SLAV Connects is a blog by the School Libraries Association of Victoria (SLAV), formerly named Bright Ideas when a collaboration between SLAV and the State Library of Victoria (SLV). Its aim is to share news from the Association and to encourage teacher librarians, librarians, school library staff, educators and all interested persons to actively engage with the school libraries, to share tools and experiences; to network on a global scale; and to embrace dynamic teaching and learning opportunities.
Casey Grammar School Head of Secondary School Teaching and Learning and teacher librarian Julie Squires has developed a very useful wiki for her year 11 English class.
Julie explains, ‘Although I created the wiki specifically for my class, I made it public so that any English teacher and/or student can use it. I am introducing my students to the wiki slowly; they need to complete their VCE profiles via the wiki and I want them to get used to doing homework online. I want the students to take responsibility for their own learning. I am encouraging them to use tools such as Essay map and bubbl.us to plan their essays online. Students can contribute to the ‘Reading/responding resource bank’ so that others can see what their classmates are doing. I really hope it becomes a collaborative effort between them as often students don’t realise what their classmates are writing and thinking. It’s not cool to share too much in class, so hopefully this way they can experience the power of learning collaboratively.’
Useful online resources
Julie continues, ‘And by giving them links to useful resources, like Glogster and Ergo, I am helping them find resources they would not necessarily come across themselves.’
Congratulations to Julie for her great ideas, creativity and for sharing her wonderful wiki with us. Julie really is a leader in her field! If you have a moment, check out her ning, a place for Victorian teacher librarians to meet and share.
Looking for an online brainstorming tool? bubbl.us could be the answer.
The bubbl.us website says you can:
Create colorful mind maps online
Share and work with friends
Embed your mind map in your blog or website
Email and print your mind map
Save your mind map as an image
bubbl.us is ideal for student collaboration and as the mind maps can be simply saved, printed or embedded into blogs, etc. students can include their brainstorming and planning in their assignment submission.
Typically I have trouble getting them to get excited about word webs. However, they were VERY excited about doing this. The guys loved how the bubbles exploded when you deleted them, and the girls loved the colors. However, the thing they seemed most interested in was the fact that they could network.”
Julie Squires of Casey Grammar also uses bubbl.us. with her VCE students (thanks Julie for alerting Bright Ideas to bubbl.us) and her use of it and other tools will be featured shortly.