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

A-Z of Internet Tools and Techniques: Letter G

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

G stands for….

Google

Okay, so I’m not a big fan of Google, yet I use it lots! When doing academic research there are alternatives that I rely on (see other posts) but for general surfing  I often use Google. Used with caution, with a well thought out search strategy it can be useful!

However it is not just a search engine!

There are many options available

 

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

Research and Referencing for all Year 12 Students

During October I ran a series of workshops for all our Year 12 students entitled “Research & Referencing“. This was part of a series of sessions looking at Study Skills in general, from Time Management and Skimming and Scanning (the latter I created an activity for).

My session was in two parts.

Research

Firstly we discussed the students favourite first ports of call – Wikipedia and Google. Many are aware of the downsides, lack of authority, reliability, volume of hits etc, but very few knew about the alternatives, – they do now!

Screenshot of the Oliver Homepage

Screenshot of the Oliver Homepage

I demonstrated the Oliver Homepage (our OPAC system) and showed them a quick search which found both books and (reliable & educational) websites. I also showed our links to our local library service and the British Library, from which they can, for a small fee, get their hands on out of print books that may be really useful for their studies.

I then demonstrated that from the Oliver Homepage they could gain access to the databases that the MRC subscribes to. The key ones for P16 studies being Britannica Encyclopedia; NewsBank and InfoTrac. I gave a brief demonstration for each of these and encouraged them to give them a try as their teachers will be expecting them to use a wider variety of sources than just Google and Wikipedia. The internal links within Britannica to other journal articles and the Webs Best Bits are invaluable on their own and makes a great starting point for research. Plus no-one will ever know if they use the Primary version to get a really simple definition to help them! With all of these you can save, print and email results – which is a great way of checking with your teacher that you are on the right track.

The second part of the session looked at:

Referencing

I installed Plato onto our VLE back in 2008 and use this fabulous resource when teaching reference skills. I showed a few videos to introduce the concept of Plagiarism or cheating, then asked them to discuss/ answer 5 ‘Plagiarism’ questions with a partner before showing a series of clips about common plagiarism mistakes.

Collusion, Copying, Paraphrasing, and incorrect Citation.

The two most contentious of these were collusion, “but our teacher tells us to work together” and paraphrasing “doesn’t everyone do this?” and led to some interesting conversations with students (Great!).

I shared examples of good practice, and then some video clips I put together (with the aid of Plato) to demonstrate how to reference a book, journal and website. Interesting to find out that some weren’t familiar with the word ‘journal’, and that the date of access is required for websites. I advised them that before they started researching online, they create a Word document and put todays date at the top, all they then need to do is paste in any useful URLs to keep a record.

Another look at the 5 ‘plagiarism’ questions showed that some had changed their minds and answers. When going through the answers the question that sparked the biggest debate was about the copyright symbol not being essential for the ‘work’ (photo, article,video etc) to be protected. During one session we also had a discussion about using Creative Commons.

So I sent them off into the big bad wide world of research and information overload, with a reminder that at any point over the next two years they can come back and ask for a reminder “about that newspaper database you showed us….”, or for guidance about references.

I can only hope that this has helped solve the problem of when I have worked with Year 13 groups who complain that they “should have been shown this at the start of Year 12”. Well this year they have been!

A-Z of Internet Tools and Techniques: Letter F

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

F stands for….

Flickr

Flickr is an image hosting and video hosting website, and online community that was created in 2004 and acquired by Yahoo! in 2005.

In addition to being a popular website for users to share and embed personal photographs. In 2011 Yahoo reported in  that Flickr had a total of 51 million registered members and 80 million unique visitors. Photos can be accessed easily but you need to register (for free) and sign up for an account to load up your own photos.

Remember to look for photographs that are licensed for use under Creative Commons so you can safely and legally use them.

Check out my previous post on Creative Commons!

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

A-Z of Internet Tools and Techniques: Letter E

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

E stands for….

EDUCAUSE?

“EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association whose mission is to advance higher education by promoting the intelligent use of information technology.”

You can subscribe to this service but the website has free access to a range of useful resources such as information about initiatives in learning and using technologies, such as cloud computing.

The “7 Things You Should Know About…” series is definitely worth a look! As they provide information on new technologies. Each gives a brief focus on a single technology and describes what it is, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning.

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

Year 13 Extended Project

Extended LearningI recently worked with a group of Year 13 students who were in the early stages of planning their Extended Learning Projects. It still amazes, and disappoints me, how many students in KS5 cannot remember or don’t know about our Oliver Database and all the online databases we subscribe to for them.

So this was a refresher -giving them a demonstration of how to search

Screenshot of the Oliver Homepage

Screenshot of the Oliver Homepage

Oliver, and how to get to and use Britannica Encyclopedia, NewsBank, and InfoTrac. I just covered the basics as the best way to learn how to use these database is to get in there and use them!

I gave them a mini ‘tour’ of the MRC focussing on our extensive periodical section, and then invited them to come back in the future for any further help. They seemed to go off happier and keen to start using the things I had shown them…. fingers crossed!

 

 

A-Z of Internet Tools and Techniques: Letter D

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

D stands for….

Distant learners

Distant learners are commonly found in further and higher education and farely rare in schools. However the introduction and prolification of VLE’s (Virtual Learning Environments) and personalised learning are making the concept more common.

VLEs are online platforms for delivering learning resources via the web, allowing students at home or at college and distance learners to make use of the same materials. VLEs include tools for communication, assessment, course management and recording results. Using a Virtual Learning Environment, educators can create online courses with rich interaction.

Make the most of the TDAc VLE, use your class site, check your homework tasks and remember to use the Oliver Homepage when doing research or planning assignements.

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