April: History is a Story

Number 60 WOODHOUSE, William Henry

State Records of SA via Compfight

When I think of HISTORY and April the first thing that enters my mind is ANZAC Day.

The Share a Story focus for April is “History is a Story”.  The question is posed “What’s your family’s story?” We are challenged to read diaries and letters and books from the past, ‘to hear the whispers from history’.


At the JS Library we are going to explore the HISTORY section of the JS Library with a particular focus on the ANZACs.

See below for some ideas for exploring Australian History through quality literature (with reading lists and suggestions).

Australian history books

Aussie Book Lists: Australian History for Young Readers


One of the suggested books from the lists are from my early days  of teaching- Five Times Dizzy. Another more recent recommendation is The Dog on the Tuckerbox (see more resources here) and more recent award winning Mirror by Jeannie Baker.

Such books have deepened my appreciation of Australian culture and allowed me to explore the diversity in our stories. Our rich culture of storytelling is also fortunately deepened by the sharing of Indigenous perspectives through the traditional story structure of The Dreaming to more recent publications of Indigenous picture books that provide an opportunity to view life through the eyes of an Indigenous person.


Additionally the stories of Australia have become more accessible through picture books such as Banjo Paterson’s verse, Waltzing Matilda.


See some resources below from Random House




Primary School Resources to support the Australian History Curriculum – ASLA

– a comprehensive resource



Bringing history to Life

‘Belinda Murrell: Bringing Australian History to Life’





A is for ANZAC

100 Years of ANZAC the Spirit Lives

Gallipoli (YouTube)

Australian War Memorial – Education

This month in Australian Military history

Meet the ANZACs PDF – Random House


So, What is your story or a which book would you recommended book to explore history?

Feel free to share below.


Follow the tweets at  #historyisastory and #shareastorycalendar


App Creation ICLT Day

Could you design an app or a website?

Your challenge is to produce an app designed teach another person about a topic for which are an ‘expert’.

You might select a topic that you have inquired into this year at school or from a previous year’s unit of inquiry.



Students had their first information session today about the upcoming day. In one week we will be finalizing our topics and beginning to gather information for our apps.

2014-08-04 10.15.29


Students have been assigned the following task.

What topic or subject matter are you going to choose to create your first app?

Consider what makes a good information app?

What would you consider to be the most important information to include?

Who is it written for?

What is the purpose?






2014-08-04 10.18.54


It is seems that “the best day ever” is how the students viewed the day.

See our published apps on PLANET BLIPPIT.

It was a challenging and exciting day. Looking forward to the students sharing their knowledge with others.

2014-08-04 10.18.35



#blippit  #appcreation #salcICLT #ICLT

Please note: the apps created with Blippit are no longer active.

As of March 2014 Blippit has changed to Blippit IO App Maker.
To retain the work of the students this presentation was created.

Maker Spaces, Design Thinking & STE(A)M

Ideas in the making…. Just some thoughts

Creating a Maker Space is just one way that we can connect what happens in the library to the real world.
There are many versions of Maker Spaces. In reality it depends on many variables such as money, space and time.
The Horizon Report 2014 (preview)  has identified  some topics that are clearly relevant and met by the use of Maker Spaces, Design Thinking and STE(A)M approaches to Innovative Teaching and Learning.
  • Significant Challenges Impeding K-12 Ed Tech Adoption 
  • Difficult Challenges: Those that we understand but for which solutions are elusive
  • Complex Thinking and Communication 
  • Integrating Personalized Learning 
  • Solvable Challenges: Those that we understand and know how to solve
  • Creating Authentic Learning Opportunities 
See the MAKER SPACE@THE LIBRARY PINTEREST for some curated resources on this topic.
Like most things, being creative and open minded can allow you achieve success and value add for our students.
I am looking at ways we might do this as SALC. The Australian Curriculum – Technologies allows us to do this authentically and to fulfill the requirements of the curriculum (win win!).
In the past students have participated in exploratory sessions with programming, designing apps, game making and digital story telling. I would like to further scaffold this with a design thinking approach, where the students design their own inquiry, rather than it being a structured teacher led experience.
Some ideas:




K-8 CS course


PS: This week I visited PIMPAMA STATE SECONDARY COLLEGE and saw their design thinking in action. Looking forward to seeing the next stage of their journey.

Design Minds EXPLAIN from State Library of Queensland on Vimeo.

ICT Mentors’ Explorations, AC and Digital Technologies

Today I had an ICT Mentor meeting with students who have nominated to be involved in this leadership group.

The students have been tasked with the role of introducing Beebots to the students and supporting the younger students inquiry. The students will work in pairs to teach and support the younger students learn about basic programming using the Beebots.

We have purchased a variety of ‘maps’  to support this inquiry, as well as the Beetbots and iPads with the Beebot app.

Street map

BB road map 3


World map

BB world map 2

and we have a ‘blank’ map with 15x 15 size squares. Sparkle Box has many fantastic resources for the blank map.

Later in the term these students will work with the younger students to use the Beebots. One possible approach to conducting these sessions is to connect with a picture book and then use the Beebots as a supporting tool.

1) Students will read the book (or use a video of it being read).

2) Students teach the basics of the Beebots and the commands.

3) Students use the blank map to explore the concepts further.

For example, adapt the ‘I went shopping’ game and  turn it  into ‘One day the Hungry Caterpillar ate _____’.

This photo below has the templates for The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.

VHC map

Looking forward to this!

Additional note:

These skills and processes not only connect to developing students’ leadership skills, they also support the Learner Profile and Attitudes of the IB Primary Years Programme. From the teacher perspective this will link into many curriculum  areas. Finally, it provides us with ways to introduce the TECHNOLOGIES curriculum (for Digital Technologies) to students and staff before implementation in 2014.

Specific to the Digital Technologies curriculum

Digital Technologies processes and production skills

Foundation to Year 2 Content Descriptions

Follow, describe and represent a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve simple problems (ACTDIP004)

Year 3 and 4 Content Descriptions

Define simple problems, and describe and follow a sequence of steps and decisions (algorithms) needed to solve them (ACTDIP010)




Programming with Apps – Prezi and Thinglink


The links and support resources for teaching Programming with Apps for Teachers and Students.

More resources can be found at EdOffICT Programming page.
This prezi is under construction – just an upload of PDF’s at the moment. Will be adding to it soon.


The below thinglink has the links to the apps used in the session and some additional resources.

Random Sharing – research, websites, apps and Geography!

Some great new finds…..


Research tools and websites, Goolge Docs and Apps for Geography.

STUDY VIBE – Fantastic site!


Resources for teachers



GOOGLE DOCS FOR LEARNING //cdn.thinglink.me/jse/embed.js


Slideshare – Geography and Apps.

Mapping media to the curriculum

Media maps are workflow storyboards for multimedia products. What do you want to create with your students today?”

This website clearly sets out how to develop a workflow with ICT to support the curriculum.
Simple, yet effective examples that can be applied to the classroom.

Wesley Fryer created the “Mapping Media to the Curriculum” website to accompany and support his eBook, “Playing with Media: simple ideas for powerful sharing.”

Love it!


Continue reading “Mapping media to the curriculum”