OLMC Facebook Fan page update

Bright Ideas featured Our Lady of Mercy College Heidelberg Library’s Facebook Fan page three weeks ago. As most readers would know, Facebook has had some serious fallout due to privacy changes (or more to the point, lack of privacy) and OLMC have changed their approach to Facebook. Teacher librarian Michael Jongen says:

This week following the lead of the Media Teacher I pulled down olmclibrary Facebook page as he had pulled down his media page.

This was because of safety concerns. A speaker on cyber-safety had spoken at the school and demonstrated that identifying a school is a danger to students who ‘fan’ the site.

Both of us have re-established our pages as a group which is invite only and private. The groups name is anonymous in terms of identifying the school. Both of us will need to build up the audience base we had to promote our services and useful links and information. We have used the same branding as the media department.

As a school we have looked at using Facebook for assessment and concluded that wikis and blogs and googlesites were better Web 2.0 tools for providing collaborative and private assessment within and educational context.

It seems clear that with recent Facebook controversies about safety and privacy that if as educators we wish use Face-book to communicate with our students it should only be done as a closed group with strict membership control.

This is a parallel post reproduced with permission from Michael’s blog web 2.0 and other library stuff. Thanks to Michael for taking the time to inform readers of Bright Ideas of the changes and why they were necessary.

OLMC Facebook Fan Page

Our Lady of Mercy College, Heidelberg teacher librarian Michael Jongen has recently developed a Facebook Fan page for the students. Michael explains:

After a meeting of CLANS (Catholic Network) librarians where we had discussed social networking, I decided to create a facebook fan page for the library.  This is an attempt to engage with the students but we will maintain the page so that is current, informative and fun.  Several of the creative faculties already use facebook fan pages to communicate with students.  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.


Head of Library Tricia Sweeney and I feel that we will use this as our main medium of communication with the girls and as a tool to showcase our web 2.0 projects such as book trailers and book blogs.

Some newspaper reports in April 2010 suggested that teachers should not ‘friend’ students on Facebook. OLMC has addressed these issues in the following way:

Our Facebook page was devised as a fan page.  Several other subject areas use the same approach, this enables students to fan the page rather than have to become a friend of the teacher.  olmclibrary facebook page has three administrators, including Tricia Sweeney as Head of Library.

We have an eSmart committee at the School which Tricia and I both sit on alongside the IT manager and the Vice Principal. We have draft protocols.

Facebook  is a good way to engage and communicate with students. Fan pages can be created in Subject areas and domains e.g. olmclibrary, media, drama and dance pages. It is not recommended that Facebook be used for assessment or assignments.  It is recommended that teachers do not ‘friend’ with students.

At OLMC the message is very strong that teachers should think very wisely about ‘friending’ current students.  Any current Facebook controversy or issue is raised at the weekly staff briefing by the Principal.

An excellent idea by Michael and Tricia to meet the students’ interests by joining Facebook, but also by setting up a number of procedures that ensure that students stay safe online.

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:

Stemming the tide of cyber bullying

This article was published in today’s Age newspaper and the results of the summit seem to be a step in the right direction regarding the problem of cyber bullying.

Stemming the tide of cyber bullying


October 13, 2009

The Age cyberbullying 

Korumburra Secondary College classmates William Crawford and Courtney Graue were among 240 students at the state’s first cyber bullying summit. Photo: Pat Scala

A year ago, Korumburra Secondary College student Courtney Graue became the victim of a sustained campaign of cyber bullying. What started off as schoolyard taunts and social exclusion soon transcended into the online world: derogatory messages posted on her MySpace page, claims that she didn’t have any female friends, even comments about her appearance.

”I guess girls can get jealous of different things and one girl in particular would tell me I was ugly and that I only hung out with guys because no girls would want to talk to me,” said the year 10 student.

”In the end I talked to my teachers, and even to my parents, and they sorted it out. I got over it eventually, but at the time I got fairly upset by it all, and it certainly does impact your life.”

Courtney’s story is emblematic of a much broader trend: the latest research from Edith Cowan University suggests that on any given day, about 100,000 Australian children will be bullied at school. And between 10-15 per cent are cyber bullied through social networking websites, instant online messaging, mobile phones or other forms of digital technology.

Yesterday, Courtney and classmates William Crawford and Daniel Whittingham were among 240 year 10 students who took part in the state’s first cyber bullying summit.

The conference, involving 60 public and private schools, was convened by the Brumby Government after it became so concerned by the extent of cyber bullying that it decided to seek the advice of young people on the best ways to tackle it.

While the Government has tried to crack down on the problem by updating bullying guidelines and blocking access to video-sharing websites such as YouTube and MySpace through a filter system, experts agree that past policies have not done enough.

Appearing at the conference yesterday, Premier John Brumby admitted that the ever-changing nature of digital technology had serious consequences.

”The openness and ease of online communication comes with a downside,” he said.

The summit comes only months after the death of 14-year-old Geelong schoolgirl Chanelle Rae who, according to her mother Karen, took her own life after reading something posted about her on the internet.

Edith Cowan researcher Donna Cross said it was hard to quantify how many youth suicides had been caused by cyber bullying, but there was little doubt it was a contributing factor in some cases.

The message

Managing social media risks

This article, which was recently published by The Journal, is worth a read in relation to the social media risks to students. It may also be worth passing onto any staff who have an online profile.

Managing Social Media Risks

By Bridget McCrea 08 October 2009

Name an online social networking site, and there are liable to be thousands of teachers, administrators, and students using it connect with people. Whether it’s Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, or one of the more “specialized” online venues, all are replete with individuals looking to tap into the growing social networking wave.

Like any new, uncharted innovation, online social networking comes with risks not associated with many “traditional” ways of connecting with people. Unintentionally offend someone in person at a bookstore, for example, and the repercussions are likely to be minimal. But post a photo that others deem “offensive” on your Facebook page, and you could risk alienating others and even setting yourself up for potential lawsuits.

In her recent report, “Risk Management and Social Media: A Paradigm Shift,” Maureen O’Neil, president of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), called social media tools like blogs, message boards, and social communities the “fastest growing segment” of Web content. “These forms of social networking upend the traditional form of top-down information dispersal because information freely flows in and out of an organization,” said O’Neil.

The problem is that social media can expose organizations to significant risk, not the least of which is serious reputation damage, said O’Neil. That’s because social media is still largely the “Wild Wild West” of the Internet: It’s widely used, yet there are technically no set rules attached to it in terms of conduct. The good news is that institutions can take an active approach to influence and counteract their schools, students and teachers that are portrayed on these social media sites.

“That requires businesses to create an Internet reputation risk management plan that addresses what visitors to your site express, what your employees share on other sites and most significantly what things are said about your organization on sites over which you have no direct control,” said O’Neil. She suggested organizations actively engage on social network venues to understand how reputation can be impacted by the interactions, and then gather information on the social media activities under consideration.

From there, assess the areas of vulnerability, create counteraction plans, and communicate them to employees. Dedicate at least one employee to the monitoring of your online reputation, remarked O’Neil, and build a process to identify new reputation risk elements as social media evolves.

“The risks organizations face as a result of participating in social media are real, but so too are the benefits,” she said. “Don’t let risk blind you from taking advantage of the transformational communication opportunities that arise from social media.”

For schools, the need for risk management is especially high because teachers, students, and administrators alike are enjoying the benefits of connecting with one another online. Whether administrators are posting information about a recent school event, teachers are bouncing ideas off of one another, or students are posting photos of their weekend events, all of the information being shared is available for anyone to see and comment on.


The single biggest risk in social media circles is undoubtedly the participant’s utter lack of control over where the information is going, how it will be posted, and who is going to be able to access it. To avoid potential problems in this area, pay particular attention to what pages that online information is linked to, what types of pages are attached to the information, and which photos are included.

Schools looking to beef up their social media risk management strategies can start by setting up guidelines around their employees’ and students’ use of sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, to name just a few. Stress the fact that, once posted online, comments and photos “never go away,” even if the individual poster deletes them.

Sarah Evans, an Internet marketing consultant and director of communications for Elgin Community Collegein Elgin, IL, said schools should pay particular attention to the feedback being posted about the institution and its students and teachers. Assign someone to “search” the various sites (for the school’s name, for example) on a regular basis to essentially “police” the institution’s brand and make sure it’s being represented properly in the social media.

“You want to make sure that you’re portraying the same experience online that you do when people enter your institution’s doors,” said Evans, who pointed out that all social media sites incorporate a “search” function that allows users to type in keywords and “see what people are talking about in real-time, online.”

Also check out exactly what the content looks like before exposing it to the rest of the world. (If one of your teachers has his or her own Facebook page, pull it up online and see what it looks like to others.) Pay attention not only to the teacher’s or student’s own comments and postings, but also to the feedback being posted by “friends” who are reading–and commenting on–those social networking activities.

Feature wiki – Whitefriars College “Reading – Active and engaging

Whitefriars College Head of Library and Information Services (and School Library Association of Victoria President) Rhonda Powling has created an incredible wiki. Entitled “Reading – active and engaging”, Rhonda’s wiki focusses on strategies for engaging students with reading, particularly for boys (as Whitefriars is a boys’ school).


Rhonda has introduced her students to ‘Book trailers’ This  is where students make a movie style trailer advertising a book. Rhonda’s rationale for introducing the student to book trailers includes:

There are many students who seem disengaged at school. It has been said that young people are not reading and won’t write anymore than they absolutely must.
Outside school, however, it is a different story. Studies have shown young people are reading and writing incessantly, updating their MySpace/Facebook pages, keeping blogs and WebPages

In other words they are reading and writing but in different modes and media to the more traditional print literacies of the 20th century. Indeed the definition of literacy is evolving all the time. Literacy can no longer just encompass print-only works. In the 21st century literacy must include digital, hypertext, images and the plethora of communication media that make up the complex systems that bound in today’s world.

The complexity of messages in today’s world means that our students have to not only know how to “read” them but also know enough about them to be critical viewers, with the power to analyse and understand the obvious and more obscure meanings of the messages around them.

Students are bringing multi-literacy skills to the classroom and teachers tap into their interests and skills and then enhance their students’ understanding of these various diverse texts. This will enable them to become skilled at critically viewing any of the diverse texts that is presented to them so that they can confidently use all the media around them to learn, clarify and communicate information rather than by passive users who can be coerced, confused and persuaded by the unscrupulous.

Some statistics: (in 2008)
· 73% or ¾ students on the internet watch or download videos
· ½ of the young internet users say they watch YouTube
· Many young people post videos to blogs and even more forward on a link in an email
· They are socializing, researching, playing games, getting news via technologies.
In schools we need to look at innovative ways to capture the interest and commitment of students to the understanding the deep-thinking and as the learning world because more and more immersive these initiatives are an important step.

 Rhonda has supplied some examples of book trailers developed by her students.


 The General

Nemesis Book 1: Into the shadows


Rhonda has included the process of storyboarding and planning before students begin filming:



Also included is an assessment rubric:

Assessment rubric

Assessment rubric

You have to agree that Rhonda has created a sensational unit or work and seeing the students’ brilliant efforts only reinforces what a wonderful job Rhonda has done to bring the love of reading to students in this age of multimedia.


If you are looking for a networking platform with all of the benefits of Facebook and the added security of introductions to contacts, then LinkedIn may be the site for you.

What is LinkedIn?
What is LinkedIn?
The LinkedIn website offers more details:

What is LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is an interconnected network of experienced professionals from around the world, representing 170 industries and 200 countries. You can find, be introduced to, and collaborate with qualified professionals that you need to work with to accomplish your goals.

When you join, you create a profile that summarizes your professional expertise and accomplishments. You can then form enduring connections by inviting trusted contacts to join LinkedIn and connect to you. Your network consists of your connections, your connections’ connections, and the people they know, linking you to a vast number of qualified professionals and experts. Through your network you can:

  • Manage the information that’s publicly available about you as professional
  • Find and be introduced to potential clients, service providers, and subject experts who come recommended
  • Create and collaborate on projects, gather data, share files and solve problems
  • Be found for business opportunities and find potential partners
  • Gain new insights from discussions with likeminded professionals in private group settings
  • Discover inside connections that can help you land jobs and close deals
  • Post and distribute job listings to find the best talent for your company

 Relationships Matter

Your professional network of trusted contacts gives you an advantage in your career, and is one of your most valuable assets. LinkedIn exists to help you make better use of your professional network and help the people you trust in return.
Our mission is to connect the world’s professionals to accelerate their success. We believe that in a global connected economy, your success as a professional and your competitiveness as a company depends upon faster access to insight and resources you can trust.

LinkedIn is free, however, as per the usual, there are premium services that can be subscribed to. Here is a YouTube video that explains more:


Say goodbye to boring old slideshows with Animoto. Animoto takes your images, adds music and turns them all into a slick professional style video.

Animoto home

Animoto home

You can upload images from your computer, or select those already stored on Flickr, Picasa, Photobucket, SmugMug and Facebook. You can add text and then you can select music from Animoto’s collection or upload your own from your computer. Images can be reordered at any time and text can be edited. Selected pictures can be ‘spotlighted’. When uploading music from your own source, you are reminded to check that you have the right to do so. If you decide to use a song from Animoto’s collection, the songs are arranged by genres and you can listen to a sample before you decide to select it or not. Before you know it, your images are presented in an engaging way, set to a rocking track.

Educational case studies

Educational case studies

 Animoto has a special ‘Education’ section, where educators can sign up and give students an access code. This enables students to upload videos to Animoto, purely for the class (or whoever is given the code) to see.

As per most Web 2.0 tools, Animoto basic is free, but there are upgrade options for people who want to make longer videos, burn videos to DVD and so on. For most of us, the basic package will suffice as it enables the user to get an embed or copy code for embedding into blogs and wikis or copying to a multitude of sites. The best thing about Animoto is that is is very easy to use. The site is extremely well designed and intuitive, making it a pleasure to use.

Have a look at this video, which was literally produced in ten minutes. Finalised videos can be uploaded to YouTube, as well as embedded in blogs and other websites.


SuperClubsPLUS @ Mount Waverley PS

2007 SLAV Research Fellowship recipient (along with colleague Jacqueline Griffeth) Lee King has created some outstanding ICT opportunities for her students at Mount Waverley Primary School.

Lee recently introduced the students to SuperClubsPLUS.

SuperClubsPLUS is currently being trialled by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development’s Knowledge Bank: Next Generation. The trial provides free accessto SuperClubsPLUS for 100,000 year 3 and 4 students and will conclude in December 2010.

Lee explains how she came to be involved in the project. ‘Increasingly, students, parents, teachers and the wider community have become aware of the issues surrounding Cyberbullying and Cybersafety. As a parent and a teacher, I have been active in protecting the children I have contact with from the dangers in an online world. How did I do this? By worrying endlessly and restricting access.

 ‘What a ‘head in the sand’ attitude! After a quick ‘hands up’ survey, I established that in each of the Year 3 and 4 classes, an average of three students had mobile phones. Again, in each of those classes, around half used MSN Messenger and 3 to 4 students used Skype regularly. What was I protecting them from? They were already engaged in online activities!’

 Lee wondered, ‘Were they safe? Did they know that not everyone online is who they say they are? Did they know not to give out personal information? Were they treating others kindly and speaking appropriately? I had read a little about SuperClubsPLUS and liked the sound of it, so I registered our Year 3 and 4 students with the intention that it would be the ICT focus for Term 1, 2009. 

‘SuperClubsPLUS (Australia) is a social network, similar to Facebook and MySpace, however it is for primary school age children and it is extremely safe. It is a ground breaking initiative, providing engaging and stimulating learning experiences centred on ICT, literacy and citizenship.

 ‘Students are kept safe whilst on the site as only those who have been registered by their school and have written permission from their parents will have access. This ensures that the community is only made up of the children it was designed for. Fully trained mediators, all of whom are teachers or Principals with current Police checks and VIT registration, actively mediate all children’s activities. At least one mediator is on duty from 8am to 8pm, monitoring all interaction and protecting the students in real time. Students may access the site out of these hours but will be unable to communicate with others.

 Lee continues, ‘Once registered, students receive a user name and password which is uniquely theirs. They have their own personal online space where they can complete activities to earn their Cybersafety badge, design and build their own home pages, participate in clubs, join discussion forums and achieve their ICT ‘Star Awards’. They are expected to reach a certain degree of awareness of cybersafety issues before they can participate in other parts of the site.’

Cybersafety page (no link as you must be a member to access this.)

Cybersafety page (no link as you must be a member to access this.)

 As Lee explains, the students just loved SuperClubsPLUS. ‘A wonderful thing happened on the way ……. An hour is never long enough in the lab! Only a day after introducing the students to SuperClubs, I found I was receiving many emails from the students. They would begin with ‘How do you …… ?’. Other emails would arrive shortly after, from the same students saying, ‘Don’t worry, I worked it out’.’

 ‘They couldn’t wait for the next lab session so they used their initiative and actually read the instructions! By clicking on the ‘HOW TO’ link, the students are able to learn everything they need to know about building their home pages, inserting widgets, how to send emails and more. They discovered this before I did.

 ‘The students learn by ‘hands-on’ experience. If they forget about the Cybersafety and Cyberbullying issues, they quickly find themselves on the receiving end of an email from the Mediator. Any inappropriate email (no girlfriend/boyfriend stuff either!) is immediately blocked. Serious misdemeanors are dealt with by deregistering the student and cancelling their user name and password. Teachers are always notified via Department email if students have acted inappropriately.’

Lee explains how SuperClubsPLUS fits in with VELS:

 VELS and SuperClubsPlus Australia

 ‘Many aspects of VELS are covered. Students’ achievements and progress are monitored and rewarded with the STAR Awards challenges. They learn a huge range of ICT skills, Literacy, Cybersafety, social skills and global citizenship – ticks many of the Progression Points boxes!!

 ‘The Domains in italics are dependent on the focus of the content:

Interdisciplinary Learning

  • Thinking Processes 
  • Communication 
  • Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Discipline-based Learning Domains

  • English
  • The Arts
  • Humanities
  • LOTE
  • Science  

Physical, Personal and Social Learning Domains

  • Personal Learning
  • Interpersonal Development
  • Health and Physical Education 
  • Civics and Citizenship

  Personal and Social Learning

‘The students have the opportunity to join learning projects and events such as: discussions on global issues; a writing club with a popular author; a Hot Seat with an Olympic hopeful athlete, an artist or an astronomer; an interview with Anne Frank or Tutankhamen or a Maths fun day. There’s something for every child as they follow their own interests and work at their own pace and level.

‘Out of the mouths of babes ……

“Thank you for getting us on to Super Clubs, it is so cool so thank you I love it.
Thank you.” TG, Year 3

“Superclubs is awesome.”  LM, Year 4

“I LOVE Superclubs. Mum and dad want to have a go.” GK, Year 5.

‘It is not just the kids who love SuperClubs!!!! Here are some comments from teachers involved:

 “It is so easy – this week for  my computer literacy group – they have to send me an email to tell me three things they have loved doing so far this year in class.  Took me about 5 seconds to think of the activity, takes no time for me to show them anything because they all know what they are doing, and is so easy for me to assess!!!!!!”

“I love it as much as they do!!!”

“Thanks for hooking us up with it!!!  I was trying to stay a step ahead of the kids – not possible – some of them are so far ahead of me I will never catch them!!!!  Which is a good thing as they are obviously so happy with what they are doing and being asked to do.”

Congratulations to Lee and the staff at Mount Waverley Primary School for being an enthusiastic part of the SuperClubsPLUS trial that will benefit all Victorian primary educators. SuperClubsPLUS is supported by the Telstra Foundation.