Book Trailers – A Web 2.0 Journey

(An article written by Anne Weaver, published recently in Access)

Web 2 technologies offer great opportunities for teacher librarians to promote learning outcomes. Book trailers were introduced as a competition category in the QIEU, Courier Mail, ETAQ Book Review Competition in QLD in 2009. Armed with this incentive and also a PD session promoted by Jenny Stubbs, co-coordinator of the Ipswich District Teacher Librarian at UQ Ipswich, our Library staff ventured into the world of Book Trailers. This activity provided many insights into both interactive and collaborative technologies for student and staff learning, and also copyright for authentic audiences.
What? Book trailers are like movie trailers; except book trailers promote books.

Why? The Book Trailers Professional Development session provided by author, Penny Masson and Jenny Stubb’s team, had revealed how software could be used in a fun and contained context that would promote reading, and also teach students engaging and useful technology skills. The skills learnt by students can be applied in a vast array of other situations, in both authentic and assessment situations. Book trailer skills can be taught quickly and efficiently, and are fun to create. It was found the basics of Photo story and moviemaker could be taught to a group of 12 Year 7 students in a hands-on manner in 35 minutes.

When, Where, Who and How? Library staff decided to teach book trailers to interested students from Years 5-12 at lunchtime, and also via classes with interested teachers. The book trailer lessons were linked to a Year 10 English multimodal assignment occurring at the same time. This also involved co-operation with the e-learning staff who undertook PD for teaching staff in Photo story. It involved collaboration between e-learning and Library staff to reach common understandings about referencing, which were formalised in a referencing PowerPoint for use by the school that included referencing for multimodal tasks. Moviemaker and Photo story were used as they are free for Microsoft clients. Word 2007 PowerPoint features, which include improved audio options, would be covered in Year 10 English classes.

Finding Images and Music for Authentic Contexts Interestingly, one Year 7 student constructed a book trailer using images and music from the web. The student then constructed another book trailer, but drew her own pictures and then scanned the drawings. It took about the same amount of time to draw original images as it took to find and edit images from the internet. The following is is not an exhaustive list, but includes user friendly resources that provide images and sound that can be used in public and commercial contexts and can be altered.

Youtube YouTube is blocked at many schools which is a shame because Guerillabill can teach the basics of Photo story in just over 6 minutes For those with YouTube blocked, this handy site may be of interest The copyright implications are covered here

Music Photostory contains 2 songs that can be mashed by students which provide an easy option. Jamendo permits use of music, so long as credit is given. Jamstudio as shown above, allows students to make their own music. Once students choose the chords, they can select instruments by clicking on the speakers beside them on the left; then music style, and whether to loop or not. Then, by clicking on MP3 MIX towards the top middle, students can have their music emailed to them (they will need to subscribe to a free trial). The MP3 file in the email can then be downloaded for inserting into moviemaker and photo story.

Images A google search for “royalty free” sites on the internet will produce mostly sites that charge for use of images. However, smartcopying has a great new resource that shows how to find images that students can use in any context To give a short example, simply go to google images and click advanced search . Go to usage rights and choose the bottom option, “labelled for commercial use with modification’ as shown, then search as normal -very easy! This creative commons site also helps search the main sources for “license friendly” resources for photos, images and music.

Referencing There is not a lot of information on multimodal referencing and it varies. Our school procedure for referencing is that where possible, the reference for images, text, sound etc should go as close as possible to the item. Where this is not possible, as is often the case in multimodal presentations, there should be a credits section at the end of the production. This follows the system used in movies. The credits section must be part of the production, not separate. Items need to be identified in the credits eg. Slide 14, Clapping sound, Microsoft, 2009. This would equate to the in-text reference. Then, there would follow a full bibliography that included all texts; audio, video and images. This is simply one method for managing this referencing and it would be interesting for there to be more exchange about how other schools manage this.

Publication Finally, the book trailers need to be presented for entry. This involved several options. If uploading to YouTube – students could either do this themselves at home, or provide a signed note from parents for Library staff to assist with this. The note had to specify if the student’s name could be included or not. Otherwise, the book trailer can be saved to a DVD and the entry mailed. Uploading to YouTube provides an authentic publication context, but there are content issues.
Useful resources Johngregory teaches moviemaker in just over 9 minutes E. A. Van der Veer shows how to add continuous sound in PowerPoint 2007 in 3 minutes The following resource on authentic copyright is also very good

Thus, this activity provided a valuable learning and teaching opportunity, collaboration with many staff and students, and an opportunity to promote the profile of the Library and reading. It provided the opportunity to engage in discussion about referencing for authentic audiences, instead of simply teaching students how to reference for assignments. Web 2 tools and new and search options mean that following copyright is now much easier for staff and; and they can easily find material for different purposes. However, it is still essential to record sources of material used so they can be referenced. However, hopefully, these advances will encourage staff to set more assessment which is for authentic audiences and which permit students to be taught about real world copyright requirements.

Access (Journal of the Australian School Library Association, Volume 23, Issue 3, 2009, pp9-13)

Attending Conferences Virtually

(Recent article I wrote, published in Access regarding potential use of vidoeconferencing in education.)

Example of Eluminate screen

Example of Eluminate screen

Recently, I attended 2 fantastic conferences. The National Education and Computer Conference in Washington DC was held in July, 2009. In June this year, I participated in an Eluminate Panel Discussion: “Is There a Place for Media Specialists Who Don’t Know Social Media, held in various locations in the USA. All I spent was my time and I am still processing all the great material learnt. But, it is not too late – you can still attend. Such is the world of online virtual Professional Development.

Before taking you on a virtual PD trip to the USA, it is worth pointing out that vodcasting lessons is an important direction yet to be pursued in Australian schools to any substantial extent. Universities have taken this up, but they are often criticized for doing so. The criticisms seem to be based on the notion that students miss out if they do not personally sit in a lecture theatre. This is despite online lecture notes allowing replaying of lectures to facilitate learning, and that most students miss lectures at some point for various reasons, so online lectures are much better than having to borrow notes as was done in bygone eras. Also, the reality is that most lectures are one-way delivery, so the benefits of being personally there can be minimal. Hopefully, this virtual field trip will reveal the massive potential of using online delivery technologies to deliver teaching and to enhance learning outcomes.

Firstly, I will point out a few choice morsels to whet you appetite for further exploration of NECC 2009.Please visit the following site to discover a vast array of presentations that demonstrate leading teaching directions .

To begin, you really have not virtually lived until you have watched Tammy Worcester Tammy is a magician of the internet and shows favorite tips, tricks, and tools that offer simple and effective methods to enhance teaching and learning. Her blog is at the following site, and all her presentation notes from NECC 2009 and others are stored here as well. You can subscribe to receive email tips from Tammy. Tammy uses blogs in amazing ways to enhance learning opportunities.

Secondly, Jonathan Bergman reveals exciting ways to use video podcasting to improve student achievement. Jonathan explores how teachers can better utilize class time to work with students individually and in groups, rather than standing at the front of a class giving the same lesson taught the year before, or to many groups. This is very relevant to teacher librarians who often teach skills such as referencing, over and over again. Jonathan will have you thinking about whether there are better ways to do this. Jonathan will show the magic of how to do more with class time.
Thirdly, for fans of Will Richardson try “Here Comes Learning.” He presents with Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach and they explain how we can help our students move from simple sharing to collective action in the world through use of online technologies.
The handouts, papers, powerpoints and links to discussions from NECC 2009 can be found here NECC 2010 is in Denver, Colorado from June 27-30, so pop it in your diary and reserve some time for what is likely to be a wonderful virtual trip.

Now you may have missed the Future of Education panel discussion, “Is There a Place for Media Specialists Who Don’t Know Social Media?” but all is not lost. Click on the following link which will provide the option to view the full video. panel is lead by Buffy Hamilton , Joyce Valenza , Cathy Nelson
and Carolyn Foote who are amazing American teacher- librarians.

To provide another taster as to why these ladies are so exciting, visit During the recent Iran riots the mainstream media was slow to provide coverage on the election results. However, Joyce shows how Netvibes, a free Web 2.0 tool can be utilized to manage information from social networks brimming with the latest news. Joyce uses Netvibes to construct a pathfinder that includes YouTube videos, Flickr photos, Tweets, delicious bookmarks, and Google News. These Web 2.0 tools show new and exciting ways to collaborate with other Library professionals around the world, to manage our own profession learning; and also to assist students with research.
The Eluminate technology used in this panel discussion also deserves mention. Video-conferencing tools offer ways to link students and staff to our global world. Eluminate is interactive and participants attending the virtual conference at the time it is held can send messages to the presenter/s from any capable computer. The presenters can respond to questions throughout their presentation. Eluminate can show where people are logged in from all over the world, and even how warm it is there. Virtual attendees can vote live during the presentation to share opinions, and use emoticons to show reactions and hand icons to clap. Viewers anywhere in the world can even take over the microphone and participate live in the presentation. This is not an advertisement for this software, as there may be similar products, but it reveals exciting learning opportunities for the future and not so distant future. The School Library Association of Victoria has recently been offering training in this software, so the future has already made its way to Australia.

Anyway, all trips come to an end, even virtual ones. However, these new Web 2.0 technologies allows teacher–librarians to keep abreast of best practice, to collaborate with colleagues all over the world, to gain cutting edge Professional Development at no expense except time, and even better to attend conferences from the comfort of our own homes, even in pyjamas if we so desire; although I have heard that Denver is particularly nice in June.

Published in Access (Journal of the Australian School Library Association), Volume 23, Issue 3, 209, pp 25-29

Nov 09 Useful

Useful site – such as where to download graph paper and where to locate royalty free audio sites plus other answers to life’s perplexing questions There have been some wonderful philosophers in the history of the planet and then there was Darth Vader – here you will find an audio response you can click on to many of life’s questions