Archive for September, 2011

David Carter’s Pop-Up Books

David Carter is the creator of incredible pop-up books. They are imaginative, interactive, ingenuous, and irresistible.

The Pop-Up Artist from Manny Crisostomo on Vimeo.

Visit David Carter’s own website or check the descriptions and illustrations from his books at Maria Popova’s review on Brain Pickings


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Science fiction – find a winner

So many Science Fiction books – and I am counting Hunger Games and all that genre in the Sci Fi mix, someone will probably see fit to argue with me, but I am resilient and capable of defending my stance – so little time!

If you thought Science Fiction and Fantasy weren’t really your thing then this helpful chart might be just what you need to get started on the genre which is so hot right now.

“Last month, NPR published a great introduction, polling readers to determine the top 100 sci-fi and fantasy books of all time. Now, the design-minded geeks at SF Signal have transformed the NPR list into a handy flowchart that will help you choose the right novel for you. You can see a much larger version of the graphic here.” via Flavorwire

Sadly despite studying this chart for rather more time than I am going to admit to, I cannot find Mary Doria Russell’s The Sparrow.  It would fit, maybe over by the politics, religion, philosophy etc. section with Ursula le Guin and co.

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A new kind of school – The Studio School

This is interesting.  A TED talk about a new kind of school which is being developed in Britain.  For 14 year olds and over it seems – if you believe the pitch below – to be doing great things for the students.

Some kids learn by listening; others learn by doing. Geoff Mulgan gives a short introduction to the Studio School, a new kind of school in the UK where small teams of kids learn by working on projects that are, as Mulgan puts it, “for real.”


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Stimulating interest in reading via video

Via Simon Evans on the ICTs in English  listserv

This is a great new initiative by Simon Evans and some of his friends from various locations around the world.  It is the sort of thing that you could do as a promotion for library week.  You have to make a commitment to reading a book a week and videoing yourself talking about the book and post to the Bookfighters channel on YouTube.  Simon then created his own channel which is here.  How cool is that?

I’m thinking this has possibilities for school libraries.  Have a look at the Channel and watch the videos, the introductory one is embedded below.

Want to follow Simon on Twitter?  He is @Dragon09

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The Daring Librarian discusses Wikipedia

The 21st Century Fluency Project – (if you don’t know about this it is now time to find out) but here is the post I am referring to in this highly opinionated post.)

Well, there you go.

Confession time for Gweneth Jones The Daring Librarian, and therefore we can now all be free, confess our sins and get on with stuff.  Wikipedia – we have been fighting the good fight against it in our schools for years, but if we were all truly honest we would admit that we all use it for quick and dirty information.  We use it with a skeptical eye …  our students just use it!  We really just need to teach them some critical literacy skills and then set them free.  After all Information wants to be free doesn’t it?

We want information to be free, I for one don’t have the budget to pay for online encyclopedias and I encourage our students to use Epic. Wikipedia helpfully makes information free, and probably the majority of it’s information is fairly sound.  It is true that it ain’t always right, and if someone out there has an example of an incorrect wikipedia posting I’d love to have the link to it (please) comment to share it.  Here is an ugly link to some examples of articles in Wikipedia which are not right – but I want more please, everything I’ve found siting incorrect information on Wikipedia is dated between 2005 and 2008.  There are plenty of examples of bias, but not many where people can site facts as being incorrect.  They must be there.  Anybody?

I’ve read the book The know it all, about A.J. Jacobs and his quest to read Encyclopedia Britannica from A – Z, and yes folks he found mistakes and errors, proving that even that hallowed tome is fallible.

So, read the article.  Think about subscribing to the RSS feed.  And also the RSS feed from The Daring Librarian blog so you don’t miss out on other good stuff.  Then head to here to access a fabulous graphic about teaching students to use Wikipedia skillfully to get what they need.


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An Alphabet Of Fun

In the ‘Oh Crikey This Is So Cool Department’, this is a fabulous and very clever Italian made video.  Enjoy.


It came to me from Flavorwire.  Site of so much awesome.

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A cute question generator

I’m completely unsure how useful this would be, but I really like it.  This is the We Solve It Question Generator.  It is a cute gizmo which you use for generating questions when students are doing inquiry research. Click the spin button and the words whirr around and hey presto you get a two word question.  So, how much?  Who can?  When would?  How do?  This ain’t rocket science but it is jolly cute and might be a bit of cool fun on a data projector for brainstorming, or even at a party playing 20 questions!  Share with your staff.

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Shake up your story

Funny and serious.  Just like this blog!

I love what this guy has to say about empathy, perspectives and our power to change stories so that children are exposed to lives other than just the one they have.

Artist Raghava KK demos his new children’s book for iPad with a fun feature: when you shake it, the story — and your perspective — changes. In this charming short talk, he invites all of us to shake up our perspective a little bit.

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From the “things I should have blogged a while ago” files (and yes, there’s more coming.)

We love books. We love movies too. And so we love books that have been turned into movies, right? Well, not always. Sometimes they turn out to be somewhat disappointing. Or disturbing. Or hilarious. Or all three. There are approximately 1.7 million web pages that’ll help you discover which books have been turned into movies.

I know that each time a movie comes out that’s based on a book we have in our library, there’s going to be a waiting list to borrow the book. What a great way to hook kids in to reading, to start conversations about the stories we love (or not, as the case may be), to compare and rate the movies versus the books they’re based on (which reminds me, did you see Friday’s TV screening of The City of Ember? I have two words for you: giant mole. What the… what?!)

So now, from the people who brought us Nerdfighters comes a new intiative: ReadIt1st.(H/T to fellow geeky reader @Marama!) Here you can make a pledge to “read the book before you see the movie whenever humanly possible”. But there’s more to it than that – sign up to receive the ReadIt1st newsletter and you’ll get info about upcoming books-into-movies delivered to your mailbox. So you can make sure you’ve got the books your kids are going to want to read, and then start those conversations!


Google this way

I’ve been reading this post on Mindshift.  It is an interview with Daniel Russell, a “search anthropologist” who is detailed to look after your search quality and best of all he is a User Happiness expert.  It lead me to search for him and I found lots of stuff but loved the presentation below best.  You can watch him give a presentation if you want to and find it here.  It is a keynote which is funny, clever and engaging and his comments on Information Overload, Infowhelm anyone?   Find out what the future of Google is, and when listening know that Google+ was minutes away when the talk was given.  His stats might frighten you a little bit.  Really, they can index a tweet in Google in 4 seconds?

Google have plenty of resources to help the search challenged.  Have a look at the links below.

Posters you can print out with search help, strategies and more.  I have these on the walls above the bank of computers in my library for the students to ignore!

Basic Search Help

Learn some of the features other than search

The Google Guide – a pdf that takes a bit to load because it is big (148 pages)

Google for Educators – all kinds of Google Goodness within here including the following …

Take a look at Start Your Engines the first part of a tutorial in google features.  Maybe be useful for teaching students and teachers as well.

You should probably remember that Google is busy having a revamp, lots of it’s bits and pieces have recently been modified, deleted and phased out.  Google Labs is on the way out, Timeline and Wonderwheel are gone and plenty more are heading out the door.

More from the Australian Listserv today – Google Search Evangalism

And I know that you all know that Google owns YouTube and here is the Google Channel on YouTube.


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