictures. And I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the biweekly lessons with accompanying photo challenges, all based around themes like “In a Row,” “Lines,” or “Fill the Frame.” I’m much happier with the quality of the photos I’m getting out of my iPhone. Almost every image I have posted here in the past two weeks was influenced by the course.

The class runs through August 16 and you can sign up right until the end. You move through the lessons at your own pace. There’s a pretty active message board with lots of input from the instructors, and several bonus videos in which guest photographers spend some time talking about their phone-photography process.

Here’s a selection of my class assignments. There’s a gallery where students may upload photos, but the best place to see others’ work is on Instagram, where we’re tagging our work #bpcphonephotographyproject and adding tags for the individual assignments, such as #ppp2inarow or #ppp2shapes.

seaport village houseTaken at Seaport Village in San Diego. Assignment: Rule of Thirds.

orchidsI always swoon over the orchids in Balboa Park’s Botanical Building. Assignment: Fill the Frame.

blueguitarsSnapped in a corner of the music studio where my kids take piano. Assignment: Lines.

leaflinesAnother take on the Lines assignment.

succulentI’m always admiring these beautiful succulents in my neighbor’s yard. Assignment: Fill the Frame.

rocktowersThere’s a man who stacks these rock towers at Seaport Village every day. Assignment: Shapes.

guitarsbwAnother take on the guitars…Assignment: Black and White. (I think this may be my favorite of the bunch.)

morninglightRose found this feather and we decided it was meant for my blue jar. Assignment: Light.

geocacheseaportvillageAnother Seaport Village shot, but I’m not saying where exactly. ;) Assignment: Fill the Frame.

coronadobeachgirlandshipI posted this one here last week, but I tried a slightly different edit when I shared it on Instagram. I think I like this faded version best. (I prefer the taller crop on the original, though.) Assignments: Vantage Point and Rule of Thirds.

beanieflieskiteI happened to read the Vantage Point lesson right before our trip to Seaport Village, and it’s what nudged me to get down on the ground underneath Beanie as she took a stab at flying this kite. I like how the kite is about to sail right out of the frame.

carshadowsOne of the things I’m appreciating most about this class is the way it makes me notice things in my surroundings that I might otherwise have glanced right past. I passed these cars in a parking lot behind the San Diego Convention Center during Comic-Con and was struck by the reflection of the slats on their windshields. Submitted it for the Black and White bonus challenge.

seaweedgirlThanks to the class I learned how to straighten the horizon in this formerly very tilted shot! I didn’t tag it for any of the assignments, but the way the wind was whipping that seaweed around, it could almost qualify for the Action challenge.

Tomorrow brings a new lesson—I can’t wait!

ppp2_120x120

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7. The Mobile Author, Part Seven: Managing Your Writing Life


Today,  I'll end the series with some tips for using your mobile office to help you manage your writing life. These ideas can help you work better so you can achieve your writing goals.

Make It a Habit

One common problem for those of us who try to work writing in with our busy lives is making the time to write. Unfortunately, nobody has made an app yet that adds a couple hours to the day or makes our day jobs go away or extends the kids' nap time. However, there is a class of apps that enforces good habits and helps to break bad habits. These can be used to remind us to write, and to check our progress against our goals.

Apps like HabitBull (Android, free) and Way of Life (iOS, free for three habits, $3.99 for more) let you set goals. These apps can be configured with whatever parameters you want. Use them to cut down your soda intake, or to spend more time doing something you love, like writing. For example, if you want to write three days a week, you can set a habit reminder that asks you every day if you have written. You wouldn't want to disappoint your tablet, right?

 The Habit Editor in HabitBull


In addition to yes/no goals like whether you wrote today, you can set number-based goals. Want to write 1,000 words a day? Set that up as a habit, then set a reminder each night that asks you how many words you wrote. 

Each habit app is a little different, so look for one that will suit your goals. 

Keeping Focused

To meet your goals, you need to stay focused.

One simple use for your tablet or, especially, your phone, whether you're mobile or stuck at the office is a timer. A timer can you keep you focused. Make a goal to write for a solid hour without checking Facebook or email or grabbing another root beer float at your favorite cafe, then set a timer and don't stop writing until it goes off.

There are tons of timer apps, and they all do what a timer does, so really it probably doesn't matter which one you use. Two I like on Android are Timers4Me+ and Timely Alarm Clock. Both support multiple timers, alarms, and include a stopwatch. Again, I'm not sure what to recommend for your iPad or iPhone, but it really doesn't matter much. A timer is a timer. You can make it pretty, give it fancy options, or whatever, but in the end, it keeps track of time and lets you know when time is up.


Track Your Progress

Anybody who has learned about goal-setting has learned that an important part of meeting your objectives is to make your goals measurable. The apps I've mentioned so far will help you do that. But another way to measure your goals is to track your progress.

The Writeometer app for Android helps you meet your goals. It includes a timer and a writing log, and gives you rewards (guavas) if you meet your goals. For every writing project, you can set your total word count goal and your daily writing goal, and you can set a deadline date. Then, you can set reminders to kick you in the pants. By gamifying your goal tracking, Writeometer keeps you more engaged, and helps you feel good when you accomplish what you set out to do.

Writeometer log


If your goals are fairly basic, such as writing 50,000 words in November, you might like an app like NaNoProgress, also for Android. The concept is simple: enter your wordcount for each session and the app displays a bar showing your progress toward 50,000 words.

Those apps are great for Android users, but what about authors who use an iPad or iPhone? They have options as well, such as Word Tracker. I didn't find anything quite as fancy or fun as Writometer, but all you need, really, is a place to enter your goals and measure your progress.

 Keep a Journal

Finally, many Utah writers come from a background where keeping a journal is encouraged. A writing journal (see "The Writer's Journal," a post on this blog from way back in 2009), helps you be accountable to yourself, and helps you vent those natural writing insecurities so they don't build up inside you. You can track your objectives, note ideas and problems that need to be fixed, and remind yourself where your next session is supposed to start. 

Writeometer includes simple journaling functionality, and the app stores include tons of journal apps. You can use one of those, or you can use the note apps or writing apps we've already talked about in this series. You don't need anything fancy. The only thing you need is something you like writing in so you are motivated to keep your journal.

And So...

There you have it, pretty much everything you need for the well-equipped mobile office. By choosing the approach that works best for you at each step of the writing process, you can easily break the chains of a desk and write wherever inspiration hits you best. Or, if you still do most of your writing in your office (I call my home office my Schreibwinkel), you have everything you need if an idea strikes while you are on the road. Your writing comes from your own brilliant mind, so doesn't it just make sense to have your office wherever that mind of yours happens to be? Even if you prefer the routine of writing in the same place every day, sometimes the best cure for writer's block is a simple change of scenery. If your computer screen becomes the intimidating monster that sucks your creative juices, get away from it for a while.

I hope you have enjoyed this series, and that it helps you to be more productive. The key to writing, it is said, is putting your butt in the chair. But nobody says it always has to be the same chair in the same place. It's 2014. You don't have to lash yourself to a desk anymore. Enjoy your freedom and let the words flow wherever they come to you.

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8. Like Apps for Kids? #alaac14

Looking for ALA Annual programs on apps for kids? ALSC will be hosting two educational programs on apps – “The Apps are All Right! Exploring the Role of Apps in Children’s and Teen Services” and “Whet Your APPetite: Rapid Reviews of Apps for Children from Preschool to Tweens”, which will take place at the 2014 ALA Annual Conference.

The Apps are All Right! program is scheduled for Saturday, June 28, 2014, 8:30 – 10:00am PT in Room S230 of the Las Vegas Convention Center. Designed as a primer for children’s and teen librarians, this program will offer a dynamic overview of the place of the app as a new format within the library profession. Four panelists will provide relevant research and examples from practice with diverse populations of children and teens. Participants will also be invited to explore the continuously evolving rationale for strengthening the role of the children’s and teen librarian in app recommendation for the communities libraries serve.

The Whet Your APPetite program is scheduled for Sunday, June 29, 2014, 1:00 – 2:30pm PT in Pavilion 11 of the Las Vegas Hotel. This program will showcase some new and favorite apps selected by ALSC’s Children and Technology Committee and Digital Content Task Force. A variety of app recommendations will be paired with ideas for how to use them with children in your library.

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9. Links I Shared on Twitter this Week: July 18

TwitterLinksHere are highlights from the links that I shared on Twitter this week @JensBookPage. Topics this week include authors, book lists, the Cybils, common core, aging, ebooks, apps, growing bookworms, kidlitcon, reading, writing, play, schools, libraries, and summer reading.

Books and Authors

Stories from authors about school visits "gone terribly wrong" at Wild Things blog http://ow.ly/zcwJO  @SevenImp @FuseEight

75 Years Old, Still Showing off her Scar, fun details about Madeline from @SevenImp + @FuseEight at Wild Things blog http://ow.ly/z94Jk 

Book Lists and Awards

Amazon-backed Booktrust Best Book Awards‘ Lifetime Achievement Award turned down by Allan Ahlberg | @TheBookseller http://ow.ly/z3OLT 

The Wildest (bold + unique) Children’s Books of 2014 as picked by @100scopenotes http://ow.ly/zcxat  #kidlit

Teen blogger Summer from @miss_fictional looks back on Favorite Books from her Childhood http://ow.ly/z5flg  #kidlit

Who knew that there could be a list of Top 5 Picture Books about Ninjas? @rosemondcates could! http://ow.ly/z3KJl  #kidlit

Thanks! RT @145lewis: #CYBILS are an amazing resource Looking for summer reading ideas? http://dadtalk.typepad.com/cybils/finalists/ … #kidlit #edchat #elemed

Common Core and STEM

#CommonCore Becomes Touchy Subject for Governors Group, reports @WSJ, as both parties are internally split on CC http://ow.ly/z5fA0 

Tap the STEM Resources in Your Community! | ALSC Blog post for librarians by @amyeileenk http://ow.ly/z3KzZ 

Diversity

RT @tashrow 5 Stereotypes Positive Aging Picture Books Avoid | Lindsey McDivitt http://buff.ly/1zmZLk9  #kidlit

eBooks and Apps

RT @TWhitford: Great Apps To Introduce Coding to Young Kids http://goo.gl/uUdGX0  via @mattBgomez

Malorie Blackman: ‘I love gadgets, but e-reading has to be carefully handled’ | @GuardianBooks http://ow.ly/z3P8z  via @PWKidsBookshelf

Growing Bookworms

What Do Phonics, Phonemic Awareness and Decoding Mean? @CoffeeandCrayon has the scoop http://ow.ly/zeLEb  #literacy

How #Comics Create Life-Long Readers -- @MaryAnnScheuer interview with @jenniholm http://ow.ly/zeLPW  #kidlit #literacy

Teaching My Daughters to Read -- Part III, Phonics from @ReadingShahahan http://ow.ly/zcvyn  #literacy

RT @LiteracySpeaks: 5 Simple Ways to Improve Reading Comprehension from This Reading Mama! http://fb.me/6BtWnEOln 

Fun times @everead | How I Stopped My Children's Whining with Story Club http://ow.ly/z5eUD  #literacy

KidLitCon

KidlitCon2014_cubeBOOM: And we are LIVE! Why you should attend this year's KidLitCon, from co-organizer Tanita Davis, FindingWonderland http://ow.ly/zcvbM 

The registration form for #KidLitCon14 Oct. 10-11 in Sacramento is now live: http://ow.ly/zc0lr  A great way to see friends + talk books

October will be here soon, soon, soon — @bkshelvesofdoom is coming to #KidLitCon14 Are you? http://ow.ly/z3GYs 

RT @CBethM: The 8th Annual @KidLitCon - Spending Time Face-to-Face with Kindred Spirits by @JensBookPage #nerdybookclub http://wp.me/p21t9O-1zS 

On Reading, Writing, and Publishing

On having (and integrating) multiple Reading Lives by Kristin McIlhagga @TeachChildLit @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/z94kV 

Cultivating Curiosity, on love of stories vs. love of words at So Obsessed With blog http://ow.ly/z94SO  via @catagator

Food for thought at Stacked: Growing Up, Leaving Some Books (Narnia) Behind by @kimberlymarief http://ow.ly/zi3Ac  #kidlit

Why Book Reviewers Would Make Awesome Authors, by @Miss_Fictional http://ow.ly/zcvDd 

A proposal from @100scopenotes | All Middle Grade Novels Should Be 192 Pages. No Exceptions. Thoughts? http://ow.ly/zcvYJ 

Here's what @medinger thinks about @100scopenotes idea for Putting a Stop to Middle Grade Novel’s Increasing Girth http://ow.ly/zcwej 

Confessions Of A Binge Reader (Or, How I Read So Much) | Ryan Holiday at Thought Catalog http://ow.ly/z3LKY  via @tashrow

Why Readers, Scientifically, Are The Best People To Fall In Love With @EliteDaily http://ow.ly/z3NZQ  via @librareanne

On Kids

How Much Activity Do Our Students Need? asks @katsok How do you help kids who can't sit still, in era of less recess? http://ow.ly/z92pA 

Did What You Played as a Kid Influence Who You Became as an Adult? asks @FreeRangeKids http://ow.ly/z933H 

Powerful post @KirbyLarson by Michelle Houts on adults looking back and regretting childhood acts of bullying http://ow.ly/z3K36 

Schools and Libraries

Bridging the Gap: Making #Libraries More Accessible for a Diverse Autistic Population | @sljournal http://ow.ly/z3Omk 

Corporal Punishment in Schools: Can it be Justified? @TrevorHCairney thinks it's not the right approach http://ow.ly/zi3el 

Top 10 Ways to Turn Classroom into a Hotbed of Enthusiastic Readers by @megangreads + @muellerholly @NerdyBookClub http://ow.ly/z5eFi 

Summer Reading

This could keep us busy for the rest of the summer! 50 Fabulous Movies based on Children's Books from @rosemondcates http://ow.ly/zcvGP 

#SummerReading Tip20 @aliposner Set up your vacation accommodations in ways that make literacy more likely to occur http://ow.ly/z3LbF 

#SummerReading Tip21 @aliposner Encourage your kids to author “vacation books” when you are traveling this summer http://ow.ly/z5eOF 

#SummerReading Tip25 @aliposner | Read the SAME BOOK that your child is reading independently + discuss it together http://ow.ly/zeM9u 

#SummerReading Tip26 @aliposner | Try to connect reading to your kids’ summer activities http://ow.ly/zi3mT #literacy

Reading Is Fundamental Study Says Summer Reading Is Not Priority | reports Lauren Barack @sljournal http://ow.ly/z3OeW  @RIFWEB

© 2014 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage or at my Growing Bookworms page on Facebook

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10. App of the Week: Loop

Title:  Loop
Cost:  $0.99
Platform:  iOS

As a teen, most of my notebooks were full of stick-figure flip animations performing stunts on the page edges.   Loop is the digital equivalent of those over-doodled notebooks, allowing users to create hand-drawn, animated loops that can be exported as GIFs.

The app’s interface gives much of its screen space to a whiteboard-like drawing area with a grid of tools permanently situated at the lower edge.

Loop pic 1

The basic tools include three brushes in black, red, and blue that vary in width from ballpoint to brush depending on the speed in which a finger or stylus is used. There’s also an eraser for fixing mistakes (no “Undo” button, sadly) and a button that duplicates one frame at a time.

The toolkit’s superstars are the “Onion Skin” button, which shows a ghost of the previous frame in order to more accurately place the next, and the “Guide Video” buttons that allow users to access videos recorded on the device to use as guides for more fluid animations. These tools help take creations to a new level and introduce users to concepts they’ll need to know if they want to do more than dabble in animation.

Once finished, the loops can easily be exported as GIFs via email, the Loop Gallery (shown below) and Tumblr.

loop gallery

Everything about Loop is bare-bones, including the support (don’t expect much from that “Help” button) but as I recall the best part of drawing flip books was the trial and error involved in getting my stick figures from point A to point B.  In this and other aspects, Loop replicates that feeling of doing something awesome with very little skill.

For more YALSA App of the Week posts, visit the App of the Week Archive.

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11. Illustration and design concept for a chess app for iPad

For some reason, I've been really interested in user interface design (probably because I'm a graphic designer and I'm practically inseparable from my iPad). And when I run across an especially bad design in a app, I really get an itch to "fix" it. Problem is, the vast majority of them are poorly designed.

Chess games being no exception. Additionally, though, I thought the subject matter would lend itself to some pretty fun visuals and illustrations.







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12. Evernote Now Lets Users Create eBooks

The popular note taking app Evernote has a new feature that lets users produce an eBook or PDF directly from the app.

The new tool comes as part of an integration with self-publishing platform FastPencil. Users can publish a group of notes from Evernote or their entire notebook by importing the pages into FastPencil’s self-publishing platform from within the Evernote app. There is an option to edit, collate, format and create a table of contents. Once the files are ready, a writer can publish them on the web or in print through FastPencil’s partnership with Gung-Ho.

Users can also use FastPencil’s distribution network which includes Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kindle, iPad, Sony eReaders and Ingram to self-publish their titles.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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13. Digital Drawing on Photographs

Allium artwork

I have a little more to share about our trip to France, but for now, here’s a little artwork.

On a recent flight from Boston to Charlotte, I took a break from reading and started fiddling around with an app (Adobe Ideas), drawing on some of my photographs. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen some of these before, both pre and post-drawing.

Floral Arrangement

Fun, eh? Have a favorite?

Floral Artwork

Just finished watching the BBC adaptation of Dickens’ Bleak House. Really enjoyed it. Currently reading Call the Midwife by Jennifer Worth (it’s the memoir upon which the show is based). Now watching Bletchley Circle. I seem to be in a BBC/ British kind of mood.

For more posts about  my artwork and others’, click here.


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14. Young Children, New Media and Libraries Survey

In order to examine how libraries incorporate different kinds of new media devices into their branches and programming; we ask for your participation in the Young Children, New Media and Libraries Survey prior to Monday, August 18, 2014.

Participation in this survey will help us better understand the scope, challenges, and next steps for libraries regarding new media use. We would like one librarian from your branch who is able to answer questions regarding your library’s use of new media to complete this survey.

Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NTN6PWT.

The survey includes 9 questions and we anticipate it will take no longer than 10-15 minutes to complete. Additional information regarding this survey can be found online: http://www.ala.org/alsc/young-children-new-media-and-libraries-survey.

This survey was created in partnership with LittleeLit.com, the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of ALA, and the University of Washington. If you have any questions about this survey, please contact us at the below emails.

Cen Campbell (cenlibrarian@gmail.com)
J. Elizabeth Mills (jemills1@uw.edu)
Joanna Ison (jison@ala.org)

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15. Using Apps in Programs for Older Kids

Over the past year, I’ve been experimenting with using apps in programs for kids in grades K-5, with great success! Sometimes I plan a program entirely around an app (like using LongExpo to do light painting and Stop Motion Studio to make stop motion animation movies). Other times I come across an app that I think would enhance a program I have already planned. Below are three examples of how I’ve incorporated an app into an otherwise tech-free program.

Screen shot of the Little Things Forever app, taken by the author.

Screen shot of the Little Things Forever app, taken by the author.

Little Things Forever by KlickTock (App Store: $2.99, Google Play: free)
In this app, you try to find hidden objects in a large collage-style image. On some levels, you race to find everything before time runs out.

Over spring break, a coworker and I did an I Spy program for kids in grades 3-5. The kids assembled their own I Spy-style collages using paper and small objects. They wrote a list of the objects to find and we photographed the results. The kids finished their collages at different times so it was the perfect opportunity to use this app, because kids could easily join in as they finished. I projected it onto a large screen and manipulated the image on the iPad while the kids gathered around the screen and pointed out the objects as they found them. I had been uncertain about how this would play out in a group setting, but the kids worked cooperatively and were quite enthusiastic about it.

My First Tangrams Lite by Alexandre Minard (App Store: free/full version is $1.99)
Tangrams are ancient Chinese puzzles that use seven specific shapes (five triangles of different sizes, a square and a parallelogram) to create images, such as a cat or boat. This app has kids assemble the images by dragging pieces into the right spot on the screen and includes pieces with different shapes (rectangle, semi-circle) than a traditional tangram.

As part of a series of STEM programs for kids in grades K-2, I did a program on tangrams. I read a story aloud, the kids put together various tangrams, and they did a craft. At the end, I passed out four iPads and the kids worked on the app in pairs. Even the kids who had a hard time with the actual tangram pieces understood the app and had fun with it. I think it builds different skills than actually holding puzzle pieces in your hand, but it was a nice complement to the rest of the program.

Underground Kingdom by Visual Baker (App Store: $2.99)
This is a Choose Your Own Adventure book turned into an app, about a person who falls into a seemingly bottomless crevasse in Greenland and finds a secret underground world. This style of story lends itself quite well to the app format.

Ok, I admit that I haven’t actually used this one in a program. I planned to use it last summer in a read-aloud program for kids in grades 2-4. It was an informal program in which we read funny picture books and chapters of longer books, and I was looking for activities to break up the reading. I ended up scrapping the app at the last minute for time reasons. But I think it would be great to do with a group; every time you run into a decision that has to be made you could have the kids vote and go with the majority. If you try this, let me know how it goes!

Liz Fraser is Children’s Librarian/Technology Coordinator at the Ela Area Public Library in Lake Zurich, IL and serves on the ALSC Children and Technology Committee. She writes about library programs for kids at Getting Giggles and can be found on Twitter as @lizfraserlib.

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16. Engaging the Smartphone Generation

We’ve all seen it…parents engaging with their mobile devices while their children sit idly by, or worse, wandering off unattended…or even WORSE, passing off their smartphone to their young child as a miniature babysitting device. Smartphones and mobile devices are here to stay, at least until the next new technology comes along, which got us wondering…what can we do as children’s librarians to engage the smartphone generation of parents…? Something that will also engage their children…or better yet, engage them TOGETHER? The answer: build an app just for them, one that encourages interaction rather than isolation, and bring the library to WHERE THEY ARE!

Enter the ACPL Family App, designed for parents and caregivers of children from birth all the way through elementary school. This app is intended to be used by adults and children together, promoting age-appropriate learning and literacy development via:

  • Video and audio activities for parents of young children, with very do-able examples of ways to incorporate reading, talking, singing, playing and writing into every day. Not sure what it looks like to play with puppets with a child, or why it’s important? Watch and learn!

sniffyjoe

  • Push notifications of early literacy tips for parents of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers, and fun facts for adults to share with school-age children. Parents can sign up to receive early literacy tips weekly on their devices!

babytip2

  • An easy-to-use library events calendar, specifically for children’s programming, searchable by library location and age group. This feature will even add events to a personal calendar, so customers will have another tool to help them remember library events!

events

  • A reading timer and log to keep track of time spent reading. This feature has the ability to log multiple users, so families can all log their reading time. This will be very handy as we roll out this year’s Summer Reading Program!

timer

  • Librarian-created booklists to help adults find great books to share with their children. Looking for a great book on potty training for your toddler? Look no further – once again, the library saves the day!

booklist

This project certainly didn’t happen overnight. It started as many of our library programs do: a need was waiting to be fulfilled.   And it didn’t happen because of one person.   It happened because many people, with a wide variety of interests and talents, were dedicated to one common goal. Talk about teamwork! Children’s librarians, IT technicians, library assistants, as well as other staff from all over the ACPL system were involved in this process.   This, I believe, is the key to its success.   Libraries, as a rule, tend to draw the greatest, most creative minds to their employee rolls, and when you put several of those minds together, with a goal of producing something for the common good, you just can’t help but get great things.

(All screen shots courtesy ACPL Family app)

***************************************

Our guest blogger today is Kris Lill, a Children’s Librarian at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana and a frequent blogger on the ACPL Kid blog.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.

 

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17. The Mobile Author, Part Two: Getting Organized


Part One: The Portable Office

Today, I'm going to cover some mobile apps you can use to manage your mobile workspace.

Organizing Your Workspace

A phone, tablet, or computer quickly becomes a disorganized pile of apps and files. You'll want to make it easier to find your things. It's the difference between having an organized workbench in your garage with all your tools sorted and safely stowed away and having your hammers and screwdrivers scattered throughout your house, stuffed into kitchen junk drawers, or hiding with the dust bunnies under the bed. I know that last "organization" method all too well.

When setting up your mobile writing space, the goal should be to have everything--writing programs, manuscripts, notes, schedules, files, and contacts--as readily available as they would be if you were sitting at your desk. Because you're packing everything into a smaller space, you might even discover that you can be more efficient with a tablet than you can be with all your stuff stacked in piles in and around your desk.

If your device provides multiple pages, take advantage of them. Keep all the icons for your most frequently used writing apps on one page so you don't have to search for them. If your device supports folders, use them to further organize your stuff. If folder support isn't built-in, there's an app for that.

Create shortcuts to your favorite websites (like, ahem, this blog) and keep them handy. Use an app like Pocket to store info you find on the Web so it's handy, even when you are not connected.

Apps that you want to access quickly, like your camera and your note-taking app, should never be more than a tap or two away. If you have to search for anything you need in your mobile office, you could probably organize your workspace better.

Your organization scheme should be a natural extension of the way you work, and will differ from person to person, but the key to a successful mobile office is keeping everything you need within easy reach. You should never have to look for anything.  It's just there.

Your Filing Cabinet

Of course, you'll want to have your files wherever you go. You can carry a flash drive or external hard disk (with an OTG cable, if you use a tablet) with you, but the cloud is perfect for storing essential files. If you use Google Drive, Dropbox, or a similar service, your files are available anywhere without requiring you to carry more stuff with you. 

If you have a file on one device but not the others, you can use a Bluetooth program, such as the aptly named Bluetooth File Transfer app, to copy the file between devices.


An app like Android's AirDroid is essential if you want to manage your mobile devices from your computer, including moving files around, without even plugging in a cable from the device to the computer. I don't know if there's a similar app on iOS devices, but if you use Android, this one is a must.

Manage your mobile device wirelessly with AirDroid



And, if you really want to get fancy, you can use a remote access app, such as PocketCloud (Android or iOS), to actually access your Windows or Mac computer from your mobile device. With one of these apps, your tablet or phone becomes a sort of remote control for your "real" computer. You can run programs on your computer and edit that file you forgot about, then transfer it to your Dropbox so it's available wherever you are.  You could even remotely access your computer, find the file you need, and use AirDroid to transfer the file directly to your tablet. These kinds of programs tend to run slower than using the computer itself, and feel a little glitchy, but they're great when needed--as long as your computer is turned on, even if you're not home. If you're computer is off or asleep, you can't access it.

The recently released Google Remote Desktop also lets you access your computer from your mobile devices (Android and iOS). It's similar to PocketCloud, but feels a little less laggy. There are some things I can do on PocketCloud that I haven't figured out yet on Remote Desktop, like keyboard combinations, and the way you move the cursor around is odd for a touch screen app, but it looks promising. Unlike PocketCloud, with Remote Desktop you can use your tablet and your computer at the same time, if you ever need to. Whatever you do on your remote desktop also shows up on your computer's screen.

Next Step

Now that your portable office is ready and organized, you'll want to organize your work. Come back next week to find out how to use your mobile device to track your time and your tasks, and to keep your project notes handy.

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18. App of the Week: Adobe Voice

Title: Adobe Voice
Cost: Free
Platform: For iPad iOS 7 or later

Adobe Voice is a brand-new app for creating videos that integrate voice, text, music, and images. It makes it easy to create professional looking movies that are informative, creative, and entertaining. The screencast below gives you an overview of how the app works.

The app is very simple to use and is a great tool for teens for class projects, storyboarding ideas, turning creative writing into moviemaking, and more. Ask teens in your community what they want to do with Adobe Voice. I bet they will have ideas.

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19. iPad app design and illustration

I love illustration. You may have guessed that already. I also love design. Also, probably somewhat self-evident.


I have discovered over recent years, however, that I also like designing for interactive format, or GUI (Graphical User Interface), such as web sites and apps, etc. 

On top of that, I've also discovered that I like designing and/or illustrating stuff featuring wildlife or any other zoo-ish or safari-esque subject matter. Who knew.

This project, then, was a pleasurable combination of all of the above. It's just a concept, mind you, so don't go looking for it in the App Store just yet.








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20. The Mobile Author, Part Four: Planning Your Story


Even pantsers need to do some planning. Today I'm going to tell you about some apps that can help the mobile author plan a story.

Notes

There are many ways to plan a story. My favorite is to make notes that summarize key events in the story. The note apps I described in last week's article are perfect for that. But there are some other useful tools that you might find helpful, depending on your work style.

Outline

Many writers like to start with a detailed outline. I'm not one of them, but for this article, I looked for a good outlining app. Outliner seems to be almost perfect for you Android-using planners. It enables you to make a detailed outline, and even create a task list based on the outline. If you're an outliner, you might try this app. I also see several outlining apps in the Apple App Store for a variety of prices. Let us know if one of these works for you.

Mindmap

I admit it, I like mindmaps. I've used them to organize projects for my day job. I've also used them to help me spawn ideas by creating word associations and following character traits through a map. If you want ideas for using mindmaps to create a novel, you might start with this article.

 A character mindmap in SimpleMind Free


There are several mindmapping tools you can try, but the one I've used on my tablet is called SimpleMind for Android. SimpleMind is also free in the Apple App Store, so iOS mindmappers rejoice.

SimpleMind is easy to use, even on a small screen. It's easy to create nodes and move them around, and the mind maps are simple but attractive. I haven't tried syncing a map or saving to Dropbox. You're more likely to want to use this on your tablet than your phone because the bigger screen is nice, so syncing between devices might not matter much unless you have more than one tablet.

Whiteboard

The whiteboard is a perfect tool for story building. What can be better than a blank slate and colorful pens? You can free-associate thoughts and words, make mind maps, do whatever. When you have a blank white board, you have no limits.

I've been playing with a whiteboard app called SyncSpace Shared Whiteboard (Android and iOS). In addition to being a cool whiteboard with the features you'd expect and infinite zoom in an out, you can share your board across devices, including over the web, for collaborating. It's free for Android. The iPad version will set you back $9.99, but you get significant additional features.

There are tons of whiteboard apps for both Android and iOS. This is another app category where the best thing to do is try a few and decide what works for you. Go to your app store and search for "whiteboard." If you find a favorite, let us know.


Bulletin Board

I mentioned Trello in the previous article in this series. Trello is essentially a bulletin board that you use to pin and organize cards. Like a real index card, a card has two sides that can contain anything you want it to, and you can organize your cards in a list, which is basically a bunch of cards pinned together in a column.

Think of the possibilities. You could have a card for each character and include whatever information you want, including a picture. Then, keep all of your character cards in the character list. Or, you could write a summary of each scene on its own card, then organize the scenes in order or into chapters. You could easily rearrange scenes, add new ones, or discard them into a discard list.

Because Trello is a Cloud application, all you have to do is set up an account and install the app, and your cards are available wherever you are, on any device.

Storyboard

Back in December, I wrote a detailed review of the Cardboard index card app and how it can be used for storyboarding. I'm happy to say this app has gotten even better since then, with better terminology and some interface changes. Best of all, the plug-in that included card styles for writers is no longer needed because those cards have been added to the main app. There are cards to help with common story elements, plot in traditional acts, or follow the journey of the hero.

If you like storyboarding with index cards, or if you like the storyboarding feature in programs like Scrivener, Cardboard could become one of your go-to apps in your mobile office.

Next Step

Next week, I'll get down to the nitty-gritty with some suggestions for using your tablet to actually write your story. I'll discuss some full office suites, some minimalist text editors, and some ways to use the features of your mobile office to keep you focused on meeting your writing goals.

Part One: The Portable Office

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21. ‘The Butterfly Attack’ Graphic Novel App

German eBook company Bastei Luebbe GmbH & Co. KG has created a graphic novel in the form of an app called The Butterfly Attack. The app is part of the Netwars project, a multimedia experience that uses fictional characters to explore the threat of digital warfare. Here is more about the story: The near future: Europe's top military officers employ a team of elite hackers. By order of the EU, they conduct a secret cross-border cyber war exercise. But what starts out as a simulation suddenly becomes deadly serious. The story is anything but science fiction. The scenario is alarmingly real. The digital war affects every one of us, and it’s happening right now. The app uses parallax technology, motion sensors and 3D animations to make the story interactive. For instance, the reader can get inside the machines that the main characters use. There are hidden clues throughout the story which link to external content to help inform the story. This includes articles about the real events and science that helped inspire the story. The book is available for both iOS and Android devices. Follow this link to check out a trailer for the story.

New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.

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22. Six-Word Memoirs Twitter Festival Kicks Off This Week

On Wednesday June 4th, Smith Magazine will sponsor the summer edition of the Six-Word Twitter Festival. The theme for this event will be to share “The Best Advice in Six Words.” The event will kick off on live on WNYC’s Leonard Lopate Show on Wednesday. Share your six-word advice at this link. The event will include contributions from: George Take, Rob Delaney, Molly Ringwald, Rick Springfield, Piper Kerman, Katherine Schwarzenegger, Jenny Mollen, Jason Biggs and Judge Alex. In addition, Sesame Street, BabyCenter and WNYC are encouraging their audiences to share their six word bits of advice via Twitter. Here's more about the event: "From June 4-6, celebrities in film and TV, comedy, writing, music, parenting, lifestyle, and social justice will pose prompts to their combined 5 million Twitter followers challenging them to respond and 'say it in six.' The best responses as determined by celebrity judges will be retweeted and announced on SixWordMemoirs.com—as well as be included in a new book of Six-Word Advicepublishing in Fall 2015 from St. Martin’s Press."

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23. Julia Child Stars in Interactive Comic Book App

Bluewater Productions has created an app edition of the Female Force: Julia Child comic book. After the original print version of this biographical comic had sold out, the publisher used Authorly to transform it into an interactive app. The price for this app has been set at $2.99; readers can download it from iTunes, Google Play, or the Amazon Appstore. Here's more from the press release: "Click on 'audio hotspots' to hear sound effects play and swipe to navigate through Child's journey toward being a chef. Authorly apps include features such as narration, word-by-word highlighted text, audio and video hotspots, basic animation and movements, sound effects and background music, and more!"

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24. Fusenews: Of talking tigers and square penguins

  • So the big news this week was that a writer at Slate decided that now was an ideal time to take a potshot at adults reading young adult books.  And, as you might expect, everyone got quite hot under the collar about it.  To arms!  To arms!  Considering that this sort of thing happens pretty much every time a new YA book hits the mainstream I wasn’t quite as upset as some.  Honestly, I thought Roger Sutton’s piece Why Do We Even Call It YA Anymore? was much more along my own thinking.  I could not help but enjoy Marjorie Ingall’s response as well.
  • Calvin Hobbes 300x225 Fusenews: Of talking tigers and square penguinsIt’s one of those stories that’s just so crazy you don’t quite believe it at first.  So about a year ago I attending a lovely dinner for Stephan Pastis, author of the book Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made (as well as the other Timmy books that would follow).  Stephan was one of those fellows just filled to the brim with stories.  And, as luck would have it, his stories were about syndicated cartoonists; one of my favorite things in the world to talk about!  I heard him wax eloquent on the subject of Gary Trudeau, Berkeley Breathed, you name it.  He even had ties to Charles Schulz (a fact that served me well when I interviewed Sparky’s wife Jean).  But when I dared to ask if he’d ever met the elusive Gary Larson or Bill Watterson (of Far Side and Calvin & Hobbes fame respectively) he confessed he had not, though Watterson had once sent him a nice note about one of his comics.  Well bust my buttons, but recently Pastis got a lot more out of Watterson than a mere note.  He got three illustrated comic strips!  Read this post to learn how he did it and why this is as extraordinary a fact as it is.  Wowza!
  • I was very sad to hear about the recent death of legendary children’s book editor Frances Foster.  Read this remarkable interview with her from Horn Book, conducted by Leonard Marcus to get a sense of the woman we just lost.  PW provided a very nice obituary for her here.
  • Essentially, this is kind of a real world case of Mike Mulligan and His Steam Shovel, but with a dark dark twist.
  • The voting may be over, but I can’t help but love the collection of different Penguin Random House logos that dared to combine the publishing behemoth.  My personal favorite?  Right here:

Penguinhaus 500x500 Fusenews: Of talking tigers and square penguins

  • I’ve oohed and cooed to you about the fact that Shaun Tan’s rather brilliant picture book Rules of Summer has an accompanying app with music by the amazing and fantastic Sxip Shirey.  However, when I mentioned this fact before the app was not available for purchase.  Now it is.  Go get that thing then.  You can even hear a selection of Sxip’s music for it here.
  • Speaking of Rules of Summer, did you see Travis Jonker’s predictions of what he thinks will win the New York Times Best Illustrated Awards?  Sort of a brilliant list to predict (and I think he’s completely and utterly dead on with his selection).
  • Brain Pickings recently featured a selection of photographs of fictional meals from your favorite books.  The photos are from the book Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals.  Though not strictly limited to children’s literature, it contains a handful of tasty treats worth noting.  Be sure to check out the meals of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Secret Garden, Heidi, and a Chicken Soup With Rice that will knock your socks off.
  • Just a quick shout out to my fellow metropolitan librarian Rita Meade who just sold her first children’s book.  Go, Rita, go go go!
  • One minute he’s winning a Tony.  The next minute he’s turning The Dangerous Book for Boys into a television show.  Wait . . . say what now?
  • Did you guys happen to see Grace Lin’s rather remarkably good Cheat Sheet for Selling Diversity?  Selling, heck.  This should be disseminated into all the MLIS programs in the States.  Future children’s librarians should be memorizing it by heart.  THIS is how you handsell to a kiddo or a parent, guys.  And Grace did all the work for you!

Daily Image:

Fairly brilliant!

SidewalkEnds Fusenews: Of talking tigers and square penguins

Thanks to Marci for the link.

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25. App Update Brings Audible Audiobooks to Kindle

Amazon has updated its Kindle app for iOS devices bringing integration with Audible audiobooks. The app now allows readers to access more than 45,000 Kindle/Audile.com book pairs from directly within the Kindle app.  Previously a reader would have to launch the Audible.com app in order to listen tothe audiobook. Whispersync for Voice now automatically syncs a reader's progress between reading progress between the Audible and Kindle versions of a book. In addition, the app now allows users to read and listen to a Kindle book at the same time. The Version 4.3 update also brings with it the ability for  students to search for terms in X-Ray for textbooks and then tap a page thumbnail in the X-Ray feature to find the term highlighted in the page of the book.

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