Tag Archives: books

Rummaging in the cyber past⤴

from @ blethers



I retired over 11 years ago. After all these years of teaching English I found I was missing the discipline of writing - for when I set essays, particularly to senior classes, I tended to write one myself. It was something I liked to do, to contribute to the discussion, as well as believing you shouldn't ask people to do something you weren't prepared to do yourself. At the time, blogging was pretty new - and it was really the only shared form of communication, the first step in what we learned to call Social Media. My sons were already blogging. I was seduced.

And it was in that first year of blogging that I began to meet people outwith my own circle (there - Blogger doesn't like "outwith" any more than it ever did), several of whom were (another new word at the time) edubloggers. Some of them were Scots, so that I met them physically in Glasgow ("You're Blethers, aren't you?"); some were much further away. And one of the more distant edubloggers I also met, and it's a good story.

I can't remember the exact sequence of events, but it was in November 2006 that I blogged about my input into the classroom work of Anne Davis - allowing her to use my photos as a classroom resource for creative writing, commenting on some of the pupils' work, thoroughly enjoying that little bit of teaching again. Three months later, we met - in San Francisco - thanks to Ewan's social engineering. We were on a month's tour of our American friends, one of whom had just dropped us off at our SF hotel. The cases had just appeared, when the phone rang. You don't expect anyone to phone you in a strange city - but it was Anne, also in town for a conference. Could we meet for dinner?  And we did, and you can read a short blog post about it, though it doesn't mention my recording a podcast for her pupils.

But I must tear myself away from this nostalgic wandering among the archives. The reason I'm doing it appears in the photo at the top: Anne sent me this book that she and a colleague, Ewa McGrail,  have written (and it costs a fortune to send a book from the USA) and it has the most lovely dedication on the front page and several references to me, all wonderfully flattering, scattered throughout the text. I'm delighted to get it, and to relive that time - which in many ways feels like another life. Even this blog post, full of links that take ages to find because I keep reading what I'm rummaging among, reminds me of that era.

Now, of course, it's all short-form communications. Social media rules, and the most unlikely people turn up on Facebook. Blogging is much less of a thing. And yet ... I find myself returning to blethers when I want to say something longer than a sentence, or something that I haven't got a proper photo for (because Blipfoto seems to have turned into my regular blog spot, in a strange way - maybe because of the interest of photographers). And when I was reading the book this morning, and reflecting on how I'd celebrate its arrival, I thought about children's writing and the joy of having it read by more than just the classroom teacher - to say nothing about having comments added by outsiders.

Children - and we've been talking primary school pupils throughout this - still love to have their best work displayed on the classroom wall. There is a place for this sort of controlled online interaction - on the much bigger wall, as it were, of the internet. This book, Student Blogs, seems to me to cover so many of the areas that might worry the cautious teacher - everything from accessing photos to Creative Commons and beyond - as to encourage any teacher to have a go.

Unless, of course, no-one can write more than 140 characters at a time these days. Just like The President ...

Rummaging in the cyber past⤴

from @ blethers



I retired over 11 years ago. After all these years of teaching English I found I was missing the discipline of writing - for when I set essays, particularly to senior classes, I tended to write one myself. It was something I liked to do, to contribute to the discussion, as well as believing you shouldn't ask people to do something you weren't prepared to do yourself. At the time, blogging was pretty new - and it was really the only shared form of communication, the first step in what we learned to call Social Media. My sons were already blogging. I was seduced.

And it was in that first year of blogging that I began to meet people outwith my own circle (there - Blogger doesn't like "outwith" any more than it ever did), several of whom were (another new word at the time) edubloggers. Some of them were Scots, so that I met them physically in Glasgow ("You're Blethers, aren't you?"); some were much further away. And one of the more distant edubloggers I also met, and it's a good story.

I can't remember the exact sequence of events, but it was in November 2006 that I blogged about my input into the classroom work of Anne Davis - allowing her to use my photos as a classroom resource for creative writing, commenting on some of the pupils' work, thoroughly enjoying that little bit of teaching again. Three months later, we met - in San Francisco - thanks to Ewan's social engineering. We were on a month's tour of our American friends, one of whom had just dropped us off at our SF hotel. The cases had just appeared, when the phone rang. You don't expect anyone to phone you in a strange city - but it was Anne, also in town for a conference. Could we meet for dinner?  And we did, and you can read a short blog post about it, though it doesn't mention my recording a podcast for her pupils.

But I must tear myself away from this nostalgic wandering among the archives. The reason I'm doing it appears in the photo at the top: Anne sent me this book that she and a colleague, Ewa McGrail,  have written (and it costs a fortune to send a book from the USA) and it has the most lovely dedication on the front page and several references to me, all wonderfully flattering, scattered throughout the text. I'm delighted to get it, and to relive that time - which in many ways feels like another life. Even this blog post, full of links that take ages to find because I keep reading what I'm rummaging among, reminds me of that era.

Now, of course, it's all short-form communications. Social media rules, and the most unlikely people turn up on Facebook. Blogging is much less of a thing. And yet ... I find myself returning to blethers when I want to say something longer than a sentence, or something that I haven't got a proper photo for (because Blipfoto seems to have turned into my regular blog spot, in a strange way - maybe because of the interest of photographers). And when I was reading the book this morning, and reflecting on how I'd celebrate its arrival, I thought about children's writing and the joy of having it read by more than just the classroom teacher - to say nothing about having comments added by outsiders.

Children - and we've been talking primary school pupils throughout this - still love to have their best work displayed on the classroom wall. There is a place for this sort of controlled online interaction - on the much bigger wall, as it were, of the internet. This book, Student Blogs, seems to me to cover so many of the areas that might worry the cautious teacher - everything from accessing photos to Creative Commons and beyond - as to encourage any teacher to have a go.

Unless, of course, no-one can write more than 140 characters at a time these days. Just like The President ...

Exclusive! Our interview with Author Sophie Kinsella – “Anything is possible”.⤴

from @ Enquire – young people's blog

Sophie_©JOHN SWANNELLAuthor Sophie Kinsella, best known for her book ‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’, was in town for the Edinburgh International Book Festival recently, to promote her latest offering – her first books for teens. Called ‘Finding Audrey’, the book is about a girl suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder. Audrey has been badly bullied at school, and as a result she doesn’t want to Continue reading

FAVOURITE SCOTTISH CHILDREN’S BOOKS OF 2016 REVEALED (3-7 age group)⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

mouse

Midlothian-based author Simon Puttock, who lives in Newtongrange won the Bookbug Reader’s (3-7 yrs) category for his picture book Mouse’s First Night at Moonlight School, illustrated by Ali Pye. Published by Nosy Crow, the book follows Mouse on her first day at Miss Moon’s Moonlight School for all the small creatures of the night, but she is very shy, too shy to even say hello. Luckily, with help from Miss Moon and her new friends Bat, Cat and Owl, a game of hide-and-seek makes Mouse feel right at home.

Simon Puttock

Simon is no stranger to the Scottish Children’s Book Awards, having won a 2006 Award for Little Lost Cowboy, and appearing on both the 2008 and 2010 shortlists. Born in New Zealand, he travelled all over the world with his family as a child. He wanted to be a vet when he was little, but grew up to become a bookseller. He was particularly interested in children’s books and was chosen to be a Children’s Whitbread judge. He has since become a full-time writer, creating over 30 children’s books.

Commenting on his win, Simon said:

“What does it mean to me to win the award? Apart from it meaning me being enormously (but happily) surprised, it means being able to take huge pleasure in the fact that Ali’s and my book is out there, having an unpredictable but entirely satisfactory life of its own. What more could we wish for?”

SBT logo

Have you read the story to children? What interests them in the story? How do you make the story come alive? Tell via Twitter or share your ideas via Glow Early Learn

Artwork for school blogs⤴

from @ Bodies in the Library

S2 Art and Design have been asked to create a series of banners for the Our Lady’s Latest blog using parts of famous artworks. Only part of the painting or sculpture will be visible in the header because of its shape so … Continue reading

Celebrating Accessible Books for Book Week Scotland⤴

from @ Enquire - young people's blog

    Book Week Scotland Happy Book Week my friends. What a fab chance to celebrate all the books you love and take part in events near you – murder mystery, dragon tales, clowns, puppets, songs, foodie talks…Loads going on if you want fun ideas for your weekend :) If you find it hard to read books, you are not alone. You might find it easier to read books in Continue reading

Bookbug – it’s time for you to have your say!⤴

from @ Education Scotland's Learning Blog

Scottish Book Trust would like to know what professionals think about the Bookbug programme. To do this, our friends at Scottish Book Trust have designed an online survey for you to complete.

BookBugBedtimeCMYK

The Bookbug programme is currently being evaluated by researchers from the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, based at the University of Edinburgh. The evaluation is investigating what difference Bookbug makes to parents, children and early years professionals. As part of this evaluation Scottish Boko Trust has developed an online survey for professionals whose work supports the delivery of Bookbug bags or Bookbug sessions.

Bookbug Session

The survey will provide for Scottish Book Trust an overview of professionals’ views and experiences of the Bookbug Programme. In addition, findings from the survey will be used to help identify areas for further exploration in four case study areas for evaluation in 2016.

The survey will take between 20-25 minutes to complete, depending on the level of detail that you provide. Scottish Book Trust is really keen to hear your views, so just give as much detail and information as you can in the time you have available.

To thank you for your participation, Scottish Book Trust is giving one lucky participant chosen at random a bundle of books worth £100 .

Bookbug professionals 2

It is really important that we all do our bit to ensure that programmes such as Bookbug are developed to meet the needs of the children, families and staff across Scotland. Please take some time to complete the survey and make sure you send the this link on to colleagues in your organisation and/or locality who have contact with Bookbug.

https://edinburgh.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/bookbug-evaluation

The closing date for the survey is Friday 27th November 2015.

Don’t miss out!

Magic Moments #30 – The ‘real’ Twin Towers⤴

from @ OllieBray.com

OB Magic moments

 My cousin Keith works at Edgbaston Watersports in Birmingham. Visiting him recently he told me that the two towers that you can see from the centre were the actual towers that inspired the 'two towers' in JR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy. 

Tolkien grew up in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham and attended King Edward's School, Birmingham, and later St. Philip's School

Interesting fact, for sure...

20151020_164502

 

Magic Moments #30 – The ‘real’ Twin Towers⤴

from @ OllieBray.com

OB Magic moments

 My cousin Keith works at Edgbaston Watersports in Birmingham. Visiting him recently he told me that the two towers that you can see from the centre were the actual towers that inspired the 'two towers' in JR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy. 

Tolkien grew up in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham and attended King Edward's School, Birmingham, and later St. Philip's School

Interesting fact, for sure...

20151020_164502

 

When Mr Dog Bites by Brian Conaghan⤴

from @ Enquire - young people's blog

Enquire was excited to meet author Brian Conaghan recently to talk about his fantastic book When Mr Dog Bites. The book features an utterly brilliant main character Dylan Mint who is not only coping with the ups, downs and mishaps of being a teenager… but also of having Tourette’s Syndrome. The book details Dylan’s battle to deal with the tricky stuff - the swearing, the tics and the howling dog that seems to escape whenever he is stressed. To top it off Dylan discovers, after overhearing a conversation between his doctor and his mother, that he only has a short time to live. Continue reading