Bialik College Futures Forum

David Feighan, the Director, Libraries and Learning Resources at Bialik College has kindly shared the following information:

I can confirm that the podcasts of the Bialik Learning Futures Forum, which we promised to share with the wider school library community, are now available.

The Learning Futures / Learning Spaces Forum focused on the changes to the physical and online learning spaces in Australian schools. The forum considered:

  • How the new school libraries being built in Australia work within current and emerging education pedagogues.
  • How the physical library and online library and learning spaces work together to best meet the needs of schools.
  • The rise of learning / information commons in universities and schools, and
  • The rise of social media platforms in education settings.

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Speakers include:

A. Professor Leon Sterling, Chair of Software Innovation and Engineering, Swinburne University

B. Jon Peacock, General Manager, Learning Environments at University of Melbourne

CoLABorateC. Dr Scott Bulfin, Lecturer, Monash University Faculty of Education

D. Jenny Luca, Head of Information Services, Toorak College

E. Mary Manning, Executive Officer, School Library Association of Victoria

F. David Feighan, Director, Libraries and Learning Resources, Bialik College

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If you are involved in planning a new library or wanting to revamp your resources and services, this forum is a must listen source! Thanks David and Bialik for sharing this wonderful information and to the speakers for their knowledge and ideas.

Upload your future!

Bianca van Meeuwen, the ICT Outreach Officer for the Faculty of Information and Communication Technologies at Swinburne University of Technology has kindly sent the following information:

On 9 November 2010 Swinburne University of Technology will host Girls in IT, an Upload Your Future event.

We would like to invite all girls aged 14-19 years old to join the fun!

The day will include interactive programming and design workshops, inspirational female industry speakers, an opportunity to hear from current female ICT students, plus complimentary lunch and a show bag!

Multi-Touch iPod nano give away to one lucky participant!

Register to attend

The sessions are free of charge | Spaces are limited | Schools are welcome to register

Complimentary daily Metcard for each participant. Register to attend by 1 November 2010 to receive a daily Metcard for your students.

We look forward to seeing you and your students at Girls in IT!

Please find your Upload Your Future invitation Upload Your Future Invite.

What a fantastic event. Pity things like this weren’t around when I was a student!


Rob Mercer, the ICT Outreach – Project Officer for the Faculty of Information & Communication Technologies at Swinburne University of Technology has sent out the following information which may be of interest.

 I would like to announce that the SwinGame 09  games design competition is open again this year.  The competition ran for the first time last year and our senior academic staff from the Computer Science and Software Engineering academic area were impressed with the quality of the entries.  The winning games from last year can be seen at 

This year’s competition now includes two different categories (Arcade and Open) to encourage all secondary school students to enter and participate (visit the website for category details).

Once again, the website will have the following supporting programs and materials to help students:
–  The creation of Game Development Kits available in VB.NET, Delphi, Pascal, VB6 and C# to give students a range of tools and examples to assist in the creation of their game;
–  Sample games which include tutorials with videos on how to create games;
–  A forum where participants can ask questions, get help and post ideas about their games;
–  A teacher only forum for teachers to discuss ideas and ask questions.

Swingames poster

Swingames poster

Similar to last year, the 2009 competition is:
– Free to enter
– Open to individual students and teams of up to three
– Open to all secondary school students in Australia

Prizes for the Arcade Category (team or individual):
1st Prize – $2,500
2nd Prize – $1,000
3rd Prize  – $500

Prizes for Open Category (team or individual):
1st prize – $1,000

The competition is currently open and entries must be submitted by 7 August 2009 (see website).  All entries will be judged by a panel of experts and winners will be announced on 16 August at Swinburne’s Open Day.  This is a good way to get students from your school excited about software and games development, which will hopefully encourage younger students to choose IT as a subject.

A class presentation is available for your students on the SwinGame 09 competition which can help them get started.  If you would like a Swinburne staff member to visit your class to present SwinGame, please contact me on the number/email below.

All information on the competition is available here:

If you have any questions feel free to contact Rob.


Bright Ideas recently came across this gaming program for students in years 9 -11 developed by Swinburne University of Technology. From their website comes the following information:

VBugs homepage
VBugs homepage

VBugs – Games Programming using VB.Net and SwinGame

Click here to access the online form.

     What is VBugs?

VBugs is a resource for creating a game using the SwinGame Software Development Kit (SDK) and VB.NET.  Its aim is to teach students the steps involved in programming in a fun but non-superficial manner.

What is in the resource?

The downloaded resource has a teacher and a student folder. The student resource consists of self paced tutorials with exercise sheets for the student to fill in by hand as they progress. The exercise sheets have been designed as a way of assessing student knowledge and understanding of the topic as they progress.  The teacher folder contains solutions to both the worksheets and the project chapter by chapter as well as lesson plans for using VBugs in class.

Who is it suitable for?

The resource is suitable for students from Year 9 – 11. The resource takes students through the very basics of games programming through to the development of a fully interactive game with levels, scores, music, sound effects, keyboard and mouse input and animated sprites. Students who are keen and progress well, can go on to develop another SwinGame and can enter in the SwinGame 09 competition. This competition is to open to all secondary school students in Australia. Visit the SwinGame 09 website for more details.

How much does it cost?

No charge. As part of Swinburne’s effort to support secondary schools and enhance the profile of ICT, this resource has been developed for all secondary schools to use for free. Simply register (see below) and we will send you the password and the link to download the resource in full. Along with this link we can send out a hard copy of the book for the teacher’s reference.

How long does it take to complete?

This will depend on your class to some extent. VBugs has 9 chapters. Some chapters would take approximately 1 period to complete and others about 3. The final chapter is open ended so if some students finish faster than others they can keep working on improving their game for as long as you like. We recommend allowing about 16 classes. A run down of the chapters can be found below:

  • Chapter 1 – Hello World               
  • Chapter 2 – Images, Fonts and Colours 
  • Chapter 3 – Movement 
  • Chapter 4 – Sound and Keyboard  
  • Chapter 5 – Mouse input and Animation
  • Chapter 6 – Methods in VB.NET
  • Chapter 7 – Objects and Classes
  • Chapter 8 – Level and Score
  • Chapter 9 – Extensions and Additions    

How to request the VBug resources?

Click here to access the online form.

After filling out the form, you will be emailed a username and password to access VBugs.