The 2009 and 2008 newsletter items from the Library are intermingled in the main Home posts of this blog, so search to find specific items. The 2010 Information Services contributions to the school newsletter will be posted here (though photos and names may be removed for privacy reasons). These generally are published about once per week during term time via an emailed newsletter.
No more newsletters until the end of January- we are on holidays!
New popular titles in the Potter Library in 2010
Earlier in the year, a list was published of the most popular books read at AHS. So what new entrants appeared on the popular list in 2010? Only the Good Spy Young by Carter topped the list of new and popular books. It is about an elite girls’ school that is secretly training students to become spies.Mockingjay (future dystopia/action/reality TV) published in 2010, and third in the Hunger Games trilogy, was very popular. City of Glass (angels, vampires etc) published in 2009, by Cassandra Clare raced up the reading chart. Hush, Hush (fallen angels) by Fitzpatrick was keenly sought, and the sequel
Crescendo was recently released. Twilight fans couldn’t resist The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner (more vampires) by Meyer. Evernight fans (vampires) loved the third in the series, Hourglass. Fallen (angels) by Lauren was well borrowed and its sequel Torment came out recently. Other popular new titles include Shiver and Linger (werewolves), Gone (future), The Iron King (faery) and Artemis Fowl and the Atlantis Complex (faery, dwarves etc). These are but a few of the new titles in the library which caters for a very wide range of student interests. Student suggestions are invited in relation to Library
purchases, and can be made via the Suggestion box in the Potter Library, via Moodle, email, or in person. It is really important that students continue reading during the holidays, otherwise their literacy levels may decline. All students can borrow six books, except Year 11 and 12 students who can borrow ten books; so please encourage students to borrow and read, and even better to read widely, over the holidays.
Year 7 Book Trailers are the new star attraction in the McAuley Library this week!
Book Trailers are a fun and creative way of promoting books. Book trailers are like movie trailers, but promote books instead. Students in Year 7 have been making book trailers in class, using a variety of computer software packages. These student book trailers have been played on the big screen at the McAuley Library during lunchtime. Students have enjoyed sharing their productions and these book trailers have created a lot of intrigue and promotion for many of our fiction titles, as well as a couple of non-fiction books. Book trailers require the students to use analytical, technological, information literacy and referencing skills, in order to create these fabulous results. Parents can view some of these book trailers by visiting AHS Moodle. They are located at Moodle/McAuley Library/Reading/Year 7 Book Trailers. Students in Year 8 also created book trailers this year as part of their English studies. Students can borrow up to six books over the holiday period, so please encourage students to select some new and exciting novels from our fabulous fiction collection; hopefully you will be inspired by the Year 7 Book Trailer recommendations. Happy holiday reading girls.
Some food for thought: google has become part of daily life for most people, but there are 2 concerning issues with google and similar online organisations – privacy and information. There is currently a Senate Inquiry being undertaken into online privacy. Submissions have closed and can be viewed here: http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/eca_ctte/online_privacy/index.htm . On July 9th, 2010, Privacy Commissioner Karen Curtis, found that google had breached the Australian Privacy Act with Google Street View. The Privacy Commissioner does not have the power to impose sanctions, so accepted a published apology on the Google Blog. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy stated in parliament that the Street View debacle was probably the “largest privacy breach in history across Western democracies.” More at: http://www.news.com.au/technology/google-street-search-spied-on-private-data/story-e6frfrnr-1225943476949 . Google admitted that emails, web pages and even passwords were “mistakenly collected” by antennas on its hi-tech cars collecting data for google Street View. Similarly, Facebook came under fire last week from the Privacy Commissioner in relation to collection of data via online games. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/sites-that-secretly-collect-data-at-risk-of-prosecution/story-e6frg996-1225942958656 Thus, privacy is an important subject for parents to discuss with students in relation to their home use of the internet-both from computers and mobile phones.
The second issue is “[that] the danger of allowing an advertising company to control the index of human knowledge is too obvious to ignore.” http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/oct/30/google-polluting-internet This article states that: “We’ve grown complacent as researchers; lazy as thinkers. We place too much trust in one company, a corporate advertising agency, and a single way of organising knowledge, automated keyword indexing… most people can’t tell the difference between ads and content any more…No wonder it has become nearly impossible to imagine a world without consumerism.” It is important to be be cognisant that google search is designed to promote revenue, not knowledge and learning.
Thus, when researching, students should consider databases and directories. Database searching has been discussed in previous emails, such as via the State Library of QLD. Information on educational search tools can be found at: http://www.startlocal.com.au/articles/educational_search_engines.html . Students need to learn to critically assess the quality of online information: http://www.onlineschools.org/resources/online-research-for-students/ .
On a lighter note, students may wish to enter the Make Your Mark t-shirt design competition open to Australian and NZ students aged 14-18 years. The design theme for the current competition is ‘Harmony of Cultures’. Entries close 26 November 2010: http://bit.ly/makeyourmarkcompetition
On Friday, students could dress in Harry Potter theme to support fundraising for Yarrapossible. This reflected the power of reading to unite people and to add interest and magic to our daily lives. A group of students has decided to participate in NANOWRIMO. We will meet in the Potter Room from 12.40 on Tuesdays. The goal is to write for at least 15 minutes every day in November. Writing improves with practise, so while some students have already written books; for others it will be a challenge just to put words to paper. It will be entirely up to students if they wish to register, publish or allow others to read their work. Any interested students are welcome to join us: http://www.nanowrimo.org/
Students who wish to publish their writing should consider competitions: http://www.solutionsindata.com/writing_opportunities/index.html and http://www.learningplace.com.au/deliver/content.asp?pid=39168 A list of writing sites can be found at my blog: http://readingpower.wordpress.com/2010/10/18/feed-your-brain-information/ . It can be very difficult to achieve a deal with a publisher, but anyone can publish online. Teen author, Steph Bowes, who spoke to AHS students at the Writers’ Festival, has a blog here: http://heyteenager.blogspot.com/ Cassandra Clare, who is the very popular author of the Mortal Instruments Series, gained much experience writing fan fiction online as Cassandra Claire: http://www.fanhistory.com/wiki/Cassandra_Claire’s_Plagiarism Despite some drama, this was a valuable stepping stone for her very successful career.
Reading and writing are both very valuable pastimes. More can be read here about the growing popularity of books with dark plotlines: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com/slj/newslettersnewsletterbucketsljteen/887338-444/death_dying_and_dark_plotlines.html.csp
Year 10 students are currently studying The Merchant of Venice. A wonderful resource is at: http://nfs.sparknotes.com/ where Shakespeare plays are provided with the traditional text presented with a modern translation beside it.
As Year 12s commence exam block on Thursday 4 November, the Library is seeking the return of all Year 12 library loans that are not required for assessment purposes, so any assistance with this process is most appreciated. Students are emailed overdue notices on a weekly basis, and then each term overdue items that have not been returned are billed to school accounts. We have also started a process of visiting Home Groups to remind students to return items. While the Library offers the option for students to “work off” debts for non-returned items, this option is only available for students who respond to overdue reminders and must be arranged with Library staff. This option will not be available to Year 12s, once exam block commences.
The State Library of Victoria is currently running a competition that requires a creative response to a novel. First prize is an ipad. Entries close on Friday 19 November. Details can be found at: http://
The 2010 Inkys shortlists have been announced. You can vote for your favourite book at this site: http://
www.insideadog.com.au/inkys/vote/inkys_vote.php and go in the running to win a prizepack of every shortlisted book. Votes must be in by Friday 19 November. The “inside a dog” website and these lists provide a great place to find suggestions for books to read.
There is still time for students interested in film, photography and animation to enter the last part of the vitta competition. Details are at: http://3in6.vitta.org.au/
Mary MacKillop—Websites http://www.marymackillop.org.au/
Book – The Black Dress by Pamela Freeman – work unit http://www.curriculumpress.edu.au/rel/values/the-black-dress.php
Recently, there have been several teenage suicides in the United States which has increased awareness of the tragic consequences that can follow from cyber bullying. With students using the internet more and more extensively, it is important to be informed about both the pitfalls and also the procedures for using technology appropriately. These events highlight how the passing on, adding comments, or sharing of unpleasant photos, videos or information, as well as the original creation of the information, can potentially constitute bullying. An important statistic is that “Bullying stops in less than 10 seconds, when peers intervene on behalf of the victim.” http://www.youthnoise.com/page.php?page_id=2510.
The following is a humorous, though salutary, short video about cyber bullying, that reminds students to think very carefully about what they post online or what they share via their phones http://www.youtube.com/watchvCBjiaytbt5Xwk. The next link is a video by Ellen DeGeneres about the recent tragedies http://www.shewired.com/Article.cfm?Section=1&ID=25837. A project has been set up on youtube to support students who are being bullied in this way, called the It Gets Better Project. Two of the clips can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IcVyvg2Qlo&feature=player_embedded
and http://www.youtube.com/user/itgetsbetterproject .Resources for students, parents and schools can be found at http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/ and http://www.bullyingnoway.com.au/. Reading and other resources can be found at my blog at http://readingpower.wordpress.com/2010/10/03/it-getsbetter/ though many of the books are suitable for mature readers. The School bullying policy and procedures are included in the School Student Diary and on Moodle.
November is National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to write an entire novel in thirty days. Participants begin writing November 1 and must finish by midnight, November 30. The word-count goal for adults is 50,000 words, but the Young Writers Program allows participants who are 17 years and younger to set reasonable, yet challenging, word-count goals. The goal of the high-velocity approach is to force writers to lower expectations, take risks, and write on the fly. In 2009, 167,000 adults participated, and 35,000 in the Young Writers Program. Register now and find out more at: Adult version http://www.nanowrimo.org/. Youth version http://ywp.nanowrimo.org/. Resources for educators http://ywp.nanowrimo.org/educators.
Welcome back. It would be great to see the girls persisting with allocating regular time to reading this term. Developing the reading habit will pay off, educationally, vocationally and personally. So…where to start if your daughter has problems finding books to read. The following site recommends 5 series that are very popular with secondary girls. Series are great because they alleviate the problem of “what to read next,” once students establish a reading habit. The recommendations are: The Hunger Games, The Gemma Doyle Trilogy, The House of Night, Uglies and the Mediator series. Authors and more details can be found at: http://www.suite101.com/content/top-teen-book-series-a289316 , to assist with checking suitability and interest.
Another series that has been in the news is The Mortal Instruments series, which now has a prequel, Clockwork Angel; both because a movie has been announced and also because the main male character is likely to become more popular than both Edward Cullen and Jacob Black from Twilight. http://www.examiner.com/the-mortal-instrument-in-national/cassandra-clare-accepts-jace-s-best-hottie-teen-read-award If you like one-liners, Cassandra Clare has filled these books with zillions of snappy comebacks and lines like, “Shadowhunters; looking better in black than the widows of our enemies since 1234.” (City of Bones); “Let me give you a piece of advice. The handsome young fellow who’s trying to rescue you from a hideous fate is never wrong. Not even if he says the sky is purple and made of hedgehogs.” (Clockwork Angel); “I don’t want to be a man…I want to be an angst-ridden teenager who can’t confront his own inner demons and takes it out verbally on other people instead.” -Simon “Well, you’re doing a fantastic job.” -Clary (City of Ashes).
Speaking of angst, books about people who know they are dying, have died or have a penchant for the dead, are increasingly popular with the girls; even excluding the hugely popular and still growing vampire genre. Books like: The Sky is Everywhere, Before I Fall, If I Stay, Five People You Meet in Heaven, and The Messenger by Zusak; are very popular with young adults trying to make sense of a confusing world.
Reading is very personal and not everyone likes the same books. Girls should remember they can contact Library staff by email or via the Potter Library forums on moodle with suggestions about books to purchase. These recommendations are usually pursued, provided they meet suitability criteria.
Students love social networking sites, so they might like to try http://www.goodreads.com/. This is a free site for sharing reading and it is also popular with adults. Students should always take care to use internet sites in a safe manner, and this applies to this site as well. More information can be found here http://computer.howstuffworks.com/internet/social-networking/networks/goodreads2.htm and http://newyorkersread.wikispaces.com/Goodreads .
Library Opening times during the holidays
The Potter Library will be open from 9am -1pm on week days during the coming school holidays.
The modern, busy Library is often not a quiet place. However, in response to student requests, the Potter Room has been opened at lunchtime as a space strictly for quiet study. New bean bags have been purchased and have been very popular in assisting those opting for quiet study.
A Year 10 student recently submitted a humorous opinionative column that discussed how her work would have been of a much better quality had she not been distracted by Facebook. Mary Ann Bell, a University lecturer further stated that:
• Kids don’t know how to search and evaluate what they find
• Kids don’t know how to be smart and safe online
• Kids don’t know how to use technology for learning or productivity
Bell was making the point that while kids may appear confident and competent with using technology, they still need supervision and guidance. The combined effect of ignoring warnings and directions, lack of intuitive ability associated with their age, and the attraction of socialising with peers, means students may need support in these areas. This leads to the topic of online sites and games, such as Facebook and youtube.
Safe use of Facebook was discussed in the newsletter of August 7. However, these sites not only provide security and privacy risks, but also a risk of distraction. Students have a limit to the time available for study. However, if they are spending that time on non-productive use of sites like msn, Facebook, youtube or online games, then their learning may be adversely affected.
Sites like Facebook and msn are blocked at school, so it is recommended that parents discuss time management in relation to these online sites with their daughters. Strategies, such as checking history on computers, placing computers in a visible place at home while they study, or removing phones, may assist students who need support with managing these distractions. Some students may need the internet and/or computer turned off at times, to facilitate learning. The internet is often not needed all the time when students are studying. If students have a problem with such distractions, it is often effective to organise set times when students are permitted to access these sites, and negotiate access as a reward for studying.
Brisbane Writers’ Festival Wordplay
On Thursday, September 2nd, over 90 Year 8 and 10 students heard a variety of writers discuss their inspiration and craft at the Brisbane Writers’ Festival. Sessions included science fiction writing from Steve Cole, who has written Dr Who stories and sci-fi author Chris Morphew, fantasy author, Kate Forsyth, screen and play writing from Fiona Wood (Neighbours writer) and Van Badham, stories from refugees who discussed their experiences leaving their home country and then settling in Australia (from TAFE TELLS), and 16 year old Steph Bowes who reflected on writing her novel, Girls Saves Boy, and blogging. This provided a wonderful extension opportunity for students. The support of the AHS English Department, for this initiative, is greatly appreciated.
The State Library of QLD currently has a free online program called Looking 2.0 http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/services/learning/looking . Topics covered include Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and other Web 2.0 applications. Update your skills and you will also be in the running for prizes, which include a laptop.
The recently released book, Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins completes The Hunger Games series. Probably best for Year 9 and above, this series blends virtual reality TV and gladiators, and has a strong female lead character. This is probably the most popular book series since Twilight and Harry Potter.
Bell Shakespeare, in conjunction with Optus, is running a competition at http://makeascenecompetition.com.au/ . In return for interpreting 1 of 5 Shakespeare quotes in film, paint, animation etc., prizes can be won, including $5,000, a Macbook, iphone and video camera. There are also teacher resources to support this.
These competitions and activities could be a good use of holiday time, and it would also be wonderful to see students borrowing for holiday reading. Years 5-10 can borrow 6 books each, and Years 11, 12, 10 books each.
McAuley Library News (Grades 5-7)
The McAuley Library is holding Book Week during the week of September 6 – 10. We have already begun promoting this year’s theme “Across the Story Bridge” with a window painting competition to illustrate the theme. Congratulations to …(student names omitted on blog) who have created this year’s window design.
The library is holding a competition to promote the shortlisted books in the following categories, Young Reader, Picture Books and Early Childhood, where the students have been asked to vote for their favourite book in their year level category.
A selection of Year 7 students will attend the Writers’ Festival at the State Library on Wednesday 1 September. This is an all day event that promotes reading and writing skills, with many opportunities to meet authors and be inspired about reading and writing. The students will attend the following sessions…(details omitted for security reasons.)
Year 5 and 6 students have been participating in Cybersafety and Cyberbullying in their library lessons and have developed skills in identifying safe information and pictures to post to an online environment.
MS Readathon is coming to a close and all participants are asked to finalise their fundraising and send it in to the MS Society as soon as possible. I would like to thank all the students who have participated for their donations to this worthy cause.
Potter Library News (Grades 8-12)
Brisbane writers’ Festival- Wordplay
On Thursday, nearly 100 year 8 and 10 staff and students will be attending the Brisbane Writers’ Festival Wordplay program. This is a wonderful opportunity to hear authors speak about writing and reading. If your daughter is attending, they will have been received an information note which has strict new rules regarding bags. Your help with this is appreciated.
This year’s school theme is “Reflect, connect, act.” An important part of reflecting and connecting is information. We can only connect to information when it comes to our attention. The media can act as a filter that affects what we know and thus the actions we take. An example of this is the Pakistan floods. Even though they are worse than “the combined total of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake,” in terms of number of people suffering, it has received comparatively little media attention. http://arabnews.com/world/article98306.ece However, one of the advantages of the internet is that it provides greater facility for us to choose what we are informed about.
The following infographic shows that the international response to the disaster has been slow. However, it is positive to see that Australia is one of the 5 countries that responded swiftly. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/aug/10/pakistan-flood-international-aid
In about a month the UN will meet to discuss a “consolidated” appeal for the area. However, “there are some 800,000 people reachable only by air. That’s 800,000 people whose only lifeline is a handful of US and Pakistani helicopters in the area.” http://www.undispatch.com/node/10179 This brings to mind some famous quotes. Mary MacKillop said “Never see a need without doing something about it.” http://www.cathnews.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=18436 Catherine McAuley said, “the poor need help today, not next week.” http://www.villa.school.nz/about/history The All Hallows’ community has raised money with a bucket appeal and swimathon.
Why is Pakistan receiving less media attention than somewhere like Haiti? Some people suggest it is “the relatively gradual nature of Pakistan’s flooding [that] makes it harder for news organizations and individuals to grasp the severity of the impact. The situation didn’t go from normal to “20 million people homeless” in a single day. Plus, slowly rising waters just don’t seem as terrifying as sudden major shifts in the tectonic plates.” http://scienceblogs.com/thepumphandle/2010/08/why_are_pakistans_floods_getti.php Similarly, others suggest it is the fact that there have been fewer deaths thus far, although more people have been affected: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/7935485/Pakistan-floods-disaster-is-the-worst-in-the-UNs-history.html . However, in terms of media attention, Pakistan has fared better than the 5 most ignored and neglected humanitarian crises: http://www.undispatch.com/node/10172 .
In terms of learning about the floods or discussing them with students, the following overlay map of the Pakistan floods on Brisbane helps provide an idea of the spatial impact http://howbigreally.com/#brisbane . Resources for discussing the floods with students can be found at:
• Caritas resources, including a prayer PowerPoint http://www.caritas.org.au/AM/Template.cfm?Section=South_Asia_Floods_Response_Pakistan#PakistanResources
• Unicef http://www.unicef.com.au/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=XDE24QdW0k8%3D&tabid=491 and
• Facts and graphs http://wiki.ict4peace.org/Pakistan-Floods
• Facts that will be updated twice weekly about the disaster and aid provided http://www.globalhumanitarianassistance.org/pakistan-floods-2010-country-aid-factsheet-1010.html
FlickerUp is a new national youth competition for short films from primary and secondary school students or filmmakers under eighteen years of age from across Australia. See http://www.flickerfest.com.au Films must be under 35 minutes and have been completed in the last two years. Australian entries must be received by 5pm, Friday 22nd October 2010
Thank you for your help with ensuring the girls charge their netbooks every night. If the power cord is lost, students can go to the Blue Chip Centre at school to obtain a new one.
John Marsden’s popular book, Tomorrow When the War Began is studied by some AHS Year 10 English classes. The new book cover is shown here (images not included in blog see: http://www.panmacmillan.com.au/cover1/9780330403801.jpg )
There will be a special screening of the new movie based on Tomorrow, When the War Began followed by a Q&A session and book signing with John Marsden on Monday, 13 September 2010, 4.45pm, Myer Centre Complex, Elizabeth Street, Brisbane, $25 talk and screening Please contact 3886 5704 for bookings. Read more at: http://www.dymocks.com.au/LiteraryEvents/Default.aspx?s=4#jessicawatsontruespiritthbri This site also has details of Andy Griffiths’ appearance at Dymocks, Indooroopilly on Sunday 5 September, 2010, 1:00 PM Cost: FREE. Andy visited the AHS Middle School last year to speak to students and has a new book out called, The Very Bad Book.
The ABC’s Heywire competition gives young people aged 16-22 a chance to have their story (in text, video, photos or audio) played on the ABC. All students have to do is upload an original story about their life or community. More details at: http://heywire.abc.net.au/ Entries close October 8. The ABC will select 40 winning stories to be produced and reworked with the help of ABC staff and played on Radio National, Local Radio, triple j and abc.net.au . Winning students also win an all-expenses-paid trip to the Heywire Youth Issues Forum in Canberra in February where they will receive media and leadership training and a reception at Parliament House.
Teen new releases For those who like to keep an eye on new books released for young readers – the following sites will be of interest:
New books These sites list popular books published 2010:
Buying books online If you like the convenience of buying books online, you might like to look at the following sites. The Book Depository has free delivery in Australia http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/ . Another site is Borders online, which also has free delivery. You can sign up for their newsletter and they send regular discount vouchers for online and in-store purchases. If you set up a login, the basket feature can be used to create a list of books to purchase. If you are patient, you can then use this wishlist and swoop when the online sales occur, like the recent one for 30% off http://www.borders.com.au/ .
AHS hosted another Jamie McKenzie Workshop on August 10 on using digital resources to enrich learning. Jamie considered the application of Bloom’s Taxonomy in a digitally enriched classroom to promote higher order thinking skills. See more at: http://fno.org/mar2010/beautyand.html and http://fno.org/may2010/complexity.html One of the tools Jamie utilized is Visual Thesaurus – login details are located at the Potter Library moodle site.
Ebooks are a rapidly growing market. Amazon announced in July that their sales of ebooks now exceed sales of hardcovers. Two articles that may be of interest are the comparison of ebooks on the basis of text to speech reading http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2010/08/for-visually-impaired-most-e-readers-barely-measure-up.ars?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=rss and this comparison of the kindle and iPad on the basis of specialist devices against multitasking http://nyti.ms/9zGHfW . School Netbooks can also be used for ereading. A good site for free ebooks is: http://www.archive.org/details/texts .
A new book has been released to help those in need in the developing world. See: http://blog.roomtoread.org/room-to-read/2010/07/zak-the-yak-is-here-to-give-back.html This is part of the Room to Read program and the Brisbane chapter is relatively new: http://www.roomtoread.org/brisbane . The book, Zak the Yak, will be launched on Wednesday 25 August, Coaldrakes at The Barracks, Petrie Tce, top of Caxton Street, 4 – 4.45pm.
The Children’s and Young Adult (CYA) writers & illustrators Conference will be held on Sunday 5th September 2010. Bookings and registration are now open online at: www.cyaconference.com . Email: email@example.com
Tel: 0408 751 208 . This conference is aimed at children ages 8 to 18 who are interested in writing or illustrating children’s and young adult literature.
Workshops will be conducted by many renowned authors, editors and illustrators. The conference will cost: $99.00 (GST inc.) and will be held at: QUT Creative Industries Precinct, Kelvin Grove. This is a fantastic opportunity for young budding writers to learn from those in the industry and to make contacts. Alexandra Adornetto is a great role model for aspiring young female writers. Her first book was published at 13 and she has just signed a four book deal in the U.S. and finished year 12: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/lifestyle/books/where-angels-fear-to-tread/story-fn5bodiu-1225900604582
The highly anticipated released of Mockingjay, the third book in The Hunger Games trilogy, will occur on August 24. Author, Suzanne Collins has released a statement asking fans to avoid sharing spoilers before or immediately after the release. Read more: http://www.daemonsbooks.com/2010/08/11/suzanne-collins-to-fans-no-mockingjay-spoilers/#ixzz0wQSal9qO
August 7 Facebook
Facebook is the world’s most popular social networking website and has attracted over 400 million active users in six years. Facebook is blocked at AHS, so use occurs mainly at home. Filtering, blocking and banning use are not simple solutions, especially in the home situation. The best outcome is for students to learn to use these tools appropriately. It is important students know how to protect their privacy and their digital footprint, whichever tool or site they are using. Whatever is posted on the open internet can be copied and saved forever. Online tools like Facebook can be used for cyber bullying. It is important that students are guided in the use of these increasingly prevalent communication tools, such as
Facebook, computers and mobile phones. While the school curriculum includes internet safety, it is important that parents understand and supervise use of these tools and discuss what is appropriate, as their use occurs largely outside the school context.
Step by step guide to checking Facebook settings Please view the following video to maximize privacy settings on Facebook http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGkUA84ftYU One of the comments from this site is very appropriate; the best way to maximize privacy is not to post or even text information, that you don’t want everyone to know. Also see http://www.engadget.com/2010/07/13/how-to-effectively-manage-your-facebook-privacy-settings-with-l/ and http://www.root777.com/
Strategies for students The School policies and procedures for bullying, harassment and acceptable internet use can be found between pages 24 and 27 of the Student Diary. An online copy of the Student
Diary is available on Moodle in the left-hand Main Menu block, under Curricular, then click either of the
Year groupings. It is best not to respond to online bullying. Instead click the “Print Screen” key, paste
and print or save. Report to parents, teachers, schools, or other authorities. Please find below resources for using online tools appropriately-
• Video for parents http://www.commonsensemedia.org/facebook-parents
• Parent Tips http://www.theonlinemom.com/secondary.asp?id=936
• Facebook settings http://www.davidleeking.com/2010/06/09/updated-facebook-privacysettings-
• Protecting Reputations online in plain English http://www.commoncraft.com/protectingreputations-
• Anti-cyber bullying commercial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amueaVHIZ6A 30 sec
• Would you say it in person? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjKaWNGZNyI 50 sec
• I will be safe online http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2Sg2CbrI34 30 sec
• Facebook safety from facebook http://www.facebook.com/help/?safety
• Make the facebook safety page a “friend” http://www.facebook.com/fbsafety
• Online safety help for parents from the Australian government http://www.cybersmart.gov.au/
• Settings for various sites – Australian Federal Police http://www.thinkuknow.org.au/site/
Parents are asked for assistance with ensuring students charge their netbooks each night. Students may be unable to fully participate in learning if they cannot use their netbooks. An increasing number of students have been coming to school recently with uncharged netbooks, so this support would be greatly appreciated.
The image ( not included here) shows one of the wonderful book covers designed by Year 8 students that are now on display in the Potter Library. … won two prizes for artistic merit and also concept and blurb for this entry.
Last Friday saw the final round of database training with State Library staff speaking to Year 10 students in Claver Theatre about the great value of using databases for research. Year 11 and 12 students received training earlier in the year.
As a reminder, the easiest way to access State Library databases is with an ecard. This is free and easily
obtained by completing the online form at: http://srlopac.slq.qld.gov.au/webvoyage/servlet/
PatronRegistrationForm/ (use a personal mailing address). The card will arrive in about 5 days. Once you
have an ecard, go to http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/ click Find in the top left corner, then Databases, then Offsite. Choose a suitable database and click Connect. The State Library can be contacted by phone or email. For details click http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/services/ask . They will try and help with even the trickiest research problem. A copy of the handout provided by the State Library is on the Potter Library Moodle site in the Research section.
All Hallows’ subscribes to several databases and these can be located by going to the Potter Library Moodle site, scrolling to Research and clicking the file called Databases-Ebsco…which contains link and login details. It would be wonderful if all students obtained an ecard to access the much larger collection of online databases available via the State Library.
Selected AHS students will again be attending the Brisbane Writers’ Festival Wordplay event on September 1 and 2 and will listen to many wonderful authors speaking about writing and reading http://
www.brisbanewritersfestival.com.au/default.asp?PageID=230 . In addition to the School program, the public program is now available at http://www.brisbanewritersfestival.com.au/ .
There is still time for students to get involved in the 2010 MS Readathon Great Wildlife Adventure and help the 20,000 Australians with this mysterious disease. Register at http://www.msreadathon.org.au/ or call 1300 677 323 for more details. Students can click online to register and receive a MS Readathon wristband and K Zone or Total Girl magazine. This activity involves lots of reading. It also involves collecting sponsorship donations from family and friends, so parent permission is essential. Participants have the opportunity to collect rewards. Please go to the site for more information.
This week, we had our first Senior Breakfast Book Club meeting. Students discussed what they had been reading and made suggestions about new titles for the purchase. It is planned to hold the meetings fortnightly, except during end-of-term assessment periods. Ms Weaver and Ms … also ran a lunchtime training session for students interested in entering the CBCA Book Trailer Competition which closes August 14th. The Library can help with saving the book trailers to DVD. Book Trailers must not exceed 1 minute. More information can be found at my blog at http://readingpower.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/book-trailers-music-images-for-the-public-domain/
The winners of prizes in the Year 8 Weird and Wonderful book cover competition were …. These brilliant covers will be displayed in the Potter Library.
The Libraries have recently purchased many multiple copies of popular books, so it should be much easier for students to find favourites. The beginning of the term is a good time to start new habits, so it would be wonderful if all students include reading novels or non-fiction books as part of their regular daily routine.
Author Event for Aspiring Young Writers at Riverbend Books A young author, Alexandra Adornetto, will be speaking at Riverbend Books in Bulimba from 4 – 5.30pm on Tuesday 3 August. Alexandra was only 13 when she wrote Shadowthief. She’s now only 18, but her fourth book ‘Halo’ is due out in August. The event is free and aimed at young aspiring authors who want to hear about what it’s like to be an author. Book early to avoid disappointment. Details can be found here: http://www.riverbendbooks.com.au/Events/EventDetails.aspx?ID=2261
July 22 Book Trailer Competition and Fim Festival
During Term 3, the Middle school celebrates CBCA Book Week and the photo (not included here) shows the McAuley Library window created by our Library Assistant… to promote the theme, “Across the Story Bridge.”
The CBCA has announced a Book Trailer Competition in association with Book Week. Book trailers are just like movie trailers only they promote books. Entry deadline is 5 pm, Thursday, 12th August which is soon, but the maximum length is one minute. The book trailer must be based on a book from the CBCA 2010 Notable Books. The list of titles is here http://cbca.org.au/Notables10.htm Book trailers must adhere to copyright laws. All work should be original and copyright free or permissions for music or images must be provided with the entry. All book trailers are to be submitted on a CD/DVD with an official entry form. There will be three sections: Years 5-7, Years 8-10, Years 11-12. Prizes will be awarded in each section of $200 first, $150 second and $100 third. Winners will be announced at a presentation on Saturday, 28th August in Ipswich at 11.00 am. All who enter are welcome to attend this free event, but there are limited seats, so bookings are essential. All details at http://qld.cbca.org.au/qldbtcomp.htm
Students can use software such as Photostory, PowerPoint or Moviemaker. Further information about making book trailers and examples can be found at:
How to make Animoto Book Trailers http://www.scribd.com/doc/25050854/Animoto-Book-Trailers
Animoto Book Trailers http://bib20.blogspot.com/2009/02/animoto-book-trailers.html
The Ipswich District TL Network
PDF excerpts from the IDTLN Book week book: http://qld.cbca.org.au/userfiles/file/Qld/2010/events/TLBook01.pdf
and links are also included in this post at my blog
Year 8 students, especially, might like to enter to gain practice as they will all be creating book trailers this term in English, and students in Years 10, 11 and 12 have all practiced these skills in their Year 10 English multimodal unit.
The Film Festival for Young People runs from 27 July to 6 August www.translinkcinesparks.com.au Cine Sparks is a free festival of world cinema and has been designed for Drama, English, Music and Language students. The free Family Film Fiesta is from Sat 31 July – Sun 1 August. More information can be found here about the program http://www.translinkcinesparks.com.au/films.aspx
June 22 Reading collaboratively
There are many sites that allow sharing and collaboration about reading. All are free except LibraryThing, and it’s free for your first 200 books. These sites allow you to keep track of what you have read, like your own mini Library catalogue, as well as share what you and others are reading. You can find readers who have similar reading tastes to yours who will help you find great books that you’ve missed. Most people choose a site based on what is most commonly used by people they know. Sites include:
BookGlutton http://www.bookglutton.com/ allows reading books online, chatting inside chapters and annotation. Book glutton permits sharing by private groups http://kindlereview.ca/521/bookgluttons-sharing-for-people-and-groups/
The following sites may interest readers. They are not specifically for students.
Many students like writing, sharing their writing online, and reading what other teenagers write. These are some of the most popular sites,
Some of the content on these sites may not be suitable for younger readers. Students who use the internet responsibly will select sites that are age appropriate. …was the winner of our Term 2 Library competition. We hope all students have a safe holiday and spend some lots of time reading, writing, or snuggling up with a good book.
June 15 Reading Resources Online
The author of Twilight, Stephenie Myer, released a new book recently, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. While this book is available in print form in shops, Stephenie Myer has also made it available for free online until July 5th, so visit the link below before then, if you would like to read this online. On the minus side, the book is about vampires (unless you enjoyed the Twilight series, in which case you will almost certainly like this book). On the plus side, it is much shorter than the Twilight books (again, if you liked Twilight, you will probably wish it was much longer) http://ld-breetannerbook.libredigital.com/index.html. For netbooks, students need to click the icon on the top, second from the right that says “Single page fit to width” to make the font bigger, and then scroll across a few pages to reach the text. When changing pages, students need to be patient as it may take a few seconds. If the site is too busy, you may need to come back later.
Currently, Library staff are working with all Year 8 students promoting “Weird and Wonderful” fiction and how to find suitable books. Please encourage your daughter to read, especially over the holidays. Library staff have placed new reading lists on the Potter Library site on Moodle, in the Reading section, to help students find books. In the Reading Section, there is a link called Book Talk where there are many book reviews with ratings from All Hallows’ students.
There are also many great websites to help students find good books, such as the following:
Persnickety Snark http://persnicketysnark.blogspot.com/
Carnegie lists http://www.carnegielibrary.org/teens/books/
Book reviews for students aged 5-18 http://www.readplus.com.au/index.php
Find books like others http://www.gnooks.com/
Which Book? http://www.whichbook.net/index.jsp
What should I read next? http://www.whatshouldireadnext.com/
EDNA lists http://www.groups.edna.edu.au/course/view.php?id=616
Reading links from Education WA http://www.det.wa.edu.au/education/cmis/eval/fiction/whichbook/
Amazon – scroll down to see other books purchased http://www.amazon.com/Gathering-Light-Jennifer-Donnelly/dp/0747570639/
June 8 Readers’ Cup Competition
On Tuesday our two Year 8 and 9, Readers’ Cup teams competed at Brisbane Boys’ Grammar School. While our teams did not win, they greatly enjoyed reading the 6 books. The competition is run by the Children’s Book Council of Australia, Queensland branch. The All Hallows’ teams attended many meetings to prepare for the competition. Our team members were …
The books introduced the girls to many genres from steampunk (Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld) to fictionalised history (The Night They Stormed Eureka by Jackie French) . Fox and Fine Feathers shows Brisbane author and illustrator, Narelle Oliver, creating a fascinating fable with linoprint. Loving Richard Feynman by Penny Tangey has a Nobel Prize- winning physicist as a pin-up poster for a teenage girl’s room. This book explores the idea of celebrity and also looks at the ethics of science in a very accessible manner, through the eyes of a fifteen year old girl who is struggling with many issues, especially surviving socially at school. Boom by Mark Haddon is a futurist school comedy, and Halt’s Peril by John Flanagan continues the popular Rangers’ Apprentice fantasy series.
With holidays approaching, please encourage your daughters to borrow lots of books for reading over the break.
June 1st Reading Suggestions
The Tardis has landed at the Potter Library. Fans of the Dr Who TV series will know that the Tardis is the vehicle used by Dr Who to travel through time and space. The Dr Who Books are also very popular, and we have purchased more of these due to demand.
I have wondered if the roll out of Netbooks would impact on borrowing of books. This year all Year 8, 10 and 11 students have Netbooks. Borrowing figures for books for the whole school, so far this year, are 7.23% higher than last year. So thank you to all parents and staff who are promoting reading of books with students.
A Year 8 student who could not attend the Book Odyssey evening has asked for reading ideas. I referred her to the Potter Library Moodle site which has many reading lists and sites. The 25 most borrowed books at AHS this year by Year 8 students are, in order of popularity:
Saving Francesca by Marchetta, Angus, thongs and full-frontal snogging by Rennison, Finding Cassie Crazy by Moriarty, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by Boyne, Once by Gleitzman, Walking Naked by Brugman, Tomorrow, When the War Began by Marsden, Chinese Cinderella by Yen Mah, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Brashares, Looking for Alibrandi by Marchetta, Feeling Sorry for Celia by Moriarty, Parvana’s Journey by Ellis, Twilight by Meyer, Don’t Call Me Ishmael! by Bauer, When the Hipchicks Went to War by Rushby, Does My Head Look Big in This? by Abdel-Fattah, Dragon Moon by Wilkinson, Girls Under Pressure by Wilson, The Princess Diaries by Cabot, Bend It Like Beckham by Dhami, There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom by Sachar, Stormbreaker by Horowitz, Ella Enchanted by Levine, Wolf-speaker by Pierce and Boy Overboard by Gleitzman.
Gleitzman’s new book, Now, is available and all copies are already heavily reserved. This continues his very popular holocaust series, with earlier books titled, Once and Then.
On the Book Odyssey evening, the following books were recommended by Fiona Stager from Avid Reader Bookshop, that we already hold: Liar by Larbalestier about a girl who cannot tell the truth and will have readers questioning the whole concept of truth, and When You Reach Me By Stead, a highly awarded story of friendship and time, with pieces that fit together in unexpected ways. More of the books recommended on the evening will arrive next term.
May 25 Book Odyssey Report
(Images and names removed)
On Monday, May 17, the second All Hallows’/Terrace Book Odyssey for Year 8 and 9 parents and students was conducted. This year it was All Hallows’ turn to host the event. The evening aims to inform parents, staff and students of new and other book titles suitable for Year 8 and 9 students, to promote reading by Year 8 and 9 students, and to add a social element to reading, so that parents, staff and students who enjoy reading can connect with others who also enjoy reading.
The first activity was speed book dating. Both parents and students exchanged information about their favourite books. Next, we listened to Fiona Stager from Avid Reader Bookshop who spoke about many new and wonderful titles for this age group. Then, after refreshments and time for book browsing and buying, a forum was conducted to discuss the types of reading students enjoy and how they fit this reading into their busy schedules. The program was adjusted this year, and there will be more tweaking next year, to meet the diverse needs of all attendees. However, the speed book dating was popular and will be repeated.
Thanks to the staff from the St. Joseph’s, Gregory Terrace, Library for their help with the evening, to …., from Year 10 at All Hallows’ for their help in setting up, to … for representing All Hallows’ in the forum, and to Fiona Stager, from Avid Reader Bookshop, who so generously shared her time and reading expertise. The Library will be purchasing most of the titles recommended by Fiona, so students should keep an eye out for these when they are processed.
May 18 Book Odyssey Reminder
The Book Odyssey evening is on Monday week, May 17, at Claver Theatre from 6.30pm. The event aims to inform parents and students of new and other book titles suitable for Year 8 and 9 students. The evening is designed to promote reading by Year 8 and 9 students and to add a social element to reading, so that parents and students who enjoy reading can connect with other students and parents who also enjoy reading.
There have been some enquiries from All Hallows’ Year 10 students who attended last year as to whether they can attend this year as well. This is fine. Please RSVP by May 12 to assist with catering.
The invitation to this evening is saved on Moodle on the Potter Library site, in the Resources section.
Competitions are a wonderful way to practise writing and other skills, with the possibility of winning prizes and/or recognition. Please see below some websites with writing competitions that may be of interest to students.
4th May Upcoming Reading Events
We have two reading events coming up in the next three weeks that I would like to bring to your attention. Both of these involve All Hallows’ students and also the students from St Joseph’s, Gregory Terrace.
The 2010 Book Odyssey, May 17 for Year 8 and 9 students and parents
The Book Odyssey will be held at All Hallows’ in Claver Theatre. Year 8 and 9 students and their parents are invited to attend. The evening is on Monday 17 May from 6.30-8.30pm. Both parents and students are welcome. The program is a little different this year. Fiona Stager from Avid Reader Bookshop will talk to everyone present about new and great books for Year 8 and 9 students. Fiona provided a wonderful talk last year, and she will be focusing on new books published in the last year. Books will be available for sale and there will be refreshments for everyone. There will also be interactive activities designed to explore the most popular fiction titles for Year 8 and 9 students at both schools, ideas for helping students fit reading in to their busy schedules, and strategies to keep teenagers hooked on books. We
look forward to sharing many great reading ideas and it would be wonderful to see many Year 8 and 9 parents and students there. Please RSVP to me by May 12 with names of those attending to assist with catering on … or
The 2010 All Hallows’ / Terrace Trivia Event
This will be the third year that Year 7 students from both schools will participate in this event. The Trivia event will be held at Terrace during school time, on the afternoon of Friday 21 May. In keeping with this year’s book week theme of “Across the Story Bridge,” students will compete in mixed groups with challenges about bridges, trivia from both schools and questions on literature familiar to Year 7 students.
Students will also work in their groups to make a bridge. The students at Gregory Terrace are celebrating book week early this year and in Term 2. All Hallows’ will be celebrating book week in Term 3. We already have our resident bridge expert, …, Maths teacher and author of several books, including one on our own Story Bridge and one on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, lined up to speak to Middle School Students about bridges.
April 27 Using Netbooks for E-reading
At the information night held in March by … on netbooks, several parents asked about the use of netbooks for e-reading. E-readers and similar devices are still no match for the technology known as the book. These videos are amusing reflections on books http://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=S7kqO_DOsN8 and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFAWR6hzZek. E-reading can be done on desktop computers, but this may not allow sufficient comfort, portability or mobility. At All Hallows’, all Year 8, 10 and 11 students and all staff now have a Netbook – and the remainder of secondary students will have one in nine months time.
Costwise, netbooks, especially those with a larger battery, are usually slightly more expensive than most e-readers. Netbooks require a little more technical know-how, but in relation to school netbooks, technical support is provided by our IT department. A Kindle is thinner and much lighter than a netbook, and its battery lasts much longer. Netbooks have bigger, brighter backlit screens with colour, and they double as computers. Many e-readers cannot run Word or load web pages as the netbook does. Our netbooks have a webcam.
In using school netbooks, there is a need to consider storage, support and loading of programs. At schools, such as ours, students cannot load programs, such as Amazon Kindle for PC. In order to trial ereading on the netbooks, Amazon for PC was loaded quite easily to my PC by IT staff. You can download this free software to your personal computing devices at http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ ref=kcp_pc_mkt_lnd?docId=1000426311. In terms of reading, it was easy to purchase an e-book from Amazon as I already had an account. The book was billed to my Visa at a cost of $10.28 AUD. The text is easy to read and navigate. However, to create a more book-like reading experience, a free application
called EeeRotate can be downloaded http://sites.google.com/site/vkedwardli/eeerotate. This means the display can be rotated by holding down CTRL+ALT and the right arrow key (CTRL+ALT with the up arrow, returns the screen to normal). This is another feature that would require downloading by IT staff on school netbooks. Different e-booksellers may require different software, so like Amazon, this is likely to be unavailable on school netbooks.
There is a time issue for support staff with any program that is loaded. Another issue is security. Parents would have to input credit card details and would need to decide if their child was able to purchase the books or if they would control this. Another issue is storage space. The netbooks are effective for most basic computing activities, but their use for other learning activities may be impaired if the memory becomes full with books. These are issues that will be investigated further at All Hallows’, but in the meantime, there are many sources of e-reading that can be accessed on the netbooks already.
Here are some sites for further reading and to locate free e-books:
The content of some e-reading material online may be unsuitable for younger students. This is a reminder of the need for supervision in relation to any access to the internet. In Queensland, public libraries provide free e-books. In addition, there is often the option of audio book format which can also be played on devices such as netbooks. For example, go to the BCC Library site http://elibcat.library.brisbane.qld.gov.au/uhtbin/webcat/ and click “e-books and downloads” in the dark blue menu bar. By choosing the Brisbane/Yarra collection, you can search for books in juvenile, young
adult or general collections, and further search by popularity, recent or other categories. Then proceed to the checkout where you can borrow a digital book by inputting your Brisbane City Council Library card barcode which allows a free download.
You can publish your own e-reading material. This can be done for free at http://www.youconvertit.com or http://www.pdfonline.com/convert-pdf. Submit your e-book to directories e.g. http://www.freeebooks.net, http://www.getfreeebooks.com and http://www.myebook.com. If you would like to sell your e-book, you can submit it to http://e-library.net/add.html. This site compares most of the options for self-publishing http://www.xmarks.com/topic/self_publishing. We will continue to investigate the potential of netbooks for e-reading.
April 20 Term 1 Libraries Report
The Libraries have had a busy start to the year.
Middle School Program
All Middle School students completed a reading questionnaire. This highlighted that there is a small percentage of students who do not read regularly and/or do not like reading. Parents can play an essential role in the development of reading skills, by ensuring students read regularly. Please ask your daughter to contact Library staff, or contact us yourself, if they are having trouble finding books they like to read. Parent help is also requested in allocating time for students to read. This may incorporate a range of strategies. It may involve turning off televisions and computers, unless of course students are reading online books. Reading of MSN messages and Facebook is quite different to reading traditional written texts. Students need to be able to comprehend large quantities of reading material in upper grades, and the sustained reading of literature, on a regular basis, helps develop the needed skills.
The Middle School Library program was reviewed with Middle School teaching staff. Teachers were extremely supportive of the current program. Teachers will be working with Library staff to promote reading with students. Our Year 5 students were introduced to the Library and to strategies for finding books to read. They looked at elements of non-fiction books and how to use books for research. Students looked at features of picture books to assist with making a picture book, and explored various examples of picture books. A Readers’ Cup team was selected and commenced reading books for the competition on Wednesday 9 June. Preparation commenced for the Book Trivia Event for Year 7 students which also involves students from St Joseph’s Gregory Terrace. This will take place on the afternoon of Friday 21 May.
The Library inducted Year 8 students into use of the Library and also worked with students in their English classes on favourite books. In addition to working with classes on particular assignments, Library staff were also involved with Year 9 classes in Religion on using Word 2007 for referencing, and with Year 10 on website evaluation in Science. State Library staff talked to Year 12 students about how to use databases for research, and use of the State Library e-card.
Two Secondary Readers Cup teams are preparing for their competition. A Secondary Book Club commenced in Term 1 and they are currently building a Tardis (a time machine from the television show and series of books based on Dr Who). The Library was delighted to have a huge number of students volunteer to help in the Library this year.
Training was provided to many staff on using digital still and video cameras, and using State Library databases for research. The School community was advised of new search tools, and ways to search more effectively using Google. The Library held sessions for staff on blogging at the end of 2009. Staff were advised how to use the Alert feature in Oliver, to be advised automatically of new resources in their subject and interest areas.
Clickview implementation should be completed in Term 2. Clickview will provide access to thousands of online Clickview audio-visual resources and access to the School’s audio-visual resources anywhere the internet can be accessed. It will mean improved quality, taping and delivery of AV resources.
Library staff spoke to parents about Library services and using online resources at the Year 8 Support Your Daughter Night. The Potter Library now has a swap and go system for replacing flat netbook batteries. The Library, in association with an archive consultant and parent volunteers, has commenced working with Sr. Patricia Sullivan, on upgrading the School archives. Due to popularity the manga collection has been reviewed and expanded. Planning commenced for an interschool reading evening for Year 8, 9 students and parents from AHS and Terrace which will be held on the evening of Monday 17 May. Thank you to the parent volunteers who have been coming regularly for book processing.
March 16 onwards – co-curricular and extra-curricuular bans have been continued…More informaion can be found here http://www.qieu.asn.au/
March 8-16 – There are no newsletter items in support of industrial action by some teacher groups in QLD that bans co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. The boundaries of what constitutes core and “extra” duties is not clearcut. However, it is clearcut that QLD teachers are being paid less than most other teachers in Australia.
Reading and writing skills are highly valued at All Hallows’ School. Not only do we have talented students and staff, but many of our parents are very talented as well. Please contact me if you become aware of achievements in reading and writing by those involved in our school community.
Brisbane City Council has a story writing competition called “One Book Many Brisbanes.” For 2009, there were 20 winners and one of these was a father of an All Hallows’ student. Kieran Plasto has been successful with his short story, “The Lawmen.” The anthology which will include Kieran’s story should be available for purchase or loan soon, so congratulations on this achievement.
Love or hate it, google is the first point of call for most online searching in the world. Google has recently added a whole new set of search options. Put your search into google and click enter. Then click “Show options” which usually appears near the top left of the screen, to see some wonderful new search tools on the left menu.
The “Wonder Wheel” is an interactive map with related searches. For “All Hallows’ School,” the related searches include “catherine mcauley” and “the sisters of mercy.” Clicking on any of those options changes the search results on the right and shows another level of mapping. This is a great way to see connections in ideas. On a practical note, for people who tend to start with general search terms, it can be a way of drilling down and finding better results. It might even be a way to help teach people how to select better search terms.
Other tools that I now use often, include limiting the time by using “Past year” or even “Past 24 hours” which are also found on the left menu. The left menu also allows you to search social network tools like blogs, find related searches, or even view a timeline of information posted on your search.
Finally, one of the best ways of improving searching in google is to use quotation marks around words that are likely to appear together. The girls call these 66 and 99. Putting quotation marks around “all hallows school” in google reduced the number of search results from 499,00 to 3,460. Adding more specific key words would further filter and improve the results.
23 Feb Support Your Daughter Evening
This week saw almost 60 parents attend the Year 8 Support Your Daughter Night in St Ann’s Computer Lab. The handout from this evening is available on Moodle under the Potter Library site in the Resources Section. During the evening, parents were shown how to access their daughter’s assessment planner which has the due dates for assessment tasks. Parents can play a very important role in assisting their daughters with the transition from primary and secondary school by helping them manage their time effectively to meet the scheduled due dates.
Parents looked at subject sites for their daughters’ courses and were shown how to locate the course overview and also documents that provide assignment requirements and resources. Parents found how to locate past and current newsletters, bell times, lost property, teacher email addresses, a PDF copy of a school diary, tuckshop lists and extra-curricular and co-curricular information, plus other useful information.
Guidelines for acceptable internet use were discussed and strategies and resources to deal with use of phones and electronic devices. Parents also were shown how to search using the Library catalogue and features of the Library software such as how to check current loans and due dates, and how to renew and reserve books.
New parents have now been sent their Moodle logins and passwords by email, so parents should check they know how this works by going to the All Hallows’ School external site http://www.allhallows.qld.edu.au/ and clicking on “Intranet” which is located under the photograph of the girls. Then, input the username and login provided in the email.
Much information can be accessed via the My Courses menu on the left. If you are asked for an enrolment code; this can usually be found on the printed copy of your daughter’s timetable that she was given at the beginning of the year. Subject codes will start with 08 (for Year 8), then an abbreviation for the subject, then the class number. Not all courses require enrolment codes. Please contact the ICT Helpdesk on 3230 9546 with any queries.
On another note, there have recently been changes to how Facebook operates its privacy settings. It is advisable for parents, especially of younger students, to check material that students are placing online to ensure the girls are protecting their privacy and identity, and not including inappropriate material. http://thenetwork.typepad.com/architectureofideas/2010/02/from-private-to-public-building-a-teenagers-capacity-to-network-pt-1.html
16 Feb Search Tools
In recent newsletters, I have discussed the wonderful online resources available through the State Library, especially if you register for an e-card. Below are listed some wonderful search tools that may help students with their research, and next week I will discuss using google more effectively.
Which is the best search engine for your needs? http://www.noodletools.com/debbie/literacies/information/5locate/adviceengine.html
Studysearch http://www.studysearch.com.au/ has primary and secondary search options
Sweet search http://www.sweetsearch.com/
Let me google that for you http://lmgtfy.com/
Search engines for kids http://searchenginewatch.com/3626298
Search tools for kids (as in the image) this site may be slow to load, but is worth the wait. See left menu for more links http://springfieldlibrary.wikispaces.com/KidSearch2
Fun Use your keyboard arrow keys to spin the cube http://search-cube.com/
Make your own search magazine
Compiled by the Childrens’ Book Council, QLD http://qld.cbca.org.au/qldcomps.htm
Ekka Competitions http://www.ekka.com.au/inner.aspx?pageID=558&mainID=454
Lists of suggested reading for Years 8-11 which relate to English units have been updated and can be found on Moodle in the Potter Library section. Scroll to reading and then click “ Reading List by Year level.”
Reminder For Year 8 parents there will be a hands-on session on using school online resources on Thursday, February 18 at 6pm in St Ann’s Computer Lab as part of the Support Your Daughter Program.
February 9 State Library
Firstly congratulations are in order for some results that came through at the end of 2009 in relation to the 2009 QIEU Literary Competition. (Names omitted for privacy reasons) Students are encouraged to enter writing competitions. Details of this year’s competitions can be found at the following sites. http://www.learningplace.com.au/deliver/content.asp?pid=39168. http://www.solutionsindata.com/
All secondary students were emailed details about an opportunity that closed on Monday 1 February where the University of Queensland Press was accepting unsolicited manuscripts for their Young Adult Department, and I had communications with at least 2 students who had novels to submit.
State Library staff visited Year 12 students at the school on Tuesday to discuss how to make best use of databases via the e-card. They highlighted the need for students to make good decisions when researching. They talked about the information explosion – google can provide billions of results to some search queries, and much of the content is neither useful nor accurate. Much scholarly material cannot be accessed via google, but only through subscription databases such as those provided by the State Library.
The State Library staff discussed how students need to plan their research, to narrow searches to obtain quality results in the shortest possible time, and to read database screens carefully, as they provide many strategies for better search results. The session was hands-on in Aquinas Computer Lab so that students were able to practise the skills shown. I ran a repeat session on the following Wednesday at lunchtime, and will offer this again in the coming weeks for both staff and students.
Year 11 students will be travelling to the State Library for database training later in the year, and Year 10 students will have hands-on sessions with State Library staff in Claver Theatre. Resources regarding use of State Library resources have been uploaded to the Potter Library site on moodle.
Parents can also receive online training. The All Hallows’ Year 8 Support Your Daughter Evenings are listed on the calendar. In one of the sessions, parents will be shown how to use moodle as well as other online Library, research and reading resources. At this stage, the hands-on computing session for Year 8 parents, usually held in St Ann’s ground floor computer lab and classroom, is scheduled for Thursday 18 February.
Year 8 students have been visiting the Library frequently since school started both for Library inductions and also participating in activities with our Librarian, relating to their English novel unit.
February 2 E-Card
The photo (omitted for privacy) shows some Year 10 students receiving their new netbooks. Only a small portion of internet information can be located using google. Much of the useful information for study purposes is found on subscription databases, especially as students advance to the more senior years of schooling. More at http://websearch.about.com/od/invisibleweb/a/invisible_web.htm.
This year the School is providing a more extensive program for teaching database skills in association with the State Library. Year 12 students have the option of attending hands-on database training with
State Library staff next Tuesday from 12.10pm to 12.55pm in Computer Lab 4. Later in the year, during Life Skills classes, all Year 11s will travel to the State Library for database training, and all Year 10s will work with speakers from the State Library on databases in Claver Theatre. More details will be provided at a later date.
All Hallows’ subscribes to essential databases (accessed via moodle), but the State Library offers over 200 databases. These can be accessed by a free e-card which is very easy to order online by clicking
here http://srlopac.slq.qld.gov.au/webvoyage/servlet/PatronRegistrationForm/. More information about e
-services membership can be found here http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/services/ecard . It is recommended
that students, as well as anyone else interested in research, apply for an e-card. Training makes a great difference to the degree of success in finding information using databases, as they are all a little different. Online tutorials and other assistance provided by the State Library can be found here http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/services/training .
The e-card provides access to online services and students can obtain the e-card by themselves, simply by completing the online application. However, if students wish to go to the State Library and they are under the age of 18, they may need parents to sign permission forms in order to use some of the resources there.
January 25,2010 Library Welcome
Welcome to a lovely green beginning to the 2010 school year. It is not too late for New Years resolutions, and it would be wonderful if all students set a goal to read regularly this year. In “The Curse of the Spellmans,” by Lisa Lutz, Henry has a rule that fifteen year old Rae has to read for the same amount of time that she watches television. If Rae does not have a book, she has to read a book of Henry’s choosing. Strategies such as this encourage students to be selective about what they watch on television and other screens.
Much can be achieved by deliberately planning goals and allocating time accordingly, rather than frittering away time with tv, msn, facebook or other communication applications. More on goal setting at http://www.goalsguy.com/Knowledge/t_15_shouldknow.html Students need to be assisted with managing their time, so they develop effective study habits. Recent research shows there is no such thing as multi-tasking. The brain does each activity, one at a time. This means that a student will take longer to learn the same material if they are texting and using msn while studying than if focused solely on studying. While friends can be of assistance with study problems, much of the use of these devices is not for study purposes.
Reading is like many skills – it improves with training and practice. Students need to complete increasing amounts of reading as they progress through school. The ability to read quickly whilst maintaining comprehension is very important. All Hallows’ Libraries have a massive selection of books and magazines. We lend all year. The catalogue can be searched by logging on at http://www.allhallows.qld.edu.au/ . New students will receive login details early in the year. Parents are also provided with login details and should contact the IT Department on 3230 9546 or email ICT_HelpDesk@allhallows.qld.edu.au with any queries. The Year 8 Support your Daughter program includes hands on training for parents in using and accessing online resources. Library inductions will be conducted for Years 5 and 8 students shortly and also offered to new students.
It is a good idea to have a back-up plan with your daughter if arrangements go awry after school. Many parents advise their daughters to go to the Potter Library if there are any problems as it is staffed until 5 pm (the school office closes at 4.30). Students and parents should contact Library staff with any concerns. Please record the phone numbers below – as mobile phones do not always work.
Contact numbers and opening hours – normal school days
Potter Library 7.30 – 5.00
Senior Study Centre 7¬- 6.30pm (Year 11 and 12 students only)
McAuley Library 8.00 – 3.30 (closed morning tea)
Potter Library Front Counter – 3230 9531
McAuley Library Front Counter – 3230 9110
All students are welcome to use both Libraries. However, the McAuley Library has materials especially selected for the Middle School age group. It is recommended that younger students borrow from the McAuley Library to ensure the content is appropriate. Books from the McAuley Library are easily recognised by the yellow stripe on the spine.
Parent volunteers are very welcome and much appreciated in the Libraries. The work involves mainly covering and processing books. Parents can help at times that suit them and we have several parents who help while their daughters finish extra-curricular activities. Please contact me if you are interested.