28 September 2006

WOW! How much fun was our PARADE!

News from Frances Manning....
Students at Holy Family Primary had a great afternoon looking at the creative talents on show at our BOOK WEEK parade for the theme "BOOK NOW".

The *Parade* had a novel TWIST!

Students decorated not themselves, but a bag!............a bag that holds all the things they*ll need for the adventure they've *BOOKED INTO* when they picked up a particular book from home or the Library.

Bags were decorated at home or at school. There were 'adventure bags' decorated with all sorts of characters and settings. Some children had included in their bags the things they would need on their adventure (into a particular book/story), others had decorated the outside of their bags with all sorts of things stuck on or drawn. It was a fantastic effort from everyone.

Special thanks goes to Mrs S our 'MC', and all the Year 6 Judges who sure had a tough job. Thanks also goes to the helpers in Year 6 who gave out the participation certificates and prize lollies.

Our 'Special Guest' The Cat In The Hat' had a great time leading each class & he is looking forward to the next Library 'event'.

It really was a great afternoon, and all those bags will look fantastic decorating the Library & Classes!

25 September 2006

NASA Space Place

Podcasts: Space Place To Go!

No time to think about the wonders of the universe, much less how to explain them in a simple way to your students? Sign up for the new Space Place Podcast. Listen when you have time. In each Podcast, a NASA scientist answers fascinating questions about space and Earth science, with a little technology thrown in.

Could you fly through a gas giant?
Why do planets orbit the sun?
What causes the beautiful northern lights?

Go to http://spaceplace.jpl.nasa.gov/en/educators/podcast/ to subscribe. Or you can listen now on your computer or read the transcripts. Best of all, you can listen while you go for a walk, looking up at the beautiful night sky and thinking about all that is out there, known and unknown.

NASA Space Place is an excellent source for lots of other things too, as the image above shows. Explore and see what you can find to support your student's learning.

20 September 2006

Blogging - its elementary! Grab a bargain!

Take a look at this great Webquest designed using Bernie Dodge’s Quest Garden.

Anne Davis designed this Webquest to introduce elementary students to blogging.

Its intention is to get teachers and students thinking about using blogging to develop literacies in the elementary school. The goal is to use blogs to engage students in thinking and blogging about their learning and what it means to them.

Topics for the blogging posts are pulled from the classroom curriculum. Anne Davis will use a focus on the Six Traits of Writing and Blooms Taxonomy as students blog/write to learn and apply what they are studying in their class curriculum. The Webquest provides strong pedagogical directions for the teacher as well a clear pathway for students to use.

While we have some great blogs being used by teachers in australian schools, both primary and secondary, having a Webquest handy will help new teachers interested in blogging.

Introduce your class to blogging with Blogging - It's Elementary.

Read about QuestGarden and how it is developing. Until October 1 educators can join QuestGarden for free.

19 September 2006

Online Conference Submissions Open

A brief update on the K12 Online Conference that will be running next month.

"First, the proposal process is now open. It’s an online form that shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to complete (assuming your proposal is prepped.) Please try to keep your proposals to 250 words or less, and remember that the deadline for submissions is September 30. We’ve already had dozens of ideas thrown our way, so make sure to get your proposal in right away.

Second, we’ve welcomed Wes Freyer as our fourth and final convener. To reiterate, there are four strands each with its own organizer. Wes will be doing the “Overcoming Obstacles” strand, Sheryl will be co-ordinating the “Basic and Advanced Training” sessions, Darren has the “Week in the Classroom” part and I’ll be overseeing the “Professional Development” strand.

Third, we have a blog that will be ready to go in the next day or so. There, you’ll find a FAQ, all the details, and news and updates as the event gets closer. I’ll post an update as soon as it’s worth looking at.

And last but not least, David Warlick has graciously agreed to do the conference keynote on how to attend an online conference. Again, more on that coming on the blog."

Spread the word!!!

18 September 2006

Wikis for Everyone!!

What makes Wikispaces different from other wikis?

Wikispaces is easy to use for everyone, not just technical users. It provides a simple interface, a visual page editor, and a focus on community collaboration. Find out more on this brief tour complete with audio. It's worth a watch and listen just to find out about Wiki! Take a look at the Wikispaces blog as well.

Wikispaces is available worldwide to teachers, students, and educators. Wikispaces provides a great public tool for students, teachers, school communities, sports clubs, hobby groups etc..... Web 2.0 tool that is not constrained by website or intranet setups. Better still, it allows global collaboration, or classroom collaboration - you choose.
  • "[My students] created a place to post projects and assignments and invited each other to their wikispace. Then, they created links to the websites that their fellow students had created to help them study/ review/ complete the project. They are used to copying notes for one another -- but now they can collaborate on notes! The results are astonishing!" Check out the Coolcatteacher blog for more information.

  •
"Over 10,000 educational wikis later have been created, we've heard countless stories of excited students and empowered teachers. They've told us about their collaborative essays, group study guides, online lesson plans, and classroom notice boards coming alive on Wikispaces.

Now we're taking the next step - we want to give away 100,000 free K-12 Plus wikis. That includes all the features and benefits that normally cost $50/year - for free. No fine print, no usage limits, no advertising, no catches."

A few months ago, Wikispaces also added the ability to customize your theme and wikitext stylesheet. In addition to changing the color scheme and logo, all spaces have a number of existing themes they can choose from. Plus-level spaces can create new themes using HTML and a few special Wikispaces tags. Lots of members took advantage of the custom themes to make changes to their navigation section, the location of their menus, or the page headings. Some created a totally new look for their space. Here is a showcase for some of the creative changes people have made.

Wikispaces also has an embedded media function. This means you can now paste in the HTML from any web service and it will show up on your wikispaces page. You get the media and applications you want, with the simplicity of Wikispaces' WYSIWYG editor.

Some examples of services you might want to embed include YouTube, Google, and Yahoo videos, Google and AirSet calendars, Odeo podcasts, and of course there are many many more.

If you are tech-savvy or have tech-savvy students - don't wait to get into Wikispaces!

If you're a teacher,
visit the signup page to try a wiki. You'll be up and running in under 30 seconds.

13 September 2006

Amazon unbox goes live!

AV Librarians...what do you think? I think it's an important moment to mark, as we begin the shift toward less DVD and CD releases and more online, download-style models.... I'll be interested in the first reviews of his product.

From Tame the Web: Libraries and Technology

12 September 2006

Just One More Book! podcasts

"The Just One More Book! podcast is a thrice-weekly audio-on-demand broadcast in which we discuss the children's books we love and why we love them.

Episodes range in length from 5 to 12 minutes and can beplayed directly from our web page or downloaded to an ipod for listening on the go. Each episode is an informal discussion of one of our family's favourite children's books. Occasionally, the episodes
feature interviews with authors, literacy related discussions or audio reviews submitted by our listeners.

Our audience is growing and the response from both listeners and authors has been

You can listen to the reviews by double clicking the play buttons (">" ) on the "Listen Now"


Thanks from Andrea

www.JustOneMoreBook.com A podcast about the children's books we love and why we love them

Australian Study: Impact of School Libraries

Impact of School Libraries on Student Achievement: a Review of the Research: Report for the Australian School Library Association, by Michele Lonsdale

Australian Council for Educational Research

The review focuses on studies conducted since 1990, which show that school libraries can have a positive impact on student achievement-whether such achievement is measured in terms of reading scores, literacy or learning more generally-in the following key ways:

  • a strong library program that is adequately staffed, resourced and funded can lead to higher student achievement regardless of the socioeconomic or educational levels of the adults in the community;
  • a strong computer network connecting the library's resources to the classroom and laboratories has an impact on student achievement;
  • the quality of the collection has an impact on student learning;
  • test scores are higher when there is higher usage of the school library;
  • collaborative relationships between classroom teachers and school librarians have a significant impact on learning, particularly in relation to the planning of instructional units, resource collection development, and the provision of professional development for teachers;
  • a print-rich environment leads to more reading, and free voluntary reading is the best predictor of comprehension, vocabulary growth, spelling and grammatical ability, and writing style;
  • integrating information literacy into the curriculum can improve students' mastery of both content and information seeking skills; and that
  • libraries can make a positive difference to students' self-esteem, confidence, independence and sense of responsibility in regard to their own learning.

Source: http://www.asla.org.au/research/summary.htm

Available for loan from the CEO Library. Contact Erika, Lisa or Deborah by on 9840 5735 or 9840 5737 to borrow.

10 September 2006

ISBN - You're not alone...

Just for something different, take a look at what the ISBN Tool can do. More than anything it shows you how databases are connected through Z39.50 and OpenURL - i.e. information can be gathered and shared.

The ISBN Links Generator will generate various links keyed by an ISBN. The list of links includes:
  • Google "Look Inside"
  • Amazon "Search Inside"
  • Amazon.co.uk sales page (with affiliate code)
  • Amazon Web Service Item Info
  • OU Library catalogue lookup
  • OCLC Audience Level
  • Alternative ISBNs (OCLC xISBN)
  • Alternative ISBNs (Library Thing thingISBN)
  • Compare xISBN and thingISBN
  • ISBN Book Info (isbn.org.uk)
  • ISBN Book Info (isbn.org.uk)(XML)
  • A (not quite working) web service
  • ISBNdb.com (full record)
  • ISBNdb.com (XML Info)
  • Open WorldCat Info
  • Open WorldCat Info (book details)
  • Open WorldCat Info (book editions)
  • O'Relly Safari
  • O'Relly Safari (OU proxied)

Give it a go. You might even find a 'novel' use for ISBN Tool?

06 September 2006

What is your worst fear?

What is your worst fear about a loss of what you currently value in learning and teaching because of emerging technologies?

When AlanNovember posted this question for comment, he attracted 45 comments. Take a read of the responses. What would our responses be? What would our teacher's responses be?

Understanding the 'fear' factor will help us work more effectively to support our teachers and hence our learners. Add a comment if you like!

05 September 2006

The Blogging School

Today I was lucky to be involved in some vigorous discussion with some school staff about the value of blogging, and how we might go about getting teachers to embrace blogging.

This podcast from Tim Tyson on The Blogging School comes from November Learning Podcasts. Tim says:

"Historically, community dissatisfaction with school communication has remained unchanged despite Mabry's best efforts. However, in one year, with the advent of blogging, that level of dissatisfaction has been cut in half. School and community communication is but part of this story. Blogging can also be leveraged to maximize student engagement and academic achievement as well as student collaboration with peers and professionals around the world".

I recommend listening to this. You can find the podcast here.

WiFi learning

The next time you stop to think about learning and teaching directions, make sure you spare a thought for our youngsters.....who are encountering teachers from a very different era! Enjoy!

Rough First Day

02 September 2006

K-12 Online 2006 Conference

Announcing the first annual "K12 Online 2006" convention for teachers, administrators and educators around the world interested in the use of Web 2.0 tools in classrooms and professional practice.

This year's conference is scheduled to be held over two weeks, Oct. 23-27 and Oct. 30- Nov. 3 with the theme "Unleashing the Potential."

There will be four "conference strands"-- two each week. Two presentations will be published in each strand each day, Monday - Friday, so four new presentations will be available each day over the course of the two-weeks. Each presentation will be given in podcast or screencast format and released via the conference blog and archived for posterity.


Week 1
Strand A: A Week In The Classroom
These presentations will focus on the practical pedagogical uses of online social tools (Web 2.0) giving concrete examples of how teachers are using the tools in their classes. They will also show how teachers plan for using these tools in the delivery of their curricular objectives.

Strand B: Basic/Advanced Training (one of each per day)
Basic training is "how to" information on tool use in an educational setting, especially for newcomers.
Advanced training is for teachers who have already started using Web 2.0 tools in their classes and are looking for: (a) advanced technology training (eg. how to write your own blog template or hack existing ones), (b) new tools they can make use of in their classes, (c) teaching ideas on how to mash tools together to create "something new," (d) a pedagogical understanding of how technologies such as Weblogs, wikis, podcasts, social bookmarking sites, RSS feeds and others can deepen learning and increase student achievement, or (e) use of assessment tools to measure the effectiveness of Read/Write Web technologies in their personal practice and with their students.

Week 2
Strand A: Personal Professional Development
Tips, ideas and resources on how to orchestrate your own professional development online; the tools that support Professional Learning Environments (PLEs); how to create opportunities to bring these technologies to the larger school community; how to effectively incorporate the tools into your personal or professional practice; or how to create a supportive, reflective virtual professional community around school-based goals.

Strand B: Overcoming Obstacles
Tips, ideas and resources on how to deal with issues like: lack of access to tools/computers, filtering, parental/district concerns for online safety, and other IT concerns while trying to focus on best practice in the use of Web 2.0 tools.

For organization purposes, each strand is overseen by a conference convener who will assist and coordinate presenters in their strand. The first presentation in each strand will kick off with a keynote by a well known educator who has distinguished his/herself and is knowledgeable in the context of each topic. This year's conveners and keynote presenters are:

A Week In The Classroom
Convener: Darren Kuropatwa
Keynote: Bud Hunt

Bud Hunt teaches high school language arts and journalism at Olde Columbine High School in Longmont, Colorado. He is a teacher-consultant with and the Tech Liaison for the Colorado State University Writing Project, an affiliate of the National Writing Project, a group working to improve the teaching of writing in schools via regular and meaningful professional development. Bud is also the co-editor of the New Voices column of English Journal, a publication of the National Council of Teachers of English. A consumer of copious amounts of New Media, Bud blogs and podcasts about his practice and larger educational issues at http://www.budtheteacher.com.

Basic/Advanced Training
Convener: Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach
Keynote: TBA

Personal Professional Development
Convener: Will Richardson
Keynote: Ewan McIntosh

Ewan McIntosh is an educational technologist and teacher of French and German. Based in the Edinburgh area of Scotland he frequently works around the UK and Europe, leading student and teacher workshops and conferences. He is an experienced workshop facilitator in the area of Web 2.0 technologies in education across stages and curricular areas. Ewan blogs at http://edu.blogs.com

Overcoming Obstacles
Convener: TBA
Keynote: Anne Davis

Anne is known for seeing the educational possibilities in the use of weblogs with students in classrooms, having implemented wonderful ideas and weblog projects with students and teachers in K-12 classrooms and at the university level. She currently works at Georgia State University in the Instructional Technology Center in the College of Education as an Information Systems Training Specialist. Her weblog, EduBlog Insights is a co-winner of the Best Teacher Blog in the second international Edublog Awards, a web based event that recognizes the many diverse and imaginative ways in which weblogs are being used within education.

We'd like to invite you to submit a proposal to present at the conference. If you have something you'd like to share with the community, both people who are new to blogs and/or experienced bloggers please email the appropriate conference convener above with your ideas. The deadline to submit a proposal (just the proposal, not the finished product) is September 30, 2006. One of us will contact you to finalize the date of your presentation. Your presentation may be delivered in any web-based medium (including but not limited to...podcasts, PowerPoint files, blogs, websites, wikis, screencasts, etc.) and must be emailed to your assigned conference convener one week before it goes live, (see above strands) so that it can be uploaded to the server.

The conference organizers are:
Darren Kuropatwa

Darren Kuropatwa is currently Department Head of Mathematics at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. He is known internationally for his ability to weave the use of online social tools meaningfully and concretely into his pedagogical practice and for "child safe" blogging practices. He has more than 20 years experience in both formal and informal education and 13 years experience in team building and leadership training. Darren has been facilitating workshops for educators in groups of 4 to 300 for the last 10 years. Darren's professional blog is called A Difference (http://adifference.blogspot.com).

Sheryl Nusbaum-Beach

Sheryl is a technology/education consultant for the National Education Association (NEA), the Center for Teaching Quality, SRI International, the Virginia Community College System, the Virginia Department of Education, the Miami-Dade Public Schools, the Alabama Best Practices Center and adjunct instructor in the School of Education at The College of William and Mary. She has had several journal articles and book chapters published, been featured on public broadcasting television and radio shows, and is a regular presenter at local, state, and national conferences speaking on topics of homelessness, teacher leadership, virtual community building, and 21st Century learning initiatives. Sheryl blogs at 21st Century Collaborative (http://21stcenturylearning.typepad.com/blog/).

Will Richardson

Will Richardson is known internationally for his work with educators and students to understand and implement instructional technologies and, more specifically, the tools of the Read/Write Web into their schools, classrooms and communities. A public school educator for 22 years, WillÂ’s own Weblog (Weblogg-ed.com) is a primary resource for the creation and implementation of Weblog technologies on the K-12 level and is a leading voice for school reform in the context of the fundamental changes these new technologies are bringing to all aspects of life. Will is the critically acclaimed authour of the best-selling book Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Tools for Classrooms (March 2006, Corwin Press).

Conference Tags: k12online, K12online06

If you have any questions about any part of this, email one of the following:
Darren Kuropatwa
Sheryl Nusbaum-Beach
Will Richardson

I will post information about registration as soon as it becomes available.