Category Archives: I-brarian

Improve your Grammar with Word Crimes

I think that this is the only good thing to come from Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke.

Word Crimes by “Weird Al” Yankovic is a brilliant parody of the above song and an excellent introduction to proper grammar.

I will be adding it to my pop culture educational arsenal for my students in September as there are a large number of them that treat grammar as an optional extra.

There is one instance of the term spastic at 3:10 into the song so if you do show this in class maybe stop it there or find some way of cutting that short segment out but it is near the end.

Stuff Mom Never Told You: The Literary Reign of YA Fiction

Visit the site for more information

The Perils of Using Wikipedia for Research

Student use of Wikipedia is a massive bugbear of mine.

Personally I love using it for general interest stuff and for idle moment reading. It is also good for presearch (the thing you do before settling down to do the work for an assignment).

The thing that really gets me is the fact that so many students seem to rely on it as the definitive and only source of information for homework and assignments.

Most public libraries offer Encyclopaedia Britannica or World Book Online as well as hundreds of other easy to use on-line reference sources (free with a library card).

Students mostly ignore other reference sources for the perceived ease of use that Wikipedia offers, regularly cutting and pasting entire blocks of text and passing the work off as their own.

Today on twitter I was a link to an article on how a vandalism edit can take on a life of its own.

How a Raccoon Became an Aardvark

The article tracks how the Wikipedia entry (edited in 2008) influenced articles written on the BBC news site as well as in the Telegraph the Telegraph article (written in 2010) was cited by Wikipedia as evidence that the term Brazilian aardvark is genuine.

It is interesting to note that as of today (20th May) the Wikipedia article has been amended to remove all reference to the “Brazilian aardvark”

wikiality(click on image for larger version)

I will be adding this to my talk on the perils of online information seeking and the importance of verifying information.

Future8 Awards

Dylan Collins’ latest start-up venture SuperAwesome has joined forces with The Guardian newspaper to launch the Future 8 awards, aimed at highlighting young digital creators from schools in Ireland and the UK.

The Future 8 Awards, which are supported by Enterprise Ireland, will invite youngsters ages 7-17 to compete in eight categories, including games, music, animation, maker (hardware and software combined), online video, mobile development, web development, and writing and blogging.

Find out more here:

UK ED Magazine with the top 100 UK Educational Blogs as voted for by UK readers

NEWS: Vote for your favourite UK Educational Blog

UKEdChat is running a poll to discover the most popular educational blogs in the UK.

Teen Librarian has been nominated and there are a ton of other excellent educational sites that you can discover. So take a look here:

Discover some excellent sites and cast your vote (if you are so inclined).

Let libraries lend ebooks

Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Google Whoodle

Released early on some international Google sites, I was alerted to the existence of this doodle by some author friends on Twitter. It is not teh first game doodle Google has released but it is now my favourite (sorry PacMan).

Good for competitions, talking about computer games and good old-fashioned fun!

Education Technology Tools

Click on each of these icons to find out more about these great programs

Raspberry Pi

I first mentioned the Raspberry Pi back in November

I was fortunate to be one of the early bookers and received my Pi in the week before half-term. As advertised it is about the size of a credit card and unless you have a love of all things techy it is not much to look at.

To prevent damage I bought a case from the Shropshire Linux Users Group and turned what looked like a piece of leftover circuit board into a sexy piece of kit! Ok maybe not sexy but pretty damn awesome!

The Raspberry Pi will not replace desktop computing, and that is not its function. I have started speaking to the IT department in my school and have made overtures to the Design & technology department as they have a laser cutter and I have the beginnings of an idea that may end up in the students crafting their own Pi cases as well as running a programming group at school.

I am hoping to launch it at a talk about open source computing that I have been asked to give to the IT classes here next year.

I have high hopes for the Raspberry Pi, and do not think that I will be disappointed.