SLAV Online Book Club – November 17th, 2022 – Sport

Our thanks to those of you able to join us for our November 17th, 2022, online book club meeting to discuss sport titles. As always, so many of you had so many wonderful contributions to share with us, and it is very appreciated.

This was our last book club meeting for 2022, and we want to say a very special thank you to all who have attended and contributed to these informal and informative meetings. We cannot wait to share the Topics we have planned for 2023 and look forward to welcoming you all back to SLAV Online Book club next year!

Disclaimer: The lists generated as a result of Book Club discussions are not, by any means, an exhaustive list of all titles or authors for each genre/category discussed. Nor will all titles be suitable for all libraries. We advise staff discretion when referencing these lists, to properly confirm individual title suitability for individual libraries, school and student’s needs. These are suggested titles only, shared by our members and inclusion on, or exclusion from, a list does not suggest SLAV endorsement or rejection of a title.

Titles Discussed

Existing lists on the internet and at Readings

https://www.scottishbooktrust.com/book-lists/fab-football-books-for-children/

https://www.readings.com.au/collections/books-for-sporty-kids

Little Ash by Ash Barty – junior fiction series

Sam Kerr Series by Sam Kerr and Fiona Harris

Game Day Series by Patty Mills

Specky Magee Series by Felice Arena and Gary Lyon

AFL Little Legends by Nicole Hayes and Adrian Beck

As Fast As I Can by Penny Tangey

Diary of a Soccer Star Series by Shamini Flint

Boss Ladies of Sport by Philip Marsden

Foul Play Series by Tom Palmer (soccer and crime)

My Spare Heart by Jared Thomas – basketball

Grace On Court & Grace Back On Court by Maddy Proud – netball

Mike Lupica has written a number of American sport novels.

Take the Shot by Sue Whiting

Elsewhere Girls by Nova Weetman and Emily Gale

Wizenard Series by Kobe Bryant

The Mamba Mentality: How I Play by Kobe Bryant

Felice Arena’s Sporty Kids series

The Unstoppable Flying Flanagan by Felice Arena

Ultimate Football Heroes by Mike Oldfield

Bouncing Back by Scott Ostler

The Crossover by Alex Kwaeme

Eddie Betts Biography

Sport Titles Published by Barrington Stoke– for students with dyslexia or difficulty reading

Game Changer by John Hickman

Pitch Invasion by Tom Palmer

Break the Fall by Jennifer Iacopelli

The F Team by Rawah Arja

Shoe Dog A Memoir by the creator of Nike, Phil Knight

Review for The Hard Way https://www.shelftalkers.slav.vic.edu.au/review/the-hard-way/

The Boys Club, power and politics and the AFL.

Bios – Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton and Layne Beachley – Beneath the Waves

All In by Billie Jean King

Andrew Jobling, does school visits about goal setting etc and has published a few books for adults.

https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/series/DWY/who-was

Chessboxer by Stephen Davies

Sports Beat Mysteries by John Feinstein

Kick by Mitch Johnson

Little People, Big Dreams Series

Japarrika Rises by Tiwi College Students

The Selwood Boys by Tony Wilson and the Selwoods

Kicking Goals by Adam Goodes and Anita Heiss

The Jammer by Nova Weetman

Boy 21 by Matthew Quick

ADULT – What We Are Reading

I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

Mr. Carver’s Whale by Lyn Hughes

Motherthing by Ainslie Hogarth

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

A Kind of Magic by Anna Spargo Ryan

Different, Not Less by Chloe Hayden

The Question Generator App

SLAV is delighted to announce the launch of The Question Generator App!

The Question Generator is:

  • A vital addition to the school library professional’s toolkit
  • Supporting the development of critical and creative thinking skills

 From Mary Manning’s recent FYI article –

“Within the Victorian Curriculum, the Critical and Creative Thinking Capability focuses on the development of increasingly complex and sophisticated processes of thinking. The curriculum documents indicate that critical and creative thinking are fundamental to effective learning across the curriculum. School libraries play a vital role in helping students explore questions and possibilities and therefore to understand the role that questions and questioning play in enabling learning and developing a learning disposition. So, as always, the School Library Association of Victoria steps in with practical and engaging support for this vital role!

To encourage students to generate new ideas and possibilities as they explore a topic, the Question Generator enables students to develop their own questions using a range of question starters…

This valuable resource offers exciting possibilities for explicit teaching within the library and for opening up conversations and collaborative teaching and planning opportunities with teachers across all areas of the curriculum.”

From Questions and Possibilities: Introducing the Question Generator by Mary Manning

 The Question Generator App is available now as a free, digital resource on the SLAV website. Please use it and share it widely.

SLAV Online Book Club September 8th 2022 – LGBTQI Books

Our thanks to those of you able to join us for our book club meeting to discuss titles and strategies for displaying LGBTQI Books in school libraries. As always, so many of you had so many wonderful contributions to share with us, and it is very appreciated.

This was our sixth book club meeting for 2022, and we look forward to chatting with you again at our next meeting on October 13th to discuss the topic – Climate / Environment Focus. Either in fact or explored in fiction, the environment and climate are issues of significance. What texts are of interest to your young readers as they grapple with these issues?

Disclaimer: The lists generated as a result of Book Club discussions are not, by any means, an exhaustive list of all titles or authors for each genre/category discussed. Nor will all titles be suitable for all libraries. We advise staff discretion when referencing these lists, to properly confirm individual title suitability for individual libraries, school and students needs. These are suggested titles only, shared by our members and inclusion on, or exclusion from, a list does not suggest SLAV endorsement or rejection of a title.

 Articles

Attwell, V. (2021). “In all areas, I cater to the majority”: An investigation of LGBT+ provision in school libraries from the librarian’s perspective. Synergy, 19(1). Retrieved from https://slav.vic.edu.au/index.php/Synergy/article/view/492

Byrne, C. (2021). Mirrors, windows and sliding glass doors: LGBTIQA+ perspectives. Synergy, 19(2). Retrieved from https://slav.vic.edu.au/index.php/Synergy/article/view/530

Day, N. (2019). Windows and mirrors: visibility and representation in Australian LGBTQIA+ YA fiction. Synergy, 17(1). Retrieved from https://slav.vic.edu.au/index.php/Synergy/article/view/v171196

Discussion in chat about display ideas in school libraries

  • Popular LGBTQI+ books in our high school library. They have a rainbow spine sticker and searchable subject codes.
  • any ideas on whether we should identify books by a genre sticker or in a reading list…seems to be mixed ideas. Is consulting our rainbow group at school enough?
  • I have purchased a rainbow sticker but I haven’t used them yet as I believe that some of the students at my school would feel victimised about reading LGBTQI+
  • I told my junior campus colleagues to read holden shepherd as I felt it was too graphic for yrs 7&8
  • We place the rainbow sticker inside the book on the date due slip or back cover of the book
  • Sorry I don’t have microphone or camera today… Our ‘Pride Group’ meet every Tuesday in our meeting room and I show them new books I have purchased and/or they suggest titles to me.  When I was generifying I also consulted them about where to place the rainbow stickers – inside back cover with another genre sticker on spine for second subject.  I also add LGBTQI+ as a subject/genre in the catalogue
  • We don’t use rainbow stickers – our student parliament didn’t like that idea when we asked their opinion. We do have reading lists and do lots of displays around the various LGBTQI+ events throughout the year.
  • I made a libguide 🙂 https://libguides.ecmelb.catholic.edu.au/c.php?g=942347&p=6823320 and we do displays of rainbow stories pretty regularly
  • Our books are interspersed within our generified collection (obviously with appropriate subject headings and tags) and we do displays to highlight titles as well. I bought stickers (which I was thinking I would put inside the back cover; I remember it was mentioned in a previous book club) but I have not got there yet…
  • Today we have just put up a ‘Diversity’ display which the students have put together – covering not only LGBTQI but also neurodiversity –
  • I’m making sure I have plenty of queer titles as eBooks – all boys’ school so some of the boys are more comfortable borrowing online rather than in person sadly.
  • Back to earlier discussion: We consulted with our LGBTQIA+ club as to how they wanted our books displayed and how they could best access them. We trialled several different ways of presenting the books, including stickers, displays for special days & a stand-alone collection as well as some multiple copies interspersed. We have lists on our OPAC as well.

Links to Lists and Resources

Hi Everyone, sorry joining late, here is a link to our Course Reserve of some books in our middle (secondary ) collection (am at K-12 scl may be of interest https://bialik.on.worldcat.org/courseReserves/course/id/17526105

thinking of ebooks /eAudio you may like to check out EPIC Books – teachers can sign up for free and can share books with students https://www.getepic.com/app/search

Readings https://www.readings.com.au/collection/lgbtqia-books-for-teens

Diverse Book Finder https://diversebookfinder.org/content/lgbtq/

New Yorker Article https://www.newyorker.com/news/annals-of-education/lgbt-books-kids-ban

Buzzfeed List of upcoming 2022 books https://www.buzzfeed.com/dahliaadler/new-lgbtq-young-adult-books-summer-2022

Titles Discussed

Graphic novels:

Heartstopper Series (obviously 😊 )

Kiss Number 8 – Colleen AF Venable

Séance tea party – Reimena Yee

Bloom – Kevin Panetta

Mooncakes – Suzanne Walker

Snapdragon – Kat Leyh

Verse novels:

The Black Flamingo – Dean Atta

Other fiction we love:

Wayward Children series by Seanan McGuire (#1 Every Heart a Doorway) – yr 9 and up

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Take a Bow, Noah Mitchell – Tobias Madden

The First Third by Will Kostakis

The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis

Dancing Barefoot by Alice Boyle

We Could Be Something – Will Kostakis COMING May 2023

The House by the Cerulean Sea – TJ Klune

Heatwave by TJ Klune

Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

Where You Left Us by Rhiannon Wilde

Aristotle & Dante. Film adaptation produced by Lin Manual coming out soon.

Lost Soul be at Peace by Maggie Thrash (senior graphic novel)

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson. A memoir manifesto about growing up black and queer

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

I Kissed Sarah Wheeler by Casey McQuiston

Cinderella is Dead by Kaylnn Bayron

This Poison Heart by Kaylynn Bayron

This Wicked Fate by Kaylynn Bayron

Highway Bodies by Alison Evans has Horror/ Zombies and LBTQI

Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Boy from the Mish by Gary Lonesborough

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland – zombies and lgbtqi

The Comediennes Guide to Pride by Haley Thompson

What We Are Reading

The Marriage Portrait – Maggie O’Farrell

Here Be Leviathans – Chris Flynn

Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

The Rising Tide by Ann Cleeves

Indira Naidoo’s The Space Between the Stars

The Dictionary of Lost Words – Pip Williams

Legitimate Sexpectations – Katrin Marson

 Sources for Reliable Reviews

Goodreads lists

Novelist – I found a public library that subscribes to Novelist so I don’t have to pay

Readings Monthly and Website

Common Sense Media (although sometimes with a grain of salt)

Read Plus

Oz Print

Magpies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SLAV Online Book Club – August 10th 2022 – Reluctant Readers

Our thanks to those of you able to join us for our book club meeting to discuss titles and strategies for engaging Reluctant Readers. As always, so many of you had so many wonderful contributions to share with us, and it is very appreciated. This topic has been one of our most popular book club meetings and our third discussion on this subject. It was wonderful to engage with new recommendations, revisit old favourites and consider strategies that help school libraries support their reluctant readers.

This was our fifth book club meeting for 2022, and we look forward to chatting with you again at our next meeting on September 8th to discuss the topic LGBTQI+ titles. We will discuss across all age groups which texts are working well for those wishing to engage with LGBTQI+ experiences? How are these texts positioned in your school library to support and bolster inclusion?

Disclaimer: The lists generated as a result of Book Club discussions are not, by any means, an exhaustive list of all titles or authors for each genre/category discussed. Nor will all titles be suitable for all libraries. We advise staff discretion when referencing these lists, to properly confirm individual title suitability for individual libraries, school and students needs. These are suggested titles only, shared by our members and inclusion on, or exclusion from, a list does not suggest SLAV endorsement or rejection of a title.

Books that have been adapted for TV and Movies

Heartstopper Series by Alice Oseman (YA)

The Babysitters Club by Ann M. Martin (MG)

Sandman by Neil Gaiman (Mature Readers)

Enola Holmes by Nancy Springer (MG)

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (YA)

Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch (YA)

High Engagement Reads

School of Good and Evil by Soman Chainani (MG)

The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

Fart Boy Series by Adam Wallace

Ninja Kid/Wolf Girl/ Weirdo Series by Anh Do

Anything by Colleen Hoover (Mature Readers)

The Crossover by Kwame Alexander (the original verse book and the graphic novel version)

John Scalzi books suit those who want something a bit outside the box. We have Redshirts (sci fi) and Lock In (mystery/suspense)

Warcross by Marie Lu (YA great gamer tie in)

Football Superstar series (soccer) – easy on the eye layout, not much text. Super popular with boys not confident with reading

Making Friends by Kirsten Gudsnuk

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series by Jeff Kinney

A number of our Year 7-8s love ‘Electric State‘ by Simon Stålenhag – it’s a bit more expensive, but it’s beautiful and the illustrations are amazing!

Verse Novels

Verse novels by Sarah Crossan have worked will with students who wanted Colleen Hoover books

The Poet X is a fantastic YA verse novel, Other Words for Home for a slightly younger reader

Bindi by Kirli Saunders is a beautiful verse novel too

I sell the verse novels to reluctant readers by pointing out that they are a super quick read, but you’ve read a whole book!

Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Steven Herrick verse novels are well used at our boys school, including as class texts Yr 9-12

When the Stars Wrote Back by Trista Mateer (mature readers) – poetry

NCACL verse novel database

Other titles that work well

The Other Side of the Sky Series by Amie Kaufman, Meagan Spooner

(Horror) Dark Hunter books by Benjamin Hulme-Cross

Flowers in The Attic by Virginia Andrews (YA)

Gordon Korman books have been popular with boys who reject other things e.g. Restart and The Unteachables Planning to buy War Stories, Linked, Notorious, and The Fort (His books cover many genres)

Stormbreaker Series by Anthony Horowitz (novels and graphic novels)

A Spoonful of Sadie by Lana Spasevski, Joanie Stone (Illustrator) (soccer)

The Fox Swift Series by Cyril Rioli (AFL)

I Can Be Series … Belinda Clarke (etc) Phil Kettle author (sport)

Ash Barty Junior Fiction Series – Little Ash (tennis)

The Life and Times of Gracie Faltrain by Cath Crowley (girls soccer story fiction)

More Than a Kick by Tayla Harris

Chessboxer by Stephen Davies is amazing – suitable for secondaries

Bulletcatcher is a well-written series (Barrington Stoke) by Chris Bradford

Virtual Kombat trilogy by Chris Bradford  www.barringtonstoke.co.uk

We recently bought the Investigators series, and the primary students love them

I’m pretty sure LMERC have audio books if you join them https://lmerc.softlinkhosting.com.au/oliver/libraryHome.do

I Survived graphic novels are great

Strategies Shared

Try matching books to video games https://screenrant.com/ten-best-video-games-based-books/

Making book lists on our catalogue e.g. Bring the Tissues, At Least One Explosion, Enemies to Lovers, etc

Getting them to talk with their peers about books they recommend

Flip Guides to assist them with choosing

Display or list of banned books – everyone wants read something that they are not allowed to!

Create a short / quick or easy book collection

Have students choose the book they will study for English and buy it or have them choose books from a bookshop for the library.

Invite students to choose from our Lamont book boxes to be added to our collection

Definitely do displays based on Booktok and Bookstagram trends. Latest is the “He’s a 10 but…” meme.

Our students recommend books – a tick is added on the cover and it’s displayed faced out

For the students who don’t know what they want to read we have top 30 lists for different year levels and top 6 lists for all of our different genres. They use them far more than I thought they would

Invite the author to speak

Promote the audio of the book

We have a ‘Bookflix’ window for trending books

I always ask them what they enjoy watching and go from there

Adding book promos to our library promotional trailer (runs over lunchtime) is very successful

What We Are Reading Adult Titles

A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

Salt and Skin by Eliza Henry Jones

Tanith Lee novels

In by Will McPhail is a great adult graphic novel.

Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey

Partway through ‘Wake’ by Shelley Burr

The Crimson Thread by Kate Forsyth

Her Majesty’s Royal Coven by Juno Dawson

Dinner with the Schnabel’s by Toni Jordan

 

 

 

 

 

Guest Blog Post – SLAV Spotlight On Series

SLAV Spotlight On Sessions

Over the past couple of months I have had the pleasure of completing a virtual placement with SLAV as I near the end of my studies in librarianship at CSU. A major part of the placement included my attendance and participation in a variety of professional development sessions and events offered by SLAV. One of these sessions—and possibly the most influential and impactful, were the Spotlight On Sessions.

These sessions featured three guest teacher-librarians, who gave virtual tours of their respective libraries. We heard about a number of programs including ‘Summer Reading Challenges’ and innovative online/web-based programs to support such challenges, as well as forward-thinking initiatives to support digital literacy and future-ready skills for students. Guests shared information about some of the ways wide reading is supported within their schools, how teacher-librarians build and maintain relationships with teaching staff, and how the use of LibGuides can be maximised to support educational outcomes for students.

It was nothing short of inspiring to hear from librarians who are continually striving to develop best practices to support their students and colleagues in an environment that like many others, has had to pivot and embrace the online space due to Covid-19 and associated challenges. After attending the Spotlight On sessions, what became clear to me was that this kind of professional learning allows one to get an intimate glimpse of how colleagues within the profession continually strive for excellence in their respective roles. In turn, this exchange of ideas can help us to constantly adapt and grow as information professionals, whilst also ensuring the best possible outcomes for the communities in which we serve.

 – Vanessa Carnevale – From 2022 Community Hub Manager – Plenty Valley Christian College

Upcoming Events to Celebrate in Your Library

There are two important events coming up in the calendar you can celebrate in your school library, both of which are fun and easy with wonderful ready made resources for you to access.

 

 

 

 

The Great Book Swap

The Great Book Swap is a fantastic way to celebrate reading locally, learn more about Indigenous languages and culture, while raising funds for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation. Schools, workplaces, libraries, universities, book clubs, individuals and all kinds of organisations can host a Great Book Swap. The idea is to swap a favourite book in exchange for a gold coin donation.

This year, the Indigenous Literacy Foundation are aiming to raise $350,000! By registering to host a Great Book Swap at your school or library, you will be actively helping them gift 35,000 new, carefully chosen books to children in remote communities across the country. Yo can find resources and register HERE.

NAIDOC Week 2021 

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NAIDOC is celebrated not only in Indigenous communities, but by Australians from all walks of life. The week is a great opportunity to participate in a range of activities and to support your local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.

NAIDOC originally stood for ‘National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee’. This committee was once responsible for organising national activities during NAIDOC Week and its acronym has since become the name of the week itself. Find out more about the origins and history of NAIDOC Week.

Each year, there is a different focus city for the National NAIDOC Awards Ceremony. The focus city, National NAIDOC Poster Competition and the NAIDOC Awards recipients are selected by the National NAIDOC Committee.

Local community celebrations during NAIDOC Week are encouraged and often organised by communities, government agencies, local councils, schools and workplaces.

Have you thought about organising a NAIDOC event in your Library? A few suggestions about how you can celebrate NAIDOC can be found on this website.

The learning resources available to all students through the NAIDOC website are invaluable for teachers and students and can be foudn HERE. 

The Heart of the Bubble by Trace Balla

Some very exciting news today!

Trace Balla, the much loved author and illustrator of Rivertime, Rockhopping and Landing with Wings, has published a brand new book called The Heart of the Bubble. A touching tale of a family’s awakening to what really matters, set in the time of the coronavirus pandemic. There are also free comprehensive teaching notes available.

Available now as a PDF or paperback from Traces’ website HERE

 

Online resources

During this time, there are many lists being shared that can help you find quality resources to support online learning in your school.  We look for institutions that we know produce reliable and authentic information, and are collating a page of links to resources, guides and useful information HERE for ease of access. We will continue to update this page as we find new resources to share.

 

Professional Learning Resource Round Up

As we all respond to the directives and guidelines in relation to COVID – 19 our association is working hard to ensure we are doing all we can to support our members.

With some schools needing to close for indefinite periods of time there may be a need for your school library staff to indicate ways they are exploring professional learning during a period of school closure or changed operations.

To assist, we have created this post, listing a range of professional learning opportunities made available to members.

A range of presentations from past Professional Learning Events can be accessed via the SLAV Member Login page HERE.

Over the past two years we have created podcasts of all of our Reading Forum events as well recording a selection of presentations given at our major conferences. These podcasts are available to anyone online and can be accessed HERE.

Synergy is our online, research based, journal. The most recent edition of the journal is closed to members only but all other editions of the journal are made freely available in light of the Associations interest in being collegiate and supportive of the wider professional community. We encourage you to explore the wealth of information from current and past editions HERE. 

Digital issues of our publication – FYI – can be accessed HERE. 

As a SLAV member, you also have access to resources from the International Association of School Librarianship through our partner membership status. There are some wonderful resources to be accessed on the IASL website and we encourage you to find time to explore them. Login details are available on our Member Login page.

Finally, a word on our 2020 Professional Learning Calendar. As we advised in our most recent newsletter we are doing all we can to ensure we are keeping our members and presenters safe, and are responding to guidelines and directives accordingly.

Events – cancellations and postponements

Our March 23 conference has been cancelled.

The IB workshop to be held in conjunction with DATTA Vic at Kardinia College on April 16 has been cancelled.

Our May Masterclass in conjunction with LMERC – Powering Learning: Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives has been moved to September 4.

Our May 29 Conference – School Libraries: Powering Primary has been moved to September 14.

The National Education Summit on August 28 and 29 at MCEC, a strand of which we are a partner in providing, has been postponed to a later date yet to be announced.

All other Reading Forums, Workshops and Masterclasses

The remainder of our program are events that are to be held in school venues. At present we are continuing to plan and offer these events on the understanding that a decision will be made a month to two weeks out from each as to whether they are to go ahead. As it is very difficult to know exactly where we will be in two months’ time this approach is hopefully the best response in unknown times.

If you have any queries about this, please contact the SLAV office on 0477 439 593 or email slav@slav.org.au

We encourage all members to stay in touch with each other in these challenging times. Our branch structure is an excellent source of local support.  We encourage you to reach out and offer collegiate advice wherever you can and to ask if you need help or assistance. Our social media platforms can also be a source of connection. Please do reach out, we are open to assisting you in any way we can.

Citizen Science – involving students in real world activities

Involving students in active projects during the closing weeks of the school year is not only a productive use of the closing weeks, it’s also an opportunity to introduce students to Citizen Science and kindle a fire of enthusiasm they can follow up further over the summer holidays.  Citizen science  enables members of the public to participate in scientific research in collaboration with scientists and scientific organisations.  It’s open to individuals or groups and is easily accessible online.

In August, Kristin Fontichiaro of Michigan University, USA, introduced the concept to SLAV conference delegates in the course of exploring data literacy and the ways in which data permeates every aspect of our lives.  A partner in the 2 year project, Creating Data Literate Students,  Kristin introduced real world projects that could be brought into the classroom.

Potential Citizen Science projects (scientific and historical) are:

The Zooniverse is the world’s largest and most popular platform for people-powered research.  Involving hundreds of thousands of volunteer researchers worldwide, topics range from environmental projects, wildlife observation, climate, history and biology, just to name a few.

Weddell Seal Count (on Zooniverse) involves counting the number of Weddell seals in the Ross Sea area of Antarctica to establish if they are being threatened by fishing practices in the region.

SeaBirdWatch (on Zooniverse) aims to address the worldwide decline of seabirds.  Action is dependent on the gathering of huge about of data relating to birds, their location, flying patterns etc.  Identify and count birds from your computer at home.

BushBlitz Australia’s largest nature discovery project – a unique multi-million dollar partnership between the Australian Government through Parks Australia and the Australian Biological Resources StudyBHP Billiton Sustainable Communities and Earthwatch Australia to document plants and animals across Australia.  It’s in our backyard!

Measuring the ANZACs (on Zooniverse) is a New Zealand project transcribing the personnel files of individuals who served in World War I and the South African Wars.

Operation War Diary is another wartime historical project, this time of the British Army on the Western Front during World War I and involving analysis of 1.5 million pages of unit war diaries.

Atlas of Living Australia is a collaborative, national project that aggregates biodiversity data from multiple sources and makes it freely available and usable online.  Students can both contribute and  use data on the site to learn about the distribution of Australian flora and fauna.

Citizen science is becoming so popular and participation so easy, new projects are launching regularly.  For example the news article ‘Urgent rescue mission’ to save Australia’s frogs using smartphone app.  That app is FrogID, the tool being distributed to the public by the the Australian Museum to collect frog calls from across Australia.

As you consider embarking on a Citizen Science project for the classroom, some tips for consideration from Kristin and her colleagues.

  • How much training of volunteers is offered?
  • Has this project worked with high school students before?
  • Are there videos, online tutorials, and other teaching resources available?
  • What is the role of the lead scientists? Do they have an outreach or instructional team member who is available for questions or assistance?
  • Can you discern political or social perspectives, and are you comfortable discussing these?
  • Is there an obvious educational goal, or are objectives primarily related to “doing science” or service learning work?
  • How social is the team with its citizen scientists? Do they use Twitter, email newsletters, tagging within online platforms etc to communicate?
  • Are their communications and platforms compatible with your school’s policies?
    (Smith, Abilock, and Williams (in press))
As authentic assessment, rather than it being a simple observe and count exercise, Kristin and her team recommend:
  • Process journals/blogs
  • Reflective work
  • Oral presentation

This post has barely touched on the possibilities for involvement in Citizen Science, readers are welcome to share their experiences via Comments.  SLAV members check Kristin’s presentation on the SLAV member portal.

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