Quote of the Month

When love and skill work together, expect a miracle. John Ruskin

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Page By Page

loose-leaf...having leaves secured in book form in a cover whose spine may be opened for adding, arranging, or removing leaves

Yesterday afternoon my favorite source for interesting, professional and personal online or mobile applications, Heather Moorefield, Education Librarian and former chair of the American Association of School Librarians Best Websites for Teaching and Learning, tweeted about a website featuring instant online publication of one's writing.  This same site is mentioned in a post dated November 19, 2011 by Larry Ferlazzo, educator and blogging at Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day...   Loose Leaves caught my attention immediately for several reasons. There is no registration requirement; writing is a click away.  The site is free of charge.

To begin writing simply click on the point of the leaf, Turn over a new leaf!, indicated by the arrow.  You are taken to a new window, a writing template, for composing your work.  Your first step is to enter in a title.

Beneath the title is the tool bar including font style, alignment, indenting, paragraph style and insert item.  Your font style can be bold, in italics, underlined or the text color can be altered.  Your writing can be aligned on the left, center, right or justified.  Paragraphs can be indented, outdented, bulleted or numbered.  Their style can be normal or header 1-6 in size.    Images can be inserted via a URL.  If a portion of text is highlighted a link can be embedded with a URL plus the addition of a description which appears when moused over.
In order to change the font color or the paragraph style the text must also be highlighted.

Yesterday a query was sent over Twitter for a simple template for students giving book recommendations.  Loose Leaves presents the perfect opportunity for an easy reader's response.  Based upon a template found at ReadWriteThink.org  they might include a very brief introduction (title, author, illustrator, fiction or nonfiction, genre or subject), the hook (set up the scene including the characters, setting and beginning action or a basic overview of the subject covered), their favorite part, paragraph or line and their recommendation and why.  Have them pretend it's a script for a booktalk.

As I started to fill in the template I discovered when you want to add an image another smaller window appears giving you further options.  You have:  a space to enter in the image URL, the option to alter the size, the decision to have the text flow left, inline, block or right, the choice to have a border or not (if you do it can be solid, dashed or dotted with varying sizes and colors), the option to alter the padding, the opportunity to enter in a description of the image and a space for entering in the link URL.  I am not sure what the open in a new window does because nothing seemed to changed when I checked the box.

If you make a spelling error the word will be underlined in red.  When you have completed all the tasks, click on save (cancel is an option also).  An new screen appears giving you two URLs associated with your Loose Leaves publication.  The first is one to view, to share.  For purposes of editing and managing a second URL is shown. Make sure you write both in a secure location. Or you can enter in your email address to have them sent to you.

When you click on the view URL a new screen appears.  In the upper right hand corner are icons allowing sharing options; tweet on Twitter, share on Facebook, like on Facebook or post on Google+.  When you select the manage URL you are taken to your publication.  Click on the edit button to make any changes.  Don't forget to save.

Once again I feel so fortunate to be a part of the Twitter community.  This application, Loose Leaves, is perfect for use in an educational setting due to the no registration requirement for use.  It is simple to understand the toolbar and options offered there.  A nice feature offered by the creator of the site is a contact option on the right side of the screen.  With a click, it pops out.  Loose Leaves has found a home in my virtual toolbox.

This is the link to my Loose Leaves titled Book Recommendation.  

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