Education Library Blog

Stay up to date on news, events and special features.

Boldly going where no teacher …


“There are, and will be in the foreseeable future, places on the planet where, for whatever reason, good schools do not exist and good teachers do not wish to go. In such areas, it is reasonable to expect that educational technology and distance education will have a special role to play. In this sense, educational technology and distance education are meant to ‘level the playing field’ and provide equal opportunity for learners in areas where traditional schooling of adequate quality is not available.”

In “Remote Presence: Technologies for ‘Beaming’ Teachers Where They Cannot Go” (JOURNAL OF EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES IN WEB INTELLIGENCE, vol. 1, no. 1, August 2009), Sugata Mitra, Newcastle University, asks the question “Is it possible for teachers to live in areas that they prefer and still be ‘present’ in schools where they do not, physically, wish to go?” Mitra proposes several technology solutions designed to make it possible that also have the potential to improve the quality of the education delivered in these areas.

The paper is available at

Education Book Fair November 4, 5, 6

UBC Bookstore and Education Library present

The Education Book Fair
11:00 am to 2:00 pm
Scarfe Foyer
November 4, 5, 6

Time to shop for books for the whole family!

Kids books, teen titles, and teacher books will be on sale.  Book buyers will receive a 10% discount.
Faculty publications will also be on sale.

School Organizational Restructuring and Collegiality

Research on School Organizational Restructuring and Collegiality Because a significant number of teachers spend their time either with students or alone planning and grading papers, it is not surprising to hear them say they feel isolated from their colleagues. The latest case study in the International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership tells the story of a Canadian elementary-school staff that decided to address their perceived problem of teacher isolation by transforming the internal organization of their school into a collaborative environment designed to foster collegial practices among themselves.
Fallon, G., & Barnett, J. (2009). Impacts of school organizational restructuring into a collaborative setting on the nature of emerging forms of collegiality.  International Journal of Education Policy and Leadership 4(9).

Videogames, Virtual Worlds and Real Learning

Videogames, Virtual Worlds and Real Learning October 26, 2009, 4:30-6:00 p.m.
Dodson Room, Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, UBC  (and via Live Podcast)

Panel Speakers:
* Eric Meyers, School of Library Archival and Information Studies, UBC
* Dr. Kathy Sanford, Associate Dean of Teacher Education, University of Victoria
* Liz Merkel, Doctoral Candidate, University of Victoria.

Every day millions of children and youth login to virtual environments where they play, socialize, create and explore a digital landscape as avatars or “virtual characters”. By the end of 2011, researchers estimate that 80% of active Internet users will be using virtual worlds. While virtual worlds are undeniably popular among children and youth, they have attracted the attention of anxious adults, teachers and librarians. Parents and child advocates suggest that videogames are dangerously addictive and even toxic to real-life pro-social development. Others decry the blatant commercialism and commodification of childhood experience.

Researchers Dr. Kathy Sanford and Liz Merkel from the University of Victoria and Dr. Eric Meyers from The University of British Columbia will share what they have learned about the nature of videogaming and virtual worlds. Dr. Sanford has focused her research on the videogaming of adolescent boys while Dr. Meyers as a participant and observer has explored the virtual play spaces popular with children and designed for home use, such as Club Penguin, WebKinz, Woogi World, Panwapa, Millsberry, Second life, BarbieGirls, Pixie Hollow, HandiPoints, and Sifaka World. Virtual worlds are not just playspaces, but the focal point of a great deal of information work. The implications for school and library professionals are worthy of our attention especially as we celebrate learning and National School Library Day.

This special event has been sponsored by UBC’s School of Library Archival and Information Studies in collaboration with the UBC Education Library and Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.

A live podcast of the panel presentation will be available so that participants off campus may join with us for this exciting National School Library Day event.

To access the Live Podcast select this web link to go to the viewer 5 minutes prior the event, or any time during the event.

Username:  SLAIS
Password:  mediasite

Air Date: 26/10/2009 4:30 PM PDT
Duration: 1:30:00 (h:mm:ss)

Please select the speech balloon to view the “ask” text box to submit questions to the event moderator.  Your question may be answered during the live event if appropriate.

To view the video or slides full screen, select the box with arrow icon found above each display panel you wish to see.

You may be asked to install “Silverlight” on your preferred web browser – a brief installation taking 20-30 seconds after your acknowledgement, and is only required once.

First International Open Access Week

UBC has joined SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), the Public Library of Science (PLoS), The Students for Free Culture, OASIS (the Open Access Scholarly Information Sourcebook); Open Access Directory (OAD); and (Electronic Information for Libraries), and over 120 institutions worldwide to celebrate in the First International Open Access Week.

Various events hosted by UBC Library will take place from Tuesday, October 20th through Thursday, October 22nd, 2009 in the Dodson Room at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre.  The three themes for events are: Open Access Around the World, Surfacing UBC Scholarship, and Journal Publishing.  Attend a workshop, participate in a panel discussion, and hear from UBC colleagues about how they participate in the open access movement. Come learn about open access and share your perspective!

For a schedule of events
, and to register, go to:

For more information, contact Joy Kirchner at