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. : )

School’s out Friday

Yesterday was April Fool’s Day. And yes, I fell prey to Paul Bogush’s tweet about Twitter accounts being charged for from August, and my clever daughter who had the foresight to purchase fake scratchies, that when scratched, said we’d won $10,000. My son ran around the house in a state of frenzied excitement anticipating all manner of things he could buy, until faced with the realisation that it was all an April Fool’s Day joke.

It made me think of one of the first uses of mass media to pull off a great April Fool’s Day prank. Above is the original video of the Panorama program’s Spaghetti tree segment, that led to thousands of British viewers phoning the BBC asking how they could grow their own spaghetti tree. Their reply, ‘Place a sprig of spaghetti in a tin of tomato sauce and hope for the best’. (You’ll have to visit the link to the video on YouTube – they’ve disabled embedding. Thanks Darcy Moore for alerting me to this. : ) )

It’s Good Friday today. Enjoy a Hot Cross Bun or two and spend some quality time with family and friends. The weekend ahead will see me working on presentations for the ACEC Conference, adding my thoughts to Students 2.0 and hosting family for Easter celebrations on Sunday. Sounds a tad busy really!