Science fiction – a history through Penguin covers

Another great pick-up from Articulate. My feed from the  this blog informed me about the Penguin UK post  –  a wonderful gallery of science fiction book covers.


There is a thematic contents table and an index that allows to easily find titles you maybe looking for. The index also enables you to look up something like Penguin Celebrations: Penguin Classics, Penguin Crime, Penguin Film Classics, Penguin Modern Classics, Penguin Science Fiction, part one, Penguin Science Fiction, part two, Penguin Westerns and Popular Penguins. It might be useful starting point for someone looking to expand their knowledge of titles in fiction themes.


The site allows you to click on the covers for more information and to also search for, and see, covers for different editions of the same book. brave-new-world


There is also some discussion about how the decisions on choosing the cover designs. I must admit I never did like the 1972 cover for A clockwork orange and this was the cover of the book I studied. I really didn’t enjoy the reading of the book all that much either. This worried me as I always remind my students to go beyond the cover but then I did like book, The day of the Triffids and the covers here don’t inspire me either, so I think I am alright! 

This site could be a great way to lead into some visual literacy classes and could also provide some discussion about what the cover changes, over time, say about society.  A really interesting gallery.

Stephen Heppell: Be very afraid

In a recent email, from one of my Diigo groups, I saw the follwing site bookmarked: Be Very AfraidBVA

On the BVA (Be Very Afraid) site “Prof. Stephen Heppell and his team  bring together some of the best examples of Digital Creativity from schools, colleges and Higher Education in the South East (UK).”

You will see that along the top of the page there are links to the various year’s events. BVA1 thru BVA5. I have only looked at about 1/2 the videos available for viewing. There are some very amazing examples of schools  using technology to support student learning. It is worthwhile spending time watching these videos from all the various years.

Each year Dr Stephen Heppell also does a reflective summary at the end. These are on the website, but can also be found on YouTube. Here is the one from 2008

Do have a look at some of the videos, you will be inspired.

Useful Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Customer service – needing some work

This video, of a Seth Godin presentation, was made in 2006. There have been times recently that some of my friends have had difficulties with corporations and their services, especially in the telecommunications areas. The problems seem to be totally unnecessary and the corporate representatives seem totally inflexible. We, at my school, have had some amazing conversations with the Age this year, just trying to sort out the subscriptions, the forms always seemingly unnecessarily cumbersome but filled out the way that was required. They seemingly found things too difficult and mixed up thye subscriptions and then did not want to correct in any useful way.

This is a very amusing video. He gives a tour of things that are poorly thoughtout or designed, some of the reasons why they are that way, and how to fix them. I think everyone can identify with the things he discusses.

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Thinking about twitter

From Jenny Luca, I had a play with the Twitter mosaic tool (just for fun). It is fascinating to  visual image of who is following you.
Get your twitter mosaic here.


I have been thinking about tools for use by students and of course there was all that attention given to the Twitter race between CNN and Ashton Kutcher. I was offline for most of the Easter holidays so I was not reading much either the rss feeds or even twitter. Unlike Ashton, I have been trying to keep my twitter numbers down, closer to something I can actually manage (just about anyway). I really use my twitter to find out what others, especially those invloved in education, are doing/using. I have also used it to ask for advice/help on items. The power of twitter was reinforced when Insight (SBS) organised a discussion around the Australian Governments internet filter (Blocking the Net). I was watching the program and became very irritated about the direction of the discussion and lack of big picture and all the (wider) implications  and the overall usefullness of such a filter. Those who were watching the program with access to twitter had a much richer and varied discussion. (Have a look at the Twitter discussion and responses here).

Laura Walker had a very thoughtful post  on 9 reasons why educators should be using Twitter. There are a growing number of great ways to use Twitter in the clasroom. I am interested in developing something for the students in our Tertiary Orientation Program (year 10). These are not academic boys and they do not like reading and/or writing to any great extent. Aside from using the audio tools eg podcasting etc, I thought Twitter might provide them with a more inviting writing experience. With the limit to the characters the boys will not be daunted by the amount and with this limit, they will have to be very clear-minded about what it is they are writing.

Some information I found useful was in post from AcademicHack, the wiki “Using Twitter in the classroom” , the post “50 Ideas on Using Twitter for Education” by Carol Cooper-Taylor and from a post on SearchEngineWatch. 

Also worth watching is this video segment on “The Twitter Global Mind” .

Lastly, because it’s the weekend, a little humour from: “SuperNews!” An animated sketch comedy series airing on Current TV. This video decribes one young man’s struggle against the pressure to Twitter his life away.


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