Resources for the Australian Inquiry into Teacher Librarians

Thanks to a number of concerned school library supporters around the world, some excellent resources for addressing a response to the Australian Inquiry into Teacher Librarians have forwarded to Bright Ideas.

Submissions close on Friday 16 April.


This is a Facebook app that should appeal to young adult readers. Developed by the UK’s Channel 4, the Bookstash Facebook app says, “Create and expand your stash of books, review them with stickers, and tag them with keywords you choose!”


Bookstash is a good way to get students into reading and may be a springboard to developing your own reading promotional website/social networking site.


TubeChop is a really cool tool. Basically, TubeChop lets you edit YouTube videos and then embed them into websites. So videos you want to use in class or for professional learning are always ready to go and there is no need to view irrelevant sections.

TubeChop is easy to use. Just enter the URL of the YouTube video you want to edit. Clip “chop it”. A slider appears to mark section/s of video you want to edit, hit enter and you are given the new URL and embed code.


Thanks to Jessica Brogely for sharing details of TubeChop.

Digital Citizenship wiki

A very useful resource is the Digital Citizenship wiki, which caters for students in grades 1-12. The wiki explains more:

This is a resource for grade level teachers to prepare students to use technology appropriately and being mindful of the citizenship skills they already possess. Come back often as this WIKI will be continually updated.

Digital citizenship wiki

There are links to topics such as cyberbullying, plagiarism and copyright as well as links to relevant videos. A very useful site which will be added to over time.

Celebrate Change: Conference and Blog

On Monday 22 March, the School Library Association of Victoria hosted a conference entitled “Celebrate Change: Let’s Make the Whole School a Library“.

Now the presentations, links and podcasts from the day are freely available to everyone via the Celebrate Change blog.

It was an extremely stimulating and informative day and delegates and other interested people are welcome to visit the blog to add comments and access presentations.

Seven tools for organising web research

Richard Byrne‘s excellent Free Technology for Teachers site has outlined seven useful tools for organising web research. Some of the tools you may have seen before, some may be new.

  1. iCyte
  2. Memonic
  3. Lumifi
  4. Wet Mount
  5. Zoho (Bright Ideas post 29/10/08)
  6. Reframe It
  7. Webnotes

Please see Richard’s post for all the details on what these tools can do and how to use them.

Using Ning in the Year 12 classroom

Whitefriars College teacher librarian Tania Sheko has agreed to share the success story of using a ning at her school.

Alan November in “Curriculum21″ by Heidi Hayes Jacobs (found on Flickr in Great quotes about learning and change)

Alan November in “Curriculum21″ by Heidi Hayes Jacobs (found on Flickr in Great quotes about learning and change)

Alan November in Curriculum21 by Heidi Hayes Jacobs (found on Flickr in Great quotes about learning and change).

I want to share with you a teacher’s evaluation of a ning as learning and teaching platform for a Year 12 English class. Although teacher Catherine has only been using the ning for a couple of weeks, she has used the features of ning to their full capacity, enhanced student learning, and created a real learning community. It’s a shame that the ning is private – otherwise I’d show you what it looks like and how it’s working. Instead, read Catherine’s excellent summary and description:

“A couple of weeks ago I began a ning with my Year 12 English class. After their initial disappointment that this ‘wasn’t Facebook’ and once they worked out how to post a blog and reply to discussions, the class began to embrace their ning, and I have been thrilled with the results!

Our ning contains the following:
1. Photos of our class. Once a week, I bring a camera into the class and the boys take turns with being the ‘class photographer’. They capture moments from the class and ensure that everyone in the class has a photo. We have also added photos from college activities such as the Athletics Carnival where all the boys dressed up. These photos have been placed in albums in the ning and have been great in inspiring a sense of class spirit and unity.

2. Videos related to the text: I have been able to upload a number of videos related to the text we are currently studying – Maestro – at the moment there are videos of related topics such as Cyclone Tracy, Wagner, Peter and the Wolf, and Vienna.

3. Notes: I am able to write notes that highlight upcoming events / work that is due etc. I have arranged the format so that this is the first thing the boys see when they log on.

4. Groups: I have made groups for each of the texts we are studying, so all of our comments, quotes and resources can be located in easy to find areas.

5. Discussion Forums: Each group has discussion forums. At the moment our discussions are taking place in the Maestro group. As a class we have decided to pool all the quotes we find into these areas so that when writing a text response, everyone knows where to find the resources.

6. Chat facility: this enables everyone in the class to be online at the same time in the evenings and ask questions that everyone can contribute to, if they wish.

At the moment my class is preparing for their first text response, and I have found the chat facility to be extremely useful. A number of boys over the long weekend asked for help with their introductions and were able to place their work on chat and receive feedback from other students as well as myself. It was wonderful to see students help each other, as well as to see the particular student edit and re-edit their work. We have missed a number of classes in the past week due to public holidays and college activities, so it was wonderful to be able to assist students in this way in the lead-up to their assessment. It has also been good to see students ask each other for help with specific quotes and to see other students provide answers.

The ning has given students a central place to go to, when finding their resources for English, and has also allowed questions to be asked and answered very quickly. One of the boys told me this afternoon how much he loves being able to use the ning and how helpful it has been for him. I have also enjoyed seeing boys who never contribute in class, feel confident using this technology to voice their opinions. One boy in particular has become a ‘guru’ when it comes to knowing specific quotes in the novel, which has been wonderful for his self-esteem. However, without a doubt, the best part of the ning is the fact that students are discussing and analysing the text outside of school hours – of their own volition! What more can an English teacher ask for?!

This is an excellent tribute to the power of a ning, used as a learning and teaching tool. Isn’t it amazing how the students have formed their own network to help and guide each other? What a wonderful way to use technology in the classroom.

This is an edited version of a post from Tania Sheko‘s excellent blog, Brave New World.

Periodic Table: elements and their real-world applications

This resource contains all of the Periodic Table of Elements, but what is really fantastic is that it includes their real world applications.


Knowing that, for example, Iridium is used to develop cancer treatment, hypodermic needles, helicopter spark plugs and fountain pen nibs brings the element alive with meaning.

periodic table

An excellent resource for Science teachers. Thanks to Greg Garner for passing this link on.

The many and varied roles of the teacher librarian

Carl A. Harvey II is the library media specialist at North Elementary School in
Noblesville, Indiana.

Carl A. Harvey II, a library media specialist at North Elementary School in Noblesville, Indiana has developed a document on the expectations of teacher librarians/school library media specialists/school librarians.

Covering eleven points such as teaching, addressing new technologies, collaborating, leading, learning and innovation, this document is a great starting point for anyone who needs guidance about the diverse role of the teacher librarian.

Although US in origin, this document is relevant to Australian school libraries. However, one omission does seem to be the lack of acknowledgement of the contribution to reading programs and support.

Thanks to Keisa Williams for the heads up on this document.

Fancy Goods

Fancy Goods is the blog of the Australian Bookseller and Publisher magazine.


The website explains:

Fancy Goods is about all things book-related. You’ll find book reviews, information about what titles are selling or being mentioned in the press, news from the world of books, and our thoughts on books, bookselling, publishing, reading, writing … and anything else that takes our fancy.

It also provides links to the Bookseller and Publisher Online Newsletter, which is free and published 49 times per year.

These are invaluable resources for anyone interested in books and reading.