28 July 2006

Global Summit 2006 - Technology Connected Futures - and Online event

Global Summit 2006 is being held in Sydney 17-19 October.
Hosted by education.au limited, debate and discussion will be centred around the themes of:
  • Elearning in education and training
  • Careers in a connected environment
  • Designing educational web services
  • Understanding transformation in education
  • Emerging trends in a connected world.
There are many speakers of note, but I am particularly interested in Leigh Blackall, Educational Development, Otago Polytechnic, NZ.

Leigh Blackall's core interest is in education and networked learning. He works in Education Development for the Otago Polytechnic and gives presentations and workshops on networked learning to many educational organisations in Australia and New Zealand. Leigh maintains the Teach and Learn Online Web Log and facilitates the Teach and Learn Online eGroup. He also designs and develops educational resources.

Global Summit Online will take place before, during and after the Global Summit. This online event will begin on 31 July, and is for anyone interested in contributing to ideas about technology connected futures and the future of education and training.

Global Summit 2006 Online will be open to everyone for 5 weeks. From 4 September 2006 only registered Delegates and Thought Leaders will be able to access the online event.

There are discussions and debates within the forums, blogs and papers focussing on the Global Summit 2006 Themes and the paper by James Bosco - 'Tools, Culture and Education: Past - Present - Future'. This paper is aimed to stimulate discussion about the transformation of education and focus on the key issues.

26 July 2006

Talkr -- Letting blogs speak for themselves!

Now here is a genuinely interesting development - for a number of reasons that I am sure you can work out.

I visited Kathy Schrock's Kaffeeklatsch blog today (see the link under Other Blogs) and checked out Talkr.

Talkr converts text-only blogs into podcasts. In other words, Talkr provides a service that allows you to listen to your favorite text-only news sources rather than read them.

For the technically savvy, Talkr can also provide you with a podcast of your favorite news sources. This means that you can plug your MP3 player into your home computer once a day and Talkr will provide you with hours of audio content with no additional work on your part. Talkr will keep tabs on your feeds and send audio to your computer as those audio files become available.

So, you can go to Kathy Schrock's blog, as I did today, and click on Audio file of this post from Talkr. , and listen to the message rather than read the message. Can you see the potential of this?

You might also like to read or listen to Kathy Schrock's Brief overview of K-12 Podcasting. Supporting information is also available as powerpoint, pdf handout, or movie file of the same information. Something for everyone!

Which Book?

Because literacy promotion is such an important function of good library services it is always great to learn about new resources, or rediscover old resources, to help our promotion strategies. I would like to share some recent 'discoveries' demonstrated at the School Library Conference in the UK.

www.whichbook.net is a fantastic new resource for readers. Instead of starting with book titles or authors, readers start with themselves. 'I want a book that is unpredictable, very romantic and a bit sad' or 'I'd like a challenging book, with lots of sex that's also funny.' whichbook enables 20 million different combinations of factors and then suggests titles which most closely match the reader's needs.

www.4ureaders.net was developed for readers aged 11-16. The site divides into three separate sections to appeal to different audiences within the age group. School and Children's librarians worked with young readers to help plan the content of the site. The site has a fresh new look, new graphics, new colour schemes, more pages... and more to come!

You will find many other sites of interest if you explore Opening the Book: Sites to Visit.

24 July 2006

Famous Max!

Following on from the theme of creativity within our Library ranks.....don't forget to stay in touch with the Max the Monkey blog. You will find the link to MaxtheMonkey on the BibBlog blog list.

This blog was created after the first ever blog session run in the Diocese, and clearly fame has hit Max in the Blogoshere.

During the holidays Max's journey took him into the very arms of our Prime Minister ..... good work Max and Max's bloggers!(Come-on - tell us how this was orchestrated!)

Let me know if you are interested in having anything run at your school. I have been invited to Marion College to work with on an overview and introduction to Web 2.0. I hope this opportunity might help us all learn more about what we as TLs can do to promote new insights and new technologies at whole staff level.

I'm also looking forward to the LTST forum, and sharing our insights with the LTST team.

That "Library Thing"!!! and Web 2.0

I continue to be surprised and delighted by the innovative enthusiasm of some of our library professionals - and realise that perhaps the time has come not to be quite so 'quiet' about Web 2.0 technologies and their place in the world.

If the journey is still a bit confusing for you, keep an eye out for the next issue of SCAN. If all goes to plan there will be an article SCAN commissioned me to write called Engaging the Google generation through Web 2.0. The premise behind this article is to ease readers into the meaning and importance of understanding WEb 2.0 before launching into "well, what does this really mean for libraries, and what is Library 2.0??".

However, I have some great colleagues in the Parramatta Libraries who have embraced Web 2.0, and are busy responding to the opportunities/challenges. Here is another example...

Some time last term I read about Library Thing.....yet another Web 2.0 development. Didn't share this with anyone....but was thrilled to find (during morning tea at the SIRSI Unicorn Train the Trainer sessions) that Beth Ashworth has gotten right into using LibraryThing to manage her personal book collection. After suffering an unfortunate loss of her own spreadsheet setup of her resources (trust those husbands!) she has pounced on LibraryThing as the solution.

What does LibraryThing offer? It allows you to create your own library collection, and share this information with others as well. Most importantly it uses the Z39.50 protocol - and we parramatta groupies know just what this allows us to do!! Using this protocol Beth can search a global list of over 40 libraries, and import images and information from Amazon to populate her own LibraryThing collection. Beth can also add reviews, and other information, so you will find her review of Birdwing published in Fiction Focus Review also added to her LibraryThing collection. In addition, LibraryThing allows the use of Tags to organise and display information, print a spreadsheet of holdings etc.

Great work Beth. You will find Beth's LibraryThing space here and the profile of her Karaba Library here.

Goodbye to home grown programs and spreadsheets! Hello to Web 2.0 social networking and ease of operations!!

Yahoo Homepage - now with less directory

Yahoo has dropped the concept of Website Directory as their main presentation platform to using social tools like Y! Answers and MyWeb, along with web services and its developer network, to make external content an important part of its service. As a regular user of Yahoo Groups (ASLANSW and IASL) I am interested to see these changes, as I just might be tempted to use Yahoo more broadly than before - particularly as I can customise, track my mail, messages, news feeds etc.

Nevertheless, it is an interesting point that the new Yahoo homepage links predominantly to Yahoo properties - rather than to external sources, as it did in the old days. The directory service is still there, but has been de-emphasized on the homepage


The directory was a section on the homepage (albeit near the bottom)...and

...it was also featured as a search option


The directory is still one of the options hanging off the search box - but isn't otherwise featured on the homepage

Perhaps it's just a sign of the times: directories of external websites are out, Yahoo media properties are in.

Via ReadWrite Web

18 July 2006

Anthony Browne Groupies!

Julie Walter shares her experience as an Anthony Browne Groupie:

On Friday 23rd June, I had the great pleasure of attending a talk and book signing by Anthony Browne, the English author & illustrator.

Anthony is a slightly built man and he looks a lot like “Willy the Wimp” without the facial hair. He spoke to a large group that included about 6 school groups and many other Librarians and parents.
He opened the talk by telling the audience how he & his brother used to play “The Shape Game” when they were young. They would draw a shape and the other one would turn it into something. He drew some examples and then invited some of the children to participate. He spoke about how he studied art at University and he became a children’s illustrator a bit by accident. He then read to the children “Into The Forest” and pointed out many of the clues he had drawn in the book.

The children in the audience asked Anthony why he always drew gorillas or chimps in his books. Anthony told the children that he loved Gorilla’s because when you looked into their eyes, they were so human and gentle. He felt gorillas & chimps were so close to us in behaviour & characteristics, it makes them so interesting.

Anthony went on to tell the audience how he had lost his father when he was quite young. He said his father had taught him and his brother to play rugby, cricket and to box. He encouraged his sons to draw and his father also wrote poetry. He was a big man, physically, but a gentle, cultured man. Anthony based his “gorilla dad” character on his father in the book “Gorilla”. He also said that was his favourite book. He was an absolute delight and happily signed the many books I took in. He hasn’t been in Australia for almost 10 years, so I felt especially pleased I had the opportunity to hear him speak.