Creative computing – give Scratch a go!

Creative Computing is a six-week online workshop for educators who want to learn more about using Scratch and supporting computational thinking in the classroom and other learning environments.

The workshop, which is free, begins on Monday, June 3 and ends on Friday, July 12. Check out the FAQ for more information about this learning experience.

Creative Computing is facilitated by members of the ScratchEd Team at Harvard University, and has been made possible with funding from the CS4HS program at Google.

The video makes it sound exciting and very worthwhile. Give it a go!

Image: cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by jenny downing

Picture panic!

Back to blogging, and of course one of my ‘go to’ tools is my FlickrCC Attribution Helper.

Heart-stopping moment is over – my Greasemonkey script wasn’t working!!  Luckily all it was – I was due for an update. If you want to learn more about this really cool tool from my pal CogDog then read about GreaseMonkey and Flickr for the Adventurous.

Alan tells us more about his latest coding venture and fix (and the story behind it all) of the script Flickr CC Attribution Helper Fixed.

Check out Find Free Images Online for other image source and management ideas.

Trust me, things will never be the same!  Love your work Alan!

Australian national 13 Project helping kids stay safe online

Library associations across Australia have announced the 13 Project, to strengthen the participation of school library staff in schools’ efforts to help keep their students safer online.

Every parent fears their child being bullied, and cyber-bullying has added an extra layer to the threat. The 13 Project recognizes the special role of school libraries as a place where students often access online resources, and the opportunity library staff have to promote cyber-safety information.  The 13 Project complements other school initiatives to deal with cyber-safety by positioning school library staff as having an important role in keeping students safe online.

In November last year, School Education Minister Peter Garrett said, ‘A 2009 Edith Cowan University report on covert bullying gave us a staggering statistic: one in six students are bullied weekly. A quarter of students between Year 4 and Year 9 reported being bullied at least once over the few weeks the research was undertaken. One in five students has experienced some form of cyber-bullying. This means every family either has a child, or knows one, who is being bullied at school … No child should have to go through this.’

Through the 13 Project, school library teams will have access to web-based resources and information fact sheets to guide students and parents, and industry partner Softlink will be conducting research into school libraries and cyber-safety as part of its annual Australian School Library Survey.

13 Project partners include The Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) and the  Australian School Library Association (ASLA). These are the only two library associations able to  represent school library interests at national level and by working in partnership are showing us the way forward in representing the profession. These two partners are joined by Softlink, a company which has been exclusively dedicated to the development and support of advanced integrated knowledge, content and library management solutions for school libraries for some 30 years. (Softlink is known for their support of school libraries through their annual survey and through their recent generous sponsorship of the discussion list for Australian Teacher Librarians at OZTL_NET).

The library associations are partnering with the Department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy for National Cybersafety Awareness Week, to promote being safe online through displays, events and activities right across the country. The campaign will roll out over 2013, with the main launch event taking place around National Cybersafety Awareness Week, starting on 20 May, 2013.

One activity that school libraries can be involved in is National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence on 15 March http://www.bullyingnoway.gov.au/national-day/ Australian education authorities support this national day through the Safe and Supportive School Communities Project.

So why the name 13 Project?  The initiative takes its name from the year, 2013, the recommended minimum age for interaction with social media (Facebook), 13, and the launch date Friday 1 March 2013 (1/3/13).

I’m delighted to learn about this new initiative.  The work of our national library associations, ALIA and ASLA, is vital to the futures of our school libraries. It is the role of these two organizations to foster and promote the future of school libraries.

No state, regional or lobby group should ever work in isolation from these two significant associations. School libraries and teacher librarians need our national associations now more than ever. 

Image:Girls sharing cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by jasonstaten

Principles for library eLending

"Let me see, let me see; is not the leaf turn'd down Where I left reading? Here it is, I think."

IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations)  has launched a new set of resources relating to eBooks and libraries. Providing access to eBooks is one of the most pressing issues facing libraries right now.

The rise of commercial dissemination of written content in digital form has imposed a new and challenging reality for libraries, publishers, authors and readers. Evolving and escalating changes in reader expectations fuelled by technological change are threatening traditional service delivery and business models.

The IFLA Principles for Library eLending is based on the assumption that it is necessary for libraries and publishers/authors to negotiate a range of reasonable terms and conditions for the licensing of eBooks to libraries which allows them to fulfil their mission of guaranteeing access to knowledge and information for their communities.

The principles below are intended to help all library professionals seeking to provide downloadable eBook content to their users, and are broadly drafted to maintain relevance across IFLA’s 150 member countries.

Principles for the Licensing/Purchase and Use of eBooks in Libraries

1.    Libraries should be able to license and/or purchase all commercially available eBooks under a variety of terms and conditions dependent upon the nature of the work and the rights provided to libraries and their users such as:

  • Number of simultaneous users
  • The period of time the library has the right to make the eBook available.
  • The option of outright purchase with permanent availability1
  • A limit on the total number of loans permitted
  • Publication date and retail sales.2

2.    Given a mutual respect for copyright on the part of libraries and rightsholders, any eBook licensing/purchase options offered to libraries must respect copyright limitations and exceptions available to libraries and their users in legislation including if applicable:

  • The right to copy a portion of the work
  • Reformat the work for preservation purposes if it is licensed or purchased for permanent access
  • Provide an interlibrary loan copy
  • Re-format a work to enable print disabled access

Libraries should have the right to bypass a technological protection measure for the purpose of exercising any non-infringing purposes.

3.    eBooks available from libraries should be usable on all commonly available eReading devices.

4.    Libraries and library users must be able to control the use of a user’s personal information including their library digital reading choices.

5.    When publishers and/or authors and/or resellers withhold library access to eBooks, national legislation should require such access under reasonable terms and conditions

  • Full Version [Word]
  • Full Version [PDF]

Image: Let me see

ABC Splash working the waves

ABC Splash is a new education website for Australia, packed with 100s of videos, audio clips and games. Everything is totally free to watch and play at home and in school. in a nutshell ABC Splash has teamed up with Education Services Australia to link hundreds of new learning resources directly to the Australian Curriculum. Look out for cutting-edge games, virtual worlds and immersive digital experiences.

The site features information for Early Primary, Upper Primary, Secondary, Parents and Teachers. It’s new and it’s bound to be fabulous, so bookmark it today and start using the services in your classroom, or to support your school community.

It’s also cool to see friends included on the site – we’re making our own ‘celebrity splash’. :-)

Dean Groom and Grand Theft Childhood.
Darcy Moore and From Primary to High School.
Judy O’Connell and Rules of Engagement in the Digital Age
Jenny Luca and Personal Learning Networks

Thanks to Annabel Astbury (Head of Digital Education, ABC Innovation) for the opportunity!

From Annabel : Welcome to ABC Splash!

Effortless video meetings at meetings.io

Lately I’ve been very busy – who isn’t these days?  My kind of busy has meant less blogging and more collaborative planning and conversations.

I’m always on the lookout for  flexible options for conversation spaces that are hassle free, and don’t need complex logins or software downloads. Free is also good (while it lasts!)

So effortless video meetings have become a must – and now I think having my own meeting space is also a must! I’ve tried out the new browser-based tool at  Meetings.io  http://meetings.io/ with a small group of people a few times, and have been very happy with the ease of communication. Works across a range of devices – nice!

New features are promised, but for now the standard features work ‘out of the box’ with the click of a button.

Better still, I have my own vanity meeting room, making it drop-dead easy to invite people to a meeting. Better still, I can find and retrieve past chat logs and files, all in one place.  Apparently I can schedule new meetings and manage all my upcoming meetings, but I’ll be honest – I  haven’t tried this out yet.

Overall, this is better than Google Hangout – simply because so many people still get confused by the whole Google+ meeting thing – and it’s free versus video group meetings in  Skype. Other stuff is more expensive again.

Give it a go and see what you think!

Social media [at your library] starts with you

Thank you to Karen Bonanno for the opportunity to speak with teacher librarians about social media, social networking and school libraries,  as part of the School Library Management Professional Learning Webinar Series.

If you are interested in quality professional development delivered online and would like to receive email notices for future webinars and other professional learning events I recommend that you  sign up now.