Feature blog – Glenys Lowden’s year 7 History blog

Lowther Hall AGS’s Head of Library Glenys Lowden has kindly agreed to share information on the development of her year 7 History blog.

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Glenys explains why there was a need for such a resource:

I have set up a Year 7 History blog for my class this year.  The main aim is to disseminate information to them through this source, have discussion when appropriate for tasks and include media content.

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It is great to see that Glenys is reinforcing students set tasks through the blog along with a range of resources. Looking at the number of comments from students, using the blog seems to be a popular way to learn. Another excellent resource from Glenys.

Feature blog – Glenys Lowden’s tech blog

Regular readers of Bright Ideas will recognise Lowther Hall AGS‘s Glenys Lowden as an avid developer of Web 2.0 tools for learning and teaching. This time Glenys shares her new tech blog, the cleverly named Lowd en clear.


Glenys explains why the blog was born:

I decided to also set up my own blog for practising new tech and including other things that might be relevant. I am trying to consolidate all the things I have been learning from so many sources. I thought that if I practised in this space using different tools then this would help my learning. I am currently Head of Library and have been a teacher since 1977. Phew that is a long time. I only moved into the Library field in recent years and prior to that had been Head of Welfare and Head of Humanities at a number of different schools. I am not quite sure yet how I will set out the blog but I will start with this format and see how I go.

I have an introductory activity that I used with Year 7 orientation in the first week of term on there. It is very short but I didn’t have much time with the class. The IWB section of the activity is not there but I have tried to briefly explain what I did. They really enjoyed using the mobile phone as the source to photograph and record their answers.

Glenys has started her blog in a brilliant way by sharing her year 7 orientation lessons. The RevolverMaps widget is a nice addition. Looking forward to seeing the blog develop and evolve. Well done again Glenys.

Lowther Hall’s book ning

Thanks once again to the Head of the LRC at Lowther Hall AGS, Glenys Lowden (@glenyslowden) for sharing her forays into the Web 2.0 world. Glenys’s Ning has been developed for year 8s:

The Ning ‘Bookish at Lowther’ aims to provide a place where we can upload information and have discussions about books. The focus is on Year 8 students who will request permission to join the Ning and once given will have their own page. They can change the presentation of their page and all pages are accessible to members of the Ning. As this involves a social network it seemed like a good opportunity to give a presentation to Year 8 on Social Networking. I used prezi.com to make the presentation. You will find it by searching prezi.com for ‘Year 8 Social Networking’. Once the Year 8 students have signed up we are going to be using the space to upload Book Trailers. This is an assessment task for each Year 8 class. They have been given a list of criteria etc and process to undertake. This is all a trial this term and I will use this experience to further develop the Ning next year.

Lowther ning 1

You will note that Glenys has embedded other Web 2.0 tools such as Shelfari, YouTube and animoto into the Ning’s homepage.

The Year 8 students are sure to love such a vibrant way of presenting and discussing books. Thanks again Glenys for sharing another job well done!

Driving Information Literacy – a Prezi

Head of Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School  LRC Glenys Lowden has agreed to share a Prezi that she presented recently to staff. The Driving Information Literacy Prezi shows the ‘journey’ that Lowther Hall are on; how much they’ve addressed so far and what’s yet to come.

Glenys explains more about the Prezi:

The prezi I did http://prezi.com/vanla3godjfi/ was undertaken as an alternate to preparing a PowerPoint. It was part of a group presentation at school and I was focusing on the information literacy aspect.  I actually did the presentation as a PowerPoint then noticed Dianne McKenzie in Hong Kong mentioned a Prezi she had done.  This inspired me to revisit this tool (which I had thought was too hard) and actually have a go (thanks Dianne).  It was tricky in parts and is a tool you need to keep practising.  The PLUSS model that I mention in the Prezi was developed by James Herring. A number of staff came up after asking about the tool and how to use it–they really enjoyed seeing an alternative to PowerPoint.

Well done to Glenys and staff for the Prezi as well as driving information literacy in your school. Thanks also to Dianne McKenzie for inspiring Glenys (and myself) to tryPrezi.

Feature blog – Round Reading @ Lowther Hall

 Glenys Lowden, Head of Lowther Hall AGS’s LRC has developed a well-used blog for her students. A previous post explained how Glenys used a wiki for this topic, but on reflection of practicalities, she decided to change over to a blog. Glenys explains:

Lowther hall blog

The program is called Round Reading.  It was originally on a wiki, however I found I actually preferred the discussion aspect of the blog and I had successfully used this method in a Year 7 blog.  Students are divided into groups depending on the novel they chose.  They had a couple of weeks to read the novel and then are to post responses to questions which are outlined on each page.

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As you can see by the number and extent of student responses, this is a widely used blog which gives students a forum to discuss their thoughts on books studied. Well done Glenys!

Feature wiki – Lowther Hall AGS

Glenys Lowden, Head of the LRC at Lowther Hall Anglican Grammar School has developed an interesting wiki resource with English teacher Jenny Cas. Part of the Year 10 English course requires the students to read and study a book of their choice from a list available on the wiki.

Reading wiki homepage
Reading wiki homepage

Glenys outlines why the wiki was developed:

Jenny and I set up the wiki to encourage the girls to discuss and gain insight into texts which we had purchased specifically for this purpose.

It is great to see, when visiting the wiki, that students have indeed joined and made comments about their books. In some instances, these comments have become conversations when either Glenys, Jenny or other students engage in further discussions about the texts. Glenys outlines some of the issues that she and Jenny faced when setting up the wiki:

We had some problems with students gaining access to the wiki although I think this may have been due to our settings.  Consequently it took ages for the students to get their comments up and by this time the short program has almost finished.  When I last checked not all students had followed through with commenting.  This is another issue which needs to be addressed prior to the next group.  However it has been good to learn from this group and improve the process ready for the next group to start.

Glenys and Jenny have also kindly agreed to publish their supporting documentation; a letter to parents, an introduction to the program and the introductory discussion questions they have been using.

Glenys and Jenny have set up a useful wiki for the girls and have obviously learned a lot through the developmental stages. Well done!