My media

Guardian / Observer
The Age


The Drum, ABC


Arts and Letters Daily


Global issues


Watch. Practice.Learn almost anything for free.
With a library of over 2,400 videos covering everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and150 practice exerciseswe’re on a mission to help you learn what you want, when you want, at your own pace.

Help · About · Blog · Pricing · Privacy · Terms · Support · Upgrade

The Death of King Arthur


The Death of King Arthur by Peter Ackroyd – review

The legend of King Arthur lives on in Peter Ackroyd’s vivid reworking of


My first introduction to the Arthurian Legend


the greatest version of the tale for mine
Given the Disney treatment
story of king arthur and his knights.jpg
I loved the Howard Pyle illustrations
Arthur given a grittier treatment


John Steinbeck’s retelling of the Arthurian legend, based on the Winchester Manuscript text of Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur.
A modern re-imagining
New for me, but I will read

Children’s Books aboutthe King Arthur Legend

Controlling your own digital footprint

Teaching ICT and digital citizenship to students has made me aware of my own Google trail and how to best collate and link my own cyber projects.  I needed to rationalise the information that I had placed out on the web for the last five years.

Not only this but I had to maintain two identities, my professional one and that of Larry the Librarian for my ‘creative’ endeavours and passions and my life.

I have been with  Google for a long time and my first endeavours to curate myself were with Google sites. I have now archived this site and use a Wiki as my first port of professional call.  Here you can also link to my My media  My reading page and Study and research skills. These pages form the basis of any wikis or sites I create for a Library Home page,  TUMBLR is also a great tool for a Library Blog

I use Google Chrome as my browser and take full advantage of the apps, thus I use Blogger, Edublogs, TUMBLR, Twitter and FaceBook. For me Facebook is having a conversation with my friends and catching up.  Twitter is for my PLN, information and for shared passions such as reading.  I bless Twitter for the wonderful connections I have made.  TUMBLR allows me to post directly to Twitter and Facebook.

I maintain several scoop.its and can use the widget to curate stories and again send them to Twitter.  I can also go directly to my account through the extension on my toolbar. is  a great source of information and current thinking on many topics and thus well worth highlighting for students and colleagues.

Other Google Apps that I use include a CV creator (very handy atm) and which I use to publish my writing on the net.  Kindle enables me to push my writing and and longreads to my Kindle.

For myself with my passions and interests it is difficult to separate the personal from the professional but I do it as best I can and often think very hard about what I tweet or blog.



Newspaper Subscriptions

Dear colleagues,

The procedure with both the HS and the Age is that subscribers have to be individual.  We cannot bulk subscribe.

In the case of the Age I have placed an order for five copies for departments and the library.  I have provided 5 email addresses in the name of those who requested the school subscribe for their department.

The HS does not allow for purchasing by order number, I will order four  copies when I have a credit card to pay online.

All subscribers to the HS and the Age should be notified by email when their paper delivery will commence. I have not had that confirmation myself for the subscription based on my email address.  I understand that several colleagues have not received this email.

The newsagent should also supply information (generally on Wednesday) of additons to the subscriptions.  Can whoever brings the paper in or who opens the pack please leave the shipping details in my pigeon hole.

I will do my best to clarify with the newsagent who is registered as subscribers for the newspapers.  Then we will need to consider the outstanding subscriptions and follow them up.

Once delivery is sorted I will ensure that the copies of the Age and HS ordered by the school, including staffroom copy are appropriately marked and distributed.

It has been my past practice to remind and encourage teachers to renew their subscriptions towards the end of term 4, and to review and renew all school based subscriptions then.  This should make for a much smoother start to term 1 2013.

I thank you for the patience you have shown.


regards Michael

5 moments I am grateful @anitahieiss to be an educator

I had a moment on Friday x 5.  I was prepared and yet was still surprised when my colleague burst into the Queen of the Night’s Aria in the non fiction room.  My reading class, the kids in the computer room and many from the downstairs classrooms came up, as we gathered and settled.  Helen’s performance was mesmerizing, she can sing having been in the Melbourne Opera Chorus.

And we her audience were one as we settled and listened to this Aria sung by our Maths teacher perfectly and beautifully (I have recordings, I have seen the Magic Flute performed many times), I watched her act the piece and there was only her voice every student was engrossed and we were for a few moments one as we watched and listened.  Helen sang and I was only a metre away, dear reader, I thought that I would cry for the beauty of the voice and the moment.

Through the tedium and drudgery of doing the oh so necessary housework I have reflected on this all day.  What a moment x 5 and what a shared moment.  This is what I live for as a teacher, and as a human being.  Five minutes of beautiful and shared.

In reflection I think I should have filmed it, and then I thought one of the kids may have.  But I don’t recollect any of the students holding up their phones to record or video.  We were just captivated as one amorphous mass with a memory that I do not tink any one of us will erase.

Creating an ICT curriculum (read social networking and digital citizenship

I have been asked to teach ICT to the year 10s and 9s this year as a new subject.  At the same time the school is moving over to a new curriculum mapping system via Atlas.

In the first week I laid out to the students that this was a new subject and asked them what they wanted to discuss.  Copyright issues in relation to downloading music and films, sexting, privacy and cyberbullying were the issues raised.

Working in an alternative school I have freedom to develop the curriculum and I wanted the students to contribute and share in the process in the first year.  It does seem that we are interested in the same issues which come under the broad heading of digital citizenship.

Sometime ago Thomas Tudehope (sp) a social commentator on Social Media suggested that schools have a responsibility to teach digital citizenship to students as part of the curriculum.  And this dear readers is what I intend to attempt.

Here are the topics I wish to teach to Years 9 & 10over this year

Copyright, Creative Commons, Open source, SOPA, ACTA

Cyber bullying, Cyber safety, Social networking, Identity fraud,

digital citizenship

I also wish them to learn the tools of Web2.0 to sift through information and collect and curate and to present.  I feel that the best way to do this is to use these tools as part of their investigation and assessment.

As we are using Googledocs we will use Google sites and the blog facility to record our progress and as our collaborative tool.

I would like to use prezi as an alternative presentation tool, survey monkey, and social media such as youtube and twitter to communicate a message. to curate information.

My proposal to the students will be that our purpose over the year is to gather information on these subjects for their peers and set up sites to inform and advise their peers.  In the case of the 9’s it will be their fellow students, for the 10s the challenge will be to set up a broader site for teenagers everywhere.

Our purpose will be to build up an integrated social media network to promote digital safety and citizenship teens all over the world.  We will assess our success in terms of blog comments, hits, retweets, thinking out to my colleagues and see what they think.

I will now thorugh

IPad issues

We have a set of twenty laptops that are under my remit. In my previous position at MUFY we were looking at them as a one to one device and discussed the following issue that have been raised by my IT colleague Mark.
My own PLP will be how to use the iPads at Peshil. Luckily I have been putting together some resources gathered from colleagues on the library page.

Five reasons I am grateful I am a Librarian

I was asked by Anita Heiss to provide a guest blog on why I was grateful to be a librarian.  You will find what I wrote below but here is the blog on Anita’s homepage.


In the age when geek is chic, and nerds rule we librarians know that our time has come.  Our skills and practice are as relevant and essential today as when Dewey organized human knowledge into the decimal system. In the digital age librarians are curating information and enabling access and dissemination through wikis, blogs, twitter, tumblr, facebook and other web2.0 tools.


I am a passionate reader and working in libraries and schools I get to discuss books, stories and reading with other readers.  I have observed readers and their reading for 30 years as well as that of my colleague librarians (Crime is the Librarian’s favorite genre).  I have had the pleasure of introducing books to readers and as teacher librarian and a childrens librarian actively promote story  and the joy of reading.  Reading stories and poetry to young people brings out the inner performer in me

and of course I have had the pleasure of introducing many writers to readers and young people and meeting them myself.


Libraries are vibrant and free social spaces. Our own State Library of Victoria is a vibrant meeting place with the lawns, Mr Tulk and Readings bookshop contributing to the ambiance.

Public Libraries provide great programmes for their communities and are free and open to all.  Libraries provide social space and access to ICT, Digital Media and Information.  Our users can take home books, films, music, games for free.


Information is power, Andrew Carnegie believed that

“industrious and ambitious; not those who need everything done for them, but those who, being most anxious and able to help themselves, deserve and will be benefited by help from others.”[

Public Libraries today still provide this service, I love researching and the challenge of providing information and teaching young people the skills of research, bibliography and citation.  This of course has contributed to my own learning and knowledge.



Whats not to like about working in a library?  I spend my working day researching, matching books with readers, communicating with our users through Social Media and performing my shtick to young people.

Its the people.

I bless working as a Librarian for the wonderful librarians I have work with, and the daily encounters and joyful interactions I have with Library Patrons.  How you have enriched my life.

Creating a 21st Century Library Space

I have had some time to think about my new appointment and in particular the blank canvas that is the newbuild ELibrary.

The build divides into three spaces pit and I envisage a quiet reading /study area set up as a retro reading room.  There will be collaborative space for students and classes to work together with quick access to information and reference sources be they physical or digital.

My role is to support literacy and information literacy to students and teachers.  This includes (from my library page)

Learn skills


One Search, many collections…

Research skills
Learn how to improve your skills to get the best information and results

Study skills
Learn how to stop procrastinating, reduce stress, and get ready for exams.

Essay writing skills
Learn how to analyse your question, then plan and write a great essay.

and to support reading which is my passion. From My own reading page

3 entertaining Australian Writers

Check out BevsBookBlog

Dystopian fiction


@taniatorikova Tania Sheko
Resources supporting student writing including information about writing competitions

Check out my LibraryThing

The 100 favourite fictional characters… as chosen by 100 literary luinaries

I seek to work collaboratively with my colleagues and students  to support their learning and teaching in their classrooms or the Library.

As a librarian my role is to provide current information and thinking to assist students in their research and their interests.  I will curate current thinking creating a Wiki for PreshilELibrary similar to the Wiki I created for MUFYLibrary

I will create a tumblr and twitter accounts to inform and disseminate. A facebook page managed by students could also be set up. I will curate information through

My own good reads for 2011

Is it me or is it a particularly bad year for 2011 Reading lists published by the media?  None have provided any sense of discovery for me. I was also very aware that what excited the critics did not necessarily excite me and that I felt that some of my interesting discoveries were not featured.

The Guardian Books of 2011

I have had Death comes to Pemberly and Reamde delivered to my Kindle Fire for my holiday reading.  I have never read PD James but has just started reading this I enjoyed the first  section where James wittily outlines the aftermath of Elizabeth and Darcy’s Marriage by the gossip which surrounds it.   Lydia makes her entrance to Pemberly on a stormy night and the game is afoot.

Neal Stephenson was an early writer in the Steam Punk genre before it acquired its current cultural cache.  He has long since entered the literary mainstream with the Baroque Trilogy and Cryptonomicon amongst other titles.  Reamde is a vast thriller and I am looking forward to reading this on my Summer Holiday in the Grampians.

I picked up Phoenix Rising from a friend with a professional interest in the Steam Punk Genre, and I really enjoyed the Dickensian Potteresque vision of 19th Century London awash with technological marvels.  And of course our hero is a dapper librarian.

Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris
Description: Evil is most assuredly afoot—and Britain’s fate rests in the hands of an alluring renegade… and a librarian.

Mapp and Lucia is a collective name for a series of novels by E. F. Benson, and is also the name of a television series based on those novels.

external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQXRZc1Ey01lgBeKoVIwBgzLnn0SNcoWppQwgQe_09_1QvwcLLBI enjoyed reading this knowing sequel Major Benjy by Guy Fraser-Sampson which I feel was informed more by the television series than the novels.

Like everyone else after reading the Millennium Trilogy I turned to the Scandinavian writers.  I enjoyed  The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler and Ann Holt’s 1222

While not enamored with the prospect of reading Jo Nesbo’s series featuring an alcoholic detective (yawn) I did enjoy Headhunter

I book-ended the year with two literary genre novels both dystopian fiction.  The Passage by Justin Croninexternal image 9780752897851.jpg?1274761513


external image Zone-One.jpg

Zone One by Colson Whitehead. Read a review by Patrick Ness here

I thought that the Passage was such an experiment in genre blending and driven by great storytelling.  Zone One is a brilliant existential novel that ponders the meaning of existence in a zombie plague.

Another great genre meditation on life and ennui  was The last werewolf  by Glen Duncan.

I also enjoyed Robopocalypse: A Novel complete genre trash with little redeeming merit beyond being a Hollywood calling card.

I read three great Australian writers this year.

external image images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSSE6BatT4FjhivuwrOCQPyVhYgZg69fM5MeciUP42BinaAGohQzwThe Life of a Teenage Body-Snatcher written by Doug Macleod was very funny and begs out to be televised.  A Captain Midnite for the modern generation. The Golden Day by Ursula Dubosarsky  is a tale about a teacher who disappears while in a cave, and how her small class of 11
girls act when they cannot find her; forming a pact of silence. A very atmospheric novel set on the day the last person was hanged in Australia. You can read more about the Golden Day here

Another favourite writer of mine is indigenous writer Anita Heiss.  Dr Heiss writes ‘chick lit’ but with a very serious purpose.  She aims to show that indigenous people live beyond the outback image and are significant participants in Australian urban life.  In Avoiding Mr Right.  We meet Sydney-sider Peta after she has decided to accept a twelve-month contract in Melbourne, and live apart from her adoring boyfriend James. What follows is a light-hearted romp recounting her daily adventures in Melbourne, artfully woven with commentary on politics and the arts. (from MC reviews )

aunts-story-the.jpgI was disappointed by The Aunt’s Story written by Patrick White.  The first half  was a great eye opener about Anglo culture in Oz between the wars but the second half  which our heroine Theodora spends in a pensione in Paris populated by European eccentrics is a BIG cliched Yawn and I was outraged by the sloppy ending.  Does not wear at all well as far as I am concerned.  Another great disappointment was The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet: A Novel

I read the Radetzky March by Joseph Roth after a review in BookBeast which placed it alongside War and Peace, The Leopard and (Alzheimer lapse) as the great literary historical novels.

external image 200px-Joseph_Roth_Radetzkymarsch_1932.jpgI loved this study by Roth of the decline of a family mirroring the fortunes of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. I plan to read The Emperor’s Tomb where the story of the Trottas ends, as did Roth’s own life, at the dawn of the Nazi era in Austria.  I might just go to the local library and see if they have it.

I also enjoyed

The Devotion of Suspect X

The Stranger’s Child

Gods Without Men

Last Man in Tower

You can find my reading page here and my Librarything here