John Flanagan on his Ranger’s Apprentice series

These books are well-loved and the final book was a fitting end to the series and Will’s story.

John Flanagan has often answered questions about his books via YouTube. Below are two recent videos offer some insight into what he is thinking and answer a few of the questions fans are asking. I will use them in our library next year to remind our readers about the books/series.

The first short video was done in answer to why he finished the series

And will there be a movie?

Useful Links

Crowd Accelerated Innovation by gcouros, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  gcouros 

Teaching Digital Citizenship in context

Teachable Moments for Digital Citizenship is a really useful infographic from a post by Nancy White - @NancyW.

She created it when she was looking for a resource about the importance of modeling good digital literacy skills for students. She explains that teaching digital citizenship as a separate curriculum is ok but finding the moments when they need the skill as part of undertaking a task, where the principles of digital citizenship can be applied, is the best way for them to learn and understand.

Allied to this infographic is a presentation (at the bottom of the post) where Nancy explained different aspects of digital citizenship called “9 Elements or themes of Digital Citizenship”. This presentation was created to explain digital literacy to parents but is a useful way to explain the concepts to fellow educators. These elements were:

  1. Digital Access
  2. Digital Commerce
  3. Digital Communication
  4. Digital Literacy
  5. Digital Etiquette
  6. Digital Law
  7. Digital Rights and Responsibilities
  8. Digital Health and Wellness
  9. Digital Security

The infographic uses the above themes and then puts them into a classroom context. It offers some direction for teachers who are working with students on particular tasks. It helps to map out what areas will be covered when students are asked to undertake each digital activity. It really goes without saying really that teachers must also show their students what’s expected of them. The themes need to be discussed with students when needed, allowing them to ask questions and explore ideas in a real situation. The final point that teachers,  and all responsible adults really,  need to model good digital citizenship themselves if they want young people to take these ideas on board I can’t agree with more completely. I have found with all things that if you say one thing but do another, you students will not take you or your message seriously.

Whilst many of the themes can recur in more than one context, Nancy has matched the most likely themes with the appropriate context:

  • Read: digital literacy and digital access
  • Watch: digital health and wellness and digital literacy
  • Find: digital access and digital literacy
  • Record: digital etiquette, digital rights and responsibilities also leading on to discussions about digital footprints and cyberbullying 
  • Curate: digital law and digital literacy
  • Connect: digital communication and digital safety and security
  • Collaborate: digital etiquette and digital communication
  • Create: digital rights and responsibilities and digital commerce
  • Write: digital communication and digital law

Teachable Moments for Digital Citizenshi

Slideshare presentation

Useful Links

The most popular books of all time

I have seen many lists of popular books but below is a new infographic explaining a few different things on their infographic.

And just because I like the sketch (and it is Friday) a short video – Mr Bean in the library

This is a visualisation of data on the most popular books every written. It includes number of editions, number of translations and units sold. Sourced from http://www.lovereading.co.uk/

The Most Popular Books of All Time

Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

What are the top Educational Technology Trends?

The following infographic is worth a look and it is only a snapshot it could lead on to more discussions about what the data actually means to particular situations.
The Menco company has developed in China and seems to be interested in many aspects of education. The people involved who are listed have interesting educational histories. Their rationale:
We asked over 100 European and North American teachers to rate their interest in today’s Educational Technology trends. With the coming launch of menco.io, you’ll be able to explore these trends and more, and discuss how they will shape the culture of learning around the globe.
So what results did they get from these teachers? Of course interest doesn’t give any specifics nor detail about what they are doing. Does interest lead to action? And I would say it is today’s education, not the education of tomorrow.
What information is the infographic giving us?
  • Web-based Tools For Education – 90.9% of teachers are very interested or interested and another 8.1% are somewhat interested this. Only 1% are not interested or only might be interested.
  • Online Educational Resources – 94.1% teachers are very interested, interested, or somewhat interested, only 1% not interested or might be interested
  • Digital Literacy – 95% are very interested, interested, or somewhat interested, 4% might be interested, 1% not interested. This is the field I am the most interested in and one that many of those working in school libraries have been most involved in.
  • Personal Learning Networks – 96% are very interested, interested, or somewhat interested, 3% might be interested, 1% not interested. This would be an area that i would like some further discussion about. Are the teachers building their PLNs and/or  are they educating their students about how to best utilize these opportunities for educational purposes.
  • Blended Learning – 96.9% are very interested, interested, or somewhat interested, 2.1% might be interested, 1% not interested.
  • Social Media In Education – 96% are very interested, interested, or somewhat interested, 2% might be interested, 2% not interested. An area that seems to be in constant change with many new things being developed all the time.
  • E-Moderation – 91.9% are very interested, interested, or somewhat interested, 1% might be interested and 6.9% not interested. I need to better understand this area and have only read a few pieces about it.
  • Mobile Learning – 91% are very interested, interested, or somewhat interested, 2% might be interested, 7% not interested. further discussion about what individuals and their schools are doing about m-learning opportunities and if they are going down the BYOD pathway would be an interesting follow-up.
  • Digital Games In Education – 85.9% are very interested, interested, or somewhat interested, 9.9% might be interested and 4% not interested.
  • Interactive Whiteboards – Although overall 81.3% are very interested, interested, or somewhat interested there does seem to be a move away from this form of technology as 27.7 only might be interested, 12.9% might be interested and 15.8% not interested.

I am often looking at research or data collected about technology uses in schools or educational fields. Most of the things I find are from the US or to a lesser extent UK or Europe. China has increasing the links between our two countries. Why are Australian teachers not being surveyed? Who in Australia is trying to gather this type of information? If someone is collecting data, why are we not seeing it shared? 

exploring tomorrow's education

Top 10 Educational Trends,
originally uploaded by Menco Platform.

What can we learn from a survey on “Children’s Media Use in America 2013″?

The Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America 2013 was the second in a series of surveys conducted by Common Sense Media. The surveys were designed to document the media environments and behaviors of children up to 8 years ol. “By replicating methods used two years previously, they were able to see what changes, if any, had occurred. You can visit their research page to download the full report.

The amazing growth of mobile media will keep all those in the education field on their toes. I work in a secondary school and we need to take into account the expertise and skill levels of students as they come to us from the primary schools. We all need to look at what we want students to learn and use the best possible means available to assist that.

The infographic below  helps to understand the way the trends are heading. The infographic below breaks down and creates a useful visualisation of some of the important data obtained. Although it is from the US, I think that data obtained here in Australia would be very similar, especially going on some of the results of “straw polls” and talking with our students.

Zero_to_Eight_2013_infographic

What does this mean for me as a teacher librarian?

I believe that the role of the teacher librarian will focus on teaching students how search properly through the vast amount information available and  then to evaluate the value of that information.

There is another role that libraries, and their staff, are starting to take on, that of being part of the makerspaces movement. Young people have been using library resources as consumers for a long time. Information is growing exponentially, especially as anyone now has access to digital tools for creation and publication. It is becoming important for students to learn how this information production works and how to become a part of this information society.

The library can support the students to become producers. In the past students produced written pieces of work to explain what they garnered from their research. Today in the digital age we can add many more options  and students can create digital artifacts such videos, websites, blogs and e-learning objects. The library can have a role in this as well by assisting students in the production process of these digital artifacts. This could be helping with the choice of the medium e.g.  paper or 3D artifacts, audio, video or web. The library could also assist by providing space, such as recording or editing spaces, and equipment such as cameras, microphones and editing software.  

Much of this fits in neatly with project-based learningThere many teachers who are starting to prefer the PBL approach in schools. PBL is “an instructional approach built upon authentic learning activities that engage student interest and motivation. These activities are designed to answer a question or solve a problem and generally reflect the types of learning and work people do in the everyday world outside the classroom.” taken from PBL Online. This type of learning is right up my alley!

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