Creating Your Personal Learning Network

The School Library Association of Victoria in partnership with the State Library of Victoria present the PLN – Personal Learning Network program. This program is funded as part of the digital education content initiatives and strategies of the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

Your PLN is a reciprocal learning system designed just for you!

  • Create your own personalised learning network and share information, opinions and experiences with like-minded people from across the globe,
  • Apply a little intelligent filtering to the information overload out there,
  • Learn from others and contribute to others’ learning,
  • Connect around ideas that you are passionate about.

Find out how you can use the web 2.0 environment to:

  • Expand your personal learning network,
  • Manage the information that web 2.0 provides,
  • Use web 2.0 for learning and teaching,
  • Develop your skills and experience in a web 2.0 environment.

This twelve week online program, enhanced with regular Elluminate how-to sessions, exemplars, and online mentoring offers you a hands-on experience of a range of web 2.0 tools and activities.

This program is designed for novices to the web 2.0 world as well as those who wish to further explore this interactive web environment.

When: Commencing Tuesday 27 April 2010
Who: Teacher-librarians, teachers and library team members

How: Work at your own pace, explore new things week by week, share your learning as a team!

Why: So that you build a network of trusted sources for learning and collaboration.

Cost: $175 per person for SLAV members – team discounts apply!

Registration form available here now!

SLAV turns 50!

The School Library Association of Victoria is 50 years old! Happy birthday SLAV. To celebrate, there will be a multitude of events occurring during the year. To keep in touch with these, SLAV have set up a Ning:

SLAV50 ning

and a Facebook account:

SLAV50 Facebook

as well as information on Twitter via @SLAV50.

New, current and former members are encouraged to make contact via one of these three avenues to help us all share and celebrate.

Resourcing for the future: constant renewal through collection development. A conference presentation by Bronwen Parsons

At a recent School Library Association of Victoria conference, Belmont High School eLearning Manager and Library and Information Services Manager Bronwen Parsons delivered the following presentation:

Bron Parsons

Good collection development is yet another skill that library staff need to hone to keep the collection fresh and relevant. Bronwen’s excellent presentation will certainly assist.

Pru Mitchell’s ‘Open and Social’ SLAV conference presentation

In October, Pru Mitchell, the Senior Education Officer at delivered an interesting presentation to the delegates of the SLAV ‘Skills for School Libraries v2.0’ conference.

View more presentations from Pru Mitchell.

Pru discusses the idea of mass innovation and creativity and shows the tools that can help establish these skills. Well worth viewing and considering.

Google Lit Trips with Camilla Elliott

SLAV Professional Development Coordinator, Head of Library & Information Services, Mount Lilydale Mercy College and thoughtful blogger Camilla Elliott, presented this excellent session at the recent SLAV Seeing Things Differently conference:

Last Friday I presented a session at the SLAV Seeing Things Differently Conference on using Google Earth in the classroom, with a particular emphasis on the Google LitTripsof Jerome Burg.  A wiki containing links and video resources assembled for the session is on my Linking for Learning wiki.

Camillas google earth

With so many resources available for Google Earth,  a bit of sorting is required. This collection of specific resources will help anyone getting started.

Google LitTrips uses the Google Earth application to bring a story to life.  It facilitates a level of interactivity with the text that suits the visual learner particularly but also enables a team approach that provides shared opportunities for learning.  Jerome Burg has put an immense amount of work into Google LitTrips since I first blogged about it in August 2007.  Under Google LitTrips Tips he has  added comprehensive instructions for use in the classroom that can be applied to any use of Google Earth across geography, history, science …. it’s endless.

On the resources wiki is a link to Tom Barrett’s 24 interesting ways to use Google Earth in the Classroom slide presentation which is full of ideas.   Thomas Cooper is also there taking a social justice perspective with his Expeditions LitTrips site which is part of his Outdoor Culture and Technology course.  So many different ways of using and engaging tool to learn and create perspective.

Jerome Burg needs a word of thanks for putting his years of experience as an English teacher into this project.  The instructions and lesson support he offers makes all the difference to the use of Google Earth in the classroom.   Use the free version of GE or purchase Google Pro with added features and flexibility for using on a school network.

Thank you to Camilla for sharing your wonderful and innovative work.

Feature blog – Lucacept

Bright Ideas is pleased to announce on behalf of the School Library Association of Victoria that Jenny Luca, uberblogger, Web 2.0 sensation and Head of Information Services at Toorak College, is the recipient of the 2009 John Ward Award. To win the award, the recipient must demonstrate an outstanding contribution to learning and teaching at their school and raise the profile of the profession through their role as teacher-librarian. Jenny has certainly done this!

As most of you probably know, Jenny has written her inspirational blog Lucacept for some time now and has gained an amazing and well deserved following, both throughout Australia and internationally. Comments on Lucacept come from the who’s who of the Web 2.0 world.

 Jenny has kindly taken time out from her busy schedule to share news on the development and evolution of Lucacept.


Lucacept evolved after probably a year and a half of exposure to ideas about Web 2.0. I was involved in a project with the AISV being run by Tom March called My Place. We were using some of the tools and I was beginning to see how we could use them for student engagement and collaboration. Unfortunately, it wasn’t funded beyond that initial year. Things cemented when I went  to the Expanding Learning Horizons conference in 2007 and participated in a 5 hour workshop with Will Richardson. That experience got me really excited about the possibilities and I started reading his blog. Not long after I was presenting at an ALIA conference in Adelaide and John Connell was a keynote presenter. He mentioned his blog and I started reading that too. It was like a springboard effect; the more I read the more I discovered and the more I realised that I wanted to participate in the conversations that were happening in the edublogosphere.

Over the summer holiday break we went camping and I decided that once I returned home I’d start writing. I was mulling over a name. I was talking to my husband and said that I was trying to intercept the Web. He drove to work and rang not soon after suggesting ‘Lucacept’.  I had the name, now I just had to start writing.

So start writing I did. Here’s an excerpt from my first post;

“I’ve taken the plunge and decided to become a blogger. I want to learn as much as I can about the Web 2.0 world and think it would be a good idea to share what I am learning. I’m reading lots of blogs via my Google reader  and can see that sharing some of these amazing insights will be beneficial for others.”

And this happened (from my second blog post);

“Last night I wrote my first post. Well, I thought, that will fade into obscurity until I tell someone they should have a look at this newfangled thing I’m doing. Wasn’t I surprised (and very excited I might add) to see comments  from Alec Couras   and Judy O’Connell this morning. Thanks for taking the time to notice – it means a lot to a novice.”

I’d committed to writing a post every day bar Saturday. I did this for the first six months and then decided that it wasn’t necessary to do this. Another factor was that I was now part of the network; I was connecting and communicating with others using tools like Twitter and was finding it hard to maintain balance. That continues to be a struggle, but I’m finding it easier now that I have established a presence. I know I can be away for a little while and the network won’t forget me!

The connections I’ve made have been the most  valuable part of my blogging experience. I was able to work with Sheryl Nussbaum Beach and Will Richardson to incorporate Australian schools into their international Cohort of Powerful Learning Practice. That program is now being used as a pilot with DEECD for a Netbook trial. The students at my school have participated in Global projects and are starting to understand that you can have reach and influence if you actively pursue it. I’ve established a Ning called ‘Working together to make a difference’ with Angela Stockman from Buffalo, New York and Mike Poluk from Canada; it is a wonderful space for sharing and doing meaningful service learning work. I am very proud of the caring and supportive network that is growing in that Ning environment. My own students have worked in a Ning environment that links four classrooms and it has changed the nature of our interactions. Learning takes place outside of classroom hours; we have created community. Expert voices such as Michael Gerard Bauer and Barry Heard have joined along the way and have helped the students understand their words. I learn every day from the people I share with and try to bring that learning back to my school environment. I know that the library space we are in the process of creating (we have funding for a new building and will begin the build in the new year) will be influenced by the thinking I am exposed to via the networks I operate in.

I’m constantly surprised that people read my words and are inspired by them. My school community are aware of what I do and I am supported by my Principal, Noel Thomas, who encourages my work and often broadcasts it to our wider school community. His support enabled me to attend Learning 2.008 in Shanghai where I was able to meet some of the people in my network face to face.  I don’t force my blog onto the staff; if they want to read it they know it is there. What I have found is that people know that I have knowledge and they are starting to approach me to assist them in trying out new ideas for teaching and learning.

I’m excited by investigating the validity of these new tools for educational purposes. I’ve been invited to contribute to a Reference Group informing ACER (Australian Council of Educational Research) who are beginning to research the impact of digital learning environments.  

Blogging has changed my life. I’m a learner now, first and foremost. I learn alongside the students I teach and we share the rewards and frustrations of new ideas and environments. I’ve never been more energized or excited about the future of teaching. It’s a wonderful time to be a Teacher-Librarian. We have this perfect storm of opportunity to run with new thinking and be the leaders in our schools. Libraries are in the process of reinvention and can become true hubs for thinking, conversation, sharing and belonging.  We need to embrace the change and run with it!

Jenny is an extremely deserving recipient of the John Ward Award. She dedicates innumerable hours to Lucacept, the Ning and other Web 2.0 projects. Jenny’s school, Toorak College, is extremely fortunate to have a staff member of Jenny’s intelligence, vision, drive, commitment and passion for learning and sharing. Jenny is an outstanding role model for teacher librarians and lifelong learners. Congratulations Jenny!

2009 International School Libraries Day Awards Cocktail Party – Monday, 26th October

The SLAV 2009 International School Libraries Day Awards will be celebrated this year at a cocktail party at The State Library of Victoria on Monday, 26th October. We are very pleased to have as our special guest speaker for the evening, Chrissy Sharp, the inaugural Director of the Centre for Books, Writing and Ideas.

 This is a wonderful opportunity to join with colleagues in school libraries to celebrate this special day. Details are available from this link:

Thanks to Di Ruffles for the information.

SLAV Awards

Thanks to Mary Manning for this text:


Each year, the School Library Association of Victoria celebrates International School Libraries Day by recognising the excellence and innovation of Victorian teacher-librarians, school library teams, research and school leaders.
Applications for the following awards close on Friday 18 September 2009:

The John Ward Award – a professional development grant of $2000. The recipient/s must demonstrate an outstanding contribution to learning and teaching at their school and raise the profile of the profession through their role as teacher-librarian. The award is sponsored by the State Library of Victoria.

The SLAV Research Fellowship – supports research projects that involve school libraries in learning and teaching.
The fellowship will take the form of a $1000 grant to provide practical support to a teacher-librarian implementing a local research.

The SLAV Innovator’s Grant – In conjunction with Pledger Consulting, SLAV is particularly pleased to sponsor an award that goes to an innovative library or school team. Teams may self nominate or be nominated by SLAV branches. The grant will consist of a package of SLAV professional development and/or publications to the value of $800 plus $200 worth of Pledger Consulting products.

The SLAV School Leader Award is made to a school leader who demonstrates outstanding support of the school library and the work of the school library team. Nominated by a SLAV member.

Go to for further details and application forms.

Students to dump textbooks for e-books

Very interesting article in The Sunday Age today about e-books and school libraries:

Students to dump textbooks for e-books

Carmel Egan

August 16, 2009

HEAVY book-filled school bags could soon be a thing of the past, with the e-book industry claiming most of students’ textbooks will be contained in light hand-held portable devices within three years.

The internet-linked reading devices will store hundreds of e-textbooks bought online or borrowed from school libraries.

”E-textbooks will be mainstream within three years,” the executive director of DA Direct, Australia’s largest distributor of portable reading devices and e-books, Richard Siegersma, predicted.

Mr Siegersma said digital technology would lead to the costs of e-textbooks falling in a year to 18 months.

”There will be just-in-time and customised delivery to flexible, full-colour screens; textbooks with audio and video components; touch screens for handwriting and margin note-taking and text highlighting,” he said.

Speaking at a conference of school librarians in Melbourne last week, Mr Siegersma told them to prepare for the transition from print to e-readers, e-books and e-textbooks.

While book lovers in the US can already access thousands of digital titles via Amazon’s Kindle e-reader, users of the new technology complain they can be slow to upload, screens are black and white, page-turning is slow and titles are limited to certain publishers.

Mr Siegersma said technological breakthroughs, such as flexible, full-colour screens along with improved digital management and delivery systems, will revolutionise the way students access information.

Pressure from educational institutions, public libraries and government will also force print book publishers to address pent-up demand for more titles to be made available online.

The acting head of cultural studies at Macquarie University and author of The Book Is Dead, Long Live the Book, Sherman Young, agrees.

”The world is at the e-book tipping point and librarians will be the vanguard of the introduction of e-textbooks,” Dr Young told the conference, organised by Curriculum Corporation and the School Library Association of Victoria.

”Book culture is still confused with print culture and it is really only this year people have started to get e-books.”

In 2005, Macquarie University library bought 16,651 books in print form, rising to 16,764 in 2007.

By comparison, the number of e-books bought rose from 896 in 2005 to 68,719 in 2007.

However, many obstacles stand between e-textbooks and classroom domination, according to Australian Copyright Council lawyer Sneha Balakrishnan.

”Some schools are already in the process of negotiating licences tailored to their needs,” Ms Balakrishnan said.

”But there are still lots of issues to be worked through.”

Several Melbourne secondary schools have trialled e-books with students and staff in the past year with mixed results.

At the selective boys’ secondary Melbourne High School, students were not persuaded by the new technology.

While enjoying e-book mobility and easy access to multiple titles, they complained of slow data uploading, slow page-turning and too few titles available free.

Wesley College’s head of library and information services, Wilma Kurvink, trialled 18 e-readers with staff and students.

”Digital rights management restrictions at the point of sale have been developed for individuals on personal computers with credit cards, but publishers have not yet envisaged libraries as part of the mode or thought of building a lending system,” Ms Kurvink said.

”School libraries have used very traditional acquisition models but that will not work with this new technology and we need to start forming collaborative groups to work with publishers in partnership.”

Connect/SLAV Web 2.0 competition

Thanks to Connect’s Kerry Rowett for the following text:

Are you doing some wonderful work connecting students using web 2.0 applications in your classroom … or keen to start? You might be interested in entering the Connect and SLAV web 2.0 competition 2009. What do you need to do? Work in a team to create a unit of work incorporating the use of web 2.0 technologies and submit it, along with an application form to Connect by Monday October 5th.


There will be two prize packages awarded to winning schools with a value of approximately AU$800 each. Wii machines have generously been donated by the International Digital Entertainment Festival (iDEF) and games donated by Madman interactive. Each package includes:

  • Nintendo Wii Console 
  • Wii Sports
  • Nintendo 7 in 1 sports kit
  • One copy of each of the following gaming titles: Disney Think Fast, Ultimate Band, Bratz Kidz Party and Build A Bear Workshop


Please share this information with other teachers you think may be interested in entering! Visit the link or click the images to find out more.