Penguin Teachers’ Academy

I was very excited and proud to be asked by the lovely Tye Cattanach to deliver the full day professional learning event for Penguin Teachers’ Academy on Friday 8 March in Melbourne.

I’ll be presenting on innovative reading and book promotion techniques using ICT and will focus on:

  • The Readers’ Cup – a free reading competition for Victorian schools
  • Book promotion and sharing students’ responses to text using ICT
  • eBooks. How we’re using eBooks at Kew High School
It is $120 for the full day, which is a bargain in my opinion. If you are interested, you can access more information and the booking form here. Also have a look at the day run by Corrie Barclay on ICT for Primary literacy at the same link.


eBook update

A while back on my to-do list, I mentioned that eBooks of some sort were on our horizon at school. After 18 months of research, debate, throwing hands up in the air in despair, presentations from vendors, school-based surveys and talking to others we decided to buy three Kindles to trial.

Although we’ve just gone 1:1 in years 9 and 1o and we wanted students to be able to read eBooks on their Dell tablet, we couldn’t find a solution that fitted financially and technically.

So the minute I got the go ahead to try some Kindles, I raced to the car and down to the local retailer. We decided to make the Kindles genre-based and each has a different colour cover.

So we began with:

  • scifi/fantasy (Hunger Games, etc)
  • classics and relationships
  • mystery/thrillers

Each Kindle has about 30 books. Students are allowed to borrow for two weeks, the same period as other library books, however a signed form from home has to be submitted before borrowing. There’s been a few interesting results…

  1. A boy who read Pride and prejudice since it was on the Kindle. He wouldn’t have ever borrowed a copy, but he said he actually enjoyed reading it.
  2. A non-reader had his nose stuck in the Kindle during a reading lesson and was desperate to borrow it!

 So far so good. The challenge will be to keep promoting them.

On a different note, I bought a Kindle for my 9 year old niece. She’s addicted to it and has read 14 books in two weeks. Some of the books had 400 odd pages, so another success. I like that the Kindle is just for reading and there’s no distractions like when I read on the iPad.