I have just found a really useful website by an amazing educator, Chris Smith. Chris is originally from the UK but has lived an worked in Asia (and that includes Australia) for many years now. He is a bit of a guru on using Web 2.0 in education.
I discovered through the OZTL-NET list server that he is running some workshops in Sydney in May (“Using Web 2.0 to support teaching & Learning”) which would be fantastic to attend, but as that’s unlikely for me, I started checking out his website. There is a great page of links for teacher librarians and he also has a blog about a virtual school island he is involved with in Second Life. I’ve been curious about Second Life for a while now, but have avoided it because I figured it would chew up too much of my time and would just be for fun. Now that I know there’s an educational aspect to it, I might have to dip my toe in after all!
I must admit that the look of his website isn’t too inspiring (though maybe I haven’t explored it enough), but the content appears to be extremely useful – and jam packed with information that’s useful to educators. You can actually take a tour of his website by clicking on the “Tour Shambles” link on the left-hand side. The tour operates using a web tool I haven’t seen before called “Trail Fire” (more about that later). Included in his tour is a great page of links for teacher librarians, who, he says is his tour notes, are “now more important because of the internet not less“.
Trail Fire also looks like an extremely useful tool for TLs and other educators using ICTs. It allows you to bookmark certain webpages, add your own notes to the pages, string them together in a trail which you can then share with others. What a fantastic way to lead students through a series of websites. I can see nearly endless possibilities for this in developing information literacy.