Useful links

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


Providing students with Deeper Learning Opportunities.

If, like me, you have been fortunate enough to attend a conference where Dr Ross Todd has been speaking, you will be au fait with the term “deeper learning”. Deeper knowledge and deeper understanding formed the basis of his presentation early in 2012 at our SLAV conference.

He has been an advocate for many years and offered many approaches, both small and more dramatic, to assist teacher librarians via “guided inquiry” to become the go-to people in their school. He tries to assist us in understanding the complexities of Guided Inquiry. The speaks about us helping students go beyond simply transporting information from one format to another to students transforming information into something new and meaningful to them.

The first is low level work and little or no effort is required. The second is high level work. Students will have to interpret data, establish a personal conclusion and reflect on what it all means. Transferring information into a more meaningful context means taking ownership and leads to deeper learning. The student will have changed the information according to the needs, understandings and prior knowledge of that student.

The curriculum and the tasks set by the teacher has a big role in developing this ability in students. Ross Todd has always advocated for teacher librarians to roll up their collective sleeves and assist teachers to develop the curriculum tasks that do this very thing.

We are a notebook school and teachers are expected to use the digital resources available in the best possible ways and therefore I was interested in the inforgraphic created by the people at Getting Smart. They write about learning (ranging pre-school to post school education) in the digital environment. They have a number of resources to help those in education  but the one I was looking at recently was the following paper that can be downloaded and is worth a read. The ideas would not be new to many but are well put:

“How Digital Learning Contributes to Deeper Learning” by Carri Schneider and Tom Vander Ark is a white paper that examines how key aspects of personal digital learning – common standards, next-generation assessments, blended learning, and affordable devices – can provide deeper learning opportunities for students.

They also created this accompanying infographic  ” that describes how deeper learning opportunities can be created for every student with personal digital learning tools”.

Clever people celebrating Christmas

It’a almost time for our Christmas break.

So much has been done in the last two weeks and still quite a lot more to do before I close the door for the last time.

So getting into the Christmas spirit I thought these, found thanks to the twittersphere, and would be good to share them to help get into the Christmas spirit.

I like this Christmas sand art by Shane Chapman. So clever and beautiful.

and this is an interesting version of the nativity story (lego)

Print and e-books: both have their place in our library.

Arguments are going on all the time about the print medium disappearing in favour of the e-book. When it come to fiction we have not found that this is happening at our school this year. I am always especially irritated but the statements that say something like “libraries no longer need books”.  (For example the  NY Times article) in 2010. To me this shows little understanding or sloppiness when what they mean is that the printed medium is on the way out. Many of these articles have no evidence to back up their claims except their own personal reading situation. I argue that at present the data shows something quite different.

We announced that we had fiction/stories in e-book format available for all students this year from our library.They were available via kindles but we when we talked to students, about what was available to read, we always stressed the stories. For example: if a student wanted the “Hunger Games” we had three print copies and some e-copies – the boys just took whatever was available. We have put many of the less read “classics” on kindles so they are available, with the quality of the paper and binding not an issue because the book does not deteriorate. If any other classic is requested can be obtained on-line and ready to read within minutes and at a very small cost. They boys have been very appreciative of this and we can give them what they want to read when they want it.

We found that some of our boys loved reading from the kindle format, some much preferred the traditional book and others were happy to have access to the story they wanted and the format was immaterial to them. The staff, when introduced to the kindles, often ended up buying their own. They loved the portability of a device that carried many books especially when they were on holiday. Again many went between the two formats. Some just read via their e-book readers but is seems that mostly they were people who had gone ways from reading but the e-book reader brought them back to reading by its portability and ease of acquiring books.

An analysis (written April 2012 from a Pew study of 2011) found that even as sales of e-readers are growing rapidly, many still visit libraries more frequently than some would have you believe, and print books have remained popular. It did show that readers of  e-book read more books annually, whatever the format. I will be interested in new data next year from Pew to see if any of these trends have changed in 12 months. On what we have seen this year in our school library, for the forseeable future,  books and e-readers will continue to coexist in our library when it comes to reading stories.

The following infographic takes a look at e-readers and books, as well as why they can both remain useful for many years to come.

You can read more about the infographic below, at

Please Include Attribution to With This Graphic E-books Infographic