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Friday, 19 December 2014

Conundrum: my Teacher Concience is Getting to Me....

The LRC is a very busy place and as is the case in busy places, it is often the little jobs that get pushed by the wayside. Sometimes those little jobs are very important however and should take centre stage.

I am very pleased with much that I have done this school year, but there exists in the back of my head a nagging, niggling little voice that has become very persistent and relentlessness in chiding me about my blog. This becomes especially acute when updating our LRC Facebook Page, LRC Blog and Twitter streams, which are ususally quick and easy to deal with. I do these tasks while ignoring my professional blog.

I need a plan, half of the school year is already water under the bridge and I have only posted a few measly times to a blog I created specifically for reflection and collection! Really, who am I to tell my students they need to reflect on and curate their work, ideas and interests? Excuses  abound and they are all relevant within their contexts.

Honestly, so many things have happened this school year. It has been one of the busiest yet what with staff turn over and new projects and fantastic new gadgets to work with. To be fair, I haven't been totally remiss when it comes to curating and reflecting. It has simply been going on behind the scenes informally, instead of it going where it should, this blog!

During this time I have been dutifully collecting pictures and videos of all of our activities and projects, which I fully intended to share with the world. I just never seem to have the time to do so.

So here it is,  that pivotal moment. In fact the moment of truth has arrived.  I am making a pledge (publicly) to myself, not to deal with the overwhelming collection of ideas and activities I planned on sharing, but to slow down, choose just one and share it well.

This will be one of what I am sure will be many New Years resolutions I suppose, and will likely share a shelf (for a short time) with others. That shelf already contains things like cleaning the equipment closets and drawers, updating the iPads and once and for all figuring out what the overabundance of keys in that certain drawer are actually for!!!  January may be soon enough, who knows it could even happen before. 

The message I want to get out to all the busy teachers everywhere is, don't despair if you find yourselves in a similar situation. Life is a matter of balance and we all know when an imbalance exists. I think recognising it, no matter how long it takes and remedying that imbalance if and when possible is a feat worth performing.

Just remember to be kind and patient to yourselves and tell your consciences, so guilty of all those incomplete tasks, to back off, reassess and get on with things even if it means dumping a few by the wayside while following a different plan of action.

Happy end of 2014.
All my best for a prosperous, productive and positive 2015.
(Don't you just love alliteration!!!)

Club Recilectura Visits a Local Library

Yesterday afternoon, the Club Recilectura visited the Santa Tecla Children's Library. The club meats every week to work on book and recycling related arts and crafts. One of their goals this school year is to take their work to different libraries and work with the students there, reading to them and creating craft projects.

Yesterday a small group visited a local library in Santa Tecla, where they read to the children and did a few arts and crafts activities with them. Here are a few pictures from the activity that our school librarian has made into a small collage. 

You can view pictures from this activity and other LRC activites on Flickr.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

The 2014-15 Library 2.0 Conference

The Library 2.0 Conference is one of the best, online  conferences in the world.  This conference which begins next week, does a great job of bringing together educational experts from around the world. The conference offers many exciting learning opportunities for professional development. Don't be fooled by the name. It is not just about Libraries.

This is the second year that the LRC will be presenting at the conference. This time around, Yensi Vides, Jennifer Garcia and Hilda Gomez will be presenting a session on using ebooks, collections and creating ebooks. The session will be held in Spanish. Please do consider attending if you are interested in this topic.
You can browse through this session as well as all the others , most of them in English on the Library 2.0 website.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Salvadoran Civic Week at the LRC

This week the LRC has focused much of its attention on Salvadoran Civic Week. Library staff members have created wonderful displays and set up special gaming areas for staff and students. Class teachers, many of which are from the Primary Section, have visited the LRC during the week for special 45 minute tours each day.  

The staff and students involved have had a wonderful time learning about El Salvador, interacting with the displays and playing some of the typical games.

For more insight into this special event, check out our Flickr Album.

Peace One Day 2014

It is Peace One Day today. 

Peace One Day was founded by Jeremy Gilley, an actor and filmmaker who made it part of his life's work to help the world focus on peace.  In doing so he founded Peace One day,a day of ceasefire and nonviolence, in 1999.

Check out the Peace One Website to learn more about this important global initiative.

The LRC Celebrated Peace One Day with special displays, while continuing to run the Salvadoran Civic Week Class Tours.

The Secondary School celebrated Peace One day with a special Peace One t-shirt day and assembly.

Check out some of the pictures from today on our Peace One 2014 Fickr Album.

Question of the Day: Who will you you make peace with?

Thursday, 19 June 2014


The LRC is very happy to announce its new subscription e-book, video and audiobook service to the Secondary School community.

We have purchased a year long subscription to TumbleBookCloud, just in time for summer reading and in anticipation of the upcoming school year. 

This subscription is a collection of videos, audiobooks and  e-books which is accessible to all Secondary School Students and Secondary School Staff at the ABC.

This is a paid subscription and different than the Graphic novel summer reading subscription I shared with staff and students earlier in the month. Unlike the Graphic novel subscription which will expire toward the end of summer, this new subscription will be available all year long!

Please encourage your students to make use of this account by logging in to the site below with the credentials that have been sent to them via email. 

Their first step will be to create a login of  their own in the MyCloud section of the site, using the instructions on our website.

This link contains all of the information they will need to get started using this fantastic new ebook, video and audiobook subscription. 

We hope our ABC Secondary School community really makes the most of and truly enjoys this new service!


Saturday, 31 May 2014

Still Exploring, but at a Snail's Pace (in my case at least)

This post is from our ABC Online Gaming Club.

I thought I would share it and ask that anyone using GMod with their students who would like to share, please do.

From the Blog:
We haven't been able to meet up in past weeks, due to end of the school year meetings, steam updates and downtimes as well as other activities. That said the kids are working in Garry's Mod at their own pace and some have even produced some machinima for it, which we are hoping to post here. The kids will be writing one post prior to the end of the school year on their experiences so far.

At this point, the parental letter explaining the family sharing settings has been shared with parents through GDocs and we are set to have our last club meeting this coming Thursday.

The club will be back next school year and we hope to really make progress with our long awaited GMod accounts. We are definitely newbies when it comes to this application but willing and excited to learn.  If there is anyone out there that is using GMod with their students, we would really love to hear from you.

Thursday, 29 May 2014

ABC DVA 2014

The ABC DVA was a great success again this year. The quality of student videos showed a marked improvement both in work done at school and independent videos. 

This year we had an impressive turnout for the event. In fact this year's DVA was the best attended of all of our Digital Video Award evenings. The Performing Arts Centre was bustling with more than 200 people in attendance.

All of our nominee videos on our ABCICT site if you would like to peruse them. They will give you a good idea of the type of work students are doing across the Primary and Secondary schools.  If you are not a member of staff or student, you won't be able to see the voting form, but you will be able to scroll down to the embedded playlists, which can be found directly below the form.

Do also take a moment to check out the pictures from the event in our Flickr album.
We should have video footage from the event, including interviews shortly, so do check back in about a week's time.

Friday, 16 May 2014

IPad Magic Rules!

Our ICT lessons are famous for their flurry of activity and sometimes louder than a hum, noise levels. That is all good, we've no complaints there. These are learning noises and when we need quiet or silence we get it.

Today we introduced our 6s to GarageBand on the iPads, handed them one each, plugged them in with their headsets and let them loose. What happened next? My teaching partner and I suddenly looked at each other, with shocked expressions on our faces and whispered (because you could hear a whisper) " It is so quiet,"

Have a listen.

iPads bring out the magic and creativity in kids and with the right activities and apps, and engage them to the point that they self direct, explore, peer tutor and require very little direct instruction. It is all a matter of choosing the right apps for activities, establishing routines and expectations, and offering up interesting, clear instructions and exemplars, which don't take up too much of the lesson time.

We are looking forward to sharing our student rap songs in our A Better World Wiki. This is the first time using iPads for the audio for the project and our expectations are high. 

It is usually the mark of a great lesson, when the kids don't want to leave. such was the dilemma today!

Monday, 12 May 2014

Scratch Week is Here!

Scratch Week is finally here! This is the week that all that programming, pays off for our grade 8s! Why you may ask?

A while back I posted about the work in Scratch the 8s were doing, programming learning games for the Prepa and 1st Grade students. (You can read that original post here.) They finished the project some time back, and have since been debugging their work on and off.

This week the younger students get to come to the LRC along with their teachers to try out the learning games that were developed especially for them. We have been looking forward to this for a long time and expect it to be a wonderful experience for our student developers and student end users.

Here is the link to the studio of projects in case you are interested in trying some of them out.

Do check back for links to our Scratch Week pictures. I will post them later on in the week.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Morphing the A Better World Project with Tellegami

During the last round of our A Better World Project, we realised we would need yet another talking avatar generator. While we still used Morfo on a few iPads and gave the kids the option to use Crazy Talk,  we needed an alternative that would serve the needs of some of our students, better than the current apps did.

One of the problems we had encountered is that Crazy Talk, while wonderful, is quite complex and takes a while to learn well. There is nothing wrong with spending that time, but when the weeks go by and it is all about the app as opposed to being all about the creativity, a balance must be found.  We also found that Morfo, on some of our ipads, would no longer allow us to download the videos without paying and this caught us out in the middle of the project. We didn't have a budget to purchase it with.

Another problem which we encountered, was that we had begun to run out of time during the project, and this was becoming a pattern with each new group. We attributed much of this to the extra time devoted to the work with Crazy Talk. It seems that some students really fly with it while others struggle a great deal. We needed another option for those students.

We looked around and discovered Tellegami. This is a free app that is simple to use and effective. Using Tellegami, the work shifts from dedicating a huge amount of time to learning an app to being creative with a simple app. This is exactly what we needed for some of our students.  Not only is it available for iOS, but also be downloaded on Android devices.

I have added a page on the A Better World Project with more information I have found on how to use this lovely little app. I hope you enjoy it. We do!

Here is a short video clip of one of the student projects created with Tellegami.

Brain Awareness Week

The 10th-14th of March marked the Brain Awareness Week at the ABC.
Brain Awareness Week is"the global campaign to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research."(

 Each year the LRC takes on Brain Awareness in grand style with a large interactive display and small exploratory sessions for interested classes. For this year's celebration the LRC added to its collections of puzzles, brain teasers, exercises and brain friendly recipes, much to the delight of the younger students.

A big thank you goes out to our Librarians, Yensi, Hilda and Ivette for making this annual event such a huge success once again.

Please click the image below to go to our Flickr set for this event.

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Internet Safety Week at the LRC

We are smack dab right in the middle of Internet Safety Week 2014. Online safety is a focus all year long, but Internet Safety Week takes it a step further. During this special week, students and staff engage in important conversations and work through special mini lessons designed to cover a broad range of concepts.

Internet Safety Week would not be complete without a special display in the LRC. This year the librarians took on the challenge of getting the Safer Internet Day theme across, "Let's create a better internet together". We decided to utilise the very popular online game Minecraft to do so. Many of our students are avid Minecrafters had plenty of advice to give about the display. They quickly became part of the team and played an important role as creative liaisons 

Here a a few images which show how this wonderful display turned out. You can view the entire album on the LRC Facebook page.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Following Up on Our Previous Post

The Secondary School ICT team  are excited to follow up on the previous blog post with two more excellent learning games programmed by our students. For more information on this project, do refer to our prior post. We are very proud of what our 8th grade students have achieved, since starting with Scratch in 7th grade. The two games we are sharing this week have been embedded below for you to try out.