PLN Plus – be the change you want to see

Kelly Gardiner, Online Learning Manager at the State Library of Victoria, is a well-known voice in the VicPLN community, particularly in relation to professional learning for educators and librarians. This post introduces the guiding questions that underpin the new PLN+ course, beginning on the 11th March.

We’ve been wondering: what’s the next logical step for people who’ve done the VicPLN course?

Last year, we found out. With support from AITSL, we carried out some research into impacts of the VicPLN courses. Many of you participated in that. The thing is that a startling number of people report that the course changes their practice. And once that’s happened, what do they do?

They – you  – start to enact whatever changes seem most needed in your immediate world or beyond. It might be changes to the way you do your work, the way you collaborate with colleagues, the interactions with students, simple process or system fixes, big initiatives.

It’s about leading change.

Now, we’re not all Joan of Arc.

But it seemed clear to us that after the initial PLN courses, people then need the skills, tools and resources to enable them to enact the kinds of change they want to see – in their workplace, in their classroom or library, in the wider school community, in professional networks, in disciplines, or the broader systems and structures.

How do you become an advocate for literacy or simply for more resources? How do you collaborate to create new professional networks or share ideas or raise funds? How do you involve the wider community in learning? How do you create programs that pass on what you’ve learned to students?

How do you define what you want to do, attract support, design and manage projects?

How do you keep on learning, when you have so much to do already?

And what does that mean about our VicPLN network – what do you need from it now?

We can’t promise to answer all of those huge questions in a few weeks. But let’s make a start, shall we?

If you’d like to take part in the course (and maybe change the world just a bit) you can find out more here or email learning@slv.vic.gov.au  to book a place.

Talking Difference

Jan Molloy, Programs Co-ordinator, Humanities at the Immigration Museum describes Talking Difference, a new multimedia project from Museum Victoria with content creation opportunities for schools and libraries.

On Thursday May 9,  Museum Victoria launched Talking Difference, a multi-platform online digital media project designed to facilitate dialogue about cultural difference and promote diversity.  The project incorporates touring installations in schools and libraries, personal stories and videos. Talking Difference is funded by the VicHealth ‘Arts about Us’ program which challenges race-based discrimination through the arts.

The Talking Difference Portable Studio is a touring installation and online experience that allows you to watch, create and share multimedia. You can watch or read questions posed by members of the community and see other people’s responses to the questions as well as add comments.

The Studio toured Brimbank Libraries in 2011 creating opportunities for a broad range of people to have their say. In 2012 the Portable Studio toured regional Victoria including Shepparton, Mildura, Horsham, and East Gippsland.

Talking Difference in schools

The Schools program promotes dialogue amongst students about race based discrimination and the impact this may have on both the school and broader community. Students will have the opportunity to understand and reflect on different perspectives of identity and diversity by creating and sharing content using the Portable Studio platform.

The studio will tour schools in Brimbank and Casey in 2013.

First school placement May 2013

Essendon Keilor Secondary College is the first school to participate in the project. Students met with Transmedia academic Emma Beddows and artistic fellow, Christie Widiarto. Students will take part in a number of workshops, producing an installation around the themes of diversity and race based discrimination. The portable studio begins its residency at the school on Monday, 20 May.

Overnewton College, Casey Greammar and Hampton Park Secondary college will all be  participating in the project in 2013.

If your school is located in the city of Hume or Melton and you would be interested in participating in the project in 2014 we are taking expressions of interest at the moment.

Please contact Jan Molloy  jmolloy@museum.vic.gov.au or Tatiana Mauri tmauri@museum.vic.gov.au .

For further information, photos and videos please go to the Talking Difference website.

 

New writers in residence on Inside a Dog

Jordi Kerr, Learning Programs Officer at the Centre for Youth Literature talks about upcoming writers in residence on insideadog.

Ever wanted to break into a writer’s mind and find out the true story – how do they do it? What makes them tick? Where did that idea come from? Welcome to insideadog’s Residence blog.

insideadog hosts a different YA writer each month – they hang around the kennel, and write posts that give an insight into their lives and writing process. It’s a unique opportunity for students, regardless of their geographical location, to pick the brains of an author. By commenting on the blog posts, students can interact with professional writers, and have their questions about reading and writing answered.

In March, debut author Myke Bartlett provided candid and humorous explorations of his background and process, as well as exclusive glimpses at some of his unpublished work, and his upcoming sequel to Fire in the Sea.  (You can easily access all of Myke’s posts here.)

Myke has also aptly demonstrated that blog writing is an art form in its own right. In the classroom the Residence blog can be used as a launch pad to discuss and explore how writing for an online audience is different to writing for print. What makes a good blog? How is blog success measured? How can readers be encouraged to become involved?

In April, American graphic novelist (artist and writer) Raina Telgemeier was at the helm. (You may have heard of her multi-award winning book Smile?) If you’ve ever been uncertain about how to introduce graphic novels into your classroom, this is your chance. Raina’s got some great posts from how a graphic novel is born (and raised), advice for budding cartoonists and graphic novel recommendations for young readers. You can access all her posts here.

Insideadog endeavours to publish the names of upcoming resident authors ahead of time, to give teachers the opportunity to prepare and plan. Students can familiarise themselves with the author’s books, and research them online. There is also a blogging worksheet included in the site’s teacher resources, which you can use or adapt to foster discussion.

You may notice that over the next few months the writers hosted on insideadog are also involved in our Reading Matters Student Day program. For those students lucky enough to be attending Reading Matters, the residence blog gives them a chance to get to know the authors beforehand.

Be in control: participate in the new age of school libraries

Cindy Tschernitz, Executive Officer from SLAV, introduces the second SLAV conference for 2013.

Be in control: participate in the new age of school libraries is the second School Library Association of Victoria (SLAV) conference for 2013.  The conference for library team members will be held on Friday the 24th of  May, 2013 at the Melbourne Park Function Centre.

Continuing with the 2013 SLAV theme of “Participate, engage, shine – you, me, us” this conference highlights everyone’s role as a team member and recognises that teams win the game, not individuals. Whatever your role, whether selector, coach, captain, player, runner, medic or supporter, you  all contribute to team success.

We will examine:

  • what a school library is in the 21st century, the role of the individual in school library teams and how you can be in charge of your own development.
  • What type of professional fitness are we building for ourselves through our own personal training?
  • What strategies have we adopted in the new age of school libraries in accessing new resources and exploring different ways of operating and contributing to the school library team within the context of the Australian Curriculum?

Participate, engage and discover.  Where you will shine in the premiership winning school library team?

Registrations are now open. Download the Brochure and Registration form and email slav@netspace.net.au or fax  03 9349 4437

Thanks to Cindy for sharing details of the interesting program. Remember you can follow all SLAV conferences on Twitter using the #slavconf hashtag.

 

TeachMeet Time Machine

Hamish Curry, Education Manager at the State Library of Victoria, reflects on the evolution of Teachmeets and the next one coming up at the Library on May 16.

Teachmeet Time Machine

Thursday 16 May

What’s the one thing all teachers would ask for if the impossible was possible? Yep that’s right, a time machine. I’m sure every teacher would use it a little differently, and funnily enough it was an item that children thought the State Library of Victoria should get their hands on too. When the Library conducted public surveys in late 2012 around the ‘Your Library, Your Say’ initiative for exploring how the Library might grow, school children were among the respondents. Their feedback included all sorts of creative ideas on how the Library could ‘jazz things up’, and one of those included a request that the Library get a time machine.

While a time machine could take us a while to source or build, there is no stopping us tapping into the wisdom of educators to get some insights on how time can be measured, experienced, and used. With the next Teachmeet Melbourne coming up at the State Library of Victoria on Thursday 16 May (4:30 – 7pm)  and with such an array of interesting and networked educators presenting and attending, it seemed to be the perfect opportunity to see how creatively educators could address the theme of a ‘time machine’.

Teachmeets in Australia have been one of the most exciting aspects of the growth in educators sharing expertise. They are free professional learning events with self-nominated or crowd-sourced presentations ranging from 2-7 minutes long. Talks might be about web tools or equipment, learning programs, or new approaches to teaching. They are essentially an ‘unconference’ event, an opportunity for teachers to share and compare ideas. There is certainly a technology focus to the events, but that should be no surprise given that a Teachmeet is only one letter more than a ‘Techmeet’.

We’re excited by the opportunity to host the next Teachmeet Melbourne. We’re even more excited to see how the ‘time machine’ theme creates some playful presentations. After all, there is no time like the present to join a network and see where the future takes you.

Sign up for the May 16 Teachmeet as either a presenter or an attendee and find out more about other Teachmeet Melbourne events. The May 16 event will begin at 5.00pm, but there is also a chance to get a behind the scenes tour of the State Library of Victoria from 4.30pm. 

 

Reading Matters 2013

The schedule for Reading Matters 2013 is now available, boasting an impressive line up of emerging and established authors from across Australia and the world.

One of the themes explored this year is story told through different mediums with speakers including poet Tim Sinclair, games developer Paul Callaghan and American graphic novelist Raina Telgemeier.

The conference will also explore adults and teens within the YA context and gatekeeping – who decides what teens can, can’t and should read?

International guests include:

Libba Bray (UK), author of the Gemma Doyle trilogy and Going Bovine

Gayle Forman (US), author of If I stay and sequel, Where she went

Keith Gray (UK), author of Creepers.

To find out more about the program and how to book visit the State Library of Victoria website or contact the Centre for Youth Literature on 8664 7014 or email youthlit@slv.vic.gov.au.

History resources from Sovereign Hill

In this guest post Peter Hoban, Education Officer at Ballarat’s Sovereign Hill, introduces the comprehensive range of online resources and events produced by the Sovereign Hill education team.

Sovereign Hill Education is using online tools to make AusVELS history accessible to teachers and students.

Our free webinar series for teaching History will kick off this year with a presentation from the staff of Canadian Lead PS. This innovative school trialled AusVELS History across the whole school in 2012 culminating in a wonderful school community history night called “Back to the Future Fair”. The night featured student work amidst community group presentations and created a real sense of excitement and a real audience for their students. Teachers will discuss their experiences in a one-hour after school webinar on 20th of March.

This program inspired us to develop a teaching kit for Level 5 History. Called The Settlement of Victoria, the kit provides links to online collection items from some of Australia’s most reputable institutions so students can study the fascinating story of the settlement of our state. The kit culminates in students using the skills they have learned to complete a research project about a famous Victorian and a Diigo bookmarking group has been developed to share useful research websites for this project. It is hoped that teachers and students will share good websites they have found to help other students from across Victoria. The free online kit is being supported by web conferences to explore it. The first is on the 14th of  March.

The second webinar features two authors. Peter FitzSimons has recently published “Eureka: The Unfinished Revolution” and has a string of other titles to his credit. Many teachers will also be familiar with Doug Bradby, author of the “Seriously Weird History Series” that kids love. Both will be online to discuss the importance of story-telling in engaging audiences from 4.30pm on 2 May.

Lastly, Sovereign Hill Education has been working with local secondary History teachers to provide good ideas and resources. An AusVELS History Diigo group presents links tagged according to AusVELS but at present has a strong focus on Years 7 and 9. An Edmodo group called History Teachers PLN has also been created so teachers can ask questions of each other and seek advice. All history teachers are invited to sign up to Edmodo and join this group. You can use the group code i4pz2q or join using this link.

To book for any of these sessions or to find out more call (03) 5337 1188.

Thanks to Peter and the rest of the team for putting together such fabulous resources. We look forward to attending the upcoming webinars. 

 

Happy holidays

With the school year drawing to a close we wanted to wish all of our readers a happy and safe holidays.

It’s been an exciting year here at Bright Ideas with a number of new additions to the site. We’ve introduced user guides to help you get started with some of our favourite web tools. We also launched a YouTube channel where you can stay up to date with the latest tutorials and reviews. Remember that you can keep up to date with us on Facebook and Twitter as well.

Thank you to everyone who has contributed to Bright Ideas.  We’ve loved having guest posts from people like Bev Novak and Joy Burlak, and appreciate the contribution of everyone who writes for us. We are hoping to bring you even more guest posts next year, so get in touch if you’d like to tell us about your work. Particular thanks go to regular contributors Kelly Gardiner, Yen Wong and Cathy Hainstock who have shared their expertise throughout the year.

We’ll see you back here in the new year. Rest up, enjoy the break and have a safe and peaceful holiday season.

CYL turns 21

The Centre for Youth Literature has come of age this year, reaching the ripe old age of 21.

In celebration, the Centre is hosting two events, one for library professionals and another for students on Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd February respectively.

Authors involved in both days’ events include Melina Marchetta, David Levithan, Michael Pryor, Alison Goodman and Simmone Howell.

For more information, visit the Centre’s blog Read Alert.

PLN for 2012

Personal Learning Network website

The next Personal Learning Network (PLN) program will run for 12 weeks beginning 5th March 2012. For more information visit State Library website page or email learning@slv.vic.gov.au

The program, run by the State Library of Victoria in association with SLAV, is part of a network of inspired and inspiring people embracing technology and social media in schools around the world.

This self-paced, online learning program developed by and for teacher librarians, teachers, and school library technicians features practical how-to sessions and online mentoring.

Anne Fraser, a recent alumni of the program created this Prezi – PLN Learning Network using comments and feedback from her new network, discussing the program itself but also using her PLN to do it.