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The sounds of silence

Apologies to my (few) readers for radio silence over the past few months. I’m recovering from surgery and some post operative complications at present.

However, I have been doing some reading and planning and hope to be able to share very this shortly.

Good for a laugh…

After the Amazon drone video, here’s a response from Waterstones:

Hilarious!

Just to show that we have a sense of humour.

Harry Potter in real life

Now you all know that I’m a bit of a Harry Potter fan (understatement), so this new video from Improv Everywhere is one that needs to be shared!

Exciting news

With all of the work involved with the Readers’ Cup being held last week, I haven’t had time to share some exciting news.

I have been invited to participate in a panel during the EduTech 2014 conference in Brisbane in June next year. The EduTech website explains:

Tuesday 3 June - 2:10 PANEL DISCUSSION: Future possibilities of the cloud for schools

  • How can we capitalise on the vast information and networks online?
  • Selecting cloud-based resources such as video, apps and portals
  • Reimaging school in a paradigm of online learning
  • How will the cloud continue to extend the roles of technology in education?

I am super excited to be attending EduTech again and even breathing the same air as some of my EduTech gurus! What an honour to be asked to be a part of this event.

More ASLA13 reflections

Further to my ASLA13 post from Monday, I have some more session reflections to share. Another new friend, Michelle Jensen, who is SLANSW President, recorded conference minute videos for some of the sessions I also attended.

Check out the SLANSW YouTube channel here. Such an innovative idea to immediately record and share session reflections to keep ideas fresh. You can follow SLANSW on Twitter too.

ASLA reflection

It’s been over a month since the excellent ASLA13 conference concluded. I’m sorry to say that ill health, family commitments and preparation for the 2013 Readers’ Cup has prevented me from posting earlier.

It was a wonderful conference held in an excellent venue (Hotel Grand Chancellor Hobart) and the opportunity to meet many colleagues face to face for the first time was exciting.

Brilliant presentations from people like Professor Barry McGaw, Dr Mandy Lupton, Dr Hilary Hughes, Dr Jill Abell, Erica McWilliam, Anne Whisken, Jane Viner, Pru Mitchell and Anne Girolami, Kate Reid and Hamish Curry were humorous, thought provoking and informative. (Great to note how many teacher librarians have completed higher degrees.)

A brilliant conference dinner with the aptly named guest speaker David Brill held at Peppermint Bay was another highlight.

Another wonderful thing was to have time to chat, whether it was over breakfast, dinner, coffee, lunch or morning or afternoon tea (all excellent quality) – just not having to rush off to our real lives made forging connections much easier.

One of my new friends, Joachim Cohen who is a teacher librarian who works for SLANSW compiled ab excellent Storify as well as ‘conference minutes’ – a one minute youTube video of his takeaways from each session. Such a brilliant idea and rather than me recreating the wheel, Joachim has permitted me to embed the relevant reviews of each session that I attended.

My session presentation can be accessed here.

Congratulations to Karen Bonanno and all the ASLA13 crew on an amazing conference. I hope we Melburnians can give conference attendees in 2015 as warm a welcome as the Tasmanians did this year.

2013 Readers’ Cup report

On Friday 1 November, 11 very excited teams descended on Quantum Victoria for the 2013 Readers’ Cup. Teams representing:

  • Balwyn High School
  • Dandenong High School
  • Kew High School
  • Mentone Girls’ Grammar
  • Mill Park Secondary College

attended.

The day began with questions and answers on:

  • Diary of a wimpy kid and
  • Percy Jackson and the lightning thief.
At the end the first two rounds, 9 of the 11 teams competing had perfect scores. Impressive knowledge of the books!
Then the creative round was held. This is where each team devised a creative interpretation of one (or all) of the books. Everyone present was blown away by the quality of the presentations, which included:
  • stop motion animation
  • video presentations
  • news reports
  • mashups
  • dramatic interpretations
  • a prezi
  • and ‘Fakebook’ account.
Rounds three and four saw questions on:
  • Skulduggery Pleasant
  • Stormbreaker
At the end of the formal rounds, two teams were tied on a perfect score of 24 points.
The Potatoes and NA (both Balwyn High) then entered a sudden death tie break. After six further questions, The Potatoes were the only team with a perfect score and were awarded the 2013 Readers’ Cup.
Finals scores were:
  • The Potatoes (Balwyn HS) – 24
  • Booktique (Kew HS) – 21.5
  • The Purple Bluebirds (Mentone GG) – 22
  • Imagitivity (Mentone GG) – 23
  • NA (Balwyn HS) – 24
  • Rudite Eucalyptus (Dandenong HS) – 23.5
  • Purple People Readers (Dandenong HS) – 23
  • Mill Park Secondary College – 23
  • The Sparkles (Mentone GG) – 20
  • Bookaholics (Kew HS) – 22
  • Drama Llamas (Moneton GG) – 23
It was obviously a very tight competition this year where all teams really knew their books and put an amazing effort into their respective creative pieces.
Huge thanks to Quantum Victoria, Penguin Books and Allen and Unwin for venue and prizes. Also to Reina Phung for support, Kim Yeomans for technical support, Jan Connor, judge and question writer and judges Maria Cerra, Michael Jongen (SCIS) and Tye Cattanach (Penguin Books).  Thank you to the teachers and teacher librarians from the respective schools for entering their students in the Readers’ Cup, for encouraging them during the year and for bringing them along on the day. Thank you to all of the students for an outstanding effort. Your knowledge of the books, your skill in bringing the books to life and your good natured competition and support of other students was lovely to see.
The Readers’ Cup is not funded at all – we simply give our time to encourage students to read and to love books.

Google Docs workshop

Today I ran a Google Docs workshop for our teachers. It was voluntary, which I had hoped meant participants were keen and willing to ‘grab their learning’ (quote thanks to Brette Lockyer). The second session will take place on 11 November, where the plan was for teachers will share how they’ve been using Google Docs in their classroom.

For today’s session, I was aiming for teachers to be able to differentiate their own learning, however we were somewhat hamstrung by people without computers, people who’d not already registered for a Google account or those who couldn’t remember their password.

I was too ambitious hoping for lots of sharing and discussions about how we could use Google Docs for Redefinition, when the actual need was to learn how to name a Google Form, how to add questions and how to send a form.

Hopefully some teachers may do some learning on their own before the next session as I had provided a number of how-to resources. I’ll need to reevaluate what to do with the next session or if we need a third session.

All of the resources I used are on a page in my professional learning wiki.

Huge thanks to John Pearce, Britt GowJenny LucaHeather Dowd and many others for sharing their work, ideas and links.

ASLA13:

The title of the session I am presenting at ASLA 13 today is:

Digital literacies: why they are vital for everyone and how teacher librarians can lead schools
in developing digital literacies for the entire school community.

Here’s the abstract of the session:

To be effective participants in today’s global society, we need a positive digital presence and to be digitally literate. Tips on how you can lead members of your school community to become effective and discerning global citizens, including having positive digital footprints and the benefits of working collaboratively online.

And here’s the presentation. It was too large for Slideshare, so hopefully Google Docs has kept all of the links and notes. Hope you find it useful.

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