From David Spencer's Education Paragon: Helping students develop citizenship, faith, literacy, responsibility and vision
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David Spencer's Education Paragon is a free educational resource portal helping David Spencer's secondary school students, their parents and teaching colleagues with understanding, designing, applying and delivering assessment, curriculum, educational resources, evaluation and literacy skills accurately and effectively. This wiki features educational resources for Indigenous Aboriginal education, field trips for educators, law and justice education, music education and outdoor, environmental and experiential education. Since our web site launch on September 27, 2006, online site statistics and web rankings indicate there are currently 1,888 pages and 20,185,651 page views using 7.85 Gig of bandwidth per month. Pages are written, edited, published and hosted by Brampton, Ontario, Canada based educator David Spencer. On social media, you may find David as @DavidSpencerEdu on Twitter, as DavidSpencerdotca on and DavidSpencer on Prezi. Please send your accolades, feedback and resource suggestions to David Spencer. Share on social media with the hashtag #EducationParagon. Thank you for visiting. You may contact David Spencer here.

The following resources are helpful to parents and teachers:

  1. Book: Supporting Successful Transition from Primary to Secondary School by Tina Rae (2014)
  2. Book: Book: Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv (2008)
  3. Book: Digital Tools for Teaching: 30 E-tools for Collaborating, Creating, and Publishing across the Curriculum by Steve Johnson (2013)
  4. DVD video: Canadian Popular Music in the '60's, '70's & '80's by EMI Music Canada (2012)
  5. DVD video: Canada: A People's History produced by Mark Starowicz (2001).
  6. Book: Fire in the Bones: Bill Mason and the Canadian Canoeing Tradition by James Raffan (1999)

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BiblioCommons a new social discovery system for libraries that replaces all user-facing OPAC functionality, allowing for faceted searching and easier user commenting and tagging went live on July 19, 2008. The first BiblioCommons was set up at the Oakville Public Library. Beth Jefferson is the founder of BiblioCommons, an innovative web services for public libraries that will manage all aspects of community contributed content, aggregate and seamlessly integrate that content into library environments. Beth holds an MBA from Harvard University. Gail Richardson, Oakville PL’s acting director of online services, told LJ. “People don’t want a library that acts like just a glorified card catalog online. They want a catalog that’s as good as Google and Amazon.”

“Just for Fun” functions offer users a chance to earn credits for adding “a comment, tag, summary, similar title, age suitability, content notice or quotation” or creating a list. Those credits can be used for chances at prizes or perhaps special borrowing privileges. Source: BiblioCommons Emerges: 'Revolutionary'; Social Discovery System for Libraries. <>.

BiblioCommons focuses on:

  • The library catalogue as being about ‘discovery’ (and discovery as ‘fun’) vs. being limited to ‘finding’
  • Relevancy: No single set of criteria are relevant to ‘average users’ – what is relevant to you is not equal to what is relevant to me – ‘averages’ gloss over subtle but important differences.
  • Communities, niche groups of users.

If you think about the search interface, it is essential to offer tools that refine searches for users, but tools are also essential for helping the users ‘expand’ their search, and get to a place they didn’t know how to ask for. This is where the value of social context comes in. Social context asks the questions such as

  • ‘which data do you ask for? (which data is most valuable, and what format, and what is not asked?);
  • ‘how do we ensure the quality of search results?’;
  • ‘how do we allow for aggregation across systems?’ (Social data is only valuable when there is tons of it, but current practice is to limit data to the local ILS);
  • ‘if provide reviews, how many?’ 10,000 reviews? No, but only 5 of the 10,000 that is relevant to a user (ie. data from sources they ‘trust’);
  • ‘how do we help create or support communities of interests that share values, tastes, affinities, etc., but also integrate it back into the search process? (Once you have data collected, you can invest in algorithms that make the data valuable. Use metadata of library collections, but also people and conversations they have about the collection).

Source: Beth Jefferson on the BiblioCommonsUniversity of Toronto.Faculty of Information Studies. April 21, 2007<>

Libraries Using BiblioCommons

The following Canadian libraries use the BiblioCommons software.

  • Blue Spruce Online
  • Brantford Public Library
  • BC Co-operative Public Library
  • Edmonton Public Library
  • Fraser Valley Regional Library
  • Halton Hills Public Library
  • Hamilton Public Library
  • Kitchener Public Library
  • North Vancouver District Public Library
  • Oakville Public Library
  • Ottawa Public Library
  • Perth East Public Library
  • Pickering Public Library
  • Queen's University Library
  • Red Maple Online
  • Richmond Hill Public Library
  • Santa Clara County Library
  • St. Albert Public Library
  • Silver Birch Online
  • Stratford Public Library
  • West Perth Public Library
  • White Pine Online
  • Windsor Public Library
  • Woodstock Public Library

The following libraries in other countries use the BiblioCommons software.

  • Daniel Boone Regional Library, Columbia, Missouri, U.S.A.
  • Oceanside Public Library, Oceanside, California, U.S.A.
  • Yarra Plenty Regional Library in Melbourne, Australia

BiblioCommons Web Site