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Monday, 26 October 2020

Library Books2Go

 One week ago we launched our new Library Books2Go initiative, which is similar to curbside pickup, only it is a park and pickup system. More information on this can be found below. 

ABC LRC Book Pickup Service *Library2Go


The ABC libraries have worked very hard to put together a safe, efficient system for library book reservations, pickups and drop offs, which has been functioning for two weeks now. The booking and pickup service will be paused during the half term break but will resume again when we return to lessons again on Monday 2nd November. 


It is a system whereby our librarians will be available to check out books that students have reserved through the system, using the Hold It option. The librarians will closely monitor the holds each week, prepare student book bags and ensure that students who reserve books are contacted, as soon as their book bag is ready for pickup. Please do take a moment to read more about how this system works, here.

Monday, 7 September 2020

SY20/21 so Far

  This school year is certainly shaping up, not as we had hoped, but things are going well despite teaching and learning taking place from home. 

I spent a lot of time over the summer researching, taking online courses and getting caught up on EdTech changes and enhancements for this school year. I have been busily updating my training website and have been equally as busily updated lessons and trying out new tools to use in our daily online learning.

I was also privileged to participate in a ISTE STEM Spotlight publication.

A few takeaways from the year so far. 

Favourite Teaching Apps:

Google Classroom (carried over from previous years)

  1. Pear Deck (I have come back to it today, after many years)
  2. JamboardMiro (and Mentimeter for presentations and responses)
  3. Kialo for online debates


Everything is now online, all of our clubs, events, and as many books and subscriptions as we can get.

I revamped the entire website over the summer and launched it on a New Google Site. The improvement and growth of which is one of my big projects for the year. We have made interactive, user-friendly access rooms, added all of our online content to it, and are in the process of linking our online activities for the year through a central hub on the website.

We are currently in the process of preparing our Destiny library system for new users so that the community can easily log in and reserve books and we are sorting out our best practices for book quarantine and lending practices in anticipation of a partial or full reopening in January.

It has been very busy, but everyone is doing their very best to make the most of the tools and technologies we have available and working closely with the community to build positive working relationships with all members while helping them to access and navigate all of the provisions we have put in place for them.

Here's to a very different but very successful SY20/21!

Thursday, 21 May 2020

ABES Online Conference 2020-Supporting Schools and Libraries During Closure

Each year we support the Salvador Librarians' Week by hosting a conference, which focuses on sharing ideas, techniques, and tools for libraries and teachers. This year, due to closures and quarantine in the country we moved the conference online.

It took place using GSuites Google Meet, Slides, and Google Chrome and was a great success. We plan to pick up where we left off in September with a followup in preparation for the new school year.

Media From the Event

The Presentation 

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Student Access to Online Reading Materials

Dear Parents and Students, 

The LRC wants to ensure that you have continued access to quality reading materials throughout the school closure weeks. In doing so we would like to remind the community about the various options we have available and clarify any concerns you may have.

Please note that during this time, the LRC Library System will not be generating late/missing book messages or fines. We have set up the system in such a way for the closures that this should not be an issue. Students and parents need not worry about this. 

The ABC through the LRC has invested in several options for online reading for students from KS3-IB. All of these are available through the LRC Website, which is easily accessible 24 hours a day 7 days a week through the Student Portal section of the ABC Website.

At the LRC we have been busily updating our website to include a great many online magazines, databases, and fiction collections thanks to the generosity of EBSCO, Gale, JSTOR, and Audible, which can be accessed during the school closure.

These can be accessed along with all of our regular resources from the home page.

We hope you will check back regularly and encourage your children to take advantage of this opportunity.

The LRC Staff Members

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

COVID-19, Closures and Coming Together in Distance Learning

Some might think that a global pandemic, which requires school closures and social distancing would really isolate students and teachers, and separate them from teaching and learning. I have to say that the experiences we have had at our school so far despite being physically separated from our campus, classrooms, and students and them from us, have been positive, productive and united in so many ways. 

As a teacher, I have found distance teaching to be somewhat intense at times. I sometimes feel that it is not always possible to give my students the right amount of personalized support through a Google Meet lesson when compared to a physical classroom. However, as we enter our second month of school closure I have found small ways of coping with this and students have really stepped up and embraced their online classroom culture. The situation has brought out the best in all of us, pushed us past what we may have thought our zones of proximal development were and proven just how creative, openminded and resilient we all are.

It isn't easy, students, their parents, and teachers are working extra hard to make this function, but attitude makes all the difference. I saw a post a few weeks ago that caught my attention, as I was teaching encryption and decryption to my 11th grades. It is a bit shallow but at the same time an enjoyable activity to engage in.   Basically, it demonstrated that while...

E   F   F   O   R   T
5   6   6   15   19  20  = 69%

A   T   T    I   T   U   D   E
1   20  20  9  20   21  4   5  =100%

I would add to that ...

R    E    S    I    L    I   A   N   C   E. 
18   5   20   9  12    9   1   14  3   5 =96%

All fun encoding exercises aside, I do believe we will do more than simply succeed in getting through these tough times. I believe with the right attitude,  and enough effort and resilience, we will thrive,  albeit differently, from the ways we would in regular school, but thrive just the same, as we devise creative ways to move the teaching and learning forward. As Horace said, "Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents, which in prosperous circumstances would have lain dormant." Adversity prods us into action and forces us to use our creativity, rethink our methodology and implement our creativity.

In addressing some of the potential issues which could be seen to some extent as potential barriers, we have found ways at the LRC to continue to support our students and teachers, as well as provide an incredible variety of resources for them to use during school closure. 

The world has come together through social distancing. So many companies have opened up their doors and provided free resources to teachers, students and parents all over the world, free of charge during school closures. We have been compiling the best of what we have come across on our LRC website. In doing so we have had to reorganize the home page 4 times in the last month just to accommodate all of the wonderful learning resources. We would like to invite anyone who reads this post to visit the website and peruse all of the COVID Closure resources at their leisure. 

In addition, the companies that provide us with paid subscription services have also provided us with short term access to a wealth of journals, magazines, research archives, and ebooks. These are fully accessible to all members of our school community with a school GSuite account.

The library staff members, in conjunction with the ICT department, have now moved all of our Term 3 events, as well as those from Term 2, which were canceled due to school closure, online. 

Our  Earth Week Website has launched today and Book Week starts on Monday both feature a variety of daily activities for students and their families to engage in at home. Members of the community are encouraged to submit digital images and videos of their activities, which will be posted on the various sites to share with the community. 

The 2020 Digital Video Awards have also been moved online and voting on student videos from 1st to 12th grade takes place this coming weekend. Our STEAM Fest Event, which we had set up for the afternoon before the Ministry of Education closed all schools, will also take place online with galleries of students' projects visible for the community to enjoy, via our STEAM Fest Website. 

The LRC Recilectura Club that focuses on Earth-friendly reading activities, has also moved online. Students requested that we continue running it and have pitched in their ideas for building the club's online presence. The Microwave Magic Cooking Club for senior students will continue this month, online as well. 

When considered all of this in conjunction with the many other clubs and activities being run by staff members and departments, activities which include special opportunities for teachers such as Taskmaster competitions and free yoga lessons, as well, the richness, the versatility, the flexibility and evident enthusiasm for online learning experiences become readily apparent.

Now, if we put all of this into a global perspective and consider that other schools and other organisations around the world are also engaged in building creative, accessible experiences and activities for their communities,  as well as providing support fo community members with a lesser degree of access to technology; it is impossible to not feel a certain level of pride in humanity. Schools are certainly not perfect and we won't get it right all the time, but educators, parents, students and their school communities are resilient, and are amazing at making lemonade from lemons. It is truly exciting and heartwarming to think that the world has pulled together, in such times of great uncertainty, adversity, and tragedy. 

Thursday, 23 January 2020

Redesigning Our Spaces

At the LRC we often find ourselves redesigning and re-purposing our spaces to fit the growing needs and interests of our community. We are currently working on creating a dedicated 3D Centre, which will house our growing collection of 3D printers, 3Doodler printing pens as well as laser engravers and cutters.

While we love our XYZ da Vinci: Duo, 1.0 and Junior Pro, we have recently invested in a collection of CR-10 printers from Creality. These are very versatile machines and fairly simple to operate and maintain. They also use open source software like Repetior Host and Cura and non proprietary filament.

 We are also making space to house our new Glowforge Pro laser cutter, which we hope to have up and running in the later half of August.

This 3D  Centre will be open for drop-ins, class sign-ups and regular ICT department lessons, as well as Makerspace clubs and activities. We look forward to seeing our staff and students make wonderful use of these resources.

We are in the process of building up our cooking resources and creating  a cooking centre/kitchen area. This project will eventually move to the front of the LRC, once we work out electrical access, shelving and an extractor for the area.

Despite this delay we have set up a provisional are for it outside the ICT/LRC office to facilitate Life Skills group visits,  and our LRC Cooking Club which runs each Thursday from 2-3.

During this term, we will be focusing on microwave meals and tasty toaster treats, as we support our senior students in their preparations for University in the fall.

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Did you know that...?

...the LRC Makerspace and ICT Lab is dedicated to providing a wide variety of opportunities for students to work with robots and other programmable devices such as MicroBits and Arduinos?  
We also have plenty of engineering and design technologies, kits and tools, including 3D printers. Students can access these items through extra curricular activities, ICT and other subject lessons or by simply dropping in and speaking to staff about the areas they would like to explore.