Thursday, August 19, 2010

Transmedia books

What is transmedia?

Wikipedia defines it thus: as storytelling across multiple forms of media with each element making distinctive contributions to a fan's understanding of the story world. By using different media formats, transmedia creates "entrypoints" through which consumers can become immersed in a story world.

According to Henry Jenkins, author of the book Convergence Culture, transmedia storytelling is a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience. Ideally, each medium makes it own unique contribution to the unfolding of the story.”

What is transmedia and is it different than crossplatform?
Jill Golick explains in her blog post on Transmedia her understanding of transmedia as being a subset of crossplatform. She believes all transmedia is crossplatform, but not all crossplatform is transmedia.

"When I use transmedia two conditions have to be met:
The story world must be expressed on at least three platforms. It can be more, many more, but three is the minimum.

The expression of the story world on each platform must be unique, not the same content repurposed on a different platform. So Harry Potter, in which the movies, video games and other elements are all retellings of the books that JK Rowling wrote? Not transmedia. Julia Child’s autobiography, My Life in France, Julie Powell’s blog The Julie/Julia Project and Nora Efron’s movie, Julie and Julia? Transmedia. (I have a post elaborating on this thought on the blog TransmediaTracker.)

Transmedia books to explore

1. Skeleton Creek

“Skeleton’s Creek – Ryan’s Journal” is the first book in a new series by author Patrick Carman. Carman has already experimented with New Media in his Atherton series and, once again, he returns to the format with this new book and series which is, ostensibly, a kind of ghost story – with a secret society thrown into the overall mystery. Taking into account that this book is aimed at adolescents, the results are almost entirely positive with Carman weaving a successfully creepy and suspenseful tale, while taking advantage of the internet to augment his story.


2. 39 clues

YA book series like The 39 Clues, which ask participants to read the book and investigate clues online.

39 Clues tells the story of two children, Amy and Dan Cahill, who are thrust into a global hunt for clues that will reveal the secret to the Cahill family’s power. The series is a cross between The Westing Game and The Amazing Race as the two children compete against members of four branches of the Cahill family to uncover the secret histories of famous Cahills including Benjamin Franklin, Anastasia Romanov, and Amelia Earhart. Although the series initially portrays their competition as cutthroat caricatures of their respective family houses, the series gradually reveals the complex motives of their fellow competitors.

While the story is primarily told through the books, each novel serves as a launching pad for further exploration, as a number of clues are hidden within each book’s pages. For instance, in The Maze of Bones, a series of apparently misnumbered pages spells out a secret message that aids the reader in solving a puzzle on one of the six collectible cards that came with the book. By going to the 39 Clues website, the reader can complete a puzzle solving mission culminating in an online game that explains the message.

Scholastic assembled materials to help teachers using 39 Clues in the classroom, and libraries have organized 39 Clues discussion sessions “to attract a new crew of young patrons through their doors to meet, share, and sleuth to solve the fantasy adventure as a team.”

3. Level 26 books

Level and the Level 26 books combine to form a "digi-novel," a multi-platform experience that moves the reader from passages in the books to videos and interactive content right here on the Level 26 website.

Level and the Level 26 books combine to form a "digi-novel," a multi-platform experience that moves the reader from passages in the books to videos and interactive content right here on the Level 26 website.

How do I participate in the digi-novel?

Read the books, sign up for a profile, and enter codes to unlock the Cyber-bridges.

The first installment in the series "Level 26: Dark Origins," will be available in stores and online September 8th. As you read the book, you'll see calls-to-action that direct you to this website to sign up for a profile and enter codes to unlock Cyber-bridges. These cinematic Cyber-bridges take the experience to the next level, immersing you in the action and putting you inside the twisted mind of a serial killer.

4. Nubs

The book Nubs is a true story about a dog and a Marine in Iraq. The website includes facts about the story, a book trailer, photo gallery, and a review of the locations in the story. Use this book to start an exploration of animal and journey stories. Think about ways you could create your own multi-platform story.

5. Cathy's story

Written for a young adult audience, Cathy's Book, Cathy's Key and Cathy's Ring by Sean Stewart and Jordan Weisman includes an evidence packet along with a website for each book. A website is also available for fans who want to discuss the book. The fictional character has Facebook and Flickr accounts you can visit.


Other transmedia to explore

Metro2033 is a computer game. The premise is a post-apocalyptic Moscow where humanity has retreated to the subway Metro system. On the surface are mutants and desolation. Below is factional subterranean tribal states in the Metro tunnels.

Metro 2033 been getting rave reviews as a game but what’s interesting in the context of Transmedia is a) that its based on a novel and b) that the original novel was self-published online.

Murder on Beacon Hill app

Normally, viewers experience the story of the murder as they travel a mapped route around Boston’s Beacon Hill, watching sections from the video at eight different stops. At the film festival, though, audiences will stay firmly in their seats, watching all 33 parts of the video in continuous order. “We were just blown away at how watchable the story is in a theatrical setting,” BIFF director Patrick Jerome said in a statement. “It’s quick-paced, full of juicy details, and, to our knowledge, it’s the first location-based application to screen at a film festival.” Untravel Media, founder Epstein says the film’s acceptance at BIFF is a sign that the filmmaking community is gradually waking up to the possibilities of transmedia storytelling—in particular, storytelling that immerses viewers in a thoughtful way in real geography. “For a few years now we’ve been talking about doing more than your typical audio guides and walking tours,” Epstein says. “With the iPhone, apps can be fairly rich, so filmmakers know their stories won’t be reduced to little clips, but that the actual story can be expanded and become more engaging.”

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

RDA the new era in cataloguing

A new era in cataloguing is about to take place with the introduction of RDA. RDA: Resource Description and Access is the new descriptive cataloguing standard that will replace the Anglo American Cataloguing Rules2 (AACR2).

In CEO Parramatta the library system support staff will be working closely with our library software supplier SirsiDynix to integrate changes as need be as well as keeping our school libraries informed. The aim of this post is just to provide a bit of background information about RDA for all library staff.

The aim of RDA is that cataloguing rules be easy to use and interpret and be applicable to an online, networked environment. Additionally it aims to provide effective bibliographic control for all types of media, and encourage use beyond the library community.

An example of one change is to provide users with better data about content and carrier of the content. General material designations (GMDs) and specific material designations (SMDs) used in AACR2 will be replaced in RDA with new elements to describe content and carrier. The current GMDs are a mixture of terms designating both content and carrier. For example, the GMD “videorecording” can be used for both videocassettes and DVDs. OPAC displays based on the current AACRC2 rules do not always give the user a clear indication of the content of the resource and the type of carrier the content is contained in. Let us take the example of a user wanting to view a particular feature film, say “The Titanic,” on a specific type of player. What he or she really wants to know is that the content of the resource is a moving image, and that the carrier is either a videocassette or a DVD. The OPAC display should be able to make these characteristics explicit. (Ref: The Potential Impact of RDA on OPAC Displays by Philip Hider and Ann Huthwaite)

If you want to know more about RDA the National Library of Australia has a page of articles, links and presentations about RDA at their RDA webpage.
A slideshare presentation Tools of our trade by Ann Chapman of London Metropolitan University also neatly summarises the differences.

School vision

Available via Ebschost databases. If having access problems please contact

Partnerships for... inspiration.
Rossiter, Sue
Education Journal; Dec2008, Issue 113, p37-37, 1p
The article focuses on the importance and role of students in the process of building new schools and their strong association in new surroundings and school experience and expectations. It states that students are involved for the development of school vision and redevelopment of the construction of school. It also notes that the Centre for Excellence and Outcomes in Children and Young People's Services aims to transform outcomes for young people and their families.

What is vision & How do you get one?

Scoolis, James
Thrust for Educational Leadership; Nov/Dec98, Vol. 28 Issue 2, p20, 3p
Discusses the importance of vision in an educational organization. Definitions of vision; Ways to develop effective school visions; Details on the document entitled `The Walk,' an activity that asks participants to provide specific information that will be used in vision creation.

Why change doesn't happen and how to make sure it does.
Schwahn, Charles Spady, William
Educational Leadership; Apr98, Vol. 55 Issue 7, p45, 3p, 1 Color Photograph
Looks at strategic alignment for achieving the schools vision and productive changes for children. How successful strategic alignment occurs; Five rule for productive change; How educational leaders in Yarmouth significantly more than 2,000 people in the strategic planning process.

• Literacy leadership : six strategies for peoplework McAndrew, Donald A. 2005
• The new principal's fieldbook : strategies for success Robbins, Pam 2004
• Heroic leadership : best practices from a 450-year-old company that changed the world Lowney, Chris. 2003
• Centering educational administration : cultivating meaning, community, responsibility Starratt, Robert J. 2003
• Primal leadership : realizing the power of emotional intelligence Goleman, Daniel. 2002
• Joel Barker's Leadershift [kit] : five lessons for leaders in the 21st century Barker, Joel Arthur. 1999
• The strategic human resource leader : how to prepare your organization for the six key trends shaping the future Rothwell, William J., 1951- 1998
• The Tao of personal leadership Dreher, Diane, 1946- 1996
• Focus your vision [kit] Jones, Dewitt 2005
• Transforming schools through powerful planning Psencik, Kay 2004

Available for browsing from EBook library. Purchase of any books available upon request from Ebook library. Contact LEX for more details.

• Generating Buy-In : Mastering the Language of Leadership Walton, Mark S.AMACOM 2003 9780814427668
• Rethinking Educational Leadership : Challenging the Conventions Bennett, N; Anderson, L SAGE Ltd. 2003 9781847876164
• Values for Educational Leadership Haydon, Graham SAGE Ltd .2007 9781848605015
• Passionate Leadership in Education Davies, Brent; Brighouse, Tim SAGE Ltd. 2008 9780857026958

School change

Available via Ebschost databases. If having access problems please contact

4 core strategies for implementing change.
Loesch, Paul C.
Leadership; May/Jun2010, Vol. 39 Issue 5, p28-31, 4p
The article focuses on core strategies suggested to be taken by schools in narrowing the achievement gap among students. It stresses that school districts should adopt to change in order to implement better means of improving student performance. It also states that identification of the problem and devising a plan are factors which contribute to a successful problem-solving in the field of education. Moreover, it emphasizes that schools should abide with definite goals.

Implementing school-wide behavior change: Lessons from the field.
George, Michael P. White, George P.
Schlaffer, Joseph J.
Psychology in the Schools; Jan2007, Vol. 44 Issue 1, p41-51, 11p, 1
In this article, we examine two schools that successfully adopted school-wide positive behavior interventions and highlight some of the common features that contributed to their success. As part of our analysis, we draw upon the theoretical literature on organizational change to discuss factors that supported these successful school-wide
reform efforts, including the contributions of administrators, teachers,
and school psychologists.


• The challenge of change : start school improvement now! Fullan, Michael. 2009
• Leading change in your school : how to conquer myths, build commitment, and get results Reeves, Douglas B., 1953- 2009
• What's worth fighting for in the principalship? Fullan, Michael. 2008
• Lead more, manage less : a five essential behaviour management insights for school leaders Richmond, Christine. 2007
• Activating the desire to learn Sullo, Robert A. 2007
• Leading schools in a data-rich world : harnessing data for school improvement Earl, Lorna M. (Lorna Maxine), 1948- 2006
• The principalship : a reflective practice perspective Sergiovanni, Thomas J. 2006
• Leading for results : transforming teaching, learning, and relationships in schools Sparks, Dennis. 2005
• Writing better : effective strategies for teaching students with learning difficulties Graham, Steven, 1950- 2005
• Teaching in the knowledge society : education in the age of insecurity Hargreaves, Andy. 2003
• Change forces with a vengeance Fullan, Michael. 2003

Available for browsing from EBook library. Purchase of any books available upon request from Ebook library. Contact LEX for more details.

• Building Leadership Capacity for School Improvement Harris, Alma; Lambert, Linda Open University Press 2007 9780335225699
• International Handbook of School Effectiveness and Improvement : Review, Reflection and Reframing Townsend, Tony Springer 2007 9781402057472
• Reframing Teacher Leadership to Improve Your School Reeves, Douglas B. ASCD 2008 9781416607670
• Leading Change in Your School : How to Conquer Myths, Build Commitment, and Get Results Reeves, Douglas B. ASCD 2009 9781416608929

Emotional intelligence and teaching


Available via our Ebschost databases. If having access problems please contact

Emotional Awareness and Emotional Intelligence in Leadership Teaching.
Ashkanasy, Neal M. Dasborough, Marie T.
Journal of Education for Business; Sep/Oct2003, Vol. 79 Issue 1, p18-22, 5p, 1 Chart
Recent research has highlighted the importance of emotional awareness and emotional intelligence in organizations, and these topics are attracting increasing attention. In this article, the authors present the results of a preliminary classroom study in which emotion concepts were incorporated into an undergraduate leadership course. In the study, students completed self-report and ability tests of emotional intelligence. The test results were compared with students' interest in emotions and their performance in the course assessment. Results showed that interest in and knowledge of emotional intelligence predicted team performance, whereas individual performance was related to emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence and Education: A critical review.
Humphrey, Neil, Curran Andrew Morris Elisabeth, Farrell Peter, Woods Kevin
Educational Psychology; Apr2007, Vol. 27 Issue 2, p235-254, 20p, 1
In recent years there has been an increased interest in the role of emotional intelligence in both the academic success of students and their emotional adjustment in school. However, promotion of emotional intelligence in schools has proven a controversial pursuit, challenging as it does traditional "rationalist" views of education. Furthermore, research findings in this area have been inconsistent at best. In this article we discuss the following key questions relating to this important debate. What do we mean by emotional "intelligence"? What impact would improved emotional intelligence have on learners' emotional health and well-being, academic achievement, and other adaptive outcomes? Can emotional intelligence be taught? It is felt that these are the key issues for consideration in developing policy, practice, and further research in this area.

Emotionally Intelligent Interventions for Students with Reading Disabilities.
Pellitteri, John Dealy, Michael Fasano, Charles Kugler, John
Reading & Writing Quarterly; Apr-Jun2006, Vol. 22 Issue 2, p155-171,
The construct of emotional intelligence provides a framework for understanding emotional processes in students with reading disabilities. The components of emotional intelligence include the perception of emotions, emotional facilitation of thinking, emotional knowledge, and emotional regulation. This article examines underlying affective processes as they relate to cognition, motivation, and social functioning. Ecological and individual interventions for influencing learning and social adjustment are described. Consideration is given to the emotional factors in the school environment, the interpersonal interactions of peer groups, opportunities for facilitating emotional learning, and dynamic affective–aesthetic responses of the individual during the reading process.

Kaufhold, John A. Johnson, Lori R.
Education; Summer2005, Vol. 125 Issue 4, p615-626, 12p, 2 Charts, 3
The study's purpose was to examine emotional intelligence skills and potential problem areas of elementary educators. The study provided elementary educators with a self-assessment of emotional intelligence skills to utilize in the workplace and beyond. An improved understanding of personal skills and weaknesses may lessen educator's risk of psychological burnout. In addition, increased awareness of children's emotional intelligence skills offers educators an alternative means of student assessment. The study's research population consisted of a cluster sample of elementary educators. Each educator varied in regard to length of time in profession and level of education. Many variables were increasing the likelihood of psychological burnout for these educators. The significant findings of this study reveal that elementary educators do not perceive any personal, "enhanced" emotional intelligence skills. The comparison between Master's level and bachelor's level educator's perceptions of personal emotional intelligence skills were similar. Master's level teacher viewed themselves as having higher self-esteem, stress management, and anger management skills, while Bachelor's level teachers perceived themselves as having more enhanced assertion skills.


  • Emotional intelligence : why it can matter more than IQ Goleman, Daniel. 2005
  • Anger management : for middle school students Morris, Elizabeth. 2004
  • Assertiveness : for middle school students Morris, Elizabeth. 2004
  • The new leaders : transforming the art of leadership into the science of results Goleman, Daniel. 2003
  • Project leadership Lewis, James P., 1941- 2003
  • The Heart masters : a program for the promotion of emotional intelligence and resilience : managing the difficult emotions Bellhouse, Robert, 1956- 2003
  • Primal leadership : realizing the power of emotional intelligence Goleman, Daniel. 2002
  • The Heart masters : a program for the promotion of resilience and emotional intelligence for junior primary school students Johnston, Glenda. 2002
  • Emotional intelligence in everyday life : a scientific inquiry Ciarrochi, Joseph. 2001
  • The Heart masters : a program for the promotion of emotional intelligence and resilience in the middle to senior years of primary schools Fuller, Andrew. 2001
  • The Heart masters : a program for the promotion of emotional intelligence and resilience in the junior to middle years of secondary school Fuller, Andrew. 2001
  • Stop! think! choose! : building emotional intelligence in young people Mapes, Katta, 1949- 2000


Available for browsing from Ebook library via Staffnet. Purchase of any books available upon request from Ebook library. Contact LEX at for more details.

  • Emotional Intelligence In Action : Training and Coaching Activities for Leaders and Managers Hughes, Marcia M.; Patterson, L. Bonita; Terrell, James B. Pfeiffer 2005
  • Teaching With Emotional Intelligence : A Step-by-Step Guide for Higher and Further Education Professionals Mortiboys, Alan Routledge 2005
  • A Coach's Guide to Emotional Intelligence : Strategies for Developing Successful Leaders Terrell, James Bradford; Hughes, Marcia M. Pfeiffer 2008
  • Emotional Intelligence Coaching : Improving Performance for Leaders, Coaches and the Individual Neale, Stephen; Spencerarnell, Lisa; Wilson, LizKogan Page 2009

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Use of Interactive Whiteboards to support literacy

Do Interactive Whiteboards Improve the Motivation and Attitudes of Reluctant Readers?
The aim of this action research project was to investigate whether guided reading sessions could be enhanced through the use of an interactive whiteboard.

Interactive Whiteboards, Productive Pedagogies and Literacy Teaching in a Primary Context.
The classroom use of Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs) at Richardson Primary School (ACT) has
produced improvements in students’ Literacy. These improved outcomes have been evidenced
both with anecdotal observations of parents and teachers, as well as in formal standardised
testing results.

Our Ebscohost databases also have a range of good articles on Interactive Whiteboards and literacy. Staff have access to Ebscohost databases via our Staffnet intranet. For any help with accessing the following articles contact Learning Exchange.

Ebscohost articles (see above for) access details
The visual helps me understand the complicated things’: pupil views of teaching and learning with interactive whiteboards.
Wall, Kate,Higgins, Steve,Smith, Heather
British Journal of Educational Technology, 2005
This study is one element of a government-sponsored evaluation into the introduction of interactive whiteboards (IWBs) to Years 5 and 6 in English primary schools. This element of the research aimed to gather information regarding pupil views of IWBs and the impact these tools can have on teaching and learning. To extend current literature, the method targeted pupils’ views of how IWBs can impact on metacognition: thinking about learning.

Teaching for scientific literacy with an interactive whiteboard.
Murcia, Karen
Teaching Science - the Journal of the Australian Science Teachers Association 2008
Developing scientific literacy drove the teaching and learning experiences provided to pre-service primary education teachers. Interactive whiteboard (IWB) pedagogy was used to engage and motivate these students' to explore science's role in making sense of our world and to understand key scientific concepts. Active science learning connected to social contexts was facilitated in workshops by the use of the technology. Using the IWB as a convergence tool facilitated the development of creative teaching resources that linked internet sites and on-line activities with hands on science investigations. It enabled fluid access to real life science contexts and supported a range of learning styles.

The use of the interactive whiteboard for creative teaching and learning in literacy and mathematics: a case study.
Wood, Ruth,Ashfield, Jean
British Journal of Educational Technology 2008
This paper considers the ways in which the interactive whiteboard may support and enhance pedagogic practice through whole-class teaching within literacy and numeracy. Data collected from observations of whole-class lessons, alongside individual interviews and focus group discussions with class teachers and Initial Teacher Education students, has provided opportunities to consider the potential of such technology to facilitate a more creative approach to whole-class teaching. The data suggests that, in the first instance, the special features of information and communications technology such as interactivity, ‘provisionality,’ speed, capacity and range enhance the delivery and pace of the session.

Books available from Learning Exchange

The Interactive Whiteboard Revolution: teaching with IWBs, Chris Betcher and Mal Lee, Acer Press, 2009.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

QR Codes - implications for teaching and learning

What is a QR code and how can we use it in teaching and learning?
A QR Code is a matrix barcode (or two-dimensional code), readable by QR scanners, mobiles phones with camera, and smartphones.
The code consists of black modules arranged in a square pattern on white background. The information encoded can be text, URL or other data. QR stands for Quick Response.
Although initially used for tracking parts in vehicle manufacturing, QR Codes are now being used in a much broader context.

What are the implications for teaching and learning
Educause explains: 'QR codes link the physical world with the virtual by providing on-the-spot access to descriptive language and online resources for objects and locations. In this way the codes support experiential learning. They offer expanded pedagogical value in exercises that draw students into creating and contributing content. In history projects, students might research information about local sites, write up what they have learned generate QR code for their content, post the codes at key destinations, and tour the sites where a network of information from other students has been posted'
Educause also see the potential of QR codes to move students away from keyboards as input devices in learning environment. Instead they scan QR codes to locate, interpret, review evaluate and create content.
ref: 7 things you should know about QR codes'

Uses of QR codes in Teaching and Learning:
  • The potential of QR codes in Education

eg: Half Hollow Hills Community Library uses datamatrix codes on end stacks to lead patrons to subject guides on the web.
Through the magic of QR codes, Ubimark has published an edition of Jules Verne's Around The World in 80 Days which allows you to 'click through' to more information using your phone.
eg: Novels – add scan codes for sidebar stories about the characters or author commentary. Recipe Book – scan the code to see the “how to” video.

Generate your own QR code
Try Kaywa QR code generator:

Reading QR codes

You need a mobile phone with a camera and a suitable QR scanning app. Try ScanMee for iphones or use Google to locate other QR code readers for other suitable apps. Most smartphones on a Telstra plan come with an inbuilt QR scanner.

See the QR codes we made earlier at the top of this post. Try scanning them to see where it takes you.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Learning and Teaching with ipads

Currently 15 of our schools are evaluating the use of iPads in supporting teaching and learning.
The evaluation, discussion and learnings from this pilot are available to view on the Learning and Teaching with iPads blog.
Along with this there are links to a range of resources, apps and teaching ideas on iPads in teaching and learning.