Firstly, a very Good New Year to you all.There’s a new e-learning platform doing the rounds. It’s called Gooru and is designed to, in the words of the Gooru video, allow “teachers to search and teach, and students to search and study”. Teachers, and of course TLs and SLs although the video doesn’t say this, can put together classbooks which are sets of online resources, and be integrated into class plans. There are tutorials on the site and a video. For a fuller review of Gooru, try the Edudemic site, which is worth bookmarking and looking at from time to time. I have not studied Gooru in detail. However, it was designed by a Google employee – and yes, I know that not everyone will see that as a positive. It is certainly worth checking out and discussing with interested colleagues in your school.
I recently rejoined the National Library of Scotland (NLS) in Edinburgh, as a member. It is … years(I’ll let you guess the exact number) since I was a member of the library as a 4th year honours student at Edinburgh University. The NLS is a wonderful place in which to study – although I have to say you must like almost total silence in the reading room where people do research. There was and still is, an eclectic mix of young students and (like me now) more mature researchers. As you walk into the Reading Room, some eyes will lift briefly before going back to books, pamphlets, journals. Each seat is numbered and if you order a book – there is only very limited open access to reference materials – or other material, it will be brought to your seat. Yes – a haven of civilisation. Once change since my youth is that you can now take your laptop into the Reading Room – no Skypeing of course! When I was in Australia recently, I made a brief visit to the Australian National Library in Canberra, another fascinating centre of learning and culture. In the photo below, the NLA is in the background, with a very pleasant walk to it, passing some very interesting sculpture.