How to survive your PhD and Mindfulness MOOCs

It’s been a while since I completed a MOOC (the previous one was on Gamification). However this week, two new MOOCs have come to my attention and I’ve enrolled in both of them. The first one I discovered was Mindfulness for Wellbeing and Performance, hosted by Dr Craig Hassed and Dr Richard Chambers from Monash University. It begins on 14 September. The second one, which begins today, is How to Survive your PhD, run by ANU’s Dr Inger Mewburn. It’s not just for PhD students, but anyone doing a research degree, or friends and family of the student completing (or trying to!) the research degree.

It’s terrific that free online learning is available to anyone interested on via your desktop or mobile device. These highly respected educators have developed wonderful resources to support people. I intend to take advantage of these courses and will report back upon completion.

 

Library visit – St Martin of Tours Primary School

Anyone who knows me, knows that I love to visit other school libraries. It’s energising and invigorating to learn how other teacher librarians organise and promote their libraries. And there’s nothing like actually seeing a physical library space to help envisage the way in which learning and teaching occurs within that space.

And what better than to combine a library visit with a catch up with a long time friend and the opportunity to meet, IRL, an online friend from way back?

So it was thanks to Kim Yeomans, who organised a meet up with Louise Brooks and a library visit to St Martin of Tours Primary School. I had been fortunate enough to visit Kim’s library on two occasions previously, but an active and passionate teacher librarian such as Kim is constantly changing and improving everything about the library and what it offer to students, so another visit was more than welcome. To finally meet Louise was brilliant, she is such a wonderful educator and supportive person.

So here are some pictures of Kim’s wonderful library and the work she has done to make it the heart of her school.

 

Inspiration for young readers

Inspiration for young readers

Ideas for students struggling to find the right book

Ideas for students struggling to find the right book

Hooking children into reading

Hooking children into reading

 

A challenge for students

A challenge for students

A great way to get students involved in the library

A great way to get students involved in the library

A cute place for 'sick' books

A cute place for ‘sick’ books

A simple, yet effective message

A simple, yet effective message

Fun and attractive signage

Fun and attractive signage

 

The story chair

The story chair

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What a beautiful library

What a beautiful library

Encouraging readers

Encouraging readers

 

The benefits of failure

For some reason, I only came across the 2008 Harvard Commencement Speech by J.K. Rowling a short time ago. While watching it yesterday (I had read the transcript earlier this year, but had not watched the video until yesterday) I found many ideas resonated with me and with my educational philosophy. Lately as a profession, we have been promoting the idea that failure is okay and even worthwhile. J.K. Rowling builds on this idea explaining that failure actually enabled her to write the Harry Potter stories and become the successful person she is today. If you haven’t seen the video, I encourage you to view it. It’s 20 minutes well spent.

The Library of Alexandria at your fingertips

Recently The Age published an article entitled Technology pushes teacher student relationships into new territory. It was an interesting read, but didn’t go far enough in my opinion. The quote from Andrew Douch saying

Everybody’s got access to the Library of Alexandria at their fingertips. We can take the conversation up a whole other level,” he said. “Students will be able to supply better and more recent answers than the teacher can, which is exciting and threatening maybe for some teachers.

is true. However, what was not mentioned in the article is the need for students (and teachers) to verify the validity of the information at their fingertips. This is what librarians did (and still do) when selecting books to be placed in the library collection. Librarians also do this when curating and developing Libguides, YouTube playlists or other resources that point to valid information online. This video from QUT Library helps show students how to validate what’s available online.

 

Exciting news

As from Monday, I’ll be a full-time student once more. I’m beginning with a Master of Education (Research) and then (hopefully) moving on to a Doctor of Philosophy. Even though I have completed a Master of Applied Science and a Master of Arts, as both degrees were via coursework, I need to complete the Master of Education before admission to the PhD.

I’ll be studying through QUT and I’ll be looking at libraries and literacy and I’m very excited.