OLMC on Twitter

Our Lady of Mercy College Heidelberg has a library Twitter account.

We also set up a twitter account which was linked to the facebook page.  This was an attempt to tackle the facebook conundrum directly and to see if, as educators we can communicate through our students’ choice of social media.  After a year of working to inform teachers of the potential of Web 2.0 in learning and assessment, I also wanted to look at my own area and how we could utilise these tools.
Teacher librarian Michael Jongen explains how the need to tweet came about.
At OLMC Library we have been using Twitter to try to engage and communicate with students.  We use it to promote events like Book Week, Readers Cup and new books as well as good web links. Previously it was linked to the OLMC Library Facebook page which meant that I could place links, news etc onto Face Book and it would also be uploaded to Twitter.  Now that we have a closed group Facebook page this can no longer be done and I have to post separately to Twitter.
I feel that the initial enthusiasm shown by students to Twitter has evaporated and that they are back to Facebook which seems to meet their needs.  While I feel it is a great tool for educators I feel it is not so important with the young who seem to be enamoured with Facebook.  I will still use
Twitter to promote but will focus on Facebook.
Interestingly Head of Library Tricia Sweeney and I are using the school’s intranet portal to promote much more.  Filters enable us to target Year levels so we can target our message much more effectively.

It is really worthwhile to give some new communication methods a trial, so well done to the OLMC library team!


Looking for an online, multimedia, real time encyclopedia? Mashpedia is just that and is worth using with students.

Screen shot 2010-08-12 at 6.39.34 PM

The website explains more:

Mashpedia is a web encyclopedia enhanced with cutting-edge functionalities and sophisticated features such as multimedia content, social media tools and real-time information, accessible to people all over the world. It’s free to use and open for public participation, allowing users to discuss specific topics, post and answer questions, share relevant links or contribute in new creative ways. Mashpedia integrates a variety of online services and applications like Wikipedia, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Google News, Books, Blog Posts, and further contextual information into a single slick interface, presenting an organized outlook of live content feeds for every topic, thus providing a broad spectrum of services and features that eliminate the user’s need to visit each service separately.

The FAQ page explains more:

Mashpedia aggregates multiple web feeds (streams of content from different sources) into structured articles about specific, encyclopedic terms, historic events and popular individuals, groups, organizations, companies, etc.
Every article provides a basic definition of the term, along with the most relevant videos about it, a stream of current Twitter messages, latest news, images, blog posts and links. Mashpedia also offers semantic connections between the articles, in form of links.
Even though there are advertisements on Mashpedia, it is a worthy search tool for (at least) older students as it gives a real overview of a topic from many different points of view and many different types of media.

Aussie authors on Twitter

If anyone who is on Twitter would like to follow Aussie authors who also tweet, here is a list of primarily children’s and YA authors.  This list makes it easy to follow the authors that you like.

Authors such as

  • Nick Earls
  • Lili Wilkinson
  • Kirsty Murray
  • Gabrielle Wang
  • Cassandra Golds
  • Sally Odgers
  • and Felice Arena

tweet and often will reply to your messages. If your library has a Twitter account (or is thinking about opening one) this could be useful for Book Week activities.

This list is far from definitive, so any additions are gratefully received.

Thanks to Katrina Germein and Book Chook for providing the basis for this list.

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.

Google Buzz

Anyone with a Google account may have noticed a new option in the last few days. The TechCrunch website says that ‘if Google wave is the future, then Google Buzz is the present’. A cross between Twitter, Facebook and other social networking tools, Google hope that Gmail users will find Buzz ‘the easiest way to share online’.

Google Gets Social

Read the excellent TechCrunch article here.

Thanks to @libraryfuture for the link to this YouTube video from Google:


iWise (wisdom search engine) is a useful site. It is a repository for all number of quotes (some useful, others not). Users can search for quotes by entering name of person, partial quote or by using the categories section.

iWise homepage
iWise homepage

Categories such as

  • books – reading
  • writers and writing
  • education
  • children

and many more will be useful to us as educators.

iWise quotes can be downloaded directly into Powerpoint or embedded in to Facebook, retweeted by Twitter users etc. iWise is also available as an iPhone app.


For users of Twitter, TuneIn is a cool little tool.  You can divide the people you follow into channels, such as family, friends, work contacts, networks, etc. However, TuneIn also lets you see links to videos, websites, articles and so on that your contacts have shared.

Bright Ideas TuneIn page

Bright Ideas TuneIn page

One of the ideas behind TuneIn is that there is so many people and tweets to follow in Twitter, that some of the best links and ideas may get lost. By ‘cataloguing’ people into sections and by using the TuneIn desktop where articles, videos and images live in their own dedicated section, mining the gold from Twitter should become easier. 

Media page

Media page

TechCrunch explains TuneIn succinctly:

Using the site should be pretty straightforward for anyone who has used the main Twitter web interface. You’ll see your normal Twitter feed in the center of the page, but on the right side you’ll also see a list of the latest article links, videos, and photos that your Twitter friends have shared. You can choose to sort these shared links by popularity (the more Tweets a link gets, the more popular it becomes) or simply by time. And if you’d prefer to see media shared by only a select group of the people you follow, you can break Twitter users into groups (called Channels).

If you’d like to browse only media and ignore other tweets entirely, you can do that too by hitting the ‘media’ tab on the left hand side of the page. Content is filtered into three columns: ‘articles’, ‘video’, and ‘images’, or you can arrange everything into a handy grid with thumbnails of each item.

At present, access is by invitation only, however you can apply for an invitation. Hopefully TuneIn may be a way to stop us from drowning in tweets!

Twitter gains PM’s approval

From Inspired (UK) comes the following article:

Twitter gains respectability

The PM Gordon Brown has saluted the global implications of twitter. Because of it, he suggests, international relations will never be the same again. Meanwhile, schools and young people using twitter have access to an extraordinary range of famous people through such sites as celebritytweet. More usefully, students are recommended to consider picking up on relevant environmental tweets, distinguishable thanks to the increasing use of hash tags. A great twitter opportunity on this theme is this December’s Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. Meanwhile, more immediate feedback on environmental issues of the day can be read via @ecointernet on twitter.

Some excellent ideas about the use of Twitter in classrooms and plenty of time to plan and gain any permission necessary for students to participate in December’s Copenhagen Climate Change Conference.