The digital divide

This morning when I was researching Pokemon Go, it was amazing to see that there have been approximately 47,000,000 news articles written about the online phenomenon in the last eleven days, since its limited release (initially in the United States, New Zealand and Australia on July 6 and from July 14 in the United Kingdom and Germany. Probably more countries have been added while I write this). What was even more incredible is that about 500,000 articles were added in the twenty minutes between the time I first searched for Pokemon Go and getting around to beginning this post.

Initially, the term ‘digital divide‘ was used to describe those who had access to ICT and those who did not. However, in the last few days I’m hearing much more about the people who are connected with ICT, mainly for work purposes, and their stunned reaction to the millions of people who are seemingly addicted to hunting and catching all those cute little Pokemons. Stories abound from people hiring Uber drivers to chauffeur them around to Pokemon hotspots, to paying someone else to chase Pokemons for them. I’m thinking that there’s a new digital divide happening before our eyes and morphing every day; those who play Pokemon Go and those who don’t. People who understand the phenomenon are cashing in on the sensation, driving foot traffic to retail stores, using it as a real estate selling point and theme parks holding events specifically for the initiated.

But what does this all mean for my interest groups, schools and libraries? It seems like a number of libraries have been quick to react, which is not surprising, knowing how connected libraries are to technology and user experiences these days. The State Library of New South Wales has a one-stop page for everything you need to know about the game, while the Boroondara Libraries in Melbourne have information on the whereabouts of some of the elusive little creatures. The School Library Journal has a great page with everything an information professional needs to know.

However, I’m still not sure how schools will react to this sensation, apart from banning adult gamers from accessing school grounds during school hours. I would love to hear in the comments how anyone plans to use the game in schools and how they might sell it to those in power who don’t play. Will the digital divide in your school disadvantage your students? This conversation between Joachim Cohen and Jared Wilkins gives an example as to how Pokemon Go, or the concepts behind it, might be used in schools.

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

IMG_3473

What a beautiful library

What a beautiful library

Encouraging readers

Encouraging readers

 

Wheelers eBooks @Kewhslibrary

So we’ve finally managed to get our eBooks up and running at Kew High School. Thanks to our ICT guys and the Wheelers’ crew, our students can log in using their school credentials. We’re only starting small at the moment, with a big push beginning in term 1.

I’ve made this video, along with our AV Coordinator Huu Tran, to show students how they can download eBooks from our collection using their mobile device.

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

 

 

Opac

 

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.

You know I love a school visit

Recently I was fortunate enough to be able to visit St Andrew’s Lutheran College thanks to the kindness of teacher librarian at ICT guru Julia Boulton.

Being a P-12 school, there were two lovely libraries to visit and gain inspiration from. The Junior School library is compact, attractive and bright, with lots of references to the PYP IB program.

The Senior School library is a new facility that is just mind-blowing. The facilities are superb and the design is functional but also wildly engaging and beautiful.

It was also lovely to see student vege gardens and students engaged in their learning.

It was a real honour to be able to visit and I thank Julia for the time and effort she invested in making my visit happen and the other staff who took time out from their day to discuss libraries, learning and schools with me.

Creating infographic on school eBook survey

Thanks to Fran Bullington‘s post on infographics, I decided to have a play and try to put the data from an eBook survey I had administered (gosh, I sound like a doctor or some type of medical person) earlier in the year. Here’s my first up attempt, I know it looks a little sparse, but here it is anyway…

I’d been looking for a way to create infographics for a while and came across two solutions in one day. The other site is easel.ly.  I think these could be a great way for us to teach our students a new way of presenting data. Let me know what you think.

Library to do list 2012

So I returned to work yesterday and very pleased to be back. I have a lot of things on my to do list this year and now I’m 0.4, I’ve got more of a chance of achieving them. So here goes:

Ereader survey for school website
Diigo for subjects, link to wiki
Pininterest for new books and topics?
Twitter/fb?
Book blog using posterous? Add book trailers. Use that URL for QR code new books there too
Podcasts for wiki
EBooks 
QR codes for fiction
Add list of useful apps to wiki
Douchey’s podcasts for wiki biology page
Readers Cup. Do at years 7-8 and 9-10
Link blogs to Twitter using Twitterfeed
Investigate Overdrive with a visit to Jenny Luca’s school

This is above and beyond what will be required of me in terms of providing professional learning for staff. The good news is that the Heads of Library and English support the idea of the Readers Cup wholeheartedly; the Principal agreed to a library Twitter account and I’ve started that as well as a book and reading blog and Diigo account. I’ve linked the blogs to Twitterfeed and Diigo via Packratius. I’m pleased with my progress considering we had meetings until 2.30pm yesterday and I don’t return to work until Monday.

I’m also really pleased how supportive the admin are and most teachers seemed genuinely pleased to be back. I’m looking forward to what else might appear on my radar in 2012. I wonder what it might be? What’s on your 2012 to do list?

Library bus tour is a virtual reality

Following on from my blog post Library Visit! and a conversation on Twitter with Kim Yeomans, Marita Thompson, Carmel Galvin, Stacey Taylor, Hamish Curry, Tania Sheko and Hajnalka Malloy about an actual library bus tour, I had the idea of a virtual tour. Thanks to the contributions of some generous library folk, the virtual tour is a reality!

I used Historypin, (which is still in Beta and unable to be embedded as yet), which allowed me to add photos and comments to a map and turn it into a tour (of sorts). I have the option to add audio down the track. I can also add  more pictures school libraries as they are submitted. (Please note I’ve added more pictures as at 17 November, but although I’ve placed them in order in Historypin, they’re not showing in order… and now half of the photos I added yesterday are not showing, nor are the ones I uploaded this morning)

Please note that although it looks as though I’ve taken credit for the photos, if you click on the photos in the gallery and then click on ‘Copyright and photo info’, I’ve credited the person who sent me the photos as the copyright holder.

I’m still looking for more contributions and realistically, a project like this will never be finished, but I’m willing to spend the time it takes to share the fantastic spaces our students have to learn in. Congratulations to each and every one of you who has worked tirelessly to provide such spaces for our students.

Library visit!

Last week I was fortunate enough to visit a neighbouring high school library.

Looking towards the library entrance

Looking towards the library entrance

Balwyn High School is a government school with over 2000 students.

Large windows allow a light filled library

Large windows allow a light filled library

The library and eCentre is bright and well-designed with lots of inspiring things happening to support learning and teaching.

Impressive branding

Impressive branding

It’s always a privilege to learn from other skilled teacher librarians and library staff and this was no exception.

Fiction has its own semi-enclosed area providing a cosy and relaxing environment

Fiction has its own semi-enclosed area providing a cosy and relaxing environment

Teacher librarian Debbie Mackin has developed an excellent book blog and a number of other online resources for students and teachers.

Non fiction has been judiciously weeded to reveal the best parts of the collection

Non fiction has been judiciously weeded to reveal the best parts of the collection

A big thanks to Debbie and staff for making me feel welcome and letting me learn from them.

A "that's interesting" section has enabled students to find books like the Guinness Book of Records quickly

A "that's interesting" section has enabled students to find books like the Guinness Book of Records quickly