Saturday, May 16, 2009

Victoria Day in Vancouver

Happy Long Weekend
It's (Queen) Victoria Day

Is Absolutely Everyone Gardening?

About this archival photo, perhaps you already knew:
There are still May Queens in New Westminster.
The 140th is to be crowned this year.

Our city is Victorian in its origins. If you look carefully, you can still see the evidence on our landscape (City Reflections), in our curriculum when local resources are created (Roedde House), and in our culture (VAG Emily Carr). Nearby New Westminster, a place deeply implicated in the present-day landscapes of the province at the hands of Colonel Moody's Royal Engineers, and our present-day Vancouver Island capital city of Victoria, characterized by Rattenbury's grand colonial architectural staging, remain outposts of the Empire, reminding us, should we get carried away with our new-found global connections, that we are Victorian by birth. Can't you tell I was a former social studies educator? These links are the kinds of places you can "meet your teacher colleagues in curriculum," as James Henri advised.

For most, the May long weekend has come to mean a much-needed time to catch your breath before heading into the busiest six weeks of the school year. A time to get the garden ready, to plan the summer months, to think about summer reading -- our own, our colleagues' and our students' -- and to rest. Acknowledging that all teachers face this as the busy time, for teacher-librarians, lost books, inventory, weeding and MIA reports, collection clean-up, and plans for building the program next year form the unrelenting pattern of the days as classes dwindle away and energies are directed to managing the unruly collection. All right, have a restful weekend -- you don't need me to remind you why!

VPL Events of Interest

A Story to Tell & a Place for the Telling
Fleeing Horrors and Coming by Sea:
Vietnamese and Chinese boat people of the 80s and 90s

Thousands of the most persecuted peoples from Asia have settled in British Columbia and helped to build its economies. This session asks: Are we better prepared to respond to such emergency migrations?

It's free and for all age groups
Tuesday May 19, 7:00 pm
Alice MacKay Room, Lower Level Central Library, 350 West Georgia Street

One Book, One Vancouver
Janet Love Morrison

Anticipate an animated and intimate discussion with the author of The Crazy Canucks: Canada's Legendary Ski Team who will read excerpts from the book.

It's free and for adults.
Tuesday June 2, 7:00 pm
Britannia Branch, 1661 Napier Street

Sandra Harper

Join local author Sandra Harper as she reads from her new novel Not until now : The Rattenbury story.

It's free and for adults.
Tuesday June 9, 7:30 pm-9:00 pm
Alma VanDusen Room, Lower LevelCentral Library, 350 West Georgia Street

The Travelling Road Show

It is a wonderful thing to take the May Update sessions "on the road." The school library spaces we have been invited to are so fresh and bright and inviting and busy. Learning Commons we have! They inspire us all. Thanks to Churchill, Kingsford-Smith, Henderson Annex, and Weir, so far. We have Nelson and DLG "Elementary" sessions this week ahead and an after-school session, with the secondary session to be held at UBC.

MK and I are a heavy-hitting staccato tag-team of streaming information, with some interactive consideration. We are building capacity, if only our own, to move books, paper, food, ideas, information, and equipment out to the field for shock-and-awe delivery of new technical, curricular, and resource information. Stay with us. We're moving along the continuum and we're sure we are very 21st century! No more powerpoint for us.

Technology Integration and Your School Library Program

Good news! Some school libraries have been considered to be "labs" and will be getting new computers. Which works rather well seeing as the world is becoming more electronic and we are hearing that there is lots of work for us in school libraries to make sure our students are able to access and use the reliable and credible electronic resources and access other resources, tools, and applications for post-secondary learning, for life, and for work. UBC Libraries, as a point of reference, have seen their acquisitions budget aligned now to 70% allocated for electronic resources.

TL Studio 2 / Your East Side Sandbox for

Technology Tips, Try-outs, and Talk

See You at Gladstone Next Year!
Thanks, Pat, Frances, and Alan

As ever, we snacked and talked and showed lots of cool things. This time we saw Evernote, a great way to "snip" webpages and capture them visually as references; Library Link of the Day; Pageflakes, an application similar to Evernote; The New York Times Bestseller Lists, which you can load onto your iGoogle page; WolframAlpha which -- get this! -- intends:

to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable and accessible to everyone, to collect and curate all objective data, implement every known model, method, and algorithm, to make it possible to compute whatever can be computed about anything, to build on the achievements of science and other systematizations of knowledge to provide a single source that can be relied on by everyone for definitive answers to factual queries.

We also looked at the Google Wonder Wheel, Google Timeline, and Google Chrome which is a new face with new capabilities for the Google we are used to. Here is a blog entry that explains how to get to the Wonder Wheel and Timeline options from your Googled search results (look for the Show options link at the top of the results).

Our Studio group has expanded to include Sandy who is a resourceful Richmond teacher; she found us while searching for something else in our online Pro D calendar and is keen to stay with us. I'll have to get her onto the blog feed as well.

I have to tell you to try out easy webpage-making with Weebly. The recommendation comes from Jo-Anne at Van Tech. She's right ... it's fantastic!

Michele's latest find is Debut Video Capture software to record video from webcam, capture devices, or screen. She is liking this a lot for making little "how to" or tutotial videos for students or teachers to use, like How to Use the Webcat or How to Read the Electronic Newspaper. The Debut tool doesn't have a 5-minute limit, although much longer might lose students and colleagues!

I just found SpicyNodes for teachers and think it looks like fun. Mind-mapping with the flavour of food? And I just joined slideshare and particularly enjoyed this slideshow that attempts to define Web 2.0. It's free to share your own and to use others' slideshows. I like the slideshare version of Shift Happens, although it lacks the techno-pop music. Overwhelmed but fascinated, and determined not to be left behind, of course I will have more for you. Am reconsidering my views on slideshows, views shared with other presenters seen recently, by the way. One slideshow I watched suggested the days of slideshows aren't over although bullets are passé ... will have to check the date on that one!

You must look at this one -- think about how to use Thinkmap's Visual Thesaurus / VocabGrabber. It is unquestionably a tool that would help students grappling with some of the denser text of databases and academic research. Check out the potential of this resource. Or read Jamie McKenzie's review from FNO (From Now On).

Here's what I did ... go back and take that passage of text (above in this blog entry) about WolframAlpha that is both confounded by and confounding in its own use of vocabulary. I copied and pasted the passage into VocabGrabber so it looked like this (I know you can't read it, but I wanted you to see where I pasted in the passage).

Then I simply clicked and waited for the results ... and there are 40 words with definitions, as well as web diagrams and discipline links and more as you can just about discern on this screen capture image (below). The images are much better in McKenzie's review, by the way.


NOTE: Great action and settings in Angels & Demons
Visual effects that recreate Rome were done in Vancouver

I'm opting for a cleaner fresh look for the blog:
might this bring a comment or two?
Also, how about the Teacher Search Widget from Google?

Added two new books to My Shelfari: See sidebar
Can't we use this tool for class and student book reviews?

Added some new blog links as well.
Love the Copy/Paste guy.

Thought it was time for an embedded Youtube
as I am not happy with the Youtube bar selection:

Have a great weekend!

No comments: