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.

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.


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.

Teach meet Melbourne at Scienceworks and the Planetarium

Another wonderful teach meet on Saturday hosted by Simon Keily at Scienceworks. As always, terrific presentations, but this time we were fortunate to have a preview of a new show in the Planetarium as well.

Roland Gesthuizen created a Storify of the afternoon:

Thanks to Celia Coffa and the gang once more. The next teach meet will be hold on 20 July at Xavier College in Kew. Love to see lots of people there.

Melbourne High School library visit

Readers of this blog will know how much I love to visit other libraries. I love seeing the physical spaces and how the library is organised and used.

Last week, I was fortunate enough to visit Tania Sheko at Melbourne High School. Thanks to Tania and her team for generously sharing their time and morning tea!

The library is a vibrant place with the students variously using technologies to create, sitting quietly and reading, doing school work, interacting with each other and researching. The different areas provide separate spaces for all of these activities to occur independently and the displays are vibrant and stimulating.

Student RFID self checkout



Display upon entering the library


Art inspiration





Simon Pegg quote

It’s wonderful to have time to talk with colleagues; something that doesn’t happen very often. However I often find that this is where good ideas and collaboration springs from.

Thanks again to Tania and her terrific team at Melbourne High School.

ICTEV13 – the details

After trying to unsuccessfully create a Storify for the ICTEV13 conference, I thought I’d give the Twitter embed search tool a go. I would have liked to have separated the sessions into different stories, but this is probably the next best thing (I hope).


Leadership team, introverts and project based learning

One of my jobs at my current school is to help teachers learn about embedding technology into the curriculum.

In my first year, 2011, I held a number of sessions on tech tools such as:

At the same time, four or five other teachers would offer other sessions on things like Excel, Google Docs, Photoshop, etc. Teachers could attend the session that interested them the most.

The sessions were pretty good as far as they went. The audience were engaged as they were able to select their session of interest (although sometimes some people weren’t interested in any of the offerings). We did have conversations ab0ut how the tools could be used in classes, although as there was a wide range of subject areas represented, there wasn’t time to talk about each and every subject area.

Last year the school focus was on using OneNote and I assisted learning areas in how to use the software.

This year, we had yet to decide what I was going to focus on apart from ’21st century learning’. Thanks to reading lots from Jenny Luca and even more from Bianca Hewes (and others) and hearing Marco Torres speak on project based learning, I thought this a concept that took the very best ideas from ’21st century learning’ and ran with them. I also wanted to incorporate Susan Cain‘s ideas from her TED Talk and her book Quiet on introverts and how they learn.

So I was asked to address the leadership team about my ideas this morning. I had a while to put together resources and had so many, I decided to flip the meeting; the leadership team had 10 days to watch the first four videos here. They were then asked to add their thoughts to a Padlet site, which was a great way to get conversations going outside of face to face time.

This morning I began my session with the good old Mr Winkle Wakes video and here are the notes I wrote for myself. We then watched the Common Craft video here (along with some other resources). I showed one minute of the new Sir Ken Robinson TED Talk (6.20-7.20). I explained a project Marco Torres spoke about when he was in Melbourne late last year. Then we went on to discussions.

It was very exciting that the support for the idea was immense and discussions led to how we would introduce the concepts to the wider staff. Leaders were already discussing how they could use PBL in their own classes. Emails coming in through the day were also supportive.

So let’s hope this is the catalyst for some PBL to begin at my school. I’ll keep you informed.

Thanks to Jenny Luca for support and sharing her PBL journey and to Bianca Hewes for publishing and sharing all aspects of her PBL work.

ANZ 23 mobile things #anz23mthings

Abigail Willemse and Kate Freedman are running a new professional learning opportunity for library staff.

This free new online learning opportunity for Australian and New Zealand library type people is one not to be missed. Read how ANZ 23 mobile things came to fruition.

This week is week 1 and we’re looking at Twitter. I hope that anyone who needs to be introduced to online learning for library staff, anyone who needs a refresher or anyone who can mentor joins this terrific initiative.