Thursday, August 17, 2017

Chromebook Useful Special Characters, including French, Spanish and more...

To do diacriticals/accents on a Chromebook:
  • Set up the input methods one time:
1.    Click on user icon -> Settings -> scroll down, Show Advanced -> Languages -> Customize languages and input...
2.    Under "Input method" check the "US International Keyboard" checkbox (Leave "US Keyboard" checked as well)
3.    Click the "Add" button
4.    Select "French"
5.    Also check the “US Extended Keyboard”

When you’re done, your languages screens should look like these:

  • Exit the settings page.  There will now be a little "US" between the clock and the network 
          connection indicator in the lower right corner.
  • Go to the page/Doc where you want to do international input.
  • Use left-alt + left-shift;
the "US" in the corner will change to "INTL" or “EXTD” or “FR” -- pick “INTL”
  • At this point, you can use the right "Alt" key as a modifier:
for example, Right-Alt + e = é (with aigu accent)
  • When you are done, left-alt + left-shift will set it back to "US"
(and right alt will just be alt again)

To enable Caps Lock: leftalt-search (magnifying glass key)

- While in INTL (with French enabled) mode:

backtick-e makes an è (grave)
rightalt-e makes an é (aigu)
backtick-a makes à
rightalt-a makes á
rightalt-5 makes (Euro)
rightalt-c makes ç (cedille)
rightshift-6 then a makes â (circonflexe)

- leftalt-shift to change keyboard to “EXTD” and then:

rightalt-q makes a ä
rightalt-r makes a ë
rightalt-j makes a ï
rightalt-p makes a ö
rightalt-y makes a ü

Spanish (either mode):
rightalt-n makes ñ
shift-rightalt-1 makes a ¡
rightalt-? makes a ¿

Large reference:
English (USA Extended) Alt-Key mappings
Top Row:
1 ¹
2 ²
3 ³
4 ¤
5 €
6 (or dead key for hacek)
7 dead key for various high hook characters: ư ơ
8 dead key for various high hook characters: ų ǫ
9 ‘ayn ???
0 unknown
- ¥
= ×
~ dead key for tilda: ñ Ǹ
! ¡
@ dead key? unknown pairings
# dead key for ē ā bar over: kitāb
$ £
% dead key for cedilla: ç ş Ş
^ ¼
& ½
* ¾
( dead key for breve: ŏ ŭ
) unknown
_ dead key for dot under: ọ ḥ; e.g., Muḥammad
+ ÷
Second Row:
q ä
w å
e é
r ë
t þ (Icelandic thorn)
y ü
i í
o ó
p ö
[ «
] »
\ ¬
T Þ (Icelandic Thorn)
{ “
} ”
| ¦
Third Row:
a á
s ß (schloss s)
d ð (eth)
f f
g g
h h
j ï
k œ
l ø
; ¶
' dead key for acute accent (case insensitive: áÁ éÉ íÍ óÓ úÚ
S ß
D Ð (capital Eth)
: ° (degree sign)
" dead key for umlaut (case insensitive): äÄ ëË ïÏ öÖ üÜ
Fourth Row:
z æ
x œ
c ©
v ®
b b
n ñ
m µ
, ç
. dead key for dot over: ȧ ė ṅṄ
/ ¿
C ©
V ®
M unknown
< Ç
> dead key for hacek (case insensitive): ǒ Ǒ
? dead key for unknown diacritic: ả ỏ


Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Charlottesville Libraries Weather Violent Protests, Offer Unity

Charlottesville Libraries Weather Violent Protests, Offer Unity

Public and college libraries alike faced challenges and tough choices this weekend in Charlottesville, VA, when clashes between white nationalist demonstrators and counterprotesters took place on the campus of the University of Virginia (UVA) and across the city, leaving three dead and 34 injured.
White nationalists from across the country gathered at Emancipation Park early Saturday morning, many of them bearing Confederate flags and sporting Nazi symbols. Counterprotesters, who included representation from religious groups and Black Lives Matter activists, turned out in force as well. Confrontations between the two groups escalated into taunts and then turned physical. Police evacuated the park, but confrontations still continued on downtown side streets as local police stood by.
A car smashed into a group of some 100 counterprotesters on a pedestrian mall, injuring 19 and killing Heather D. Heyer. The driver, allegedly identified as James Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, OH, was charged with second-degree murder, among other charges. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency.
The American Library Association (ALA) issued a statement condemning the incidents, saying, in part, “The vile and racist actions and messages of the white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups in Charlottesville are in stark opposition to the ALA’s core values. No matter the venue or the circumstance, we condemn any form of intimidation or discrimination based on culture, ethnicity, gender, nationality, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Our differences should be celebrated, and mutual respect and understanding should serve as the norms within our society.”
The Jefferson Madison Regional Library (JMRL) had decided in advance to close its Central Library in downtown Charlottesville, as downtown streets would be closed off and large crowds were anticipated. “The Board regrets having to close the library, but in the interest of safety for library staff and visitors it seemed closing the building was the prudent thing to do,” the July 24 statement read.
When staff opened the library on the morning of August 10, the Thursday before the rally, they found two signs with white supremacist messages on the building’s front door, which were quickly removed.
Park barricades were dropped off that Thursday afternoon, and the streets around the library—which is adjacent to Emancipation Park—closed at 5 p.m. on Friday. “We moved our porch garbage cans inside, moved our library vehicles (delivery trucks and van) away, curtailed library delivery activity downtown, and shut the Wi-Fi off to discourage people congregating on the property on Saturday,” JMRL assistant director Krista Farrell told LJ. “The local police removed the bricks around the library’s front garden earlier Saturday so that they couldn’t be used for harm.”
Director John Halliday stayed in the building all day on Saturday to monitor the activity outside and update staff. Although the original plan was for Farrell to spell him at lunchtime, Halliday texted her that morning telling her to stay home. The park was already filling with heavily armed men in militia-type camouflage who were not with the state or local police or the National Guard, he reported, and a large crowd was gathering.
The library had given law enforcement permission to use its loading dock area, which opens onto the park, and offered officers restroom and electricity access. Later in the afternoon, after the assembly had been declared unlawful and most of the crowds had left the area, Halliday emailed, “With Market Street and Emancipation Park nearly empty, I invited a few state troopers to come in and cool off, then a few more, now the library is full of exhausted, overheated police and soldiers. They are really knocked out.”
The building did not sustain any damage. And when the library opened Monday morning, its customary “Libraries are for everyone” sign was posted prominently in front. Refreshments were provided for customers and staff, and the children’s department staff set up a “Cville Strength” Popsicle stick mural, where patrons could write comments about what makes their community stronger.
JMRL has received numerous calls and emails of support, and libraries across the country have organized gatherings in solidarity with the Charlottesville community from Bedminster, NJ, to Danbury, CT, to the Maumee branch of the Toledo–Lucas County Public Library, OH—hometown of Fields, the alleged driver of the car in Charlottesville. A panel discussion of four local women politicians held on Sunday at the Champaign Public Library, IL, led off with a moment of silence for Heyer. Afterward, Champaign County NAACP President Patricia Avery said, “Looking at what has happened in the last couple of days, it is a participatory democracy. So we must participate, and that is where we get our strength.”
“I think we are all grateful that it wasn’t much worse, given the number of heavily armed people in tight quarters and the number of violent clashes and skirmishes we saw,” Farrell told LJ.
The confrontations at UVA came a week before students were set to arrive for the beginning of the fall semester. In a statement released early Saturday morning, University President Teresa Sullivan said, “The University supports the First Amendment rights to free speech and peaceable assembly. Acts of violence, however, are not protected by the First Amendment. Violence and bigotry are not political positions. We strongly condemn intimidating and abhorrent behavior intended to strike fear and sow division in our community.”
UVA libraries could not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Monday, Texas A&M University administration canceled a White Lives Matter rally that had been scheduled for September 11. In a press release, the event’s organizer—a former Texas A&M University student—had included the slogan “Today Charlottesville, Tomorrow Texas A&M.” University officials cited safety concerns in their decision.
Before the events of Saturday afternoon, student members of the UVA Graduate Student Coalition for Liberation had mobilized to gather resources for a Libguide to educate users about Charlottesville’s history of white supremacy. The Charlottesville Syllabus provides contemporary and archival primary and secondary sources, including articles, books, a documentary, databases, and a list of terms for discussing white supremacy (“additional resources” contained in the syllabus are not available online, but can be found on JSTOR, at the UVA library, or for purchase).
Although the syllabus is not officially sanctioned by UVA, according to its website it “seeks to explore the local historical and contemporary precedents for this gathering; to give it history and context; to denounce it; and to amplify the voices of community members most affected by this ‘alt-right’ occupation of our community space. These resources are key to contextualizing the ‘alt-right’ and their racist motivations. The ‘alt-right’ have been working to distance themselves rhetorically from old-fashioned racist groups like the KKK, and it is essential that we do not let them falsify the narrative of white supremacy in Charlottesville and in this country.”
Additional resources for librarians and educators can be found at #CharlottesvilleCurriculum.

Monday, July 31, 2017

A convenient App for Back To School Season: Click to Dictate for Chrome

It does exactly what it says on Windows and Mac OS when using Chrome,  and works well on Chromebooks.  
Students with typing or spelling challenges will love it.  
Note: Mac OS has its own built in dictation app, which recognizes many world languages. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Hillary Clinton Delivers Powerful Talk At American Library Association

June 27, 2017

As the closing speaker of the 2017 ALA Conference in Chicago, Il, the former secretary of state describes librarians and libraries as invaluable

Hillary Rodham Clinton, on librarians making a difference: 

An estimated 3,200 conference goers arrived well before the 10 a.m. Closing General Session at the American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference and Exhibition on Tuesday to hear the former First Lady and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee speak.
Clinton touched on topics ranging from fake news to resilience to literacy and reading to censorship. And hiking. “After this election, one of the things that helped me most—aside from long walks in the woods and the occasional glass of chardonnay—was once again going back to the familiar experience of losing myself in books,” she said.
She cited three reasons why the country needs librarians and libraries now more than ever.
First, she said, “reading changes lives.” She recalled the excitement of getting her first library card: “When I got that library card, it felt like I had been handed a passport to the world.” Clinton discussed the empathy built from reading fiction and the benefits to brain health and education success from reading in general. She noted Marley Dias’s 1,000 Black Girl Books campaign and the We Need Diverse Books campaign.
The second reason why libraries are needed more than ever, said Clinton, is because “they are places for communities to come together.” As a gathering space for all people and as a technology hub for internet access, job training, and small business help, “the library becomes an irreplaceable resource,” she said. Clinton mentioned an elementary school in Wisconsin that had to cancel an event in support of transgender students because of threats from a hate group and said it was the local public library that stepped up and hosted a reading event in support. “What a powerful message that sent,” she said. “Because as librarians, you go above and beyond every day to serve the needs of the people living in your communities.”
The third reason the nation needs libraries, said Clinton, is because “we need critical thinkers now more than ever.” Long before fake news and alternative facts, she said, librarians were teaching media literacy in libraries and classrooms throughout the country. She quoted her former colleague Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) who used to say “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts.”
She called librarians the “guardians of the First Amendment and the freedom to read and to speak…. I believe libraries and democracy go hand in hand.”
She ended her nearly 30-minute talk with a powerful message to attendees: “As librarians, you have to be on the front lines of one of the most important fights we have faced in the history of our country: the fight to defend truth and reason and evidence and facts. You have to help us wage that fight one book at a time, one library at a time, one person at a time.”
Without the exposure to books in school and at the local public library in her hometown of Park Ridge, Illinois, Clinton said she would not have been as successful as she is today. She said that librarians are changing lives every day. “Even when it’s hard, even when it feels thankless, please know you are making a difference.” She thanked librarians and encouraged them not to give up. “You’re really standing up for tens of millions of others who need your advocacy, your voice, your quiet commitment. I’m with you.”

Friday, May 5, 2017

Book pairing @

From Richard Byrd's excellent blog

CommonLit is a free service that helps teachers by providing thematic questions for a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction articles. The discussion questions on CommonLit aren't your typical "how does the author use foreshadowing?" kind of questions. Rather the discussion questions deal with larger themes like "how do we define the roles of men and women?" and "why do people follow the crowd?" 

This week CommonLit introduced a new feature that they call Book Pairings. Book Pairings provides teachers with a collection of short articles to supplement the books that their students are reading. The articles and accompanying questions are intended to help students draw connections between the books they're reading and real life events and issues. For example, the pairing for Animal Farm include articles about herd behavior and the Russian Revolution.