Useful sites (weekly)

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


Shaun Tan wins the 2011 ALMA

More exciting news for the Australian book world and especially Shaun Tan. He has been announced as the winner of this year’s ALMA.

 The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA) is the world’s largest prize for children’s and young adult literature. The award, which amounts to SEK 5 million, is awarded annually to a single recipient or to several. Authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and those active in reading promotion may be rewarded. The award is designed to promote interest in children’s and young adult literature, and in children’s rights, globally.

The award, which is the world’s largest children’s literature award, was awarded for the 11th time this year. You can read more about it on their website. Their explanation about why Shaun Tan won the award is here. I  love their introduction

A masterly visual storyteller

Shaun Tan is a masterly visual storyteller, pointing the way ahead to new possibilities for picture books. His pictorial worlds constitute a separate universe where nothing is self-evident and anything is possible. Memories of childhood and adolescence are fixed reference points, but the pictorial narrative is universal and touches everyone, regardless of age

You can watch the broadcast (in English) of the announcement as well as the presentation to Shaun Tan at  (in Swedish with English subtitles). There is also an article in the UK newspaper, The Guardian

Shaun Tan is the second Australian ALMA winner, the first being Sonya Hartnett in 2008.

Wylio: another way to get free embeddable images

There are quite a lot of ways to search for images on the internet. I am always on the lookout for something that makes it as easy as possible for me and/or my students to obtain good CC images to illustrate my sites (wikis, blogs, etc). I have been using ImageCodr to find CC images for my wiki and blogs (and it works very well) but I have only been able to use Flickr images.

Wylio offers a very easy way to quickly search through the huge number of free images from different sources and then allows you to generate a code so that you can insert those images directly into a blog post.

 It is very simple to use and therefore useful to use with students.


  • enter a keyword
  • browse through the thumbnails Wylio finds
  • find an image you like
  • click on it to re-size it according to your requirements as well as set the alignment
  • click on ‘Get the code’ to obtain the HTML code that can then be used to insert the image in your blog post. The code also includes an attribution to the original photographer 

You do not need to download anything to you own computer. There is (of course) a premium version that is not free but the simple version I have used is enough for me.  Below is an image I found to illustrate some information on Kindle e-readers
The Kindle Reader (A Young Girl Seated), after Renoirphoto © 2010 Mike Licht | more info (via: Wylio)

Are you typical?

I really liked this video produced by  National Geographic. The facts listed, the images and the soundtrack chosen make this a very slick and well-made video that would be great for a discussion starter.

National Geographic magazine continues a year long series examining the specific challenges and solutions we face as the worldwide population reaches 7 billion people in 2011 with a March story looking at humans’ massive impact on the planetYou can have a look at some amazing photos and read more about 7 Billion and there was also an earlier video about 7 Billion.

And – apparently –  I am not typical. There must be many of us that can therefore be called “special” or unique?

Useful sites (weekly)

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

Useful sites (weekly)

Three men at dusting books Digital ID: 1153325. New York Public Library

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

Mapping disasters in real-time – AlertMap

We seem to have been reeling from one-disaster to another this year. Our students have been very interested in (and concerned about) the floods here in Australia and the earthquake in Christchurch. The earthquake in Japan, and the potential for disaster that the Nuclear power stations pose, has the boys looking at the news media often.   There are of course many disasters that are constantly occurring that are not reported in our news media.

Alertmap is a tool that will show what is happening and where. It is a real-time map of disasters that logs and plots emergencies and tragedies as they happen around the world.

It covers various kinds of disasters. These are plotted on a Google-based map and include events such as the natural disasters (eg. earthquakes, floods, typhoons, tsunami), bushfires, epidemics, insect invasions, nuclear events, vehicle accidents and more. At the moment Japan has its own tab in red but you can also use the continents tab for other specific regions.

The events are divided into current emergencies, short time events, long time or rolling events. Each event is rated and color-coded to indicate how critical the event is to human life and property.

You can click on any icon on the map to show details of the event, including the co-ordinates, country, state, and date. The array of icons are explained under the help tab. The map takes data from the internet so it can plot them as they are happening. You can then follow a details link for extra information. The screen below shows the first summary page and you can follow other tabs for further information.

Below the map lists of disasters in table format. You can follow the links here just as you can from the map.

Also worth noting is that the site is free with no sign-up required