Graphic tales make novel teaching tools: an Age article

Uploaded To Flickr by Litandmore (2008)

Animation video: Saving the planet

At our school we have a number of students who are very committed to looking after the environment. We regularly get an email about what we can do to help. From english@kkc, an blog for English students at Katikati College, I found this little animation, using the song Money makes the world go around and created by WWF Brazil, a message about saving the planet. This blog has a lot of interesting ideas for teaching, especially in the area of English.

Teaching, learning and sharing the load

Flickr CClicence by Fudj

Compartment (Flickr CClicence by Fudj)

 I was reading Jenny Luca’s post entitled No idea: a post to read. I then read about a post by a young teacher, Todd Seal, about how  he is feeling in the classroom. Most of the comments also reflected that same feeling I got from the post. The “feel” was of a sense of loneliness or “aloneness” in the classroom by the teachers or, more specifically, secondary school teachers. I have been working in schools for many years now and have tried to overcome this sense that teaching, by necessity, has to be done in isolation.

Why do so many teachers work alone? Is it through choice or design? I would suggest that it is a combination of both. The training of new teachers seems to have remained basically the same since the early nineteen hundreds, if not longer. Sure the tools have changed but it seem that trainee teachers still come out with the view of teaching an classrooms. That their place of work is a closed space, often the arrangement of the furniture dictating that students work with the teacher at the front. Continue reading

Deletionpedia – Where Wikipedia’s deleted pages go

After writing about Wikipedia and Veropedia I thought I should mention Deletionpedia. There is a very good entry about this on the BraveNewWorld blog.

If you’ve ever tried to find a Wikipedia article that you swear was once there, or can’t believe a page doesn’t exist, there may be chance it’s over at Deletionpedia, a non-wiki database that automatically picks up the things that get dropped off the better known counterpart.

Deletionpedia is an archive of about 63,551 pages which have been deleted from the English-language Wikipedia. You cannot edit any of the pages uploaded here. An automated bot uploads pages as they are deleted from Wikipedia and, as you might imagine, some of the stuff at DeletionPedia was taken down because it either became irrelevant or wasn’t all that relevant to begin with. There are other occasional obscure but interesting/useful facts or biographical entries voted off for the subject not being well-known enough. It may be a useful destination if Wikipedia doesn’t quite have what you need.

Print-on-demand books: now in store

Print-on-demand has the potential to be one of the most important developments in the growth of the digital world by aiding accessibility of books to the public. Soon a book will never be out of print with what’s been described as the ATM for books. The A&R store in Bourke St., Melbourne, is the only one with this option but 50 more such machines will be installed throughtout Australia and NZ. I really like the notion that the ideas, words, etc. in out-of-print, or hard-to-get, books are now readily available.

I also love the feel of the physical book, the smell of the pages, the look of the cover, the sheer tactile nature of (hardback) books. (Yes, I try to by hardback books whenever I can!) I would always choose to by the physical book for these reasons but I can see that the opportunity, to read the words of the many out-of-print manuscripts, is a step forward. Burning the physical book will no longer be enough to stop the communication between author and reader. Many Australian readers like to buy books and/or go to the local library to borrow the physical book, but here is another option that has merit.

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