27 February 2007

17 Tips for a Creative, Life-Long Learning Journey

Need a little creativity boost? Peter Reynolds is an illustrator and multimedia designer who believes that art is a powerful tool for learning. 17 Tips is an inspiring little electronic book which you can view here in small format, and download for free to share full screen. A selection:

Tip #1 Relax. Make some tea.

Tip #6 Imagine your classroom as a studio, as a research centre, as a publishing house.

Tip #8 Celebrate the blank page. Use programs that allow the user to supply the content.

Tip #15 Encourage strategies for personal achievement.

It won't change your life, but it may make you smile. Peter is also generous with his beautiful clip art and a few of his children's books which can be viewed and heard online.

FableVision artwork in this post copyright by Peter Reynolds/ FableVision

23 February 2007

21st century thinking at OLQP!

The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century is a best sellig book by Thomas L. Friedman analyzing the progress of globalization with an emphasis on the early 21st century. It was first released in 2005 and was later released as an "updated and expanded" edition in 2006.


He says in his introduction:

It is now possible for more people than ever to collaborate and compete in real time with more other people on more different kinds of work from more different corners of the planet and on a more equal footing than at any previous time in the history of the world - using computers, e=mail, fiber-optic networks, teleconferencing, and dynamic new software.

It is not surprising that our schools are embracing the need to 'think globally' and adopt 21st century thinking in order to transform the learning experience for our students.

I was fortunate to spend a day working with the Year 4 team and the teacher librarians at Our Lady Queen of Peace primary, who are working hard to make significant 'digital shifts' in their pedagogy.

Human knowledge is complex and requires deep thinking - and sometimes a deep capacity to search, find, sort and synthesise information, viewpoints and knowledge. 21st century wisdom builds on all that came before. Our teachers are working to ensure that our students develop the capacity for 'enduring understanding' for 21st century wisdom.

An enduring understanding is a big idea that resides at the heart of a discipline and has lasting value outside the classroom. The teaching point for us is to ask to what extent the content standards and topics we are working with in our programs has learning opportunities for our students that are enduring and transferable big ideas, having value beyond the classroom?

Don't they say that a picture tells a thousand words?

21 February 2007

Classroom Blogging

If you are thinking about launching into classroom blogging, and wondering about strategies to use, you will be happy to explore the Classroom Blogging Wiki from experienced Scottish educators.

Classroom blogging also provides ideas for Classroom Organisation in primary classrooms.

19 February 2007

Welcome to the CEO Library Blog!

Keeping things moving - that's our motto! Lisa Nash, CEO Librarian, came to a blogging workshop last year - and hasn't looked back since then.

After doing lots of great things in her community with blogs, she has now launched Edlib, the CEO library blog.

She will be running this through blogger, until our BlogEd platform can be expanded to add other important blogs, such as this one. As Lisa explains - when she has an internal CEO blog, she will be able to point us directly to resources in the journal databases! That will be cool!

But for now, she has plenty to offer us, including her personal feedback from ALIA's Information Online Conference held in Darling Harbour at the end of January. Papers and presentations from Information Online are available now.

Bouquets to you Lisa!

We'll enjoy EdLib and the great information focus that you can bring to this blog.

18 February 2007

Want to start a Wiki? Go Wet Paint today!

Want to start a Wiki? Then this recommendation from Di Laycock (Fully Booked) will appeal to you!

WetPaint seems to have that nice graphic appeal that our students want, as well as the functionality that we want for encouraging good Web 2.0 work!

Check out WetPaint details - then take a look at WikiFido to see how nice it can look!!

Looks good, but does it have the option not to carry advertising the way Wikispaces has? Can you create a private space? One of you experimenters 'out there' can let us know!

Dogs & Dog Rescue

15 February 2007

Web 2.0 - Catch the Wave

New to Web 2.0? Then this 9-minute video will introduce you to the concept, ideas and applications available in a Web 2.0 world.

12 February 2007

No-Tech, Recycled Bookmarks

Having carried around for the last few weeks (in the boot of my car) a large number of unwanted but beautiful magazines I was at the point of putting them in the recycling tonight when I had an idea. Tearing out a few of the more attractive pages I tri-folded them, sticking the open edge closed with a gluestick. The results, some pictured above, are pretty nice bookmarks. We go through hundreds each year and I haven't had a chance to print new ones since starting back at school, so these will go on the circ desk tomorrow. And I had fun making them!
UPDATE: Highlights of the week have included a boy taking some time choosing a bookmark which suited his book (Soldier Boy) and another dismissing them as there were no cricket ones. That night I took to our ABC Cricket guide and the Kingsgrove Sports catalogue to produce the required bookmarks, the best of which went the next day.

10 February 2007

Manga for your library?

Are you adding manga to your graphic novel collections? If so, you might find The Librarian's Guide to Manga and Anime a useful overview and general guide.

Last updated in July 2006, this guide for public librarians works very well for schools too. Drill down to find title and author lists, books and periodicals, and even some teacher's guides.

07 February 2007

Hopping Into Library 2.0 & Millenial Disconnects

This week I participated in my first and second online seminars. I especially liked sitting at my desk eating lunch as I watched the seating plan fill for the SirsiDynix Institute web seminar Hopping Into Library 2.0. Podcast and slides should be up within the week for this. It was great to hear an Australian Library (Yarra Plenty) share their experiences with the world. Over sixty people were in attendance, 20 or more from Australia. There were just a few schools participating, but I think this program could be profitably rejigged for schools. Not only lifelong learning but also play was emphasised in the Yarra Plenty program - as you can see from this pic from their Flickr collection.

I couldn't resist the opportunity of another online event at 7am Wednesday. There were close to 300 participants in this and a chat window going the whole time. Discussing the Disconnects Between Library Culture and Millennial Generation Values was presented by the Learning Times Network, and will also be available for podcasting soon. This article by Robert McDonald and Chuck Thomas was an excellent lead in to their presentation. There are some challenging ideas for libraries to deal with, but deal we must. As the authors conclude:

Finding the right way to achieve balance between traditional library values and the expectations and habits of coming generations will determine whether libraries remain relevant in the social, educational, and personal contexts of the Information Age.

05 February 2007

Web 2.0 at Delany - progress report

My reaction to things Web 2.0 has always been to try and test. Which services have value to students? How can we test these services and explore them with our students? If we model them we have something to show community members. What limitations are there?

So the library website has blogs here and social bookmarking here. Our new Year 11s all created their delicious accounts at the end of last year and they are already using them in Physics. It is difficult to recognise usernames in Delicious, so we asked the students to preceded their usernames with DC. It was especially gratifying to work with a teacher on this and to hear such enthusiasm for social bookmarking. We use social networking sites for photos and books, and we have built a frappr map of where our webpage visitors come from (currently offline for admin reasons).
You may like to check the progress on our "What do I read now?" page and our LibraryThing collection : our username is DCLibrary. It grows. There are students maintaining this now. I think we will be getting a 'Test drive' link next, and we can get students to test services.It will be interesting to see where it goes. It seems to me that if we model student usage of these services, we give our students the gift that comes through networking. Powerful stuff!

All this requires a fearless acceptance of tagging for retrieval and sharing. Tagging has been in the news recently and this PEW Report looks at tagging from a library point of view. Personally most of us tagged when we added keywords in OASIS, and many bemoan the lack of flexibility currently.
I am a tagger. I have a basic structure, and after that - every tag is a personal and spontaneous response to an item. This structure works fine with small and personal collections, but how will tagging stand up when it is used by 600 people? We will find out!
But we havent got a wiki!
Who has built a wiki? Would you like to share your experiences of wiki-building with us all?

Back to testing!


Check this out! ROBOTS! From Film Education.

A nice resource for Australian teachers, complete with:
Assembly Room
Electronics Laboratory
PDF Sheets
Teacher Notes
Australian Resources.

04 February 2007

Make a Papercraft Monster collection


Make your very own papercraft "strike team" with Readymech's free printable monsters.

Every cute little monster here is available as a .pdf, fully colorized, and designed to fit on a 8.5"x11" page. You're probably going to want to use thicker paper in order for these to really stand up the way they should. Of course, you can print them out in black and white, and get the kids to colour them in!

03 February 2007

Come join our blogging team!

This cartoon is meant for you! Yes, we are looking for new contributors to our blog.....Come on, give it a go - just send me an email. Group blogs work really well. Why not check out Digital Chalkie to see the power of group blogging! Then come on over, and become a regular Bibliosphere News reporter!

cartoon from www.weblogcartoons.com

Cartoon by Dave Walker. Find more cartoons you can freely re-use on your blog at We Blog Cartoons.

02 February 2007

Why would anyone want to blog?

Blogging has a lot going for it....but we don't often have time to stop and think about it, or have a presentation handy to show a group of people who just want to learn about the value of blogging.

This is the beauty of Slideshare..... a great online tool where you can create and save presentations, and then share them with others.

You could create things for your classes too! Or they could create things for you! What we want is to use Blogging effectively for learning and teaching is what it is really all about.

Catch this graphic on Using Blogs in Education.

Let me share a presentation with you titled
Weblogs.....why should I care? Click on the title to view via Slideshare, or just press play in the window below!

(For the bloggers amongst you, Slideshare allows you to use the URL to hyperlink, or embed the file directly into Blogger)