Library Links

"Content that might be of interest to Teacher-Librarians..."


Wikimania Presentation London

"The Future of Libraries and Wikipedia"
"The Future of Libraries and Wikipedia"  - Wikimania 2014 talk in London recorded in July. An updated overview of the program and its work bridging publishers, libraries, reference experts, digital information specialists, and open access advocates.


Considering Information Literacy - ACLR Framework

Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education
While this document targets post-secondary students, high school students may benefit from some of the concepts presented.

"Information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning. This Framework sets forth these information literacy concepts and describes how librarians as information professionals can facilitate the development of information literacy by postsecondary students. [It] focuses attention on the vital role of collaboration and its potential for increasing student understanding of the processes of knowledge creation and scholarship. [It] also emphasizes student participation and creativity, highlighting the importance of these contributions. "


Aboriginal Childrens and YA Books From BC

Carefully curated lists of BC-published books
"The ABPBC has put together lists of BC-published books in subject groupings (i.e. books from specific regions of BC and books about aboriginal issues.) We intend to add to these lists over time. We welcome your suggestions for list themes."



Getting Content Off the iPad

"Collecting" student work

Chris Loat offers some good solutions to this perennial problem in his blog post (visit link to view his suggestions.)

"One of the most common questions I am asked by teachers is 'How do I get the student work off the iPad?' While there are a number of solutions to this, there is not an easy one that works for all situations. Below are some solutions to this question, and hopefully one of them will address your situation."


Telling the difference between Google ads and search results

How savvy are 12 to 15 year olds in reading search results?

We still have work to do in helping our students be better searchers!

"In the tests carried out by Ofcom earlier this year, children were shown screenshots of Google search results for the term "trainers" and asked whether the results at the top of the page were either a) ads, b) the most relevant results, or c) the most popular results. Despite the fact that these topmost search results were outlined in an orange box and labelled with the word "Ad," they were only recognized as such by 31 percent of 12- to 15-year-olds and 16 percent of 8- to 11-year-olds."


The Surprising Truth About Learning in Schools | Will Richardson

Help kids develop into powerful learners

A message we've heard before about the disconnect between what we know kids need to learn, and how we typically structure the school day and activities.

"Will Richardson: 'We know how to help kids develop into powerful learners. Now, we just need to make that happen in schools.' A parent of two teen-agers, Will Richardson has spent the last dozen years developing an international reputation as a leading thinker and writer about the intersection of social online learning networks and education.  Will has authored four books (with two more on the way), including "Why School? How Education Must Change When Learning" and "Information are Everywhere".



Carnaval, mardi gras, Carnaval...

Doing a "Carnaval" Theme in February?

Don't forget to check out the "Carnaval" items at DRC.
Here's an NFB link to stream a short "archival" video from 1956.

See below for some additional online resources to explore:

The Official Carnaval Site

The Québec Region Tourism site:

360 panoramas (with sound)
(It's like being there!)

Chanson du carnaval (karaoke)

Lots of clips, both official and personal
(See also suggestions in sidebar of Youtube)

a Carnaval Lesson Plan



Google Gives You a 360° View of the Performing Arts

Stand virtually on the stage in these videos.
"Through a series of 360-degree videos, you can now  "stand, virtually, on the stage of the Palais Garnier, among the dancers of the Paris Opera Ballet",  "journey to Stratford-upon-Avon and keep up with the Royal Shakespeare Company" or "go onstage at Carnegie Hall, where the video places you in the middle of the Philadelphia Orchestra."

Click and drag to view the performance from every possible angle from your vantage point.



iPad Lessons for teachers - video playlist

Short, bite-sized, iPad inservice

Looking for short, bite-sized, iPad inservice?  Then "iPad Lessons" is the channel for you. The goal is to provide simple, convenient video tutorials that fit into a teacher's busy schedule. These videos are short and to the point. Watch them over and over again until you feel confident.


Shadow Puppet - a 30hands alternative

Tutorial & download links

The most recent update of 30Hands significantly changed the free version of their app. (You can now only make five slideshows on each iPad and only export 3 times.)  Now what!? You might want to try Shadow Puppet. The app is fairly easy to use and it allows students to create and export narrated slideshows much like 30 hands.

Some features:
  • Cites photos sources used from the internet.
  • Text can be added to each image.
  • Music tracks can be added.
  • There is an option to "redo" a recording on a page. (but you must decide before moving to the next slide.)
  • You must save to preview.

A Tour of High-Quality Open Education Resources (OER) for Writing

Abundant, rigorous and delightful (yes, delightful!) writing lessons

"Here is a list of some useful Secondary and higher education writing curricula/pages. In order to appear in this post,  the writing courses and lessons had to be free, permanent and public, support the writing process and encourage student inquiry (among other things)"


Kiddle - Custom Google Search for Kids

Designed specifically for kids

"Kiddle is a Google Custom Search where the results are illustrated with big thumbnails making it easier to scan the hits. Thumbnails also serve as visual clues which are helpful for kid users. The large Arial font offers better readability for kids and the results use safe-search parameters."



Privacy Activity Sheets for Kids

Six activity sheets to get the conversation started

"Kids today go online earlier in life than ever before – [...]  We have created these six activity sheets to give parents and educators a fun way to get the conversation started. The sheets appear in order of difficulty, ranging from very simple (a colouring page) to more difficult (a simple cryptography activity)."

There is also a link to the "Social Smarts" comic/graphic novel.

All materials are also available "en français"



Promote your library on Twitter

Tweet your displays and activities!

Do you want to tweet out your library happenings but feel you need some pointers? Try creating a PicCollage image first. You can use colours, overlay text and apply some cool effects and frames. The finished product can be saved to your camera roll and then uploaded as a single pic to tweet out to parents, colleagues and the world!

Here are a couple of videos (and a help page) to review the basics:

Video: PicCollage (How to create a collage)

Help Doc: Post Twitter pics on iPad

Video: How to use Twitter on the iPad (more general explanation of options of your options.)

Finally, here are some more ideas for tweets.

"Using Twitter right from your cell phone  [or iPad]  enables librarians to provide the entire school community with a window into their library. Tracy Karas a Librarian in New York City uses her phone to Tweet updates about new books that have come in, to celebrate student successes, to provide reminders about upcoming events and more."  [LINK]


Changing YouTube Playback Speed

Slow the video for second language learners!

Adrian explains how to change the playback speed of a Youtube video. While he mentions why you might want to speed up the playback (ie. boring clip), second language teachers will be delighted to know that you can select 1/2 playback too. While the audio quality will vary depending on the original enunciation, it can make a rapid-fire French video much easier to grasp for FSL students. (ELL teachers could also find this useful.)

Tip: Don't forget to see if the clip has captions - sometimes the "on-the-fly" captions are laughable, but you might be lucky.

(merci ALP de m'avoir donner la suggestion!)



Reading FollettShelf titles

Follett BryteWave options

Accessing your FollettShelf titles is easy using the link on the left-hand side of your Destiny catalog.
Using your school ID and log-in when prompted, you can read FollettShelf titles in your browser window (ie. Firefox, Safari, Chrome.) The eBooks I have purchased are single user titles, but your school may opt to purchase multi-user titles via Titlewave.

If you want an enhanced reading experience, you can use the Brytewave app. There are many versions available for pretty much any device. (Note: the Mac app can be downloaded and run from the Documents folder - it doesn't need to be dragged into the Applications folder.) I will be offering workshops on FollettShelf in the next couple of months with more pointers - stay tuned!


The importance of skepticism in science: Joe Schwarcz

Great science-minded video
Here is an interesting TEDx presentation on the role and mistrust of chemistry in everyday life. Good vid for secondary Chemistry students. Joe Schwarcz, who works on educating the public about science, discusses the importance of skepticism in science. He has written a number of great titles on this topic.


The Media as Portrayed in Movies: A Popular Topic

Analyzing the Media Through Docudramas
"Do your students know that when they watch docudramas, they're not watching history as it actually happened? Do they understand the "artistic license" that movie makers utilize when they contract to take an historical event and condense it into a two-hour film? [...] For every film that is released "based on true events" there are plenty of legitimate news stories, blog posts, or social media postings that attempt to pull back the curtain on what the filmmakers got right and what they might have altered and why. [...] Challenge your students to find news sources that are pulling back the curtain on the current crop of docudramas."


Making Nonfiction from Scratch - preview book

Create delicious nonfiction full of passion, voice, and insight
"Do you have students whose nonfiction writing is formulaic, devoid of energy and voice? In Making Nonfiction from Scratch bestselling PD and children's book author Ralph Fletcher offers a candid critique of how nonfiction writing is often taught in schools and gives teachers the inspiration and strategies they need to help their students write authentic nonfiction."

Click on the Product preview button



UbD resources from Jay McTighe

Support for your use of "Understanding by Design" planning

The resources tab on the JayMcTighe website has a number of useful links for teachers wanting more support as they explore UbD planning with their students. Of interest is the "Downloads" section, which offers Design Tools as well as sample Essential Questions for a range of curricular areas.

There are some helpful videos on the site as well:


"Love Over Fear" - A video response to the Paris attacks

Stay strong and stay together
Published on 16 Nov 2015
Ammar, Thomas, Matt and Derin are from 4 different countries and were particularly affected by the ISIS terror attacks from these past few weeks. "At a desperate time, we felt like the most important thing to remember is that we let them win if we divide ourselves... As people we have to stay strong and stay together. Love to you all."


Story Monsters Ink - magazine

December 2015 issue available
"Story Monsters Ink is a free, subscription-based digest that gives parents and educators the latest news about award-winning and debut books. The magazine also features an author profile each month, listings of authors who visit schools, back to school and summer reading guides, listings of newly published books, as well as other articles about book trends, bookstores, author news, etc."

The Lord of the Rings Mythology Explained in 10 Minutes

Middle-Earth simplified!
If your students are intrigued by "The Lord of the Rings", either books or movies, and want a quick primer (Magic Card style) on the mythological background, these 2 videos are for you.

"Presented in a rapid fire style like that of motormouth YA novelist and video educator John Green, "The Lord of the Rings Mythology Explained" is exactly that–two very quick tours, with illustrations, through the complex mythological world of Middle Earth, the setting of The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit, and other books you've maybe never heard of. These videos were made before the final installment of Jackson's interminable Hobbit trilogy, but they cover most major developments before and after the events in short book on which he based those films."



ELA Authorized Novels - Alberta Ed

Authorized Novels and Nonfiction Annotated List -Gr 4 to 12 (2005)

Some suggestions from Alberta - you might find a title or two - notice that the lists are already a few years old!
This annotated list provides short quotation summaries, suggested themes and literary features. It also identifies potentially sensitive issues. This list also includes video titles that have been authorized to support some elementary and junior high school titles.



BC Books Online: Launching November 17th

An extensive online database of BC-published books
"For many years, the Association of Book Publishers of BC has been developing the concept for a comprehensive online database of BC-published books. With the input of library staff from across the province, we have developed a searchable, browsable database that showcases books in print from BC publishers in both print and ebook form. The website is now live and ready for use at ."
Some key information:
  • The database contains robust bibliographic data for approximately 8,500 books published by BC publishers
  • The database is searchable through both a basic and advanced search function
  • Browse titles by curated "BC Reading Lists", compiled by a BC librarian
"We plan to celebrate the creation of the website with a public announcement on November 17. We will also be finding helpful ways of parsing the database for librarians, including sending dedicated emails with title listings by special-interest category so that we can present groupings of books in manageable numbers to selections librarians."


Critical Thinking Consortium tackles bullying

TC2 - Investigating Bullying
Students investigate bullying - for Elementary and Seconday students. The objectives of this lesson is to sensitize students to the impact of bullying, and discuss the topic through a variety of literacy strategies. (This TC2-developed critical challenge was previously published as a Tools for Thought resource.)



Using Wikipedia for Academic Research

The encyclopedia that daren't speak its name!
This short clip from the Cooperative Library Instruction Project (creator: Michael Baird) outlines how students can use Wikipedia to get an overall sense of a topic. They also see where it fits appropriately in the research process. (Key words, bibliography, etc.)


UCSB Cylinder Audio Archive

Recordings made from the late 1800s to early 1900s
Thanks to the University of California-Santa Barbara Cylinder Audio Archive, you can now download or stream a digital collection of more than 10,000 cylinder recordings. "This searchable database," says UCSB, "features all types of recordings made from the late 1800s to early 1900s, including popular songs, vaudeville acts, classical and operatic music, comedic monologues, ethnic and foreign recordings, speeches and readings." You can also find in the archive a number of "personal recordings," or "home wax recordings," made by everyday people at home (as opposed to by record companies).



Redesigned Curriculum: lots of new "tools"

Context, Planning, Resources, etc
The BC curriculum website was recently updated with lots of new support materials added under the tools tab, both in English and en français: Planning documents, videos, overview documents, etc. (thanks JN)



When Reading carried a health warning

A perilous culture of unrestrained reading  
We used to worry about the influence of reading like we worry about "screen time" today!

"Novels were the focus of a moral panic in 18th century England, criticised for triggering both individual and collective forms of trauma and mental dysfunction. In the late 18th century the terms 'reading epidemic' and 'reading mania' served to both describe and condemn the spread of a perilous culture of unrestrained reading."



The Library: a new short film on the wonder of libraries

Exploring the relationship between memory and place

"The Library is the story of a 13-year-old girl, Emily ((played by Missy Keating) who rides her bike to the library each day after school. She begins receiving notes slipped to her by a secret admirer, one of the two boys she regularly sees in the library – or so she thinks. These notes correspond to romantic passages in the old books in the library shelves, passages Emily repeats to herself with nervous excitement as each subsequent day brings another note and romantic passage."


Skills and Strategies | Understanding Plagiarism in a Digital Age

How to discuss the complex notion of originality
Here's an NYT lesson plan with lots of resources to address the issue of plagiarism among high school students. (Some of the links might be useful for upper intermediate as well.)

"Do your students have a hard time defining — and thus, perhaps, avoiding — plagiarism? They're not alone. In a cut-and-paste world, examples of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism are everywhere."


The Digital #5MinPlan

Cover all the essentials in sketching out a lesson.
(Use with Chrome or Firefox)
This online PDF will let the user enter text into each box/field and then print the finished product. (Paid version allows saving and other features.)
"The 5 Minute Lesson Plan championed by @TeacherToolkit has been adapted into an online tool for teachers.[...] Try out the FREE version which allows you to create an online plan and print the lesson plan as a PDF file." -> from this article.


Art and War - Australia, Britain and Canada in WWII

"Waiting, preparing, fighting, suffering, celebrating."
"Art and War - Australia, Britain and Canada in the Second World War consists of 96 works of art from the collections of the Canadian War Museum, the Australian War Memorial, and the Imperial War Museum. This is the first exhibition of its kind to explore how Australia, Britain and Canada lived through and recorded the greatest conflict in human history. The works on display highlight notable differences in outlook and expectation, both nationally and individually. Some images do not sit comfortably together; others retain an almost ineffable power to move and disturb."




Internet in a can?

What is Librarybox? It's a low-powered wifi router that can be run from a solar panel, battery or even a bicycle charger. It sounds like an interesting "work around" for lots of applications - it can be purchased for $150 and the source code is available for free - great was to create a private LAN.



Bookish webinar archive from Booklist Online

Pro-D when you want it!

Booklist offers a number of archived webinars on a range of topics - some in conjunction with vendors or digital platforms. These are a great way to get some free, just-in-time Pro-D.

A sample of some of the topics (more on the site!)
  • Adventures of an Information Sleuth   (October 13, 2015)
  • Reaching Reluctant Readers:   (September 24, 2015)
  • Marvelous Middle-Grade Books   (August 25, 2015)  
  • YA Announcements: Fall 2015 Titles to Know    (August 18, 2015)
  • Discovering Great Historical Fiction    (July 21, 2015)   
  • Reading Initiatives & Celebrations  (June 2, 2015)   
  • We've Got Diverse Books:  (May 14, 2015)
  • Makerspaces, Hacking Fashion, and e-Textiles  (April 30, 2015)
  • Let's Hear It for Middle-Grade    (April 21, 2015)


ReaLITy Reads - Real books for real teens

Memorable voices and important themes
This program features titles that shine a light on realistic YA fiction. Strong writing, important themes and memorable voices are all part of these offerings.


'C'est l'Halloween': the story behind the greatest French Halloween song ever

"J'ai peur de cette citrouille."
Find out about the song writer Matt Maxwell, get a link to a Youtube version with words, and bonus, an audio link to the 2012 version (a bit more polished & top 10 sounding, complete with backup singers.)

"Every October for the past three decades, thousands of French students across Canada have sung the same spooky song: "C'est l'Halloween," a perfect tune for kids learning the language. If you're not familiar with it, it's basically a list of spooky Halloween imagery — a witch, a ghost, a gloomy night — but it never crosses over into actual terror. On top of that, the simple two-word chorus is "C'est l'Halloween," which just means "It's Halloween." Plus, it offers kids an opportunity to yell "HEY!" at the top of their lungs."


"Oversharing" - Digital Citizenship Musical Video clip

"...I think before I'm postin'... "
Catchy little tune paired with animation that highlights the 10 things kids (-> anyone really) should think about before posting online. This clip could be an exemplar for students to use in creating a cybersafety PSA of their own. (Thanks CW for the heads up.)

(NB: the complete library of hip-hop/rap animations are available by subscription from Flocabulary, but they offer a couple of dozen to peruse for free on their Youtube channel:


Neil Gaiman: Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming

"Libraries are about freedom, education, entertainment, safe spaces, and access to information."
Neil Gaiman gave "The Reading Agency" annual lecture in 2013 on the future of reading and libraries with a focus on young people.

"I am going to be talking to you about reading. I'm going to tell you that libraries are important. I'm going to suggest that reading fiction, that reading for pleasure, is one of the most important things one can do. I'm going to make an impassioned plea for people to understand what libraries and librarians are, and to preserve both of these things."

(Thanks KE for reminding me about this article!)

30 Holiday Dishes - Historica Canada Blog

Dishes with a distinctly Canadian flavour
Here are 30 recipes, in English and in French, to warm up the festive season:

"For most of us, Thanksgiving marks the real arrival of autumn. With leaves already bright on the trees, it's the beginning of a holiday season running straight through to the New Year. And holidays of any kind are all about the food. Here are 30 dishes, many of them with a distinctly Canadian flavour, to help you make the most of the holiday season."


Contests, content and canadiana

October/Octobre 2015 Newsletter - Historica

Consult the latest e-newsletter from Historica to see what's new this month. (Among the features is the "What's New" section from the Canadian Encyclopedia.)



Books-to-Games: Transforming Classic Novels Into Role Playing Adventures

What if a completed book was just the beginning of the story?

Ki Sung discusses how students can explore the world of a novel via a tabletop role-playing game, deeping their understanding of characters, themes and setting.

"Through tabletop role-playing games, educators are beginning to tinker with traditional works of literature and, in the process, reimagine how writing and character development are taught. [...] The use of tabletop RPGs in the classroom is still rare, but teachers investing time and energy into turning traditional activities into games are seeing rewarding results. Students who had previously been uninterested in school are engaged, and the experience of making the game includes lessons applicable in students' lives."



Creating Videos for Instruction

Short videos that really work
Alice Keeler  works at California State University Fresno as Teacher and Technology Coach. Attends Boise State University.

"When I create my videos in one shot I pause, I think about what I am going to say, I ramble. I have a lot of seconds that could be edited out. Record yourself saying the information you are trying to get across. Now do it again in 30 second or less segments (Mine are usually about 12 seconds.) Put together in a playlist. Compare the total run time. Same content. My 20-minute video went down to 7 minutes!"


Rory's Story Cubes iOS & Android Apps

Scaffold story telling with these prompts
Plug in or Airplay your iPhone or iPad and quickly generate storytelling ideas for your English, ELL, FSL or other second language class. Realistic physics - shake to roll the cubes. Move and rotate them as you tell your story. The app comes with both the Original and Action sets. Other sets are available as in-app purchases. (Here's a video of the actual cubes - app works the same way.)


Using Close Reading to Analyze Propaganda

"How is propaganda designed?"
"I wanted my students to think about how propaganda works. What word choices are used? What connotations do these word choices convey? .... How is propaganda designed? My students were reading dystopian literature because of its highly entertaining action and courageous protagonists, but did they understand the systematic ways the antagonists were controlling their people? ... I thought we'd start with a more mild form of propaganda that is in front of my students every day: advertising."