RSS

Tag Archives: Global citizen

13 Project ~ Cyber Safety for Global Citizenship

Click on the image to go to the website and explore the cyber smart initiatives

Click on the image to go to the website and explore cyber smart initiatives

The primary school, where I currently work, is in the midst of investigating safe social networking sites for children. There is an acceptance that children are connected to technology on a daily basis, using it for educational and recreational purposes and in support of global citizenship. As a consequence, cyber safety is a significant focus. Currently, our students participate in many online environments including blogs, and posting to Vimeo.

The release of national statistics in 2012 by the minister for education, Peter Garrett point to disturbing figures of the prevalence of cyber bullying in his Be Bold Stop Bullying Facebook Campaign Launch. This is a major concern for the school community highlighting the need for constant revision of cyber safety practices. This has contributed to a greater focus by the school in assessing our current efforts and discovering where we can improve.

As part of this school-wide initiative, I investigated library based initiatives in support of schools’ efforts to promote cyber safety. I discovered the 13 project via a thread on the OZTLnet list serve and then investigated further. 13 Project was launched on 1st March 2013 by school library associations across Australia in recognition of the important role of school libraries and participation of school library staff in schools’ efforts to help keep their students safe online.

As a librarian, in a school based environment, being able to locate resources and provide access to these resources is of primary importance. This professional learning activity enabled a connection with the information needs of the school community and the library in resourcing those needs. Via the 13 project, some of the resources mentioned were areas our school identified for investigation, namely social networking sites that are safe environments for children in this age group. I evaluated the suggested social networking site Skooville. After the initial evaluation I shared the online resources from 13 project with teachers in our school and provided a recommendation of the Skooville program to be considered for implementation across the school. I attended the morning briefing during Cyber safety week and discussed this resource with staff thus saving them time in investigation of this important area.

Discovering a national library-based advocacy initiative, with a focus on cyber safety, was the most significant learning from this activity. With the networks to library professionals accessed via OZTLnet I can transfer the learning and extend the library into the school. This affirms the importance of the library for school based initiatives with a focus on curriculum and community needs. One of the tools particularly useful to school administration is the Safe Schools toolkit  as it provides an online audit tool to help with school prioritisation in this area. This information was shared with the leading teachers.

At this stage, I can see there is more that can be done by the library and staff in this area. Prior to this, our library had no knowledge of 13 project and the Skooville site. This activity has enabled the beginning of this knowledge and connecting with the wider school as a result.

The next step in this professional learning will be to involve the school in some of the other suggested initiatives as part of the National Cyber Security Awareness week. This will be explored for the next year.

Cybersafety is an ongoing learning curve needing constant evaluation and awareness raising. 13 project is a great starting place and resource.

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Will Coles: an appreciation

I first stumbled upon the street sculptures of Will Coles in Sydney, in the May Lane area of St Peters. The first work I noticed was the balaclava clad face. It looked familiar and I was somewhat sure I had seen it in Melbourne, though I didn’t feel certain. Then on the opposite side of May lane I noticed the baby doll, ‘context’.

IMG_5324

‘Context’, May Lane St Peters, Sydney.

‘Context’ was new to me, making me pause and stop for quite some time. I looked at this doll and wondered why it was there and what it meant. It was lying on the ground with mangled body looking as if it had been left by a child who no longer wanted to play with the doll. Maybe it had fallen out of a pram whilst in motion, and parent and child didn’t notice. There it was near the gutter in a laneway, looking unloved, out of context and even disturbing. Of course, I had to move closer and discover the word ‘context’ written on it as well as some paint marks over its face. The paint marks on its face were additions and yet they reminded me of how my children would draw on their dolls faces. I knelt closer and had to touch it. I had become curious. What was it made of?… It was cold hard concrete and the coldness seemed to emanate another dimension to the meaning it seemed to evoke within me. This work seemed to elicit a few responses from me yet, what resonated was the memory I had of my childhood when I accidentally left my doll that could sing (as it had a little record player in its back) out in the backyard. That night a heavy storm started with thunderclaps and rained heavy drops all night. The next day my doll could no longer sing. She was broken and I was sad. After crying for some time she was then discarded by my mother, who has never been a hoarder. I somehow loved my doll less once she was broken. As if voiceless she was no longer alive. That became one ‘context’ of the meaning for me. How easily the doll was discarded when she seemingly had no use, was broken and then lifeless. This mangled doll on the ground before me looked lifeless.

Leaving this work behind me I suddenly started to notice other Will Coles works. I stumbled on what appeared to be a crushed can that had the word ‘work’ inscribed on it and then some more…

At this stage I did not know who Will Coles was or the body of work on the streets and in the galleries. However, it did not take long to find out. With the help of the virtual sphere and the benefits of the hashtag I could seek out more information. Posting photographs of the sculptures to instagram, it wasn’t long before someone popped into my feed and informed me that this is the work of Will Coles… and so the discovery began.

Looking at the #willcoles on Instagram I was able to see photos that others had posted in Melbourne and Sydney. Since then, finding a Will Coles work has always been exciting. Researching and reading about the works of Will Coles has added further insight. Seemingly, there is no end to the layers and meaning and I discover more and more all the time.

Back in Melbourne, I started to look out for the works of Will Coles on the street and in laneways. What I discovered about his work is the placement often appears hidden. Sometimes, I have spent hours just trying to locate a work so I can take a photograph, as I did in Canberra. I knew Will Coles had some works left around the gallery and other places in Canberra. However, they were not easy to spot and I walked for two hours trying to find them. Luckily, just as I was about to give up the work appeared before me…

The works seemingly become part of the environment. With so much detritus strewn around the streets and in lanes, a sculpture of a crushed can with a word on it becomes hidden or seemingly part of the detritus. As a concrete sculpture it often melds with the concrete surrounds and yet taking on the form of our discarded lives it seems to be part of the rubbish just lying around. However, I learnt to look in gaps in walls, on little ledges, on the ground near poles, up high, over and under places and with time the works start to materialise. Once you start seeing a Will Coles sculpture, they just start to appear everywhere you look.

Following are some links that provide more information about Will Coles and his work.

Will Coles | Sculptor and Freelance European the artist’s website.

Interview with Will Coles by Invurt

Will Coles at Brenda May Gallery

Mr Will Coles’ photostream on Flickr

Artist spotlight: Interview with Will Coles by The Flying Room

Will Coles as documented by Dean Sunshine on Land of Sunshine

If in Melbourne, you can see the works of Will Coles in his first solo exhibition in Melbourne that is currently on. This was the first time I saw the works of Will Coles in a gallery context and I have been four times already. The last time I had the pleasure of perusuing through a document with statements on the works by Will Coles. This added further insight into the works, the thinking behind the works and the intentions.
Details of the exhibition are in the poster that follows:

aposter

Finally, here are some photos I have snapped of Will Coles works on the streets of Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Visiting Libraries….

A Web of interconnections

This past session, one of the subjects I completed included the study visits to various information agencies. Interestingly most people visiting the Melbourne organisations were from other States of Australia or regional areas and I was definitely amongst the minority from Melbourne on the visits.

The places visited include

I’m not going to venture into detail about each of the organisations but rather provide a focus on Melbourne Library Service.

In previous posts, I have mentioned some of their innovative programming such as the Gallery Space hosting exhibitions, the cafe poet, the public piano and various workshops including Zine making workshops. It’s incredibly exciting to learn about the community engagement offered by Melbourne Library Service and how it provides a glimpse to the changing nature of libraries as space and how they are utilised.

In line with the rise in the creative maker culture, Melbourne Library Service reflects this, not only in their programming of workshops but in their collection building too. For instance, the Zine creation workshops lead to Zines that become part of the library collection that a wider audience can borrow, just like books, ebooks, audio books and CD’s. In effect this is an example of  great community engagement by a public library facilitating publishing and sharing.

Another interesting transition, exemplified in their plans for the library that is being built at Docklands due to open in 2014, is the incorporation of multimedia production facilities, a performance space and a Green room (for special effects). With these facilities, enabling multimedia production, they are planning to employ two multimedia technicians to facilitate the process and enable community to create films, audio recordings and even have performances or screenings.

Clearly, exciting times are ahead for public libraries as they transition to being the Hub of the community. The public library provides meeting spaces, resources and enables creative engagement. It provides connections to artists and community and facilitates the sharing of a local voice to a global audience.

Funnily, the study visits were meant to clarify the kind of information agency I would like to end up in. Currently, I’m in a small school library and for a few months I was convinced it was audiovisual archives and preservation that I wanted to focus on. After the visits, I came away liking all of them and have now broadened my choices rather than narrowed… Maybe next year I’ll narrow it down and the sky will provide a clear and narrowed focus 🙂

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Puppetry inspiration

This past year has been hectic, with deadlines for assessments, especially as I studied a WISE subject via San Jose State University. This meant there were no breaks between semesters, and often I was working endlessly to meet assignment deadlines. All I could do was forge ahead and not think about it too much… My only respite, to the assignment madness, were my streetart photographic adventures; shared mostly via Instagram.

So… what do you do when your study deadlines slow down and give you some breathing space? Engage your creativity of course, and revisit some past passion. This is just what I did with puppetry.

Luckily, Barek an artist from Brisbane announced a competition via Instagram titled #makemeabarek. The competition was run via Facebook and as my account had been inactive for a significant time, I had to reactivate to participate. What was involved was creating a character and including the signature Barek eyes.

I have never been able to complete a puppet in such a short time-frame but decided to give it a shot. Working collaboratively, with my partner we lost sleep and kept at it until we realised the day before that we were going to meet the deadline… Yippee!

Not only did we meet the deadline but our character was the winner! For our joyful effort we have an original
Barek artwork on the way… WOW!

Apart from the sheer joy of working on puppets again, I’ve enjoyed dipping my toes into Facebook and finding some of the talented artists I admire there too. I had been somewhat resistant of Facebook for quite some time but not any longer.

Following are some photos of the puppet entry. The inspiration for the puppet technique is Japanese Bunraku puppetry, although we have modified the actual technique and the puppet will be operated by two people without the strict adherence to the traditional form. The scenery is inspired by the talented Melbourne based artist Suki.

I’m now working on another character and hope to create a short video demonstrating the puppets. Stay tuned 🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

History of photography (The quick version)

I’ve been fascinated with photography since a very young child. My father was an avid photographer with a darkroom set up at home where he would develop photographs and experiment continuously. It’s no surprise that I developed the passion for photography and this later translated to teaching photography in a highschool a few years ago.

As the school had a darkroom set up, it enabled the opportunity for many students to benefit from the learning process. From making pinhole cameras, creating sunprints and moving through the history towards a final assessment of planning, shooting and developing photo essays to be exhibited at school, the students discovered their own passion for photography. I even found that once engaged in the analog/chemical process, students preferred it to digital photography.

However, the expense was always an issue at the school, and the darkroom was under constant negotiation to be turned into a computer lab. Digital photography was, and continues to be, much cheaper. I’m no longer teaching and today I wonder if the school, where I taught photography, is still teaching the subject…

leaving memory lane aside, I am now finding my passion for photography as relevant in my current studies. For the next couple of months I am studying Photographic Preservation via San Jose State University, as part of the WISE program offered by my home university. As a consequence, my posts for the next couple of months will most likely be centred on all things photography.

To kick start, this post will provide a brief history of photography. You can view a timeline of photographic processes from the Graphic Atlas of the Image Permanence Institute (highly recommended!).

Or for a shorter version the following two clips sum up the history of photography briefly and nicely…

 

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Internet Rising

Currently I am studying The Information Society and our first task is focussed on defining the key elements of what an information society is. So what is the information age, network society, the digital age, knowldedge society or any other terms that we often use interchangeably to define this period?

I came across the following documentary that is a digital mashup courtesy of amipress. I highly recommend viewing this… It is a pretty good start in considering many of the concepts before us.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Content Curation by people not Ai

Currently, I am exploring digital content curation and have been searching out visually interesting curation tools.

I initially started with Vodpod as a way of curating all the audio-visual material I stumbled upon. Vodpod is very effective for collecting videos and following the video collection streams of other collectors. You can collect videos from others that are of interest and others can collect from you. It is also a great place to store the gems you find. I have embedded a link to my vodpod account on my blog as a way of sharing further.

Another curation tool I started with last month is Scoop.it. Via Scoop.it, my curation efforts are focused on the topic of Poetry, just one of the plethora of interests I have. When I first started with my curation, I would initially trawl through web search and scoop what I found interesting, I would even share some of my scoops via Twitter. However, it wasn’t long as a scooper that I discovered you could set up a search via the curate button. You effectively set up  a trawl through the web sources via keyword suggestions, and specify what sources to accept ie blogs, twitter, google etc. Content suggestions are gathered based on this and you decide whether or not to collect suggested content to your topic.

Scoop.it provides opportunities to follow other Scoopers and to even offer suggestions for their Scoop.it topics. Potentially you can have an endless number of topics that are being curated concurrently.

What I have learnt from my Scoop.it adventure is

  • Even with my keywords, I still manage to come to content that has no relevance to my topic.
  • I still need to trawl the web to find interesting sources that have been missed. With the add-on button to my web browser scooping a page or video is very easy as it is just a click away similar to other bookmarking tools.
  • Many suggestions that have come my way have been great and I could easily have missed them if I had not set up the search and suggestion keywords via Scoop.it.
  • I love the visual quality of Scoop.it as it looks like a scrapbook collection of clippings. These clippings are the links to the actual webpage, video or information source. This visual element is very effective when I look though my scoops as it jogs my memory immediately as to what the source is. Thereby, making access to the information quick.
  • Sometimes, I come to the suggestions page and there are about hundred waiting for evaluation. I sigh when I think of the work ahead of me in evaluating each suggestion and whether it is suitable to my topic. This could happen daily for avid scoopers… and if you are curating numerous topics, it could be a fulltime vocation!
  • I love the ability to curate something I love and feel passionate about. Combined with sharing via Twitter. hopefully, others can stumble upon the found items and enjoy them too.
Another curation tool I have stumbled upon is Pearltrees and I have started experimenting with collaborative curation in Pearltrees only a couple of days ago. What is interesting about Pearltrees is that visually it is similar to a concept map that can keep growing and expanding. You can as a result have a variety of interests branching off your initial pearl and further branches can keep travelling from joined Pearls thereby, creating a tree visually or an ever-expanding concept map. You can collect other curated pearls you find interesting or that relate to your Pearl topics; adding them to your chosen Pearl. This results in following the curation of that particular Pearl as it expands. You can request to team up and curate a topic/Pearl and more than one person can add content and potentially change the direction of the Pearl with sub pearls added that can then become sub teams.
I have only just started on Pearltrees and have a great deal to learn still but the following are initial learning points
  • It provides the ability to participate and curate on very diverse topic areas. For instance I have an Everything Library Pearl, a Literature Pearl, a Music Pearl, Visual Art Pearl and so forth. Within these Pearls I have sub topics and have joined teams. Potentially the branching out can continue forever.
  • Sometimes I have chosen not to join a Pearl but collect it and add it to my Pearl topic like I would add a webpage. However, this collected Pearl is a curated topic and not just one source of information. Thereby I follow it like I would follow a blog.
  • I have realised efficiency can be improved by working collaboratively on topic curation. Therefore, instead of everyone having a topic on ebooks for instance, you can have an aggregate of collectors/curators contributing to the same Pearl.
  • In a work context, I can see Pearltrees as an effective curation tool where teams can focus on specific topic areas in planning and then come back to a central point to put the ideas together.
  • There are forums within curating teams where you can post.
  • There is a search facility where you can search the whole Pearltrees based on keywords or just search within your own Pearltree to locate content.
  • I need to definitely work out effective categories or it can become unwieldy.
  • Just like Scoop.it you can share via social media. However, to be able to view a Pearltree a person would have to join Pearltrees.
  • I have had some technical difficulties with Pearls dropping into my dropzone, disappearing and not behaving as the videos suggest.
  • I have had difficulty joining my Pearls to topics. You are meant to be able to pick them up and move them to a chosen Pearl and they connect. A few times this has not occurred.
  • My brand new iMac doesn’t allow the program to work effectively and I am unable to utilise the trackpad to move the Pearls around.
  • Sometimes the add-on for my web browser has failed to work.
  • Even though you can embed your Pearltree on your blog, I have had great difficulty trying to embed it here as it would not work.
I can certainly see the benefits of Pearltrees and its potential for curation on an expansive level. Collaborative content curation is potentially very efficient.

Following are some videos specific to the areas discussed.

The Need for Online Curation
– Watch more Videos at Vodpod.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: