2015 Edublog Awards Nominations Now Open

You can nominate the Cabra Senior Library Blog here. Look for the best Library/Librarian blog category. We have been fortunate enough to make the Edublog Awards shortlist for the last 3 years running. Let’s make it number 4!

2015 edublog awards banner

Nominations for the 2015 Edublogs Educational Blogging Awards have now opened. You have till Wednesday 2 December to nominate your favourite educational blogs in any or all of the following categories.
So go nominate your favorite blogs, twitterers, community sites, videos, podcasts and more… for 2015:

The Edublog Awards started in 2004 in response to community concerns relating to how schools, districts and educational institutions were blocking access of learner and teacher blog sites for educational purposes.  The purpose of the Edublog awards is promote and demonstrate the educational values of these social media.

Working together, we create an invaluable resource of the best-of-the-best on the web!

2015 Categories

Nominations are open from now through Wednesday, December 2nd.

We have decided for 2015 to focus exclusively on blogs in education, so you may notice a few categories from previous years that aren’t included. This will allow us to spend more time reviewing all nominations for a more thorough voting round.

  • Best new blog
  • Best group blog
  • Best class blog
  • Best student blog
  • Best ed tech / resource sharing blog
  • Best teacher blog
  • Best library / librarian blog
  • Best administrator blog
  • Most influential blog post of the year
  • Best individual tweeter
  • Best individual blog

Don’t forget to make your nominations here!

My nominations for 2015 are:



Research in Context Database Now Available

The Cabra Library is now able to offer students and staff access to another excellent collection of reference information. It is called Research in Context Database and it offers comprehensive detailed  information on just about every topic you could think of. You can access an incredible wealth of information on most topics and view or download these eBooks for later use in much the same way as the Gale Virtual Reference Database GVRL database. For a comprehensive set of guides on using this new research tool click here.

The Research in Context Database covers the following broad subject areas: Click here for the full list.

You will need a username and password to access the site, please ask your Homeroom Teacher for this. Access this resource and many others from the “Link Favourites” on the right hand side of our Access-It Library Catalogue.

For an overview and tips & tricks on using GVRL check out the video tutorials below:

How Much Media Do Kids and Teens Consume Each Day?

So, how much screen time is too much? Exactly what are the youngsters watching, doing and how often?

Common Sense Media has released the results of their research into the screen and media usage patterns of kids, tweens and teens.

Tweens, Teens, and Screens: What Our New Research Uncovers

By taking a “census” of kids’ media use, Common Sense’s new study quantifies screen use, identifies unique types of users, and uncovers patterns that could spark improvements in content, access, and learning.
Key Findings Include:
  • It’s not your imagination — media use is off the charts.
  • There is a wide diversity in screen media use.
  • Low-income kids lack access. 
  • Boys’ and girls’ media preferences are very different.
  • Social media use is big — but maybe not super fun. 
  • Everyone can be a maker, but not many are.

Read the whole report here.



Award Winning Author Oliver Phommavanh Visits Cabra

Acclaimed Author Visits Cabra

Today we were fortunate enough to be visited by hilarious children’s author Oliver Phommavanh.

“When I was a kid, I used to be a class clown. I just loved making people laugh. Teachers would tell me that I needed to grow up. But I had a better idea. Why don’t I choose a job where I can act like a kid and make jokes for a living!”

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Year 6, 7 and 8 students were treated to an amazing presentation by Oliver.  He had the students in fits of laughter for over an hour relating the story of his family, his schooling and the inspiration for his writing. 8 Gold were lucky enough to spend 2 Blocks with Oliver in his writing workshop.

Oliver is a young Thai-Australian writer for children. He has featured on panels at the Sydney Writers’ Festival among many other appearances at festivals and writing events as well as in blogs. He has worked as a primary school teacher and now spends his time writing and sharing his writing passion with kids and engaging them with humour. He’s also a stand-up comedian and has appeared on national TV and radio as well as a number of well-known comedy venues such as the Comedy Store in Sydney. His first book, Thai-riffic! was published in June 2010 to critical acclaim, followed by Con-nerd in 2011, Punchlines, Thai-no-mite! and Stuff Happens: Ethan. Visit Oliver at his website: http://www.oliverwriter.com

It is always so very special to be able to invite authors to visit Cabra to inspire, entertain and encourage a love of reading and writing in all its forms. Thanks Oliver!

Oliver is published by Penguin Books. To read a Q & A with Oliver click here.






Will the real Swim Shady please stand up?

Will the real Swim Shady please stand up?
I repeat, will the real Swim Shady please stand up?
We’re gonna have a problem here..

new fish 2015 crop

It’s offishal! The overall winner of the naming competition with almost 30% of the vote was Swim Shady! With a shortlist studded with marine puns of one form or another, Swim Shady emerged as the most popular name but I do not know who suggested it. So would the real Swim Shady name entrant please stand up? Make yourself known to claim your prize.

Runners-up with shortlisted names were: Dave Grohl (Aaron H. 10B) and Augustus Waters (Lucy T. 7B) and they have a prize waiting  for them to collect from the Senior Library. Please drop down to collect. Well done and thanks!


Vote for Your Favourite Fighting Fish Name.

Competition closes Friday Week 3, Vote now!


The Hope Prize: short story competition – Entries Open Now!

The Brotherhood of St Laurence is working to create a compassionate and just Australia where everyone can take part in the social and economic life of our nation.

We are a prosperous country, but there are far too many pockets of poverty and disadvantage in our cities, suburbs, regions and remote areas.

In establishing The Hope Prize – a new national short story competition  –  we want to encourage Australian writers to tackle a subject that is all too often hidden from public view or reduced to clichés.

  • First prize of $5000
  • Second prize of $3000
  • Third prize of $2000
  • Highly commended stories will each receive $500
  • An award of $500 will also be made to an emerging writer under 18.

The deadline for entry is 31 January, 2016.
Stories submitted must be between 2000 and 5000 words.

The short story entered can be fiction or fact. Whatever the genre, the story submitted must convey the experience of people facing hardship in their lives.

Check out the competition guidelines here.

click to download Hope_Prize_Short_Story_Competition_Entry_Form

The judges: Cate Blanchett, Kate Grenville and Quentin Bryce

Three leading Australians, actor Cate Blanchett, author Kate Grenville, and the former Governor General Quentin Bryce, will judge the Brotherhood of St Laurence The Hope Prize.

Name Our New Library Fighting Fish.

We have a new resident Siamese Fighting Fish in the Senior Library. This attractive Crown Tail Betta won’t easily replace our previous beloved fish (in order of their demise, Pistachio, James Pond and Atticus Fish). However, it seems the Cabra Community loves a fighter and we have a new contender, as yet unnamed. (see picture at above). Entries are now open for our ‘Name the New Library Fish Competition’ and as usual super prizes are on offer for the top 3 suggestions.

The tradition is to devise a suitable name for our fish that has some literary connection. Apart from the names above check out past short-listed names below:

Scaleduggery Pleasant, F. Scott Fishgerald, Jaws, Salmon Rushdie, and Huckleberry Fin.

Can you Betta this?

Leave a comment on this post or email Mr Bull to submit your entry.

Competition closes Friday Week 3, with the shortlisted names voted upon in Week 4. Jump in!


Win $2500 in the Somerset Celebration of Literature Novella Competition!

Cash Prize $2500 | Gold Coast Flights | Meet Penguin Publicist

somerset novella poster

The Somerset National Novella Writing Competition is open to all Australian high school students. It is a wonderful opportunity for serious student writers, encouraging them in their literary growth. And there are also some fantastic prizes on offer!

Here’s what the competition entails:

  • Write a novella of between 6,000 and 10,000 words
  • Submit it by 4 December 2015
  • Have it judged by an expert panel
  • Winners from each State will be flown to the Gold Coast to enjoy the Somerset Celebration of Literature in March 2016 and will also receive a cash prize
  • On top of the prize for being a State winner, the National winner also receives a first prize of $2,500, as well as a full editorial report from Penguin Random House (Australia)

The Somerset National Novella Writing Competition is proudly sponsored by Bond University and Penguin Random House (Australia).

For more information and details on how to enter, visit our website.

For the poetically inclined the Festival is also running a Poetry Competition, click on the link below for details below:


Somerset Celebration of Lit

Cabra Library Blog Views Top 10000 So Far This Year

We have just reached a milestone with over 10000 page views for the Cabra College Library Blog so far this year. 2015 is now our busiest year ever for the blog since our first full year of operation in 2012. For a visual representation of the numbers check out these images below.

2015 statspost pages countries