Monday, 29 March 2010

A Virtual Tour

We've recently done a complete redesign of our Hub, and it feels great. The feedback from kids, parents and teachers is so positive that I thought I'd make a virtual tour for others to see.

It would be great if librarians around the world did the same and posted it on their blogs so we all can have a look inside. If you do make a video, please leave a comment so I can see your library!

Monday, 22 March 2010

Presentation Zen

Presentation Zen is not necessarily new to some folks, but I am intrigued by it, and I have sat through a few traditional PowerPoint presentations lately that have inspired me to share my take on it.

In a nutshell, Presentation Zen is a different way of looking at creating a presentation for an audience. Instead of the traditional PowerPoint slide with lots of text, instead choose an evocative image that is appealing and makes the audience think. Choose one or two words to sum up what you want to say in that slide instead of adding all that text, and you have completely changed the approach of presenting to peers.

Garr Reynolds, the author of the book Presentation Zen, lives in Japan and took the Japanese concept of simplicity and beauty and adapted it to presentations. His book is a very interesting read, and I learned tons from it.

Recently on my first trip to Japan, I was amazed at how I could walk down the street and see images that were just perfect for a presentation designed in a Presentation Zen style. I'm finding that my mind now looks at images in a way as to how I can use them in a future presentation.

Giving your audience something beautiful to look at in your next presentation just might hold their attention longer than a traditional text-filled slide, and I love how it makes me ponder while listening. Compfight offers a great selection of Creative Commons photos.

Another great resource to check out is Death By Powerpoint.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Digital Book Reviews- Compiling Our Work

My small group of 5th graders is chugging away at making their digital book trailers, and we are highlighting one a week on the Destiny home page. This week's Lightning Thief is pretty popular, and I love that a pair of boys are entering the foray of nonfiction trailers.

My original plan was to move the showcased trailer into a link next to the book title within the catalog, but I have since discovered that you can only upload from the computer itself and not use any sort of embedding at this time. A bit of a bummer for me because the simplicity of PhotoPeach is fantastic, but I've come up with plan B: a wiki dedicated to ISB book trailers. It's at the beginning stages but hopefully will grow over time. I've also added a link on the Destiny homepage to the wiki, and students are using it well.

My fingers are crossed that Destiny 10.0 will include embedding a link as an update feature in June.