Inspiration, Innovation & Information for school libraries and learning.
By Linda M
School librarians often become the school archivist by default. As the person in school who organises and looks after resources, regardless of origin or ultimate destination in school, the librarian becomes the de facto archivist. If you are inclined to explore this area of resource provision, and have the support you need (time and money) you may find this a very satisfying part of your job.
School archives are a great source of material which students relate to easily, since the materials are often about former students now grown and gone, doing the things that current students still do. There are pictures and articles of past rugby teams and the XV, or poems by previous students published in the school magazine. There are photos of long gone students taken at school balls, and in school drama productions from years gone by.
A teacher at a boys’ school, used his school’s archives as the basis for an NCEA unit with his students, researching ‘Old Boys who’d served in World War II’.
There was a lot of interest in using material from the school archives, but also the students began to search other primary sources: interviewing relatives; delving into old photos; scouring through local history archives; using Papers Past and local newspaper records. The students got some great learning mileage from it.
Learn more about using Primary source materials in you teaching at the Primary Sources section of the Services to Schools site. There’s a lot of help out there if you’re just getting started in archives. Your first port of call is the School Records Retention and Disposal Schedule, which lets you know what to keep and how long to keep it. You may even be required to keep some material, by Act of Parliament! School records are mostly public documents, after all. If you haven’t got a hard copy of this schedule it is downloadable from either the Ministry of Education website.
Have you successfully integrated your school archives into authentic learning experiences in your school? Please share your stories with us.
The NZTA is running a fantastic competition for secondary schools encouraging evidence of engagement with a remix that students have created to encourage road safety.
Students are invited to create infographics, creative remixes and even a literature remix based on the works of Shakespeare and prizes include $10,000 worth of vouchers.
We’re trying to make it really easy for teachers and librarians to support students in finding remixable content so as well as the Free to Mix guide we have also created a collection of links in a Prezi that gives search tips and hints for various search tools. This Prezi can be embedded into your school’s online environment and used as a teaching tool to enhance the learning experience.
In our Primary Sources gallery, we have created a collection of some great Road Safety images that might inspire some interesting and thought provoking remixes. Many of these images are remixable themselves.
From sound advice to shock statistics to hilarious videos, road safety campaigns have been around for a long time now and we’re looking forward to seeing how some of this is translated by teens of today.
Everything! International news is telling us via social media, television, newspapers and radio that there is huge unrest in Egypt at the moment. The Egyptian people have been receiving their news through all the usual channels and are now influenced by the unrest in Tunisia (also informed by social media), they have risen up to claim freedom and democracy in Egypt.
Information and news has been sent and received by social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. In fact, this is probably the way most people were receiving news and gatherings, rallies, marches etc were being organised.
The authorities closed down the Internet. Google then created a way to post messages to Twitter by making telephones calls! Social media rules, and the news is still circulating.
Check these links:
Writing in the Weekend Herald January 29th, Robert Fisk of The Independent, UK, said, ‘This is a revolution by Twitter and Facebook, and technology long ago took away the dismal rules of censorship.’
In the same newspaper and on the same day, reporters working for the Reuters agency stated that a page on Facebook had listed more than 30 mosques and churches where protesters were expected to gather. “Egypt’s Muslims and Christians will go out to fight against the corruption, unemployment and oppression and absence of freedom,” the page said, adding more than 70,000 had signed up online.
As I write this blog news is being reported in the free press and online, of President Mubarak’s address to the Egyptians to say he will not stand for re-election next September.
What does this have to do with school libraries and learning? I quote from the Services to Schools Services online delivery channel: “First-hand accounts of historical events are called primary sources. The body of primary source material provides the clues that historians call the ‘historical record’”.
Students in schools today can use social media to obtain eyewitness accounts of the creation of historical events. Working almost in real time, social media provides the opportunity for authentic and rich learning experiences. Students will need to be able to distinguish relevant from irrelevant information and evaluate the primary source using critical thinking skills while creating the documents and repositories of knowledge that will become the historical records for the future.
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