Stop the Summer Slide!

summer_reading_slide__smallSeveral points of research show how student achievement can drop off over the summer if they don’t stay engaged academically. Wondering how to keep your students reading over the summer? AEA 267, in cooperation with Mackin has developed a summer reading resource website called I Want To Read. Suited for grades K-12, there are links to eBooks within your MackinVIA portal, as well as links to a summer reading journal and other book-related activities. These resources are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

A webinar to share information about the research around summer learning loss and the K-12 eBooks accessible through the I Want To Read website was held on April 7th. We recorded the webinar, and it is now available for viewing.

We have also developed a webpage with resources to go along with these summer reading resources including a sample parent letter and templates for bookmarks and posters.

If you have questions regarding the AEA 267 summer reading resources, please contact Jane Frizzell or Cheryl Carruthers, AEA 267 Librarians.


NEW! – Import MackinVia eBook notes into Google Drive

Mackin recently announced a new enhancement that allows teachers and students who have added notes to a Mackin eBook, to now export those notes out to their Google Drive.

Export MackinVIA notes to Google Drive

Users will need to:

  • Log into MackinVIA using their Backpack account.
  • Follow all of the processes you currently use for creating notes for a Mackin eBook, and save the note.
  • Once you close out of the book, go into your Backpack and select your Notebook.I love my beagle with arrow
  • All of the notes you have created will be denoted on the books listed in your notebook.
  • Click on the selected title to view your notes.
  • Click on the “Export Notes” button, and select the Save to Drive option as shown in the above image.
  • If you aren’t logged into your Google account, you will be prompted at this time.

Please contact Jane Frizzell, AEA 267 Librarian, if you have questions.

Iowa AEA Online – Direct links to digital resources

In the event we would experience another access issue with the Iowa AEA Online website, we have listed direct links to each of the Iowa AEA Online Digital Resources below. These links can also be found on our Iowa AEA Online Support page.


Please let us know if you have any questions.

AEA 267 Librarian Team


Alert: New Name for StarWalk Kids Media

StarWalk Media was purchased by Isabella Products in late December, and is in the process of launching a new branding campaign for StarWalk Kids Media to Fable Learning, effective in early March.  The new trade name Fable Learning will begin to appear on their websites, platforms and Reader apps effective March 1 or shortly after.   They hope to include bridging language (for example, “Fable Learning, formerly known as StarWalk Kids Media”) for a reasonable period of time to help users recognize the transition from StarWalk to Fable.Starwalk Kids logoOther than the name change, it is their goal to make this transition as simple and seamless as possible for users.  We will not need to change your user logins or authentication methods between MackinVIA and StarWalk Kids eBooks.   The websites and login pages will work just the same as before, but will begin to carry the Fable Learning brand.

Please watch for future updates on this transition. If you have any questions, please contact AEA 267 librarian, Jane Frizzell.

Britannica Online – Check Out the New Features Now Available!

Britannica Online has added 3 different resources for the remainder of the school year, as a trial.

#1 — Image Quest is a collection of three million images. Schools have the rights to use the images for educational purposes, as long as the images are cited to Britannica.

You can access it in one of two ways:

  1. Go directly to Image Quest –
  2. Access Britannica Online via the Iowa AEA Online Home page. When you get to the Elementary, Middle, High screen, notice Your Britannica Resources at the top right with a dropdown arrow. Click there to choose Image Quest.

Image Quest and Escolar OnlineIf you create your own personal login using “My Britannica”, the images can be saved into your individual folder. (Contact one of the AEA 267 Librarians for the code needed to setup a personal teacher account in “My Britannica”).

#2 — Also, you will notice in the same dropdown box, Escolar Online, a Spanish language version of Britannica that is available for both elementary and secondary students.

To access Image Quest and Britannica on devices, follow the directions below:

Sharing Apps for both IOS and Chrome devices. These apps place an icon on user’s devices that links them directly to Britannica School.

For iOS:
1. Open mobile Safari browser on the iOS device
2. Go to and using the browser
3. Tap on the share icon (square with up arrow)
4. Tap on Add to Home Screen
5. Tap on Add
6. Shortcut to the site is added to home screen

For Chrome:
1. Go to the Chrome Web Store ( using the Chrome browser
2. Search for “Britannica School and Britannica ImageQuest”
3. Click “Add to Chrome” at the right
4. When prompted, click ‘Add’ to confirm
5. Britannica School will now be added to your Chrome Apps page

#3 — Geography Explorer: is available at the elementary level of Britannica. To access, locate the Geography Explorer icon/link. It is at the bottom of the first page — you may need to click on Show More. It can be used on a whiteboard and is a game that asks the user to drag/drop continents, oceans, mountains, rivers and places to visit on a world map.

Geography ExplorerBritannica Online is part of the Iowa AEA Online suite of resources and is accessible using your individual Iowa AEA Online building username and password. For questions regarding your building login, please see your school/district teacher librarian or contact one of the AEA 267 librarians. 



Gale and Google Partner to Improve Learning

Gale IAO PortalSeveral of the Gale eResources databases now support saving and downloading student and teacher work to your individual Google Drives. As a Google for Education Partner, Gale uses the most current and popular Google tools to support organizational and study skills, encourage collaboration, improve engagement, and foster critical thinking among users of our leading products.

Brief video tutorials:

Gale_Google Login

Tip Sheets:
Google Tools – Google Drive Integration
Google Tools – Google Classroom Integration

Gale is part of the Iowa AEA Online suite of resources and is accessible using your individual Iowa AEA Online building username and password. For questions regarding your building login, please see your school/district teacher librarian or contact one of the AEA 267 librarians.

Zika and Chikungunya Live in Teen Health and Wellness

THW_logo_topAs an example of how our Iowa AEA Online resources strive to remain current and relevant, updates have been added on the following topics:

  • In “West Nile Virus” we added a new image and some copy about Zika in the first paragraph.
  • The Dengue Fever entry is now called “Dengue Fever, Zika, and Chikungunya.” We added a new section called Zika and Chikungunya, with a new image and a Zika timeline. We also added some references to Zika and Chikungunya in the Transmission and Myths and Facts sections, and several new WHO and CDC fact sheets to Resources.

Key search terms have been added to the A-Z browse feature:

  • Aedes aegypti
  • Chikungunya
  • microcephaly
  • vector-borne disease

Teen Health and Wellness is part of the Iowa AEA Online suite of resources available and is accessible using your individual Iowa AEA Online building username and password. For questions regarding your building login, please see your school/district teacher librarian or contact one of the AEA 267 librarians.

Updated Text-To-Speech Readers Offer New Feature

Currently three of our AEA 267 digital resources, Rosen’s Teen Health and Wellness and Core Concepts, and Gale eResources, now include an “Enhanced Text Visibility” feature in their text-to-speech reader. The readers for both resources not only include the ability to select highlighting options for words and sentences including word color, sentence color and text color along with a choice in how fast the story is read. Users can now also turn off and on the Enhanced text visibility feature.

This new tool facilitates easier reading comprehension by giving users the option to have enlarged text be speech enabled and highlighted in a box displayed at the bottom of the selected page. The Enhanced text visibility option displays the current sentence on the web page with a larger font size and simultaneously highlights the text. This new option helps users to better see and follow what is being read on a given page.

Listen feature click gearTo access this new feature, click on the ‘gear’ tool that is displayed when you click on the Listen option for an article.

Enhanced Text Visibility shot


When the Settings option box appears, make your choices for how the text will be displayed and also choose to have the Enhanced text visibility feature turned off or on.

Check out this link to view a full description of the reader’s options for the Teen Health and Wellness Resource. These same features are also available for Gale eResources and Rosen’s Core Concepts (Biology, Chemistry, Periodic Table).

For questions regarding this new reader function or any other inquiries regarding AEA 267 digital/media resources, please contact one of our AEA 267 Librarians.

More MackinVIA Updates

IASL150_87ED3ECAF1AAFIowa Award Books

Having the Iowa Award Books that were available in eBook format proved to be very popular this year, so we will be adding what titles we can get for the 2016-17 lists. Watch for further updates on these new titles that will be added to MackinVIA. Questions regarding the Award Books, contact AEA 267 Librarian, Jane Frizzell.

Summer Reading with MackinVIA

IWantToReadBannerWe will also be offering summer reading opportunities again through the I Want To Read website for grades K-5 and titles available for secondary via your MackinVIA portal. We will be releasing more information about this soon.

Hold the Date

April 7th for the informational webinar on the MackinVIA Summer Reading Program.

If you have questions regarding the upcoming Summer Reading Program with MackinVIA, please contact one of our AEA 267 Librarians.