According to the latest E-School News (for which you need to register), thee has been a huge rise in the use of digital video in schools in the USA and this has been caused partly by the availability of what the article calls ‘vast repositories’. What is not clear is whether these sources of digital video are free to schools. The emphasis on visual learning as one of the most effective ways for students to learn has been with us for a long time. Recent examples of students using visual learning to help them use their information literacy skills better have included use of concept maps and many schools use the ‘Inspiration’ software to allow students to express themselves visually and to think more clearly about what their purpose for information is. One aspect which still remains open to question is whether students are actually given advice on what is, in effect, an excercise in ‘reading’ a digital video or whether this falls into the large pit of teacher and TL assumptions i.e. students can watch a video therefore they must be able to watch it effectively. Methinks not.
Unusually for this part of the South East of Scotland, there has been little wind for the past week but today it came back with a vengeance and out on the bike, at times having to work very hard to make progress, I thought about one of my favourite poems which is Shelley’s ‘Ode to the west wind’. Although this is winter here, with abundant signs of spring, and the poem is set in the autumn, it has the superbly optimistic last line – ‘If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?’. A favourite novel of mine in the past few years and one which should resonate with teacher librarians and school librarians is ‘The shadow of the wind’ by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Set in Barcelona, it features the wonderful ‘Cemetry of Lost Books’ on the first page – read it. Or of course you could try The Rabid Librarian’s Ravings in the Wind but …..