iPads in Education

iPad-OldSchool vs NewAge

Photo illustration by Dan Leitao/The Mirror

Last week I went to a great PD session on iPads organised by the School Library Association Brisbane sub-committee.

Judy Peacock, Learning and Study Support Coordinator at QUT Library, spoke about how she and her staff are using iPads in the QUT libraries to teach students how to plan, mind map, and organise their time and research. Dale Lopez, ICT Coordinator at Redlands College and Andrew Starke, Head of Library at TSS, also spoke about the implementation of iPads into their schools.

Now that iPads are becoming more common, many schools are choosing to select them for student use instead of laptops, and Redlands College has given one each to their Year 9 and 11 students (see the Redlands iPad Programme Portal), while Year 12 students at TSS are expected to borrow an iPad from the library at the start of the year.

At QUT, students can book a 25 minute session with one ot the Library staff members, and they find the iPad an ideal user-friendly device for easily showing students how to organise their time, notes, resources, group members and tasks.

Judy’s reccomended apps are:

Priority Matrix – organise your time with this ToDo list ($3.99)

iThoughtsHD – a mindmapping tool for iPads and iPhones ($12.99)

Popplet – for sorting and grouping ideas (free)

Evernote – capture everything in one cross-device platform (free)

Speak It – convert text to speech ($2.49)

Prezi – a different way to present (free)

Pocket Cloud – remote to your desktop from your iPad (free)


An iPad a day gives students an A!  http://fairfieldmirror.com/2010/02/03/an-ipad-a-day-gives-students-an-a/

Private school hands out 105 iPads to students  http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2010/09/private-school-hands-out-105-ipads-to-pupils/

Ushering iPads into the classroom  http://thejournal.com/articles/2010/10/13/ushering-ipad-into-the-classroom.aspx

Useful Websites

Victorian Education Dept http://www.ipadsforeducation.vic.edu.au/http://www.ipadsforeducation.vic.edu.au/support This has useful downloadable or PDF booklets for students and teachers.

Cybraryman’s iPad User Guide  http://www.cybraryman.com/ipad.html

Blog – Reihler Blog http://www.riehler.com/tag/ipad-apps/

Blog – Apps in Education http://appsineducation.blogspot.com/

YouTube  – using the ipad in the classroom – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFnWoEGWCVY

Ning – iPads in Education – http://ipadeducators.ning.com/

Wiki – Teach with Your iPad http://teachwithyouripad.wikispaces.com/

Free iPad Childrens’ ebooks – http://www.epubbud.com/

The best apps, accessories and tips for iPads – including entertainment, music

iTunesU – Free Educational Resources

iTunesU - teacher

With the rapidly escalating pace of technological innovation, it is becoming increasingly important that educational institutions keep up-to-date with ways of connecting students to information wherever they are, whenever they need it, at any time of the day. One of the ways that many universities are now using to provide information which is easily accessible via computers, iphones, ipods and ipads is iTunesU, an area of the Apple iTunes Store that was launched in May 2007, and which is devoted to free educational resources.

iTunes users now have access to over 350,000 audio and video files from educational institutions around the world. Universities and colleges are making information available on events such as lectures, sporting highlights, lab demonstrations, language lessons, and virtual campus tours, in a variety of formats such as slideshows, PDFs, films, exhibit tours and audiobooks.iTunesU - girl In the ‘Beyond Campus’ section of iTunes U, students can also access a wealth of content from places such as MoMA, the New York Public Library and Public Radio International.

An article in the International Business Times in August this year stated that over 300 million downloads have now been recorded from 800 universities which make their content publicly available at  iTunesU.  Harvard, MIT, Cambridge, Oxford, Stanford, Yale, UC Berkeley, University of Melbourne and Université de Montréal are just some of the universities using this method of staying in touch with users.

The Top 10 categories of content available are:  business, engineering, fine arts, health and medicine, history, humanities, language, literature, mathematics, science, social science, society, teaching and education.

A study by Heller and Underwood in 2008 looked at whether or not iTunesU helped students’ learning, and they concluded that as long as students take notes on the podcasts, the advantage is that they can use the podcasts to listen a number of times to a lecture, thus picking up concepts they may have missed if they just attend a face-to-face lecture. iTunesU - K-12

In 2008 Apple also released iTunesU – K-12, a space where schools can publish information for their students, searchable and accessible via the iTunes app on their phones. Catholic Network Australia, the Western Australian Department of Education and Learning, Perth PLC and Scotch College in Melbourne have all taken advantage of this format for keeping in touch with their students and wider communities.

With the rapidly escalating pace of technological innovation, it is important that educational institutions  keep up to date with methods of disseminating information to students. One of the ways that many universities are currently looking at is to provide information which is easily accessible viacomputers,  iphones, ipods and ipads from the iTunesU website.

An article in the International Business Times in August this year stated that over 300 million downloads have now been recorded from 800 universities which make their content publicly available at  iTunesU.  Harvard, MIT, Cambridge, Oxford, Stanford, University of Melbourne and Université de Montréal are just some of the universities using this methos of staying in touch with users.

iTunes users now have access to ‘over 350,000 audio and video files from educational institutions around the globe’ as well as

iTunesU Intro by psicorcb

Images from:


Are You a 21C School Librarian?

Hands on worldAt the recent Government Inquiry into school libraries and teacher librarians in Australian schools, there was a rather confronting observation made by the Inquiry Deputy Chair, Dr Dennis Jensen, MP, who commented that teacher librarianship “seems to be a sector that is in decline – in fact, it looks to me as if you are almost in a death spiral.” (Hobart, 30 April 2010, quoted by Karen Bonano in ACCESS magazine Sep 2010)  He also stated that “this is a profession that is being allowed to die. Whether that is passive or active is another question.” Some even go as far as to predict that teacher librarians in Queensland might be non-existent by 2013  (Qld: “Get Rid of Teacher Librarians”) How then do we reinvent ourselves and become a vital and dynamic necessity in our schools?

Joyce Valenza never ceases to amaze me with her limitless energy and her endless vision and passion for the role of the teacher librarian. This article, published in  Tag Team Tech October 2010 sends out a challenge to teacher librarians around the world – it’s time to step out of your comfort zones and push the boundaries in every single area – not only will your students thank you for it, but it will make you indispensable.

Joyce looks at the whole gamut of a TL’s role and what we should be doing to add value within our schools:  reading; the information landscape; communication, publication and storytelling; collection development; facilities and physical space; access, equity and advocacy; audience and collaboration; copyright, copyleft and information ethics; new technology tools; professional development and professionalism.

Finally, she finishes with the essential TL toolkit for surviving the future:

Into the Future (acknowledging the best of the past)

You unpack the good stuff you carried from your 20th century trunk. Rigor, and inquiry, and high expectations, and information and media fluency matter no matter what the medium. So do excitement, engagement, and enthusiasm.

You lead. And you look ahead for what is coming down the road. You continually scan the landscape. As the information and communication landscapes continue to shift, do you know where you are going? You plan for change. Not for yourself, not just for the library, but for the building, for your learners.

You see the big picture and let others see you seeing it. It’s about learning and teaching. It’s about engagement. If you are seen only as the one who closes up for inventory, as the book chaser, and NOT as the CIO, the inventor, the creative force, you won’t be seen as a big picture person.

You continue to retool and learn.

You represent our brand (who the teacher-librarian is) as a 21st century information professional. What does the information professional look like today? Ten years from today? If you do not develop strong vision, your vision will be usurped by the visions of others. You will not be able to lead from the center.

You enjoy what you do and let others know it. It’s always better when you do what you love. (If you don’t love this new library world, find something else to do.)

You continue to consider and revise your vision and feed it with imagination. Think outside the box. Heck, there is no box!

Image from State of Delaware website

Web 3.0 & Libraries

Since the advent of Web 2.0, speculation has abounded as to what form Web 3.0 will take.

Tim O’Reilly and Jennifer Pahika (see my previous post) term the explosive evolution of web 2.0 technologies and platforms “Web Squared” – indicating the exponential nature of its growth. However, this term has not been adopted into the common vernacular the way “Web 2.0” was (a tern coined by Dale Dougherty in conjunction with Tim O’Reilly)

Augmented Reality video The future right now

Watch this Commoncraft video explaining “augmented reality” – a function of the internet available right now, and which has enormous potential for the future. There is also another video at the end of this post showing “augmented reality” and books, and what they will be like in the future – essentially 3D movies!

In this article about how libraries will use Web 3.0 in the future, David Stuart, of Wolverhampton University, looks at 3 different possibilities for what Web 3.0 will look like:

The 3D Web

When 3D online virtual environments were first available, librarians and teacher-librarians alike tried to imagine the possibilities for engaging students and patrons, and the world of Second Life seemed to have the most possibility. While there are still many passionate advocates, it has never taken the Library world by storm, probably due to its complexity, both with computational requirements and user skills. David comments:

“The 3D web will only become a realistic medium for the provision of library and information services when it becomes seamless with the rest of the web, becoming browser friendly…  Although much of the hype surrounding 3D web services has died-down, there is plenty of potential for its application in the provision of library and information services in the future. However, it is important that technologies are used because they are the most appropriate way to convey the requisite information – not just because they are the latest glitzy web technology”

The Semantic Web

The semantic web is a way of describing things on the interenet so that computers can understand. It is not just links between pages – it is about relationships between pages and computers understanding those relationships – eg collecting information about what medecines are relevant to a particular disease and where specialists for that disease are located in a country.

“Embracing the semantic web requires librarians and information professionals to not only move beyond the physical and virtual document, which has been the focus of much of their attention up until now. It also requires them to start thinking of interacting with the data on the web as a large information resource, rather than in individual data repositories.”

The Real World Web

This refers to incorporating parts of the web into our daily lives all around us, through the use of increasingly sophisicated mobile phones which will augment reality, and internet-enabled real-world objects which will send us real-time updates. Examples of how libraries are using this already are through the use of QR codes which Bath University Library is already experimenting with (see my previous post on QR codes), facial recognition software, and the use of RSS feeds to instantly give customers information about which services are available or which facilities are not being used.

Future libraries

According to David Stuart, “The 3D web, the semantic web, and the real world web, will all have a role to play in the future provision of library and information services. However, it is the real world web that is most likely to change the way users see the web – thus, this is the one most worthy of the 3.0 moniker. Not only will it provide an immediately-recognisable difference in the way users view the web, but the technologies are already available. Although the technologies are available for the semantic web, it relies on widespread adoption to become useful. It doesn’t seem likely that it will create a dramatic shift in the way we view the web any time soon. The technologies necessary for a more immersive 3D web experience are not yet established, and it is not yet clear how much it will affect the way that we view the web as a whole.

The three potential visions of the web discussed here are not mutually exclusive, but instead are likely to be combined in many as yet unthought-of combinations in the future, along with other new technologies. While Web 2.0 has been surrounded by a lot of hype and argument, we can’t get away from the fact that the way we use the web, as well as the content on it, has changed, and will continue to change in the future. Those who gain the most from the web will be those at the forefront of the change, not those playing catchup.

Augmented Reality and Interactive Books by Hitlab

Web Squared

Last September, the 5th annual Web 2.0 Summit was held by O’Reilly Media and Techweb, and in the lead-up to this they proposed the term “Web Squared” to refer to the way Web 2.0 has been evolving and is going to continue to evolve in future. While this term has not been embraced by the online community the way “Web 2.0” was, it’s still intereting to consider their thoughts for the future.

Dale Dougherty actually coined the term “Web 2.0” in a planning session for a conference in 2004, and this term has been in common usage ever since. The conference, organised by Dougherty and Tim O’Reilly, was looking at the dotcom crash, and examining why some companies had gone down with it, and why others were able to survive, and the conclusion they drew was that some companies were able to exploit the technology in different ways – eg Amazon, Wikipedia and eBay – because they were allowing a collective group of users  to shape the way the internet was used.  It’s hard to believe that Facebook, Twitter and YouTube didn’t exist 5 years ago, but look at the way they have altered our use of the web today!

Web 1.0 Web 2.0
DoubleClick –> Google AdSense
Ofoto –> Flickr
Akamai –> BitTorrent
mp3.com –> Napster
Britannica Online –> Wikipedia
personal websites –> blogging
evite –> upcoming.org and EVDB
domain name speculation –> search engine optimization
page views –> cost per click
screen scraping –> web services
publishing –> participation
content management systems –> wikis
directories (taxonomy) –> tagging (“folksonomy”)
stickiness –> syndication

(from Tim O’Reilly, What is Web 2.0, 2005)

“Web 2.0 is the era when people have come to realize that it’s not the software that enables the web that matters so much as the services that are delivered over the web. Web 1.0 was the era when people could think that Netscape (a software company) was the contender for the computer industry crown; Web 2.0 is the era when people are recognizing that leadership in the computer industry has passed from traditional software companies to a new kind of internet service company. The net has replaced the PC as the platform that matters, just as the PC replaced the mainframe and minicomputer” (Tim O’Reilly Aug 5, 2005)

Now, Tim O’Reilly and  Jennifer Pahika are proposing a new term to describe the exponential shift in the way the web is being used – Web Squared – which is well worth considering:

“Whereas the advent of Web 2.0 marked a profound shift in the meaning of the Web, this next phase is less a new direction than an exploration of what becomes possible when the building blocks of Web 2.0 (such as participation, collective intelligence and so on) increase by orders of magnitude.” (The Web-Squared Era)

“The Web is no longer a collection of static pages of HTML that describe something in the world. Increasingly, the Web is the world – everything and everyone in the world casts an “information shadow,” an aura of data which, when captured and processed intelligently, offers extraordinary opportunity and mind bending implications. Web Squared is our way of exploring this phenomenon and giving it a name.” (Web 2.0 2009 Summit)

International School Library Conference

Brisbane River & Bridge


Early Bird registration offers significant savings and closes on 30 April, so don’t miss out!!

Download your registration form here: http://www.slaq.org.au/events/2010/registration.htm

From 27 September – 1 October this year, the Queensland School Library Association will be co-hosting the IASL International School Library conference at the Brisbane Convention Centre. This will be a truly cross-cultural event, and an incredible opportunity to network with experts and practicing teacher-librarians from all around the world. Presenters have now been confirmed from Australia, NZ, UK, US, Portugal, China, Canada, India, Malaysia, Jamaica, Singapore, South Africa and Ireland.

The theme of the conference is  Diversity, Challenge, Resilience: School Libraries in Action and this theme will be reflected in the conference strands:  1. Developing curriculum,  2.  Delivering excellence through standards,  3.  Supporting the digital agenda and  4. Developing literate communities.

Pre-conference workshops and tours

A variety of exciting pre-conference options will be available on Monday 27 September, and you can choose from walking or bus tours, academic workshops or creative discovery sessions:

1. Dr. Marcia Mardis and Dr Nancy Everhart both lecture at Florida State University and they will run a workshop on Cooperative Inquiry and how it can enhance the leadership role of the teacher-librarian. Participants will develop a CI-based plan for approaching issues and challenges in their own schools.

2. Mal Lee is an educational consultant and author specializing in the development of digital schools. His workshop will explore how schools are ‘removing the traditional walls’ to become networked communities, and what the implications are for you as an information professional creating iCentres within your schools.

3.  Paul O’Neill, the manager for eLearning’s Library Services, (Edn Qld) and Mark Staines, the Senior Information Officer for Libraries with the eLearning Branch,(Edn Qld)  will conduct a hands-on workshop where participants will learn how to enhance the digital learning environment for their students, using readily-available software and freeware.

4.  Two school tours will be offered, and you will be able to choose one or both. Tour 1 is to the Grammar Schools libraries and a local bookshop and Tour 2 is to Greenslopes State School, Lourdes Hill College and a local bookshop.

5. Literary bus tours – on the Home tour with local author and illustrator Narelle Oliver, the tour group will be escorted to many of the locations featured in her picture book, while  Illustrators at work is a limited-numbers tour which will visit the studios of local picture book illustrators.

6.  For those who enjoy walking, a tour of the Cultural Precinct will include the State Library of Queensland, the Gallery of Modern Art/Queensland Art Gallery and the Queensland Museum, incorporating the ScienceCentre.

Keynote speakers

John Marsden is an internationally acclaimed young adult writer, and his immensely popular novel, Tomorrow When the War Began, is currently being made into a movie, and this is due for release around the time of the conference.

Other keynote speakers are Dr Michael Hough AM, who presents and writes on the impact of ICT on organizations, and who will examine the impact on school libraries in particular; Dr Nancy Everhart, who will discuss successful and not-so-successful national school librarian involvement in government policy to infuse 21st century skills; and Professor Erica McWilliams who will look at how we can be educational players not pawns, and juggle the push to pedagogical innovation with the pull to performance standardisation.

Make sure you bring your laptop, because wireless internet access is included in the cost of the conference, and you will be able to blog about the sessions, add to the conference Twitter stream or post to the conference ning.

Social events

A breakfast with local authors and long, leisurely dinners will provide you with the perfect opportunity to make new contacts and cement friendships from around the world.

Trade exhibitors

40 trade exhibitors will showcase the latest technology and products to make your job as a teacher-librarian and educator easier, while booksellers will have the latest book releases available, as well as books by onsite authors and illustrators.

Travel and accomodation

All your travel and accomodation requirements are being handled by a very experienced company, OzAccom, and they are also offering tours of our beautiful south-east Queensland region.

Post-conference tours

Brisbane has some wonderful tourist attractions, so why not bring the family and come early or stay late to enjoy them:

1.  Brisbane Story Bridge day and night climbs

2. O’Reilly’s national park tree canopy walk and wine tasting

3.  Tangalooma Resort Moreton Island day cruise

4.  St Helena historic island tour

5.  Brisbane River kayaking

6. Fraser Island day tour

7. Australia Zoo (home of the late Steve Irwin)

Additionally the Gold Coast theme parks are less than an hour’s drive from Brisbane – Dreamworld, Movie World, Wet’n’Wild, Sea World, and the Outback Spectacular show.

Book through OzAccom to secure a great package deal

Receive regular conference updates by following us on Twitter, or visit the websites of the Queensland School Library Association or the International Association of School Libraries.

SLAQ Logo (KB new)


QR Codes and Libraries

Phone Reading QR Code


A couple of days ago I was quite interested to hear a local real estate agent interviewed on radio about the way he is currently using QR (Quick Response) codes, and it made me think again if there could be a use for them in a library. Many real estate agents use QR codes – they put them on For Sale signs in people’s yards and so that if someone is driving by, they can using their mobile phones to read the codes. This in turn takes them straight to the internet site advertising the property.

So, how can you get your mobile phone to do this? Firstly you need to download a QR Reader – a piece of software which will allow your phone to scan the barcode (as you take a photo).  iPhoneapps have released Matrix QR Reader for iPhones, and you can view a video demonstration of it here. Of course there are multiple other QR Readers available for downloading onto any other mobile phone.

Once you have downloaded your QR Reader, you can then use your phone to photograph (scan) any codes that you see, and this will convert the code to text or a web address. From the point of view of marketing, the hope, of course, is that you will then visit the website and purchase or interact with the product.

In order to generate your own QR codes, you need to use a QR Code Generator. Kaywa Code Generator is a simple version where you can type in text, a URL, phone number or SMS and your QR Code will automatically be generated. Then you can simply cut and paste it and use it wherever you want it.

QR codes have been around for a few years now, and over that time uses for them in education have been  proposed, but have never really taken off. This is most likely due to the fact that schools are already struggling with the whole idea of allowing mobile phones  – particularly with the steady increase in cyberbullying, sexting, videoing playground fights and other inappropriate uses of mobile phones.

Educause Learning Initiative in Feb 2009  published  7 Things You Should Know About QR Codes, and here they comment: “the challenge remains to find appropriate and effective pedagogical uses of QR codes.” The article outlines the advantages and disadvantages of them, and contains implications for teaching and learning.

From another perspective, Leonard Low says “Where I see QR Codes becoming obsolete is through the rapidly improving processing capabilities of mobile devices, which are on the cusp of becoming capable of reading and interpreting printed text. Once phones become able to recognise a printed URL, for example, the use of a QR Code to “represent” a URL becomes superfluous… an unnecessary (and non-human-readable) duplication of information. Text-recognition will also be far more flexible than QR Codes; potentially, semantic constructs could be used to allow the recognition of an infinite variety of different types of data, the same way that OCR currently works on desktop computers.” (Mobile Learning Blog)

Nevertheless, I do like the following ideas for libraries from Lex Rigby, a science and engineering librarian. She suggests:

“If  we started to use QR codes to label books, journals, audio/visual, offprints etc and a user wanted to see further information about that resource, all they’d need to do is scan the QR code. They’d be able to find descriptive information, images, useful URLs etc all at the touch of a button on their phone. And what if at that moment in time they have too many books out? Well, by saving the QR code as an image they’d have a record of the resource stored on their phone so they’d be able to easily find it when they’re ready to loan it….

…How about using QR codes on your promotional/marketing materials to link users directly to where information can be found on the Internet? Do you have a library weblog? Are you producing leaflets to inform readers where they can find it? Why not stick a QR code on there so that they’re able to link directly to you? Got some particularly good skills tutorials you want your users to know about? Stick a QR code on your promotional material and they’ll find it straight away! Got an extensive reading list you want your students to read? Why not put a QR code on there to link students directly to the library catalogue record or even the article itself!!”

Will I use them in my Library?  Probably not at the moment (because I’m too busy) but that doesn’t mean I won’t re-look at them in future – unless they’re obsolete by then!

Using QR Codes in Libraries (John Lang)

Will QR Codes Take Off in Education? (Kerrie Smith)

By the way, here is a very interesting site showing documented uses of/references to QR codes on a timeline.

I Need My Teachers to Learn 2.0.mov

Here’s an excellent video created by Kevin Honeycutt about the need for teachers to embrace Web 2.0 technologies and elearning:

If they’re unsure of where to start, send them to this article written by Joyce Valenza in Tech & Learning:


How to retool yourself–a roadmap of at least 16 ways for school librarians (and their classroom teacher colleagues) to develop professionally

1. The Common Craft In Plain English video series provides no nonsense explanations of nearly all things 2.0 and many of us use these little videos in professional development workshops.  Watch them; share them; embed them.

2. When I need to get up to date quickly, I often look for presentations created by folks I respect and I search the SlideShare archive.  I am blown away by the content our colleagues freely share.

3. Discussion hubs:

4. ISTE’s SIGMS and many of the other SIGS),offers a variety of ways to get involved and retooled.  Join the SIGMS group and participate in the community discussion in the ISTE Ning.  The AASL-SIGMS Virtual Learning Community hosts regular meetings in Second Life featuring notable speakers like Alan November, Mike Eisenberg, Doug Johnson.  Among many other things, ISTE’s Second Life Wiki shares an archive of videos from the ISTE Eduverse Talks in Second Life.  Facebook users might prefer to join the ISTE Facebook

5. TeacherLibrarianNing is a meeting place for TLs all over the world. We are completely redesigning the interface and hope to feature more provocative discussion. Volunteers are always welcome to inspire forum discussions and polls and more.  Email me if you’d like to be made an administrator!

6. Check in regularly with David Warlick’s Hitchhikr to see what’s hot and to keep up to date on upcoming confs on- and offline.

7. Absolutely better late than never! Visit any already held conference and experience it from a distance. November Learning and last year’s ISTE/NECC host a wealth of fabulous video and slideshows and wikis filled with resources for learning.  Here’s our Smackdown Wiki from NECC09 in DC, the event held at ALA, and the most recent AASL event.

8. Join or visit any of a variety of relevant bookmark sharing groups in Diigo.  I belong to: Interactive Whiteboards in the Classroom, Diigo in Education, Educators, History TeachersWeb 2.0 @ School, Project-Based Learning, Teacher-Librarians, eLearning 2.0, High School Librarians. You have so many choices!

9. Plan to attend the free, global K12 Online Conference that started just this week! You will be amazed at the wealth of options. Experience presentations by leaders, thinkers, and practitioners (most participants span all three categories).  Participate in the live discussion.  Visit and share the archive.

10. Follow a few bloggers. Just a few.  Visit my NewTools page on blogging for lists of teachers and librarians who blog.

11. Follow a few Tweeters.Just a few. Visit my NewTools page on tweeting for resources to build your network.  One of my personal favorites is Twitter4Teachers.

12.  I’ve been maintaining this page on 2.0 Learning Resources.  Start anywhere, but I recommend visiting:

13.  Steve Hargadon of Classroom 2.0 recently offered school librarians Elluminate space and time for our own monthly/regular discussions.  A steering committee is currently planning a series of events of interest to school librarians, as well as other educators, to be held the first Monday of each month.  Our first event is tentatively scheduled for Monday, February 1.

14. Check out any of a growing number of video learning portals for professional development, as well as content area learning. My very favorite of these portals is TED, where you can gather wisdom from some of the most creative thinkers and speakers of our time, but there are so many:

15. A few of us on the AASL Geek Squad recently built a wiki to share effective online school library practice. Visit the site to see examples at all levels of instruction and for a variety of aspects of library service.

And sneaking just one more item:

16. Visit the shortlist nominations for the Edublog Awards to see examples of effective practice in blogging, tweeting, wiki creation, and, in general, teaching and learning using the information and communication tools of our time.

Did You Know 4.0

Many of you will be familiar with the video Did You Know 3.0, (see below) watched by millions of people since it was released in October 2008. This video was a remake of the original “Shift Happens” videos (see the Shift Happens wiki)



How will we be reaching students in 2020?

The new Did You Know 4.0 video was created in September 2009, and predicts that the next big wave of advertising and social networking will be via mobile phones. 

Will schools be ready for this challenge when we ban phones in classrooms today? Sometimes not just in the classroom, but students are banned from bringing them to school at all.  Over the next few years we will need to get our heads around another big paradigm shift in education – and this while we are still struggling with elearning via one-to-one laptop programs.

However, doesn’t this create an ideal way for Teacher Librarians to lead the way with researching how mobile phones can be used in the classroom, and implementing some strategies themselves? For example, book reservations and RSS feeds on new items via text messaging, chapters of novels sent out via SMS (copyright free books), useful websites added to the Library webpages and sent to teachers and students via SMS etc.  Others are already exploring the potential – author Marieke Hardy earlier this year was commissioned by The Age newspaper to write a novel specifically for mobile phones: The Age Text Tales with Marieke Hardy.

We need to think carefully about Alvin Toffler’s comment:  “The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”  Teacher Librarians must make sure that they are not only literate, but also leaders.

Have a look at  10 Ideas for Engaging Learners with Cell Phones, Even in Districts that Ban Them by Lisa Neilsen, also Mobile Phones, Mobile Minds: “a look at the world of young people with mobile phones, and the impact on schools and education”

Owning a mobile is becoming an indispensable element of young people’s lives, for both teenagers and increasingly primary age children, all around the world.

Are mobile phones a force for good, or an example of technology gone awry? Is it sensible to ban their use in schools or should this device be given a place in lessons and learning?” (teachers.tv)


Digital Footprints


(Image from http://open.salon.com/blog/thegreenmarket/recent)

Whether we like it or not, all of us have a digital footprint,  leading to a digital dossier, created from the time we were born.  If you belong to the Baby Boomers, you may have less public information on show and more private  information hidden away in secure databases. You might also be a bit more reticent about the information you share on blogs or your Facebook page.  Not so, however, with Gen Y who seem very happy to post all kinds of information about themselves, with little thought for future consequences and job prospects.

Seth Godin shared this on his blog in January this year:

Personal branding in the age of Google

A friend advertised on Craigslist for a housekeeper.

Three interesting resumes came to the top. She googled each person’s name.

The first search turned up a MySpace page. There was a picture of the applicant, drinking beer from a funnel. Under hobbies, the first entry was, “binge drinking.”

The second search turned up a personal blog (a good one, actually). The most recent entry said something like, “I am applying for some menial jobs that are below me, and I’m annoyed by it. I’ll certainly quit the minute I sell a few paintings.”

And the third? There were only six matches, and the sixth was from the local police department, indicating that the applicant had been arrested for shoplifting two years earlier.

Three for three.

Google never forgets.

Of course, you don’t have to be a drunk, a thief or a bitter failure for this to backfire. Everything you do now ends up in your permanent record. The best plan is to overload Google with a long tail of good stuff and to always act as if you’re on Candid Camera, because you are.

You’ve probably seen this video before, but it’s worth another look:

Everyone Knows Your Name

How is ‘ digital’ different?  –  It’s ‘easily copied, instantly shared, easily edited and viewable by millions’. (Dean Shareski http://www.slideshare.net/shareski/your-digital-footprint)  It’s out there forever!!

One of the biggest challenges facing us in the future will be to teach our students to use the internet in thoughtful, ethical and responsible ways. We need to teach them not only to be more discerning about which photos they post or what screen names they use – in other words to think about not creating a negative digital footprint – but we also need to teach them how to create a positive digital footprint:

Digital Dossier

Check out Ransometech’s wiki full of links about Digital Footprints