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.

Magic happens…

Through a nice piece of serendipity, I was able to meet up with the amazing Ian Chia (@ianchia) and the always supportive, always planning, always thinking Hamish Curry (@hamishcurry). These doyens on my PLN were able to visit me at school last week and have a bit of a look around at the physical and virtual spaces we’re working on.

Ian has some incredible projects on the go such as Being Prudence (and he’s an incredible sharer of information, always pointing me – and others – towards items we might find interesting, useful, relevant and stimulating) and there’s an opportunity for my school to work with Ian next year. Our students could work on developing apps for their Q9 program – it would be a perfect fit and the students would certainly find app creation challenging and engaging.

Ian and Hamish hadn’t managed to meet previously, although I know they had been communicating, learning and sharing together for some time. It was exciting to be able to be a catalyst for their meeting and I’m looking forward to my school seeing the power of what Ian has to offer our students.

Meeting the two of them together proved that magic does happen.


Last week the fabulous Hamish Curry at the State Library of Victoria organised a screening of Tiffany Shlain‘s excellent documentary Connected.

Before the screening, there was an opportunity for a brief “teacher meet” or show and tell session. I didn’t expect Stephen Heppell to be there, so I was extra nervous when he arrived in time for my Virtual Library Tour. It was serendipitous though, that Stephen is interested in learning spaces and I received some nice feedback from him:


His feedback was generous and demonstrated for me, how a few words can encourage so much.

Although at the moment there is no commercial distribution for Australia, if you get a chance to see Connected, you must do so. It is difficult to summarise the film as every thing is ‘connected’ to everything, but this trailer may give you an idea…