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Seasons Greetings from Brainyflix :)

Seasons Greetings, y'all! Just spreading some of the holiday cheer courtesy of our awesome Brainypics users. Enjoy! :)

FYI - Starting on January 1st, you can compete in our 2nd annual vocabulary video contest. It's easy to do!Just pick a word off of our list, make a funny 1 minute video about it, and submit it to the site. More details at
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Teachers use the LRC/ librarians for resources

Few days ago, my colleague sent me a mail and asked me to help put the assignment content on the VLE. I looked at the assignment and asked him if he would like us to create a resource bank on the VLE for his students to complete that particular assignment. After that invitation, he shared his SOW with us and so we started the cooperation relationship together. He is a Religious Studies teacher and I do think it's a very good chance for us to promote the library services for him and his students. It's the first time for me to work with RS teacher and I hope my strategy - from cooperation to collaboration, will work sooner or later.Apart from that, an English teacher came to library and asked if we can do a structured library lesson with her Year 9 class as she thinks it is important for her students know how to use ICT and Internet for learning. I suggested if we could design the lesson with reference to her SOW so the activity students are going to do would be relevant to the assignment and make the learning experience more meaningful. It seems like more and more teachers approach the library for teaching and learning support. It can be a very good start to make the library as the heart of teaching and learning. WoW... it's fabulous!My Work for Christmas:1. VLEa. create class list and enroll participants to Maths VLEb. design Maths course interface and templatec. put the course content on Maths coursed. design the login interfacee. integrate the Preium Learning login to VLEf. create course folder for RSg. create and find content for RS topic - Judalism2. Information Skills/ Library Skillsa. create and find the content for teaching IL skills and library skillsb. write the ppt slide for presentationc. write the framework and structured course content3. Inquiry Cycle Book Reading Group4. Reading for 2 Books Groups -- MBA & 6th Form Reading GroupHopefully I can use my time wisely and complete all these tasks on time!
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Manchester Book Award 2010 Reading Group

This year, I led the MBA students to use the movie-maker to create the book trailer for the MBA books. Also, I asked them to write the book reviews and recommendations so as to promote the books and the whole programme to the whole school community. Their work is brilliant and it works very well in library to attract pupils' attention and browsing. The MBA person-in-charge from public library also appreciated their work and put their work on the public library website. WoW... I will tell them and make them proud of their own work!Apart from that, I had a meeting with 3 MBA members to design the display board. They are all very creative and enthusiastic in taking part into the brainstorming and discussion process. I really enjoyed the time with them. We will have the second meeting tomorrow lunch time and will allocate the tasks to them to accomplish in the Winter holidays. When their display board is finished, I will upload the pictures here.
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I found out this week that I will be the Librarian Media Teacher at Downey High School in Modesto, California next year. Currently I'm an elementary librarian in the same district so it will be the same pay and I'll keep my seniority. One advantage is that I'll be at there all week instead of having to pack up my materials and haul them to another school in the middle of the day on Wednesday like I do now. Also I won't have to wonder year to year about where I will be assign next year because high LMTs are permanently at their site. Of course, if the elementary program is cut this year I will be very, very glad to be at high school because I'll be a librarian still. I love being a librarian so this is new job an absolutely wonderful thing that I am very grateful for.
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Brainypics: Grand Prize Winner Announcement

10 weeks and 3,818 Brainypics later (whoa), we have your Grand Prize Winner along with 10 Runners Up, as chosen by our panel of judges.The selection process was very, very, very, very tough... very. But I am sure you will find our prize recipients deserving. Check 'em out:#10 RUNNER UP – babyblue_456

#9 RUNNER UP – elgringoalex

#8 RUNNER UP – kris_kidd

#7 RUNNER UP – drewprice11

#6 RUNNER UP – countrymusiclover

#5 RUNNER UP – jberestovoy

#4 RUNNER UP – Marina

#3 RUNNER UP – matchmanmatt

#2 RUNNER UP – vazquezd

#1 RUNNER UP – bott_geneseohs


Congratulations, JKollar! And thanks again to everyone who got involved. Even though the Brainypics contest is over, is still around for your kids to learn SAT vocab in the most funnestestest way possible. Speaking of which...***WE HAVE OUR 2ND ANNUAL BRAINYFLIX VIDEO CONTEST!***Make a funny or creative video teaching one of our SAT words and compete to win $600 and other goodies. Learn more at:,Jack & NoriThe Brainyflix Crew
Read more… Live Long & Animate! by gwyneth

I'm curious....which products have you used with your students or for yourself to promote your program or special projects? Which were the easiest? Which were blocked by your firewall? Did you stumble across any resistance or inappropriate content? Xtranormal has a motion of a "up yours" that i can't see using with my kids a tool for library promotion i've found it very effective. Thoughts? So yeah...this is both shameless webinar promotion but also getting some feedback that i can use for further presentations on this subject....thanks!!!! Live Thursday! Library Media Through Easy Animation: ISTE SIGMS FREE Webinar Thursday, December 10 at 8pm EST/7pm EST/6pm MST/5pm PST Presenter: Gwyneth Anne Bronwynne Jones Promoting your library media center and program has never been easier. Using quick, free, and easy animation studios teacher librarians can create engaging videos to market their media center, databases, research resources, special programs, and their love of reading to students, teachers, and the community. Combining easy animation with a wiki, website, or a blog your message will captivate your audience and reach beyond the brick and mortar walls of your school. Watch this Xtranormal animation to get a "taste" of the webinar. Library Media Marketing Through Easy Animation Directions to join the SIGMS webinar event 1. Check that your computer is set up for Adobe Connect by visiting Adobe Connect Pro Connection Test 2. Use this URL to enter the webinar room 10 - 15 minutes before starting time: 3. Enter as a guest and type your first and last name. 4. Here is a link to a Visual Quick Start guide (pdf) to help you if this is your first webinar event. Click below to check out the Xtranormal animation for this webinar: for more resources check out my Animation Studios Wiki
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This Saturday there will be a live Fireside Chat with Joyce Valenza and Konrad Glogowski, the keynoters for week 1 of the k12Online Conference 2009. The live chat will take place at EdTechTalk --> where participants can hear the keynoters and chat in the chatroom. The Fireside Chat is scheduled at 6:30pmGMT --> Time Where You Are.Below is a downloadable flyer about this week's Fireside Chat. Feel free to disseminate.Live Event 12-12
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Thank you! Over 900 Brainypics Received in 1 Week!

WOWOWOWOWOWOW.As of midnight last night, students created 900+ Brainypics in one week. Way to finish strong, everybody! :]As you'd imagine, picking this week's winners to round out the Finalists for the $200 Grand Prize was harder than ever, but we found some worthy winners...

Congrats to Kris_kidd, Quinn, Caleb717, Lizard_king_93 and Babyblue_456 for their contributions.I'll put together a post with all of the Finalists ASAP for you to check out, as our judges git bizaaay!
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Creative Schooling

A recent report from the North Carolina Cultural Resources highlights the importance of the creative industry to the state's economy. The big picture findings:NC
  • Overall, North Carolina’s creative economy is 5.86 percent of the state’s total production.
  • The Creative Industry accounts for more than $10 billion dollars in employee compensation annually.
  • Nearly 5 percent of the state’s total wages and benefits comes from the Creative Industry.
Still wondering about how to conceptualize the Creative Industry. The report provides rich details about the types of jobs and workers that constitute this growing segment of the economy. The creative workforce profiles are worth checking out; including some great bluegrass playing.Here is the line that made me sit up in my seat (I'm prone to have bad posture).
Librarians, archivists, educators, service professionals, and administrators facilitate the development of the creative economy.
How often do you read a report like this and find no mention of educators or librarians? Teachers of creativity have helped to build a vibrant and growing part of the economy in North Carolina. What words from the National Art Educators Standards jump out at you?Wordle: National Art Education Association - Standards for Visual Arts Educators Wordle of National Art Education Association Standards for Visual ArtsIs visual learning, teaching, and creative expression a central part of the school experience in your institution? Classes that include words like "visual", "artistic", "aesthetic" and "demonstrate" are often labeled as enrichment, specials, and electives. The Creative Industry report shows that these classes are essential. Fostering creativity on a school wide basis should be a strategic goal of any learning institution. Notice the presence of those 21st Century Learning words we're all concerned about - "understanding", "community", "assessment", "social development", and "knowledgeable". Educators need to understand what it takes to be creative and how to scale these conditions school-wide.Creativity explained - AmabileTeresa Amabile can provide some guidance. She is the head of the Entrepreneurial Management Unit at Harvard Business School and has done extensive research about innovation and creativity in the workplace (I'm not advocating for the school as business model. That is another post).A few years ago Fast Company asked Amabile to address 6 myths about creativity. Here are her findings and the related challenges that I see for educators. I get right to the point here and don't spend time on the myths she debunks. Consult the article for her take on that angle.1.) Most people are "laboring in environments that impede intrinsic motivation". This is bad news because creativity isn't confined to creative types. Anyone can be creative if given the right set of things "experience, including knowledge and technical skills; talent; an ability to think in new ways; and the capacity to push through uncreative dry spells." and intrinsic motivation.

Challenge - Does your school enable creativity by providing this set of things to all students? In particular, is intrinsic motivation to learn built into the curriculum?

2.) It is not about money with creative folks - it's experience, purpose, engagement, progress, recognition, and appreciation that are prized above all else. "If the challenge is far beyond their skill level, they tend to get frustrated; if it's far below their skill level, they tend to get bored. Leaders need to strike the right balance."

Challenge: long standing issue of tailoring teaching and learning to each child.

3.) "People were the least creative when they were fighting the clock." Schools are framed by schedules.

Challenge: Does your school provide students with opportunities to deeply explore projects with few distractions? Are students offered extended periods (beyond 45-60 minutes) to tinker with problems and questions?

4.) "People are happiest when they come up with a creative idea, but they're more likely to have a breakthrough if they were happy the day before. There's a kind of virtuous cycle."

Challenge: Student happiness swings widely depending on the latest test result, classroom interaction, and project demands. How do educators create the "virtuous cycle" in which students can develop creativity as a result of engaging and interesting circumstances?

5.) COLLABORATION is key to creativity.

Challenge: How to make real collaborative enterprises in schools? Getting past the "group work" of old to collaborations around mutually interesting topics.

6.) More the merrier. Amabile found that organizations in a downsizing mode experienced declines in all areas of creativity.

Challenge: Protecting teachers of creativity. Expanding the scope of potential collaborators beyond the traditional school building.

Many businesses have had trouble responding to the needs of creativity. Schools fight ingrained habits, schedules, and responsibilities. How is your school addressing these challenges? Does technology help? Have new teaching models been helpful?Posted by Ernie CoxSchool LibrarianSt. Timothy's SchoolRaleigh, NCtwitter: erniec-----originally posted on
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Last Day to Participate in Brainypics Contest!

Hi, I'm posting this quick reminder to let you know that tomorrow will be the last day of submissions for the Brainypics contest! Just make a Brainypics flashcard (easy to do, I swear!), and you'll earn iTunes and compete for the $200 Grand Prize courtesy of the good folks at MIT and can participate, and you can submit as many Brainypics as you want. Go ahead and get started at and enjoy your Sunday! :)

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Learning Journey On again!!

After a short break (wedding and dissertation), I felt a bit lost and left behind in learning...Thanks for the TL Ning and I can get back on my learning track again.Just joined the Inquiry Circle reading group and my inquisitive mind is coming back... look forward to the learning journey!!
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Essential PLN

Building my PLN habit for a long time. Due to my own personal matters (my dissertation & Chinese wedding), I have put it down for several months... So far, I can catch up most of it since November.I have joined the YSL Online Conference 3 and the theme is on the design of future library.The concepts of LEARNING COMMONS really inspires me alot on setting my own vision and definition of school library. The functions and programmes can be hosted in the library are various. The functions of library have beyond my imagination! I would love my library could allow pupils to collaborate, create and perform (share) together. However, I am waiting for this opportunity to build the new 21C library model.I would love to spend more time on helping pupils to build the IL skills. One kid asked me if I could organize the IT workshop with them and surely I would love to do it only if I am allowed to do so... I felt terribly sorry when I turned down his idea.....I saw students who are very creative in making the flash movies. He taught his friends how to make it and honestly, I would love to ask him to teach me as well. Library should be a place to allow students to share their skills and talents. It's their place..Today is off, I went to the K-12 Online Conference site and did my personal learning again.Kim pointed out a lot of 21C traits for pupils who should equip with, particularly flexibility and adaptability. It is important to provide the opportunity for students to build their global perspectives. I am thinking the Horizon Project and it's a very good chance for pupils to meet other students from the other part of the world and collaborate together with the use of new technologies.
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