Twitter Commandments

I went to see the wonderful work that our VCE arts students have created this year in our end-of-year exhibition and ended up talking about Twitter with one of our IT guys at school. We were discussing a number of ideas and in particular why so many people who should know better get caught out by thinking that they are somehow having private conversations when they tweet. I went back to my office and found that Joyce Valenza has scooped up this image from Flickr. I had to download it and will use it as a poster with some classes in the next few weeks. There have been other lists that talk about “The 10 commandments” but I like this one. The authors are not dogmatic and but suggest that the Twittersphere should be about respect, tolerance and freedom.

In case you want to know what they are:
  1. Thou shalt not patronize others
  2. Thou shalt not debate sectarians
  3. Thou shalt respect the freedom pf speech
  4. Thou shalt not applaud sexist, racist,homophobic and other discriminatory statements
  5. Thou shalt not demand answers to your queries
  6. Thou shalt not demand RTs
  7. Thou shalt not judge others’ Twitter style
  8. Thou shalt not copy other people’s contents
  9. Thou shalt not spam
  10. Thou shalt not spread rumours

National Year of Reading celebrations in our library.

It has been busy this week – first week of term 4 with senior students are getting ready for exams and we intend to do another big stock take to keep the library resources relevant to the curriculum. We still have time to celebrate however.

After school yesterday we had an afternoon tea for all the students who entered our NYR Film It! and Snap it! competitions and in particular the winners of all the competitions, our own Whitefriars NYR Ambassadors and the boys who completed the Premiers’ Reading Challenge and our own Whitefriars Reading Challenge (read between 10-14 books).

It was wonderful to see so many parents and siblings come along to celebrate with the Whitefriars boys.

Many really loved the photographs that were on display. They liked seeing the photographs professionally printed and framed. You can see a slide show of the photos the boys entered on our library blog.

We also had a screening of all the  book and reading trailers. Young and old alike became engrossed in short films created by the boys and played on our large television screen.

We  gave book prizes out to the PRC and Whitefriars Challenge boys as well as the NYR Ambassadors and the Guess It! winners.

The boys were given the opportunity to choose their book prize. We then put a book plate into each one and created matching certificates.

We offered a kindle as first prize for the Film It! competition and gift cards for the runner’s up.

The Snap It! competition’s major prize was a 12″ digital photoframe and a package made up with a packet of some very good quality photographic paper, mounts and artist’s sketch pad for the runner’s up

Yesterday afternoon the principal congratulated each boy and handed him the certificate and the book or his prize.


We are very lucky to have a very talented library technician who creates all our superb certificates adn book plates, Each of the Reading Ambassadors had a different image on their certificate and we had a special certificate and prize for one of our senior students who has spoorted all our activities over the past 6 years at school

Full set of images here

School libraries: making a difference.

I am preparing the annual budget for next year’s spending and in the process explaining to the business manager that using digital resources in school does not that they are cheaper than the old, hard copy/print resources. I am explaining that the digital resource world does not necessarily mean free and that some of the better digital resources have an annual cost linked to them.

The annual library report will also stress that the skills that the teacher (or school) librarian  has and the knowledge they can impart to students is even more important in today’s learning climate. The staffing for next year will again be considered and I will have to report on what the library staff have contributed to the learning environment this year and what we plan to do next year. We have a number of ICT projects that we are in the process of developing to support the work we are doing with classes and individual students and teachers. There are various ways to present evidence for the statements in my report and there I thought I would try to present some of the statistics visually as an infographic. At the moment it is a “work in progress”.

Information from my PLN meant that I came across the video below which summarises some of the arguments I have been making to my school administration

The video below was produced by the New Jersey Association of School Librarians with funding provided by its advocacy partnership with LibraryLinkNJ.

More thoughts on book formats.

The holiday are almost over. I have bought books for school, both in print and digital, and have even listened to a couple of audiobooks as I have driven around the state.

I have bought books for my niece and nephews, including the newest Graeme Base picture book. My niece has loved his books since I gave her a signed copy of an earlier book. He has become her favourite  artist so much so that she did her research piece in her art subject on him. She is only in grade 2 but takes all these things very seriously. I love seeing her share her books with her little brothers and her friends. Graeme Base’s books are great for sharing experiences as they have the puzzle element that  just begs for sharing the experience.

I, on the other hand, have only read from my kindle when reading personally. It is just so easy to carry with me and to get a follow-up book in a series when no bookshop is around. I still read paper version books but these holidays it has been e-books. It does not have to be either/or but just what is easiest/convenient at the time.

Below is another infographic that compares the different formats.

Books vs E-Books

Browse more infographics.

IWitness: Holocaust Archive for students and educators

Many of the students in my school are fascinated by military history. It is not just the weaponry or the battle descriptions but they love to research the idea of strategies, the personal stories, the heroism and the villany. The ethics of warfare is also a topic debated by the boys. Themes are covered in the history classes and in English, when in Year 10 they read “All quiet on the Western Front”. Novels set in times of war are perennially  popular and in RE the boys undertake studies on morality and ethical decision-making.

Always looking for resources to assist in our students’ education I was very interested to look through the IWitness site which I found from the AASL’s Best websites for Teaching and Learning. This is a good list if you are looking for useful sites/tools to use in schools

IWitness is a testimony archive that allows students and their teachers/educators more than 1,000 video testimonies to view, search and learn from.

The video clips offer very rich and comprehensive accounts told by Holocaust survivors. The videos allow the survivors talk use “their own voice” to describe a number of Holocaust topics. You can search for videos on 52 topics including: Anti-Jewish laws, Antisemitism, Auschwitz, Choice/dilemma, Courage, Daily life (wartime), Fear, Hitler Youth, Justice, Kristallnacht, Prewar life, Postwar Life, Reflections on the Holocaust, Stereotypes, War Crimes Trials to name just some. Click on the topics listed and you get a description and thumbnails.

Open up a video and you can listen to the subject recount their experience. Each of the videos has information about the person talking and, below the video, a list of related links. Each of the clips are usually about one-minute long and are part of much longer testimonies given by the subjects.

You can search a topic or concept, for example Bergen-Belsen. This search brought up a lot of hits and had various options for me to filter or refine my search.

At the moment IWitness is still in Beta form so if you want to go further in this part of the site you have to be able to login. Educators can apply to gain access to the fuller version of the site.

There are additional links to information via the resources page and a useful FAQ page.

The testimonies available on IWitness are part of around 52,000 testimonies of Holocaust survivors and other witnesses archived on a website that is maintained by the University of Southern California’s Shoah Foundation Institute, which was established in 1994 by Steven Spielberg.

I like that the voices of survivors will be able to be heard into the future. I believe it is important that our students will be able to hear real-life stories of people from many countries, both the survivors of and witnesses to, the Holocaust. Students need to be able to understand how many different ways, large and small,  people were impacted by this major 20th century occurrence. Personal stories help our students better comprehend the impact on both the individual and society.

Useful links

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