Bookmark Production Team

BGS Open Day was held on the weekend, and in a very busy 3 hours we had over 1400 people visit the Library! One of the most popular activities on offer was a QR code bookmark, with each one put together by a well-coordinated production team consisting of teacher librarian Ms Hunter, her husband and one of our Year 8 students.

Each bookmark’s journey began with Max taking a video of the visitor on an iPad, then sending this file to Ms Hunter. She attached it to a QR code and sent this file on to Mr Hunter who then dropped it and the visitor’s name into a prepared template. Once the bookmarks were printed the visitors could scan the QR code with an app on their phones and see themselves talking in our library.

Ms Hunter is keen to start up a lunchtime group to create and do things with different types of technology, so if you are interested please let her know.

Max videoing  Keen visitors

Checking the files  Creating the QR Codes




Kizoa Slideshow

Code for “Turnigna New Leaf” slideshow from Kizoa:

Second Life for Booksflash slideshow maker

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Search Engines come in many different varieties, and can often be more useful than Google when searching for specific types of information.

Why not try some of these instead of going straight to Google?

1. Clustering Search Engines  e.g. Clusty, Grokker, Exalead

2. Meta Search Engines e.g. Dogpile, Copernicus, Ixquick, Mamma, Surfwax MetaCrawler

3. Image Search Engines e.g. TinEye, Flickr, Picture Australia, DigiMorph search engine,

4. Music Search Engines e.g. Shazam, OWL

5. People Search Engines e.g. Pipl

6. Archived Web Pages Search Engine e.g. Wayback Machine

7. Customised Search Engine e.g. Rollyo

8. Deep Web Search Engines e.g. Intute, Infomine, Incy Wincy

9. Blog Search Engines e.g. Bloglines, Technorati

10. Subject Search Engines e.g. Wolfram Alpha (Maths) Scirus (Science), Sweetsearch, Boolify



Bradley, Phil, Making the Net Easier

The Search engine List

Choose the Best Search for Your Information Needs, NoodleTools




Steampunk Works its Magic

At our Year 8 & 9 Book Club this week, we were treated to a fascinating look at Steampunk, a subgenre of Science Fiction which features themes and technologies from the 1800s to the early 1900s in fantasy settings.  Essentially Steampunk is speculative fiction about alternative futures – what might have happened if the Victorian Age had access to some of the technologies we have today.

Mr Gough, who has been helping us out in the Library over the past three weeks, has an interest in Steampunk, and many of the boys who attended discovered that they do too. From his presentation we learned about clockpunk and dieselpunk, cattlepunk and cyberpunk.  He also looked at Steampunk in other media such as film, television, anime and manga, video games, music and even fashion.

Steampunk has its own sub-culture and thousands of people around the world enjoy dressing up in steampunk costumes and attending steampunk conventions and festivals.


Steampunk from BGS Library




Wow books!!


Checking over the dewey numbers of sections of the library is a regular and not all that stimulating a task  except that from time to time it throws up a remarkable book. One day last summer, I was working through the early 609s – the history of technology area.  Most of the books seemed fine, except one which I found totally baffling – “Banvard’s Folly”, by Paul Collins.  

Was it about the history of technology? Yes…a bit of it. Dipping into the preface  I found references to technological breakthroughs that were pretty obscure …The Edison kinetophone. Gaumont’s Chronphone. The synchronoscope. The movietone.   But then pushing onto into the first chapter one encounters the amazing American artist and entertainer John Banvard, who did magic shows on an 1850s paddle steamer and then went on to create an early form of moving pictures. Alas by then it was too late. I was hooked!

Each chapter focusses on a new character, famous in their own time but obscure now. The author’s take on his own book is that it is about interesting failures. But many of the amazing men described in these pages were enormously successful and made fortunes out of what they did. For example a George Psalmanazar appeared in London in 1704 and declared that he was a Formosan, a native of the island we call today Taiwan, and the first of his kind to reach the shores of Great Britain. To carry off his ruse, he invented a language and a written text that he claimed was Formosan. He was… an instant celebrity!

Many of the characters in this book were men of substance. Take Alfred E Beach, the owner and publisher of Scientific American . He astounded the good folk of New York in 1870 by revealing that he had build a pneumatic underground railway from Broadway to Murray Street. Until the opening party, no one in City Hall was even aware of the project.

The book is extremely hard to categorize.  Each chapter is part biography, part science, part social history and wholly engrossing. It is written by Paul Collins who has other fantastic books in our collection. This is definitely number 1 in my list of WOW books!


Jim Hill

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Spring Hill Young Writers 2013

For the third year in a row,  ten of our best Year 8 wordsmiths have been involved in an extension writing activity, designed to challenge them to write in a way which they probably had never done before. Groups of four students from three different schools had to develop a shared storyline, setting and characters; then each student had to write the same story but from a different character’s point of view.

With internationally acclaimed author, Brian Falkner, as writing expert and judge, BGS boys scooped the prize pool.  It is a testament to the quality of our boys’ writing that five out of eight stories short-listed for Best Individual Story were written by Grammar boys: the winner and runner-up were Grammar boys, as were the winners and runners-up for Best Conclusion and Funniest Line.

One of the key aims of the program was to enhance writing through peer support and collaboration, and a student commented,  “It made me think a lot more about the work, exactly what I was writing and how I was writing it.” All students from Grammar demonstrated excellent group work and commitment to the program.

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