Will 3D printing change the world?

PBS Off Book is a documentary series exploring the intersection of technology and art. A recent video touched on the implications of 3D printing technology.

It’s a brief yet thought-provoking piece about the use of 3D printing in medicine, education and design. It also looks at the potentially disruptive influence that 3D printing could have on traditional manufacturing, and explores issues of intellectual property and design.

You can watch the 3D printing video below and see all of the fabulous Off Book videos at the PBS YouTube channel.


Image credit: Screengrab taken from PBS Off Book, Will 3D printing change the world?

Talking Difference

Jan Molloy, Programs Co-ordinator, Humanities at the Immigration Museum describes Talking Difference, a new multimedia project from Museum Victoria with content creation opportunities for schools and libraries.

On Thursday May 9,  Museum Victoria launched Talking Difference, a multi-platform online digital media project designed to facilitate dialogue about cultural difference and promote diversity.  The project incorporates touring installations in schools and libraries, personal stories and videos. Talking Difference is funded by the VicHealth ‘Arts about Us’ program which challenges race-based discrimination through the arts.

The Talking Difference Portable Studio is a touring installation and online experience that allows you to watch, create and share multimedia. You can watch or read questions posed by members of the community and see other people’s responses to the questions as well as add comments.

The Studio toured Brimbank Libraries in 2011 creating opportunities for a broad range of people to have their say. In 2012 the Portable Studio toured regional Victoria including Shepparton, Mildura, Horsham, and East Gippsland.

Talking Difference in schools

The Schools program promotes dialogue amongst students about race based discrimination and the impact this may have on both the school and broader community. Students will have the opportunity to understand and reflect on different perspectives of identity and diversity by creating and sharing content using the Portable Studio platform.

The studio will tour schools in Brimbank and Casey in 2013.

First school placement May 2013

Essendon Keilor Secondary College is the first school to participate in the project. Students met with Transmedia academic Emma Beddows and artistic fellow, Christie Widiarto. Students will take part in a number of workshops, producing an installation around the themes of diversity and race based discrimination. The portable studio begins its residency at the school on Monday, 20 May.

Overnewton College, Casey Greammar and Hampton Park Secondary college will all be  participating in the project in 2013.

If your school is located in the city of Hume or Melton and you would be interested in participating in the project in 2014 we are taking expressions of interest at the moment.

Please contact Jan Molloy  jmolloy@museum.vic.gov.au or Tatiana Mauri tmauri@museum.vic.gov.au .

For further information, photos and videos please go to the Talking Difference website.


Promise from Webwise

Today is Safer Internet Day and across the world a number educators and organisations will work with students to explore the theme of  ‘Online Rights and Responsibilities – Connect with Respect’.

To coincide with the day, the Irish association Webwise have launched Promise, a thought provoking video exploring the impact of comments online. Whilst the video does touch on the damage caused by negative online comments, the piece also explores the power of communities and the potential of the web. It’s well worth a look, and would be a great conversation starter in your class today. You can watch Promise below and find other resources on the Webwise site.

Promise from PDST Technology in Education on Vimeo.

YouTube video editor

Recently a new Video Editor function was added to YouTube. It is available to any user with a YouTube account and allows for simple timeline based video editing from within your web browser. The editor has a similar feel to Windows Movie Maker and lets users create movies from existing clips uploaded to a YouTube account.

If you want to create a new project from multiple video files it is best to upload each file and set each to private so only you can view them. Then you can edit your project together and publish the final results for all to see.

The editor enables you to search for Creative Commons videos which can also be included in your project. Music tracks can also be inserted. Any edited video projects which are then published to YouTube also include an attribution of any music or videos used.

We had a look at the editor and recorded a short guide to getting started with this very useful new feature. The Youtube Video Editor is easy to use, has all of the basic features you’d expect and may be the perfect option for putting together your video projects.

Watch below for our Guide to getting started with the Youtube Video Editor. Please note- the video below shows us accessing the video editor through the Video Manager page. The button appears to have moved, but you can still access the editor by visiting http://www.youtube.com/editor and then logging in to YouTube.

Film and video resources: Making History & 15 Second Place

Today’s guest post comes from Heath Graham, Education Officer at the State Library of Victoria. Heath explores two sites designed to help students create special kinds of online videos.

In 2010 – 2011, Innovation and Next Practice at the Department of Education funded the development of a range of highly engaging and interactive online educational resources from cultural institutions around Victoria. The focus for these projects was on content production by students, for sharing with their peers and the wider community. Two of these projects allow for online video creation. They are Making History and 15 Second Place.

Making History

Museum Victoria’s Making History is a resource for producing and sharing digital histories. Digital histories are short digital stories based around an historical inquiry. Students choose a topic, conduct their research, then produce and upload their story to the site, where it can be viewed and commented on by members of the community.

The site offers four broad themes for students to follow:

  • Living with Natural Disasters,
  • World Events; Local Impacts,
  • Cultural Identity; Migration Stories
  • Family and Community Life

These topics are broad enough to find a home in many parts of the history curriculum and allow great opportunities for students to conduct some original research.

Student research is well supported by Making History. Videos and tutorials from professional historians and museum curators cover each of the themes suggested by the site, as well as more general videos on oral history, conducting an historical interview, storyboarding, filming tips, and guides on how to upload your finished story.

Making History also has a space for students to upload and share their work with the community. Users can comment and give feedback on the videos. Digital histories uploaded to the site range form grade three to VCE, and the focus is from myths and legends to the story of a German immigrant coming to Australia after World War II.

15 Second Place

ACMI’s 15 Second Place allows students to create and share very short films that capture the mood or theme of a location. The films are geotagged, so they can be linked directly to the place they were made. The recommended length for these films is only fifteen seconds, which might seem impossible, but it’s well worth checking the site out and seeing how much you can capture in that time.

Fifteen seconds is not enough time to develop a narrative, but it is long enough to give a sense of place, capture a particular mood or tone, or address a theme. The site has several suggested themes that you can use.

Films can either be shot onsite with a mobile device and directly uploaded from the free iOS app, or they can be uploaded via the website. Once they have been shared, they can be viewed through a map interface on the site. The videos are geotagged (this happens automatically if uploaded from the app), and other tags can be added as well. Other users can comment on videos they have viewed. They can also follow other creators, mark favourites, and share to other networks.

The 15 Second Place site contains teacher’s notes and support material for using the site effectively with students. Also included are curriculum links, activity suggestions and a link to the ACMI Educator’s Lounge.

These projects are all accessible through the FUSE educational portal.  All FUSE content can also be found through the Ultranet under the Resources tab.

New and improved site from State Library of Victoria

The State Library of Victoria has just relaunched its website. With an amazing wealth of information, activities and events, checking out the new SLV website is a must.


Hamish Curry, Education & Onsite Learning Manager in the Learning Services area of the State Library of Victoria explains:
This revamped site opens up a great deal of new opportunities to bring our collections and services to the surface; be sure to check out the ‘Learn’, ‘Explore’ and ‘What’s On’ sections.
Professional learning
Online learning resources
Online learning resources such as:
are included.
Professional learning
Professional learning
The professional learning page (above) caters for:
slv 4

Student and teacher resources

The Student and teacher resources page (above) provides resources related to:

  • Specific websites for schools (such as ergo, Insideadog)
  • SLV blogs
  • Audio and video resources
  • Education kits

So many fantastic resources available in the one place, the newly revamped SLV website is an absolute treasure.

The iPad has landed, well almost…

The Apple iPad has landed. At 5am this morning (Melbourne time) Apple launched their latest creation, the iPad. It looks like a large iPhone or iPod touch.

It has a 25 CM display screen. One really cool demo covered the New York Times where users can read a copy that is laid out exactly like a real newspaper. It also has embedded video to add to the stories and menus to access other pages quickly.

A full size keyboard pops up when you use it in landscape. It has high definition video and lots of application for gaming. Photos can be added directly to Flickr and Facebook.

But the big thing for us guys is iBooks. The iBook store is on the iPad and Apple have already partnered with Penguin, Macmillan, HarperCollins, Hachette and Simon and Schuster. Interestingly some prices for books were pictured during the launch. Although in US dollars, Twilight and The Lovely Bones were listed at $4.99. That’s very appealing. Obviously a full colour screen so covers display as per the real thing. Fonts can be changed and enlarged to suit individual readers.

Bad news though; iBooks is apparently only available in the US upon the release in March. This is a serious problem for any Apple market outside the US, but understandable really due to publishing territories. Wonder when other territories will come onboard? No doubt this will happen though, as iTunes wasn’t available to other territories at one stage.

But the most important and fairly basic question that we as library professionals and educators have to ask is will the iPad bring more people to reading? I think the answer is yes and surely that is what we are all about, what we strive for in our work every day.

A view of the bookshelf and eReader

A view of the bookshelf and eReader

iWork, a suite of applications has been added to the iPad. iWork includes speadsheets, documents and presentations and is compatible with Microsoft Office. The spreadsheets look amazing and a numeric keypad pops up for data entry. These apps will cost (US) $9.99 each, whereas the iWork complete suite for Macs cost a$129.

As there will be a full sized keyboard dock for the iPad, it makes using the iPad as a regular computer so much easier.

The device weighs approximately 680 grams and according to my calculations is just over 1 centimetre thick. The iPad will come in 16, 32 and 64GB. There are WiFi and 3G models. The 3G are unlocked and should be able to use any carrier.

Pricing starts at US$499 for 16GB, $599 for 32 and $699 64GB WiFi models. 3G models add an extra US$130. The WiFi model will be on sale in 60 days, this availability is worldwide. We won’t have to wait here in Australia. The 3G model will be on sale in 90 days, but international pricing for plans or prepaid accounts will take until June or July to be locked in. As the 3G model has a Sim card tray, here’s hoping that we’ll be able to use the Sim card for mobile broadband access.

The pricing here is important in terms of the Kindle DX. Currently at A$489, the Kindle will face stiff competition from the full colour multi-faceted iPad. Will be interesting to see how the availability of book titles pans out on the iPad. Perhaps it is no surprise that a free Kindle app for iPhone and iPod touch was released today.

Apple’s specifications can be accessed here. A VoiceOver screen reader should mean that vision impaired people can use the iPad. It seems there is no camera for video conferencing or Skyping and the rumour of solar power was just that. The Engadget people covered the iPad launch event live, so for lots of news, photos and specifications, head over there. And here is a short video of the launch:

Questions about how the iPad may impact on school libraries are pondered here.

Here is the official Apple video of the iPad.

PBS teachers

PBS teachers is a website devoted to learning and teaching brought to you by the US television network PBS.

PBS teachers

There is an incredible amount of teacher resources here and they are not all US based. There are many online resources for those of us outside the USA to use. Organised by level:

  • Pre K,
  • K-2,
  • 3-5,
  • 6-8,
  • 9-12

and then by the subjects

  • The Arts,
  • Health and Fitness,
  • Maths,
  • Reading and Language Arts,
  • Science and Technology
  • Social Studies.

There are classroom resources, discussions and information on forthcoming and recent professional development.

The site is attractive and well organised and there is sure to be something to suit just about everyone. Featured initiatives such as ‘Raising readers’ that links to stories and reading activities and the PBS video portal that collects shows broadcast on PBS (these ARE available to people outside the US, unlike the BBC iPlayer) are other useful aspects of the site.

Also, see this School Library Journal article: PBS, NASA partner to help educators with climate change lessons.  PBS teachers is a very useful site for teacher resources.


Viddix is a freakily great site that lets you put documents, web content, powerpoints, photos, surveys (and more) next to video content. You can even trigger the accompanying documents to appear at the correct place within the video. Have a look at this example:

 Created by a Dutch group, Viddix has free and business accounts.  Viddix could be extremely useful for conference presentations, whether they be virtual or face-to-face. And as you can see, Viddix presentations can be embedded quickly and easily as there is only one embed code.