The Indigenous Literacy Foundation was set up in 2005 by Suzy Wilson, with the aim of lifting literacy rates and opportunities for young indigenous children living in remote communities. The fund is supported by the Australian Book Industry and is a not for profit charity. You can find out more about the organization here.
Its main fundraising activity is Indigenous Literacy Day, which took place on 3 September this year. Many schools and libraries hosted book swap sessions with book publishers and book sellers donating a percentage of sales to the fund.
The latest issue of the SCIS journal, Connections, has been sent to all schools, and is available online.
Highlights of Connections 90 include:-
Taking Note of Nonfiction
Peter Macinnis, who presented the ‘Clayton’s list’ for the Eve Pownall award for information books, shares his insights into what makes a good information book.
Learning Online: MOOCs for library staff
Martin Gray, a teacher librarian from Singleton High School, looks at how he used MOOCs to further his professional learning with two very different online courses.
BlackWords: Celebrating writers and storytellers
Writer and activist, Dr. Anita Heiss looks at BlackWords and AustLit, which are freely available for schools, and how they can assist in embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures into the curriculum.
SCIS’s Michael Jongen looks at the IndigenousX curated Twitter account and how it can help educators to hear a diverse range of authentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander voices.
It’s that time of year again. Christmas is rapidly approaching and end of year celebrations are just around the corner for Australian and New Zealand schools.
To read about some of the quirkier aspects of Kiwi Christmases past and present, schools can visit New Zealand History Online [SCIS 1486174]. New Zealand schools will also find Christmas resources on TKI. Schools interested in Australian Christmas traditions can visit the Australian Government site [SCIS 1637519]. Anyone looking for a more general history of Christmas could explore the BBC’s site [SCIS 1235815].
New Zealand students can write a letter to Santa from the New Zealand Post website. Australian students use Australia Post [SCIS 1637538], where there is also a range of interactive games and lesson ideas.
Stacey encouraged teacher librarians to download the apps for Scootle [Android and iPad] and Scootle community [Android, iPad and iPhone].
Want to participate in creating a national collection?
Stacey also asked for voluntary reviewers with a good understanding of the Australian Curriculum, and a keen interest in digital and online learning. If you are interested in reviewing online resources and providing advice, or if you find something great that you think fits the Scootle criteria, get in touch at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
SCIS Manager, Pru Mitchell facilitated a workshop on the future of library collections, asking:
Is a collection of resources fundamental to the school library’s role?
What priority should be given to balanced, professionally selected and managed collections in emerging learning environments?
The workshop considered the assumptions behind these questions, reviewed the changes taking place in school library collections, and discussed associated resource and information management challenges.
What issues are schools facing in resourcing the curriculum?
During 2013 SCIS has been conducting informal surveying of school library staff who attend workshops, asking them the free text question: What are your current collection issues?
This survey closed at the end of Term 3 with a total of 85 respondents. The results were then coded, revealing what the researcher saw as 16 distinct issues.
While the frequency of each category being mentioned in a response is shown in the table below, the goal of the pre-survey was to collect a range of responses from which to prepare a more in-depth survey. The fact that respondents were attending a cataloguing professional learning activity at the time of completing this survey question, may well explain the high occurrence of ‘cataloguing’ as an issue.
catalogue records for resources are unavailable or unsatisfactory
e-resources are not available, or not managed or used appropriately
time to manage resources is limited and/or wasted
library system 7%
system does not meet school’s needs
resources are not promoted to staff and students
budget for resources is inadequate
staff responsible for managing resources are not doing this effectively or do not exist
technology required to use curriculum resources is not available and/or inadequate
finding what resources the school has, and where they are located, is difficult
weeding of resources does not occur regularly
access to resources is inadequate
age of collection 4%
outdated resources are retained
balance between print and digital resources is lacking
collection use 4%
staff and students do not use school resources
OPAC use 3%
staff and students do not use OPAC to find resources
professional learning 3%
professional learning in resourcing the curriculum required
What is an app? App is an abbreviation for application software. Oxford Dictionary defines an app as “a self-contained program or piece of software designed to fulfill a particular purpose; an application, especially as downloaded by a user to a mobile device. The term app came into prominence with the introduction of the mobile devices and smartphones. Generally an app performs one dedicated task, or presents a discrete amount of format.
With the ubiquity of tablets, smartphones and ‘phablets’ and the move towards ‘bring your own device’ in schools, apps are increasingly becoming resources used by students and teachers. GarageBand, Know your skin, iMovie are good examples of apps being used in Education.
Schools are also using dedicated sets of tablets with story making, art creation programs and apps which cover many more curriculum areas. There are periodic table and anatomy apps, language and math apps and many more. To find out more about educational apps Scoop.it! is a good source of information. Android Apps in Education and Apps for learning are two sites to explore.
More and more schools are buying apps and libraries are looking to catalogue these resources so that students and staff need to search in only one place to find school resources.
Apps is a new subject heading introduced to SCIS this term.
Recent SCIS workshops and presentations have focused on the challenges facing school libraries in their management of digital content. As a key service provider and partner with Australian and New Zealand school libraries SCIS is committed to helping schools deal with collection management issues, and provides catalogue records for e-books, websites, apps, audio books, learning objects and digital video.
Anzac Day, 25 April is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand honouring the members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought at Gallipoli during World War One.
The Australian Government, working in partnership with state and territory governments, the non-government school sectors and Education Services Australia have released a collection of resources for school teachers, specialist professionals, parents and students to develop safe and supportive schools.
The Safe Schools Hub (SCIS no: 1601867) is underpinned by the National Safe Schools Framework, which aims to ensure that all Australian schools are safe, supportive and respectful teaching and learning communities that promote student wellbeing. The Hub provides the tools and knowledge that will enable all members of the school community to develop the skills to:
nurture student responsibility and resilience
build a positive school culture
foster respectful relationships
support students who are impacted by anti-social behaviour
Visit www.safeschoolshub.edu.au to explore a range of practical examples, resources and activities to assist you in making your school a safe and supportive school. You can also register on the website or email email@example.com to receive regular updates on news and resources for safe schools.