Still building the online profile

Edublog Awards banner

Wow! This professional learning blog, “Booked Inn”, has been nominated on a shortlist for “Best Librarian/Library Edublog 2010” in The Edublog Awards. Voting (please click HERE) doesn’t seem too complicated; I would love your support. Many thanks in advance! It’s such a buzz to make the shortlist. (Looks like all that work on Build Your Online Profile with Tristan Bancks, at the Sydney Writers’ Centre in Term 3, is really paying off.)

2010 Edublogs Awards nomination

Also, as an update to the work done by Kindergarten students this term, the first of our Photo Peach slideshows for the “Travelling Fearless Project” garnered 726 views (and 40 comments, including Sarah Davis, the illustrator of “Fearless”). Simply astounding! And it gets better: I Just received an automated email, via Photo Peach, that someone had made my page a favourite of theirs. I was curious, so tracked back and ended up on the main search page. It seems that, of Photo Peach’s 42 pages of “Recently Popular” slideshows, “Travelling Fearless” is on Page 1 (one of 15 image links sitting there, gathering even more views as I type). And the sequel, Farewell Fearless!, is on Page 3!

I have… Goosebumps!

Blogging controversy Down Under


Al Upton and the miniLegends 08, an inspirational education blog from a teacher and his Year 3 students in Glenelg, South Australia, has been “disabled in compliance with DECS wishes”, DECS being the Department of Education and Children’s Services of South Australia.

I would hope this is only a temporary closure, during which time the Department will be clarifying some clearer guidelines? I can’t see that sealing off blogs as an avenue for student publication can possibly be a successful longterm strategy.

When I designed a website for a NSW primary school way back in 1997, it was only after uploading it – and seeing exactly how much information about students could be scooped up by the always-improving search engines, even in 1997 – that we, as a group of teachers, began to realise we needed quite a few ground rules to ensure student safety (such as “no student surnames”) – and eventually there were official Departmental memos to follow. At the end of last year, I introduced wiki pages to my new school, and this year blogs as well. I’ve also been trying to ascertain what Web 2.0 style will best suit my Principal, who’d like an easy, efficient way to upload the weekly newsletter.

It’s almost been like the process of discovery has started all over again; only very early days yet, but I’ve worked hard to make sure we cover all our bases. In my research I did find examples of NSW schools which published surnames of students, floor plans, teacher details, etc, on their websites, which was of great concern. Al has hit a problem in South Australia, with a blog that encouraged the fostering of mentorships, and thus a concern, or a perception, that the students may have been (or would be?) revealing too much of themselves online.

Surely the best learning situation for the students, as I said last week, is to have modelled the essential self-regulation of what they upload to a blog: following examples which they can use as a set of strategies at home, when the educators aren’t around to support them. (We can’t assume their parents are aware of how Internet savvy their children are.) I’m constantly amazed with what students already know about the big wide world of the World Wide Web. I hope there is a satisfactory resolution for the miniLegends and their teacher.

As I’ve mentioned here before, we are having great success with our NSW Departmental-sponsored book rap – in blog and wiki form – this term, with an emphasis on jointly-constructed texts, and it’s upskilling lots of teachers, teacher-librarians and students, from NSW and beyond, in the ways of Web 2.0. There’s no stopping these newly-empowered bloggers now, I wouldn’t think!

The very best of luck to Al and his class in getting back online very soon!

Meanwhile, I’m thrilled to report that I received notification from the NSW DET’s Web Filtering Team that my “…reported Incident has been resolved…” My Flickr slideshows are once again available, even if only under a teacher username.

First day back – testing 1, 2, 3

First day of term, and time to check if I can upload posts to Edublogs from here. Not that I’m planning on doing too many posts from the work computers but if I ever need to link across to or from something on the school web site or wiki, or if I wish to set up class group blog sites in 2008, then it’s good to know it’ll work.

Other blog sites are usually blocked from use as being “social networking”, but Edublogs are designed for use at educational institutions.

ICT and Web 2.0, here we come!

(And speaking of time, today’s actually the 29th January in Australia, so now I need to adjust the timer settings on the blog… The learning curve is steep, but we’ll get there.)


I’ll be right on it!

Thank you for dropping by. You have been “booked in”. This blog will cover many aspects of teacher-librarianship in a primary (elementary) school in New South Wales, Australia.

Last year, I was told by a few teacher-librarian colleagues that although I hadn’t made that many posts to the TL listservs, what I did post was memorable – because of my positive and practical take on professional matters.

I guess I’ve always been a “glass half full” kind of guy. To celebrate the many little successes that we teacher-librarians have – every day of our careers – and to present an example of a functional, practical, professional web log to other members of staff here at school, I’ve decided to set up a new home in cyberspace – or is that the blogsphere?

The great thing about Edublogs is that they can be readily accessed, and uploaded to, from NSW DET computers, so I’m also hoping to get class groups blogging from the school library in 2008.

I hope you will join me on the next stage of my learning journey.

Regards, Ian McLean