The Power of Google Docs

I just came across this amazing YouTube video via my Diigo links (one of the best professional development tools available!)

This Google Docs presentation was created in 3 days by 3 people in different locations, all of them working together on the same presentation. Cloud computing is becoming increasingly important as a means of storing documents online, then accessing them from any computer. Google Docs is a great example of this and, in addition, it allows other people to share and collaborate on the same document at the same time.

It’s interesting to read the comments below the video ( and see the number of people who think this was a waste of time, however I think it’s extremely creative and, in a visual world, it’s an amazing and engaging advertisment for the power of Google Docs coupled with imagination!!

Librarians do GaGa

You’ve probably seen it already, but the perfect thing to make you smile is this amazing YouTube clip of students and staff from the University of Washington’s Information School doing their version of Lady GaGa.

‘Librarians do GaGa’ was an entry at the iSight Film Festival. The video was produced by Sarah Wachter, a student in the iSchool’s Masterin Library and Information Science program and the dancers were students and faculty members from the University of Washington’s Information School.


What a great marketing technique! Through one clever movie, they’ve managed to sky-rocket the profile of libraries and librarians, and thanks to Twitter and blogging, it’s now around the world!!

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!!

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?” (



On March 26 Google launched YouTube-EDU, a website which features videos from over 100 different colleges and universities. Unfortunately, at this stage Australian content is distinctly lacking, but this is likely to change very quickly as universities from around the world realise the potential of the site.

According to Andrew LaVallee “YouTube Edu lets viewers sort clips by school or number of views, and the schools offer content ranging from complete courses to campus events to information for prospective students.”   Michael Arrington of TechCrunch says  “The site is aggregating videos from dozens of colleges and universities, ranging from lectures to student films to athletic events. Some of this stuff is solid gold (the Stanford and MIT lectures are really good). Other content, not so interesting.”

Despite its limitations, the site is a good option for students to search when looking for video clips to further their knowledge and enhance their presentations. The clip below is from UCTV, the television channel of the University of California.