Friday, 20 May 2016

Books vs E-Readers

It comes as no surprise to me that recent research finds, in an increasingly digital world, physical books are here to stay for some time to come. It doesn't take long when talking with staff, parents and students, whether male or female, to figure out that most prefer the tactile component of a book to a hard, unbending e-book. 

MJ Franklin's headline of his February 2016 article for Mashable Australia reads "Sorry technophiles: 92% of students prefer books to e-readers." Research study respondents from US., Japan, Germany and Slovakia overwhelmingly said they 'could concentrate better with physical books'. The two main issues with e-readers were that they became 'easily distracted and suffered eye strain, headaches and physical discomfort'.

Well known motivator and mentor, Michael Hyatt, made the decision to put e-books on the shelf for 2016 and cites '8 Powerful Reasons I'm Going Back to Paper - for Now'. Mr Hyatt states he firmly believes that 'leaders are readers and readers are leaders' but found himself 'reading fewer and fewer books...' His reasons are thought-provoking and, I believe, valid. The points he raises are worth reading... even online!

1. E-books are Out of Sight and Out of Mind
2. E-books Engage Fewer Senses
3. E-books Make it Easier to get Distracted
4. E-books Result in Less Retention and Comprehension
5. E-books Feel too Much Like Online Reading
6. E-books are More Difficult to Interact With
7. E-books are More Difficult to Navigate
8. E-books Provide Less Satisfaction in Finishing.

As people use these very different, formats, the expectation that one medium is the same as another will become a faded memory but, for now, the feel of a book has the edge. 

Tuesday, 10 May 2016


On Monday, 23 May 2016, Mount Annan Christian College is delighted to be hosting the popular, award-winning Australian author, John Heffernan.

Last November ten students and I attended the Kids Own Australian Literature Awards (KOALA) Presentation Day and John Heffernan was the author assigned to our College. The students thoroughly enjoyed talking with Mr Heffernan after the event and on the 23rd, Years 7-10 will have the opportunity to hear story writing techniques and anecdotes from one of Australia's foremost children's authors.

  His book in the Through my Eyes series, Naveed, is currently nominated for a KOALA and tells the story of fourteen-year-old Naveed who cares for his widowed mother and crippled sister, doing odd jobs an selling souvenirs at the US Bagram Airfield. Can friendship with a stray dog and Jake, an Australian sniffer-dog trainer, bring light into his dark world?

You can check out Mr Heffernan's website here

He also publishes under the name Charlie Carter; click here for more information.

Books will be available to purchase at the event. The College has most of Mr Heffernan's, aka Charlie Carter, books in the Primary Library and Hub.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Great Achievement for Mount Annan Christian College

In October 2015, FAIR (Freedom of Access to Information and Resources) joined with the library associations and EducationHQ and began a six month campaign to discover great school libraries across Australia. They were looking for "libraries that help children and young adults find reliable information; use the information effectively; think critically; make informed decisions; work productively with others; build knowledge and understanding of the world; safely navigate the Internet; communicate and share their ideas; and find great reads to meet personal interests and abilities."


I am proud to report that Mount Annan Christian College was found to be one of Australia's Great School Libraries!

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

We're Back

Well! 2015 was an unusual year with an unexpected serious leg injury that, after twelve months is now about as good as it will get I'm told. Fortunately for me, this was followed by long service leave that cheered me up no end!

A wonderful, if modified, trip to Europe was just what the doctor ordered and the amazing memories will last a lifetime. But, that's all in the past and today is a new day; as Anne in Anne of Green Gables put it "Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet."

Right now, I am sitting at my desk, it's lunchtime, and I'm enjoying looking across the Hub, watching the activity... students studying, some stressing as they try to print an assessment, some interacting with younger students, some reading for pleasure, some enjoying a game on their device, some chatting animatedly as they scour the shelves and stands for the latest releases, others helping at the circulation desk... My heart is full. I LOVE my role. How could I not!  2016 is seeing the Hub enjoying a resurgence... we're back and better than before! Stay tuned...

Thursday, 13 November 2014

KOALA Presentations 2014

I had the great privilege of taking ten of our students to the KOALA Presentations yesterday. The event was held at Newington College, Stanmore, a perfect venue for a special day in the lives of children, young adults, authors and illustrators.

There were cheers all round when Mount Annan Christian College's name was announced as one of the winners of the great illustrations drawn by Terry Denton while the event was in progress!

Personally I loved watching our students before the event as they played handball in the sesquicentenary quad and how they included students from other schools... they were great ambassadors for the College and their families.

Here are some of their comments:

"I enjoyed meeting the authors and also buying books. I also liked meeting new people. I also liked Terry's art." Celine Year 7

"I liked meeting and listening to the authors. I also enjoyed seeing the school's facility." Noah Year 6

"I liked learning how Terry draws (fast)." Nilana Year 6

"Hearing what books inspired famous authors and illustrators was very good fun! (I think I might read some of them)." Riley Year 8

"Meeting new people." Mackenzie Year 4.

"I loved meeting the authors and receiving a poster for our school from Terry Denton." Ayesha Year 5

"I enjoyed when the authors talked to us and when we got the painting that Terry Denton painted!" Emelyn Year 7

"I enjoyed meeting all the authors and getting their autograph." Jessica Year 6

"I enjoyed Terry Denton's speech and meeting Terry and getting his autograph." Ethan Year 5

The whole list of winners and honour book awards can be viewed here soon.

In brief (and all available for borrowing from the College):

Picture Book Winner: The Dreadful Fluff by Aaron Blabey

Younger Readers Winner: Billie B Brown: The Best Project by Sally Ripin

Older Readers Winner: The 39 Storey Treehouse by Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton

Fiction Years 7-9 Winner: Pennies for Hitler  by Jackie French

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Sir Tim Berners-Lee... a man worth listening to

Twenty five years ago Sir Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. He is a man worth listening to with his warning: "There’s a battle ahead. Eroding net neutrality, filter bubbles and centralizing corporate control all threaten the web’s wide-open spaces. It’s up to users to fight for the right to access and openness. The question is, What kind of Internet do we want?"

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

The Most Famous Failures...

Educational Technology and Mobile Learning have posted this great article about teaching our children/students resilience; raising them up to be emotionally strong and able to overcome the hard knocks life sends our way. The Most Famous Failures visual is courtesy of themetapictures and is a strong encouragement to all of us facing opposition.

"I have always believed that teachers (and people in general) MUST have an open midset; one that tolerates and celebrates mistakes and errors; one that looks at failure as an opportunity for a better beginning. It is through falling down that we stand up robust and it is through misfortunes that we gather our strength to live the life we want and pursue our dreams.

If we want to raise up socially and  emotionally strong students who can face up and overcome  the hardships of life, an important key to this is to teach (and model) them about failure. We need to show them that failure is a healthy sign and a good omen for a healthy life experience. They need to view failure as an attempt for deep reflection and meditation about what worked or did not work. They also need to be reminded that failure has been a common denominator behind most of the historical achievements and inventions in the history of humankind..."

19 December, 2012 in FunnyPictures | Comment