First day back at school term 2 is a curriculum day for us at Melbourne High School. The theme is ‘knowing highly able students and ourselves’. Apart from set keynotes we have the choice of running sessions and also selecting to attend others’ sessions. Mihaela Brysha (Head of the Visual and Performing Arts faculty) and I will be running a workshop about Pinterest. I’m sharing the presentation slides here.
This week I did a 10 minute presentation to the Curriculum Committee. Our involvement with the faculties varies so it’s always a good idea to remind faculty heads about how teacher librarians can support them and work with them. I’ve summarised the gist of the message with each slide.
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Slide 1: How do you view the library; it’s a matter of perception
Think about what the library means to you as faculty head.
Slide 2: The library is more than just books
We are physical, virtual, events, ubiquitous information, skills training
Slide 3: We do not live in Library Land
We are not a free-floating entity
We are part of mechanism that drives the teaching and learning in the school, and if not, we are of no real significance.
Slide 4: We are part of the whole production
We work with you to develop programs and projects, we resource and teach collaboratively.
Whatever works for you, we are flexible.
Slide 5: Ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-changes
This has been a year of change.
There have been so many changes for us.
Slide 6: New culture: the quiet library
Changed culture in the library – respect for quiet study, time out.
First time this year, we hope that there will be an ongoing acceptance of the way things are.
It’s been good, we’ve been surprised to see how many students prefer to come to a disciplined space and study, even with the choice not to come.
Slide 7: We look forward to next year
New entrance and open space for chilling and reading.
New discussion rooms including development of collection for teachers’ reading, both recreational and professional.
More flexibility – 3 or even 4 discussion rooms
We would like to see classes come in and use the physical collection
and so that we can be involved in their research/writing processes.
We need to think about organising our spaces to cater for the whole school and not just VCE.
Slide 8: Changes to the way we work
Changes in TL roles: taking responsibility for certain faculties
Getting to know you and your subject area and needs in a deeper way
Continuing our collaboration with you – talking about what you need, coming to your faculty meetings, supporting you with resources, teaching the skills your students need – critical evaluation of resources including the glut of information available to them, becoming lifelong learners, skills they will take with them into university and beyond.
Slide 9: What we’ve been doing
We’ve been working with faculties to support teachers and students
If you haven’t seen us, please come and see us about what we can do for you and with you.
Slide 10: If we don’t have what you need, we can create it
Have you seen the revised library website homepage – easier navigation
We help you embed skills, for example, this is what they might incorporate:
eg copyright and plagiarism, web evaluation, citation and referencing,
research skills (tab from Library Home)
Slide 12: Our Facebook page
Slide 13: Our blog
Slide 14: Pinterest – Playing with new ways of curating online resources
Boards can be
subject related, for a specific project (eg This sporting life), subject-related extras to dip into (eg History – images, videos), technical tutorials (eg Google),
Pinterest links of interest:
Supporting and creating curriculum –
Text based resources eg Death of a Salesman
Thematic studies: Banned books
English – Issues
Art – Pattern: Islamic
Digital Citizenship – Digital literacies
Slide 15 – Make time to talk to us
Please make a time with us to talk about how we can support you in your teaching or support your students
to create digital resources on the platform of your choice.
Our year 9s have been working through a project in art which combines the best in hands-on activity, iPad technology and social media. Mihaela designed a project in which students worked through a process starting with research of patterns from different cultural backgrounds and culminating in the students designing their own patterns using the iPad app, iOrnament, and creating an oversized paper plane decorated with their pattern designs.
The research process encouraged students to dip into a rich and diverse cultural store of patterns before deciding on the designs of their own, and including some of the elements of water, fire, earth, air and wood. They were to select one or more of these elements to fuse with the theme of rejuvenation of the spirit and sense of self.
I relish my partnership with Mihaela, Head of Art at Melbourne High School. Every teacher librarian appreciates the teacher who is happy to collaborate, and in my case the partnership is built on respect, reciprocal interests, love of creativity and experimentation, a desire for excellence, and determination to create a challenging process leading to a synthesis of understanding and original design. After we chatted, I was clear about what Mihaela wanted for the students and how I could support the project. I created libguides with visual examples and links to further resources to get the students started and hopefully inspired.
My research into examples of patterns within a broad range of cultural contexts was a joyful task for me. Pinterest is a rich online resource which allows the discovery and collection of an enormous number of high quality visual examples. I searched The Grammar of Ornament on Pinterest and was overjoyed with the results. I referred the students to the Symbol Dictionary online for a bit of research on symbolic background. Delving into the how and why is always fascinating, and often informs the direction of research.
I didn’t want to overwhelm the students so I limited my pattern examples to some of the main cultural sources, but also linked to Pinterest boards I was creating along the way. If the students chose to, they could continue to browse collections of general patterns, and also African, Australian Indigenous, Chinese, Indian, Islamic, Japanese, Maori, Mexican, Moroccan, Russian and Turkish. One of the advantages of using Pinterest is that you can continue to add visual examples to the collection without changing the link, so students will be able to view a continuously edited collection with one url. Students can also search within Pinterest itself. Design of online resources presents the challenge of depth without overwhelming the user, and a reasonable number of external links for further research.
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The students were also introduced to four artists for whom patterns were an intrinsic part of their art works. I created Pinterest boards for Shirin Neshat, Ah Xian, Ginger Riley Munduwalawala and Sangeeta Sandrasegar.
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Well, hello. It’s been so, so long since I’ve spoken in this space, and I’m not even sure I still have an audience. Nevertheless, I’d like to do a quick post to rave a little about Melbourne’s first TeachMeet for 2013. Given that we’ve only just gone back to school, lamenting the long Summer break behind us, how lovely to meet in casual surrounds at Lt. Markov-Bar in Carlton. Thank you, Roland (@rgesthuizen), for organising ICTEV TeachMeet @[The Pub}. I’m not sure what I enjoy the most – the social part or the exchange of expertise – but fortunately we can have both. Seriously, if people get together in their free time on the weekend in the name of education and learning, I think that says something about the event.
If you take a look at the line-up of 2- and 7-minute presentations, you’ll see a variety of educational foci including Lauren Sayer’s (@lilylauren) project-based learning revolution at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Jenny Ashby’s (@jjash) 24-hour skype fest, Heather Bailie’s (@hbailie) chat about the Red Cross initiative, Disaster Resilience education, and much more. Do take a look, and think about coming to the next TeachMeet. You don’t have to present, and you’ll meet people who are passionate about education and work in different fields. Thank you to all the organisers, and it was good to see friends and familiar faces again, as well as new people.
Anyway, for what it’s worth, here is the visual presentation part of my 7-minute talk. It’s about using Pinterest as an awesome image resource, and I show how I’ve used it to curate images for Visual Communication Design. I’m thinking of presenting a longer version at some point with a cross-curricular focus. Hopefully the pictures will make some sense without the spoken part.
(For some reason I can’t seem to embed the Google Presentation doc, so it will have to be a link for now)
Much has been said about Pinterest. Has it? I’m sure it has. Like other forms of social media, you can always find a broad range in terms of quality. It’s so easy to use and it looks great. In case you haven’t checked it out, Pinterest allows you to easily ‘pin’ pictures (and videos) to a board. Unlike Scoop.it, you can collect any number of boards which can be named and renamed, and which look great at a glance. So easy to find stuff. Of course, I have too many boards but, hey – many people have even more. But wait! there’s more. As with any form of social media, the best part is finding people and following them, repinning what they’ve collected, and finding more awesome people and resources by looking through whom they follow. But a word of warning – it’s addictive. I mean seriously addictive, particularly if you have a weakness for the visual as I do. Do not, do not, start browsing late at night because you might not get much sleep.
Social media platforms like Scoop.it and Pinterest have given a new look to the curation of resources. Visual layouts are engaging and easy to scan for what you need. The key word is sharing – love it! As a teacher librarian, I’m a finder of sorts, and so these networks are invaluable for me. And enjoyable. My job is to fossick and mine for the jewels amongst an overabundance of mediocre or irrelevant resources, and Pinterest makes it easy to do that.
No longer can librarians boast about their classification skills. So many people are willingly spending enormous amounts of time finding, selecting and classifying images and videos into Pinterest boards for the picking.
Recently I’ve been focusing on images to support the teaching and learning of the Visual Arts, and more specifically, VCE Visual Communication Design. I’ve spent an obscene amount of time doing this so, as a form of justification, I’d like to share these with you. Eventually my goal is to nicely embed these into a Libguide or two but in the meantime I’ll share the links. I’ve chosen people who are experts in the Visual Arts. Some of these are teachers but most work within the field. My selections are only some of what these people have shared.
U Soma (design, branding, communication)
Marcus Hay (Director of Creativity, Styling and Interiors)
Steven Vandenplas (graphic designer)
Dubbu (design, film, collage)
Seeke (illustration, typography, art)
silja p (designer)
Hege Vestbo Saetre (design)
Chris Dangtran (design, typography, photography, products)
Ben Serbutt (designer, art director, illustrator, typography)
Ya-Ting Maggie Kuo (design, infographics, typography)
Johnson Yung (mixed media, abstract, photography, animation)
Joao Henriques (typography, design, packaging, infographics)
Masayuki Nakazawa (director of photography, Tokyo)
Maja Moden (Swedish illustrator)
Folkert Hengeveld (Creative Director at Amsterdam based design firm Formlab)
DOMO-A (graphic design, typography)
Rhian Edwards (graphic design)
Jorge Heilbron (design)
Kazuya Arakawa (graphic design, typography)
Ale casinelli (graphic design)
Zachi Diner (designer)
Frederic Chollet (photography)
Silja p (designer)
Emma Fexeus (designer)
Design Boom – home of design, architecture and art culture
Sayuri Maeda (graphic design)
Galen Lowe (graphic design, architecture, photography)
Robert Melotte (Urban Photographer. Architecture and photography, abstraction of graphic architecture. Melbourne-based)
Maria Rufus (graphic design)
Fernando Baeza Ponsoda (architecture)
Archibald Woo (architect)
Griffen Lim (graphics, architecture, interiors) Melbourne-based
Fosco Lucarelli (architecture, design)
Ryutaro Kishi (graphic design, product design, fashion, photography, typography)
Architizer (everything architecture and design)
Arslog (Contemporary Art, Science, Technology)
Emanuela Marcu (a bit of everything)
Astrid Trobro (art director and web designer)
Paul Waltz (architect, sustainable initiatives)
Ginny Christensen (Director of Digital Arts, California)
Sylvie Wibaut (illustration, photography, graphics, furniture)
Janna Gougeon (Line, pattern, symmetry)
Doris Cook (photography, mixed media, illustration, diagrams, graphic design, street art and more)
David Schultz (creative director)
Natalie Lowry (graphic design student)
Art teachers on Pinterest –
Patricia Schappler (drawing in different media, printmaking and so many more)
Some of the design styles I’ve been looking for (so many people have these categories)
Typography by Japanese art director and graphic designer “c ktnon”
There are so many more resources on Pinterest to inspire, and to support teaching and learning in different areas. Here are my Diigo bookmarks for a start, but go ahead and search for your own area of interest.
Concerned about copyright and Pinterest’s terms of service? Here is an article I posted earlier. Who is still unhappy with Pinterest’s terms of service? I’d be interested in hearing from you.
I’m not the only one remarking on the lapses between blog posts. The blog is no longer the main platform for sharing and communicating – there is a long, long list of online places which need to be fed and looked after – for me that includes other blogs, Twitter, Pinterest, Scoop.it, Diigo, Slideshare, Vimeo, Libguides, Facebook and all its groups, and more. So I thought I’d drop in and do a quick update on what may be worth checking out in case it’s helpful or even interesting.
My school library blog has been keeping up with reading ambassadors for the National Year of Reading (#nyor12). These short and informal interviews are a pleasure to read, and reveal thoughtful responses to reading preferences. We’ve also recently celebrated 2012 Book Week with a hugely enjoyable ‘party’ in the library. I’ve included photos I think you’ll enjoy of our costume and cake competitions so that’s definitely worth checking out. This is the first Book Week celebration I’ve attended at Melbourne High School since I started a year ago, and it was fantastic. I was so impressed by the willingness of staff and students to dress up and play the part. The creativity displayed in our book-themed cake competition added a gastronomical dimension – who can resist cake? Yes, we did go on a bit about the cakes looking too good to eat but it didn’t last long.
I’ve been having such a good time resourcing the art curriculum in the last few months. My art blog churns out a diverse selection of inspiration to art students and teachers (I hope). This includes images, photography, design and animation.
Our students explored links to websites with antiquated encyclopedia images to create their ‘transformations’ which I combined in a slide show. The reduced image size doesn’t do justice to the details in the students’ work, so have a look at larger ones in Mihaela’s new art blog.
Yes! Our head of art now has a blog, and so do her students. This term our year 9s and 10s were lucky enough to get iPads, so we decided to get them to create Posterous blogs which we linked to Mihaela’s ‘mother blog’ and encouraged them to start snapping away with their iPad cameras so that they could develop a store of visual inspiration for their work. The beauty of a mobile device is the opportunity to capture photos as you go about your everyday activities. I’ve found the best images are the unexpected ones. I was inspired to get the art students blogging when I saw my dear friend, Marie Salinger’s, student blogs. Marie’s students have realised the rich potential of blogs in terms of journalling, reflecting, evaluating and just plain sharing. A blog is visual, it’s sequential, easy to access online and share with others; it invites responses and conversation. In her Visual Arts blog, Marie has reflected about the way in which iPads have enriched learning for her girls. The way Marie’s students used their blog to experiment with and evaluate iPad apps for drawing, then share with others, inspired me to talk to Mihaela about doing the same. Consequently I went into obsessive mode and lived and breathed art and apps for a couple of weeks, adding an Art Apps page in our LibGuides, my art blog, Pinterest, Flickr and Diigo.
Robot I am Apps used: Blender Pixeltwist (iphoneart.com)
Recently a dedicated team of students from the co-curricular group, Writing Competition, successfully wrote a book in a day. They had to collaboratively write at least 8,000 words and illustrate their story. The whole thing had to be done within 12 hours. I was very proud of the way they managed to work together and fuse their ideas and talents to produce a fantasy story for the Children’s Hospital. I hope to be able to share their book once I check the copyright.
Well, that’s it for now. Hope some of this has been useful to you.
Well, I have to write a post mainly because the vibrating gif is driving me crazy and I feel the need to push it down. What’s happening that I don’t use the blog to reflect any more? Perhaps this is not my reflective phase. Yes, that’s it. I’ve been quite satisfied creating resources and getting to know staff members at my relatively new school. And I have to admit to an obsession – pictures! I can’t stop looking at and saving gorgeous pictures from Flickr and other parts of the web (my groaning Google Reader). Just this week I finally decided to give Pinterest a go. The account has been sitting there for a while – can’t remember exactly how long – and I suppose I’ve been frantically trying to keep up with other things, not least Scoop.it which has taken off in a big way. Also because so many Pinteresters are dominating the place with food and wedding photos. Lovely. But not for me at the moment thanks. Just to give it a go, I created a couple of boards and threw in my YA book trailers as well as some books covers. Yes, not bad, looks great and neatly organised at a glance without having to scroll down too much. Well, woah! Now I have too many boards and possibly Pinterest OCD. Please help me.
Libguides have still got me burning the candle at both ends. Some of my colleagues tell me a don’t have a life. Hmm… (I have a life *she says weakly*) Some of you may understand the obsessive finding/saving/sharing/creating cycle and I blame my PLN for giving me so much of the good stuff. I love my job (have I said that before?) I love finding the good stuff for teachers and students. It’s like being a conjurer – pulling wonderful and unexpected things from a hat. Reader, if you’re a teacher librarian, please support me here. Don’t you feel the same way?
So, to finish off the post (so that I can keep playing with pictures – it’s a bit like swap cards from my youth), I will share the things I’ve been doing. Some of these you already know but, hang on, I’ve been adding…
There are more but I’ve only just started them. The illuminated manuscripts have got me salivating and I will be continuing my obsession until I have a full board.
Even though it’s called Competition Writing, this resource supports any kind of writing and so is useful to students and teachers of English.
I am responsible for the weekly weblink of interest for the school newsletter, and this week I shared the link to my Digital Citizenship pages (4) into which I added two excellent articles by well-known and respected Australian educators, Chris Betcher (Have you googled yourself lately?) and Jenny Luca (5 reasons why our students are writing blogs and creating e-portfolios). These are under ‘Your digital footprint’ tab which is my favourite section of the resource because it explains the importance of helping students create a positive and responsible digital identity. Don’t go on about the dangers of the internet without balancing this out with a clear and positive direction for digital citizenship. Teachers are still telling me they prefer the things of their time to what kids are using today. Not even kids, what about businesses. Mobile technologies and social media have been taken up by businesses but sadly schools are still pulling back. And I say, that’s all very well but it’s not about you. It’s not about me either, it’s about preparing our students for their future.
I’ve also added things to the Debating LibGuide. This is good for persuasive writing and orals. Take a look.
Of course it’s not secret that I have a particular interest in visual arts. Here’s the link to these guides and don’t forget to look for drop-down arrows.
The French language guides have been growing too.
At the moment we are all taking the wider reading classes for the year 9s. I developed a couple of guides for this. My aim is to help students find different ways of finding what to read by using libraries and social media such as Good Reads – to mention a couple. I threw a whole bunch of book trailers into this page; I hope you find it useful. Please let me know what’s missing.
Well, it’s getting late so I won’t go on. For a change.