Posts Tagged tools

How is that brain of yours doing?

Crikey! It seems my brain is in dire need of a break.  Hows yours feeling when you look at the stats in this infographic.  Infographics – they are everywhere aren’t they?  I can’t help but analyse my own online behaviour after having a look at this.  I currently have 6 tabs open, I have a chat window open on one of those tabs and an email and twitter programme running in the background. The phone has rung three times tonight and I’ve had four texts.  My poor partner trying to have a conversation with me at the same time while I’m so distracted.  My poor brain!

I totally relate to the email problem.  I’ve come to the point where I turn mine off if I’m trying to do something complicated and get it completed at work.  Working on a document with email flashing away as a new message arrives is the ultimate distraction.  Worse than a phone call which deals with something immediately a fresh shiny email can cause me to feel the burden of yet another job to do, or something which I need to think about.  So, right at the bottom in the what you can do section are the answers for me.  Turn the technology off, devote specific times to specific tasks and stop trying to do too many things at once.  Nobody is that good at multi-tasking it seems, even us women!

I got it from Stephen Abrams here

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The Google Research Tool in Google docs

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.

Image representing Google Docs as depicted in ...

Image via CrunchBase

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.

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Getting to grips with Google Reader

I know that many many readers of this blog will use Google Reader every day, but many of the teaching staff I talk to, and librarians too for that matter, wonder at the ability of some of us to munch through so many blogs, gleaning good stuff and sharing it around.  Google Reader makes it easy.

The RSS feed is the key to all this blog reading goodness.

Sue Waters has written a really great explanation of how to manage your blog reading life using RSS feeds and Google Reader. If you struggle to keep up with online reading, or you are looking for a clear introduction to using Google Reader then her article is certain to help you.

You will find it here.  You will also find all kinds of good things on the blog, it is specifically for people using Edublogs but even though I don’t use that platform I find lots of really good things on The Edublogger.

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The State of Wikipedia by JESS3 – Celebrating 10 Years of Wikipedia

“The State of Wikipedia not only explores the rich history and inner-workings of the web-based encyclopedia, but it’s also a celebration of its 10th anniversary. With more than 17 million articles in over 270 languages, Wikipedia has undoubtedly become one of the most visited and relied upon sites on the web today.”

The video features the co-founder, Jimmy Wales as the the narrator.

Very clever, interesting and relevant, and very well done.

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Should You Use Twitter?

Dan Martell from Flowtown created this fabulous and funny-as flow diagram to help you decide whether you should be using Twitter or not

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Virtual tour of Australian school libraries

OH WOW!

Judith Way – one of my library heroines (read more about her here) has achieved this grand feat. A fantastic inside view of lots of Australian School libraries.  Just WOW!

I found out about this from here (another great blog I follow called Brave New World – it’s all kinds of awesome too)

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Top 100 Tools of 2011

Judith Way has posted this on her blog The Way Forward.  If you are looking to upskill in Web 2.0 skills then you could do a lot worse than work your way through this list.  It is from Jane Hart from C4LPT whose Twitter feed has provided me with fantastic PD this year.

This list of tools has given me some new things to try, and it has also been interesting to see that some of the things I completely love (iGoogle for example) slip down in the rankings.

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Documentary Heaven

In the I Wish I’d Known About This Before Department, is Documentary Heaven.  This website allows you to find documentaries on topics as varied as you can think of.  You can search by category, you can see what is being watched right now, you can connect via Facebook and Twitter and watch all the documentaries for free online.  I am impressed.  If your teachers subscribe to the English Listserv they will already know about this but for all your other staff this might be worth shouting out about.

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Find children’s book sequels

How often have you wanted to know the order of the books in a series?  Here is a nifty tool!  Great when you have an incomplete series and you want to know which ones to buy.  As selection tools go this has great potential.  Have a look at the site and give it a go.  It won’t work quite so well for local series as it will for the international books.

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Learning from the Public Library sector

Wonderful, thoughtful blog post here from Tania Sheko on her Brave New World blog about time spent at a PD session recently where relevancy and trends in public libraries were discussed by such luminaries as David Lee King.

There is much we can take from this for school libraries which is being actively pursued by our colleagues in Public Libraries.  It is about taking brave steps I think.  Trying new things and seeing what is possible if you break down the barriers of your own perceptions and get outside your comfort zone.

Read the entire article but this is the slideshare from Hamish Curry from the State Library of Victoria.  Check out sideshare below and put it with the twitter stream from the blogpost and you will get the gist.  I love slides 18 to 23.  Especially slide 22!  It sings to me!

Here is the link to the presentations David Lee King did in Australia

If you were looking for an awesome school library advocate to follow on Twitter then I heartily recommend Tania Sheko.  She is all kinds of awesome she is @taniatorikova

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