18 December 2006

And the winner is...

Take a look at the list of winners in the 2006 Edublog Awards
Or to cut straight to the chase go to Hey Jude

Well done Judy!

14 December 2006

The Blended Librarian

Ever wondered why you are so tired all the time? Well, someone has found a name for the job we teacher librarians do and it explains everything:

"A blended librarian is one who combines traditional library and information technology skills with instructional design and technology skills and knowledge of collections of instructional resources and current trends in developing and distributing instructional resources. The blended librarian uses this combination, along with a heightened emphasis on pedagogy, to collaborate with faculty, information technologists, and instructional technologists/designers on the design of information literacy that is tightly integrated into the individual instructor’s courses and with broader programmatic curricular goals." http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlproftools/collaboration.htm

Find out more about Blended Librarianship and join this community at The Blended Librarian website. Expect a day or so delay for approval, and then explore what is on offer.

To hear the founders, John Shank and Steven Bell, download this Learning Times Green Room Podcast. The Green Room people made the mistake on an earlier podcast of commenting that librarians may be redundant soon. John and Steven beg to differ.

08 December 2006

Marco Torres

Yesterday I was fortunate to ‘experience’ Marco Torres. What an inspirational afternoon – those who have attended his sessions this week are sure to agree. He made his work appear so easy – however, this man obviously has enormous energy and talent.

+ What did I take away -

1. Good pedagogy underlies and is implicit in his work
2. in practical terms -

+ We have Three options
  • Complain
  • Quit
  • Innovate
+ Focus on ‘yes but’ group – they provide the best opportunities to innovate
+ Essential question is critical (this links to our 2006 AGQTP project at St Michael’s: higher order questioning)
+ Remember Einstein’s quote, ‘Don’t ask a question if you can look up’ [= ‘Google it’!]
+ When planning – always ask ‘Does the project have wings?’ – is there a wider audience outside the classroom?
+ Students don’t use technology, they do technology
+ Music is very important : Music is the ugly stepchild in multimedia : so - Find the musicians in the school and use them in multimedia projects
+ Be resourceful: Too many schools have many resources, but are not resourceful; Many schools have limited resources, and are resourceful
+ Creativity is the key - Remember the red paper clip – http://oneredpaperclip.blogspot.com/
+ Connect to the family
+ Connect to the community

Today my head is spinning – where to begin, and begin I will. It could be easy to be overcome by the quality of his projects, however, creativity with few resources is possible. There is no question students are motivated by technology, we all have supporting evidence - My experience with students and movie making has been exciting. I believe the real key is getting the pedagogy right – having the essential question.

If you have been one of the fortunate people to have Marco in your classroom/school this week – please share. We can all benefit from your experience. In the meantime -
1. Visit his website http://homepage.mac.com/torres21 .
2. Open sfett to view inspirational student produced movies.
3. Open flickschool for tips on getting started.

Wiki ideas for the classroom

So how do I use wikis with my classes?

Go no further for the answers!

Wiki Ideas for the classroom provides a flash tutorial outlining all the benefits of wiki, and all the practical considerations for good learning and teaching.

Not only are the learning and design issues covered, but the tutorial also provides information for consideration of safety, spelling, copyright and more.

Some suggestions include: a study guide; vocab list; organizational 'epicenter' for your student's learning on a topic (see the Aristotle experiment); collabortive research projects; an “everything I needed to know I learned in Ms.Teachername’s class” wiki where students add their own observations of ways the class knowledge has spilled over into the “real world”; A travelogue from a field trip or NON-field trip that the class would have liked to take as a culmination of a unit of study; and more....

For more information you may also go to Mark Wagner "Wikis while you Work: an Introduction to Wikis in education".

The tutorial is designed to support WikiSpaces which we promote on this blog.

06 December 2006

Travelling with Delicious ...

This week is Transition week for Year 10s at Delany.

One of their sessions is an introduction to Delicious, and the creation of their own 'digital bookshelves' for their coming 2 years in the senior school.

We took the time to explain that when the new Intranet comes, they will be able to link their delicious accounts into their Intranet resources and have the best of both worlds.

Delicious has networking, but no chat or other contact between users, so it can be difficult to identify network members. We have asked students to precede their chosen username with DC and end with their year level. So DCsweetpie11 and DCalistair12 would be easy to identify as our students. They seem happy enough with this.

I think Marion College has also set up Year 10 with delicious accounts too.

Any other schools introducing Web 2.0 tools to their senior students?


04 December 2006

Podcasting book talks!

A great idea from Michele Velthuizen Middle School Librarian American School of The Hague

"I recently started encouraging our middle school students to create video podcasts about their favorite books since peer recommendations sometimes work better than my own booktalks!

I set up my computer (a Mac Book Pro which has a built-in camera and microphone) in our reading room and have students come in during lunch break to create their recordings. They rehearse for a minute, then they record themselves using QuickTimePro which has a movie recording feature that is very easy to use. I then upload the podcast onto our library web page within minutes.

I've used these podcasts when classes come in to check out books and update their reading cards.

Click on this link http://fc.ash.nl/~mvelthuizen/, then click on "Watch a video podcast" on the main screen to see some samples.

To follow up from Marita's post on graphic novels, you might like to check out iFanboy.com.

The iFanboy.com Comic Book Podcast is a weekly talk show discussing the best in current comic book releases.

Ron, Conor and Josh will share what they loved and hated about the week's comics. With a deep, sometimes scary knowledge of the depths and intricacies of pop culture and the geek lifestyle, the conversations can spin off in many directions. While comics, graphic novels and trade paperbacks are the center of the iFanboy universe, the discussion often covers the video games, movies and TV shows which will capture the fancy of your regular comic book reader.

Something different for older students.