Archive for category Tools
Regular readers will know that Library Girl is my guru (well one of many but a majorly significant one), and while this blog has been in a little bit of a slump recently due to exotic travel, lethargy and a lot of other things that needed doing, I can rely on her to get me thinking, get me over the hump and talk some sense.
So when she is writing about getting people to just start doing stuff on their own, learning some cool skills and getting generally with the programme she is singing my favorite song. She is a believer in dropping folks in at the deep end and having them learn to swim on their own using tools that some of us have been using for what seems like ever!
The post is called Six Tips to Help Teachers Move From TechnoPHOBE to TechnoFAB! But it could be also used to prod along any school staff who are stuck in the back in the day and who are reluctant to upskill. She just talks a lot of sense. I love her idea of an “I Know Stuff” badge, I’m off to make one now! But that is only one tiny part of this excellent post. Go on over there and find more wisdom.
There are lots of other awesome postings on that blog at the moment, little embedded bunches of goodness that are well worth having a look at. Go on, take on her evangelistic stance and get out there and show your stuff, the non-believers will thank you for it in the long run.
Oh yes, myths and legends!
There was a question recently on the listserv about how to choose books for senior students, there was a deluge of responses with suggestions of ways and means. This image has some answers to that question. Also, in the ‘This irritates me constantly department’ I always resent it when people assume that I have time to read during paid work hours. Seriously? Haven’t you looked into my workroom, that mass of paper, books half processed, projects half completed, displays half put up, planners all over the show, timetables being adjusted. Oh and look I’m not in my workroom, I spend at least half of every day out working with teachers and students in their classes. Oh how I’d love the time to sit in a cosy chair and read at school – oh wait that is what I set it up for the students to do! Lucky sods.
Yes, it is best of the blogs season. Here comes another list of the best and brightest. This one from OnlineCollege.org. This list is well respected, and has been updated from this older list which was published in 2009, there are still some good ones to check out on there.
Why are these things worth looking at? Because they are chock full of juicy ideas worth looking at and which you can use in your libraries to enhance the way you do your thing and connect with your students. I also thing that you should cull your lists of blogs you follow. People move on, change jobs, retire, their interests change and they stop updating their blogs. To keep fresh I think you should update your reader – or however you follow the blogs in your life – and cull the stagnant and add new exciting voices to your library life. The way it works for me is that if I don’t see new blog posts on the blogs I’m following I tend to delete them after three months. There have been some tragic losses in my blog life, Skerricks is a blog have I loved and admired for a long time, but it’s owner is on a leave of absence, and while I hope she comes back soon I’m putting it in a holding pattern until she does.
I think it is worthwhile going through and having a cull – just like you do with your irritating Facebook friends and their oversharingness (some people may have done that to me to be fair) and have a revisit of what is still good and what you’ve moved on from.
New to me in the update of the list is:
Archipelago – if you are into iPads you find much to see here.
K-M the librarian – you want relentless optimism? See this blog first! Awesome.
Is the library a digital classroom. The infographic below looks at the different ways digital technology is commonly used in the classroom, with a focus on textbooks in the top section, then a look at the ways digital technology has become part of teaching life. It is quite amazing to think that this change in the way teachers do things is really only about 6 or 7 years old. A steep learning curve for lots of teachers to be sure. But what about the library staff? Lots of this digital technology is rapidly heading into the library if it isn’t there already. It is a teaching space in your school too! Schools are now using iPads and tablets in lots of curriculum areas and in my school recently bringing them into the library to use to boost the numbers of computers and therefore the number of students who can get online. Here is my tip, if you haven’t got an iPad at home or haven’t tried one out, then borrow one from school. Go online with it at home and have a look at some of the apps. The listserv regularly has people sharing apps they like, why not try some out. Or even just look at the apps already installed on your school iPads. Gotta start somewhere haven’t you!
I noticed this yesterday when I was doing a quick document on Google Docs to record what had happened in a meeting, whoooah “what is that happening on my sidebar” I thought. Turns out I had stumbled upon the newest feature in the Google Docs department. The Google Research Tool. They’ve been blogging about it over on the Bright Ideas blog too! Here is how it works (thanks Bright Ideas, love your work).
This has lots of interesting implications for our students as it pushes keyword searches straight into their documents. Clever stuff. As many schools are using to Google as an entire school platform I think it needs lots of critical and information literacy to get students sifting as they create documents.
If you still aren’t using Google Docs for documents which need more than one person to work on them (or even for all your wordprocessing) then you are missing out on one of the best tools on the internet. So many ways they are useful, so many hours saved. I now have most of my templates on there from the library timetable master to policy documents which get changed every year.
Watch the Video here to see the latest tricks.
Got lots of new devices heading your way? I’m betting they are heading towards you even if they aren’t there yet. How will your library manage them, will they change the way you teach students to engage with information? Will you have to scramble to catch up or will you embrace them and learn the new tricks so that you can be one step ahead of your students? Do you need to be one step ahead of the students? Could they be teaching you new tricks? Head over to the Core Education blog, plenty to see other there today as they explore data engagement and what it means for education. They don’t think much about the library in particular over at Core, but they do look at the trends and some of these trends are going to definitely impact on libraries in education.
Today I was being told about a Livescribe. I started to think about the impact that would have on special needs students in our school. Yet more engagement with data, yet more data to carry around in your pocket along with your other devices.
Stand back folks, more clever stuff heading your way, into your schools and therefore into your libraries. While you are over there be sure to watch Hans Rosling, he is my maths crush!
In the ‘why don’t I know about this’ department is the fabulous Maori Online Dictionary. I’m sure this isn’t new to lots of people in New Zealand but I hadn’t seen it until tonight. While it is targeted at Maori Language students I’m planning on using it to translate some signs I want to make and will be giving it a big plug during Maori Language Week.
Māori Dictionary Project
The overall aim of this website is to support learners of Māori. New entries and additional meanings continue to be added. In 2007 photographs of species and people began to be added. Unless otherwise listed below, these are the copyright of the author. The following people and institutions are acknowledged for their photographs:
Ben Barr – geckos, skink, pūriri moth, Hochstetter frog.
Bub Smith – whio
In 2009 the sounds of all the native birds were added to the dictionary. We gratefully acknowledge the McPherson Natural History Unit and Viking Sevenseas Ltd for permission to use these.
This dictionary complements the series of four textbooks and related resources in the Te Whanake series for learning the Māori language. For further information about the Māori language resources please visit the Te Whanake resources website.
It’s out. One of the reports worth paying attention to.
The New Media Consortium (NMC) and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) jointly released the NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition. This ninth edition describes annual findings from the NMC Horizon Project, a decade-long research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry in higher education. Six emerging technologies are identified across three adoption horizons over the next one to five years, as well as key trends and challenges expected to continue over the same period, giving campus leaders and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning.
This one, and the Core Trends in Education would be great to share with your staff and SMTs. Even if your school isn’t adopting mobile technology or Game Based Learning yet, you can bet that at least some of your staff will be paying attention. Link to the report here.
Thanks largely to the efforts of Catherine Lee the SLANZA Facebook page has become a place to find really great library links. She has been posting links to items of school library interest for several months now and they are interesting, sometimes fun and a great way of getting up to date links straight to your facebook feed. So, thanks to Catherine and if you are on Facebook, and let’s face it the vast majority of adults in New Zealand are, then do join the page. You too can share fantastic library links with the community on there.
You can find it here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SLANZA/ or just search Facebook for for SLANZA, there is also a link on the SLANZA homepage. You don’t need to be a member of SLANZA to join but of course the benefits of being a SLANZA member make it really worth joining. Details of how to do that are here. $50 well spent!