Social Media posting – infographic to download plus useful links

In keeping with some of the discussions this week I was very interested in the post What do I post where? by Sylvia Rosenthal Tolesano (@Langwitches).

It was a great visual representation that I think would help explain social media to a number of the staff at our school.

Sylvia is a leading teacher in the digital educational world and over the past few years have found the posts and articles she writes for her own and other blogs inspirational. She is also a great collaborator and has made this poster available as a download for others to use.

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


Social Media in Education Infographic

Another good infographic. This time  looking at the pros and cons of social media in education across a range of areas/uses not just students. I like the fact that it has considered the wider community. Schools don’t exist in a vacuum. A school has its students, teachers and parents specifically as well as links into wider community as does any organisation.
Surviving the College Dining Hall
Via: Online Universities Blog

The Power of the Online Community

There are still too many who seem to think that it is not yet time for our school to take our first small step into the world of social media. We are still at the stage of discussing what Twitter  is and how it differs from Facebook. We almost had agreement to use Twitter as a College when this was overshadowed by the discussion about what recently happened to Target via Facebook. A real fear was expressed about what might happen to us if we started to use Twitter to inform the community about what we are doing.

It is hard for me to listen to some of the arguments about social media when we, as a College, have only ever reacted to something that the students have done via some form of social media. Other than this reaction it simply doesn’t exist in our world. It was at this point I then became quite animated in trying to explain that we really need to be proactive and have a policy about how we approach all aspects of social media. We need to be clear about what our stance is and inform the whole College community, students, parents and staff,  rather than leaving it until we have to react to (usually) some inappropriate use.

Last week before a meeting I sent everyone a Diigo list of some sites that have information about social media policies, how to develop policies and about teaching good social media skills to students. It is not exhaustive but I thought it might give a basis for discussion. I annotated the list so that all recipients could decide which ones might be of most interest if they did not have time or want to read all of the sites. No-one had looked at any of them. It is not easy to explain Twitter and Facebook to people who only know about these tools from media reports (read here newspaper and television news programs).

How to explain the importance of social media today and especially the importance of social media in the lives of our younger people? We have all seen the power of social media in all sorts of ways, good and bad. How to help our students themselves understand the ramifications if they are not using social media well? How to help them develop the ability to find depth when they need it rather than just breadth? We have no policies about acceptable use, good digital citizenship. Some teachers have developed some policies in isolation. The upshot is that I am now part of a group that is going to develop a social media policy for our college. (Advice and ideas welcome)

No-one can control the internet, where knowledge is power and a little knowledge can be spread in many ways. With a better understanding how it works, an astute person can make it work better for them. Nothing is perfect but pretending something isn’t there is not helping anyone and social media is not going away. The tools today will change or will morph into other forms or totally new forms/tools will emerge. For good or bad, the genie is out of the box.

I like the infographic below about the power of the online world, simple but effective. From  a post found here via a tweet from Joyce Valenza.
Power To The Online People

Book Week 2012 activities and NYR

We are combining our Book Week celebrations this year with the National Year of Reading activities.

The first event was held on Monday. The lunchtime session called “Battle of the Books” involved teachers and a senior student at our school. Each had 5 minutes to convince the audience that their favourite book was the best and that we should all read it. Each speaker was absolutely passionate about their book. Some reading skills, props, cajoling and questions were just some of the tactics used. It is generally said there can be only one winner and, yes, there was one book voted as the officially declared winner and that was The Passage by Justin Cronin. The other books presented to the audience were The Bet by Anton Chekov, Paths of Glory by Jeffrey Archer and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Each one of the titles had plenty of support and all books will be picked up and read by more of our students after the Monday’s event so everyone of them is really a winner.

Two of our National Year of Reading competitions are finishing up with the voting phase during Book Week.

We ran a photography competition, through term 2 up until last Friday, called Snap It!

You can see a slide show of the photos the boys entered on our library blog. We asked students to enter photographs that celebrated reading; in all aspects including reading in unusual places. This meant that some used their creativity and Photoshop skills to create some very unusual shots. We have them as part of our display this week as well as on the computers around the library as screen savers and on the big television screen.

The photos have created quite a talking point with the other students since being put on display and we are encouraging all to vote for the people’s choice award. One of them, a panoramic view of the library will be used as our banner photo on our intranet, so already a win for us with that one. We will be able to use of these photos to promote reading in the future as I am very proud of the efforts of all the boys. I must also mention our wonderful photography teacher Alison Agnew, who has supported our efforts and encouraged the boys to take on the task. I know many of the boys appreciate her skill in teaching them how to “see” and observe things as well as the more manual photographic skills.

The other competition that finishes with a voting component is the Film It! competition.

This competition involved students creating short videos that again celebrated books and reading. We had boys enter book trailers and some specific videos about reading. To give the boys some ideas we ran some of the internet videos, that celebrated reading and books, during lunchtimes throughout term 2. We also regularly show book trailers. Our own student videos have been running each day during lunchtime during Book Week with voting taking place both in the library and on-line via our intranet. Many year 8 students created book trailers and I have posted about our classroom processes before  with information about it, and a marking rubric for teachers, also on my reading wiki

CBCA Book of the Year 2012 – Older Readers Winners & the others on the Shortlist

Over the weekend I reflected on the winners and the shortlist in general. They were books that had appealed to many of our boys but it was interesting that the winners were mainly male authors, Ursula Dubosarky being the exception. This seems to remind me of a criticism of some other writers awards. Does it mean anything, probably not, and the judges were all female this year – so would there be a bias? As always I suppose there will be some discussion about what missed out and what was declared the winner but I have no complaints and I will be able to “sell” all of them to our students.

My favourite, Goliath (part of the Leviathan series)by Scott Westerfeld didn’t make the shortlist but I do like to read Robert Newton (Runner – set in Richmond in the early 1900’s and The Black Dog Gang, early Sydney) and Scot Gardner (One Dead Seagull and White Ute Dreaming amongst others). Both these authors have done a lot to encourage our boys here to read. Scot Garner has also been to the school in the past to talk to bots about writing. Many were very impressed and his books flew off the shelves for the next few months. Bill Condon has written some very interesting books but a smaller number of our readers seem to like to read his works.

It was also interesting that the publisher who had the most success this year was Allen and Unwin. I seem to think that Penguin have been the dominant publisher in the past. Allen and Unwin have certainly  been very proactive in supporting some good Australian authors.

You can listen to a great podcast recorded by two judges, Trisha Buckley (2012 QLD judge) and Tehani Wessley (2012 WA judge), on the Book Nut Blog. They recorded their discussion on the shortlist for the 2012 CBCA Older Readers category a week before the winners were announced. They were very careful and there were no spoilers before the winners were announced. You can find the podcast on iTunes by searching The Book Nut or access via the Podbean website here

The Winner

Gardner, Scot  The Dead I Know

Find more information about Scot Gardner on the author’s homepage here. Read a review here. The publisher has downloadable notes for teachers and teacher reviews available on their site. Readingjay‘s review here and ReadPlus review

Honour Books

Newton, Robert

When We Were Two

The publisher’s page has some information. Read a review from the Fancy Goods site and a review from ReadPlus.

Condon, Bill  A Straight Line to my Heart

Find more information about Bill Condon on his website. Read a review here and another from Read Plus. The publisher has downloadable notes for teachers and teacher reviews available on their site.

Other shortlisted books:

Bauer, Michael Gerard  Ishmael and the Hoops of Steel

Find more information about on the author’s homepage. Reviewed on the Good Reads site here.

Dubosarsky, Ursula  The Golden Day

Find more information about the author on her website. Read a review here. The publisher has downloadable notes for teachers and teacher reviews available on their site. Listen to Ursula Dubosarsky discussing The Golden Day on ABC Radio National’s The Book Show. You can also watch the BookTrailer

McGahan, Andrew  Ship Kings: The Coming of the Whirlpool

The author has a “mini site” as part of the Allen&Unwin site. Review here There is a Radio National podcast of an author interview available to listen to and you can read an interview with Andrew McGahan about The Coming of the Whirlpool (the Fancy Goods blog). There is also a discussion by the author on the Readings site here. The publisher offers downloadable notes for teachers and teacher reviews available on their site.

Bibliographies and CC – what are we teaching and why?

I have been in a lot of classes lately working with students. We have been focusing on using CC licensed material and acknowledging the sources used in assignments/research by attaching bibliographies.

The whole idea that whilst being safe – which has been a focus of the school this year – is paramount there are other considerations. One of these considerations means that anyone using internet resources is required to deal with the work of others fairly.

The students here have a very highly developed interest in what is fair and in fair play.  So tapping into the idea of fairness that we worked on improving their understanding of what they can use in their own work and how they should attribute what they have used.

After looking at sites that offers CC licensed material they were surprised that they can even use the Google search tool to find appropriately licensed material. As always it is very gratifying to see them all happily using the CC images options once they went ahead with their work.

This was followed up with how they should be noting the references they use and writing appropriate bibliographies. We have always taught them how to include bibliographies (but only occasionally and in a few classes) with various levels of success.

This year we have again been going through the steps of where they go to find the information they need and then how to cite the materials.

In the past, once they leave that particular class, they have often forgotten a few things and, if they are not reminded by the teachers, not being sure of the right way,  they often just leave out the something that might be a bit more difficult to work out. This seems to be preferred that rather than try to cite it and get it wrong, they don’t cite it at all.

So this time we have spent just as long looking at the online citation tools. These are becoming easier to use and they make citing references very easy. I have had a few conversations with some teachers who seem to think that it is cheating to use these tools but what is the reason for a student bibliography? In our school it is supposed to simply be a list of sources the students have used to inform themselves about a topic. The bibliographies expected in subject assignments have never been an end in themselves. The fact that many times the students are not marked down for having anything more than Google listed in the bibliography seems to defeat the purpose of even asking for one. Some of the arguments seem to be made along the lines of “it was difficult/painful for me to do one so the current students should also suffer as I did”. Anyway getting past this has been useful and the students in year 7 ands 8 seem to have chosen bibme as their tools of choice and there seems to be a surge in longer bibliographies. The teachers also think that  now that the students find adding bibliographies easier, they will in some cases ask the boys to use the annotation option to indicate why and/or how each source was useful to them.

The seniors have been learning about the option of using the citation part of word. We are trying to teach them about using it as they take notes, even before they start their final document. A longer process this one I believe. I created a tutorial and then partly to have a go at some e-publishing tools I used the word document, saved as a PDF and uploaded it to make a Yudu document. I also tried creating another using the  SimpleBooklet tool. The Yudu doc is quicker to make from an already created document but to get the layout right you need to make it a PDF. The SimpleBooklet tool is probably almost more easy to use when you type directly into it.

To have a look, here are the links to my attempts.

The Simple booklet doc is here: 

or here:How to create your bibliography using Word

Click to view the full digital publication online
The Yudu Doc which was created first has a few things I must edit. I did this one on Friday afternoon and missed a few mistakes so I will replace it later this week ut the 1st edition is here: Read How to add citations and create a bibliography using Word
Publishing Software from YUDU

There is also a good video tutorial below.

My next task is to create a few such tutorials for our students to access at school.