Future Careers – what will they look like?

For a number of years I’ve agreed with the idea that we are preparing students for careers that don’t yet exist. However, I’ve not given those careers a lot of thought, apart from assuming there will be an increase in environment and health-related occupations, and careers in managing and deleting online content.

This presentation on SlideShare caught my attention this week and I must admit it made me stop and think, not only about what these jobs will entail, but also how necessary they will become.  Lots of others obviously thought the same way, and the comments make interesting reading!

Millenials – The Next Normal

Why do current teenagers and school leavers think the way they do?  What is their view of the world? What factors shape the way they see the future for themselves? What are the main things they would like to change about the world? How do they see themselves? What makes them happy?

Kirsty Bloore, Research Director at Viacom International Media Networks: Australia & NZ, presented the findings of The Next Normal, at the University of Sydney’s Career Advisers and Teachers’ Conference in March 2013. This was a global survey of ‘millennials’ (those born between 1982 and 2004), including factors affecting this generation and how millennials see the world and relationships.

Millennials are different to other generations, in that they are the first generation to have never know life without  technology and being socially connected online. This research shows that the defining characteristic of millennials is that they are happy – happiness outweighs stress, and being successful makes them happy. Being part of a loving family is also important and happiness includes spending time with their families.

They have a love-hate relationship with Facebook – they recognise they are addicted to it but can’t live without it. It is important to them to be heard – they like to have a voice on the internet.

National pride is growing, and while they think maintaining local traditions is important, they also think it’s important to be open to people from other countries. tolerant, accepting and embracing the world.  87% consider themselves to be tolerant. They are curious about the world, enjoy sharing and connecting, and the ability to change. A defining characteristic is that they are more WE than ME.



A Positive Professional Presence

Recently I was asked to speak at the Creating Future Libraries Conference in Brisbane about how we, as teacher librarians, can create a positive professional presence within our schools. We are currently standing on the brink of a fantastic opportunity to make ourselves indispensible within our schools. With hundreds of new libraries and thousands of student laptops being rolled out to schools and the new National Curriculum about to be implemented, this is the perfect opportunity for us to embrace technology, develop a Professional Learning Network, upskill and become leaders in e-learning.

While our first imperative will always be to know the curriculum and work with teachers across all year levels and subject disciplines, within the context of the teaching and learning framework of each of our schools, my advice is:

  1. Keep up
  2. Become visible
  3. Reinvent yourself
  4. Look for solutions rather than problems
  5. Get rid of ‘sacred cows’
  6. Know your users
  7. Find a niche
  8. Make a difference

Diigo Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Web 2.0 for the Classroom – Wiki

Web 2.0 for the Classroom WikiI’ve just come across this website from my Google Alerts, and what a great find! http://web20fortheclassroom.wikispaces.com/

This is an online learning course, presented in a wiki, and developed by Sherri Miller, an Instructional Technology Resource Teacher for Gloucester County Public Schools.

There are 9 modules which you can work your way through at your own pace, investigating  some sites in depth, and exploring others as needed. It’s also a site you can recommend to teachers at your school if they are looking for ideas for integrating technology into their lessons.  The list of topics is below, but the Site Map gives the complete overview of all the pages.

What I particularly like about this wiki is that firstly Sherri gives examples of how the different web 2.0 tools can be used to enhance learning in the classroom, and secondly she lists her favourite tools/applications, giving you the option to try first the ones she has used and recommended.

Teacher girl computer

Image from http://web20fortheclassroom.wikispaces.com/

Creating Book Trailers using Flip Minos

flip-minoBack in May 2009, I wrote about using Flip video cameras in the classroom.  At the time, I was using a Flip Ultra, but my challenge recently has been to use Flip Mino cameras with Year 8 students to create book trailers, as we have 20 of these cameras at school.

The Mino is smaller than the Ultra, and very easy to slip into your pocket when travelling. It also can be recharged by plugging the USB port or cable into your computer, compared to replacing batteries in the Ultra. The screen is smaller, and the controls are touch rather than buttons, but this doesn’t seem to be a problem.

If you’d like more of a comparison of the two, take a look at these videos:   Flip Mino HD vs Flip Ultra HD and  Flip Ultra HD vs Flip Mino HD.

You can make quick book reviews using the FlipShare software which comes as part of  the Flip camera, but if you want to make a more sophisticated book trailer, you will probably want to take your Flip video and drop it into a program like Movie Maker or iMovie.  Videos taken by Flip cameras are in MP4 format which is supported by iMovie and QuickTime, and playable on iPods, iPhones and  iTunes, but unfortunately not by Windows Movie Maker XP which only recognises AVI and WMV files. For this reason, if you wish to import your video into Movie Maker you will first need to convert it using a free program like Any Video Converter or Zamzar.  If you have Windows 7.0, however, you probably already have  Windows Live Movie Maker (or you can download it here), and this very streamlined, updated version will accept MP4 files.  Just follow the instructions in this tutorial.

Below is a SlideShare presentation by Naomi Bates of  Northwest  High School in Texas, showing how to use Movie Maker and Animoto for creating book trailers.  (See some of her examples here)

Creating Book Trailers

Tutorials for Book Trailer Software

Using Movie Maker

Using a Flip Video Camera


Where to get free sounds and images

Image of Flip Mino from  http://www.gizmodiva.com/entry_images/0608/13/flip-mino.jpg

Marketing your PD Library

Our library has quite a large Professional Development / Teacher Reference section which has been bult up over many years by the school administration. Unfortunately, not many people use it, so we decided a marketing campaign was needed!


Steps decided on for our marketing strategy:

  • make new directional signage to make sections easier for teachers to find
  • create a display of PD/TR books
  • email a list to teachers of recent new titles – including images of the cover and some brief information about each book
  • offer a chance to win 2 free movie tickets to teachers who borrowed before the end of term
  • advertise at staff morning teas
  • daily email reminders during the last week of term

We decided on the theme “Treasure in the PD Library” and included a tresure chest in the display, along with a stand-up, cardboard cut-out of Johnny Depp as Captain Jack Sparrow. At staff morning tea we put advertising on the walls up the steps, placed Captain Jack at the door, then stood in the doorway handing out gold chocolate coins, as well as advertising for the PD library and the chance to win the movie tickets.  We also advertised that teachers could include reading professional or curriculum material as part of the hours for their ccmpulsory PD hours (required for registration by the Qld College of Teachers).

While our advertisng campaign did not result in huge numbers of teachers descending on the PD library (maybe they had enough discount movie tickets already, or maybe they were overwhelmed at the time with marking and reports), we did get quite a few teachers borrowing. Overall, it certainly made for a memorable experience and was lots of fun!

BGS Terms 2 2010 PD Lib DisplayBGS Terms 2 2010 PD Lib Movie Tickets

Inserting Video into PowerPoint 2007

If you’ve ever linked to a YouTube movie during a presentation, then tried to go back into your PPT, you’ll realise that it can look messy if you can’t reconnect to the viewer mode of your PPT.

This how-to video by Laura Bergells explains a great way to seamlessly play a YouTube movie in PPT, just by linking to it, but without actually downloading and embedding it. It looks as if you’ve downloaded it, and plays within your presentation, but it is actually just a link. What you do need, however, is a live internet connection for this to work.

A quick overview of the steps involved:

1.  Insert /open the Developer tab on your PPT ribbon, then open the toolbox

2.  Insert a Shockwave Flash Object from the toolbox list by drawing a box on your slide

3.  Copy the URL of the movie you want to insert, R click on your box, open up Properties, then paste the URL in the empty cell beside ‘Movie’

4. Delete “watch?”, and replace “=” with “/”

5.  Go to the full screen mode to play your movie, and note that you can also pause or adjust the volume within your PPT presentation

6.  Once you have played the movie, a screen capture ot it will appear in the box

6.  To seamlessly progress to the next slide, simply click your mouse – beautiful!!

Deep Web vs Surface Web

Invisible Web Deep Web is Huge

Images from Juanico Environmental Consultants Ltd and US Dept of Energy

Did you know that while we are suffering from a glut of information -‘infobesity’ – with a typical search in Google yeilding thousands or millions of results, Google only actually searches one fifth of the available information on the internet?

This is called the surface web, and the most commonly used search engines trawl this area for information. The remaining four-fifths or 80% of the web is referred to as the deep web, the hidden web or the invisible web. It is made up of information locked away in password-protected databases, white papers, and grey literature.

According to the Australian Law Postgraduate Network,  “The term grey literature refers to research that is either unpublished or has been published in non-commercial form. Examples of grey literature include:

  • government reports
  • policy statements and issues papers
  • conference proceedings
  • research reports
  • market reports
  • working papers.

Professional associations, academics, pressure groups and research institutes are only some of the sources of grey literature. Much grey literature is of high quality, although grey literature has generally not passed through the process of peer review….   Grey literature is often the best source of up-to-date research in specific areas. Another benefit of grey literature is that it is often written in an accessible style, providing a clear, concise introduction to difficult or complex topics.”

White papers, on the other hand, are “detailed, sometimes highly researched, documents intended to offer a much fuller picture of the capabilities of a product or company. Unlike an advertisement or press release, white papers are normally not promotional (though certainly some are) but rather, through strong writing and hopefully good research, these documents attempt to establish a level of credibility for a company and its products or services. Since many white papers are grounded in research these often contain good information, especially in terms of results of customer surveys, sales trends, and industry forecasts.” (KnowThis.com)

The last major part of the deep web, and the one most likely to impact on school students, is information contained in databases, both free and subscription.  One of the best reasons to promote these databases to your students (generally the content in these is made up of journal articles, research papers, theses, multimedia and news archives) is because a person has checked these sites for reliability and included them in the database – as opposed to a robotic search engine which cannot discern if a site is relevant or not. To see if there is a free database available on a particular subject, type it and the word ‘database’ into Google. If there is one, Google will usually find it.

As well as looking for databases, there are many specialised search engines or websites to help you access the deep web. For academic research, Infomine from the University of California and ipl2 are two of the better web sites you can use, but also try these suggestions below:

Magazine & Journal Databases
This page is a guide to journal databases which are free on the web. Many subscription-only databases are also available through libraries, so contact your local library for details.

Complete Planet
Discover over 70,000+ searchable databases and specialty search engines.
A comprehensive listing of dynamic searchable databases. Find databases with highly relevant documents that cannot be crawled or indexed by surface web search engines.

Turbo 10
Search the Deep Net : Turbo 10 sends your query to over 800 specialist search engines.

Search for digital resources held across hundreds of university repositories.


Tools to Help You Use the Hidden Web

Information from The Hidden Web Workshop

Invisible Web Research Tools


For more interesting reading see Michael Bergman’s article,  The Deep Web: Surfacing Hidden Value and Invisible Web: What is it, how to find it, and its inherent ambiguity from UC Berkeley.

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.

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