Continuing Professional Development

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  • Size Really Does Matter! I have been unbelievably tardy about writing about my professional development since I started my new job a year ago. I actually feel like the whole year has been continuing professional development, but this weekend I attended an EARCOS conference for librarian's at the Taipei American School and feel the need to document at least a part of my personal learning journey here. It was fantastic. Every session was relevant and thought provoking. Prior to the conference several of us visited other international school libraries, a magazine library and a storage solutions showroom. As always, these visits provided us with some great takeaways, some so simple and so effective, it was fantastic to see.The networking at the social ...
    Posted Nov 10, 2015, 5:37 PM by Barbara Philip
  • 2013-11-23 & 24 GAFE KL Summit My GAFE Summit started last night with a visit to Google HQ in KL. What can I say? It was an amazing workspace. Resources from the two day summit are hereToday's sessions started with a keynote from Suan Yeo - Head of Education(APAC)76 schools were represented, 48% of the delegates are classroom teachers. The delegates teach 40,000 students. 56% of delegates decribed themselves as fairly new to Google apps.Suan was interesting...these are some of the things that really interested me:The saying "There is no need to teach technology, teach with technology"The use of goole glass to provide a first person view of things we can't do ourselves.Visit www.nmc.org ...
    Posted Nov 23, 2013, 3:57 AM by Barbara Philip
  • 2013-11-07 - TeachMeet KL The 3rd SEA TeachMeet took place at ISP this afternoon. Thank you to Ian Pittman. Once again, it was fantastic. This time some student voices were included. I always find students speaking about their learning so powerful. These Year 8 girls were no exception. The first student talked about why she felt that gaming has a role to play in learning. She backed her own passion for gaming up with authoritative quotes and statistics. Two games that she talked about that I would like to look at more closely are CSI Adventure (science) and Asphalt 8. The second group of students discussed doodling and explained how many learners retain information presented visually more effectively. They recommended Tony Buzan's iMindmap ...
    Posted Nov 9, 2013, 6:22 PM by Barbara Philip
  • 2013-10-29 Sue Rankin - Thinking Interactively I was fortunate to be invited to an Apple Distinguished Educators event at The International School at Park City.It was a practical session where Sue Rankin, author, book designer and Apple Professional Development Educator talked about developing eBooks with iBook Author.Actually, it made me want to delete this entire portfolio and make it in iBooks because they (can, or not) look so fabulous. But, practically, it would not be a good choice. Why? Well, for one thing, when developing an iBook with iBooks Author one of the features is the ability to use all the interactive features. These features are only available on an iPad, so it is important to know your audience. If they are not going ...
    Posted Nov 3, 2013, 7:24 PM by Barbara Philip
  • 2013-08-26 IASL Bali The 42nd conference of the International Association of School Librarianship was held in Bali in August. The networking opportunities were amazing, but this is the 3rd IASL conference that I have attended and unfortunately, I am not sure that it was the same value for money that the previous two were. I attended some interesting sessions, but there was a lot of "downtime". I was impressed by the visit to Dyatmika School and after the conference was over I was really pleased that I made time to visit The Green School.I presented a paper with my colleague Siobhan from The Garden International School in KL. The paper was entitled "Supporting the personal and inter-personal skills of global citizens ...
    Posted Oct 26, 2013, 5:07 AM by Barbara Philip
  • 2013-10-25 It doesn't have to cost anything Yesterday I took part in a really valuable PD experience. Rob, my HOD & I have both identified the need to improve the libraries online presence as part of our 2013-14 PRD targets. Our Line Managers are extremely supportive and we have been allocated time to work on this. Yesterday was our first session. We included Yvonne in this session. Yvonne is a volunteer in my library who is studying to be a Library Technician. She is enthusiastic, willing and understands what we would like to achieve. My experience with Yvonne as a volunteer has been that once she masters a task she will independently produce consistently useful work. She is exactly what I need. I am incredibly fortunate to ...
    Posted Oct 26, 2013, 4:06 AM by Barbara Philip
  • 2013-09-07 Google in Education Singapore Summit What an amazing weekend! Our school is in the early days of becoming a Google Apps school. I self-funded my attendance at this summit because I believed that it would provide me with valuable knowledge that I could use and share with my colleagues. I was also keen to develop a personal portfolio and the sessions by Keri-Lee Beasley and Benji Chan Lai Fun seemed to be exactly what I needed. Were they? Well, Dear Reader, you tell me. This is the Personal Portfolio that I began to develop that weekend. Obviously, I'm still learning, but thank you Keri-Lee and Benji for giving me the start that I needed.I was really interested in Andy Crozier ...
    Posted Oct 25, 2013, 7:58 PM by Barbara Philip
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Size Really Does Matter!

posted Nov 10, 2015, 5:37 PM by Barbara Philip

I have been unbelievably tardy about writing about my professional development since I started my new job a year ago. I actually feel like the whole year has been continuing professional development, but this weekend I attended an EARCOS conference for librarian's at the Taipei American School and feel the need to document at least a part of my personal learning journey here. It was fantastic. Every session was relevant and thought provoking. Prior to the conference several of us visited other international school libraries, a magazine library and a storage solutions showroom. As always, these visits provided us with some great takeaways, some so simple and so effective, it was fantastic to see.

The networking at the social event was fantastic, over breakfast I learnt about Kim's lego wall, Kurt's use of Google cardboard and Rob's program for Library Support staff PD.

I stayed on and extra day and spent several hours with Barb Middleton from the TAS elementary library.  It was great to talk to someone with a library so close in size to ours, who also supports Reading and Writing Workshop. Barb has much more experience in this than me and it was so reassuring to discuss one another's experiences and to discover that some of the issues I face are not just because I am new to it, but are common issues. We both felt that the size of our libraries limited us in many ways as to the amount and type of contact we have with users, however, physical space can be a great enabler. I have a detailed account of my visit here that I will give you access to if requested.



2013-11-23 & 24 GAFE KL Summit

posted Nov 23, 2013, 1:55 AM by Barbara Philip   [ updated Nov 23, 2013, 3:57 AM ]

My GAFE Summit started last night with a visit to Google HQ in KL. 

Embed gadget


What can I say? It was an amazing workspace. 


Today's sessions started with a keynote from Suan Yeo - Head of Education(APAC)

76 schools were represented, 48% of the delegates are classroom teachers. The delegates teach 40,000 students. 56% of delegates decribed themselves as fairly new to Google apps.

Suan was interesting...these are some of the things that really interested me:

The saying "There is no need to teach technology, teach with technology"
The use of goole glass to provide a first person view of things we can't do ourselves.
Visit www.nmc.org for research reports.






Session 1. What's up doc: Advanced docs, editing and collaboration


Presenter Michael Wacker.


Session collaborative note taking. We used this doc to play with.


Showing chat while collaborating creates accountability. You can block chat & archive it to keep a record of it.



Collaborators are anonymous by default but joining chat makes them visible.


You can highlight text and right click to comment. Comments can be targeted at particular students.By adding a + in comments box followed by an email address you can add someone to the collaborative process. Resolving comments tidies them up for easier reading.


Use notifications to know when changes are made to a shared doc



Revision history enables you to see who has contributed what. Review doc to see wrIting process and to comment on itg. Chunks of text that are suddenly added may indicate that they have been copied.




If you use search - you can specify image/scholar/quotes etc. to get a more specific search.


Highlight text to research ( RIGHT CLICK)  you can hyperlink  and right click to cite in MLA, APA, Chicago format from drop down in research


If you drag and drop an image from search it gets cited automatically. You can also take live pictures. Images found in search are automatically creative commons.r


Web clipboard stays with your account not device so if I copy something I can paste it on another device.


To shorten urls - copy url and go to goo.gl and paste url = http://goo.gl/9iWO56 or use an appropriate chrome extension that also gives QR codes

One doc can be in many  folders by using - move to -  and selecting folders


GCLASS folders SCRIPT can share exclusively with one student, some students


Use headings as links to navigate document. The header is an anchor to a place in document


When uploading convert to google docs. You can change it back to word when downloading


You can add more fonts and use header to format paragraph style. Format, paragraph styles, apply to ‘heading 5’ - then everything selected as heading 5 will be in same font, size etc



I have written “gives statistics powerful statistics!!!!” and now can’t remember how!!!


Google scholar needs to be investigated


To create vertical text or other fancy stuff use drawings

You can use one doc forever with appropriate formatting. Use table of contents to navigate and the hyperlink can be emailed as a direct link to that part of the document.


Session 2: Re-Charge Classroom Instruction with YouTube EDU and Google Apps for Education

Presenter - Kim Randall


Notes from this session

At http://www.youtube.com/education you can filter videos by year level


This session was practical and had examples of lessons.

1. Vocabulary development

  • Watch a clip-write down keywords and phrases - 30 secs to add more after viewing 1st bit-then continue to watch-another 30secs to add- continue watching-Add to list

  • Get into groups and create a list of 10-collaboratively (TIMER ON BOARD) -

  • tinyurl.com/Iistvocab (ENTER GROUP NUMBER)-->Google forms (will need to create a google form in advance. Displayed on a spreadsheet.

  • Using wordle to analyse common words and identfy keywords(copy and paste from spreadsheet)

  • Follow up - focus on 5 ‘biggest’ words (most common?)


This lesson incorporated both independent and collaborative work


Use a venn diagram  created in google draw  to compare & contrast


3 facts & a fib as a lesson starter. Prediction

  • Give the facts/fib → read/retain - then watch a clip and work out which are facts or fibs

  • Show which is fact/fiction

  • Rewrite fib into a truth

  • Mix it up - to stop predictability → more facts/fibs, don’t tell them which are facts/fib, split into groups showing different clips and create their own facts/fibs.

  • Give students main idea - they have to come up with the detail.

  • Citing evidence and making inferences

  • Watch clip without any sound → inferences → watch again → back up explicit info from the clip → what are the claims/arguments (what is the evidence from the text) use info from the clip to back up/supporting evidence.


Use short clips with relevant info.


TedEd lessons worth sharing



Create graphic organisers in google draw


These lessons give skills with media then move to text


Using Images


Observation charts - what do you see, wonder, know

Make observations individual & shared

tinyurl.com/finishthestory

Write or draw in google docs. Trim photo.


Write an “I am poem”


Caption it tinyurl.com/captionit collect on google form


Using an anonymous form allows level playing field in a class where some are more willing to contribute than others


Session 3: Plot a Path to Learning with Google Maps in ANY Subject

Presenter - Patrick Green

Middle School Ed Tech Coordinator, Singapore American School

Very practical hands on session. Great ideas can be used in many ways. Cross-curricular

Everything is on the website

Save as KML File

Look at measures in Madrid purple pin to see legend for collaborative mapping


Session 4 Inspiring Your Staff with (FREE) Technology


Presenter - Rushton Hurley

Speaker email: rh@nextvista.org

Free resources-a-plenty: nextvista.org/resources

Use translate to dictate and write stories

Read and write for google - chrome extension will read text aloud. A solution for the audio dictionary I am looking for?


Sharing thoughts with todaysmeet.com :  todaysmeet.com/RH People may add to chat who would not normally not speak out. You can choose how long the room lives (not forever). It has a transcript button to download discussion. (see attached files below)



Slides for this presentation: tinyurl.com/RH-KLfree2013

Every link is on the slides



Padlet..for sharing ideas.

Teacher needs account. kids don’t.  Lasts forever you can customise backgrounds



search.creativecommons.org for copyright free material

http://www.screencast-o-matic.com/ recommended by participant

jamendo - free music

Flickr - look at the link to Rushton’s doc on citing without hassle

Geoguessr  - geography game Geosettr make your own quest

map treasure hunt ..could I use this?



meograph - use for personal histories. biography, timeliines

Art project:  http://goo.gl/bnupqj

Narrable like fotobabble but more slides. Maybe use for book reviews??  https://narrable.com/

wevideo-com easy editor


Good Chrome extensions

  1. Undo recently closed tab: CRTL+t (open a new tab) or command shift T opens last closed tab (Mac)

  2. Chrome web store: black menu:

  3. Popchrome-options

  4. Youtube options to clean up video






2013-11-07 - TeachMeet KL

posted Nov 7, 2013, 6:50 AM by Barbara Philip   [ updated Nov 9, 2013, 6:22 PM ]

The 3rd SEA TeachMeet took place at ISP this afternoon. Thank you to Ian Pittman. Once again, it was fantastic.

This time some student voices were included. I always find students speaking about their learning so powerful. These Year 8 girls were no exception. The first student talked about why she felt that gaming has a role to play in learning. She backed her own passion for gaming up with authoritative quotes and statistics. Two games that she talked about that I would like to look at more closely are CSI Adventure (science) and Asphalt 8.

The second group of students discussed doodling and explained how many learners retain information presented visually more effectively. They recommended Tony Buzan's iMindmap.

I presented on Fotobabble and explained how I am using it for an oral history project where I have embedded fottobabbles into a LibGuide and the children hunt for QR codes around the school that take them to the fotobabble. They then answer some questions about what they have heard.

I also gave a quick plug for CTR a monthly newsletter that I subscribe to. It is well worth the USD20 per annum. I always get something out of it worth looking at.





Guto Aaron from KLASS spoke about coding apps for primary school. This was fantastic on two levels, firstly because the apps were great, but secondly because Guto's classroom is almost next to the library. I had no idea what he was doing with his children, and it was exciting to hear. Why did I hear about it at a TeachMeet at another school? Why was I the only person from our school there? I think the TeachMeet format is ideal for staff meetings. If we had 20mins at every staff meeting where someone from each year group shared something amazing that they were doing in class or some interesting tool that they are using the whole school would get a snapshot of what other year groups are doing and who the "go to" people are to help them if they want to try these things themselves. The presentations are 3 minutes long, everyone must have something to share for 3 mins 2 or 3 times a year. I also think it would be an interesting format for Network meetings.

The apps Guto talked about were
All of this in less than 3 minutes! Every one looked amazing.
 and, there's more...in the remaining seconds Guto showed us Epic Citadel and explained how he had used it as a stimulus for a writing task.

Later in the session someone recommended Kahootz 3 for stimulating creative writing

The next presenter shared some Google Apps hints that were really great, like how to insert folders into Google sites to keep information current without having to continually update your site. Using the script Auto Crat to mail merge and using Sheet Spider to filter a single Google spreadsheets into separate sheets.

Another teacher spoke about how she used Google forms to survey her class before a lesson to find out what they wanted to know and then they revisited the form after the lesson to see if all their questions were answered.

Kate used hyperlinks hidden behind an image in a presentation to direct students to specific websites that she want them to use. This is particularly helpful in Primary.

A Year 5 teacher shared Book Creator. I know that Patrick from KLASS is doing great things with this, but being able to hear someone talk through a project that they had done with their class, to see the embedded features (iMotion animations, linked indexes etc) that children came up with themselves was amazing. We also briefly discussed iBooks author and the possibilities of publishing eBooks to the iBooks store.

Someone recommended ICT Magic as good place to find educational games and someone else flagged up The Adventures of Kara Winston as a site with useful eSafety resources

Finally, I see on my notes the word WAX...I have no idea why, but it must have been something else that impressed me. I guess that so many great ideas were been thrown out so quickly it was inevitable that I would miss something!

Again, thank you Ian Pittman and ISP for organising. It was great.



2013-10-29 Sue Rankin - Thinking Interactively

posted Nov 3, 2013, 7:10 PM by Barbara Philip   [ updated Nov 3, 2013, 7:24 PM ]

I was fortunate to be invited to an Apple Distinguished Educators event at The International School at Park City.

It was a practical session where Sue Rankin, author, book designer and Apple Professional Development Educator talked about developing eBooks with iBook Author.

Actually, it made me want to delete this entire portfolio and make it in iBooks because they (can, or not) look so fabulous. But, practically, it would not be a good choice. Why? Well, for one thing, when developing an iBook with iBooks Author one of the features is the ability to use all the interactive features. These features are only available on an iPad, so it is important to know your audience. If they are not going to be reading your book on an iPad......is there any point?

I also think that you have to decide if you want a resource that's you can constantly update,  if so, this is not the platform to be using.

Sue stressed the importance of treating the authoring of this book just like writing a hard copy books. Planning before starting is very important. An important thing to remember is not to use interactivity unless it adds value to the book.

When should you add digital learning? Ask these questions...
Does it support a different learning style?
Can you explain something more simply or in greater depth?
Can you demonstrate something?
Does it reduce the amount of text?
Does it make the most of the touch screen?

Another important element is being consistent with how the interactivity works. Use as few icons and different ways to access features as possible.

Remember, eBook reading is not linear, when designing explore all the ways that you think users might access information.

Sue also showed us ways to use keynote to add to eBooks.

I have had iBooks Author on my MacBook for some time now..maybe it's time to revisit it and explore the power.


2013-08-26 IASL Bali

posted Oct 26, 2013, 5:07 AM by Barbara Philip

The 42nd conference of the International Association of School Librarianship was held in Bali in August. 

The networking opportunities were amazing, but this is the 3rd IASL conference that I have attended and unfortunately, I am not sure that it was the same value for money that the previous two were. I attended some interesting sessions, but there was a lot of "downtime". I was impressed by the visit to Dyatmika School and after the conference was over I was really pleased that I made time to visit The Green School.

I presented a paper with my colleague Siobhan from The Garden International School in KL. The paper was entitled "Supporting the personal and inter-personal skills of global citizens through fiction". Unfortunately, the technology failed and I feel that we could have done so much better, because this is a topic that I feel passionately about. I hope we get the opportunity to polish this and present it again.

2013-10-25 It doesn't have to cost anything

posted Oct 25, 2013, 8:10 PM by Barbara Philip   [ updated Oct 26, 2013, 4:06 AM ]

Yesterday I took part in a really valuable PD experience. Rob, my HOD & I have both identified the need to improve the libraries online presence as part of our 2013-14 PRD targets. Our Line Managers are extremely supportive and we have been allocated time to work on this. Yesterday was our first session.

We included Yvonne in this session. Yvonne is a volunteer in my library who is studying to be a Library Technician. She is enthusiastic, willing and understands what we would like to achieve. My experience with Yvonne as a volunteer has been that once she masters a task she will independently produce consistently useful work. She is exactly what I need. I am incredibly fortunate to have her as a volunteer. 

The other two participants were library staff at the secondary campus who are also capable and willing to provide input into collaborative teaching and learning sessions such as this.

We were looking at how we can use and standardise our LibGuides and integrate them in the most user-friendly way with FROG (our Virtual Learning Environment), Oliver (our Library Management System) and the school webpages. I have been using LibGuides for more than two years now, but because of lack of time, probably in a very basic, as needs must, kind of a way. The other four were novices.

Rob & I outlined what we hoped to achieve as an end result. We then brainstormed how we might reach that end. Rob drew rough diagrams of the pages that we want and we discussed how these might be linked. We looked at examples from other schools.

I gave a brief overview of how to create and copy pages and then we were ready to experiment.

Yvonne had already been playing at home the night before and is developing a LibGuide for our Middle School Novel Knockout Competition. She was keen to perfect a book scrolling widget. Working together, using HTML, problem-solving and persistence we finally worked it out. I recalled some great advice from our colleague, Katie Day in Singapore, to make a LibGuide of boxes that you want to use again to save repeating the process. Great advice. Page made! I was able to share with Yvonne a tip from Linda Twitchett, at the Australian International School in Singapore, to use Blendspace to neatly embed YouTube videos. Yvonnes page is looking great and I was so pleased to have learnt so much in the process of developing it.  

Book Scrolling - Thanks Yvonne


I have been using HTML to put tables into my LibGuides. Bae showed me how to do use tables without using HTML as she developed a page for Wider Reading Lists. Azwina and I looked at different ways to make buttons for our pages.

Rob and I spent time looking at FrogOS and finding ways to provide single sign on facilities for users and keeping copyrighted resources secure. We also concluded that it may be best to purchase some icons & images to use on our pages to ensure quality and continuity.

We all learnt so much in these four hours. I think we were all keen to go on experimenting and ultimately producing something that we are proud to share with our school community.


2013-09-07 Google in Education Singapore Summit

posted Oct 25, 2013, 7:58 PM by Barbara Philip

What an amazing weekend! 

Our school is in the early days of becoming a Google Apps school. I self-funded my attendance at this summit because I believed that it would provide me with valuable knowledge that I could use and share with my colleagues. I was also keen to develop a personal portfolio and the sessions by Keri-Lee Beasley and Benji Chan Lai Fun seemed to be exactly what I needed. Were they? Well, Dear Reader, you tell me. This is the Personal Portfolio that I began to develop that weekend. Obviously, I'm still learning, but thank you Keri-Lee and Benji for giving me the start that I needed.

I was really interested in Andy Crozier's session - We have Google Apps, now what? I believe that it gave me some insight into the power of Google apps, but also made me understand the huge amount of work that goes on behind the scenes by Administrators to successfully implement Google Apps in schools. On my return to Malaysia I have witnessed Guto Aaron, a teacher at KLASS, tirelessly training and troubleshooting with staff as we roll out Google Apps. Thanks to Andy, I realise that this is the tip of the iceberg and will attempt to be as supportive and understanding as to the huge workload and, hopefully small, calamities that Guto and our management are facing in these early days.

Every keynote speaker was amazing. As I look back on my notes I realise that each one raised so many questions that I have continued to keep inquiring weeks after the event.

I wanted to attend  Sean McHugh's presentation  because I thought that it would challenge me to consider where we (my school and me personally) are situated when using and teaching with technology. Once again, I found myself examining my own practice and considering ways to transform my teaching.

Patrick Green provided outstanding ideas for making YouTube an amazing teaching tool.

The session on creating eBooks using Flipsnack was so good that I put that into practice the day that I returned by using it for student book reviews.

I was once told that if you implement 2-3 things that you have learnt from PD within a week or two then that was worthwhile PD. Google Apps was certainly worthwhile for me (and for my school). I look forward to attending the summit in KL in November

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