School’s out Friday

Yes, it’s late, but my excuse is that I’m still running on a US time zone, only just having returned from a long haul flight back to Australia. Once again, the improveverywhere crew are providing some amusement for us this week, as they divide a New York street into ‘New Yorkers’ and ‘Tourists’ and spend a morning channeling people into their designated walking zone. Sometimes, I think it’s the tourists who are the faster walkers – I know I was as I ran to make connections at LAX and Sydney airport yesterday!

Having just returned from ISTE 2010, it’s time for me to process the week that was and write a response. I intend to do that this weekend, and then impose on myself a week’s hiatus from online work. I need some downtime, and my kids need their Mother’s full attention. That, I intend to give to them this week. I’ll probably put up a School’s out Friday next week, but I’m going to lay off the Twitter and clear the headspace!

The jet lag is nowhere near as bad as the New York/Philly trip in January, so the weekend ahead looks pretty normal. Surprisingly, I’m looking forward to the Germany vs Argentina match tonight in the World Cup. Have I finally become an ardent Soccer fan? Looks like it!

Enjoy the weekend – and if you’re watching the World Cup, soak up the sound of all those vuvuzelas. I saw someone tweet the other day that they thought the supporters had become more practised over the course of the World Cup and were almost carrying a tune!

School’s out Friday

Yes, it is Saturday now back in Melbourne, but I’m in Denver, Colorado right now and it’s still Friday here!

Pixar have been flooding the social networks with advertising for Toy Story 3. This mosaic video is a nice way to get the message out. They don’t have to work so hard to get my attention on this one. I loved the first two and will definitely be lining up for number three. I remember taking my daughter to see the first Toy Story movie and having to take her back for a second viewing, all because I wanted to laugh and empathise with characters that had as much appeal and relevance for adults as they did for children. Belonging, friendship and tolerance – all important life lessons that were the messages imparted from this film. Hmmnn…makes me think it might just make a good film as text study.

I had a lovely dinner with the ever helpful Sue Waters and finally got to meet Frances, (@developit on Twitter) along with other Twitter folk. This is the first time I’ve attended an ISTE Conference and tomorrow is Edubloggercon. To be honest with you, the scale of this conference intimidates me. Apparently over 18,000 people attend. I can’t even begin to imagine what that looks like. How do you find anyone you know? There is a Blogger’s Cafe, so I suppose that will act as a magnet attracting like souls. No doubt it’s going to be a very interesting and, hopefully, enlightening experience. I’ll do my best to get a couple of blog posts out if I can while I’m here.

If you’re back home in Australia, rug up in your winter woollies. T-shirt weather here  – 34 degrees celcius tomorrow!

Enjoy your weekend. : )

School’s out Friday

If you live in a soccer charged household like I do, then you’ll be immersed in World Cup fever right now. And that means you’ll be dealing with the unceasing drone of the the Vuvuzela, an instrument I’d never heard of until last week. The above video, a parody of a scene from the movie Der Untergang (there are plenty of these of YouTube for all sorts of circumstances –it’s a meme that has gained something of a cult following) raised a smile from me, largely because I find the noise a constant distraction as I try to watch the games.It’s like having a swarm of bees in your lounge room.

Busy weekend ahead as I prepare to leave for the United States on Tuesday. I’ll be presenting to Teacher-Librarians in Missouri next Thursday and then heading to the ISTE Conference in Denver where I’ll be presenting the following Wednesday.  Lots to do before I get on that plane, and I have a wedding to attend tomorrow! It’ll be head down on Sunday, after my son’s soccer match -a game to be enjoyed. Haven’t sighted a Vuvuzela at one of those matches yet!

Enjoy your weekend, whatever comes your way. : )

School’s out Friday

I saw this video featured on a morning television show this week. I’d seen it quite awhile ago, and was very happy to be reminded of it. It’s one of those videos that always raises a smile, particularly for those of us of the female persuasion. Dealing with a man cold can be hard work. And that can be trifling compared with the hurty knee mentioned in the latter part of this sketch!!

We’re feeling the winter weather here in Melbourne at the moment. Our temporary library at school is cosy warm and is a bit of a magnet for the students in their breaks. We’ve heard a few sniffles around the place as winter colds take hold. I’ll be heading for a season change shortly; in eleven days I’ll be heading to St. Louis and Denver in the United States. Got a lot to do before then; better get cracking this weekend. Thank goodness it’s a long weekend here in the majority of Australian States. We’re celebrating the Queen’s Birthday, Constitutional Monarchy that we are!

Hope your weekend treats you well – rug up if you’re in the colder climes. : )

School’s out Friday

If you haven’t yet come across this I’m sure you’ll find it amusing. This is the students and faculty from the University of Washington’s Information School and their ‘Librarians do Gaga‘ effort. I’m sure Lady Gaga would approve!

I love the line, ‘Don’t forget the databases’. Hopefully our databases will no longer be overlooked now that we have them available for searching within our library catalogue. We have moved over to a new system this year and it enables Federated Searching. This means that any site that is Z39.50 compliant can have their information fed though our library catalogue. Search results come up with whatever selections you have chosen. For example, you could select the search areas of Toorak College database, World Book Encylopedia, Facts on File databases and EDNA resources. Your search return would concurrently  list results from each of these resources.  When you visit a result you leap directly into the database. Brilliant. No longer is there a need for students to leave our library OPAC for a database search. We demonstrated it to our staff last night and could hear their favourable reaction to the search results that appeared on the screen. Next step is getting our students familiar with the system. Hopefully we will see greater use of the databases we subscribe to as a result. Let’s face it, they are great resources and ensure authoritative search returns, but they cost a bomb and need to justify their purchase.

Correction and report writing this weekend. Yippee! Hopefully some time will be available for a bit of light relief too!

Enjoy whatever comes your way. : )

School’s out Friday

Thanks go the wonderful John Pearce for sending me the link to this video and suggesting it for School’s out Friday. I love it. It’s from Denmark, and Mukhtar, a bus driver, had a birthday I’m sure he will never forget.

Humanity at its finest, if you ask me.

I’m about to spend a night sleeping over at school celebrating humanity at its finest with Yr 10 girls, who are fundraising to support Daraja Academy in Kenya. We are skyping late in the evening with Mark Lukach, who lives in San Francisco and is a spokesperson for Daraja Academy. This is the second year of holding Sleepout for Schools in support of Daraja. I am very proud of this fine group of young women who think beyond themselves and do what they can to support those in need. I am very lucky to know them and have the privilege of being one of their teachers.

Why don’t we all perform a random act of kindness for someone else this weekend. There’s something we can do to celebrate humanity.


School’s out Friday

This brought a smile to my face and caught my interest at the same time. It’s the improveverywhere crew reliving the opening scene of Ghostbusters in the New York City Library.

What’s interesting is that improveverywhere were approached by the New York City Library to stage a mission within their building. The Library is facing a 37 million dollar cut to their budget and they were hoping that the exposure they could get from an improveverywhere mission would help remind people how great the Library is. Considering the video has been viewed 1,277,169 times since May 17th I’d say they’ve got plenty of exposure.

It’s great to see the NYC Library being seriously smart in their approach to raising public awareness. I bet it’s because all of the Librarians who work there are right up there with their social media knowledge. It can certainly work for you if you know how to work it the right way. Let’s hope it works for them. I visited the NYC Library in January and it certainly is an impressive building that was getting a lot of use on the day I was there.

You’ve gotta love this close up of what the ghost was searching for on his computer screen!!

Have a great weekend. Spend time with people you love and have a few laughs. I intend to do just that.

School’s out Friday

Last week I featured Rives and his conspiracy plot tale. In response, Angela Stockman let me know about this one from Rives, ‘A story of mixed emoticons‘. I used it with my Year 9 class this week and it led to a spirited discussion about the morphing of language over time and how symbols can transcend language barriers. The video is embedded in our class Ning and we have a forum discussion based around it. What was really wonderful was looking at the faces of my students as they watched this tale unfold. They were so focused and all of them had that open mouthed half smile you see when people are genuinely engrossed in something amusing. Those are the classroom moments I savour.

Hope you have wonderful plans for the weekend ahead. Can’t say I have much planned, but let’s face it, any weekend is a good one!


School’s out Friday

This is the poet, Rives, speculating on the mysterious hour of four in the morning. It’s worth hanging in there for the entire 8 minutes of his performance, just to appreciate the effort that’s gone into sourcing the material for this clever and very amusing TED Talk. Wouldn’t this make a great investigative activity for a group of students, who just might find that they could immerse themselves in the hunt for appropriate examples. It’s a task I’d find fun. It could even be a really useful team building exercise for staff on a Professional Development day. Imagine groups coming back to deliver their findings on the mysteries of different hours of the morning!

Long weekend ahead for Australians as we commemorate ANZAC Day. I hope your weekend treats you well.

Enjoy. : )

School’s out Friday

Funny, but informative too. (Thanks Nina for posting this in your instructional rounds ning.) I used Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy at the start of a presentation about Virtual Learning Communities using Ning, at the ACEC Digital Diversity Conference that’s been held here in Melbourne these last three days. I think there are lessons here that can be applied to the formation of learning communities and the importance of followers to make these communities work.

It’s interesting when you start a presentation with  a video running as participants enter. It establishes the climate and draws their attention; plenty of teachers could apply this kind of thing to their classroom practice to shape a lesson. Why not try it next week everyone?

This week has been HUGE for me. Three presentations in three days at the ACEC Conference, and an interview with the 7.30 Report about Cybersafety. I’ll post about these over the weekend. Pretty tuckered out right now.

A sleep in is in order for me tomorrow. Then I better get stuck into cleaning this house because it’s back to work next Monday for teachers in Victoria.

Have a great weekend. Make the most of it. : )