Title: 3:15
Platform: iOS and Android
Cost: First episode free, with subsequent ones 99 cents

App-based enhanced editions of On the Road and The Waste Land are finally pushing the boundaries of electronic texts, and young readers can have their own app-based literature experience with Patrick Carman’s 3:15‘ series.

The multimodal stories begin with a Rod Serling-esque’ narrative introduction,’ which unlocks a text that in turn leads to a video. The stories are creepy but never gory or gruesome, and they seem to tap into the terrors plaguing the tween psyche. Atmospheric music and visual effects are well-done, and the videos, while brief, are of high production value.
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The relativity of time and space might sound like a summary for the latest spate of YA dystopian novels, but it is also at the crux of a YALSA panel looking at distance issues and young people, Virtual Collaboration Tips for Teen Librarians, next week at’ ALA Annual.

Where: Convention Center Room 388-90

When: Sunday, June 26, 2011, 1:30-3:30 p.m.

Panelists include’ Elizabeth Figa, Associate Professor, University of North Texas College of Information Department of Library and Information Sciences, distance learning instructor and winner of UNT’s Outstanding Teacher Award; Angela Frederick, Teen Librarian at the Edmonson Pike branch of Nashville Public Library, which has collaborated with Metro Nashville Public Schools on the Limitless Libraries project;’ Beck McDowell, author of Last Bus Out, The True Story of Courtney Miles’ Rescue of Over 300 People in Hurrican Katrina’s Aftermath;’ and Erin Wyatt, Library Media Specialist at Highland Middle School, Libertyville, Illinois, author of dissertation “Middle School Students in Virtual Learning Environments

It will be a lively discussion of what works and what doesn’t in terms of digitally mediated services in different sorts of settings. Come and share your own secrets for reaching teens outside your building and develop a richer understanding of teens’ digital lives.

Title: Crackle

Platform: iOS 4.0 or later

Cost: Free

Teens who want to watch a full-fledged flick on the go might have been limited without Netflix or Hulu Plus accounts, but Crackle offers a great alternative to catch up on full episodes of classic TV (Dr. Who!) and a large range of movies, including a small collection of anime.

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Name:‘ ToonFX Paint

Platform: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.0 or later

Cost: $1.99

For teens seeking a unique avatar’ or hoping to infuse their pictures with a little comic panache, ToonFX Paint offers a nearly foolproof way to enhance images from your camera roll.

Importing the image into the App’ transforms it into a Van Gogh-esque’ effect in gray scale, and a’ pallete enables you to match colors to the original or from a spectrum.

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Title: Jot Not Pro‘ 

Platform:‘ Works with’ iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iOS 3.1.2 or later and integrated camera for real functionality.

Cost: $0.99 (February release month special)

Anyone with a camera phone has likely done it — snapped a photo of a flyer or note for later consultation, instead of creating a text note with the virtual keyboard.’ ‘ The’ Jot Not app allows you to’ extract text’ scanned with’ your camera or from saved images, using’ the draggable graphing options to limit the scan to the applicable text.

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Title:’ Muybridgizer by Tate Gallery

Platform: iPhone, iPod Touch with Camera

Cost: Free

Nineteenth century English photographer Eadweard Muybridge was challenged by California Governor Leland Stanford to take a picture of one of his prize racehorse with all four legs off the ground. Muybridge managed to use sequential exposures from a series of cameras to capture that elusive moment, barely perceptible to the naked eye.

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Title: Cartolina and Cartolina — Season’s Greetings
Platform: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Cost: $1.99 each

Cartolina and its’ twin seasonal App’ can help you express both season’s greetings and the subsequent requisite gratitude in a timely manner without abandoning’ old-fashioned charm.

Each app features a selection of lovely, Victorian-inspired templates, customizable with messages of up to three lines (of about 19 characters) each. The completed messages can be sent as either texts or email.

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Name: MoMA, Museum of Modern Art
Platform: For iPhone and iPod touch
Cost: Free

Contemporary art can be one the weakest areas of school and public library collections. When teens want more about a modern artist than the one or two plates in the Abrams histories, the free MoMA app can be a tremendous boon.’  Through the iPhone and iPod touch, the MoMA app features unprecedented mobile access to the collection, including a digital image for most works.

The app will appeal to art lovers of all ages, but is ideal for both self-guided study and whole-group instruction as it features comprehensive artists’ biographies, an integrated database of subject terms from Grove Art Online, and particularly high quality digital images. Breradcrumbs link artists thematically through headings like Primitivism or 1930s Drawings. You can browse by artist, medium or through movement.

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While you might leave library school versed in everything from read/write web applications to AACR2 description, it’s what they don’t teach you in library school that can make or break your school media program.

The professional leave process, lesson planning, supervision duties, professional development responsibilities, and even dress code can be radically local, so even veteran librarians will have to learn some different processes when they change buildings or districts.

Laura Houk, who left Dekalb County to become librarian at Madison County High School this fall, said her challenges included figuring out how the circulation system works and the local purchasing process. “You don’t know if you’ll have supplies, money, or what your collection will look like,” said Houk. Acknowledging that you can’t change everything at once, Houk advises incoming school librarians to be “flexible and do the best you can with what you have,” something particularly important for school librarians in a state where school library materials budgets have been eliminated the past two years.

A learning curve exists for school librarians leaving the classroom as well. Ashley Markham moved from ‘ teaching second graders to become the media specialist at a new school, Buckhorn Middle, in the same district this fall. While many system-wide policies are the same, changing age groups has brought some surprises. Markham said fewer more middle-school teachers seemed to bring their classes to the library than at the elementary level. Her advice to beginning school librarians hoping to infuse information literacy skills into the curriculum is to “meet with the teachers and discuss the units you’ll focus on, to make sure you’ll have what you need.” Markham will be combining collections from two existing schools, but will also have a budget to establish her program and make sure that the resources are there for those research units.

For faculty and student icebreakers and other ideas, check out Kathy Schrock’s Back-To-School Resources, and the collective intelligence of LM_NET provides some great fodder for librarians going back-to-school, be it the first or the thirtieth time.

What is YOUR back-to-school advice?