Google Integration with AEA 267 Digital Resources

Many of our schools today are Google schools.   Students are technology centered, whether it be with their assigned school computer/laptop or their personal device, and they use technology to look up everything from A to Z.   But they also use technology for completing school assignments.  The key to connecting them to trustworthy, relevant content, like that found within Iowa AEA Online,  is ensuring that it appears in their workflow.  Google is a comfortable, highly used pathway in most students’ study routine.


Many of the digital resources provided to you by AEA 267 are now integrating with Google.   The resources currently making this connection are:


This integration makes it very easy and convenient for students to save content to their Google accounts.   All of these resources have the option of downloading content to Google Drive.   In addition,  CultureGrams, SIRS, Gale and EBSCO Literary Reference integrate with Google Classroom.   We should note here, that levels of Google integration are constantly being updated by the digital vendors.

Use of the MackinVIA Reader tools are enhanced with the Google Drive integration.  Within MackinVIA,  student notes and highlights can be exported out to Google Drive.  Please remember that student backpacks must be set up in order to use the MackinVIA Reader tools with the Google integration.


If you have questions regarding Google integration with the digital resources please contact one of the AEA 267 Librarians.


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.


Learn360 – NEW Interface

Over the past holiday break, Infobase Learning, owners of Learn 360, undertook an expansive update project that included a complete rebuild of the existing Learn360 platform and interface. Navigation within the site has been improved to allow searching several different areas of interest from the main search page. Take a few minutes and review a few of those changes listed below.

  • Main page – ‘sliders’ giving thumbnail views of of available streaming clips/full length videos in categories of subject browse, featured this month, most popular and Learn360 Interface updaterecently added content.
  • Featured this Month – includes content for timely topics in history for each day of the month.
  • Browse Subjects – lists content of up to 15 high level producers.
  • New interface supports a “responsive design’ format that will auto format based on the device being used (computer, tablet, smartphone etc).
  • Google Translate available for all textual elements of the site
  • Navigation – subject index
    • Within each subject there is a separate landing page with sort options
    • A ‘save search’ option is available for subject searches
    • Search results can now be exported
    • Shared links – 3 levels available that include an authentication layer
  • Closed captioning and interactive transcripts included on all new content (approximately 5,000 full videos now connected to interactive transcripts)
  • Accessibility for the site has been improved and meets ADA requirements
  • Web Channel Content – web content that can be integrated into assignments setup on Learn360.
  • Full support for the Standards

Check out the Learn360 introductory video for more details –

Learn360 is part of the Iowa AEA Online suite of resources available via – 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.

Summer Reading Program with MackinVIA

Teachers and parents know that with the joy of summer also comes thMackinVIA webinar small flyere lazy days of potential Summer Slide. Sitting idle for as long as three months could potentially undo the gains made throughout the year and affect how successfully a student will adjust to the coming new school year.

According to a report from the National Summer Learning Association, kids who do not read over the summer can set a classroom back significantly. “A conservative estimate of lost instructional time is approximately two months or roughly 22 percent of the school year.” They go further to point out that it’s common for teachers to spend at least a month re-teaching material that students have forgotten over the summer. That month of re-teaching eliminates a month that could have been spent on teaching new information and skills.

So, let’s avoid the slippery slope of summer slide. Encourage your students to keep SummerReading_Journal_coverreading all summer long with eBooks available through your MackinVIA library.

A webinar giving details about the features of MackinVIA and the summer reading website was held on April 9th.   The archived version of this webinar is available here:

Your summer reading website is found here:

For questions regarding this summer reading program please contact one of the AEA 267 Librarians, Jane Frizzell, Cheryl Carruthers or Barb Shafer, Special Education Consultant.

Happy Reading!


Introduce your students to coding with robots.

AEA 267 Lending Library has several robots that can be checked out and delivered to your school building.

The use of robots in the classroom allow students to use the skills developed through learning to code; problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration, along with their sharpened math and science skills in a hand’s-on environment. These robots allow students the opportunity to develop their pre-coding and coding skills in the physical world.

Dot DashDot & Dash  (Grades K-12) The newest editions to the robot line.  These robots are designed to provide a range of experiences for different ages.  Younger students learn coding through a visual interface that weaves in music, stories, and animation.  Middle students use Blockly to write code through the visual interface.  Older students can write code and build apps for iOS and Android using the API.

951096_beebot1Bee-Bot  (Grades PK-2)  This robot, created by the Terrapin company (creators of Logo), is designed for young children and can receive up to forty commands that are entered through simple directional keys on the top of the bee.  There are a wide range of curriculum, accessories, and mats to help integrate Bee-Bot across the curriculum.

951098_spheroSphero  (Grades 2-12) This programmable ball that pairs with a smartphone or tablet, has a play interface for younger students.  Allows middle students to program the Sphero ball through the Macrolab app with the Scratch-like interface.  Older students can program Sphero through orbBasic for Sphero.  Use the Nubby Cover to compare force and distance in physics-related experiments.

951099_reconReCon 6.0 Programmable Rover  (Grades 3-8) Program missions for your Rover using the microphone, speaker, lights.  The Rover will take directions by 45 or 90 degrees and distances in inches or feet.  Great for calculating distances and converting measurements.

951097_probotPro-Bot  (Grades 3-8) The “older-sibling” to the Bee-Bot.  The Pro-Bot is another Logo product that is programmed by the buttons on the top.  This bot allows you to enter the distance and degrees for movement. The option to insert a pen makes this a great tool for Geometry and art, among other subjects.

Contact Michelle Cowell, Instructional Technology Consultant, for more information on robots and coding in the classroom.

Digital “footprints” and 21st Century Skills standards

By Jane Frizzell, AEA 267 Librarian

In the 21st Century, for most people a significant part of their personal security and privacy may be tied to their digital footprint. What does that mean? It’s the trail, traces or “footprints” that people leave online. So that means anytime you do or write something online, there will remain a trace even if you delete it. These traces may not only include things we do for personal recreation like Facebook posts, but also financial and legal information.

Here’s a fun exercise. Do a Google search on your name and the city that you live in – use quotes around your name, like “John Doe” Anytown, IA. See what you get. Is the information accurate? Are there things there you didn’t expect to see?

MyDigitalFootprint for November 25Now think of this in terms of young people who are constantly connected digitally through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. What kind of digital footprint are they leaving? Is it information that may affect a future educational or employment opportunity? This makes practicing good digital citizenship all the more critical. Young people shouldn’t be discouraged from active participation in social media, but they do need to be taught to do it thoughtfully and responsibly.

In Iowa schools this is being addressed through the Iowa Core Curriculum 21st Century Skills standards. These standards cover things such as how to safely and effectively communicate using technology and how to ethically use information. AEA 267 provides resources to support this instruction, such as the CyberSmarts eBook series available through the MackinVIA portal. If you are interested in these resources for your child, contact your school’s teacher librarian or any AEA 267 library media specialist.

To learn more about the impact of the use of technology by young people in the 21st Century, view the video “Digital Dossier” at Another excellent resource is the book, Born Digital: Understanding the First Generation Digital Natives by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser.

The above article was also posted in the Inside Education section of the Marshalltown Times-Republican newspaper.

For additional questions regarding your digital footprint, please contact Jane Frizzell at AEA 267.

Extend Learning with AEA Digital Resources

Summer seems to have flown by and we are looking ahead to a new an exciting school year in 2014-15. The AEA 267 digital materials are available online, 24/7, so that learning can continue to grow all year long! All of these materials are available via the AEA 267 GetMedia website.


MackinVIA_Logo_CONCEPT Practice reading skills: Students can access eBooks using MackinVIA. There are eBooks available for all grade levels and reading abilities. Many of your students may already have Backpacks set up within MackinVIA to save and check-out their favorite titles, or students may login to Mack­inVIA with their school building username and password.



BookFLIX (Grades PreKUntitled-1 – 3) and TrueFLIX (Grades 3 – 6) provide nonfiction eBook resources with read along capabilities. Lexile levels are provided for each book. Video extensions are provided for quality children’s literature titles on BookFLIX and motivational video clips are found within TrueFLIX.


Britannica Splash page for front pg article

Other Cultures and Places: Students can extend their learning about places next door or around the world by looking up information on the Britannica Online encyclopedia or Culture­Grams. These resources may also be accessed via mobile devices!


EducatorsReference complete

Taking a class: There are thousands of professional journal articles available to educators through the Gale databases. Many of these articles are available full-text so no need to travel to the university library to access articles. Click on the Educators Tab on the Gale portal.


Planning for the school year:

Teachingbooks is an easy-to-use website that adds a multimedia dimension to the reading experiences of children’s and young adult books. This online database is developed and maintained to include thousands of resources about fiction and nonfiction books and authors used in the K-12 environment for all disciplines and has been correlated to the Iowa Core Standards.


Iowaartonline_artIowa AEA Online resources are available on the state-wide website at Each school building has a unique username and password for access. Please contact your building teacher librarian if you do not know your username/password or you may contact one of the AEA 267 librarians.

Khan Academy resources available through Medianet Catalog

Khan LogoThe Khan Academy library of content covers math and science topics such as biology, chemistry, and physics, and even reaches into the humanities with playlists on finance and history.   AEA 267 has added the Khan Academy content to our online catalog, so that Khan videos will appear in your search results, along with other media items that relate to your search topic.

You may also search for their titles alone by using the drop down Multimedia box and selecting Khan Academy.

Catalog screen shotWhat is Khan Academy?

Many of you may have heard of it already.    Khan Academy is a not-for-profit with the goal of changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education for anyone anywhere.   All of their resources are completely free forever, regardless of whether you’re a student, teacher, home-schooler, principal or anyone!   Khan Academy is supported by donors across the world, including the Bill  & Melinda Gates Foundation.  Individuals may donate to this cause too!

Uses of Khan Academy

Students can sign up and take math pretests, then practice and level up their skills! Or choose from thousands of lessons to learn something new. Students may then select an avatar and show off badges on their profile.

Coaches can access a coach’s dashboard. Whether they are coaching one or hundreds, or are a parent, mentor or teacher, the coach dashboard provides you the insight you need to best support each learner’s progress.

Educators may check out the resources to take Khan Academy to the next level in their classroom or school. The toolkit provides ideas, materials and inspiring stories from teachers who share how they’ve integrated Khan Academy into their classrooms.

Khan Academy is a true global classroom.   The founder of Khan Academy says;

“I teach the way that I wish I was taught. The lectures are coming from me, an actual human being who is fascinated by the world around him.”—Sal

For questions regarding the Khan Academy or any of the other media resources available through AEA 267, please contact one of our teacher librarians. PreK-12 reading resource

Teachingbooks logo is an easy-to-use website that adds a multimedia dimension to the reading experiences of children’s and young adult books for PreK-12 teachers. This online database is developed and maintained to include thousands of resources about fiction and nonfiction books used in the K–12 environment, with every resource selected to encourage the integration of multimedia author and book materials into reading and library activities. It includes additional resources to support students growing reading skills and interests.

This is a resource that can provide teachers with materials such as:

  • Video interviews with authors            
  • Brief readings from books by authors
  • Teaching resources and lesson plans helps with your Common Core instructional shifts by…

  • Identifying exceptional and relevant books for your classroom,
  • Providing ready-to-use instructional materials for each text to expose your students to a range of text types, formats, cultural perspectives, and authoritative information as suggested by the Common Core Standards.

Explore uses of to promote the Iowa Award Book titles for this year:

ICCA logoGoldfinchlogoITA Logo

  • Iowa Goldfinch Award, 2013-2014, Grades PreK-3
  • Iowa Children’s Choice Award, 2013-2014, Grades 3-6
  • Iowa Teen Award, 2013-2014, Grades 6-9
  • Iowa High School Book Award, 2013-2014, Grades 9-12

How to access:

• Go to the Iowa AEA Online site:

There are two ways to access this resource:

  • Under Teacher Resources in the upper right corner, click on the link
  • Click on link within the orange menu on the left side of the web page.

There are two ways to login to this resource.

  • Login with your school building username/password for the Iowa AEA Online resources.
  • Teachers may identify themselves with their school building, and then set up individual accounts using your school email account.

For additional information on, contact one of the AEA 267 librarians.

Teachingbooks login