Category Archives: Uncategorized

Visual Storytelling: Tips from Photographer Laura Cook

Visual Storytelling: Tips from Photographer Laura Cook

This is a post about connecting – with the viewer, by telling a story, something, as a teacher librarian that I love and feel is soo important in life.

The Daily Post

There’s a difference between photography and visual storytelling. You can easily take a photograph, but not all photographs tell rich stories.

You’ve heard the phrase “a picture is worth a thousand words” many times, right? As a photographer, I believe this is true when we dedicate ourselves to seeking out images that really tell a story.

We often take images that are part of a set or portfolio, but it’s also important to seek out pictures that can stand alone — that invite you in and make you feel like part of one particular story. Our camera is a tool we use to tell that story, to capture not only a moment in time but also something bigger.

Laura Cook is a humanitarian and travel photographer who spends most of her year in Sierra Leone, West Africa. She loves meeting new people, and through her work, strives to highlight human dignity amid life’s struggles.

Laura blogs at The…

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Perennial Favorites: Traffic Dos and Don’ts


Underlines to me that a good reason to blog is to clear up and crystalise your own thoughts, never mind who else is reading it. One thing that Ben does mention is that I should be tagging my blogs, so I’ll make sure I’m doing that.

The Daily Post

One of the most frequent questions bloggers ask us — and themselves — is how to get more readers. In this post I wrote a year ago, I went over some of the basic things you should consider when trying to grow your audience. While there’s no secret magic formula (do share if you’ve found one!), I hope it gives you some fresh ideas to try out. And, if you’re looking for a more in-depth look at traffic and growth, you’re in luck: we have a free ebook devoted exclusively to that topic.

One of the main reasons bloggers stop blogging is lack of traffic: at some point, they get tired of being the proverbial tree in the forest, making sounds nobody hears.

We’re here to help. No list of advice can guarantee your blog’s success, but it’s important to be aware of the most critical elements at play…

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Preaching to the Choir: Singing the Praises of Books and Reading by Teri S. Lesesne

Preaching to the Choir: Singing the Praises of  Books and Reading by Teri S. Lesesne

Nerdy Book Club

I know a posting here at Nerdy Book Club is truly preaching to the choir, and I did hesitate to write this post.  But a couple of weeks ago, I did a little preaching to the Arkansas Association of School Librarians about the power of books and reading.  After I finished the keynote, a librarian came up to me with tears in her eyes.  She thanked me for the “sermon” saying she really needed to hear the message as she returns to the library this school year.  She had been feeling a bit depressed about some of the changes wrought by new curriculum and was beginning to feel she could not make a difference.  My “sermon” had reminded her of the important work she has done and needs to continue to do.  Needless to say, we were both teary by the end of this encounter.   When Donalyn asked me to…

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#globalclassroom 2013-14 Closing Webinars – August 15/16


Here is more about Global connections in the classroom – something I intend to follow up

The Global Classroom Project

2013-14 Closing Webinar - Slides

The past year has been yet another exciting journey for the hundreds of students and teachers participating in the Global Classroom Project!

We have connected via Skype, letters, journals, Google Hangouts, email, wikispaces and more. Students and teachers learned about global and digital citizenship by participating in projects. We continue to grow and learn each year, but more importantly, we continue to be inspired by the incredible passion of children and their teachers across the world.

Please join us for a very special ceremony as we mark the conclusion of a memorable year in our annual “Looking Forwards, Looking Back” webinars. Many of our project managers and lead teachers will reflect and share their projects and stories. These webinars will be a opportunity for teachers to learn more about global projects, or who are looking for some inspiration and connections to create a project of their very own.

The recipients of…

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Angeline Buglebrain with Tom Angleberger and Mark Turetsky

Angeline Buglebrain with Tom Angleberger and Mark Turetsky

Origami Yoda is a very popular series in our library, so interesting to hear the author chatting.

Nerdy Book Club

Hey, Nerdy Readers! Mark Turetsky here. I’m an audiobook narrator, and I play Tommy in the Tom Angleberger’s Origami Yoda series. Most recently, I narrated Tom’s new book, The Qwikpick Papers: Poop Fountain!

Last year, fellow audiobook narrator Xe Sands decided that for June Is Audiobook Month, she’d get together 30 narrators to narrate a public domain story, which would each be streamed for free for a day, and then made available for a small price, all proceeds of which would go to charity. Well, it was wildly successful and it’s back this year, with a bit of a twist: instead of seeking out public domain works, we would instead seek out the audio rights to works we enjoyed. So, I reached out to Tom Angleberger, and he immediately agreed and sent me an unpublished story of his, called “How Angelina Buglebrain Got Her Start.”

It’s amazing that I…

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On the essence of naughty children

On the essence of naughty children

Roald Dahl is a perennial favourite author, seeming never to go out of fashion or favour. To see one of his stories brought to life on stage would be amazing.

1001 Children's Books

matilda 1I had booked a ticket to go see Matilda before I left Australian shores, so when there a damaged copy of the book appeared in the staffroom of the bookshop where I was working, I snapped it up. I had, terribly, never actually read the book up until then, although I had seen the movie. The movie, I discovered, was only loosely based on the book. The musical, which I saw on Sunday, was much truer to the book, to my delight.

Roald Dahl’s work seem to be ideal books to transform into musicals. Strong characters, strong plots and action points (that could be turned into musical numbers), deliciously crafted words that are fun to say and therefore fun to sing. Quentin Blake’s illustrations are so whimsically stylised that they can be flipped almost straight onto the page. I absolutely loved the musical, not not just because it related so…

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Join the Flat Connections Virtual Conference (June 18-20, 2014)


This is an idea I ma really interested in and so to see a conference about connecting classrooms globally is exciting for me. I definitely want to find out how I can get this global connection happening at Caulfield Grammar school.

The Global Classroom Project

It’s just two weeks until I fly out for the Flat Connections Conference in Sydney! As much as I’d love to see everyone there in person, this is one of the few conferences which you can attend virtually, and I hope you can join us online – for FREE!

You can find out more details, and sign up for the Virtual Conference (even as a team member!) at, and the virtual kickoff meeting is happening early next week, on June 8/9, depending on your timezone.

For more details about the conference, I highly recommend the official website –

If you’re in Sydney, and would like to meet up, tweet @mgraffin / @gcporganisers. I’m looking forward to meeting a few long-time friends there!

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What is the point of this blog?


I was asked yesterday how my blog was going. My answer was…OK, but what is it for? What is the purpose of it? As a reflection tool? MAYBE…….. a way to share amazing resources I find? YES but I find it hard posting in the blank space….and getting nothing back. Am I on the right track? Is this a useful thing I am doing? Maybe there is no ‘right track’ – maybe the track is up to me…and I make the track as I go along. Maybe I should use the blog more as a reflection tool, because that would suit more the posting into space. Or maybe this is not the right vehicle…maybe I should add a twitter feed, which my colleague assures me is the way to go. Don’t even know how to do that….


Delighted to Support Desmond Tutu’s Forgiveness Challenge


The Blog

We’re humbled to bring you this interview with Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu and his daughter Mpho Tutu about their new Global Forgiveness Challenge as well as, a platform for transformational ideas that Archbishop Tutu is co-founding with book and media creator Doug Abrams. is delighted to be a partner in this initiative.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter, Mpho Tutu are trying to change the world with the Forgiveness Challenge. Get involved! Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his daughter, Mpho Tutu are trying to change the world with the Forgiveness Challenge. Get involved!

What is the Tutu Global Forgiveness Challenge?

The Forgiveness Challenge is a free 30-day online program developed to help people learn the practical steps to forgiveness so they can live with greater love and joy in their life.

How does the Forgiveness Challenge work?

Each day, participants receive an email from us that directs them to a new post on the website that presents an important insight into forgiveness and that offers them…

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5 up & coming social media apps


Use Your Library Voice

Love social media? Library tech guy, Steve Erichsen, takes a look at some of the newcomers.
mixbit1. MixBit – MixBit is a new way to easily create and share videos. The interesting thing about MixBit compared to other social media such as Youtube is that Mixbit allows several people to edit a video together. Videos are broken down into small pieces so they can be easily edited and shared to create a unique experience.

4square2. FourSquare –Find the perfect places in your area. Fousquare allows you to find common places of interest with friends as well as a way to see what is in the area. A great app if you’re out of town or wanting to meet up with friends.

thumb3. Thumb – A new way to get the opinion of several people in a few minutes. This app lets you ask any question and receive a response within a few minutes with answers from…

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