Refugee Action Collective Conference – 7 March 2015, Brisbane

*revision of notes documented 7/3/2015*

To the RAC Conference, such an elation of feelings! What a high! The group and I networked and raised funds quite successfully for awareness of asylum seeker and refugee rights in Australia. Highlights included – to be offered the opportunity to be part of the thinking team to create a Welcome Hub in Brisbane for one of the local groups, and the other meeting up with Kon again CEO of ASRC! Oh my, such a humble moment. We spoke of what we are doing with Young Buddies, he gave appreciation and congratulations to the team, and even had photos with us. Later theywere shared by he, ASRC, and us over Facebook and Twitter, with a public mention of Buddies, giving us thanks for our work. It truly was an exciting moment for us all. I am so grateful to RAC for having us Buddies at the conference, and look forward to future opportunities to connect with other surrounding groups and organisations who stand by the rights of those who need it the most.

P.S. Few weeks have gone by, and Buddies has been mentioned by ASRC in Facebook, as one of 35 national organisations doing a great effort to help asylum-seekers and refugees in Australia. OH.MY.ZGLOB.

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Screenshot taken from ASRC’s Facebook page, highlighting Buddies as one of the 35 national groups to which people can turn to to get behind the support of asylum-seekers and refugees in Australia.

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Young Buddies team with Kon

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Screen Shot of Kon’s Twitter Feed highlighting organisations at the RAC conference, including the Young Buddies and Buddies team

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Poster from the RAC Conference

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Some information and hand made crafts at our Young Buddies stall

Posted in Volunteer Work, Young Buddies Refugee Support Group (March 2014 - November 2015) | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Over one year in, over one year of endless discoveries.

*A revision of notes documented originally 19.2.2015*

So, it would have been late 2013 I begun at MCSHS. I never imagined I would go from being a casual volunteer, helping where ever I could, to someone who mattered to some, and helped others build up their work – however great or small. I have been left to independently run the front-desk and library for up to an hour (on numerous occasions), have had the great pleasure (mild satirical humour *insert*) of helping re-catalogue the library after dear sweet OLIVER crashed – actually, that was one of my very first projects and “Welcome to the library!” initiatives in which I undertook with a couple of other staff. I was given autonomous time to go through and shadow the TL on what books should remain and be culled based on physical quality, socio-cultural contexts and change, and overall demand for the school environment. Subsequently I was able to take the culled books and head-up a donation pile outreaching to a disadvantaged school in Gympie, and (separately) refugees in our wider community. It was a very quick learning experience, being thrown in head first, and I spent a good near six months wrapping up the work from NF – F – Text Books. I still think we have the Teacher Reference section to go but this needs to be worked closely with HODs over what books are required for learning in the classrooms. I am currently onto our dear old VHS, transferring them onto “Click View”. So, my life this last year and a bit has been heavily focused in cataloguing and customer service with a wonderful twist of research work.

Given two TLs exist in the library, I am able to provide different services, based on the demand for need and want by the student (and relevancy to the TL managing for my shift). This rotates from cataloguing and back-end tasks such as “Click View”, to research work for IB students taking on their Extended Essays (usually), Theory of Knowledge, and General assessment work. I have also been in to provide a workshop on research methods – utilising the school’s online database systems, showed how to use Google Scholar, offered support regarding CAS projects, and am an overall “go-to” lady for any IB students who may wish to ask about “how to” find a topic of interest in the big bad psychedelic cloud that is World Wide Web.

Amidst all this, I have been very humbly offered times of casual-temp work when the budget permits, and am always happy to learn, problem-solve, discover, take on and poetically fail at new things – if it means I am to learn more strategically and better from the situation. I have modelled a few assessments for uni off information gaps I have seen in MCSHS’s library, with a heavy focus on UX and needs. For example, designing and creating a very basic online database specific to IB students undertaking CAS projects. The neat quirk about it was that I used only physical and online items made available in the library as a form of encouraging students to interact with the physical collection more.

My dream one day is to embed heavily the creations of makerspaces, gamification and microblogging into a) school systems, and/or b) into a system which can be reached by people with ethnic backgrounds whereby English is a Second Language. My passion to provide a fun, vibrant and tactile library experience for the diverse learner, is parallel with providing ESL students, and people from the wider community, the ability to connect symbiotically with the library as a place not only for the traditional mind set of “books only”, but a place in which is the lungs to the community – breathing and expanding adaptable programmes to the highly diverse and demanding needs of the individual needs of our communities.

Posted in Library Assistant at Mountain Creek State High School (July 2013 - November 2015), Volunteer Work | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Noam Chomsky @ Sydney Opera House, November 3, 2011: Problems of Freedom and Knowledge

For an a near two hours, November 3rd 2011, my life experienced one of those cliche “life altering moments”. It was worth my month’s pay to buy plane tickets down to Sydney and see Chomsky, a hero, and idol, speak at his symposium – Problems of Freedom and Knowledge. This event signified Chomsky being a recipient of an Australian Peace Award. Eight significant points were raised, and I tried my utmost to scribe down as much as I could. I have decided to delve up my scribes from those three years ago, and share with you the movement that began to solidify my thoughts, and wants, to thrust linguistics into my vocation. The passion was already there, being on the end route of my honours degree, but I never imagined at the time that it would lead me to pursue a Masters in LIS.

Point One: Elite conceptions of national interest

Point Two: Illusion of Election of Barrack Obama in post 9/11 neo conservative realm

Point Three: 1996 ‘Fried Chicken’. Palestine and Israel

Point Four: Money and the ‘Occupy’ wallstreet movement

Point Five: ‘What could be bad about growth?’ ‘Are we breeding to extinction?’

Point Five: Wiki leaks and Anarchism. What do you mean by Anarchism?

Point Six: Free Speech and Democracy

Point Seven: The Brain – why it was important to acquire knowledge

Point Eight: Elite Academic Institutions, can they contribute to institutions or be a barrier?

Of the Eight points, the one of great significance to myself at the time was point seven on “the brain – why it is important to acquire knowledge”. Below is an attempted transcribe (with no editing) of Chomsky conversing over this topic, and how I interpreted the conversation made.

<<November 3, 2011>>
Point Seven: The Brain – why it was important to acquire knowledge. Some of the most promising influences began with 17 century Cartesian philosophy and Decartes whom was critical to distinguish creatures with minds and souls from those that didn’t (which by equated to mechanical). If they didn’t have a language creative capacity they were deemed as machines. Chomsky agrees with this thought. The crucial difference was from cause and appropriated for the capacity for expression neither externally or internally. This is the process of moral(s), cognition or activity. Again, Chomsky noted Adam Smith (‘Division of labor and wealth of nations’) for he (Chomsky) reflects that humans have a need to make activity. If an artist produces artwork as beautiful as a representation then we despise the artist as a tool, but if an artist can project artwork that is beautiful from within than we adore the artist. A note of classical liberalism and a break through of science, the willing to be puzzled – Galileo.  There is additionally a mentioning of Aristotle. When you become puzzled you can break authority and realise you don’t know anything. In the 1950s languages was about when the obvious was not [thought of, significant, comprehended]. For example, take this sentence ‘ Can eagles that fly, swim?’ all rules of language observe structural distance, not linear distances – this is the property of all languages. Sound is consequently marginal, communication is marginal and apparently all is false for the tool for thought is the evolution of language. What is your must use of language? Answer: 99% talking to yourself. Final note in this section was on the creations of moral judgement.

If we fast forward to October 24, 2014, I must now add another two points of significance – one which is dear to many LIS practioners, point six on “free speech and democracy”. Below is a transcribe of my musings from the day (no editing), and the more Chomsky spoke, the more I now realise, some three years on, just how important Freedom of Information and Knowledge Sharing is so important for an LIS professional.

<<November 3, 2011>>
Point Six: Free Speech and Democracy. Why shouldn’t media be under the same scrutiny and balance as public media? In the U.S. there is a kind of balance in public media as ‘objectivity’ is taught in journalism schools, also known as ‘Inside the Belkway’. There is an expectation to report honestly and accurately. For example, present views of elite sectors objectively. Certainly, true, money shall talk but Chomsky is personally against regulation as whom would regulate, where would the money come from. He appeared more upset that money has power. Elections are increasingly being bought and policy being pursued is dependent on finances of the campaigns. Thus, there is no surprise to know Obama’s election was based on a small financial elite. You pretty much have to buy party chair as a member of congress. Media consequently is not very different from general electoral. There is a noteworthy book to look at ‘Principle Architects of Government Policy’ by Adam Smith. Nevertheless, to eliminate investment fractions we need to go after the neo-liberal problems.

Finally, the second point of relevance to me now is point eight on “elite academic institutions”. Below is a transcript (no editing) from the day, and one which contextually I see as a topic that is hot. Hot because the part of the LIS practioner to support a freedom of information can be threatened by institutions bound by public and private codes of practice. The notion to challenge conventional beliefs, aspire for innovation, and social creation and modification is similar to anarchism, but in the truest form. To question all. The power play is not meant to be an egotistical one for an LIS practioner, however, to fight for the preservation and conservation of languages, as it is just as important as fighting for social freedoms. Without language, the code to understand knowledge would die.

<<November 3, 2011>>
Point Eight: Elite Academic Institutions, can they contribute to institutions or be a barrier? 1950s was the freest period for research at Chomsky’s instutiton of MIT, funded by the pentagon. 1960s 100% funded by 3 armed services. Modern economy depends heavily on state intervention for most persons never used to ask questions ‘ your business was your business’. However, during the 1960s there was a small dozen of students participating in activism against this system and tried changing the atmosphere. They were successful by 1969 as the question was finally asked ‘should we be concerned how science and technology should be used?’. There was therefore social activism at MIT and a change from conventional dress, sex and ethnicity in the 1950s to now. This was due to the success of the small group of activists in the 60s. The result was the production of freedom as we cannot institute external control. Students are expected to challenge – ‘here is an argument to the contrary’ in sciences. E.g. creation of atom bomb. First questioning came out of Chicago (please where materials were designed and created) – ‘what are we doing’. The questioning wasn’t done until the bomb went off in Japan, from Alimoe (place where bomb was constructed) where a lot of self criticism occurred. This is the ‘sweetness of the problem, or ‘what is the purpose?’

The notes are in scramble, however, they reflect a moment of pure thought. There was no stopping the ideas, knowledge, and wisdom in which came from Chomsky. The day was beautiful, humble, and a memory which still carries with me as strongly as I entered the auditorium to see Chomsky in the flesh, and breathe the passion which struck each person in the room.

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International Internet Preservation Consortium

How will we preserve the now for the future? How will people in 50 years time find our history which is of the generation of the Millenial? At the mercy of a click of the button and the engorgement of the information overload, preserving our language in the digital era, which is growing at an exponential rate, means IM needs to be handled in new ways. The IIPC address these issues and is a institution that many LIP should look too for support, innovation, and inspiration.

 

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The Long Now Foundation

Keeping our history alive through the preservation of language with all that can be documented is documented. Long Now will do this for you by “fostering long-term thinking“.

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Pearson Education and Pinterest

Pearson Education offer Four Ways to use Pinterest in Education. The ideas are savvy, innovative, and provide the encouragement to pursue the movement for schools, public and private, to use Pinterest as a platform for inspiring education and creativity amongst students (and staff).

Screenshot of Pearson K-12 Technology Pinterest Boards

Screenshot of Pearson K-12 Technology Pinterest Boards

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Good-bye post-it-notes, hello DIIGO!

Only just discovered last night, I feel my days of fly-a-way post-it-notes can safely be replaced by Diigo. Being a digital tool which acts like a PC catalogue of all our stored files on hard disk, Diigo takes the fun of researching to a whole new level, allowing you to interact with your links, follow others who share similar interests, form groups (private and public), chat about articles/resources discovered, and connect with anybody and everybody who is on Diigo. Allowing you to pull up any bookmarks/PDFs/Images/Nots saved, from any device, Diigo is a very worthy tool for the student learner, connected learner, and just about anyone who wants to save topics of interest for further readings.

Post thought: Incorporating the likes of Diigo into secondary schools, would be fantastic. As similar to Pinterest, would allow students to create a “My Library”, whether public or private, and build up their discoveries, showcasing interests, events, hobbies, research topics, ANYTHING, that will help them with learning and connect with their school community and library.

Screenshot of my account "LavenderQuinn" on Diigo

Screenshot of my account “LavenderQuinn” on Diigo

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TWIL #112: Tara Radniecki and Meg Backus (Makerspaces)

I recommend people who can feel out of sorts with change and adaptation, like myself, look to “This Week in Libraries” @twilibs. Episode #112, especially. It focuses on Makerspaces and what are they about? Librarians as cheerleaders and how to stay connected to the users of your library.Tara Radnieki identifies that librarians are like coaches, and (our) patrons, the players. The library space is no longer just a book space of dwelling, and as we develop into a more excelled industry of digital profession, the term “librarian” resonates archaically with years gone yonder. We are becoming “cheerleaders”, there to encourage and promote our “players” in and around the library space. Meg Backus talks of the “tweeting cactus”, defining the makerspace as “much more about culture… and ethic” (Jaap van de Geer, 2014), making musical instruments from floppy disks, and much much more. There is focus in this episode on 3D-printing also.

 

 

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“Instant Ideas and Collaboration” – #uklibchat

#uklibchat’s wordpress, used as an archive base (plus more) for Twitter Chats that take place monthly via uklibchat, prompts ideas for connected learning . It is a forum which opens discussion from LIS Practioners around the world, hosting key-note speakers on issues developing in the 21st Century, and offers Practioners, Students, Learners, Educators, to chime in on the discussions real-time, no matter your location.

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Screenshot of #uklibchat WordPress

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Screen shot #uklibchat Twitter

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Explore #designbylearning

Connect to my portfolio for this unit, LCN601: Designing Learning Spaces.

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