SLAV Conference – Flip camcorder presentation & FUSE

Yesterday the School Library Association of Victoria held another of its conferences for library teams (all staff who work in school libraries).  Over the last few years these conferences have offered very successful and practical professional learning for library support staff and others. Yesterday was no exception. I really enjoyed Lili Wilkinson, reader and writer of young adult fiction who also works at the Centre for Youth Literature, at the State Library of Victoria, where she manages the website called It is a site about books for teenagers. Lili is always so enthusiastic about books and reading and she spoke eloquently on her favourite topic reading. She was quite inspiring about reading, no matter what format it may take, be it on paper or on-line. She also talked about the story.

My Multimedia technician, Keely Scicluna, and I were asked to talk about Flip camcorders. I was not sure how to present the information and ended up creating a site via Google sites called TechTools – Flip Camcorders. This was suggested by another of my library co-workers. I was not sure where everyone attending our session was with regards to these kinds of tools but was advised to talk about obtaining the cameras and how our library gives students and staff access to them.

Creating a this space using Google sites  allowed me to put in links to useful sites for finding out about buying the Flip camcorders – the different options, the extras that go with them and the prices. I also could put in useful posts and sites that discuss how others have used these great little digital video cameras and some support sites. As I worked I kept adding pages for instance pages with technical tips – simple film techniques, taking video clips and uploading them to the computer and will add soon some advice about responsible and appropriate use.

The site is not fancy as I haven’t done a lot of exploration yet but it was very easy to create and it got the information I wanted to share out there. My other option was to create a wiki but I sometimes find wikis a bit temperamental and not they do not always turn out as I would like them to. Here I could add video and images easily and all the google apps I played with went in seamlessly. There are pre-built templates but you can build your own if you prefer and you can control who can view and who can edit. I would certainly recommend that you have a look at using this tool for creating sites that could easily be used by classes as they space to share projects and classwork.

The keynote speaker for the day was Sandy Philips, Manager of KnowledgeBank: Next Generation, DEECD. She presented information about FUSE , a site that offers all our school community such a wealth of opportunities to find, share and create educational resources. This is an extensive and growing portal of learning resources for k-12.

Sandy opened her presentation with a background view of what we call the Internet and Web 2.0. and how the Internet has changed to a “post anywhere, anytime,  and anyhow” resource.  She also discussed the 3 different uses, the “Me, We, See” in our schools, acknowledging Stephen Heppell in presenting this concept which relates to behaviours associated with what we do online, from the totally private, the “friends and colleagues only to the totally public publication.

A huge number of resources are available on FUSE without needing a password. Government school teachers already have a login to the other content and a login process is being put in place for non-government schools to access.  This is the ‘library’ for government schools and cultural organisations such as Asia Education, ACME, SLV and others are all contributing.  Teachers can log and build their own learning resources on FUSE and then submit each for public use or keep it private. There will also be collaborative spaces for discussion, building ideas and sharing etc.  Sandy referred back to curriculum content.  Thinking, communicating, and being creative are all skills that are encouraged in the ‘new’ curriculum.

Sandy asked us to consider the projects that are being set in our schools for  today’s students.  Have things changed to use the thinking, communicating, creative skills that are possible with these new resources?  FUSE presents a wonderful opportunity to all in schools by offering an enormous range of resources that are appropriate, safe and interesting.

Sandy ended with some cautionary advice. We need to look at what we are doing and consider all the new options available to us. We need to get students to think differently. To explain this Sandy showed a video clip she created, from resources in FUSE, to accompany Billy Joel’s We didn’t start the fire. We were asked to think about how we might approach this activity with our student.  For example have the students consider the years since this song was published in the early 80’s

  • What events have had a global impact?
  • What were these impacts?
  • Which ones were connected?
  • Then could they create an Australian story with an appropriate song.  
  • What event has affected your students personally?

A link to Sandy Phillips’s presentation is available here

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