January 15, 2012 

- by Chris Kennedy - Author of cultureofyes blog


I have used the above slide in a number of presentations to make the point that British Columbia is leading Canada (perhaps even the world) in the professional use of social media in K-12 education. I freely admit I don’t have the statistics to back up the claim – there are simply more teachers, administrators, parents, trustees, and others here, who are logging into their blogs, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts in the name of professional learning, than any other jurisdiction.

In the past year we have moved from several dozen blogs around K-12 education, to numbers in the hundreds, with representation in every area of the education system.  The #bced tag on Twitter is one of the most engaged with conversations about the ever-changing education profession, and there are many other social sites having these conversations as well.

The conversations around the profession itself are very interesting.  In social media, ‘role’ becomes less important; there is a flattening of society and it is ‘ideas’ that have increased value.  There are also incredible opportunities  to reflect, share, and learn without the limitations of geography. I could go on, and there have been many others who have covered the ground about the value of social media for educators, and how Twitter and blogging can be extremely powerful in professional development.  This is true for those interested in education in BC, but it is also true of other professionals around the world.

So why has BC moved so quickly and taken such leadership in this area? As mentioned, I have no statistical proof, but a series of ideas as to why BC is the leading jurisdiction using social media to engage in the profession of education.

Read full article here.

The Vancouver Sun – Education News

It was about six years ago that UBC professor Jon Beasley-Murray first noticed his students citing Wikipedia in their essays.

If they were going to use Wikipedia for his class on Latin American literature, he thought, they might as well improve some of the shoddy articles on the subject.

For the past five years, students in his class have edited or contributed articles to Wikipedia as part of a class assignment.

“It was a chance to break down some of the barriers between the university and society,” Beasley-Murray said.

Wikipedia is described as a “free, web-based, collaborative, multilingual encyclopedia project supported by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation”. It was launched in 2001 and takes the first part of its name from the Hawaiian word “wiki,” for fast, and is the name of a server program that allows anyone to edit the website’s content through their own browser.

At the moment, Beasley-Murray is one of relatively few professors using Wikipedia in class assignments, but that may change this year. The foundation behind Wikipedia is hoping to get more teachers using the website in the classroom. So far, the universities of Alberta and Toronto have agreed to take part in the project.

Read more here.

By Jordan Press, Postmedia News November 4, 2011



© Copyright (c) Postmedia News

Innovative Media for the Classroom and Communities

Use diverse educational tools to enhance learning: Our trusted, high-calibre content includes exciting web-based learning platforms and teaching guides probing topics such as environmental studies, citizen media and Aboriginal culture.

Teaching Guides

A good study guide can bring a film to life within a classroom setting. Guides are available for thousands of NFB productions, helping teachers to choose the right film for their curriculum and get the best out of NFB resources.

Included are detailed curriculum notes and lesson plans, along with hands-on classroom activities and discussion starters.

In addition to our study guides, NFB Education provides short Education Descriptors—brief curriculum notes and grade level suggestions—for more than 2,000 online titles.

Education Playlists

Looking for animated shorts to show in your art class, or films that explore the complex issue of racism? Or are you seeking a good way to mark World Earth Day or another cultural event?

The NFB provides a growing collection of thematic playlists selected by experts to illustrate specific subjects or themes.

Educational Websites

A compelling and well-researched website can be a powerful learning tool, illuminating multiple aspects of an issue and engaging students in exciting creative dialogue.

The NFB has created its own cutting-edge interactive productions and has supported other web-based initiatives. These productions can provide a fresh approach to topics like Canadian history or Aboriginal culture and help clarify complex issues such as international development or environmentalism, or they can introduce kids to film animation in a playful and appealing manner.

~from the National Film Board Website – Education


The Vancouver Sun

BY Katherine Monk, Postmedia News, JANUARY 23, 2012

PARK CITY, Utah — There are many bizarre sights parading before the viewfinder of a Sundance Film Festival visitor, but the indoor tree imported from Banff and the bear cage outside the library are two of the more cryptic signs of unfettered creativity sprawling around Park City.

Part of a National Film Board interactive film project called Bear 71, the cage and the tree are more than publicity props; they’re symbols of a larger work that aims to jolt the viewer into a different state of awareness about the natural environment, and our relationship to it.

“In our modern age, it’s hard to know where the wired world ends and the wild one begins,” says co-creator Leanne Allison, half the filmmaking team behind the Gemini-winning Being Caribou.

“This whole thing started with a huge collection of trail photographs gathered in Banff National Park. These were images that were not framed by people. They were sort of nature uninterrupted.”

Essentially low-resolution stills gathered from motion-activated cameras in the wild, the images showed a variety of animals simply doing what they do, from crows and eagles to foxes and bears.

The bear was the central motivator for Allison, because she and her husband, Karsten Heuer, a park ranger in Banff, had been following her moves for years.

Read more here.

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

Checkout the National Film Board’s Interactive Website here.

UBC LIbrary Catalogue NFB Screening Room access here.

The National Film Board’s Education Team is facilitating a workshop that demonstrates how to use NFB.ca in an educational setting. They are currently touring their BETA (a testing prototype) NFB.ca online content offer. Educators will be granted preview access to our BETA site, in order to begin using the benefits and tools of our online content offer in their own classrooms. These workshops will highlight new films, functions, resources for educators, thematic learning modules and hands-on activities that are customized to the meet the needs of students of all ages and abilities.

National Film Board in Your Classroom Workshop Info here

Please join us on Monday, 23 January from 10:00-11:15 am in Room 155 at the Education Library.

Information Literacy and Information Skills Instruction: Applying Research to Practice in the 21st Century School Library, Third Edition

This book provides a comprehensive review of the current research relating to the teaching of library and information literacy skills as part of effective school library media center programming.

What are the current best practices for information literacy instruction? How should one design information literacy lessons to motivate and instruct today’s tech-savvy students? What are the best ways to foster critical thinking tasks and build searching skills? Academic research provides great insights for answering these pressing questions.

- Description from www.abc-clio.com

UBC Library Catalogue here.

Google Books preview here.

Publisher’s Information here.

The Huffington Post

Posted: 1/17/12 10:57 AM ET

Some of the Internet’s leading websites, including Wikipedia, Reddit, Mozilla, WordPress, and BoingBoing, will go dark tomorrow to protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect IP Act (PIPA). The U.S. bills have generated massive public protest over proposed provisions that could cause enormous harm to the Internet and freedom of speech. My blog will join the protest by going dark tomorrow. While there is little that Canadians can do to influence U.S. legislation, there are many reasons why I think it is important for Canadians to participate.

Read full article here.

by Michael Geist

Use DataBC to search data and make informed decisions, inspire change or develop ideas that will improve government policies. DataBC isn’t just data – it’s access to data that drives our province forward. The data is here for you – to answer questions, to improve decision making or to help build government services that matter most to you.

Find data from across the province in DataBC’s data catalogue. Access various types of datasets and tools designed to help you conduct your own research, analyze statistics, develop apps or satisfy your curiosity. You might like to know:

What is the government spending money on?
Have sustainable changes impacted carbon emissions? Find out what’s working and what needs improvement.
Which schools have the highest student scores on tests? Does that impact which schools I consider for my children?
What do municipal tax rates look like across the province?
There are minimal system and licensing requirements so you can easily access what you’re looking for. In fact, we’ve even developed apps to help organize and translate some of the data for you. Check out what DataBC has to offer and get started on your project. As you do, keep in mind that others are interested in hearing about your experience – contact us, blog about your findings, or join an online community.

This type of information sharing is governed by legislation and policy that makes provision for the release of public information.

-from the DataBC website

Data Catalogue on Education here

Citizens @ the Centre: B.C. Government 2.0 Publication here

Universal access to all knowledge will be one of humanity’s greatest achievements. We are already well on the way! from Stewart Brand’s: Brewster Kahle’s 30 November Long Now Talk  For fun and inspiration, check out the Internet Archive for the more than 3 million books (adding 1,000 titles per day), 100,000 concerts and 1 million recordings (3 new bands uploading / day), 600,000 movies, and of course the web itself. Thanks, Internet Archive and Brewster Kahle – and wow! 

2011 has been another outstanding year for the growth of open access to scholarly resources. Highlights this quarter include the remarkable growth of the Directory of Open Access Journals, with an increase of more than 600 titles this quarter alone so far, for a growth rate of 9 titles per day. On November 26, RePEC reached a major milestone. There are now One million works available online through RePEC (Nov. 26, 2011)According to the Sherpa services blog, 
60% of journals allow immediate self-archiving of post peer-reviewed articles
and the Open Access Directory just sailed past our 2 millionth view of the OAD. 

From my perspective, open access has entered a new phase, one in which we are beginning to see the challenges of success.  How can we track all these resources and make it easy for people to find and use them? The emerging open access marketplace for commercial scholarly publishers appears to have attracted what Beall calls predatory open access publishers as I have commented on here.  As we begin to address these challenges, it is also timely to begin other overdue discussions, such as Dissension in the Open Access Ranks on CC Licenses.

Read full article here


Sunday, December 11, 2011

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