Bronte, Dawkins, meme

An essay on the struggles for Faith or lack there of…From Maria Popova ‘BrainPickings blog …

People wish to be settled,” Emerson wrote in his spectacular 1841 essay on character and the key to personal growth, “[but] only as far as they are unsettled is there any hope for them.” Exactly a decade later, Charlotte Brontë (April 21, 1816–March 31, 1855) — a mind at least as brilliant as Emerson’s and a spirit at least as expansive — tussled with this vital and vitalizing interplay of hope and unsettlement as she faced one of the most momentous frontiers of the human experience.”

“And so, with sturdy self-awareness and crystalline coolness, Brontë goes on to articulate the reason so many people believe — choose to believe — in the truth of “God” even when it clashes with the facts of reason and reality:”


“Charlotte Brontë.” – Wikipedia, the Free Encyclopedia. Web. 30 July 2016. 

“Charlotte Brontë on Faith and Atheism.” Brain Pickings. 14 May 2015. Web. 30 July 2016.

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Congrats Dayna/ Teacher/Librarian Year 2016

Congrats to my friend and colleague Dayna Hart of CNB middle school , SD23. for her BCTLA TeacherLibrarian Year Award! I’m so humbled to have worked with other Kelowna winners: Joan Eaton, Kay Treadgold, Sharon Bede and Misty Smith! 5 recipients in BC from Kelowna is staggering good news. 

The people of SD23 should be so grateful our colleagues have set such a standard of excellence. Our children are served so well to have such superior school library programs. I’m honoured to have worked with them all! Bravo! 


Posted in Blogosphere, Education, Libraries, Teaching, theKSSlibrary | Tagged , ,

Philosopher fisher 

Just when a fly fisher thinks he knows it all, our Creator humbles one. I guess that is why it just a sport. Like life in fact, fishing is an endeavour that just when you think you have it all figured out, nature or fate makes you look like a novice. 

I’ve been tackling the sport of fly fishing since I first tried my Grampa’s old rod. It has been a wonderful joy in my life. Not just for those momentous exhilarating occasions when you can hook up some impressive trout or salmon but for the inspiring raw quiet nature that surrounds one.

After many days of successful fishing, I thought I had it solved. Wrong! I was recently skunked just when I thought I had the formula. There is no formula. It’s only just nature. The lesson is that we all need to heed the higher power. Our Creator designed this sophisticated ecology. We are a just one divine piece.

After surviving many of life’s challenges, I thought I had solved the enigma if our existence- wrong. When we think have it solved, it’s just a psychological illusion. Like fishing, you can read the water and implement your knowledge base but humble yourself. You only catch the big one when it chides you. Our faith in fish or the grander realm is just that- faith not a reality. Wet your lines and get out there- bounty or none it’s all divine. 

Posted in Blogosphere, Essay, Faith, Outdoors, Photography, Twoloons Photography | Tagged , , ,

BCTLA Awards nominations- celebrate excellence

President Heather Daly reminds BC teacher-librarians to nominate your hard working, professional colleagues who build school library programs that shine worldwide. It’s my honour to be a part of the community. – Al Smith( ret )

[BCTLA Forum] BCTLA Awards and Grants (Deadline June. 1st)

The BC Teacher-Librarians’ Association

For More Information:

Posted in Education, Teaching | Tagged , ,

UBC Digital Literacy Summer Institute-aaron mueller FYI 

Via @aaronmueller @bctla

 UBC Digital Literacy Summer Institute

Aaron Mueller


23 FebDetails

2016 Digital Literacy Summer Institute

Critical Digital Literacy: Issues, Challenges, Directions


As technology continues to transform educational systems and teaching strategies, the acquisition of digital literacies has become essential for learners to achieve academic success in the 21st century. While early research on these new literacies has largely been celebratory or prescriptive, this course is a critical examination of how the internet, social media and digital communication have transformed forms of knowledge, identities, social networks and formations. It goes beyond issues of privacy, online bullying and the digital divide, and instead, takes a deeper dive at how the digital can reshape our understanding of the world, privileging ideas, languages, and cultures, while marginalizing others.
Confronting these issues, this course invites educators to reflect on their own digital mindsets and practices, and their assumptions of the digital literacies of adolescent learners. It outlines what critical digital literacy involves and provides strategies for learners to develop critical thinking skills as they engage with the digital. Topics include:
technology and the transformation of the social order (globalization, new modes of productivity, allegiances);

the production and circulation of knowledge (crowdsourcing, search engines, algorithms);

the construction of social networks (online cultures, the curated self, modes of exclusion); and

issues of educational technology (‘digital natives’, attention structures, digital equity).

This course is designed for teacher candidates, new and experienced secondary school teachers, teacher librarians, school administrators, and researchers interested in the integration of technology in educational systems. The goal is for participants to develop a critical awareness of the macro- and micro- issues that education must address as learners participate in an increasingly digital world.
UBC Vancouver | Face-to-Face
Scarfe Building, room 1328

2125 Main Mall | map
July 25-26
9:00 am – 3:30 pm
(coffee and tea will be served during the breaks)

Instructor – Ron Darvin A research associate of the Digital Literacy Centre, Ron Darvin has been a high school and university teacher of English, literature, and media studies for more than ten years. He is a Vanier scholar at the Department of Language and Literacy Education, and his research examines to what extent social class differences of adolescent learners shape unequal digital literacies. Ron was recently awarded the 2016 TESOL Award for Distinguished Research
Registration & Fees
Non-Credit Participation Fee: $125

Register Here – Registration opens February 22

Seats are limited in this program, early registration strongly recommended.


Posted in Education, Innovation, Learning Resources, News/Press, Teaching, Technology | Tagged , ,

Time to stop abuse against women- trial by fire- CBC

I’m so sad that macho ‘band of brothers’ military, police, firefighters… and men-continue  assaulting and harassing female colleagues. We all make errors of judgement but such relentless severity hurts us all. I periodically get a sense of anger and shame to be a white male. We all , men and women, gladly pitch in for anti-bullying campaigns but refuse to confront the evil of rape and harassment. We aspire to be a civil society but so seldom act. IT’S WHY I POST. 

I’m not picking on firefighters but responding to the CBC expose. All media reports are flawed but at least the issue is raised.
Just because women are only 4% of firefighters isn’t an excuse to perpetuate forms of violence of colleagues. I know it exists everywhere but in 2016 it’s overdue time that brawny men find more honour. ‘Boys club’ disconnect needs to end! I’m emboldened by those few men who get outraged and even take on their bosses to stop such injustice. Tackling abuses is as courageous as facing a fire or other dangers. Men who fight against the abuse of women are THE REAL HEROES. 

All people need to be more heroic , and find ways to prevent abuse by their teammates. 

It’s great to hear of Ottawa Fire Chief trying to improve the culture! 

Safety needs to expand into the workplace too. The certain few need to be culled now if not arrested!! This Fifth Estate episode is NSFW so that tells you how serious it is.

Posted in Blogosphere

Teen boys, porn and Internet , parents beware
I’ve been saying for some time that our boys and young men are in trouble in spite of our current trend to assist or compensate our young females. Want a better life for our girls? Help our lost boys. 

To sum up, if you happen to have a 15-year-old male texting quietly in his bedroom upstairs (so you think!), batten down the parental hatches. But if the situation for girls is a “complicated landscape,” to quote Orenstein, rife with sexting and slut-shaming, then is life for boys today – so often cast as the lecherous villains in this adolescent apocalypse – that much simpler?Here’s a disturbing calculation, cited in Zimbardo’s book: Let’s say, Zimbardo suggests, that a 15-year-old boy watches a couple hours of porn a week. He has sex for the first time around the average age of 17. That’s nearly 1,400 pornographic experiences, a huge dose of virtual sex education, before anyone actually does the deed in the real world. Mix in drugs, add video games, Zimbardo says, and the moodles (“man-poodles” unable to care for themselves) may never grow up.(Globe)

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