Cool Tools will start soon!



We’re getting ready to launch this year’s Cool Tools workshop in December 2018.  The lessons are still being updated and reorganized. And the Google Classroom is starting to take shape!

For details on how the workshop runs, please read our Frequently Asked Questions page.  And if you have questions, please leave a comment on that page.

Public Lessons, Private Google Classroom

This year, we’ll be using Google Classroom again for turning in assignments and sharing ideas.

  • Public Lessons: As always, the lessons, or “Things” as we call them, for the workshop will be housed here on this public website. That makes the lesson pages available to anyone who is interested. Our lesson pages get lots of traffic from people not in the workshop!
  • Private Classroom: Participants taking the workshop for continuing education credit will participate in discussions and submit assignments through Google Classroom. Google Classroom has undergone some big changes over this past summer. I’m still learning my way around and will be learning right along with you all.

Picking Your Topics

Cool Tools 101 (Things 1-10) is designed for people who haven’t participated in this (or a similar) program before. You’ll pick 5 or 10 topics to complete. The place to start is with Thing 1: Blogging where you’ll get your blog setup. You’ll use the blog to write up your reflections through the workshop.

You could pick all your topics just from the first 10 Things if you like, but feel free to pick topics from the other tracks if they interest you more. There are also the extra “DIY” and “Final Reflections” topics that everyone is encouraged to do.

More Cool Tools:  These lessons used to be split up into Tracks 2, 3 and 4. But those labels have lost any meaning as we are continually reorganizing, adding, updating and deleting topics.  If you’ve participated before, scan all the lesson titles and pick out the topics that appeal to you. Don’t forget the extra “DIY” and “Final Reflection” topics as well. Everyone is encouraged to do these.

Repeating a Topic:  Since most of the lessons have lots of options and there are always new things to explore, feel free to repeat topics that you’ve done before. Just be sure to dig in deeper and truly explore some new aspects or try new tools.

AND REMEMBER that your assignment posts should include:

  • Reflection on the readings and/or information you explored.
  • Any projects you created, embedded in your post if possible or provide a link.
  • Thoughts on how the topics relate to your work as an educator. It’s great to include fun, personal ideas too if you like, but don’t forget the educational connections too.

Cool Tools for Schools 2018/19

Quick Update!

We will be running Cool Tools for School one more time during the 2018/19 school year. There will be fewer lessons than in past years.

2017/18 LESSON ARCHIVE: All of the lessons from last year (2017/18) will remain available in this archived list of lessons.

Interested in participating? If you’re in New York State, contact your regional/BOCES School Library System administrator. Contact me pollyalida at gmail.  This PDF has lots more information.