26 August 2009

Teacher-librarians from more than 80 secondary schools visited UQ recently to discuss how to engage with students better in a networked world.

The 2009 UQL Cyberschool seminar – “Schools, scholars and libraries, a decade of databases: where to from here?” – was held at the The Women’s College at UQ on August 7 and looked at ways of engaging students using mobile technologies and online resources.

Speakers included Patricia Carmichael (Concordia Lutheran College), Dan Walker (Brisbane State High School), Dr Mandy Lupton (Queensland University of Technology), State Librarian Lea Giles-Peters and Judy O’Connell (St Joseph’s College).

Many of the talks focused on the idea of “the networked student” and ways of integrating digital technologies into information delivery.

Among the highlights was an interactive session led by Professor Phil Long of UQ’s Centre for Educational Innovation and Technology (CEIT), who demonstrated how mobile technologies could be used in teaching and learning.

Professor Long utilised open source software called Mobilap from the University of Cincinnati, implemented and customised by CEIT, and iPod Touch devices that had been provided by Apple for the day, to gather audience responses to questions about new media.

Audience members had an opportunity to source information online as well as use the devices to deliver immediate, anonymous feedback to the presenter.

“Students often enter school and have to 'check their technology' at the door. Instead of asking them to power down and turn off their devices, we should engage them using the tools they rely on daily to augment their learning as well as enrich their social lives," Professor Long said.

Delegates also met with representatives from AustLit, Britannica Online, Library Webs, Oxford University Press and ProQuest to discuss online resources and their potential use in schools.

University Librarian and Director of Learning Services Keith Webster also presented at the seminar and acknowledged the importance of bringing together educators and academics to improve teaching and library practices.

“This year marks the ten-year anniversary of UQL Cyberschool which provides online services to schools and facilitates school access to quality information resources,” Mr Webster said.

“We were pleased to welcome delegates and look forward to ongoing and thought-provoking conversations about how technology is used to support pedagogy.”

UQL Cyberschool was awarded the 2009 Library Board of Queensland Award in recognition of its sustained impact and collaborative approach.

Media: Tanya Ziebell (07 3365 6315, t.ziebell@library.uq.edu.au)