Sunday, 24 August 2014

Book Week Fun

We had a lot of fun with our recent Book Week.  We had three visiting authors, plus the Scholastic Book Fair and accompanying mouse, Geronimo Stilton.  It all culminated in a PJ day where everyone spent the day in extreme comfort.  It was tempting to have a nap actually, by then it had been a very busy week!

We did a couple of well-received displays, both of which were adapted from pictures I saved from a blog/Twitter/Pinterest...I admit my record-keeping has let me down in terms of identifying where they came from.  "Once upon a time...when we were younger" had photos of nearly all of our staff when they were at primary school along with a picture of their favourite book from back then.  It was a lot of work but I really enjoyed it when the photos came in.  Everyone was so cute!  And it turns out we have a lot of Famous Five fans.

Another display we did was a book recommendations tree.  Five well-behaved students from each class got to put their favourite book, along with their name and room, on a coloured post-it note.  At the end of Book Week I randomly picked some post-it notes and we gave those students books that Scholastic had given us for prizes.

My official job title is Library Manager/ICT Coordinator and the ICT side of my job is going to take over for the next six months or so.  I am excited by the challenges coming up - we are about to launch the school app, just ironing out a few kinks with the developer.  Next week we start to set up and trial Meraki, which is a mobile device management tool (I am the assistant, we have our IT consultant coming in thank goodness).  I am also going to be learning about our new digital signage system.  

I am lucky to have our library and resource assistant, Esther, to look after the day-to-day running of the library.  I do have a couple of library-related projects still on the agenda - implementing e-books and the building of our reading room next year.  My rather lofty plan for the room is for it to be the most interesting place in the whole school.  To do this I want to to have a theme for the room, with a giant mural that will make students go "wow" when they enter.  I will be talking with some of our senior students, who happen to be doing a building project at the moment, to see what ideas they have.  I have started a Pinterest board to keep my ideas together.  But how great would it be to have the reading room as the most desirable place in the school?

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

#EdchatNZ Blogging Meme

On Saturday I attended the first ever #EdchatNZ conference in Auckland.  At the end of an extremely hectic Book Week I was a bit shattered but I'm glad I went.  

I was pleased to run into Justine Driver, who had written an interesting blog post on "Setting up iPads using VPP and Meraki".  We're about to do the same thing at my school so I'm interested in NZ experiences with it.  Justine tagged me to participate in the #EdchatNZ meme, so here goes:

If you get included in the blogging meme: copy/paste the questions and instructions into your own blog then fill out your own answers. Share on twitter tagging 5 friends.

1.  How did you attend the #Edchatnz Conference? (Face 2 Face, followed online or didn't)
I scanned the EdchatNZ hashtag on Friday as I was finishing off Book Week (which meant I got to attend school in my PJs).  I attended face to face on Saturday.

2.  How many others attended from your school or organisation?
None :(

3.  How many #Edchatnz challenges did you complete?
Until I saw Justine's blog post I didn't even know there were any!  I did retweet people a few times so I think I inadvertently completed one challenge.

4.  Who are 3 people that you connected with and what did you learn from them?
Terry Beech - he ran the Education Book Club session and I was so pleased to hear him confess that he only gets three-quarters of the way through non-fiction books.  I am the same!  Often I find they either run out of steam or I have another book which is demanding to be read.

Marianne Malmstrom - I attended her session "Follow the Learning: Multiplayer games and virtual worlds" and was blown away to find that I had actually already read about her work and watched clips about it.  And there she was in person!  All the way from the U.S.  Awesome!  She taught us that we need to step into our students' space to see what they are passionate about and then learn from them.

Lots of people from the Face to Face #edchatnz session.  We went around the room and as we said our Twitter handle there was a chorus of "ahhs" as people recognised them, which was funny and most satisfying.  I learned a few more Twitter names so followed a few more eager NZ educators.

5.  What session are you gutted that you missed?
There were many sessions that I would have liked to have gone to.  For sheer coolness it would have to have been 3D Printing with Chocolate.  But to a chocaholic like myself it may have been a dangerous move.

6.  Who is one person that you would like to have taken to #EdchatNZ and what key thing would they have learned? 
I would like to have taken any person from my school.  They would have learned that they have been missing out!

7.  Is there a person you didn’t get to meet/chat with (F2F/online) that you wished you had? Why?
I would have liked to have had a chance to chat with a number of people I did meet at the conference but didn't have time to talk with.  I love the opportunity to hear what other schools are up to.  Maybe next time.

8.  What is the next book you are going to read and why?
Well, I've come away with a large list of books to read because, you know, I am a librarian.  To start with I've got the book that was chosen for the #edubookchatnz - "Key competencies for the future".

Then I have the other books suggested during the Education Book Club session:
Boy writers (Annemarie Hyde)
The third teacher (several)

And the books on creativity suggested by Steve Mouldey:
Can computers keep secrets
A more beautiful question
Creative confidence

And the ones suggested by Karen Melhuish Spencer in her closing keynote:
It's complicated

And the one Justine Driver gave in answer to this meme question:
Who owns the learning

And I'm not sure where this one came from!:
When people matter most

Luckily most of these can be borrowed from the public library and some have holds on them so I won't get them all at once!

9.  What is one thing you plan to do to continue the Education Revolution you learnt about at #EdchatNZ?
I am going to promote Connected Educator Month to our staff and put in a plug for Twitter.

10.  Will you take a risk and hand your students a blank canvas?
I don't have my own students so I'll leave the blank canvas for their teachers.  Happy to support any risks though.

Who will I tag with this meme: 
Mmm, I suppose best practice here would be to check whether people have already been tagged...but if I do that this will never get done before I leave this morning and that was the plan.  So, I'm going to tag some of the new people I met:
Brie Jessen-Vaughan @DanceWellNZ
Jocelyn Hale @josshale
Jill Marsh @Jillymarsh3
Alexandra Krivanek @amkrivanek
Joanne Robson @eMPOWERedNZ