Inspiration, Innovation & Information for school libraries and learning.
Image Quest is a database of more than two million visuals: photographs, reproductions, maps, drawings, paintings, pictures, charts, graphs, advertisements, cartoons, and other graphic representations. Content encompasses a broad spectrum of cultures, media, and topics, ranging from antiquity through modern day. Every item has been rights-cleared for noncommercial, educational use, extending permission not only for student reports and assignments but also for school websites, newsletters, bulletins, flyers, and other in-house publications.
“Warrior scholars” – who are they and how do we encourage them?
“Warrior scholars” according to Dr Anne Milne, are “young people with high academic skills and who are secure and empowered by their identity as Maori or Pasifika, with a kete filled with the tools needed to challenge inequity where ever they find it”.
“By year 13, we want our students to be ready to take on and change the world”.
The above are some of the points made by Dr Anne Milne when she was addressing the recent NZCER Connected and Contagious Conference in Wellington. Dr Milne is Principal of Kia Aroha College.
Big changes are in the wind for your school?
What are the conditions that best promote positive change in New Zealand schools?
Early learning about something new as a group (promoting “redundancy”) encourages change. Such successful groups often develop visual overview metaphors of the new direction which become the touchstones for a new “shared way of being” for the future in the school e.g. “The 6 kindnesses poster” is one school’s metaphor for implementing the New Zealand curriculum in their school.
School leaders are strategic in deciding when to bring in an outsider with new ideas into the school, and when to develop new ideas within the group.
The above is a summary of some of the points made by Dr Rosemary Hipkins based on the results of research on New Zealand Curriculum “early adopter” schools, when she addressed the recent NZCER Connected and Contagious Conference in Wellington.
Free to Mix!
National Library Services to Schools have partnered with Digital NZ to create a very useful guide to reusing digital content.It gives you information, activities and ideas to confidently create a remix from material you know you have the rights to reuse. It shows students why copyright and licensing exist, how they work, and how they can apply licences to their own work through simple information, suggestions for activities, and links to more resources.
By using it, you and your students will be able to participate in the global remix community while demonstrating creativity and integrity. This will not only support you in creating exciting learning materials but will give you the background you need to prepare entries for the great New Zealand Mix and Mash competition. Once again, the competition will have amazing prizes for students and real opportunities for exploring their cultural heritage through a range of media and content. The competition will launch on August 4th so get prepared now by reading the guide and planning how you can encourage students to make the most of this fantastic experience.
The guide is a living document and will have more sections added to it, starting with some more specific help entering the competition. We can’t give away too much about what these will be as the categories are going to be a surprise but check back at launch!
If you would like to discuss the guide, or the competition, we have an online community where I am very happy to help you in any way I can. I will also let you know about workshops and events that are happening that are relevant to the competition.
What does it take to encourage educators to change their teaching practice? What would it take to encourage educators to make the best use of their school library and information facilities?
Research shows the triggers which motivate professional learning and change in educational practice are:
The above is a summary of the research-based conclusions of Dr Lynne Hannay (Ontario, Canada) when she addressed the recent NZCER Connected and Contagious Conference in Wellington.
Before you think:
“Assessment is not my responsibility”
“My job is getting kids excited about reading and helping them with their research”
“My goal is to produce lifelong learners. That is a long-term goal. It happens in the future and you can’t asses these skills now”
“I don’t have time to give them tests so I can’t really assess their work…”
Take a look at the work being done in Hawaii by Violet Harada and Joan Yoshina. In today’s schools, assessment for student learning is every school professional's business – and every student’s. As well as the benefits to students, there is a real need for librarians to report the library contribution to student progress in a way that communicates the results to school staff, students and parents.
Violet and Joan are interested in the tools and processes in the library that provide students with accurate, descriptive feedback and which involve students in the process.
For librarians to have a recognised part in learning in schools, Violet and Joan suggest the following 21st century understandings are important:
Tools for assessment include the use of checklists, rubrics, portfolios graphic organisers and logs.
It’s a big topic and a very important one.
Harada, V. H.(2010). Self-assessment: Challenging students to take charge of learning. School Library Monthly, 26(10), 13-15
Social bookmarking is a great way to organise and share your favourite websites. As a web based tool it allows you to access, add to, and manage your bookmarks anytime and from any computer that’s connected to the Internet.
For those who haven’t yet adopted this practice take a look at 7 things you should know about…Social Bookmarking (PDF). As a concept, social bookmarking has been around for some years now and has culminated in the creation of a variety of tools to support bookmark sharing. The main function of social bookmarking is the ability to share your bookmarks with others and in turn discover what they have bookmarked under tags (keyword access points) that relate to your areas of interest.
flickr image by sneeu
School libraries have used social bookmarking to set up accounts that provide access to a wide range of websites accessible under different curriculum and subject areas. The tags attached to each bookmark provide users with keyword access points that can be grouped together allowing easy access. Golden Bay High School have set up a Delicious account for the school library which shows you how this can work. In addition to seeing the listing of bookmarks you can also see the 10 most popular tags and the tag bundles where keyword tags are grouped under an all encompassing term e.g. Web 2.0 as a tag bundle name could incorporate individual tags such as web2, 2.0, Web, Library2.0, L2, W2, www2.
We are now seeing the next generation of social bookmarking tools coming into play which not only allow you to bookmark websites but also social media content from sources like Flickr, Twitter and YouTube. Tools such as Diigo and Evernote provide additional functionality including the ability to add sticky notes and highlighting to websites and pdfs. These are useful tools when you want to emphasise specific points or make connections with certain web information for staff and students. With the increasing use of social networking the school library can now also share its bookmarks through social networking accounts such as Facebook and Twitter and also via email. This is a great way for the school community to keep up with current content you are collecting through multiple communication channels.
For a comprehensive discussion about social bookmarking including some of the tools you can use take a look at WebTools4U2Use.
Goodreads is a social networking site where people can keep track of what they’re reading, share recommendations, post reviews and make friends with similar taste in books.
You can form groups, join book clubs and discover which titles your friends love (or loathe!). With over four and a half million users, goodreads is the largest social network for booklovers in the world, and if you aren’t already using it then you probably know somebody who is.
If you have a facebook account you can use the goodreads app to share what you’re reading with all your facebook friends. Each time you write a book review, comment on a book or update your user status it goes straight into your facebook news feed. Friends and family can comment on your books within facebook or click through to goodreads for reviews and other information about your latest title. Just open your facebook page and search for ‘goodreads’ to find the app and get started.
You can also embed a goodreads widget on your library blog or website. It shows the cover image of each book you read, along with your rating. Creating a virtual bookshelf in this way is an easy way to show your students what you are reading and encourage them to discuss books with you (and each other). Being a reading role model in this way is an important and effective step in creating a reading culture in your school.
If you would like to read more about social networking in school libraries, check out this Libraries and Learning post on social media and school libraries. You could also join the Social Networking for School Libraries group if you would like to discuss how you can use social networking in your school.
Do you use goodreads?
There’s no doubt that online resources are going to get better and cheaper, and students will be able to do their research online from mobile devices wherever they are.
Seth Godin, in this important and thought-provoking blog post, proposes that: “They need a librarian more than ever (to figure out creative ways to find and use data). They need a library not at all.”
Arguing for a re-definition of the library as space, as catalyst for creativity, co-production and collaboration, he also redefines the librarian role through a similar lens.
Godin continues: “Librarians that are arguing and lobbying for clever ebook lending solutions are completely missing the point. They are defending library as warehouse as opposed to fighting for the future, which is librarian as producer, concierge, connector, teacher and impresario.”
Far from being an anti-book campaigner, Godin paints a scenario where the librarian is at the creative centre of a 21st Century space completely focused on access to data as well as connections to users. He sees ‘library’ as serving as the ‘local nerve center for information’.
We need librarians more than we ever did. What we don't need are mere clerks who guard dead paper. Librarians are too important to be a dwindling voice in our culture. For the right librarian, this is the chance of a lifetime.”
Read more: http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2011/05/the-future-of-the-library.html and see whether you agree.
flickr image by: ceslava
AnyQuestions.co.nz, the free online reference service, has been around since 2004. In that time we have helped over 80,000 New Zealand school students.
The aim of the service is not to give students the answers but rather, to teach them valuable information literacy skills so they can find the information for themselves. In the past year the service has undergone some dramatic changes. We switched to a much more reliable and friendly to use chat software, revamped our companion site ManyAnswers.co.nz and most recently overhauled our core AnyQuestions.co.nz site.
So why have we done this? The goal was to make the site easier to use for students and librarians as well as integrating our full services a lot better.
Up until recently, students needed to fill in an information survey before they engaged with a librarian. It was vital that we captured this information, yet the method we used failed to create the engagement with students that was needed. We rethought this survey and have incorporated it on the site as the start of a conversation between the student and the librarian. At each “step” of the survey students are asked a question in a conversational tone before entering the chat software proper. So far we have found this successfully creates an engagement that leads to positive interactions between the student and the librarian.
We have also integrated AnyQuestions.co.nz with our companion site ManyAnswers.co.nz. ManyAnswers.co.nz is home to hundreds of “answers” to commonly asked questions on AnyQuestions.co.nz and UiaNgāPātai.co.nz (our te reo service).
Like AnyQuestions.co.nz we don’t give the students the answers, instead we guide them to find answers for themselves. The big advantage ManyAnswers.co.nz has is that it is not limited by the opening hours of AnyQuestions (Monday to Friday 1 – 6pm).
There are hundreds of answers on ManyAnswers.co.nz in both English and te reo Māori and more being added every week. We have integrated the two sites on every page with search functionality, RSS feeds of the latest answers and tag clouds of keywords and tags. We hope that this interweaving of the two sites will provide a better service for students.
Our next project is integrating similar changes into our te reo site, UiaNgāPātai.co.nz.
Our goal is to continue to enhance our services. We welcome your feedback and suggestions! You can do this through the Contact Us page on the AnyQuestions.co.nz site.
Robert Baigent - Manager AnyQuestions
0800 LIB LINE
0800 542 5463
Get help from our advisers using this free phone line