Bright Ideas http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au Fri, 04 Apr 2014 04:28:34 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://global2.vic.edu.au/?v=3.8.3 Mind tools – What does it mean to be literate in the age of Google? http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/04/04/mind-tools-what-does-it-mean-to-be-literate-in-the-age-of-google/ http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/04/04/mind-tools-what-does-it-mean-to-be-literate-in-the-age-of-google/#comments Fri, 04 Apr 2014 04:22:29 +0000 http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/?p=14777 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.

 

 

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World War I centenary resources http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/04/01/world-war-i-centenary-resources/ http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/04/01/world-war-i-centenary-resources/#comments Tue, 01 Apr 2014 04:04:46 +0000 http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/?p=14757 With the centenary of the First World War set to begin in July this year, many institutions will be launching new sites, programs and resources for schools. But there’s already a lot out there to explore.

Locally, the Australian War Memorial is a key institution when looking at the Great War and the history of ANZAC. They also have an education blog which includes mystery objects, details of new resources, acquisitions and personal stories from the collection. The ANZAC Centenary website from the Victorian Government and the existing ANZAC website from the Department of Veteran Affairs are also great resources looking at the Australian experience of WWI.

For a different perspective, the BBC’s Schools WWI site is a wonderful resource to explore Britain’s involvement and includes relevant media from their archive. The British Library’s WWI site has over 500 primary sources and articles from experts and academics looking at what life was like at the time. The British Library is also a contributor to the Eurpeana 1914-1918 site which provides collection materials, commentary and perspectives from different collections all over Europe. The National Archives UK WWI website is also a beautiful resource including personal diaries and an extensive collection of digitised material.

The American broadcaster PBS also has an interesting website from their documentary series The Great War  and the Shaping of the 20th Century.

These resources are just a taste of what is currently available and many more resources, digitising projects, programs and events are likely to begin mid 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

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Stormboard – brainstorming with post-its online http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/03/26/stormboard-brainstorming-with-post-its-online/ http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/03/26/stormboard-brainstorming-with-post-its-online/#comments Wed, 26 Mar 2014 04:51:19 +0000 http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/?p=14751 Stormboard is a tool which lets you create online post-it pin up boards that an unlimited number of contributors can share. Educators can join Stormboard for free until July 31 so it’s well worth having a look.

Chances are if you’ve done any professional learning or whole school planning in the past few years, you’ve used post-its for collaborative planning. Many of you would be using similar techniques with your students. Stormboard provides a simple online environment where you can brainstorm or plan with groups, where ever they are. This means students can collaborate on projects from home or on their own devices via the web. It would also be useful if you’re collaborating with other educators or students at different schools.

Stormboard let’s you collaborate on boards and share your work via a link. You can add text, videos, images and links to post-its and also create stacks which link to other boards you’ve made. As an avid Evernote user, I must admit the interface all seemed quite familiar

If you like post-its and use them in class or with colleagues, Stormboard is a great way to record your planning and ideas more effectively than sticky bits of paper on the wall!

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PLN Plus – be the change you want to see http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/02/27/pln-plus-be-the-change-you-want-to-see/ http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/02/27/pln-plus-be-the-change-you-want-to-see/#comments Wed, 26 Feb 2014 19:33:36 +0000 /?p=14730 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.

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Periodic table of story telling – story starter activities http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/02/26/periodic-table-of-story-telling/ http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/02/26/periodic-table-of-story-telling/#comments Tue, 25 Feb 2014 15:50:10 +0000 http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/?p=14712 The Periodic Table of Storytelling  is one of those special treats that comes through your feed and gets your mind buzzing with ideas of how it could be used with students.

 ps

As well as being pretty funny, the table covers most of the major story types and character arcs, making it a great tool for engaging students in creative writing.

Each story element has an identifier, name and is grouped under one of the following categories – structure, setting, modifiers, plot devices, heroes, villains, archetypes, character modifiers, meta tropes, production and audience reaction.

Ideas for use with students

  • Give each student in the class one story element, making sure that all categories are represented. (You could make coloured cards for each element).
  • Ask them to form small groups (3-4) and collaborate on a story that incorporates all their individual story elements. This could easily be a homework assignment or even a competition with time limits
  • You could mix up the activity by asking them to write in different genres or mediums – film, play, poem, short story, tv show etc.
  • To make this an individual task, give each student three cards and ask them to include all three elements
  • You could also use these story elements to describe the books you’re reading. This would be a great way to build a shared vocabulary for understanding story and transferring knowledge of one story to other narratives
  • The story elements could be a prompt for a library creative writing challenge – how many story elements can you get in your story? or even a weekly writing challenge with one element as the focus each week
  • Put story element cards into a box and students choose one (or more) to prompt a free writing task

These kinds of forced association activities are a great way to get kids (and adults!) thinking creatively. If you have any other ideas or find something that works well for your students, let us know.

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Hemingway – like the author, like the app http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/02/21/hemingway/ http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/02/21/hemingway/#comments Fri, 21 Feb 2014 03:02:29 +0000 http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/?p=14694 Hemingway is an easy to use editing site which helps make your writing simpler and more direct. Much like its namesake, author Ernest Hemingway, the site champions simple verbs, short sentences and no adverbs at all.

Cut and paste the text you want to edit into the website home page and hit the edit button to see your work highlighted in different colours. Yellow for hard to read, red for very hard to read, blue for adverbs, pink for complex verbs (with suggested simpler options) and green for passive phrases.

Although it can be frustrating when your best efforts don’t remove the highlighting, the app shows you what to look for when you’re editing. It would be a great tool to use with groups of students to model the editing process and how decisions about language can change the impact of your writing.

At this stage, the app doesn’t let you save and seems designed to gauge interest in a paid desktop app. But in the meantime, Hemingway is an interesting tool for writers at any level.

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Bookemon – on-demand publishing http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/02/19/bookemon/ http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/02/19/bookemon/#comments Tue, 18 Feb 2014 21:59:56 +0000 http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/?p=14522 Bookemon is a service that allows you to easily create and publish books online and print high quality hard copies on demand. Bookemon has an edCenter that lets educators create a space where students can work on group and individual projects. One teacher librarian making the most of this online tool is Pam Rajapakse. Pam is the teacher librarian at Prairievale Public School, Bossley Park, NSW. In a school where the majority of students speak English as a second language, Pam is using this tool to engage students in literacy and reading. In this guest post, Pam shares her experiences with Bookemon.

Prairievale Public School (PPS) has just over 420 students and the majority have Assyrian heritage. English is a second language for over 90% of families. New arrivals are often enrolled at the school throughout the year. The socio economic level of the community is not the highest and hence the parents are challenged to prioritise needs and wants on a regular basis. So it’s not surprising that reading and writing are school priorities with comprehension skills targeted across stages.

In such an environment, my focus is to support children and teachers with work in the classroom. As research shows, there is a direct correlation between academic achievement and staff and student involvement with the school library.

Reading is one of the most important interventions in breaking through language barriers and children need to enjoy reading for them to read. If someone likes an activity, they are most likely to continue with it. The decision to Bookemon for publishing with students was based on this idea.

At the beginning of the year, I introduced the concepts of Five Ws to Stage 1 classes and continued to refer to this strategy when we engaged in reading and research activities during the year. The Bookemon publishing process started with students returning to the Five Ws, creating characters, settings and events based on a plot created by the class. We negotiated names, places, settings, changed characters and descriptions to suit the evolving plots, we laughed, debated and agreed to disagree on many things along the way. Every child in every class was allocated a page to illustrate and one child was selected to illustrate the front cover.

Illustrating the stories acted as a great leveller and a confidence builder – some were keen to draw, some were not whilst others did not want their work published. So it was essential to applaud and appreciate individual efforts by each and every child along the way as it proved that whilst not all of us are gifted with the paint brush, beauty really is in the eyes of the beholder. It was such a buzz towards the end of the process because teachers and students could see how the book was coming together and could not wait to see the finished product.

Read_A_Wolf_comes_to_Peaceful_Town___Storybook_Preview___Bookemon_com

While the students gained some insight into how a story is constructed and what’s involved in the process of publishing, I think what I value most was their increased appreciation of how language works. The process of combining words to form beautiful ideas and depicting what the words don’t tell you in their drawings has begun to build my students’ confidence and motivation to read.

I am hoping that these activities and the outcomes we’ve seen aren’t limited to the library space and teachers at PPS engage with similar ideas in their classrooms. Bookemon provided the perfect platform for the stories to be published. As a school, I have had to register and create an account, free of charge. Once I scanned and uploaded the illustrations, the formatting templates were very easy to navigate with the entire palette of editing tools ready at hand. I received the books I ordered in two weeks in very good condition, confirmed and posted from the US via ordinary post. I am hoping to repeat the activity with other stages gradually in the next year as many teachers have already expressed their interest. Teachers’ feedback on the program shows me activities like this in the library are making a positive impact on not only students, but teachers too.

Thank you, Pam, for sharing your learning and teaching with us. Visit Pam’s page on Bookemon to view more books written and illustrated by PPS students.

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Ebooks at the State Library of Victoria http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/02/14/ebooks-at-the-state-library-of-victoria/ http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/02/14/ebooks-at-the-state-library-of-victoria/#comments Fri, 14 Feb 2014 03:18:31 +0000 http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/?p=14661 Libraries in all sectors are working to provide access to ebooks. Vicki Nelson, Redmond Barry Collection Librarian at the State Library of Victoria, describes the process from the perspective of a collecting institution with millions of items. She talks about developing processes around acquiring ebooks on a large scale.

The State Library of Victoria (SLV) has been working hard to increase access to our collections so Victorians can use material from anywhere, not just within the building. This in part comes from the ongoing process of digitisation, as over 600 000 heritage pictures, newspapers, manuscripts and out of copyright Victorian books are now available online. We also provide home access to subscription databases for Victorian registered users and have moved many of our print serials online, so ebooks was a logical next step.

Initially we ran an ebook trial in 2012 where patrons selected books for acquisition. The success of this trial fed into a working group which identified suppliers and streamlined selection, acquisition and cataloguing processes. As a result, SLV made ebooks available for general use in July 2013.

We made the decision to use two suppliers as it gave us the opportunity to choose from a greater range of books.  SLV currently uses EBL and EBSCOHost as our ebook providers.  Both link to our normal overseas book supplier’s selection and acquisition process.  Both are for a single user, although EBL does have the flexibility of multiple users viewing the same book at the same time, but limits the overall number of times a book can be looked at in a year.

SLV has chosen wherever possible to purchase rather than rent ebooks, so they are permanently accessible. Of the titles we select, there are still only about 40% of overseas books available to us as ebooks.  Australian publishing is even less ebook ready – we purchase books as they are published and the ebook version may not be available for months after this date. At this stage we are not ready to move to an Australian ebook selection process, so we will monitor the Australian situation until there is a change.

One of the main reasons we moved to ebooks was so that we could make them available to our Victorian registered users. Ereaders require you to download free software onto the device but once that is done an ebook can be downloaded and used for up to 7 days.  We have created a guide to help new users access ebooks from our collections and there is a link to this on every ebook record in the catalogue.

If you want to find out which ebooks we have available, the quickest way is to search for a topic and add the word ‘ebooks’, eg ‘History ebooks’ and then refine your search using the filters on the left hand side.

history ebook

You can also filter your search by ‘Genre’ and select ‘Electronic resources’.

genre

Like print books, the general model is one person at a time but this varies depending on where we purchased the ebook.  For example, EBL ebooks allow more than one person to access the same item at the same time, but limits the total number of times the ebook can be looked at during the year.

Whatever the number of ebooks in your collection, the process for selecting a provider is the same – trial as many as you can, test the platforms based on your needs and make a checklist of  titles you want and see which companies provide them. If you can, test systems with your users and see how books work on their equipment.

Even though ebooks cost more to provide, there are a number of advantages for patrons. Ebooks can be used immediately by users inside your library and from anywhere they have web access. Ebooks are also ready to use as soon as they are purchased without the need for processing or shelving.

SLV has over a million print books and is continuing to add to this collection. Not all books are available as ebooks or on the platforms that the library is using.  So at this stage, the State Library of Victoria will continue to be a hybrid library of print and electronic resources.

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Text to speech – supporting online information access http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/02/12/text-to-speech-supporting-online-information-access/ http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/02/12/text-to-speech-supporting-online-information-access/#comments Wed, 12 Feb 2014 04:52:46 +0000 http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/?p=14623 There are a growing number of online tools to support students in need of literacy support. As part of a new series on web based literacy aids, this post from Catherine Hainstock talks about how text-to-speech programs can support students’ reading online.

Implementation of the Australian Curriculum  is in full swing across the nation and as a result schools are committing more resources towards their Literacy programs. The demands and opportunities for TL’s to support this literacy focus may vary, but as information specialists our core business is to ensure our students can effectively find and interact with information.

After giving a brief demonstration on advanced Google searching to our school’s Literacy Support teacher, I wondered about other ways to improve access to online information for students who may be struggling. Many of the mainstream tools students use for accessing information such as Google Search and Wikipedia do not support students with literacy needs as well as they could. There are a number of ways we can help improve this experience. First I turned my attention to browsers; I found they offered very different experiences and levels of assistance. Text-to-Speech support is available on most browsers (you can read about the options here). When I tried them I found:

  • Bing relies on Microsoft Window’s software being installed on your computer. The system was complicated and required a lot of reading to work out. The version we had installed on our computers used a very robotic voice
  • Firefox’s add-on Text to Voice app plays MP3’s of selected text so it’s very slow. Any words it doesn’t recognise, it spells out. Again it was a very robotic voice
  • Google’s Chrome Speak app (available from the Web Store) was easy to install and provided options for varying the rate, pitch and volume but once again the voice sounded very robotic
  • Once I added Google’s US English Female Text-to-speech voice extension to Chrome (available from the Web Store) and activated it in Chrome Speak’s options (found under Chrome Settings – Extensions – see image below), the voice offered pleasant web reading support.

It’s important to note different schools run different versions of software, different implementation programs and have preferred devices including mobile devices and BYOD programs. In mycase, I used desktop computers in a school library for testing. Every school is unique so it’s important to investigate and experiment with your own equipment.

Many schools in Victoria are also restricted to only one browser, usually Internet Explorer. As information specialists, it is vital that we recommend and push for technical decisions to be based on educational criteria, so explore browser tools and lobby for programs if you think they will benefit staff and students.

In the next instalment I’ll look at improving access via search engine tools and options.

Image credit: Chinese children in class with Australian kids at Carlton State School, H2002.199/1074,  State Library of Victoria Pictures Collection

 

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PLN Plus March 2014 http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/02/04/pln-plus-march-2014/ http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/02/04/pln-plus-march-2014/#comments Tue, 04 Feb 2014 03:55:53 +0000 http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/?p=14596 In March the State Library of Victoria will begin a new kind of PLN program, PLN Plus.

PLN Plus is designed for teacher librarians and educators who want to find out how to effect change in their schools and learning communities. The program will run for four weeks and will involve a group project where participants work with like minded people on a passion project – what is the one thing you would change if you could? It could be a practical endeavour like getting your school blogging, or look beyond to setting up TeachMeet-style programs and community building.

Each week participants will be introduced to relevant new tools and online environments and also have the opportunity to engage with inspiring educators and librarians who have made change happen in their schools and broader communities. We will also discuss theories and research that inform the concept of networked learning and key trends in education looking to the future.

You can register to take part in this course, but numbers are limited. For more information visit the State Library of Victoria website, PLN Plus page.

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eCOGSS – a collaborative ebook project http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/02/04/ecogss-a-collaborative-ebook-project/ http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/02/04/ecogss-a-collaborative-ebook-project/#comments Mon, 03 Feb 2014 18:00:47 +0000 http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/?p=14525 Rachel Fidock reports on an innovative ebook service developed by four secondary schools in the Goulburn Valley, Victoria.

Many school libraries across Australia are choosing to create ebook libraries – online libraries where students are able to borrow and read ebooks on their own devices. But how easy is it to create an ebook library, and would our students prefer physical books?

In the Goulburn Valley of Victoria, teacher librarian Helen Taylor, formerly of Shepparton High School, took up the challenge of creating an ebook library with a difference. The result is eCOGSS (eBooks City Of Greater Shepparton Schools) ebook lending facility, an online service that caters to not one, but four secondary schools in the region. Of the six secondary schools approached to be involved, Goulburn Valley Grammar SchoolMooroopna Secondary College, Shepparton High School and Wanganui Park Secondary College chose to take part (one non-government and three government schools).

Accommodating the needs of four schools in one service may seem like a daunting task, but as a consortium, the combined experience and ideas of the group proved to be a great advantage.

In the development stage, according to Helen Taylor, Library Managers from each school took the idea back to their administrators and IT departments as the project’s success depended on these groups. The project group chose Wheelers to provide the ebook lending platform due to their competitive pricing and willingness to accommodate their needs. Meetings on Skype with representatives from Wheelers, Library Managers and school administrators gave everyone the chance to discuss ideas and refine the group’s requirements.

Taylor believes that the model they developed – where each school has their own account, chooses their own books and pays for them – made the process of sharing a common elibrary highly successful. And by sharing resources, the schools were able to create a service where all ebooks are now available to all students, regardless of the school that paid for them – improving access and value for money. In March 2013, the eCOGSS ebook lending facility opened for business, with 8% of enrolled patrons borrowing more then one ebook.

Given the success of the project in terms of the schools involved, what do the students think of eCOGSS?

In early December 2013, Bright Ideas conducted a survey of 24 students ranging from years seven to nine, from Shepparton High and Mooroopna Secondary College, to determine if the students were using eCOGSS, if they preferred ebooks to physical books and what they thought the future of school libraries might be.

The survey results show that 54% of the students borrow from the eCOGSS ebook lending facility, while 13% prefer to get their ebooks elsewhere (Wattpad is a popular choice, especially given the amount of self-publishing which occurs on this platform).

54% of students preferred not to get their books online (17% were undecided). Some of their comments included:

  • I like paper books because you can find more out about them before you borrow.
  • I prefer books to technology.
  • The books in the library I can take home but the books online I can’t access at home.
  •  I find it really annoying having to set up your laptop and etc. just to read a book. I hate reading off a computer. It can’t be good for your eyes. And I like reading a paper book that you can take anywhere and is easy.

For those students who did prefer getting books online in the form of ebooks, some reasons were:

  • There is a wider range of books
  • It’s easier than going to a public library
  • It’s easier then carrying [books] around the school
  • You don’t have to carry them around and there are books here that are not in the library

Students were asked what they thought about the future of libraries and school libraries. Some of their comments are featured below:

  • There will be fancy scrolls that when you open them you can flick through pages like an ipad and everything will be stored on them (every thing!!!). [Student doesn't use eCOGSS but reads Google Books]
  • I think libraries will be using technology and ebooks more than they do now. [Student doesn't use eCOGSS but prefers to get books online
  • I think libraries will die out because of the internet and online reading. [Student doesn’t borrow from eCOGSS. Reads ebooks from Wattpad]
  • In all honesty I don’t think that libraries will change that much because there will always be people who like paper books.
  • I think they should stay the same. Maybe you can put in an order on-line to borrow it but then go pick it up and read a book not a text on a screen.
  • They won’t have libraries if people always use online.
  • Please continue helping us, finding books. Thank you. [Student doesn’t borrow ebooks]
  • I think it’s a great opportunities for readers to get a chance to do what they like. [Student doesn’t borrow ebooks]
  • Have a library and ebooks. [Student borrows ebooks from eCOGSS]
  • While it’s a good idea that books are easily obtained and read, nothing really beats a good old book. Though I do enjoy ebooks very much. [Student borrows ebooks from eCOGSS]

While it’s interesting to see the opinions of this group of students, only a small number were surveyed, so it would be interesting to see whether students in the broader community use their school elibraries in the same way. It’s also important to note that students’ like or dislike of elibraries ebooks often depends on their exposure to and abililty to access them. The evidence from this survey suggests that there are students using eCOGSS and some students prefer reading ebooks. However, the results also suggest many students prefer to read physical books.

It’s clear to see that eCOGSS ebook lending facility is a great example of how collaboration and partnership between schools and teacher librarians can lead to better library services across school communities and large geographical areas.

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Welcome 2014 http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/01/31/welcome-2014/ http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2014/01/31/welcome-2014/#comments Fri, 31 Jan 2014 02:10:16 +0000 http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/?p=14587 Hopefully you’ve had a restful and rejuvenating holiday season and are ready for a new cohort of students in your classrooms and libraries.

Here at Bright Ideas we’re looking forward to introducing you to new topics and voices this year to help inspire you and your students as you engage with thinking and technology.

As always, we love to hear your feedback and ideas, so let us know if there’s an issue or subject you’d like us to look into or if you’d like to write something for us.

We’re looking at some fascinating projects in the next few weeks, including details of the upcoming PLN Plus program in March, so stay tuned and welcome back.

Image credit © Red Letter Press

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Holidays on the horizon http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2013/12/18/holidays-on-the-horizon/ http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2013/12/18/holidays-on-the-horizon/#comments Wed, 18 Dec 2013 04:40:30 +0000 http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/?p=14506 With the holidays in our sights, we’re all looking forward to a little festive feasting and relaxation.

We’ve been a bit quiet here at Bright Ideas over the past few months (even though we didn’t have reports to write!) and we’ve used the time to do some planning . Hopefully our efforts will continue to inspire, challenge and support you, wherever you are, in the new year.

From all of us, we wish you all a safe, restful and enjoyable holiday season and we’ll see you back here in 2014.

Image credit: Period swim wear (c. 1945-50), Argus Newspaper Collection, State Library of Victoria

 

 

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Find inspiration on Pinterest http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2013/12/16/find-inspiration-on-pinterest/ http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2013/12/16/find-inspiration-on-pinterest/#comments Sun, 15 Dec 2013 16:00:22 +0000 http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/?p=14463 Pinterest is the perfect place to find and store inspirational images of cutting-edge library designs, quirky library posters, Book Week ideas, or the next library display, to name but a few. Pinterest is an online tool that allows you to collect and organise images by pinning (or bookmarking) them to virtual boards. Each pin also lets you know the original source of the image so you can find it again and others can too. This great social media platform gives you the chance to follow boards you like and create group boards to share ideas. You can organise your home feeds to receive images that suit your interests, such as school library design, library display etc.

Once you sign up to Pinterest, you’re guided through how to use it. The site asks what you’re interested in via the search bar. A search for ‘school library’ will prompt suggestions of ‘school library decorations’, ‘school library ideas’, ‘school library design’ and ‘school library activities’. You can search for individual pins or thematic boards and access your account on your iPad, mobile or any computer. There are so many images to interest and inspire your work in the library and beyond. There will often be a blurb explaining the pin, and sometimes a comment stream.

Have fun exploring and using Pinterest! It’s amazing how many interesting things you find that you would never have thought of before. Use other people’s pins, and feel comfortable sharing your own images. You never know what will inspire others.

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Revamping your school library orientation http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2013/12/12/revamping-your-school-library-orientation/ http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/2013/12/12/revamping-your-school-library-orientation/#comments Wed, 11 Dec 2013 16:00:16 +0000 http://slav.global2.vic.edu.au/?p=14437 Does your library orientation plan for next year’s students feel a bit stale? Have you been doing the same lesson for the last few years (or more)? Do you feel bored just thinking about what you have planned? If yes, here are some great ideas to help revamp your next school library orientation, from teacher librarians and library technicians across Australia:

Introducing the school library:

  • Promo video: Have current students create a promo video about what they thought the library was going to be like, what it actually has to offer, and what they think the students will like about their library. Barbara Braxton, retired teacher librarian.
  • Student presentation: If you have a library committee, get current members to create a presentation (such as a Powerpoint presentation) to tell new students the basics of the library, e.g. opening times, where the OPACs are, and how many items you can borrow. Rueleen Weeks from Dubbo Christian School

Becoming familiar with the library:

  • Prior knowledge: Ask the students what they already know about school libraries. It will open up discussion. Barbara Braxton, retired teacher librarian
  • Library relay: Each pair of students takes a question card, searches the library for the answer, then returns with the answer for their next question card. The first team to complete all the cards wins a prize. All the questions are reviewed at the end of the lesson. Sue Crocombe from The Glennie School
  • QR code QnA: Students move around the library to approximately 25 QR codes and scan them for the questions they need to answer. It gets the students moving and asking questions. Shelagh Walsh from Tennant Creek High School
  • Research Frenzy: Students are divided into two groups, one using computers, one using books. In teams they draw a question from a central bowl. Once they find the answer (either via computers or books), back goes the slip and another is drawn. The students swap from computers to books (or visa-versa), and discuss what they found at the end of the lesson. Shelagh Walsh from Tennant Creek High School
  • The Great Race: Have five junior secondary school students run this race. They create cryptic clues to help participants explore the library. In teams, the students receive their clues, and have to be the first to find all the answers to receive a prize. The same group of students running this game hand out ‘treasure bags’ at the end of the lesson, consisting of things like pen, notepad, library brochure, bookmarks, chocolate frogs and jelly snakes. Rueleen Weeks from Dubbo Christian School

Understanding Fiction and Non-Fiction shelving:

  • The coded letter: An activity to get students used to where things are in the non-fiction section is a letter from someone on holiday with words left out and Dewey numbers in their places.  Students go to the Dewey number and work out the subject there and place that in the space until their letter is complete (and makes sense).  You can have a simple letter and a more complicated one depending on the class.Peta Wilson from Lyneham High School
  • Class A-Z: Put the class in fiction order by their surname and then get them to take themselves to the shelf where they would live if they were a book. Peta Wilson from Lyneham High School
  • Marco Polo:  Call out a subject or type of resource and the students have to run to that place. Peta Wilson from Lyneham High School
  • Where in the Dewey?: The aim of this game is to get students thinking about the context of what they are searching for, and where it may be located in the Dewey system. In groups the students need to find books that have information about specific topics, such as: wood – how trees grow; a guide to Australian timber for furniture making; how trees are used as habitats, or; the environmental impact of deforestation. Peta Wilson from Lyneham High School

Remember, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Ask your colleagues for suggestions. Your State Library (such as State Library of Victoria) may offer library orientation tours and that will provide students with knowledge transferable to the school library. Thank you to all those who contributed ideas via OZTL_NET and Twitter.

Image credit: Enokson on Flickr

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