Useful sites (weekly)

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


Multicolr – finding shades from flickr

I love finding images interesting images and tools that help me find just what I am looking for. This is a very nifty little  web-based tools that everybody should know about.  Multicolr Search Lab (Idee) finds photos on Flickr whose dominant colours match those which you can select from a palette at the side of the page.  You can select up to 10 to be part of a set of colours.
I like the idea of being able to easily find a colour scheme
The screen shot shows the result when I selected 6 colors – shades of purple, blue and a red. The resulting Flickr pictures displaying a combination of these colors and some were quite amazing. With the photos coming from Flickr and therefore often licensed to use under creative commons they can go ion to be used on blogs or other websites. This is a boon for students especially when they can use Imagecodr to help them with attribution.

Useful sites (weekly)

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

The state of education or the perils of watching daytime television

Again, being home I have time to watch some tv. I put on ABC24 the news station and found…our parliament in full flight. It was very difficult to hear the politicians talk about the great things they have been doing for education; the National Curriculum tht still has not been agreed to by all the states, the website set up for parents to get a better understanding of schools and their child’s progress (statistics that can show many things and nothing) and how good the introduction of national testing is. They are such experts on education I don’t know why we need teachers at all!

I have ranted about this before and I have not changed my attitude to this so I got so annoyed, listening to the glib  statements and the smirks of the politicians, that I put on a commercial station only to hear an labour election advertisement with our Premier talking about how well he understood teaching, after all he had been one in another life, and what is government has been doing for schools and students. Time to switch off the television I thought. This is not making feel better or rested.

I watched the video below that seems to put things into perspective.

Andy Griffiths on Roald Dahl

Sitting at home I have had time to listen to the Radio National Book Show, Yesterday (Tues 16th) there was a discussion by Andy Griffiths about Roald Dahl. The podcast is now up and you can listen to the recording of the  session. This is the 20th anniversary of the death of the wonderful English (Welsh) storyteller Roald Dahl and Andy Griffiths talks about the impact of Roald Dahl on his own life and work.

Andy Griffiths is well-loved by many, especially the boys at our school. He quirky humour, that appeals to all children, especially to boys,  is not always loved by adults, who seem not to remember their inner child. He has however won many awards and recently was shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Award for children’s fiction for Just Macbeth, his adaptation of Shakespeare’s play. This was a great way to introduce the Macbeth story to younger children and was a lot of fun.

The latest book by Andy we bought into the library this year was The very bad book. When the first one (The bad book ) came out a few years ago there were again adults selling the young people short and wanting to prevent it being sold let alone put into school, due to some of the impossible storylines. Talking about the stories with the kids just brought home how silly it is for adults to assume that the young cannot tell the difference between what is real and what is just fun and silly and totally not real. Some of this is discussed in the podcast and related to Roald Dahl’s writing as well.

Also on The Book Show site is a link to a podcast where  Donald Sturrock and Ophelia Dahl discuss Roald Dahl.

Roald Dahl left instructions nominating his daughter Ophelia to write his biography or to choose a suitable person to do so. Ophelia is a trustee of the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre and has archived much of his work. She chose Donald Sturrock , a former BBC documentary maker, biographer and director, to write the biography. As a young man Donald had made a documentary on Roald Dahl and has also written five opera libretti including one based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  At the recent Times Cheltenham Literary Festival Dahl’s daughter Ophelia and biographer Donald Sturrock discussed the life and times of the great English storyteller.

Useful sites (weekly)

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

Author interviews and farewell Fiction Focus

It has been a short week for those of us in Melbourne schools with a public holiday to celebrate the running of the Melbourne Cup. The work days this week have been: 1. spent deciding on how best to utilise the Kindles we have bought for the library and 2. looking at authors and writing for some of our literary students. 

I am sorry to say that one of my mainstays when it comes to keeping up with YA literature, the Fiction Focus blog, has written its last post. This was a terrific site and so useful to all who work in the YA or children’s literature area. Funding cuts seem to be so random and ill-advised at times but if you feel like you would like to register your disappointment please visit the blog to leave a comment.

It was from a post on the Fiction Focus blog that I found out about the newspaper in the US , the Albany Examiner, that has been publishing a series of profiles on contemporary YA authors. The latest is an article about Australian author Melina Marchetta. In the US Finnikin of the Rock is the most recent release. There have been  five previous writers in this ongoing series. They are: Andrew AuseonAlly Carter, Kristen Cashore, E. Lockhart and M.T. Anderson.

I, along with two students at my school, was fortunate to be able to met author Michael Grant last night. He came along to speak to students from some of the nearby schools. He is a very dynamic character and seemed totally at ease talking to the students present.  A good post can be found on the Booktopia blog (Michael Grant, Author of GONE, HUNGER and LIES, answere ten terrifying questions) He was funny, articulate and offered some interesting ideas about writing to those present.

I have also been reading some fascinating author interviews that range from the 50’s until today. These were done for the Paris Review.

The Review focused on original creative work and innovatively, at the time of its founding, letting the authors talk about their work themselves. The Review’s Writers at Work interview series offered authors a rare opportunity to discuss their life and art at length; they have responded with some of the most revealing self-portraits in literature. Among the interviewees are P.D. James, Elie Wiesel, Margaret Drabble, V. S. Naipaul, P.L.Travers,Seamus Heaney, Ian McEwan, Ray Bradbury, Les Murray  and Peter Carey.

Aside from “hearing” how the author liked to write and about the impetus for their works, I also became fascinated with the little examples of manuscript pages that you could view for each of them.