Archive for August, 2011
A short documentary on the tukutahi approach at Wellington High School in New Zealand. The principal, Prue Kelly is the main speaker in the video.
Lots of interesting teacher comment in this video about teaching and learning in New Zealand, how it hasn’t changed, how it has changed and how it can change in the future. This might be something to share with your staff or SMT. It was made by a Year 12 student at Wellington High School in October 1010. Interesting comment on learning styles, inquiry learning and the changes that technology is bringing to education.
I found the image above on this blog. I was interested that that the word reading was so small. These things work on the number of times a word crops up, the more times it sees the word in the document the bigger it gets. I was a bit shocked. While I am all about shiny new toys, information literacy and all the new things we can do in the library especially the technology, there is a big part of my job which is all about the reading. Without the reading I’d lose my mojo, the biggest thrill for me is still the connection of brain with book or reading material. Right book at the right time, that is something that makes me very proud. Engaging the student who has practised reading avoidance all his life and who was lurking at the back of the library during a booktalk, he comes up and grabs the book before anyone else can get it. I love that.
I’m interested in what you guys think about this. Is reading still your reason de et re? How you get the blend of bookish goodness and technology working together? Is it a natural mix?
In my opinion (and as always I’m happy to share it) a modern school library runs the risk of only being seen for one or the other. Technology and information seeking or the book reading place. So, my booktalks are snappy, sassy and slightly surreal, but my skills on a computer are also well and truly on show, but often not to the same people, or with the same students, I think many of them see me as one thing or the other, when I want them to see me as both, something for me to work on. How does it work for you guys?
Finally we get a little sneak view of what is to come in March next year. Far more exciting than the Rugby World Cup if you ask me. It isn’t viewable on YouTube in our area so if you want to see it you will have to click here and go see it on the IMBD.
Head on over to this site where you can see the photos of the stars and descriptions of their characters from the Hunger Games. So do the cast look like you hoped they would, do they look like you imagined when you read the books?
Next Chapter National Summit in September will reimagine school libraries. In attendance will be movers and shakers of the US school library world. It will be interesting to watch and see what they come up with. There are plans for video talks similar to TED talks, there will be lots of links and flurries of postings about where these guys think school libraries are heading.
There is a Twitter hashtag #nxtchp2011 which will make interesting following I think.
“Next Chapter > The Future of K-12 Libraries will assemble leaders and practitioners to engage one another in design teams to reimagine libraries that are dynamic hubs and catalysts for learning and change. The three-day summit in September and our virtual learning community will offer participants the opportunity to learn about and assist in the design of the Next Chapter for libraries.”
In the meantime I love this quote from Buffy Hamilton.
“Libraries are very much like a “commonplace” book—the experiences, needs, and contributions of people—both librarians and the members of the communities they serve—are what create an organic, intertextual story of the past, present, and future possibilities for library. I see libraries as what Dr. Dennis Sumara calls “commonplace locations–collecting places–for ongoing interpretation” where literate communities can form and where relationships to ideas and people, not containers or objects, encourage participation and communal knowledge construction.”
– Buffy J. Hamilton, Re:Ed Advisor and Library Journal Mover and Shaker 2011
The answer to this is a resounding YES. Check out the links below and then tell me you couldn’t easily manage to put QR codes around the place to engage your students and your staff. You don’t need a dedicated QR code scanner if you work in a secondary school (although of course you wouldn’t say no if one was available) but you could instead encourage your students, many of whom are toting smart phones already, to get themselves a barcode scanner app freely available from the Android Market or from the App store in Apple and even on Blackberries – though in our experience they haven’t worked as well – and get into it. I’ve been talking with one of our Maths teachers and he is keen to get his class working on the maths part of the coding and they are going to have a go at designing their own QR codes.
I have installed QR codes on the the shelves just in front of where the books are. My books do not sit at the front of the shelves, I like them pushed to the back – library purists will cringe but I don’t have time to constantly keep books sitting at the front of the shelves. My QR codes link popular, or interesting books to booktrailers, author websites, reviews and of course there are extra codes for the Library Blog on random places around the library. So far I have only done the fiction section, and I have about three codes on either side of each bay. I don’t want too many because I want the guys to be curious, but not use up all their data. This is just the beginning, I have plans to link displays with codes, with the Rugby World Cup coming I can see opportunities there, maybe for player profiles, historical stuff about rugby and links to team profiles.
So, what do my students think? They love the idea, are interested in playing along, the Hunger games code is the big hit so far, and also one to Lee Child’s website. This could be because they are in the Cs and therefore are the first ones they see. On open night a couple of parents were scanning the codes, my plan was to have them installed for Open Night and I was really pleased I’d made the effort to get them in there. They initiated lots of conversation and I want the library to be seen as an ICT forward place. We may not have huge banks of computers or laptops but we are fully onboard with phone functionality!
The barriers so far are that they don’t have lots of data on their plans, it is expensive to have data plans here in NZ. It is also quite a lot of work to get them all organised, search out interesting places to link the codes to and get them installed. Worth it? I think so.
So I’ve been collecting links for a while to sites with useful information for school libraries on QR codes and am inserting them below. What do you think? Give us some comments on what you think about the QR code phenomenon. Do you think they would work in your library?
A Google Presentation. 40 interesting ways to use QR codes in the classroom (remember your library is a classroom!)
A treasure hunt using QR Codes by Allanah King
Implementation of QR Codes by The Cool Cat Teacher
Hot QR codes in the classroom by The Daring Librarian (one of my heroines)
Will QR codes become the standard for enhancing print books? by Publishing Perspectives
Stephen Anderson blogging on QR codes in the Web 2.0 Connected Classroom
Scoop-it topic QR codes for learning
I have a whole bunch more but this is enough for now.
If you have a smart phone then you could try it out here. Scan the codes below!
Scan these codes and see where you end up!
Wondering what Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Diigo, Elluminate, Blogs etc etc can do, and what they can do for you. Maybe this will help. It is detailed, guides you step by step and is rather well done.
I was really excited to meet Chris Morphew last weekend at the Storylines Festival Free Family Day at Dunedin Public Library last Saturday. I was even more excited to spend the day with David Hill, as his minder, I had a great time with David and felt very privileged to spend time with him, sigh, he is lovely!
Anyway on the Friday night there was an event where Chris Morphew was interviewed by Tania Roxborogh (Banquo’s Son et al) and here is the video of that event. Chris is the author of some of the Zac Power series and also The Phoenix Files – both great series for boys, reluctant or not. Chris is very entertaining, funny and he has interesting thoughts to share on writing for young people, getting the voice right and hooking reluctant readers. I know he has been visiting lots of schools in the last week and reports are that he has gone down a treat. Enjoy!
Do your students love to draw …. of course they do. I’m going to show this to my secondary school students but I know for sure that my primary school age nephew and his mates would love these too.
Courtesy of the fabulous Guardian Books site where I am hanging out a lot recently this is a series of ‘how to draw’ instructions. Bunnies, Monsters, Penguins and Yeti are there so far but more are coming. My fave is the bunnies.
Doug Johnson of the famous Blue Skunk Blog has posted about this fabulous programme from the State of Colorado, which promotes Highly Effective School Library Programmes, he recommended to all his followers that they share this with their school librarians. Indeed it is well worth sharing. I’ve been watching the videos on YouTube and they are full of things to make you think. There are PDF files to download and print if you want and all manner of school library goodness on there.
I’ve embedded the video on instruction as an example of how great these are.