Saturday, 3 October 2015

Good-bye Cherry Blossoms: A Review of Day Three, SLANZA 2015 Conference

Here's what I get up to on the final day of the conference:
  • Our first keynote is with Kay Oddone - "Beyond the Buzzword".  I am enthralled because she is talking about Makerspaces and that is what I have just started exploring.
    • Kay is from Australia and for some reason didn't want to have a suitcase full of timers, switches and wires when she entered the country so we don't have any physical props to look at!
    • Her essential Makerspace resources are "Invent to Learn" and the "Makerspace Playbook".  She also has her own, very useful website.
    • She discusses the future of work, and uses this Australian report which has some really interesting infographics in it.
    • Kay mentions how Makerspaces have links to the curriculum, in particular STEAM subjects.  They also encourage lots of talking and explaining.
    • Kay shows a continuum of digital users and introduces me to the awesome term "digital muggle"
    • She says that a Makerspace is a mindset.  It is about solving problems with raw materials.  And a library is a natural fit for a Makerspace.
    • But she also reminds us that just because it's hands on doesn't mean it's mind on, there should be an educational purpose.
    • She shows some examples of soft circuit bracelets, Lego We-do, Squishy Circuits, Rolobox, Makedo, Makey Makey and Scratch.  I want to try them all!
  • The last workshop for me is with my Twitter friend Alison Hewett - "Everything eBook".
    • First off, Alison clearly knows eBooks inside and out.  I am impressed with how much she knows about suppliers and licensing models and all things eBook.
    • She says students love to increase the size of the font on eBooks, to make them easier to read.  
    • Only 29% of her budget is spent on print books, this helps free up physical space in the library.  She doesn't use dummy physical eBooks for promotion as she feels this negates the benefits of extra space.  Instead, among other things, she uses stickers on the physical books to promote the audio/eBook versions.
    • She says you need to spend the same amount of time on your digital collection as you would on print.  I immediately resolve to give my own eBook collection some more love!
    • Alison says popular authors, titles and series work well digitally because they are already known.
    • She recommends keeping your eBook collection fresh by regularly adding new titles for interest.
    • She book talks in all formats and doesn't view digital and print as separate collections.
    • She believes the crux to eBook success is to have enough books.  Students need a proper choice, for her school that means at least 500 books.
  • The final keynote is from Helen Stower & Kathryn Schravemade - "Moving from a Traditional Library to a Contemporary iCentre.
    • An iCentre flattens walls and takes the library to the people.
    • Helen & Kathryn make sure that they push traffic to their website with social media.
    • They say the key to Twitter is following the right people.
    • Kathryn says you need to connect, join in the conversation and don't worry about being perfect in a world that changes so often.  You don't have time to be perfect!
    • They get students to use FaceYourManga to make themselves a personalised avatar.
  • The conference finishes at 12.45pm.  I have had the most amazing three days (see my summaries of Day One and Day Two).  My brain is pretty full but I have so many ideas and I am so buzzed by the energy and passion of everyone at the conference.  See you next time!
The Cherry Blossoms were well-photographed!

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