Posts Tagged ‘interview’

Interview with Georgina Argus, HTAV Publishing

Twentieth Century series, HTAV Publishing

The Educational Publishing Awards are committed to rewarding excellence and innovation in the publishing industry at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. We have put together a series of interviews with the publishers, editors and authors involved in the creation and development of educational resources.

We caught up with Georgina Argus at HTAV Publishing to talk about the HTAV Twentieth Century Series, a shortlisted entry for the Student Resource – Senior – English/Humanities/Languages/Arts/Technologies/Health and Physical Education award.

For the benefits of those who don’t know about HTAV Publishing, could you tell us a little bit about HTAV and the shortlisted entry?

HTAV Publishing is actually a department of the History Teachers’ Association of Victoria (HTAV), a member organisation dedicated to improving the quality of History teaching and learning in Victorian schools. The Publishing department is a small team consisting of two part-time staff members and a consultant. Up until recently, our projects were completed entirely in-house. With new VCE History courses implemented last year, there was (and still is) high demand for new textbooks, and so we had to start outsourcing stages such as editing in order to produce more books.

The Twentieth Century series consists of two titles,Twentieth Century 1: Between the Wars and Twentieth Century 2: Post-War Challenges. These titles werewritten specifically for the VCE year 11 Twentieth Century course. It’s a very exciting course with many, many topic options for schools, and it was very difficult to choose which ones to focus on in this book! We did not see the point in giving a brief overview of everything – we wanted to go into some depth – which resulted in quite large books.

The wonderful thing about working for a teacher organisation is that creating resources to properly support teachers and students is part of our mission. Therefore the budget and potential profits come second to quality. If we have to add pages to a book or purchase more images because we think they are needed, we will do it. The Twentieth Century series is an example of this – the books are 300+ pages and include many fantastic photographs, artworks, maps and diagrams, yet remain affordable for students and teachers.

What was your motivation for developing this resource?

The motivation for all our HTAV Senior History series titles is twofold:

1. We want to support our members – history teachers in Victoria. With a new VCE History Study Design, teachers were desperate for their students to be supported with new textbooks written specifically for them.

2. We want to increase student numbers in each VCE History subject. We believe that producing quality resources, designed specifically for VCE, will help do that.

Why did you decide to submit the series for the EPAAs?

We decided to enter this series in the EPAAs because we were so proud of how it turned out!

In a small team, it is necessary for all staff members to jump in and do a bit of everything on all titles. For example, on these titles, the Publisher also conducted all the image research and permissions, and completed the typesetting. This leads to a huge personal investment in the title/s, and makes any reward all the more meaningful.

Why does your product deserve towin at this year’s EPAAs? Is there anyone you would like to acknowledge and thank for making this product the success it is?

I believe all the elements of these books – the design, narrative, images and diagrams, and activities – all contribute to making the series extremely engaging for students. This history is still so recent and students often don’t realise that so many significant events were happening around the world at the same time, until they see the timelines!

I particularly love the covers for these two books. The focus on ‘contrasts’ really reflects what was going on in the twentieth century – periods of war vs periods of peace, prosperous times vs depression, leaders intent on hate-filled persecution and murder vs leaders campaigning for the civil rights of minority groups using non-violent tactics.

The covers and overall design can be attributed to Kim Ferguson, an amazing graphic designer. We would also like to acknowledge the authors, our wonderful editor (Philip Bryan), and HTAV staff.

Good luck and all the best to the HTAV Publishing team!

The Educational Publishing Awards are held at The Pavilion, Arts Centre Melbourne on Wednesday, 20 September 2017.

Keep up with the latest EPAA news @EPAs_Aus or join the conversation #EPAA17.

Interview with Jennifer Griggs, CSIRO Publishing

The Educational Publishing Awards are committed to rewarding excellence and innovation in the publishing industry at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. We have put together a series of interviews with the publishers, editors and authors involved in the creation and development of educational resources.
Today we caught up with Jennifer Griggs from CSIRO Publishing to talk about Double Helix Lessons, a shortlisted entry for the 2017 EPAA Student Resource award.

Jennifer, for those who don’t know you, could you start by telling us a bit about yourself and about this shortlisted entry?

I am the Senior Marketing Manager at CSIRO Publishing responsible for the breadth of our products, from scholarly journals to our children’s books program.

Our newest product Double Helix Lessons from CSIRO represents an extension of our kid’s magazine Double Helix https://doublehelix.csiro.au/. Double Helix Lessons is a suite of fun, interactive digital lessons covering Years 5 and 6 science.

Double Helix Lessons, CSIRO Publishing.

Students are taken on science adventures with the Double Helix characters – Rocky, Skye and their pet Chameleon Kevin – as they discover the wonders of science in the world around them. As they progress through the units, students interact with a combination of simulations, videos, animations, augmented reality and hands-on investigations. Learning is then reinforced as students apply their knowledge to real-world situations and even meet some CSIRO scientists.

 

What was your motivation for developing this resource, Double Helix Lessons?

Fostering a love of science early in life will build the number of students we keep in STEM education, and result in more career scientists. This is good for Australia, Australian science and CSIRO.

Through the Double Helix brand CSIRO has been engaging kids in science for over 30 years. Double Helix Lessons draws kids into a new interactive digital learning environment and aims to change their perception of what science is and where it can take them. We want to be part of that journey and provide tools along the way. We also want kids to see science as fun, fascinating and solving real problems in the world. So, even if it is not their career choice, they have an increased appreciation of what science contributes to their lives.

What challenges do you think teachers face and how can Double Helix Lessons solve those challenges?

I’m sure there are countless challenges that teachers face, one of them being time. Double Helix Lessons is classroom ready and covers the entire curriculum for grades 5 and 6. It can be edited to arrange the lessons to be appropriate for the needs of each class and extra content can be easily added. There is also a teacher’s module enabling online assessment and feedback to students.

Another challenge for primary school teachers is that many of them are not experts in science, so this resource enables them to teach to the curriculum without having to research topics that are new to them or where they lack experience. The diversity of content formats also means the teacher can match lessons to the way students like to learn. If they are not strong readers they can switch on the audio and listen to the text, watch the videos or focus on the activities. This will keep students engaged for longer and increase the likely retention of the information. It is also a lot more interesting for the teachers!

Is there anyone you would like to acknowledge and thank for making this product the success it is?

Double Helix Lessons has been developed in partnership with Stile Education and our Editorial Advisory Board of teachers and education specialists. Their expertise and knowledge has been crucial to the success of this initiative, and we are very grateful for the opportunity to work with them. Stile’s mission is to improve scientific literacy among young people around the world – that is, their ability to engage, reflect and think critically about how the world works. This is a natural match for what we are also trying to achieve. The Stile platform provided the structure we needed to host the content for our lessons and provided the tools for teachers to manage classroom workflow, assessment and feedback. We could then work together on the creative side with talented writers, animators and teachers to design the content.

Good luck and all the best, CSIRO Publishing!

The Educational Publishing Awards are held at The Pavilion, Arts Centre Melbourne on Wednesday, 20 September 2017.

Book your ticket now.

Keep up with the latest EPAA news @EPAs_Aus or join the conversation #EPAA17.

Interview with Phillip Mendes, UNSW Press

The Educational Publishing Awards are committed to rewarding excellence and innovation in the publishing industry at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. We have put together a series of interviews with the publishers, editors and authors involved in the creation and development of educational resources.

We caught up with Phillip Mendes, the author who has teamed up with UNSW Press to create Australia’s Welfare Wars: The Players, the Politics and the Ideologies 3rd Edition, a shortlisted entry for the Tertiary (Wholly Australian) Scholarly Resource award.

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and the shortlisted entry?

I am the Acting Head of Social Work and the Director of the Social Inclusion and Social Policy Research unit in the Department of Social Work, Monash University. I have been a social work and social policy practitioner and educator for 30 years, with particular experience in the fields of income security, young people leaving state care, social workers and policy practice, and illicit drugs.

Little has been written about the impact of ideologies and interest groups on the contemporary debate surrounding the Australian welfare state. Many local texts emphasise major historical developments and key policy initiatives rather than the political debates, ideologies, and interest groups which influenced these outcomes.

In contrast, this text concentrates on the role played by ideology and advocacy groups in determining welfare outcomes, with specific reference to up-to-date theories about globalisation. Students are provided with relevant case-study and source material which is used to analyse and explain contemporary policies and outcomes in the Australian welfare state, and to assist readers to predict future policy directions.

What was your motivation for developing this resource?

Many of the ideas in this text are drawn from my experiences as a social work and social policy practitioner and educator over the last 30 years. During this period, I have noted with grave concern the increasing harshness of government and community attitudes towards the poor and disadvantaged, and the corresponding growth in social and economic deprivation and inequity. Most policy makers today don’t even pretend to view the welfare state as an instrument to promote greater equity and social cohesion.

This text represents an attempt to question many of the key values and assumptions that underpin contemporary social welfare policies. In particular, it is intended to be a critique and expose of the neoliberal ideas currently dominating welfare debates locally and internationally, and an opportunity to reaffirm the continued relevance of social democratic/welfare state ideals such as social justice and fairness.

Why do you think this text will be appealing for students to engage with in their students?

It provides lots of case studies on real-world social welfare policy debates and outcomes, and also places Australian policies in a global context utilising comparative perspectives from the Nordic states and Singapore.

What challenges do you think teachers face and how can this resource solve these challenges?

[The challenge is] how to teach social policy as an interesting and practice-based discipline, particularly when educating diverse groups of local and international students who come from different political and cultural contexts. Many texts talk about theory and abstract issues, but don’t explain the range of real world factors – including ideologies and lobby groups – that impact on policy options and decisions. This text does so in detail.

What impacts have this resource made in the classrooms? Is there a need for teachers to use this resource?

It appears to be widely regarded given the large number of University social work and social science departments across Australia that utilize the text.

Why does your product deserve to win at this year’s EPAAs? Is there anyone you would like to acknowledge and thank for making this product the success it is?

It is an accessible and user-friendly text that seems to be valued by students. [If it is to win], personally, it would be very exciting, and confirm the value of social policy education for those practising in human service fields.

Particular thanks to the numerous Monash University social work students emanating from many corners of the globe who have alternatively challenged and inspired over the past 20 years.

Good luck and all the best to Phillip and the UNSW Press team!

The Educational Publishing Awards are held at The Pavilion, Arts Centre Melbourne on Wednesday, 20 September 2017.

Book your ticket now.

Keep up with the latest EPAA news @EPAs_Aus or join the conversation #EPAA17.

Interview with Lori Dyer, Wiley

Understanding Research Methods for Evidence-Based Practice in Health, Wiley.

The Educational Publishing Awards are committed to rewarding excellence and innovation in the publishing industry at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. We have put together a series of interviews with the publishers, editors and authors involved in the creation and development of educational resources.

Today we caught up with Lori Dyer, a publisher from Wiley to talk about Understanding Research Methods for Evidence-Based Practice in Health, a shortlisted entry for the Tertiary (Adaptations) Teaching and Learning Resource award.

Understanding Research Methods for Evidence-Based Practice in Health is your first local textbook in evidence-based practice, what can you tell us about the motivation for developing this resource? 
Evidence-based practice (EBP) in all disciplines has always been a passion of mine. I was first introduced to EBP by an influential academic during the first year of my master’s degree and it was a genuine life-changing event. It sounds like such an obvious thing to do but the fact remains that we still all go about our lives, making major decisions based on ‘gut’, ‘instinct’ or just repeat actions and decisions because it is ‘how we have always done things’. For example, did you know that around 150 years ago, doctors and nurses didn’t regularly wash their hands before dealing with patients? It seems ridiculous now.

Fortuitously, there was also an absence of a local product in the higher education market to help allied health students learn more about EBP, despite the fact that it is now a mandatory, core unit. So the time was just right for us to produce one!

Why does this textbook deserve to win at this year’s EPAAs?
The product deserves to win because it really is the most innovative solution in its category – in both its content and its delivery. Unlike many existing evidence-based practice resources, Understanding Research Methods for Evidence-Based Practice in Health is designed specifically for the local market: it is written by a team of renowned Australian authors, highly aligned with the key topics in a 12-week EBP unit in undergraduate nursing and allied health course, and focused on consumers, rather than producers, of research. This is really important as it helps students concentrate on the skills most relevant to them, such as synthesising research for clinical practice.

Additionally, this resource is delivered as a WileyPLUS Learning Space interactive online textbook (no print text!), packed full with branching animated case scenarios, author videos, concept check questions, and other rich media – all embedded at the point of learning.

Its success so far is a huge indication of how much students love the digital resource.

What are your views on the future of the Australian educational publishing industry?

I’m excited by what I’m seeing out there at the moment. I truly believe we are in the most exhilarating phase of educational publishing and we are so fortunate to be able to make a tangible difference in thousands of people’s lives day in and day out.

New technology like augmented reality, virtual reality and maker spaces are improving learning outcomes and moving lecturers away from being ‘the sage on the stage’ to become more of a ‘guide on the side’ and fostering higher-ordered thinking activities.

The future is bright – bring it on!

Is there anyone you would like to acknowledge and thank for making this product the success it is?

First and foremost, we need to thank the authors who worked under a tight deadline and were subjected to being videoed, as well as being forced to write narrative for a 2D game design (capstone, end of chapter activities).
It’s also really important to recognise and applaud the incredible and formidable effort of Kylie Challenor and Bec Cam from our Editorial team – their mark and influence is literally on every page and screen in this resource. Kim Huynh and Hannah Sutton from Marketing created compelling campaigns, targeted messaging and amazing videos to help promote this resource, as well. Ultimately, I am eternally grateful to everyone in the Sales team who got this book in the courses.

Good luck and all the best, Wiley!

The Educational Publishing Awards are held at The Pavilion, Arts Centre Melbourne on Wednesday, 20 September 2017.

Book your ticket now.

Keep up with the latest EPAA news @EPAs_Aus or join the conversation #EPAA17.

Interview with Gregory Crocetti, Scale Free Network

The Educational Publishing Awards are committed to rewarding excellence and innovation in the publishing industry at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. We have put together a series of interviews with the publishers, editors and authors involved in the creation and development of educational resources.

We caught up with Gregory Crocetti from Scale Free Network to talk about The Invisible War: A Tale on Two Scales, a shortlisted entry for the 2017 EPAA Reference Resource award.

For those who don’t know, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and the shortlisted entry?
I’m an independent publisher. In 2007, I began a long-term collaboration with visual artist Briony Barr in the art-science collective, Scale Free Network. We now spend the bulk of our time creating science adventure stories, set on the microscopic scale.

The Invisible War is our first graphic novel, created through a highly collaborative methodology by a team of Australian artists, scientists, writers, educators and historians. The story is set in 1916, partly around the muddy trenches of WWI, and partly in the mucus-lined trenches of a nurse’s large intestine. Our main human character accidentally swallows some dysentery-causing Shigella bacteria while treating an infected patient. The story then follows their epic journey as they battle their way through her digestive system and encounter other microbes living in her gut. The unlikely micro-heroes of the story are the “bacteriophage”, alien-looking bacteria-eating viruses who battle the dysentery bacteria to save Annie’s life.

What was your motivation for developing this resource?
Microbes such as bacteria, viruses and fungi make up 99% of life on Earth. And while a few of these invisible creatures can cause diseases, the overwhelming majority of microbes are beneficial, and in fact essential to the continued existence of the visible 1% of life, including us humans. I find it tragic that instead of learning about the amazing things that microbes do in our world, children are instead taught about microbes as agents of disease. Given the tragedy of this situation, I felt something had to be done. And so I made it my mission to try to create educational resources that flipped the script to teach children (and hopefully also adults) about many of the marvellous things microbes do in the world around us.

Why do you think this text will be appealing for students to engage with in their students?
Our modern screen-based world is driving more and more children and young adults to seek non-traditional modes of learning. With the simultaneous high demand for video content, immediate satisfaction and a growing reluctance to read the printed word, there is less and less space for conventional textbooks. Instead, this has set the stage for hybrid modes of educational resources in the modern classroom – and I believe that graphic novels nicely combine the necessary written content with the appeal of visual storytelling.

What challenges do you think teachers face and how can this resource solve these challenges?
From the outset, we were very strategic about our target audience for The Invisible War. We got some great advice from Ingrid Purnell at the History Teachers Association of Victoria that our WWI focus would place our content around the year 9 curriculum. Adding to that, we knew our story would have lots of great links in our book to the year 9/10 (plus year 7/8) Science curriculum, along with natural links to the exploration of literature styles and context in the English curriculum at these levels. Thus, it was our hope that in the context of lean school budgets, The Invisible War would be able to function as a genuine interdisciplinary resource across Science, History and English/Literature classrooms.

With year 7–10 students notoriously the most difficult to manage in a classroom context across both primary and high school settings, we loved the challenge of designing The Invisible War to target this audience. In this context, the key is to engage as many students, as often as possible. I’m delighted to say that from my experience sitting with several classrooms across several schools (at different levels) reading The Invisible War, I can say that without exception, every student read the story from start to finish.

Why did you decide to submit The Invisible War to the EPAAs?
I believe in the power of story to deliver complex ideas. That’s why I continue to develop science adventure stories in a picture book format to teach primary school students about the varied symbiotic partnerships between microbes and larger forms of life. But I’m now also a huge believer in the educational potential of graphic novels. I grew up reading comics like Asterix and Tintin – always entertained and sometimes unsuspectingly educated.

However, my recent experience of creating within the graphic novel format and seeing the growing demand for visual learning in modern classrooms has convinced me of the importance of graphic novels in a teaching context.
Being a tiny independent publisher brings particular advantages and disadvantages. Our small size allows us to maintain creative control and quickly follow new trends and opportunities. But we also have to work really hard to cut through the noise – to compete against enormous marketing budgets and reputations of massive publishers, especially in the educational scene. Winning an EPAA would really help validate our choices to remain independent as well as our interdisciplinary approach to learning.

Good luck and all the best to Scale Free Network!

The Educational Publishing Awards are held at The Pavilion, Arts Centre Melbourne on Wednesday, 20 September 2017.

Book your ticket now.

Keep up with the latest EPAA news @EPAs_Aus or join the conversation #EPAA17.