Bright ideas at my school: Ria Coffey

Ria Coffey from St Patricks College (SPC) in Ballarat talks about a simple but effective way to support broader staff use of technology and to increase the library’s profile in your school.

As part of our library’s strategy to be “fierce” (Dr.Joyce Valenza), to become experts in e-learning and to suggest tools to help develop information literacy school wide, I send out a weekly email to all staff called ‘SPC Bright Ideas’. It’s modelled on the Bright Ideas blog and talks about online tools and how to use them in the classroom.

I keep it short and consistent in style, it’s emailed at the same time each week and it’s always checked over by the school IT staff.  I get ideas from lots of different sources including Twitter, Bright Ideas and Dr. Joyce Valenza and Buffy Hamilton’s wikis. I also subscribe to a number of weekly feeds that generate heaps of ideas.

Staff at the school have been very receptive, especially those who’ve found an idea relevant to their work and have connected it to their teaching and learning. Ideally, I’d get to more Faculty meetings so I could discuss how and where these ideas could be implemented into curriculum.

All the SPC Bright Ideas are also added to the Library website for reference.

Here’s an example of a recent SPC Bright Idea.

SPC Bright Idea

This week’s SPC Bright Idea focuses on the use of Wall Wisher.  Wall Wisher is an online tool that allows contributions via sticky notes to a collaborative “wall”.  The teacher sets up a page, instructs students to access the URL and then contributions can be made by teacher and student.  (The notes posted by students must be approved by the teacher before they are displayed publicly).  A great tool for brainstorming and discussions, it is accessible at

Here is one my Year 9 class and I did this week:

Wall wisher example