This blog is all about how to enliven your classes.  Mostly it is about using technology to achieve this.

Why integrate technology into the classroom to support learning?


  • …technology allows students to take ownership of their learning —
  • …technology engages students in discovery and assimilation of knowledge —
  • …technology inspires creativity —
  • …technology differentiates naturally —
  • …technology makes students feel powerful —
  • …technology reinforces without feeling repetitive —
  • …technology appeals to different kinds of learners in different ways —
  • …technology automates onerous tasks —

Here is a video tutorial

E-books…  As a Teacher Librarian we are all under pressure to move into the E-book arena but should we really be spending our budget on an invisible resource rather than keeping the shelves stacked with the latest fiction that we know our customers want?

E-Books do take a huge investment in time and money.  OverDrive takes a huge $3000 out of the budget and that is before you buy even a single title.  You have to shop around as each supplier doesn’t supply every book.  Many of the students favourite books are not even hosted on OverDrive or any other platform.  A quote from the link below…

Many books, like those by uber-popular teen novelist John Green, aren’t available through OverDrive. Since Penguin pulled out of OverDrive, books, including Jay Asher’s 13 Reasons Why (Penguin, 2007) and Green’s The Fault in Our Stars (Dutton, 2012), aren’t offered there. Despite Penguin’s recent merger with Random House to form Penguin Random, the publishers’ lending terms with libraries aren’t in sync. Random House currently offers ebooks to libraries through 3M, Baker & Taylor, Follett, and OverDrive. “Penguin Random House will eventually have unified library sales terms and practices,” says Penguin Random spokesman Stuart Applebaum.

 OverDrive doesn’t carry J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye (Little, Brown, 1951) and Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (J.B. Lippincott, 1960), so students use hard copies of those classics. OverDrive doesn’t offer “The Hunger Games” series (Scholastic), but Follett does. However, availability changes, says Straube. “The available titles are often in flux.”

 When Stevenson and New Trier librarians looked at which of their top 10 circulating items—including books and devices—were available in e-format, they discovered that only some were on Follett or Overdrive—and many on neither.

The other thing that puts many of us off is the cost of each title.  For fiction the E-book version often costs more than buying the paperback and some platforms limit the ownership life of the title by time or number of loans.

As wily librarians we all know that we can keep a popular book in circulation for years with the judicious help of book tape and TLC.

So what are the choices?  So far for the Australian market I would go with EBL as a first foray into the E-Book world.  Why?  EBL allow multiple students to borrow a single copy of an e-book simultaneously.  An EBL E-book can be borrowed up to 325 days per year.  This is a much better model than OverDrive where one copy one loan at a time makes it just like a paper copy.  Worse on Overdrive once the book has been downloaded it is unavailable until it has timed out of the loan so books are tied up for much longer than perhaps necessary.  Also EBL doesn’t require a platform or setup charge if you want to start small.

The other way to deal with the E-Book issue is to do what all successful business do and “outsource”, well not exactly but what I mean is get someone else to supply them.  Most council libraries supply E-Books and audiobooks via Overdrive and Bolinda and promoting their services will not only please your budget but also the local library as they want more clients.

As a librarian I have the local library sites book marked and when asked by the students about a book I check our catalogue first and if not in ours I check the local library and also put the book on our wish list.

Some school library catalogues even let you link to the council library catalogue so that students can search both at once!

If you have the budget to spend then take a look at this list of E-book suppliers  It is US based so not all of them will supply to Australia.

And this very helpful article on getting into e-books

Happy Reading

Book Review sites

Posted: February 11, 2014 in Uncategorized

We put a lot of stock in personal recommendations—particularly when it comes to books. Plenty of websites offer tips on great reads, but none will carry as much weight with your students as a site based on peer recommendations. The next time your students create book reviews, either independently or as a class assignment, consider compiling them on a website that the whole school can access.


Book Trailers for Readers is one of the best models of a book review site for students and by students. The site was built on Wikispaces, the ad-free wiki creation platform for schools. Try using Wikispaces to create a similar site with your classes.

By on February 3, 2014

Read the full article here :

Seasons greetings to you all

Posted: December 3, 2013 in Uncategorized

Well it is the end of the school year and we are all filing, reporting and ticking off the last duties before we head off on holiday.

The year has brought many new tools to put some life and ICT into your learning experiences.  For some it is also the end of the school year for others you are just getting a nice break before term 2. 

If you still have a week or two to go why not book the computer lab and let the students loose on some great seaonal applications to make christmas cards, look up recipes to make for a class party, make decorations, learn about all the celebrations and what they really mean.

This site has a great page on christmas but also lists a plethora of tools for kids.

This page has a christmas webpage assignment 

Animate yourself for a unique christmas message to family and friends.  This one is so funny as you upload photos of family members and then the programme makes them dance.

Just a few ideas…  A quick search will find you many more.

All the best for the holidays