Thinking about the point of Book Week made me think about reading, and sparked a mental journey through my own book and literature memories:
being read to in bed, listening from my playpen to my grandmother reciting Evgeniy Onegin while she sewed her way through thousands of shower caps for her boss, reading to anyone who would listen as a young girl waiting for her mother’s perm to be done at the hairdresser’s (Cornelius) in Camberwell, re-reading my favourite books and poring over the illustrations, not understanding why a girl in my primary school class was forbidden to read by her mother, dreaming of being an author, choosing all literature subjects in different languages at university, learning languages to read the literature, reading to my children, translating an English picture book into Russian to my toddler while simultaneously watching Neighbours (go figure), deriving so much pleasure from buying all the old classics for my first child before he was conceived, rediscovering these books with him, listening to children’s audio books in the car, passionately discussing wonderful books with students as an English teacher and trying to ‘convert’ the unbelievers , delving deeper and deeper into literature with students, challenging students and making them think, watching students come into the library to ask impatiently if their favourite book had been returned …
What are your literature memories?
“In a career attended by a great deal of dramatic criticism one of the most interesting – and indeed acute – critical questions I’ve ever heard was when I was introduced to a young woman and her six-year-old son. The woman looked down to her son and said: ‘This man is a very good writer.’ The little boy looked at me and then at his mother and said: ‘Can he do a W?'”
I could say that this is an allegorical anecdote which illustrates the perception of a ‘good teacher librarian’ in the eyes of the school community, but that would be silly, because it’s actually a quote by the playwright, Harold Pinter.
Smashing apps put me onto the search engine, Addictomatic: inhale the web. Ignore the fact that it sounds like a subliminal cigarette or gadget commercial, the results are actually quite impressive in breadth. Addictomatic searches the following:
Topix ‘is the leading news community on the Web, connecting people to the information and discussions that matter to them in every U.S. town and city’. My result had ‘Melbourne, Australia’ as the locality.
Google Blog Search : find blogs on your favourite topics
Twitter search (search Twitter in real time; see what the world is doing now)
New, images, video ; Digg is a place for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the web. From the biggest online destinations to the most obscure blog, Digg surfaces the best stuff as voted on by our users. Continue reading
About.com:Geography is a site worth checking out to support learning about current events in SOSE. Make learning relevant by focussing on what’s in the media now. You’ll find information about countries that are in the news, for example, the war in Georgia, countries in the Olympic Games, Olympic Games cities 1896-2014, geography and maps of China, photo gallery of Beijing. It might be worth signing up for a geography newsletter, or bookmarking Matt’s geography blog (which has an impressive geography blogroll).
The Google Earth blog has an interesting selection of post. Have a look at how Google Earth and Google Maps bring events and geography to life; watch Arctic ice melting on YouTube in Google Earth. So many Web2.0 geography opportunties!
Here is a video fly-through of the 3D Olympic Games site in Beijing that Google has released:
Samuel Pepys has a blog? Which well-known historical character will next arise from literary immortality and do an encore? A hyperlinked encore…
In her wiki ‘6 words’ (thanks for the link and information, Jenny Luca), Lauren O’Grady says something that I feel very passionately about – she talks about bridging students and teachers through multiliteracies. Her blog, ‘teachers are learners – learners are teachers’, takes as its theme the vision of a partnership between student and teacher, and more than that; if we acknowledge that learning and teaching are complementary, then we do away with that hierarchical, unequal footing in the classroom. Then we free teachers from having to know everything (which is impossible), and encourage them to learn continually, share their learning, take learning from whoever is willing to give it.
With Book Week coming up, I decided to involve students in my own learning. Voicethread is something I know about in theory only, and I thought we could record the activities including student comments . I’ve also not used iRivers or audacity to record or edit audio. Today I spoke to some students and, surprise! surprise! – they’re more than willing to help out. I’m looking forward to it and will post about the experience once Book Week is over. Next week I’m hoping to take part in a class of year 7 students who are learning to use Video Studio. I’d better make a head start on the how-to, because, as the teacher reminded me, the pace will be at the level of the students, not the adults.
Connecting with the Beijing Olympic Games is more interesting and dynamic with technology. Think of what the moon landing would have been like if we’d had the same possibilities. I remember being spontaneously sent home from school so that we could all watch the landing on TV. (Grade 5, in case you’re wondering. Linda Fewings came home with me and we ate crumpets.) What we have now is almost instant visual information (videos, slideshows, pictures), dynamic news through RSS (Twitter; Very Recent search engine) and interactive tools (trackers and maps). A great way to introduce students to Web 2.0 technologies when they’re already engaged in the Olympics.
I’ve been fishing for links to the Beijing Olympic Games and here’s what I’ve caught:
Summer Games on Youtube
Interactive map of Beijing Games on New York Times
Teacher Planet (lots of resources on the Olympic Games) Continue reading
This inspirational talk is by Benjamin Zander, a leading interpreter of Mahler and Beethoven, known for his charisma and unyielding energy, and once conductor of the Boston Philharmonic.
Benjamin Zander has ‘two infectious passions: classical music, and helping us all realize our untapped love for it — and by extension, our untapped love for all new possibilities, new experiences, new connections. He uses music to help people open their minds and create joyful harmonies that bring out the best in themselves and their colleagues’ (TED). Continue reading