Who we are; what we do

What types of media, access, and support do cutting-edge media centers and school libraries offer students? How are teacher librarians and library media specialists leading the charge to help students master 21st century literacies?

Issue 22 Volume 4 of ASCD Express “The Transformational Media Centre” looks at ways teacher librarians and library media specialists can collaborate with teachers and other staff to enhance student learning.

A good read overall – and I’m excited to say also includes a piece by me –  Content Used to be King – as the New Voices feature.

Jumpstart with blogging and twitter

My head is in ‘library zone’ these recent weeks – and so I am on the lookout for ideas, promotional materials, design ideas, pedagogical inspiration and more. Bit of a bower-bird for a while – before I head off for more presentations, workshops and the like.

So when I found this nice presentation from Nathan Wright, I decided I liked it!  Might be just what you need to get you thinking?

Empathy and Meaning

Once again I’ve had a wonderful time participating in live blogging A Whole New Mind with students from Arapahoe High School. I wish I had time to do more – it’s an amazing experience.

This year I joined up for two classes, discussing chapters in the book by Daniel Pink. Using MeBeam, we could hear the students adding depth to their personal ideas, and challenging each other to think more deeply about the implications of each of the chapters for their schooling, their lives and society.

Karl Fisch set this up again this year at  the A Whole New Mind 09 wiki. It’s the beginning of the year for me, so it’s not easy to help out much – this year two sessions had to be my limit. But the last class on the ‘roster’ happens to be at 6:15 am, so I can make it and still get to school. You can read more about the fishbowl discussion technique.  Drop over to the CoverItLite replay of the blogging discussions.

My chapters for involvement this time were Empathy (where I caught up with Julie Lindsay, wonderful aussie who is head of Information Technology at Qatar Academy in Doha.) and Meaning.

I loved saying hi! to the students. Their efforts were very impressive – wonderful thoughtful discussions. Likewise, the students blogging, who were also listening to the conversation, were extending their thinking in a number of ways, responding to our feedback, throwing out questions to us, and holding their own once again in terms of highly valuable and reflective discussion.

It at wonderful way for me to start the year. It reminds me of the goals we are working towards at our school – embracing technology in immersive and interactive ways to promote 21st century learning of the best kind.

Karl is an inspiration to us downunder, providing concrete evidence of success in changing the way we manage our learning environment. Karl’s work helps me keep my focus.

Special thanks to the students who shared their thoughts with their external visitors.  Next year when the call for people to be involved goes out I highly recommend that you consider joining in. It’s easy, and a great way to see 21st century learning in action.

Seven things you don’t need to know…about me!

Sorry – the tags for the 7 things meme have been dropping in and I have been procrastinating while promising on Twitter to get on with it!

Do I even have seven things to dig up?  Some of the entries I have read have been hilarious, and interesting. My favourite is always the eclectic collection of things from John Connell.

Oh well, in my crazy, ordinary, silly life here are 7 more useless bits of information that you don’t want to read:

  1. English was my third language to learn, but it is definitely my master language now. Hungarian then German have fallen by the wayside, and while German is largely incomprehensible to me, Hungarian remains familiar and will help the family along in our visit to Budapest in April.
  2. While I admit I failed the bus licence test (only did it once), I reckon I can drive anything. My very first car was a  a tiny 479 cc two-cylinder double clutch number, and it cost nothing to run!
  3. I have an addiction – chocolate!
  4. My only achievement as a pimply teenager was to score 9th in the State in the Music in the HSC.  Despite that, I have lost my piano playing skills.
  5. I’ve always enjoyed singing in choirs since I was 6 though – but have never had singing lessons and am just an ordinary alto. This years gamble will be to sing Handel’s Messiah with the Sydney Philharmonia massed choir.
  6. I’m a definite Libra. I love balance, and get very sick at heart in an unbalanced environment. I will get quarrelsome and annoying if things are unfair. In Grade 5  I led a classroom ‘walkout’ against our teacher, and we played netball in protest against unfair discipline in the classroom. Despite this ‘bent’ I am uber conservative about most things in life.
  7. I hate getting up early in the morning!

Time to tag seven unsuspecting bloggers:

Jeanette Tranberg

Tom Barrett

Camilla Elliot

James Herring

Kathryn Greenhill

Michael Stephens

Rhonda Carrier

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Blogging Fast Forward

It had to happen – rather belatedly finding out something to inspire blogging ‘on the fly’.

Thanks to a tweet from OwenC about 6 applications that made 2008 special, I am busy exploring Zemanta. I’m doing this after jumping over to Owen’s blog, and having a quick chat about it just to check if I should download this new addition to my suit of FireFox plugins.

Interesting app…see the picture I’ve dropped into the post?  It’s one of many that appear in the Zemanta toolkit, which responds to the content that your are writing in your post. (Now here’s a challenge –  the next day one of the images had disappeared!  Try again!)

I like that I can drag a picture from that selection straight into the blog

The generic globe logo used when Firefox is co...

Image via Wikipedia

post – but I can’t use the normal editing to position that picture (unless I set the preferences to xHTML in zemanta).  Alternatively a quick jump into the html allows me to move the picture around easily enough.  I can also ‘filter’ or search the image pool too. It’s also rather clever the way the image captures attribution – though I have no idea what the source of the images are and if they are indeed creative commons accessible ones. (ok on closer examination, I can see that hovering over the image pool provides the source of the image and its attribution! Cool!)

Zemanta also pulls up content from other sites, drawing on your main topic. I can jump over to them if I see something directly relevant, and add it to this post.  In this way I discovered that CWillliams has answered some of my queries about Zemanta.  Diane also explains:

Zemanta provides you with an easy way of finding and adding photo’s to your blog posts, it recommends SEO tags based on the content of your blog posts – and this is a very cool feature as it’s next to impossible to think of all the relevant tags that could be used. Zemanta also provides you one click access to content related to your blog post .

I’ve picked a few related articles prompted by Zemanta:

Installation is easy..reminds me of Flock, which I used to use before it became so heavyweight.

Another feature is the automatic creation of links within the post. These are generated by Zemanta, at the bottom of the writing window. Simply choose and click and the links are hyperlinked within the post for you.  Mostly these seem pretty relevant.

Zemanta also suggest tags to add to the post! This is something I don’t pay enough attention too, so it will be quite helpful for me.

After more investigation I find that I can add my Flickr account and link to my own images!In fact, if I want to, I can connect my Facebook, MyBlogLog and Twitter accounts to Zemanta and when you post about your friends, their blogs and websites will be added.

Very Nice. Looks as if I am going to have to review my blogging processes for 2009.  Any advice would be most welcome!

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Christmas Eddies

Not everyone knows, or even cares about the annual Edublogs Awards.

But there are enough of us around to make the annual Eddies a great way to find out about new blogs, catch up on old favorites, have discussions, consider the evolution of Web 2.0, encourage those who have got involved, have arguements with the ‘old timers’ …whatever it takes to make a fun competition. 

Thanks to the fantastic team who put on the awards this year:  Josie Fraser, Dave Cormier, James Farmer, and to my fabulous friend Jo kay who hosted the event ‘inworld’ at Jokaydia supported by the EdTechTalk crew who provided a web-based audio stream of the event.  I missed the event…being away in the country with no internet access. But I did catch up with some of the news via twitter and got a Christmas Eddie surprise all of my own!

I caught up with the Ustream later, and I loved Dave’s Top 10 Edtech News etc thingers of 2008.

Congrats to all. Congrats to those in the Best library/librarian award category – you are all sensational and certainly each of you are an inspiration to my work and my play online. 

Thank you to all those amazing blog readers who cast a vote to support Heyjude.   You guys really rock!  because you gave me a super fun Christmas Eddie Pressie!

Thank you to James and Edublogs!  I WILL be making contact to get into using Edublogs Campus – a great prize, and just the right time for our small efforts at innovation at Joeys. I believe every school needs an Edublogs Campus…so I’m looking forward to our explorations in 2009. 

Virtual hugs to you all! 

Make sure you visit the other inspirational Library bloggers:

Lorcan Dempsey’s weblog
UoL Library Blog
Paul Walk’s weblog
Hey Jude
Joyce Valenza
Blue Skunk Blog

And the Edublog Winners for 2008  in all categorys are:

1. Best individual blog – The English Blog

2. Best group blog – SCC English

3. Best new blog – Angela Maiers

4. Best resource sharing blog  – Free Technology for Teachers

5. Most influential blog post – Order for Closure

6. Best teacher blog – The Cool Cat Teacher

7Best librarian / library blog – Hey Jude

8. Best educational tech support blog – Teachers love Smartboards

9. Best elearning / corporate education blog – eLearning Technology

10. Best educational use of audio – Ed Tech Talk

11. Best educational use of video / visual- Steve Spangler blog

12. Best educational wiki- Flat Classroom Project 2008

13. Best educational use of a social networking service- Classroom 2.0

14. Best educational use of a virtual world- Discovery Education Second Life

15. Best class blog- Extreme Biology

16. Lifetime achievement- David Warlick

Collaborate visually

Howard Rhiengold’s short video ( from Howard Rheingold’s Vlog) summarises some pretty significant shifts taking place. I’d like to show this video to teachers who are pretty much at the stage of looking at YouTube videos but not much else. A good conversation starter, as you can have a tick list while they watch..do you do this? know about this? heard about this? Go on! Do some collaborating (visually) today!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Collaborate visually“, posted with vodpod