Singapore

This weekend was spent at an IBO conference in Singapore. The conference was not about Librarianship but The Exhibition. The Exhibition is an inquiry guided by the children that culminates in an exhibition of their work. It can include displays, art, drama etc but must include a reflective journal of their learning journey. I spent some time discussing what the TLs role would be in this and it seems to be quite extensive in terms of research skills, evaluation of web sites, cites and developing bibliographies etc etc

The most interesting part was the sharing of ideas and resources by some of the participants. Many of them had a very high understanding of the PYP and how it works. They were not afraid to question or engage in debate and offered many ideas. Pechua Kuchau was one that I particularly liked; basically a slide show of 20 slides and you have 20 seconds to talk about each slide. A great idea that could be used by students to explain their work.

SAM Animation was another tool that was demonstrated.  Excellent for EAL students who can demonstrate their learning visually and Scratch from MIT which enables students to make their own video games.

It was exciting to be a part of a group which contained 21st Century Learners. Teachers who are obviously working hard to enable their children to develop digitial skills in order to explore concepts and learning further and who are happy to collaborate with others.

On a more disappointing note I visited a library whilst there.  Although it looked very impressive I came away with a feeling that it was not being utilised to its full potential.  Teachers could book the TL to work with their classes which I thought was a good idea and helped develop a flexible timetable. However some staff took their children in for silent reading and did not develop any information literacy skills at all. The shelves although looking well organised had the feel of a museum and I got the impression that not many were taken out. The one book I did pick off a shelf had been published in 1999. I feel that had I visited the same library 6 months ago my impressions would have been very different. Would I have checked the publishing date? I very much doubt it. Would I have asked the librarian how the library  and her skills were used? No. Would I have been impressed with the tidiness and the furnishings? Yes, most definitely.  Would I have noticed the lack of children’s work or  that the most interesting area was kept for parents? No. My thinking is changing, I’m learning!

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