Resources: virtual and real

I spent some time tonight doing a presentation at Coburg Senior High to a group of English teachers on a Virtual Resource Centre I’ve been working on with my co-author of The EnglishBoook. The EnglishBook is a senior English resource book aimed at students undertaking their final year in the VCE, published by Cengage Learning. The Virutal Resource Centre is an attempt to bring some of the tools and interactivity of the web 2.0 world: a blog, a page del.ico.us links, video and podcasts to extend the traditional text book. It’s been interesting to have those conversations with an established academic publisher and good to see them moving towards an understanding of the power of these tools.

It’s always a little threatening to present to your peers I find, and English teachers are a tough audience. However, it seemed to go well.

One bonus of the evening was getting chance to look at the remodelled Coburg Senior High, one of the newest state schools built on open planning and access to technology. I was lucky enough to get a personal guided tour by the Principal Don Collins (below) where he talked about some of his vision for the place, which is exciting. It’s a very different looking school, open plan, lots of macs and bean-bags and a library of targetted fiction and no reference collection; that’s online.

So, there I was talking to a group of English teachers from a range of schools about a virtual resource we’d been building, while we were hosted in a brand new physical resource that was also acutely aware of the virtual world. It’s all connected, but I’m too tired now to explain how!

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