I just want to share with you my great finds:
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
I just want to share with you my great finds:
How to Live Forever by Colin Thompson
The cover is so colorful, and looks exciting. The title is quite intriguing..but the most brilliant is the story. It is so magical and imaginative. It is about a library book that got lost for years from a huge library that comes into life at night. Good read for Primary children. Great read before a library lesson. Thumbs up!!!
Press Here by Herve Tullet
Plain white cover with a big yellow dot...looks boring but it's not. Great interactive book with small children. Thumbs up!!
Goodnight iPad by Ann Droyd
I'm not sure if the name of the author is a parody as well...I don't think I will believe it. This book is funny and I think many can relate. Great follow-up read from Goodnight Moon by Margaret Brown.
E-mergency by Tom Lichtenheld & Ezra Fields-Meyer
Another story that children will definitely love. It is when letter E got injured and letter O will cover for letter E's job. Great storytelling for Kindergarten, and independent reading for Primary. Thumbs up!!
The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers
Another funny and book-related story. I enjoyed reading this and watching its video. Toddler and primary children will surely like it. Thumbs up!!!
Friday, September 6, 2013
I am lucky to be given a separate budget to initiate a multimedia project. Of course, the school EMT doesn't expect me to come up with a collection of DVD nor CD-ROM, what else but Tablets! When I presented the proposal, I gave them a comparison between eReaders(Kindle) and Tablet(iPad). From my previous experience with Kindle, it's very challenging to promote such to students in a country where reading is the least thing that they would think of. It must be a very colourful and a very familiar technology - Tablets and for that matter it's iPad. We were torn between iPad New Gen and iPad Mini. Both has almost the same functions and features but different price tags. Therefore, we made consensus to purchase iPad mini...and because it's cheaper we were able to add 2 more units from the original proposal.
For the initial project, we purchased 8 units of 16gb iPad Mini. Each has battery charge of at least 50% but I still recommend to charge it fully as soon as you open the box. Download iTunes U App on your computer, and create an Apple ID. I preferred to use the iTunes U App so even if the library/school doesn't have a credit card you will be able to do so. You will be needing to use an email, I don't suggest to use your personal or office email, create a library email since you will have to share the password with other library staff. If your IT department couldn't give you one, there are gmail, hotmail, yahoo etc. When creating Apple Account, don't forget to write down the security details just in case you will need it in the future. This How-To video might be helpful.
Now we're ready to set-up our iPad Mini. Unbox the 1st unit and assign it as the master unit. This is what you must use in installing, testing, updating(iCloud) or deleting. This must also be the last unit to be served to the students. This video is worth to watch. We then modify each unit by going to Settings-Wi-Fi (connect to a wifi)-General-About-Name - change the name of each unit; General-;Restriction - assign password, we disable Facetime, Rating for (preferred country), Music and Podcasts CLEAN, Film ALL, TV, and so on. We use the same setting for all units but we turned off the Deleting Apps as this feature doesn't need a password. Now, we are ready to install Apps. Although Facebook and Twitter are ready to install, we didn't install in any. I will post the Apps that we thought will be worthy to include in our collection, then we grouped the apps by school subjects. After all the units are set-up, we sign out the Apple ID for security purposes.
We displayed the empty boxes on the table nearest to the counter so it will be easy to supervise. When a student wants to use the iPad, we asks them to get a box from the table and exchange it with the unit. Upon return, we asked them to sign the registration by answering 4 simple questions: (1) What apps(s) they enjoyed most, (2)What app(s) they would like to install, (3) How did they find out the iPad service in the library, (4)Questions and Suggestions.
This service has become an instant hit during after-school with our Primary students. Not so much with the Secondary since they want it to check out. We only allow from Y3 students because we are not confident that younger students are ready to handle such gadget without supervision. Some of the challenges we faced since we started this service are students try to open school-restricted sites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube) from Safari and Google. Some are just using it to listen to radio, whilst some are trying to sneak it somewhere in the library. Children are normally sneaky so supervision is really needed....babysitting - not really, just a constant reminder.
Every Friday afternoon, the master unit ill be backed-up on the computer for any additional or deleted apps during the week. if none we don't do it anymore. After all the units were returned, simply restore the back up for the rest of the units. The name of each unit will be changed to the master unit's name so we just change it back, we haven't discovered how to keep the original name yet:)
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Being a mother of a toddler, I have to be more careful when my child plays with the technology. Not of being protective but simply practicing responsible parenting. I found this fabulous iPad app from Kindertown. Initially, it will give you a child-friendly videos on youtube but as I play around, I learned that I can add more in the playlist based on my preference. Now, I can leave the iPad with my son with this app on and feel safe. And more additional great news, it's FREE!
Friday, July 12, 2013
I've been working at my new school for quite sometime but haven't posted anything yet about it. It's simply too much to do and so little time.
Welcome to my new school...new library. Let's just call it ANS, and it's a bilingual school...let's take a break from IS.
Monday, July 8, 2013
I am inspired to write about book shelving for the homeschooling mommies/virtual friends (N@wies) who are considering to make their own home library. After setting up a number of Kindergarten libraries, I have realized that storybooks will never be neat and tidy on the shelves if we will strictly follow how books should be shelved at usual libraries...with all the codes that needs to be assigned for each book using Dewey Decimal and AACR 1,2,3, it's simply impossible for small children to follow it. We, librarians, just have to find the simplest way possible for them but still keep the idea of a library organization...at the same time teach children to be responsible in tidying up their own books.
For home libraries, sorting of books may look easy but it's really tricky as there are books that can cover various topics, it's a very technical work if you haven't realized yet...but at the end of the day, whoever decides to organize the collection makes the call. Books can be sorted by height, by series, by color, by author, and so on...but your child wouldn't care and most probably wouldn't remember who is the author, or what series, or what color nor height. I suggest it to be arranged it by genre. For example, all counting/number books goes to one place, all animal book goes together, all language books are kept together, it can also be grouped by the popular or your child's favorite author. The idea here is they will know where to look sensibly rather than what they remember...obviously they will not be able to remember everything. And as the collection grows bigger so as what they need to remember or not. Keeping the same topics together will also help them become a better researcher in their school days. School or Academic libraries may have a different organization scheme (mostly LC) but the idea of keeping the books with same topic are the same. Fiction, non-fiction, reading level can be labelled with colored sticker for easy identification when all the books are in one box, yes a simple box will make a difference. For younger children, browser box are more appropriate more than the regular shelves. The key here...the books and the boxes should be clearly labelled.
Here are some of my shelving inspirations.
When I need some furniture, I make sure I explore all recycling possibilities before buying a new one. So it made me look on the internet for some ideas and here are my personal favorites:
And here's what I've came up for my current Kindergarten collection. From boxes of photocopy papers to book browser with a little covering here and there , here's what we've created.
We tried to use the cheap plastic baskets but it's too small and too low for the books to stand. The boxes with 13cm high are just perfect.
For the other collection, we bought a knock-down shelves from Tesco since we do not have a lot of space for browser box. It also aims to cover an old door.
Looking back how libraries were before showed that even those days, librarian's work never die. Many said that this type of work will vanish come the technology age...but come to think of it, without us, librarians, who finds and preserve materials to provide answers even before asked are still here. The name may keep on evolving (researchers, analysts, media specialists, etc.) , or we may look differently now (no more bun hair), or we may be friendly after all (remember the sshhh sound) but at the end of the day, we are still librarians, the thinking search engines!
Here the Vintage Pictures of Librarians.
Wednesday, July 3, 2013
This post has been long overdue. I actually forgot that I've started this and save it in my draft.
This was my multimedia pilot project at my last school. If I can remember it right, I have assigned 1 unit for each class. This is if someone would like to borrow Kindle, I have available unit for them and they don't need to wait for a long time. I circulated each unit for 2 weeks, same as books. Those pictures above were taken with my Grade 5 class, letting them to play with Kindle the first time. They were so amazed with the Text-To-Speak feature. I would not recommend this eReader for young readers, it's more appropriate for teenagers that are into serious reading habit.