Kim Yeomans of St Martin of Tours Primary School in Rosanna has allowed Bright Ideas to gain insights in to the development of her library blog.
I did the SLAV Web 2.0 course last year and decided this year to set up a blog for our LRC. The LRC already has an active presence on our school intranet but I felt the blog and Web 2.0 tools might let me do a little more. The Library already has a MyClasses page (intranet), but I was looking for other engaging ways to share what we do in the LRC and promote reading. The Web 2.0 online course offered by SLAV last year introduced me to many new and exciting tools. Attending the SLAV conference with Will Richardson earlier this year provided the impetus to actually begin our LRC Blog in mid February.
The main aims of our LRC Blog are to
- Share the activities and learning we do in the LRC
- Promote books and reading
- Encourage students to participate in an online community
- Introduce students to appropriate Web 2.0 tools
- Develop student understanding of a global classroom
It has been really encouraging seeing the students embrace the blog and add their comments. Even our Principal who is on Enrichment Leave is contributing her learning on our blog and adding dots to our ClustrMap! I have found Slideshare and Animoto are great Web 2.0 tools that enable us to share our work. This term I’ve added to our blog with the New LRC and Websites pages. I am currently trialing SimplyBox for our website collections (even though it is blocked at school) because it is simple for me to set up and visually easy for the students to use at home.
- Ripper reads – student comments
Our LRC Blog is evolving along with my own skills and knowledge and will continue to do so to meet the needs and interests of both the students and our Library program. It is trial and error seeing what works on our blog, but I’m really enjoying the process!
Congratulations to Kim on inspiring both students and staff to become a part of the Web 2.0 world! Well done Kim. (Don’t forget that Kim had previously shared some excellent photos of previous Book Week displays that might prove inspirational.)
Margaret Simkin, the Head of Information Services and Head of History at The Hamilton and Alexandra College is happy to share the development of her wiki with Bright Ideas readers.
This wiki is the result of several years of deliberation about what to do and how to do it in the most sustainable way, while allowing for the fact that we have a small library staff with limited time available for management. Undertaking the SLAV Web 2.0 course provided the idea as it enabled us to work on things together and discuss their potential. Two of us successfully completed the course.
The catalyst came when I attended the SLAV conference where Will Richardson used his wiki as the vehicle for his professional learning delivery. Suddenly the whole picture became clear and the way in which to link it all became obvious.
The aim was to create a site where staff can go when they want to find out how to do something to enhance their teaching and learning. Working through the best way to set it up in terms of layout and linking pages took some time and is still open to alteration as suggestions arise. Affirmation during this process came from a teacher responding to an email link I had sent about how to create podcasts. She replied: “It would be good to have somewhere to put these links so we could find them when we need them”.
After several months of trial and error the site was ready to introduce to staff last term. We held a special afternoon tea and demonstrated how to find information. Since then visitors have had a look from all over the world, which is very exciting to see.
To anyone thinking about what to set up and how to do it, I would suggest that you just need to start. As with all things technological, change is continuous and there will be another new thing tomorrow! My preferred option was a wiki as I had used them more often in class than blogs or nings. It is a matter of personal preference and should not be a cause for concern or delay. Just develop your concept and see where it leads. There are many valuable spinoffs, most significantly the fact that cooperative planning and teaching is strengthened by the process.
Our next intention is to create something for students to access, most probably a blog!
Congratulations to Margaret and her staff on creating a visually appealing and useful wiki, with lots of Web 2.0 tools embedded such as Animoto and Slideshare. We look forward to featuring your blog!