Happy Book Week!

It’s Book Week– a great time to celebrate books, writing and reading – in paper or digital form!
The winning children’s books have been announced by the Children’s Book Council of Australia. Books for Older Readers are very suitable for college students and other titles are used in Children’s Literature classes. We buy several each year. You might also be interested if you have young children.
Winners: http://cbca.org.au/winners2013.htm
Notable books: http://cbca.org.au/Notables2013.htm

In the library we are running a daily Trivia Quiz with 10 questions posted daily and prizes given to the first correct answers. We are continuing with the Sci-ku poetry writing competition so send us your haiku poems on a science theme.

Looking for good reads? Try these sites:

Dymocks’ best 101 books of all time: 2013 list
Looking for a good read? Try something from this list, as voted by 7000 readers. The Harry Potter series has regained top spot, followed by Pride and prejudice.

Australian Independent Bookseller
Weekly Top 10 bestsellers; book news, Indie Awards chosen annually. Winner of this year’s Miles Franklin Literary Award: Questions of travel by Michelle de Kretser. http://www.indies.com.au/
Indie Book of the Year: The light between oceans by M.L. Stedman.
Winners: http://www.readings.com.au/news/the-2013-indie-award-winners

Get Reading!
Formerly known as Books Alive, this is Australia’s largest annual celebration of books and reading, held in September each year. On 1 Sept, the 2013 list of the Top 50 Books You Can’t Put Down will be announced, as well as a list of Australia’s favourite books. The free guide will be available in bookstores and online.
Some great book suggestions – book lists from 2007-2012: http://www.getreading.com.au/50-books-you-cant-put-down/

Banned books
Various banned book lists – interesting and well presented: http://www.goodreads.com/list/tag/banned

Read about the secret history of Australian censorship and prohibited publications….Peyton Place, Brave new world, The catcher in the rye….intriguing! http://blog.naa.gov.au/banned/

Twentieth-century Australia had the strictest censorship of any democratic nation. Publications of all kinds were kept under surveillance and thousands of books were banned as seditious, blasphemous or obscene. Read more: http://www.lib.unimelb.edu.au/collections/special/exhibitions/bannedbooks/exhibition/

List of banned books in Australia: http://www.lib.unimelb.edu.au/collections/special/exhibitions/bannedbooks/exhibition/australia.html

More links: http://www.lib.unimelb.edu.au/collections/special/exhibitions/bannedbooks/

The best 100 opening lines from books: Click on the book covers to reveal the lines from excellent books, old and new.
100 best closing lines from books: http://www.stylist.co.uk/life/the-best-100-closing-lines-from-books
100 best films based on books: http://www.stylist.co.uk/life/top-100-films-based-on-books
The 8 darkest fairy tales: http://www.stylist.co.uk/books/the-eight-darkest-fairy-tales#image-rotator-1

Arts and Letters Daily
Highly regarded website with dailyreport of news in literature, language, philosophy, ideas, criticism, history, music, art, culture – includes reviews of new books, essays and articles. Excellent links to other cultural websites and blogs. Something for everyone! eg. A brief history of applause, the Big Data of the ancient world: http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2013/03/a-brief-history-of-applause-the-big-data-of-the-ancient-world/274014/

AustLit: the Australian literature resource
AustLit aims to be the definitive virtual information resource for Australian literary, print and narrative culture. It includes information about fiction, poetry, theatre & film writing, biographical & travel writing and reviews. Some full text creative and critical works are also available. All Aust. teachers have free access.
What’s in AustLit: http://www.austlit.edu.au/austlit/page/5961903
Full text collections: Poems, novels, criticism, reviews, children’s literature and early Aust. science fiction. http://www.austlit.edu.au/austlit/page/5960585
Full text search: http://www.austlit.edu.au/?ex=FullTextSearch

AustLit includes the BlackWords database. BlackWords provides searchable information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander writers, storytellers and their published and unpublished books, stories, plays, poems and criticism. It includes works in English and in Indigenous Australian languages. http://www.austlit.edu.au/specialistDatasets/BlackWords

Sydney Review of Books
“Sparked by concerns about the dwindling space for literary criticism in Australian media, the Sydney Review of Books is an online review site focusing on Australian writers and writing”. It has reviews and articles about fiction, non fiction, poetry & other feature articles.

Happy Book Week!


National Science Week

National Science Week is on 10 – 18 August – an annual celebration of science in Australia.
Maybe it’s time to enter the national Sci-ku poetry competition with a short 3 line Haiku-style poem about science – this year with a statistics or mathematics theme: http://riaus.org.au/events/sciku/
We are having a Sci-ku writing competition for Science Week and Book Week at our college – after all Book Week has the universe theme! We are going to be flexible with syllables (usually 5,7,5).
Sci-ku examples: http://blog.mbl.edu/?p=1953

African clawed frogs
have flown on the space shuttle.
That’s one giant leap.
(Greg Early)

Some know the time by
looking at the sun. I can’t
make out the numbers
(A. Shalizi)

Good sites for science news:
Science Daily: Extensive science news http://www.sciencedaily.com/
Scirus: Use this science-specific search engine for science news, information, journal articles etc http://info.scirus.com/
CSIRO: Includes news, blogs, CSIROpedia http://www.csiro.au/en.aspx
ABC Science: News, TV and radio programs http://www.abc.net.au/science/
Royal Institution of Australia: A national science hub bringing science to the people  http://riaus.org.au/
Science Direct: Full text database of journal articles and book chapters http://www.sciencedirect.com/
Science, physics, technology: http://phys.org/
Science news and blogs: http://scienceblogs.com/
LiveScience: Science articles and news http://www.livescience.com/
Australian Popular Science: http://www.popsci.com.au/
How stuff works: http://www.howstuffworks.com/

eBizMBA: This site has rankings for many subject areas, based on Alexa Global Traffic Rank + other ranking tools. Intriguing! Find the most popular music sites, gadget sites, health sites, reference sites, most popular blogs etc  http://www.ebizmba.com/
15 most popular science websites for Aug. 2013: http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/science-websites

Since it’s also the International Year of Statistics, here are some interesting sites with info about world stats that would be useful for social science classes.  And without statistics, we would have to search the internet one page at a time! http://www.statistics2013.org/

Gapminder: for a fact-based world view
Stats, graphs, videos. Gapminder World shows the world’s most important trends.
Search for many indicators on the Data page eg. poverty, marriage, democracy, drought, working hours etc  Then visualise them in Gapminder World: http://www.gapminder.org/data/

Real time world stats – population, economics, environment, society and media, food, energy etc.  Great site!

Compares national statistics in graphical formats, using data from sources such as CIA World Factbook, UN, WHO, UNESCO, OECD etc Some of the data may be a bit dated but could be used as a starting point for more research.

IDB: International Database World Statistics
Choose countries and various demographic reports. Compare figures from past years and into the future.

World stats in many categories: A great list of sites.

State of the climate in 2012
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released their report on 6 August – an annual “checking on the pulse of the planet”.
The full report: http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/bams-state-of-the-climate/2012.php

The Maker movement

The Maker movement – a global cultural shift aimed at empowering more people to create things – the new industrial revolution?

Very interesting presentation by Gary Stager at the ISTE tech conference in San Antonio in June:
Gary Stager: the creative revolution you can’t afford to miss
Personal fabrication, tinkering, engineering and a maker culture are transforming and re-energising learning. He notes 3 game changers – fabrication (eg. 3D printing), physical computing and programming. If they start early, what could they achieve by year 12?
TMI – think, make, improve. Make projects simple at first, then more complex. You need a good prompt, challenge or problem, appropriate materials and a supportive culture. Invent to learn! Do we always need to assess?
Maker Faires – huge festivals of creativity – are very popular and inclusive of both children and adults.
Sylvia’s Super-Awesome Maker Show – 11 year old Sylvia makes all kinds of things and gives video instructions. Stager has hired her in his program. http://sylviashow.com/
Look what Joey’s making – “don’t be bored…make something!” 15 year old Joey makes electronics kits and other inventions and even went to the White House with his marshmallow cannon. “Going to Maker Faires has changed my life”. http://lookwhatjoeysmaking.blogspot.com.au/
Stager’s book: Invent to learn: making, tinkering and engineering in the classroom, by Gary Stager and Sylvia Libow Martinez.

Maker movement inspires shift in school curriculum
There is now a shift in education from passive to active learning with inquiry and project-based learning in some curricula – particularly science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) Core Curriculum in the US eg. students develop real apps to market in app stores.
“All innovations and innovation economies rely on this ability to solve a currently unsolved problem, but so much in education revolves around solving questions that already have known answers”. – Andrew Coy.

What is the Maker movement and why should you care?
Maker movement — “an evolution of millions of people who are taking big risks to start their own small businesses dedicated to creating and selling self-made products”. Technology has made it easy for individuals to create unique items without manufacturers. The DIY movement has boomed – cooking, sewing, craft, robots, 3D printers, mechanics…Libraries and museums are being turned into “Makerspaces,” physical locations where people can come together to make.
Short film (16 min.): We are makers

Maker Faire
These festivals are happening around the world (since 2006) – “a friendly festival of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. Maker Faire is an all-ages gathering of tech enthusiasts, crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, science clubs, authors, artists, students, and commercial exhibitors. All of these ‘makers’ come to Maker Faire to show what they have made and to share what they have learned.” The 2013 Maker Faire in San Mateo, California had 150 000 attendees.
Associated magazine – MAKE and website with projects, videos, blog, forum. Intriguing!  http://makezine.com/

The Maker movement is also catching on in Australia:
Torque: revolving ideas
Canberra’s Maker culture delivers fortnightly seminars for students and others at Questacon Technology Learning Centre. Local artists, engineers, designers, scientists and other creative people discuss their hobbies, work and construction processes.
Adelaide has a Fab Lab, the first in Australia, where anyone can use the 3D printers, laser cutters etc. In April, they hosted the second Mini Maker Faire In Australia.

At Dickson College, teacher Andrew Moss runs the award-winning Unmanned Aerial Vehicle course, robotics and 3D printing for Years 11 and 12. The students (and Andrew) are creative and amazing! A new Engineering course starts in 2014.

And we are all good at making something…even if it’s just cupcakes!