Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Evolution of Books

This post caught my eye today, Forget E-Books: The Future of the Book Is Far More Interesting.  I posted a link to it along with some questions in another blog I write for teachers beginning to blog in my district.

It brings attention to the changes coming for teachers and librarians.  I asked readers to consider:

How do you envision teaching in a world with no textbooks?  How do you envision your students as consumers of information?
How do you envision your students as producers of information?
What do you envision as the purpose for schools and teachers in 10 years, 20 years?
How might learning to write a blog be considered an essential skill for students to acquire?

How would you answer these questions?  I'd love to hear your comments.

Celebrating Together

In the spirit of giving Sue Waters has created a space using WallWisher.  Thanks, Sue!  Please add your wishes, traditions and greetings.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holiday Musings

As I write I'm listening to the December playlist on readergirlz.  I love the concept of choosing songs to suit a particular novel or character and it's an idea that at least on of my English teachers has tried with great success as kids love it too.

My morning dose of humour came from Jeffrey Hill who writes The English blog where he has imbedded the Copenhagen According to Dr. Seuss clip along with the lyrics.  His other entertaining offering comes from Abe Books who have opened a Weird Books Room.  Worth a browse if you are buying for someone with eccentric tastes or just want to amuse yourself for a few minutes.  He finds the best stuff!

@deangroom tweeted about a photo contest happening in Sydney just now.  The idea of giving kids open concepts to work with could be adapted in other ways.  Some time ago I posted some words in an area of the library where I put books I hope boys will read.  The words would hopefully draw them in:

Face Off
On the Street
Blood & Guts
On the Edge
Over the Top

A few days ago I had one of those kids who has never been a reader, has no idea what he likes and is really hard to match up with a book.  As I floundered about questioning him the words on the wall caught my eye and I asked him which ones appealed.  When he picked 'on the edge' I knew exactly which books to show him.

Time to dive back into my own pile of books.  I am almost finished with Loving Frank, and yes, I am loving it.  I've only put it down long enough to look for images of Frank Lloyd Wright's houses and to replenish the chocolate supply.  On to Marillier next!  I'd love to hear what book gems you've discovered over the winter break, or summer break or whatever season it is in your part of the world.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Winter Break Reading

Like a hungry guest at the buffet I tend to overload my reading plate when it comes to holiday time.  This year I have selected:

Loving Frank by Nancy Horan a fictionalized account of Mamah Cheney's affair with Frank Lloyd Wright

Heart's Blood by Juliet Marillier  - Based on the Beauty and Beast legends from a masterful fantasy writer.

Vanishing and other short stories by Deborah Willis

Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner is one of the contenders for Canada Reads.

The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon - Life through Aristotle's eyes.

Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

Gone by Michael Grant for the YA crowd.

The Philosopher and the Wolf by Mark Rowlands

And just so that I don't forget what my real passion is, Rethinking Education in the Age of Technology by Allan Collins and Richard Halverson.

With a fire going and lots of chocolates and eggnog close at hand I might just make it!  I'll let you know which ones get my seal of approval.

Got 20 Minutes?

If you've read much of this blog you'll know that I'm a big fan of the K12 Online conference and have been involved with bringing these presentations to teachers in my own district via LAN parties.  It made me smile to hear one seasoned colleague say that these sessions were the best professional development he had experienced in his career.  Wow!

I've been viewing as many of this year's offerings as I can and they're as inspiring as ever.  The one that stands out for me so far in terms of the way we work with students is Paul Curtis' Building a Web 2.0 Culture.  We chose it to show at our first LAN party of the year and Paul generously offered his time to join us in an Elluminate session for some discussion after we viewed his presentation.  The chat is archived here.  He's part of the New Technology Network whose philosophy is to inspire and engage students to become collaborators, thinkers, innovators and leaders.  Whether you're transforming a school or just wanting to improve your practice on Monday morning this presentation will get you thinking.

In order to keep the presentations straight in my head I started a Google Doc to briefly list the focus of each presentation.  Here are a few I will definitely be bringing to the attention of others:

Grab some refreshments or even a colleague or two and pull up a chair for some engaging viewing!  Most will take less than 20 minutes of your time to view.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Canada Reads

Canada Reads 2010 gets underway soon. Visit the CBC website for more information and find out more about the nominees here:

Fall on Your Knees by Ann-Marie MacDonald
Read more

Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture by Douglas Coupland
Read More

Good to a Fault by Marina Endicott
Read more

The Jade Peony by Wayson Choy
Read more

Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner
Read more

Enter to win the entire collection over at mike's bloggity blog, enter before midnight, Tuesday December 15th. (Residents of Canada only)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Twitter Question

This request popped up on Twitter tonight.  I've posted a few suggestions below.

Scholastic Book Lists:

LM_NET Archive


It's List Time Again

At the local children's bookstore I have developed a bit of a reputation as the one who likes those edgy reads for kids.  One of my 'go to' people for great teen book recommendations is Jen who writes Reading Rants: Out of the Ordinary Teen Book Lists!  Need to fill out your Reality Bites or Slacker Fiction shelves?  This is the place to go.
Jen comes up with Yearly Top Ten Lists as well as maintaining a Jen's Top Ten Books of ALL TIME list. This year's list with reviews can be found here.

Readers over at goodreads have put together a list of Best Books published in 2009.  Seems to have been a great year!   The list is re-scored every 500 seconds so it's about as up-to-date as you can get changing as new readers add their votes.  In Shelfari you can look at their Highest-Rated Books of All Time or the highest rated this week or this month.

And of course there's YALSA's 2009 Teen's Top Ten  A quick Google search will bring up any number of other 2009 booklists.  One of my fave activities at school is to have the English teachers ask their classes to recommend books.  I collect the lists, collate them and then put up displays in the library.  Some of the past themes have included:

  • Don't leave high school without having read ...
  • Gr. 10's best books this year.
  • Pageturners 
  • The Book I Most Want for Christmas
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Travelin' Librarian

Advanced Search Options

Beyond Basics

Often when I’m asked, “How did you find that?” it’s because I went straight for the Advanced Search option.  These types of searches are available everywhere from online databases to Twitter.  Using Advanced Search options can save you a great deal of time and frustration.

Google’s advanced search lets you include or exclude terms without ever having to use that scary word, Boolean.  Mention Boolean searching to students or staff and you’ll often get a ‘can’t spell it, can’t pronounce it, ergo it must be difficult’ kind of reaction.

Twitter Search
Using the Advanced Search options allows you to search for specific words or phrases, to search for tweets from or to a specific person.  You can narrow your search to specific places, dates and even by attitude: positive or negative. 

Flickr’s Advanced Search is the first place I head for finding Creative Commons licenced images.  I know there are other ways to do this in Flickr but I prefer the results I get from using the Advanced Search option. 

Using Advanced Options in YouTube let’s you filter out videos that may not be suitable for minors, include/exclude terms, search by type or show only results that have annotations or closed captions.  You can search within categories, by language and date, or by duration: short, medium or long. I was able to filter out all the cartoons videos in a search for a short clip to introduce a class to the topic of bears.  The results returned were from FirstScience TV, National Geographic and BBC Worldwide.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


Welcome and thank you to all the new people who have been visiting The WebFooted Booklady today.
I too have been exploring new blogs found via the Edublog Awards and seeing the many ways educators interact and share.  It's been a feast for the mind!

Image used under a creative commons licence by

Monday, December 7, 2009

December Pro D

I've been a bit quiet this past week.  No posts here.  I've been posting on our brand new NVSD teacher librarian blog.  That's what you do when budget cuts are in the air and libraries are once again under fire.  We wanted to take a pro-active approach that would showcase what it is we do.  In doing so we will also inspire each other by compiling a rich bank of ideas.  Please drop by and have a read or leave a comment.

I'm also in full swing with the rest of the team prepping for LAN parties.  That's Learning At Night, one of the ways we deliver Pro D opportunities to teachers in our district.  (I can't talk about LAN without a nod to Kim Cofino and Jeff Utecht at the Bangkok International School who came up with the idea.)  We submitted our own K12 Online presentation this year and it will be up for viewing on Tuesday Dec. 8 - LAN: Learning is Social.  We've constructed a supporting wiki that outlines how to launch your own K12 Online LAN party.

At our first event we will be viewing 3 presentations:
- Building a Web 2.0 Culture by Paul Curtis
- Probing the Possibilities of Paperless Pedagogy by Jason Neiffer
- Around the World with Skype by Silvia Tolisano

All three presenters have generously agreed to Skype in for some informal conversation after we have viewed their presentations.  As my friend @jansmith says, "The net is generous."

Why not join us?

Paul Curits from the New Tech Network ( will be joining us live from Napa, California to discuss his presentation "Building a Web 2.0 Culture."

You can watch the presentation and participate in the conversation via Elluminate, an online learning space. Elluminate is free and easy to use.

Join us at 5pm!

Elluminate link:

For more information contact us on Twitter 
Or visit our blog