19 December 2007

Christmas Wishes to Everyone!

Special Christmas greetings to all the readers of Bibliosphere News.

We wish you a safe, happy and Holy Christmas and trust that 2008 is a good year for you and your school library.

This is also the last post for this blog..which started in May 2006 as a way to connect with Teacher Librarians in the Parramatta Diocese. The audience of the blog grew; others joined me in writing items of interest or reporting on events and happenings; and we acquired a world-wide audience. That's the magic of the Web 2.0 world!!

We've enjoyed writing, and we've enjoyed your company. Thank you.

As our system of schools will no longer have a specialist Education Officer dedicated to supporting school libraries in 2008 and beyond, Bibliosphere News is now officially closed!

I will continue to write and comment on all things Library and Web 2.0 on my own professional blog at Heyjude.

I would like to particularly thank Marita Thomson, Jan Radford and Lisa Nash who each helped contribute to Bibliosphere News in 2007 - they are true Library 2.0 librarians! Keep the passion girls!

May the peace of the new-born Christ empower and inspire all that you do in 2008.


27 November 2007

Leading Learning Through the School Library

Ross Todd presented this full day seminar, Leading learning through the school library: Part 11: Transforming information into deep knowledge and did not disappoint. Syba Signs has done a great job of facilitating leading edge events over the last year. Long may they continue.

For the full story go to CISSL where you can link through to Guided Inquiry, and get details of Carol Kuhlthau's new book. But here are a few of the thoughts from the day that stayed with me. Apologies if I am miss quoting Ross here, but there are some lines that I know I can't have got wrong as he repeated them so often:

Have a vision for your library. What can you see? Practice stems from vision.

Position yourself in the knowledge commons.

Do not be accomplices to mediocrity.

Engage with disciplinary knowledge.

Do not water rocks.

At the end of the day Teacher Librarian Lee Fitzgerald of Loreto Kirribilli gave an excellent overview of Guided Inquiry as practiced in her school this year. Practice is the proof of the pudding and the place to really learn about this process for us all. For a taste of this see the article Guided Inquiry the KISS Way in aisNSW Teacher librarian Newsletter, Term 4, 2007

Finally, those promised pics.

Standards for the 21st Century Learner

Ross Todd referred to this document at last week's Syba Signs Seminar Leading Learning Through the School Library Part II. Launched last month by the American Association of School Librarians, Standards for the 21st Century Learner starts with nine common beliefs:
  • Reading is a window to the world.
  • Inquiry provides a framework for learning.
  • Ethical behavior in the use of information must be taught.
  • Technology skills are crucial for future employment needs.
  • Equitable access is a key component for education.
  • The definition of information literacy has become more complex as resources and technologies have changed.
  • The continuing expansion of information demands that all individuals acquire the thinking skills that will enable them to learn on their own.
  • Learning has a social context.
  • School libraries are essential to the development of learning skills.

You can download an eight page colour version of the Standards (link above). Well worth reading.

And whilst looking for a link to Ross I came across this fabulous School Library Journal cover and article: Ross to the Rescue! about the quest to renew school libraries. It is by SLJ's Editor in Chief Brian Kenney from April, 2006.

19 November 2007

Life After powerpoint – 50 Ways

Participate in the free K12 Online Conference

If you are weary of seeing student tasks presented in PowerPoint then I am with you. This is not to say that kids aren't pretty good at using the software. I have seen lots of student engagement working on PPT presentations, plenty of scope for peer learning and real experience of design principles - usually implicit. But there are plenty of other fun ways of presenting in our Web 2.0 world and Alan Levine has tried 50 of them.

Linked to another K12Online07 presentation, Alan has had a go at telling the same story in 50 different ways and the result, Dominoe 50 Ways, is a ready made menu for you to sample. If you prefer to start another way you could go a classified list of names and descriptions of the Story Tools. This also has a few examples of each. For a more guided narrative experience take yourself (and maybe a friend) through Alan's workshop 50 Web 2.0 Ways to Tell a Story.

Now, all tools are not created equal, but part of the learning is about finding the right one for your purpose. Explore and enjoy, and try letting some kids lose with this list. Below is my own first attempt at using Animoto:

16 November 2007

This blog's reading level is...

cash advance

Now this may rank with those surveys you do in magazines that you claim not to buy, or it might be based on an authentic readability formula, but it is lots of fun regardless. And particularly because this blog is apparently awesome ...or just very difficult to read.

Find it here. It also works on Livejournal, Facebook, Myspace profiles and most websites, apparently. I saw it at bookboy, which is a nice blog to follow.

12 November 2007

Voices around the world

Sometimes it is interesting to know how we find stuff.
Judy posted in HeyJude about an mp3 creator and mentioned the sound was better in Voki. So I checked out Voki. There, in the bottom right corner was the image below, referring to the September task. Well I just HAD to go there, didn't I! And then I found the other tasks. So, thank you Judy!

Voices around the world is a class project from students at Dundee High School in Scotland. Each month they set a different project, using different Web 2.0 appplications. I loved the national anthems last month, and the month before they used Voki to record messages to hear each other's languages.
Have a look - It brought a smile to my face and although it is a HS project, the contributors are from Grade 1 up.
This time they are using Onetruemedia to create a slideshow.

Have fun! Let us know if you contribute.

Jan, who will be back at Delany next Monday!

31 October 2007

A Mirror to Practice - K12Online2007

Participate in the free K12 Online Conference

Well, the K12 Online Conference has finished for another year, and I didn't get very involved for all the usual reasons/excuses. But all is not lost if you have the slightest clue how to use iTunes - yes, it is on your computer so just open it. Then go to the store and search for k12online07. This will take you straight to the download page for both audio and video podcasts from the conference. I recommend subscribing to both if you use an mp3 player as you can sample the sessions that look promising via audio and later watch presentations which are of special interest.

The K12 Online 2007 Blog will provide you with information about each session. Browse the categories on the sidebar or search for what you are seeking. You can bypass iTunes by listening/viewing straight from the blog, and check out any related links.

My first recommendation is NZer Derek Wenmoth's keynote Holding a Mirror to Professional Practice. Derek is a teacher educator and gives a fine presentation about his research into the connection between teacher beliefs, intentions and professional practice in the use of ICT. They have some interesting programs going which are worth hearing about, but the absolute best thing is their EPS - Educational Positioning System. This is a free to use online tool which takes you through a series of reflections on your teaching practice with ICT.

The result is a map of various elements - beliefs about teaching, use of ICT, relative success in achieving outcomes and obstacles to practice. My map is below, along with my hastily written reflection. In fact I think my practice looks better in the map than it really is, but it was completing the EPS that alerted me to many of the flaws in what I was doing. These included fairly tenuous links between technology used and outcomes, and a sad lack of opportunity for students to really be creative (represented by those stunted yellow shrubs). I completely mucked up the questions about infrastructure impediments so have no rocky passages in my river of practice.

I learned a lot from this and will go back to it when I think I have worked on some of the issues. But do watch Derek's presentation. It is well done, moves along at pace and will explain much better than I have about the EPS.

21 October 2007

Travelling Librarian

Hyperactive Parramatta Diocese TL (and Bibliosphere News contributor) Jan Radford from Delany College, has not been content to develop a range of traditional and Web 2.0 services in her library. Now she has become the virtual librarian, for a few weeks anyway, as she visits the world, and a good few school libraries along the way.

You can follow Jan's progress via blog - Delany Library News - or listen to her voice messages on the Library Home Page. Make sure you check out Library Thing (I've linked to the cover view), Delicious, the Book Club Blog and other great things going on at Delany Library.

16 October 2007

New Imagery for Schools and Schooling: ACEL 2007

I was lucky enough to attend this Australian Council for Educational Leaders Conference in Sydney last week with several colleagues from my school, and also met up with a bunch of Teacher Librarians from other Sydney schools. It was a most stimulating event with a few items seeming to resonate from multiple voices amongst presenters.

Perhaps the highlight was the much anticipated dual presentation from Andy Hargreaves and Michael Fullen. I think Andy hit the nail on the head when he noted having heard Kevin Rudd the day before pledge a Rudd Government to an agenda of improved literacy as a priority. Now literacy is of course A GOOD THING, but Hargreaves points out that Australia is second only to Finland in literacy, according to latest OECD Pisa results. So why is it that this is always the cry of the politicians and the media?

What is it that any Australian Government should be making a priority in education? My answer would be science (we do fairly well in scientific literacy in Pisa as well, but this doesn't transfer to science graduates), or perhaps technology infrastructure for schools, but presumably these would take a little more work to sell. What would be your educational priority?

Other high points for me included the presentations of Michael Furdyk - an inspiring keynote from a 25 year old Canadian entrepreneur; Peter Senge via video link from Boston; Heidi Hayes Jacobs from the US on curriculum mapping; Andrew Fraser from Parramatta Diocese on innovation in schools; and TLs Di Laycock and Linda Gibson Langford on teacher collaboration and online community building, particularly with reference to their coordination of CAR-TL for ASLA NSW.

To view many of the presentations go to the ACEL 2007 Conference Website.

The Connected Library: A Handbook for Engaging Users

This timely book by Suzette Boyd is a must read for all library staff. Slim enough to be manageable in these days of information overload, I found this book affirmed many of my current practices but more importantly inspired me to reach a bit further. There are first all those things I always meant to do but didn't quite get to and then the more difficult area of taking a few risks. I think what is obvious or correct or a risk will vary from one library to another, but Suzette's book is an excellent place to find your next project.

To be a bit more specific, I like the suggestions for reading programs and promotion and the very good advice on going about improving (or inventing) your web site. But there is also lots to absorb about planning, research into practice, and knowing your stakeholders.

This book is good reading and very manageable. Go on, order it today, or borrow a copy. Your local public library will probably buy it if you ask.

28 September 2007

INKYS shortlists announced 24/9

Here is an ideal Term 4 promotion -
Ideal because there are only 6 books at the tail end of the budget year
Ideal because the books are all very attractive to students - they picked them after all.
Ideal because students get to do it - does not need a lot of input once it is up and running
Ideal because the books appeal across the years
And at last students get to vote for international books as well.....

At Delany the Book Club is promoting the INKYS and they have a jar - register your vote online and also in the Library jar. How else will we know what our readers liked?

14 September 2007

New resources @ TLRU

The Design Way : intentional change in an unpredictable world : foundations and fundamentals of design competence.
by Harold G. Nelson & Erik Stolterman
Educational Technology Publications (December 2002)
745.401 NEL

Developing the new learning environment : the changing role of the academic librarian.
edited by Phillipa Levy and Sue Roberts
London : Facet Publishing, 2005.
"This key text captures and critically discusses the librarian's changing learning support role in an educational context, providing guidance and practical support. Written by acknowledged experts across a broad range of roles in the new academic environment, it challenges thinking in this area as well as offering practice-based advice." "This book is essential reading for practitioners at every level within the higher education and further education sectors, including information specialists, learning support professionals, academic liaison coordinators and subject specialists, academic service managers and heads of library and information services. It is also a valuable resource for all other professionals involved in the delivery of learning support, and for students of LIS and of education."
Introduction. The challenge for the academic librarian / Philippa Levy and Sue Roberts -- 1. The policy framework: a critical review / Peter Brophy -- 2. Pedagogy in a changing environment / Philippa Levy -- 3. Literacies and learning / Dorothy Williams -- 4. Key issues in the design and delivery of technology-enhanced learning / Allison Littlejohn -- 5. New professional identities and practices for learner support / Sue Roberts -- 6. New academic teams / Sue Roberts, Mark Schofield and Ruth Wilson -- 7. Responding to the e-learning imperative / Susannah Quinsee -- 8. Information literacy education in practice / Judith Peacock -- 9. The inclusion agenda and its impact on practice / Joan Chapman, Gail McFarlane and Stuart Macwilliam -- 10. A kaleidoscope of change: how library management can support the development of new learning environments / Philip Payne -- 11. (E)merging professional identities and practices / Sue Roberts and Philippa Levy.
027.7 DEV

Luke: Storyteller, Interpreter, Evangelist (Paperback)
by Mikeal C. Parsons
Educational Technology Publications (December 2002)
226.406 PAR

10 September 2007

The Inkys! A teenage book choice award

Insideadog website from the State Library of Victoria is a great literature resource for your school or public library - and now the Inkys have just made it even better!

The Inkys are Australia's first teenage choice book award.

There are two awards - the Golden Inky for an Australian book, and the Silver Inky for an International book.

It all starts with the longlist - 10 Australian books and 10 International. Then the panel of 6 judges will whittle it down to a shortlist of 3 Australian and 3 international books.

Information for teachers and teacher librarians is also available.

Don't forget to vote.

03 September 2007

Write-A-Book-In-A-Day - Amazing!

Write-a-Book-in-a-Day is a fundraising initiative of the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre and Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation. Write-a-Book-in-a-Day is a one-day writing marathon where sponsored teams will write a children's book in a day, raising funds equally for KSPWC and Children's Hospitals in each Australian State. Additionally a copy of each finished book will be donated to the hospital library.

This fabulous initiative, Write-A-Book-In-A-Day, resulted in incredible collaboration amongst students in Australian schools as they met the challenge to create an imaginative fully illustrated book - all in one day!!

Several schools in the Parramatta Dioese joined the competition this year as their way of celebrating Australia's Book Week.

Take the opportunity to check out the fabulous examples of the work at the Marian College Learning and Resource Centre.

They have made their books available to download and enjoy - you will be amazed at the quality, variety, and completeness of these final products developed totally in one day! Other books from around the country are being added to the

No time?
Then just spend a few minutes looking at and listening to the students Write-a-Book-In-A-Day VoiceThread which you will find at the bottom of the page. Press play and listen to their Voice Thread!!