SLJ webcasts and Scottish walls

If you would like some easily accessed CPD (continuous Professional Development) then you might want to take a look at – and listen to – the webcasts provided by School Library Journal. I’ve just accessed one which looks at integrating digital resources in the school curriculum. The webcast has 3 presenters – a teacher librarian, an administrator and a teacher, who all give their own perspective on this topic. My impressions were that this was very down to earth, not that difficult to achieve, advice on using e-resources. You will need time to listen to the webcast, and it would be a good idea to dedicate some time to doing this – and importantly, tell your colleagues, managers etc that you are doing this and when you are doing it. Too often, TLs/SLs do this kind of self development without indicating that they have done so. Letting your manager know, in particular, is important.

One of the questions I always get asked by visitors to Scotland from Australia, New Zealand, North America and elsewhere, is why are there so many walls in the Scottish countryside? In the south east of Scotland, where I live for most of the year, you will see many farms with walled sections,  high stone walls stretching out often for perhaps 100 metres. Also, along fields, you will see dry-stane dykes i.e. dry stone (no cement used) walls which edge huge fields. The simple answer is that, perhaps 300-400 years ago, wealthy farmers had a plentiful supply of free stone – from their fields – and a plentiful supply of very cheap labour – their farmworkers. Walls were also status symbols for owners of large estates and were build, not just to keep other people out, but to impress them. During a walk near Peebles on Sunday, I took the photo below of this dry stane dyke, carefully constructed only from stone – an impressive work.

Dry stane dyke near Peebles

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