Welcome Back Everyone!

Oh it’s good to be back!


Hope you all had a good break over the Summer holidays and managed to squeeze in some holiday reading!

If you borrowed books from the MRC these will now need to be handed back in or horrible things will be happening, and this can easily be avoided.

If you still haven’t finished you can renew the book and keep it for another 4 weeks – you can visit Oliver and do this yourself OR pop into the MRC and we’ll sort that out for you.


Here is a reminder about all things to do with the MRC.

Click to view the online guide to the MRC.

Research Hints: – The Basics

Information Literacy:

The six stages of Research

This circle can help you to complete effective research and produce your best work.

Start with the planning circle, think about the questions inside it and then move onto the next stage.

You can repeat this process several times before you complete your work.



Welcome to a new academic year 2012-13!

A big Welcome to all our new Year 7’s, 13’s and welcome back to our Year 11 students too!.

Make the most of the space today as everyone else will be back tomorrow.


Here’s a video about the FAQs about the MRC

(Multi-media Research Centre)

Year 7 Information Literacy Programme: End of Year Challenge

End of Year Challenge


As an end of Academic year activity I challenge each of my Year 7 students to answer 20 questions – some easier than others.


So they have to pick out keywords; decide where to look; find the subject index; or use Oliver; remember where the encylopedias are; and then remember how to use some or all of these methods of finding information.


Some questions are easier than others; some students remember more than others but they all have ago and it is great to see the change in their confidence from when they first started at the start of the Academic year.




A-Z of Internet Tools and Techniques: Letter N

So here we are with Letter N of the tools and techniques which you can use to get the most out of the Internet.

N stands for….


Using online resources safely, ethically and responsibly



This word was created by joining net and etiquette together. Etiquette is the rules for proper social behavior, while net refers to the internet.  Netiquette is the proper behavior a person should use when communicating online in the form of emails, blogs, chat rooms, and etc. 

Firstly it’s easy to forget that the other person you are chatting to on IM, playing a game with, or posting to their profile is a real person. It’s easier to say and do things online that you might not do in ‘real life’.

bad email etiquette E mail Etiquette and NetiquetteTen tips for email

1: Always include your name

2: Don’t write text in CAPITAL LETTERS, as it looks like you are SHOUTING!

3. Use proper spelling, grammar and capital letters – leave text messaging for your phone

4. Avoid Flaming. If something upsets you – wait a day before replying – and do so calmly and politely

5. Remember emails are not private forms of communication, so be careful what you write

6. Use humour carefully, use emoticoms, 😉 to show that you are joking. 90% of communication happens through body language and the sound (intonation) of your voice – both these are missing from emails.

7. Take time to proofread and correct errors – look out for wrong words that spell checkers may miss.

8. Be careful what you write. If you can’t say it to your great-grandmother then think of another way of saying it.

9. Be kind and polite to others online – they have feelings too!

10. Remember to tell your teacher/parent if you receive any inappropriate communications, or fell harassed.


Here’s a great guide to 29 Steps to Internet Safety

Bibliography Scott, Elspeth. (2009). All kinds of e-verything. School Librarian. 57

A-Z of Internet Tools and Techniques: Letter M

So here we are with Letter M of the tools and techniques which you can use to get the most out of the Internet.

M stands for….

Mobile Learning

Possible the most interesting, challenging and exciting change happening in schools right now.

Your average blanket school policy on “No Phones in School” has got to be the most disregarded rule, perhaps ever!

And who can blame them when I love and adore my own mobile device. (iPad)

The trick for schools is to stay ahead of the game (or the students) and have a “Responsible Use” policy rather than an impossible to enforce blanket ban. This debate is currently happening here in TDAc.


So what makes me a fan of Mobile Learning?

As phones become another educational tool, it is likely that ‘misuse’ or frivolous use will fall, especially in school.

and there are so many fantastic things that we (yes this does include staff) can use to aid our learning (and our teaching!)

Use the camera to take pictures of notes, the whiteboard, different stages of a piece of art work, design projects, timetables….

They can film roleplays, science experiments, teacher demonstrations, lectures, drama rehearsals, dance practices, sports skills….

Foreign Language students or dyslexic students can use it to record notes which they can re-listen to at their leisure. Or to record their own ideas when they can’t write as fast as they think.

Science, Maths, Technology can use them to record measurements and data logging.

Use Apps like Evernote to collate ideas on a project and keep them all together.

Use JotNot Scanner to scan paper documents and convert to PDFs, or JPEGs.

Use EasyBib to scan in ISBN’s and turn into citations (okay so Harvard isn’t included yet…) but how I’d love to promote this in yet another tool against plagiarism.

Do I need to mention Kindle? or iBooks? or Overdrive (there are plans to link this with our LMS Oliver, so students could borrow ebooks from the MRC – watch this space!)

Plus many of the Apps have authority – that is the information can be trusted and is more reliable than random internet searches. Have a look at Science 360 or The Elements or BBC Bitesize….the list is endless, and talking of revision have a look at Cramberry for creating your own flashcards, or InQuizitor – where testing your knowledge becomes a game!

And all this choice – well that is exactly where the role of your friendly librarian comes in. There is so much to choose from, where do you start? The information is essentially the same – just the media that is a bit different but the skills to organise and find the right information at the right time are the same.

I’d like to start an App Club at the Academy so we can share the latest and the best Apps.


I could go on, and I’ve probably gone on too much, but Mobile Learning excites me – all those possibilities…


QR codes are fab too! Endless uses – but perhaps I ought to save that for the letter Q!


Bibliography Scott, Elspeth. (2009). All kinds of e-verything. School Librarian. 57

Year 7 Information Literacy Programme: Oliver


By having a closer look at searching for famous people, or famous places I was able to demonstrate and then allow students to use Oliver to find Dewey Shelf numbers.




Building on our previous sessions about picking a good keyword to unlock a question, I gave them three homework examples and asked them to identify the keyword.

As we were concentrating on names of people or places (Pablo Picasso, Mount Etna, etc) they had to work out that the second part (or surname) was the most important part. 


For example searching with “Mount” will find lots of infomation about Mountains in general, but searching with “Etna” will find less information but the finds will be more closely linked to Etna.

Screenshot of the Oliver Homepage

Screenshot of the Oliver Homepage


I then went onto demonstrate where to find Oliver, (on the VLE) 

how they can check which books they have borrowed, 

and how to do a Subject Search.



Students then logged onto a computer and found their way to Oliver before searching for Walt Disney, River Rhine, City of London, and Nelson Mandela, and recording the Dewey Shelf Number for each. Once completed they could then go on to explore their own account, and search for their favourite author, series or title, before hunting for the books in the MRC.




Wikipedia – Last Weeks Blackout

On Wednesday last week Wikipedia went on strike and withdrew its English based Wikipedia site.


Well there’s a bill in the U.S. Senate that if passed would put publishing freedom severely at risk, and could shut down entire sites at the whim of media companies. Fight for the Future created this nifty video to sum it up better than I can.

Since many students often use Wikipedia as their first (and often only (don’t get me started!)) source of information I thought I’d promote some alternatives duing ‘Blackout Wednesday”. These were displayed on the Academy screens.

As they say if you need to know more about how to access any of these databases – then please pop into the MRC and ask one of the team.







A-Z of Internet Tools and Techniques: Letter L

So here we are with Letter L of the tools and techniques which you can use to get the most out of the Internet.

L stands for….

Learning Objective

It is really important to think about what the purpose of using the technology is and how it will develop understanding.

Remember eLEARNING not Elearning!

Bibliography Scott, Elspeth. (2009). All kinds of e-verything. School Librarian. 57

A-Z of Internet Tools and Techniques: Letter K

So here we are with Letter K of the tools and techniques which you can use to get the most out of the Internet.

K stands for….


Kineo is a commerical elearning company but the FreeThinking section of their website has information and reviews of a wide range of elearning tools and tips, this is useful for VLEs.

There is also a Green Room which has been devised with Learn Direct and has some really good information about designing elearning courses.


Bibliography Scott, Elspeth. (2009). All kinds of e-verything. School Librarian. 57