Wikipedia – Last Weeks Blackout

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

Why?

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….

KineoKineo

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

A-Z of Internet Tools and Techniques: Letter J

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

J stands for….

Jing

Jing
Jing is a screen capture tool that allows you to make a narrated video showing how to do something on a computer. It records your mouse, and everything you click on and show on your screen.
 
Ever had a  conversation over the phone with your parents, trying to explain to them how to open the attachment you sent in your last email? (“Double-click on the attachment icon!” – “There isn’t one!”…): this trick could help you solve this kind of situation and, more importantly, some work-related issues like having to explain over and over again to your students or friends how to do something on the computer.
 
Alternatives are Cam Studio,  Screencast-o-matic,  Camtasia and Lightshot.

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

Staff CPD: Online Resources supporting staff and students

Last week I ran a session called Online Resources: Supporting staff and students.

Turn out was reasonable with staff attending coming mainly from the Humanities and Arts (includes dramatic arts) colleges. The format was that I gave a brief demonstration of each of the resources and this was followed by 5 minutes for them to explore themselves.

I started with an introduction to Oliver (our LMS – Library Management System) which is on the MRC VLE homepage.

I showed them how they and their students could use Oliver to:-

  • create a reading list that includes both books and websites, and which can easily be emailed to students or turned into a link which can be placed elsewhere on the VLE, or in powerpoints for example.
  • check their own loans and set up their interests for automatic notification of new resources.
  • save time by using alternative provider which repeats the same search in a number of different databases such as Clipbank.

Next I returned to the Oliver Homepage which is split into 4 columns.

Screenshot of the Oliver Homepage

Screenshot of the Oliver Homepage

In the first column I highlighted the MRC blog (what you are reading now); links to both Peterborough and the British Library for tracking down copies of out-of-print titles that can be borrowed; the link to Dawsonera (e -books); and demonstrated the link to the Blekko Search Engine where you can search 3 search engines at the same time and compare the difference in results.

The second column took much more time as this contains quick links to our online databases. So I demonstrated and the staff explored four of these …. Britannica Encyclopedia; NewsBank; InfoTrac and KnowUK. All incredibly useful when encouraging students to use sources other than relying on Wikipedia and Google alone.

 

The third column contains links based around books and reading. With video book trailers; Book of the Week; a quick link to the MRC DEAR page; as well as “Books for Keeps” and “Read Plus”.

The fourth column contains useful things for research and critical thinking skills. Such as Plato (which looks at plagiarism); Internet Detective (critical thinking for KS4 &5); Welcome to the Web (critical thinking for KS3); Easy Peasy Bibliography creator, as well as links to Guides and bibliography templates.

The hour flew by and everyone found something useful for themselves or sharing with their students. Resulting from this I have been asked to do further work with Year 12 students on avoiding plagiarism, and…. I was walking by a classroom the day after my session and there on the white board was one of the databases – the teacher gave me the thumbs up as I walked on by!

A-Z of Internet Tools and Techniques: Letter I

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

I stands for….

Interactivity

Fully interactive, multi-media, broadband enhanced are just a few of the terms that spring to mind when I think of the interactivity of the internet.

Increased form of interactivity leads to greater reader involvement and engagement, two things that every teacher wants to encourage into their classroom.

Interactivity caters for and indeed increases the number of learning styles you can include, visual, written, audio, kinesthetic – all are possible with making use of the best sites on the web or creating your own online resources.

For instance I love using Flash to create interactive learning activities that include both the teaching objectives and information literacy objectives.

 

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

A-Z of Internet Tools and Techniques: Letter H

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

H stands for….

Hot Potatoes

Hot Potatoes offers a range of applications which you can easily use to build interactive games without the need for extensive programming knowledge.

It is free for educational use an includes includes six applications, enabling you to create interactive multiple-choice, short-answer, jumbled-sentence, crossword, matching/ordering and gap-fill exercises.

I have used it to test students knowledge following a podcast on the FAQ about the MRC, such as opening hours, number of items students can borrow etc.

 

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