Archive for category Tools
I’ve been catching up on weeks of professional reading over this weekend, my poor Feedly was positively groaning at the seams it was so full of unread items. Anyway along the way I became distracted while reading the Edudemic blog and ended up on this a post from 2011 on the Evolution of Classroom Technology. What is surprising really is how long it took between the developments. We were stuck for ages between developments. I couldn’t help wondering if that would ever be the case again given the rate of change in recent years compared to back in the day.
We’ve certainly come a long way but some things seem hauntingly similar to many years ago. For example, Thomas Edison said in 1925 that “books will soon be obsolete in schools. Scholars will soon be instructed through the eye.” I’m pretty sure this is exactly what people are saying these days about the iPad.
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.
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!