SLAV Connects is a blog by the School Libraries Association of Victoria (SLAV), formerly named Bright Ideas when a collaboration between SLAV and the State Library of Victoria (SLV). Its aim is to share news from the Association and to encourage teacher librarians, librarians, school library staff, educators and all interested persons to actively engage with the school libraries, to share tools and experiences; to network on a global scale; and to embrace dynamic teaching and learning opportunities.
Lynn Swannell, a Librarian at Mount Eliza Secondary College has developed a very useful eLearning wiki.
￼Lynn explains how the wiki came about:
I created this ‘Sharing eLearning at MESC’ wiki with two things in mind – teaching myself how to use Wikispaces and creating a Web2.0 sharing space for staff at Mount Eliza Secondary College.
In April 2010 I signed up to complete the 12-week SLAV ‘Personal Learning Network Program’ and during this time I have discovered (and rediscovered) a huge range of Web2.0 online tools that I wanted to share. In the past I have emailed teachers and saved them to my Delicious account for future reference but I was looking for an easier way to make them more accessible and share them with teachers.
Since starting the program I have not only expanded my own personal learning network via my own blog (Lynn’s PLN) and reading other blogs, nings and twitter but also gathered together some fantastic resources recommended via these methods. Bright Ideas is one of my favourite blogs and I’m thrilled to have been asked by Judith to contribute. After reading about the Echuca eLearning Wiki created by Maryna Badenhorst (Bright Ideas 24 May 2010) and then learning about Wikis during week four of the program, I was inspired to create my own wiki using Wikispaces for Educators.
As you can see I have tried to group the resources into various categories and created a page for each. The ‘Areas of Learning Links’ only has a few links at this stage but I hope to expand on it as more teachers create their own blogs, nings, wikis for their classes. I have also added a few subject specific resources to the page. ‘Digital Citizenship’ is an area which our school is exploring at the present and this page has been of great use recently. The page on ‘Presentation Tools’ is one that is going to be neverending as more students and staff look for alternatives to PowerPoint – I particularly like animoto at the moment.
Our school motto is ‘Protect Nurture Grow’ which is what I hope will happen with this wiki as I launch it to staff this term and encourage them all to share in eLearning.
It is so pleasing to read that Lynn has been inspired by Maryna’s wiki featured on Bright Ideas. It is lovely to know that all staff are encouraged to share eLearning together with Lynn.
WikiNorthia is an innovative project that will encourage people across five local councils with rich cultural histories and diverse communities to get together and tell their stories providing a snapshot of life in the north of Melbourne now as well as the past. The project is the first of its type in Victoria and in fact Australia.
Students in the regions catered for by WikiNorthia could find an audience for specific pieces of work as well as using the wiki as a research resource. Support materials will be useful for teachers and students.
We’ve all done pathfinders for our students. They take quite a bit of time, but they are so useful to point students (and teachers) in the right direction when researching a topic. Now teacher librarian Dr Joyce Valenza has come up with the brilliant idea of hosting a wiki where anyone can upload their pathfinders and in return, find completed pathfinders by other educators. Pathfinder Swap is the result.
Encompassing the topics of
Books and Reading
as well as tools to use to build online pathfinders, this wiki is a sensational idea. What a great way to save time and to share and collaborate with others. Please consider sharing your pathfinders via this great initiative.
Craig Mantin and Willowgrove Middle School students have created over thirty screencasts embedded in this wiki to share with audiences around the globe.
This site is useful in two ways. The first to provide a resource for students studying maths who may need further explanations on the topic. The second is to provide an exemplar of how students can demonstrate their learning of maths concepts (and media creation skills) by teaching others.
As well as our information wiki (Wikidlinks), we also set up a reading wiki . We intend to use these pages to communicate and engage with students and teachers. We have created a new front page for the library on the School Intranet. It goes something like this….
Welcome to Wikidreading You can share your comments and ideas about reading and see what others have to say. In 2009, reading at olmc reached greater heights – more borrowing, more reviews and more discussion. Make sure you are part of this in 2010.
Our core service is information and reading and we think we have it covered in this simple format. With the new school year just starting we will promote these pages through our Years 7 and 8 reading programmes.
As you can see students have been contributing reviews already and the ‘New books’ page is a great idea. Michael’s page of reviews is detailed and students can see for themselves that he enjoys reading and is a terrific reading role model. Another job well done Michael!
A very useful resource is the Digital Citizenship wiki, which caters for students in grades 1-12. The wiki explains more:
This is a resource for grade level teachers to prepare students to use technology appropriately and being mindful of the citizenship skills they already possess.Come back often as this WIKI will be continually updated.
There are links to topics such as cyberbullying, plagiarism and copyright as well as links to relevant videos. A very useful site which will be added to over time.
The Studies of Asia wiki is a fantastic resource for every primary or secondary school. Although specifically developed for Victorian schools and the Victorian Essential Learning Standards, the resources available are accessible by anyone, anywhere. The wiki states that it aims ‘to create ‘asia-literate’ students, teachers and schools with skills, knowledge and understandings of Asia to equip them to live in today’s world and the world of their future.’
Monthly newsletters inform readers of professional development and other opportunities as well as classroom resources and study tours.
There are also links to classroom resources that include virtual tours of China, as well as teacher resources that demonstrate how Asian studies can be integrated into The Arts and English.
Acknowledging the National Curriculum Board Draft Papers, the wiki states:
With the release of the National Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians followed by the National Curriculum Board draft papers the importance of providing students with educational experiences that take into account the changes over the past 20 years is critical. “India, China and other Asia Pacific nations are growing and strengthening their impact on the world, representing a huge shift in geopolitical power and sparking the need for all Australians to become ‘Asia literate’.Asia literacy has emerged as a priority area for Australian schools. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd recently stated that he ‘wants Australia to become the most Asia literate country in the western world’. Similarly, the Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard has commented that ‘it is impossible to conceive of a future Australian education system that does not take Asia seriously’.
This wiki is an excellent resource for each and every school.
The School Library Websites wiki provides examples of best practice school library websites that covers Elementary (Primary), Middle School and High School (although there doesn’t seem to be any examples of High Schools as yet).
Many of the sites featured are from the US, but any school library professional is welcome to join and submit their own websites to the lists. As the wiki states:
This site is meant as a wiki-clearinghouse of effective practice. It is, by no means, a comprehensive list. Rather, it represents the collective recommendations of participating colleagues. Please join us by contributing your own suggestions of exemplars of effective practice.)
While the main foci of the unit are literacy and numeracy, Les and Judith hope other skills will come out of the program. The program will begin in term 1, 2010. Les and Judith explain:
Introducing literacy and numeracy at senior years is always difficult. It always needs to be embedded into types of work the students find interesting and what better way to get the students’ attention by using Guitar Hero as a starting point.
Upon forming their ‘bands’, students will be blogging about imagined tours, CD releases, booking and travelling to venues around the world and so on. Numeracy skills come into play when deciding who much to pay roadies, how much tickets will cost and how the money will be split between the band. Students will need to be aware of their audience when blogging and develop a convincing history of their band.
Other skills such as cooperation and collaboration, problem solving, researching and investigating, mapping and creativity. Students will also be learning how to use web 2.0 tools such as Big Huge Labs to create posters, tickets and CD covers. Voki or other sites will be used to develop avatars and students may film their ‘concerts’ to upload to teachertube.
We hope that this unit of work will grab the students’ imagination and keep them actively involved for the entire time.
(With thanks to staff at Perth and Kinross Schools in Scotland for the seed that developed into this wiki.)
Hopefully the students enjoy their numeracy and literacy lessons! It will be interesting to hear how it all goes.
An extremely useful site for maths teachers and students, the Year 7 Maths Wiki has a wealth of information on problem solving, homework help and interactive activities. The wiki was developed by the fabulous Maryna Badenhor (@marynabadenhors).