Make, Share, Do Smackdown wiki

The final session of the School Library Association of Victoria Make, Share, Do conference held on Friday 30th July was a smackdown. A wiki was developed with resources for people interested in accessing resources for:

  • information fluency
  • digital citizenship
  • digital storytelling
  • reading 2.0
  • network building

Screen shot 2010-08-01 at 10.21.27 PM

Wallwisher walls were developed for each topic with conference delegates encouraged to add their own favourite sites, tools and ideas.

Reading 2.0 by Dr Joyce Valenza

The second of Dr Joyce Valenza’s sessions at the  School Library Association of Victoria Make, Share, Do conference held on Friday 30th July focused on the use of social media to promote reading.


View more presentations from joycevalenza.
With so many options and ideas for library staff to use to promote reading, as well as ways to have students create presentations, there is at least one brilliant idea here for every school library to use.
Thanks again to Tania Sheko for her notes from the session. My notes are also available.

Dr Joyce Valenza @ SLAV

On Friday 30th July, hundreds of educators packed the School Library Association of Victoria Make, Share, Do conference held at the Olympic Room at the Melbourne Cricket Ground to hear groundbreaking teacher librarian Dr Joyce Valenza speak about Library 2.0.

Wizard of Apps revised

View more presentations from joycevalenza.
As well as speaking energetically and passionately to two amazing keynote presentations, one of which is above, Dr Valenza was revealed to be a kind, thoughtful and inclusive presenter who made an instant connection with her audience. This conference will not be forgotten quickly and the slideshare above gives us a vast amount of material to pursue for our own school libraries.
Thank you to Tania Sheko who kindly shared her notes from this session. My notes are also available here.

Feature wiki – Our Lady of Mercy College Heidelberg – information wiki

Our Lady of Mercy College, Heidelberg, teacher librarian Michael Jongen was inspired to introduce social media tools into the school library after hearing Will Richardson at a School Library Association of Victoria professional development day in 2009. Michael explains:

I work at OLMC Library as a teacher librarian. As part of my Professional Learning Plan for 2009 I was asked by Tricia Sweeney, Head of Library, to look at Web 2.0 and its applications in teaching and learning.

In March 2009 I attended a SLAV conference entitled Perspectives on Learning featuring Will Richardsonfrom the United States.  Will is a leading educator in the understanding and implementation of Web 2.0 strategies in schools. He argues that

‘Learning in the 21st century is all about networks and the connections we can make to other learners and teachers both in our communities and around the globe. But being literate in this new learning environment requires more than knowing how to read and write, it requires us to edit, publish, collaborate, create and connect in the process of building our own personal learning spaces’

Inspired by Will I decided to blog and work with the teachers at my school and make them aware of Web 2.0 and its potential for learning.  I started a Library Web 2.0 Wiki page on the School Portal where I explored some of the issues, tools and personalities raised by him in his keynote address and in his featured workshop. I feel that my role has been to inform, collaborate and apply, and I looked at practical examples of how social media can be incorporated into assessment or used for communication.

OLMC wiki

Tricia and I had another discussion and we decided to set up an information wiki. With the new school year just starting we will promote the wiki through our Years 7 and 8 reading programmes.

The appraisal of my year’s self learning project was on using Web 2.0 in the classroom and it was agreed that my goal in 2010 is to work in the classroom with teachers and students more often by using practical web 2.0 applications in assessment and presentation.

It is wonderful to hear that the SLAV conference held less than a year ago has had such a positive and practical impact on Michael and Our Lady of Mercy College teachers and students. Congratulations and well done Michael. Thank you to Tricia for supporting his endeavours to introduce social media to the school.

The OLMC information wiki is the first of the resources that Michael has developed that Bright Ideas will feature. I’m sure we’ll all look forward to experiencing his other efforts.

Resourcing for the future: constant renewal through collection development. A conference presentation by Bronwen Parsons

At a recent School Library Association of Victoria conference, Belmont High School eLearning Manager and Library and Information Services Manager Bronwen Parsons delivered the following presentation:

Bron Parsons

Good collection development is yet another skill that library staff need to hone to keep the collection fresh and relevant. Bronwen’s excellent presentation will certainly assist.

SLAV conference notes – Keynote Dr Mark Norman

The School Library Association of Victoria conference Seeing Things Differently was held on Friday 13th November at the National Gallery of Victoria. Prolific blogger and teacher librarian Lisa Hill took notes from the keynote by Dr Mark Norman, and has kindly agreed to share her notes. In Lisa’s words, “just bear in mind that as they were written ‘live’ they’re not a considered response; they’re more like notes taken in a lecture theatre than a coherent report.”  

Dr Mark Norman is the author of a number of books in my school library: Birds in Suits, The Octopus’s Garden, The Great Barrier Reef, Sharks with Attitude, and Living in the Freezer and we love them all.  He’s passionate about the idea of encouraging children to escape into reality, and while he acknowledges that kids are fascinated by the Lord of the Rings monsters and fantasy creatures, he thinks the natural world is intriguing for kids.  He showed us some wonderful slides of deep sea animals that are ugly grotesque and gross, but they’re beautiful too.

So Dr Norman wants us to see things differently – to look around us more than we do.  He’s a very entertaining speaker, and a great role model for kids becoming interested in science.  He says we have to get our eye in – because sometimes we can’t see things because we’re not looking in the right way.  He himself thought he had failed in his first research project on the Great Barrier Reef because he failed to see movement of camouflaged octopi.

Dr Normans’ books for kids are all based on his research but they’re not dumbed down.  They’re predicated on the idea that the visual is critical to not only engaging interest but also providing information that is critical to  understanding.  There’s a narrative behind the photos too: he told us about one photo that took ages and ages to get because the octopus kept squirting ink to avoid the photographer.  The creepy details of these creatures behaviour is of course very appealing to kids and these real stories can compete the silly stuff kids see in the popular media: the important thing is to have this information in kid friendly language.

At Black Dog books, Dr Norman learned to

  • play with stereotypes
  • space and place
  • time

The Shark Book, Fish with Attitude: challenges the stuff about sharks being a terrible threat to humans: gentle giants like the whale shark and tiny little sharks in the deep that never get near humans.  We are much more of the threat than they are to us.  Koala the Real Story challenges the lack of detail about some that we think we know a lot about. Koalas have huge noses because they need to sniff out which of the leaves they eat are the least toxic.  (This book is due for release soon).  He adds jazzy facts to his text comparing the scale of the koala embryo and its mother to a human child and multi storey buildings.  Let’s call creatures silky instead of slimy; let’s recognise the engineering feats of the house fly.  (Hmm, not too sure about that one!) There are many stories to tell about these creatures…

Place and scale can be explored and you’ll find living creatures anywhere, even places that seem like sterile concrete deserts.  In the inner city, planting a few native plants and the creatures will come.  Get to know your local creatures and then build on that. Another new books is about the Deep, down through the different layers of our oceans, exploring the most common creatures on our planet that most people don’t know about because we can’t go deeper than 6km into the deep.  These books involve complex visual literacy, including scales to show how deep the creatures are, graphics, text and striking background.  Another forthcoming book explodes the myth than penguins and polar bears live together: these will be vertical books, not horizontal…

Loved his suggestion that an ovenight sleepover or a twilight activity at school can introduce children to their local creatures that only come out at night!

Interesting aso to compare the local area: the time scale at your own place during the indigenous period, and during pre human history.

Design and accessibility for weak readers includes non linear narrative, side bars, strong graphics and making information available in multiple ways.  The Octopus’s Garden even includes DVDs showing film without a narration, which draws kids back to the book including the fact files in the back of the book which can be read by adults interpreting the books for children.

Kids and Climate Change: inevitable that it will affect us but Al Gore’s book was focussed on the problem and not enough on the solution.  We need to give kids the idea that they are part of the solution.  The narrative that’s needed will empower children so that they do what they can…

This entire presentation was given in a darkened Cleminger Theatre: it was a rivetting slideshow featuring the amazing creatures that Dr Norman talked about.  This post can’t possibly convey the power of the visual images that he stressed were so important – you had to be here!

Thanks Lisa for your note taking and sharing. Great to revisit this fabulous presentation. It certainly made one think seriously about ‘seeing things differently”.


New perspectives on reading and literacy

Don’t forget that the SLAV Conference, 13 November 2009 is fast approaching. SLAV, in partnership with NGV Education and Programs present:

Seeing things differently: New perspectives on reading and literacy at NGV International, 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne

Places are still available for this very exciting conference which addresses issues of visual literacy, multimodal literacy, graphic novels, use web 2.0 to engage students with reading and story and features the knowledge and skills of the NGV Education staff. Here is the registration form:

Don’t miss out. Register now! See you there!