Online resources

During this time, there are many lists being shared that can help you find quality resources to support online learning in your school.  We look for institutions that we know produce reliable and authentic information, and are collating a page of links to resources, guides and useful information HERE for ease of access. We will continue to update this page as we find new resources to share.

 

Making a Nation & Federation: Australia

Federation

With the tension of the Federal Election behind us, parliament has reconvened and it’s that time of the year when study of Australia as a nation enters the curriculum.  Students study various aspects of Australia’s nationhood, identity and history particularly in Year 6 to Year 9 with the support of sites such as the Parliamentary Education Office.  This post contains a range of resources to further assist that study.

Federation Referendums – is a collection of 13 digital curriculum resources focusing on the rounds of referendums held in Australian colonies to decide whether they would federate to form a nation. It is organised into four categories – the referendums in overview; the 1898 referendums; the 1899 referendums; and the 1900 referendum in Western Australia. The collection includes interactive learning objects, photographs, artefacts and cartoons.

The Federal Parliament History Timeline is an interactive timeline that enables students to gain a perspective of the sequence of events surrounding Australia’s nationhood. It is easy to navigate and links to resources for further investigation.

Federation resource by History Teachers’ Assoc of Australia (HTAA) is an Australian Curriculum lesson plan directed at Yr 6 students. It is a full unit of work with links to resources.

Making a Nation by the Australian Electoral Commission are inquiry-based interactive modules designed for students studying the history of Australia’s democratic system at Year 9 and 10 levels. There is a wealth of information on the site and links to teacher resources

National Archives of Australia – Your Story, Our Story continues to develop as a resource and has two particularly good resources on the Constitution and Federation – Creating a Nation and Constitution for a Nation

BI vrroom browse topicAlso recommended is the Virtual Reading Room (VRROOM) of the National Archives. Step 1) Choose the topic ‘Our Democracy’ 2) Refine it to Constitution or Federation using the drop down options 3) Click ‘browse’. Register on the site (free) and login to save these primary resource files to your personal folder. This site is an excellent resource for student exploration.

ABC Splash presents Sir Henry Parkes’s Tenterfield Oration, a re-enactment and discussion of the speech at Tenterfied in 1889 which laid the foundations of the movement towards Federation. 14 minutes in length, it provides background to this historical event. Also from ABC Splash is Federation of Australia

National Film and Sound Archive is a site that takes time to explore but contains short historical clips that provide context and an historical perspective. See The Founding of Canberra for a reminder that in the early years of Federation, Melbourne was the national capital.

The Trove database of the National Library of Australia is a rapidly expanding historical resource containing primary source material such as books, images, historic newspapers, maps, music, archives and more. In researching a topic such as Australia’s early days of nationhood, it provides access to newspapers of the day, and images that put meaning to an event.  To find resources: Select topic, refine by selecting sub-topic – browse.

Parliamentary Education Office provides an excellent range of videos about Federation and how the parliament works.Units of work Getting it together: From Colonies to Federation were developed by the Museum of Australian Democracy and split the topic into two parts, the Victorian story Victoria: Road to Federation and and the national story The National Story: Road to Federation.  Life at the Time of Federation is another unit of work that could easily be adapted to the classroom.

Federation Referendums – a collection of 13 digital curriculum resources focusing on the rounds of referendums held in Australian colonies to decide whether they would federate to form a nation. It’s organised into four categories – 1) referendums in overview; 2) 1898 referendums; 3) 1899 referendums; 4) 1900 referendum in Western Australia. The collection includes interactive learning objects, photographs, artefacts and cartoons.

A search of Federation on the National Museum of Australia site returns a very useful range of resources from the Citizen’s Arch and the story of William Farrer and Federation wheat

Road to Federation – is an easily accessible interactive telling the Federation story.  It’s suitable for student use.

Centenary of Federation is the story of Victoria’s role in the process of Federation and Australia’s early years as a nation. The site is no longer being maintained so there are some dead link, however, it is still a useful resource.

The resources on Federation Gateway are no longer being maintained. While there is still valuable information on the site, it’s recommended that at search of the Trove database will return a better result.

Image: The ‘Secret Premiers’ conference captured for the record. In order to secure the agreement of all the colonies to the Constitution Bill, urgent changes were made at this meeting of the six Premiers at Parliament House, Melbourne, from 29 January to 2 February in 1899.  Source: National Archives of Australia  [A1200, L16930]

Reading for Pleasure – Book Week and more

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At this time of year the focus is on reading as we celebrate Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book Week.  It’s a time for author visits to schools, writing workshops, dressing up in favourite storybook characters – all with the purpose of developing a love of reading in our students.  In a world driven by technological developments that are changing the nature of future employment, the ability to read is an absolute necessity. The joy it brings is a bonus.

But how far do we go beyond dressing up and celebrating for this one week of the year?  How do we engage parents as key stakeholders in this process?  A movement in Sydney, Street Library Australia which is based on the US group Little Free Libraries aims to make reading front and centre by bringing it into family gardens.  Family involvement is key to a child’s success as a reader as its at home that habits are formed and established.

The National Library of New Zealand in their Services to Schools provide and excellent resource to support reading both at school and at home. Included on the site is Reading for Pleasure – a Door to Success where they advocate:

The benefits of reading for pleasure are far reaching. Aside from the sheer joy of exercising the imagination, evidence indicates reading for pleasure improves literacy, social skills, health and learning outcomes. It also gives people access to culture and heritage and empowers them to become active citizens, who can contribute to economic and social development.

This site tackles reading from all angles and brings a bounty of resources together in the one place. It well worth exploring in depth.  Every child is a reader – it’s not an option.

New Australian STEM resources hub

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ABC Splash is a source of high-quality digital educational content specifically developed for the Australian learning community.  This week they launched the Splash STEM Hub which addresses “Science, Technology, Education and Maths” learning for students in Years Prep/Foundation to Year 10.  The site contains experiments, teaching ideas, and interviews with scientists, engineers in partnership with organisations such as CSIRO, RiAus and the Australian National University.  It brings real world science and people working in science and technology fields into the classroom.

To celebrate the launch of the new STEM hub, ABC Splash is conducting a prize draw that you enter by simply subscribing to the new STEM newsletter.  Two great prizes for the winners are three sphero rolling robots, one prize for primary and one for secondary.  What a marvellous incentive to sign up to receive what is a great prize in itself – regular science education news and updates!

All ABC Splash resources are free to watch and play at home and in school and are guaranteed to spark discussion and promote curiosity. The Splash portal is a world-class education experience for Australian students, and is packed with thousands of videos, audio clips, games and interactive tools.  Teachers and teacher librarians are especially encouraged to sign up for the primary, secondary and now the STEM newsletters.  Promote them to your students and their families, they’ll love them.

Primary sources and the ANZACS

WWI propoganda

The commemoration of the centenary of the Gallipoli Landing during World War I has stimulated an explosion in the digital content available online. Photos from family and institution collections contribute to a comprehensive overview of the period from the images on the battlefront through to the homeland and everyday life.

These images make possible a range of rich learning activities that can extend a student’s understanding of the experience of individuals and expose them to resources to explore further in their own time, for example:

  1. Use Ergo, State Library of Victoria – Australia and World War I to study topics such as enlistment, conscription, the homefront and propaganda supported by primary source artefacts including diaries.
  2. Document analysis worksheets designed and developed by the education staff of the [US] National Archives and Records Administration are an excellent resource for use with primary sources. These worksheets are not new and have been refined over time. They’re in a convenient .pdf format for use either online or as printed hardcopies. Worksheets are available for the analysis of a printed document, photograph, cartoon, poster, map, artefact, motion picture and sound recording. Highly recommended.
  3. It’s not news to any teacher to say that students love Google Images. A lesson in the Advanced Search function of Google Images is an opportunity to experiment with various search terms; with learning how to separate World War I from World War II images; how to isolate propaganda images; locate images relating to women; find images of a particular colour or from the region ‘Australia’ only. Use with Google Search Education lesson plans to enhance your own search skills and those of your students.
  4. The number of public institutions uploading resources to Flickr: The Commons has grown steadily over the years. As Creative Commons resources, students have a wealth of resources to work with. Once again, using a range of key terms such as ANZAC, Gallipoli, World War I, WWI, students can become familiar with this constantly developing database of original images.

This centenary year can be a launching point that introduces students to an authentic range of resources they can revisit time and time again……. now they know they exist.  Explore!

Creating a Virtual Learning Commons

 

VLCommons

At the recent SLAV Conference Building a Participatory Learning Community, school library leaders Dr David Loertscher (USA) and Carol Koechlin (Canada) presented the concept of a Virtual Learning Commons.  School libraries have become familiar with the model of ‘learning commons‘ which considers the library as place, an environment that enhances social interaction and cross-disciplinary learning outside the classroom.  This conference transferred that idea to a virtual space in keeping with the changing nature of library services where visiting the library is no longer a necessity when online access is available.

David and Carol demonstrated the depth to which a Virtual Learning Commons can support the organisation of library resources and bring a community together.  A template is provided to simplify the process of making one for your own library.

The SLAV Learning Commons includes the template and all the resources to you need to bring together learning resources, thinking skills, examples of best practice for library innovation and much more.  Take time to explore these resources and you will find a wealth of ideas and support to enhance the learning experience for your school community.

 

 

History timelines as visual learning

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Timeline.tv is a British educational website focussing mostly of the history of Great Britain but also including Seven Journeys in the American West and an extensive coverage of the history of Smallpox Through Time,  1045BC to 2010.  The History of Britain section is divided into categories dealing with lives of the people, rulers and government and the Empire.

This is a content-rich site with a mix of short videos  (7-12 minutes) with external links to quality related sites.  The videos present historical subjects in a variety of ways with associated primary artifacts, such as drawings, documents and artwork along with contemporary footage of the locations, buildings and historical landmarks.  The narrator also makes the link between historical and contemporary times in an easy explanatory tone.

Timeline.tv is easy to negotiate and ideally suited to individual or small group student work.  The association between events is assisted by their placement in the timeline across the bottom to the screen.  So visually supportive!  Students could create their own time lines from the content.  This educational resource award winner from 2010 is certainly worth revisiting if it has slipped off your radar, or exploring as a new discovery.

There are many timeline tools.  A couple of my favourites are: Time Rime | Timetoast
See also tools mentioned in the previous post Timeline Generators

ANZAC commemoration – family stories

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Over the past week we have witnessed news reports of Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, and war service veterans attending the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landing in Normandy.  The largest seaborne invasion in history.   Our attention has been drawn to the veterans as they relive and recount the impact of the war years on their lives.  Over the next year, as we commemorate the 100th anniversary of Anzac, we will be encouraged to reflect on the efforts of all Australians during wartime.  We are fortunate to have access to a growing range of quality online resources that document the people and events involved in defending Australia.  This commemoration is an opportunity to harness the creativity of our students and involve them in revisiting, and perhaps even discovering, their own family history.  These World War I sites are some that will adapt well to the classroom.

100 Years of Anzac is the official website of the Australian Anzac Centenary commemorations.  The Centenary is planned to be a time remember not only the original Anzacs who served at Gallipoli and the Western Front, but commemorate more than a century of service by all Australian servicemen and women.  It encompasses all wars, conflicts and peacekeeping operations in which Australians have been involved. This site includes links to many relevant resources.

Gallipoli and the Anzacs  Created by the Australian Government, Department of Veterans’ Affairs, this site contains a wealth of information about Gallipoli, the landing, individual accounts, photographs, diaries and the Gallipoli Peninsula today.  Ideas and resources available support the study of Gallipoli for many different approaches.

World War I Diaries – Our Stories, Your Stories is a commemorative project of State Library of NSW. Through 2014 to 2019 the Library will take its collections on site, on tour and online to tell our stories, and to listen to your stories. At the heart of the commemorations is the collection which includes some 1140 volumes of diaries written by over 500 servicemen and women, supported by newspapers, photographs, maps and ephemera.   Diaries will be completely digitised, transcribed and available on line. The library is inviting the public to contribute their own stories.  See also World War I and Australia Research Guide

Researching Australians in World War I Research Guide  developed by staff of the State Library of Victoria focuses on Australians serving in World War 1. It also includes some information relevant to Great Britain, Commonwealth nations and other combatant nations. Included is a section on nurses and women’s war occupations.  This guide is a digital roadmap for any war service researcher old or young.  It provides links into library records and collections with tips on how to construct a successful search and where to look for particular information.

Mapping our ANZACs by the National Archives of Australia has been available for a number of years and continues to grow in richness as people build their own scrapbooks and add family photographs.  It provides an accessible interface for searching veteran war records.  The interactivity of this site is an ideal teaching opportunity as students trace their own family members and then potentially, contribute to the collection.  It’s a site that can stimulate family conversations and potentially lead to the revealing of family stories.  A reminder about War & Identity- Education, a website of the Anzac Day Commemoration Committee.  This site has also been available for some time but the interactive resources are well worth a reminder as schools introduce 1:1 computing devices.  

Finally, Lives of the First World War – is a UK First World War Centenary project.   Presently in its infancy, the Imperial War Museum is creating this project to bring material from museums, libraries, archives and family collections from across the world together in one place.  They hope to inspire people of all ages to explore, reveal and share the life stories of those who served in uniform and worked on the home front.  Australians are invited to contribute their family stories to help build this Commonwealth resource.

This is not an exhaustive list of Australian World War I resources.  It is a sample of the material available for students to develop their own content, contribute their own stories and develop a greater understanding of their place in history.

Do you have a resource to recommend?  Please share your knowledge via the comments option.

 

What was there – historical photos and Google Maps

What was there uses historical images and Google Maps to look at how places have changed overtime. You can add photos to specific locations and then using Google Street View, overlay images from the past and present.

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A particularly nice feature of the interface is the option to fade between photographs and the street view image. Anyone over 13 can register with the service and add images, tag by location and year, save locations, and position images to overlay with street view.

There are some great examples of cities that have thousands of photographs pinned to different locations, including New York which has around 2000 images. Closer to home, the Victorian regional town of Bairnsdale has around 60 historical images pinned to shops and community buildings.

What was there 1

With so many cultural institutions digitising collections and making images freely available online, tools like What Was There give students and teachers the opportunity to connect to local history in new ways. The State Library of Victoria has thousands of out of copyright images of regional towns around Victoria that can be used freely for educational purposes.

Imagine students finding images of their town or suburb’s main street a hundred years ago and comparing it to today? Or even their own house or school? Try searching for your town or suburb name in the SLV catalogue and see what you can find.

Mind tools – What does it mean to be literate in the age of Google?

With the holidays here, we thought we could share a longer video with you, particularly given it’s one of the best videos I’ve watched about information literacy. It’s comprehensive, current, and logical in its flow. I thought I knew a lot about information literacy – now I know a lot more.

The presentation comes from Dr. Daniel Russell, research scientist at Google and took place in March this year at the School of Information and Library Science (SILS) at the University of North Carolina.

He begins by calling a library a mind tool that ‘amplifies your cognition’. Wonderful stuff.

We hope you have a happy, safe, chocolate filled holiday and we’ll see you next term.