Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Changes to the Red Dot voting and Readers Cup this year

This year voting for the Red Dot books is for 2 months, not one week.

The online form will be on the website -- reddotawards.com -- starting from March 1st and closing on May 1st.

Remember: each school can collect votes in their own way.  You can direct your students to the Red Dot website - or create your own vote catchers.  You then report your results to me -- and I will email you back a total for your school, including any submitted online.  The overall winner for the whole network will be announced on the website and here.

Our search for the 2015-2016 Red Dot shortlist titles will begin much earlier.  The goal is to announce the lists in early June.  How to suggest titles (besides sending us an email!) will be explained in the near future.

There are even more changes happening on the Readers Cup front.  After last year's event, several of the participating librarians had extended conversations about how to improve it and make it more than just quick regurgitation of memorized information.

Consequently the Readers Cup Committee met in October 2015 with the express purpose of updating the format of the event in order to:
  • allow for a greater number of students to participate
  • promote higher level thinking/reading skills
  • promote creativity
  • allow students interaction across schools
  • have more winners
After much discussion it was agreed schools can enter up to TWO teams per category, rather than just ONE.

In terms of the quiz, besides short answers on key plot points and multiple choice questions, there will be:
  • kid generated questions
  • inferential/deeper meaning questions
  • questions based on supplementary information provided by the Committee 4 weeks before the competition (e.g.,  about the author, the country of the author, etc.)
 There will also be other ways to win -- in addition to the quiz portion:
  • Best Book Trailer - prepared and submitted by schools ahead of time, shown in between rounds. Each trailer no more than 1 minute long. Marked out of 10
  • Best Alternate Book Cover - prepared and submitted by schools ahead of time
Having a mixed team quiz is still under consideration, where students from different schools would be mixed together.

Watch this blog -- and the Red Dot website Readers Cup page (link here) -- for ongoing updates.

Contact Barb Reid, the chair of the Readers Cup committee, if you have questions about Readers Cup -- bre@uwcsea.edu.sg.

Contact Katie Day, the chair of the Red Dot committee, if you have questions about the Red Dot awards -- kda@uwcsea.edu.sg

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Report back: Information Literacy Seminar 2015 at SMU, Jan. 29

Thursday, Jan 29 -- from 2:00 to 5:30pm -- Singapore Management University (SMU) hosted a seminar on information literacy entitled, We are teaching but are they learning?

ISLN was well represented, with Foo Soo Chin from the Singapore School of the Arts discussing "The art of thinking - in the brave new world of information literacy," followed by the Tanglin librarian team speaking about "Changing a culture: Academic honesty (acknowledging sources) in a 3-18 international school".

Four UWCSEA East & Dover librarians were in the audience to cheer them on, as well as Graham Grant from ISS and Yvonne Krishnan from SJI International.

The photo on the right shows the Tanglin (TTS) librarians receiving a thank-you gift from Gulchin Cribb, SMU head librarian.  On the left is Suzanne Parfitt.

It was quite unusual for the audience, mainly post-secondary Singapore librarians, to consider the implications of information literacy pushed down to such young levels as at TTS -- and they were charmed by the videos of Infant and Junior School students talking so confidently about referencing authors and titles.  The issue of the lack of librarians in Singapore schools was raised.

Several presenters opted for the rigorous Pecha Kucha presentation style, which forces you into speaking to 20 slides automatically timed to be displayed for just 20 seconds each.  I take my hat off to them -- they coped marvelously; I think I would still prefer to be in charge of the "next click."

Judith Peacock, the Learning and Study Support (LSS) Coordinator at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Library, Brisbane, Australia, was a guest presenter -- and she finished off the afternoon of information literacy stories with these challenges for us:
  • Think more LEARNING, less teaching;
  • Think more CURRICULUM, less classes;
  • Think more OUTCOMES, less inputs;
  • Think more THEM (what do they the students need to know), not us (the teachers);
  • Think more US (the university and school), less we (the library);
  • Think more PROOF, less belief;
  • Think more SUPPORT LEARNING, less information literacy;
  • Think more STRATEGIC, less operational;
  • Think more DISRUPTIVE, less comfortable;
  • Think more POLITE BOLSHIE, less  yes-man;
  • Think more RULES, and THEN how to break them;
  • perceptions, attitudes, practices, roles, thinking, etc. 
After the seminar, there were tours for all interested.  I took a few photos.... 

UPDATE:  Here's a Storify of the event by one of the SMU librarians (@rockbrarian).

Report back: the iCreate Conference 2015 at SAS Fri Jan 23 - Sat Jan 24

The Singapore American School librarians hosted a next-generation version of their annual children's literature conference -- now called iCreate (#iCreate2015).  In addition to bringing in four award-winning authors/illustrators from the US, who each did keynotes and break-out sessions, they added extra speakers on the Friday evening and workshops on the Saturday afternoon, focusing on the creative process.

Here are links to the author/illustrators and their resources:
I would encourage you all to seek out Alvin -- he would be fantastic to put in front of students.  (If you want to buy his books, contact Books Actually.)

The conference, appropriately, challenged our own creativity, starting with the decorating of our nametags and the black blank notebooks they passed out.  (Though we were encouraged to swap notebooks partway through, I'm not sure anyone did.  I know I'm rather attached to my own style of note-taking, no matter how boring it is....)  I did try to up my game by signing up for Becky Green's doodling workshop on Saturday afternoon.  See all her rich resources at tinyurl.com/sasdoodle.

As far as I could tell, Barb Reid and I were the only ISLN members at iCreate.  Such a shame, as it was a very fruitful weekend.  Look for signs of my increased creativity over the next few months!

Report back: Kevin Hennah's Cultural Weeding Workshop in KL, Jan 23, 2015

Kevin Hennah did a workshop on "Cultural Weeding" at ISKL in Malaysia
Friday, Jan 23.

Philip Moon, the high school librarian at OFS, attended and has kindly shared his report back to his principal with us.

Click here to read Philip Moon's report.

Three others from our network also attended:  Pam Males from UWCSEA Dover; Yvonne Krishnan from SJI International; and Marjorie Kennedy from the International Community School.