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Ledyard Middle School Library

Privacy Settings

When is the last time you checked the Privacy Settings on you phone or tablet?  Do not let apps access your private information or location unless you know it is safe. Did you know you can turn off Location Services for apps to protect yourself?  Turning off Location Services will also save your battery life.


Using Images Correctly: Citation & Creative Commons

If you need an image for. research projects, blog posts, videos or presentations, you need to check the licensing AND give credit (attribution) if you are allowed to use it.

Using Images Correctly

Did you know the images and pictures you download from Google Images (or other image search) are protected by copyright law? You cannot use them freely in your own work. You need to check the permissions for the images you plan to use.
There are 3 ways to avoid stealing images from the internet:
  1. Create your own images - see below.
  2. Use Creative Commons Images - next week I will share more about this.
  3. Pay for the images - can be expensive.
How can you create your own images?
Draw, paint, illustrate (if using in a digital project snap a picture to upload)
Use a digital tool like Canva, Google Drawing, Adobe Spark or MS Paint 
  • Be careful not upload a copyrighted image into the image you are creating.
Take your own photograph. You can take pictures of almost anything but here are some guidelines:
  • You do NOT need permission to take and use a picture of an object.
  • You do NOT need permission if it’s a photo of a person at a PUBLIC EVENT and you’re using it for editorial purposes (newspaper article, educational publication).

  • You do NOT need permission if it’s a photo of a person, but they are NOT RECOGNIZABLE in the photo.

  • You DO need permission if it’s a recognizable photo of a person.

  • You DO need permission if the photo was taken on PRIVATE PROPERTY or at a PRIVATE EVENT.

  • You MIGHT need permission if the photo is taken of STUDENTS IN SCHOOL: Their parents may have already given permission.

  • You MIGHT need permission if the photo was taken in a STORE or contains a COMPANY LOGO.

  • Free Photo Release forms can be found online.

As always, if you have questions, please ask me!
Credit: Jennifer Gonzalez @CultofPedagogy for inspiration and materials.

Know your followers on social media

Do you know who is following you on social media? If you do not recognize a person who starts following you, block them. If you recognize a person but the account looks suspicious, check directly with that person via another means (email, Instagram) to confirm it is a person you know.  
I always check my recent followers. My husband's name is Joel Smith and I recently received a notification that the account below had begun following me on Twitter. A few things alerted me that this might be a fake account: 
  1. My husband doesn't "do" Twitter. 
  2. The number 16419694 is not significant to him and not something I know he will remember.
  3. I checked his "Following" list and none of them were things my husband would be interested in.
  4. He had NO followers.
  5. There was no picture (not even a picture of something I knew he would like).  Some fake accounts do steal other people's pictures so please be careful. 
All signs pointed to this being a fake account but still I thought maybe Twitter just assigned him those numbers and maybe he did sign JUST sign up.  I texted him and asked him if he had a Twitter account and he confirmed what I suspected, that this was a fake account.  
It could have been another Joel Smith interested in following me?  Sure, but I do not know of any other Joel Smith's.  Even when I Google the name and account, I do not find one who should be following me for professional or personal reasons.
So I blocked the account. I do not need to waste my time or space in my feed with someone who is probably not even real.
If you want to block people who may not be real, or maybe someone who is just unkind, and you do not know how, ask me and I can show you how.  Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat, all allow you to block other users.  

Save time with keyboard shortcuts

Did you know your life will be SO MUCH EASIER if you learned some keyboard shortcuts? There are tons of them and they will help you work much more efficiently. Below are the ones you should definitely know. 
The Chromebook shortcut Control+Alt+? will bring up a keyboard on your screen. If you hold down the Control key you will see all the Control shortcuts on the screen.  Escape button will put that onscreen keyboard away so you can continue your work.   

Be Smart About News

Today we learned of the devastating and sad news in Las Vegas and we keep the victims and their families in our thoughts. 
It is important to remember to be smart news consumers as events and facts are unfolding. Here are some tips:
  1. Do not be constantly tuned in to the news, check in several times throughout the day.  
  2. Check several credible news sources, do not rely on social media for information.
  3. Confirm that news outlets are reporting the same thing.  Remember, news is a competition, they are trying to be the first to have the breaking story and while they strive to get it right, sometimes they make mistakes in their rush to be first.
  4. DO NOT spread conspiracy theories or speculations on social media. Do NOT spread "fake news." This hurts your reputation (your digital footprint) and harms society as a whole. 


This week I want to remind you the importance of BALANCE. Check your phone a several times a day. Remember to look up from your phone and appreciate what is happening around you.
Turn your technology off an hour before you go to sleep. The lights and activity effect how well you sleep. Lack of sleep causes many health issues (see the article below). Try it for a week and you will be more alert, maybe even happier and less anxious. Then keep it up and you will notice a permanent change!

Email Etiquette

Because I am only here one day a week and there is SO MUCH I want to share with you I plan to email students once a week with a quick tip.
This week's tip is about email etiquette. A well composed email will go far! Click this link: A few helpful email etiquette tips (less than 2 minutes!) to learn more! I promise you will impress your teachers, future employers and more with a well written email!!!