Unit 7: Future Learnings

Tutorial to Evernote

Evernote

Autumn Adventure

The Highlights

Since I only had 30 seconds…I have decided to add a few reflections below!

Reflections

I learnt so much in the course and would have to say it was one of the best Professional Development courses I have been involved with since I started teaching in the early 80’s. From creating my own blog and learning how to organise information through the use of web browsers, Evernote and Diigo, to exploring twitter and being equipped with the tools to evaluatie web sites and different search engines,  have all been many of the new discoveries for me.

The highlight would have to be the knowledge I have gained overall and I really do think I am now equipped with a good tool kit to go out there and start sharing and exploring. The Unit on Digital Citizenship in particular I found very useful with great resources from Jenny Luca‘s blog and the website commonsense media.

During the course I felt reaffirmed mostly…knowing I had been on the right track and knew more than I thought I did! I also realised that we are better off learning one tool well than trying to master all, which is impossible in this technological environment with so much information out there. The only factor that slowed my progress was our desktop computer at home has Windows 8, which isn’t compatible with Blackboard collaborate or some plug-ins using Java. I also had a frustrating week with adding the Evernote and Diigo web clippers to the desktop and the iPad, but after sheer perserverance and many late nights finally succeeded! Although I use an iPad daily there were some limitations.

I would highly recommend this PLN and encourage teacher librarians and educators to sign up. It’s not a difficult course although it can be time consuming and it’s obvious the State Library team have put a great deal of thought into the overall course and the placement of each Unit. I thought the topics chosen and in particular the sequence in which they were introduced was excellent.

I am about to begin a four month placement in a library with Year 5 to 8 students and I am really looking forward to sharing what I have learnt! All the best VicPLN2013 participants I hope we continue learning together and look forward to connecting through social media. Thank you Cam, Kelly and the team for all your hard work and tremendous efforts in making this course so valuable.

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Unit 6 : Changing practice in a digital environment

Citizenship                                                                                                                          Technology – How has it changed the way I learn and shaped my professional practice?

After teaching full time for 17 years I took a break from the profession to start my family. It was May 1997 and I had just spent the last 7 years building up a Primary school library to where I thought it should be; it was now refurbished , the collection was updated and had reached the recommended stock levels and I had recently automated the entire collection. The students had all been trained to search the new on-line catalogue and the staff had spent the last couple of years implementing an integrated curriculum using the Curriculum Standards Framework . We had just begun using computers. Little did I know what was about to happen in the next decade!

My own progression with technology initially was a very isolated learning experience. Because I had chosen to become a full time “stay at home Mum” with no immediate family living in the same city, the first 8 years were relatively slow and it was only through becoming involved on kindergarten and school committees that I began to start using technology. Working 5 years for the Australian Electoral Commission as an Electoral Educator in the mid 2000’s also gave me the opportunity to use one of the first interactive whiteboards and develop an interactive room filled with the latest technology, enabling students to explore the history of democracy. We worked with a team of tech savvy experts in designing interactive games for students to play for half an hour, in between two rooms – one presenting the history of democracy including a short film we had scripted using Melissa Hetherington from the channel 9 show – “Getaway” and participating in a mock election in the third room using the interactive whiteboard to demonstrate preferential voting. The interactives ranged from 3D boxes you could spin around on a screen to find the answers… to a game for three who had to press a buzzer to choose the correct level of government for the icon that appeared on a flat screen…a bit like Sale of the CenturyAll pretty exciting stuff! Since then working in schools has helped me to catch up and progress with technology at a more rapid pace. Self motivation has been a key factor  because I believe teachers and teacher librarians in particular, need to keep abreast with technology in order to stay relevant and in touch with their profession which has been the driving force. I learn in perhaps a less rigid way than I did before, I was always mindful of including weekly professional reading in the past and sharing it at staff meetings in my role as Curriculum Co-ordinator, however I tend to be more receptive and have allowed myself more time and space to stumble across new material, ideas and other ways of teaching. I think as a profession we are becoming more collaborative and share ideas globally which has to be a good thing. It’s exciting to find someone who has used resources that have worked well with a particular age group whether it be on-line or not and this has added greater enthusiasm to my professional practice in the quest to engage students in a more meaningful and relevant way. On-line citizenship has to be managed carefully in the teaching profession just as being a teacher and citizen in the mid 1970’s was, particularly in Catholic Education – we are role models in the community for our students off line and on-line which can often make us more vulnerable- thus maintaining privacy is crucial. I wouldn’t consider being friends with students on Facebook as I respect their privacy and my own. Now rather than using hard copies of journals to catch up on my professional reading, I am now overloaded with information on my iPad! I still however use a paper diary and don’t know if I’ll ever change and would much prefer to use a wall calendar to keep organised! When I discussed attitudes to privacy with my own two daughters aged 16 and 13 neither had any concerns about their on-line reputation as they both believed they had taken the necessary steps by using the highest privacy settings and were friends with only people they knew. Neither used multiple personae (that I know of!) and the eldest uses Facebook, texting and Viber to stay in touch whilst my youngest daughter uses Facebook, Instagram , Kik, Snapchat and Cinemagram to stay in touch. Perhaps she will use less tools when her studies increase!  Both strongly disagreed with the idea of teachers and students using the same social media tools for their learning, they both felt it was an invasion and explained that it should be kept separate and teenagers needed to have their own space socially- “you have your own tools let us have ours!”

The impact of technology.

There is no doubt technology has had a huge impact on us as citizens. When I look back at the life of my eldest daughter and the changes that have happened since her birth 16 years ago the change has been enormous. You would have to agree that technology has brought the world closer, we have never been more connected than before, in particular Australia as an isolated continent and our standard of living with the use of technology has made our lives more simple. No matter which profession or hobby we are involved in our learning has been enriched with information globally and we have all become life long learners… we are constantly learning. Even my 82 year old father uses Facebook and completed an on-line course just recently! When students can talk with an astronaut currently circling the earth, or follow him on twitter with photo’s and more, the impact of technology is mind blowing! But has the impact of technology made us smarter with time management, kept us better organised and enhanced our lifestyles? How will this present generation look back at the implication of technology in their 80’s? Will they know any difference? I do think we spend more and more time indoors and work much longer hours than we ever did before. With the advancements in technology and in particular it’s mobility we are now accessible 24/7 and our students/children along with it. The pressures on secondary students have increased and their lives are a lot more complex than a decade ago. Technology has also brought with it a multitude of distractions and adults and children alike have to have the self discipline to stay focused and remain on task and on the other hand enjoy a complete break at times. We may be more connected on-line but has face to face interaction lessened, are we becoming “too busy” to interact in real life? I must admit the short you tube video The Internet: A Warning from History from Jenny Lucas blog was hilarious but still food for thought. Will we look back in 50 years time and think we lost 11 years of our lives watching the Internet 90 hours a week!! I recently attended a presentation from Steve Biddulph on raising daughters, he reminded the parents in the audience that our generation is the product of 30 years of television and explored the many ways we have been impacted by this and the fact that television has become the third parent in our children’s lives-they are also being taught and given messages through role models on the television often without our knowledge.

Using technology in learning and the role educators play in modelling the use of technology.

On reflection I think the models used back in Unit 4 such as the SAMR model are excellent strategies to go by. As educators we need to put the horse before the cart and examine the learning outcomes for our students and the best tool/technology to use for this. Don’t let the technology drive the curriculum but rather enhance the learning. How is the student going to increase their level of learning through using this tool?

I do agree parents choose schools not only for their academic records but their teaching of life skills and pastoral care. In some ways as educators we do need to catch up, technology in the classroom can be too controlled or too directed and teachers are trying too hard to fit in with students social media. On the one hand we need to teach students the protocols of social networking but we don’t need to invade their social space. Students today are in a vulnerable position using technology to research a myriad of topics but they don’t have the insight to understand that the personal information they exchange on -line is not always private and they can be at risk and need protection. Schools I believe have a duty of care to do more in this area in partnership with parents and the role of the teacher librarian should be a major player in this field. If we are going to educate our students to be life long learners it is equally important to teach them how to manage social networking and their on-line reputation outside and beyond the school . What  I found exciting about this unit was discovering all the great resources available for teaching digital citizenship. The schools I have been involved with through both teaching and as a parent in Primary and Secondary education have covered this area well, often bringing in experts in the field to run information nights. However I think it’s now time for TL’s out there to continue the role and add this to their information literacy tools. The parent workshops run by Yr 12 students I thought was a brilliant idea. As one reply to Richard Wilkinson’s article – Teach Facebook Now stated “the issue is not Facebook but teaching Civics and Citizenship in the modern digital era.” The issue isn’t technology but we need to relate it all back to morality and character. Rather than focusing on the details- strive to teach students to become critical thinkers aware of the bigger issues such as personal responsibility, privacy and legality in order to enable students to deal with the everchanging world of technology. Educators need to be good role models and perhaps using Edmodo or Google + in the classroom as a platform is the smarter way to go. I remember one good lesson my mother taught me  –Never put in writing anything you wouldn’t want others to see… that lesson is still appropriate today!

An Effective Learner today

Organised: I think today more than ever, in order to learn you need to be constantly gathering relevant information and being able to use it when needed. Because of the overwhelming depth of information out there an effective learner needs to use technology tools like Evernote to work more efficiently and tag that information in order to have access to it at anytime and anyplace.

Connected: Today’s learner can no longer learn in a vacuum and the word collaborative has been used a great deal in education during the last few years. We learn when we connect and share ideas with others and as teachers we need to promote this aspect of learning amongst our colleagues and incorporate this into our teaching programmes with students. There is much to be gained by learning through connections and tools such as Diigo, Learnist, Blogs,Websites, Facebook, Twitter…the list goes on… help us stay connected to become life long learners! We can interact and learn from others globally and have access to great minds -something that was not possible a few years ago.

Adaptable: The goal posts keep shifting in this present learning environment with rapid changes in technology and information . The effective learner needs to adapt to those changes in order to remain relevant and up to date as a learner. Just as learning in the 21st Century requires a very different method of teaching and learning as in the past, we have to be flexible and receptive to future changes. Again being in a group such as Diigo or on Twitter with like minded colleagues or PLN groups keeps us in tune to those changes. The key for Educators has always been Professional Development and with the abundance of on-line resources we have to be open to change to remain relevant.

Inquisitive: An effective learner today also needs to be curious, a problem solver who is persistent in their search for the answer. To be effective in our teaching and learning we need to encourage the learner to wonder and probe deeper in their search for knowledge. Using the Inquiry Based Learning Model in Education today has ensured this will happen, you don’t need to look too far to find thousands of articles on the subject. On the website- Eduwebinar there is a list of over 70 web tools to support inquiry based learning. Ranging from the Inquiry phase, Exploring and locating information to sharing and evaluating that information.

Focused: There are so many distractions around us today and with the avalanche of knowledge and information out there, it is very easy to become preoccupied or overwhelmed by it all – especially through hyperlinks and social media! To remain an effective and efficient learner we need to stay focused on the task and I love the phrase Kelly used…“the grass is always greener in a new tab!”

Predictions of the future.

I vividly remember having to write an essay in the early 90’s as part of my Grad Dip course in Teacher Librarianship at Melbourne University – “Libraries without walls”…it seemed a slight possibility then and look at the advances in Technology now…so I can’t possibly imagine what is in store for us in the future..one can only dream and imagine!    We just have to ensure as a profession that we are an important part of that future.


							
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Unit 5 : Refine the Web

Searching the Web

The topic I chose was American History since this is a Year 10 subject my daughter is studying at present. I decided to narrow my search to the term American Revolution and compared results on four search enginesGoogle, Duck Duck Go, Bing and InstaGrok.

InstaGrok interestingly was “down due to Maintenance” which narrowed my search to 3 search engines.

Google offered much more than the other 2 search engines , particularly with the new addition of the Knowledge Graph which gave a brief summary of the American Revolution with images and offered a site showing the timeline of the Revolution, 10 sites from Wikipedia and access to Liberty, an American documentary mini-series about the Revolution through a very good site  the History Channel. I also narrowed my search to the reading level -Intermediate. Searches related to american revolution also brought up american revolution for kids, movies, causes, quotes,dates and even essays- all which were found to be worthwhile sites after investigation. There was also a good site for teachers with lesson plans.

Duck Duck Go was another  search engine with an easy to read screen but perhaps a bit more limited in its searches. It did offer a timeline, a good definition of the American Revolution and on the side panel suggested searches on Wikipedia, the History Channel, Britannica.com and even a Facebook page along with kidport.com  another useful website which has thousands of web pages that you can surf around by Year Level K-8 and  subject or by reference library subject and topic area . The only drawback and distraction was the advertisements and games that kept popping up during the search on Duck Duck Go.

Bing on the other hand looked a lot like Google with  search tools allowing you to choose the colour and size of your images and was not as busy or distracting as Duck Duck Go. Related searches were good and it also offered the Causes of the American Revolution, Weapons used and the History of the Revolution. Bing also offered similar sites to Duck Duck Go to visit . Overall my first choice of search engine for effectiveness would have to be Google for the depth of their searches.

Evaluating Resources

During the process for searching about the American Revolution I came across The American Revolution website  which I found useful and a valuable resource for anyone teaching American History. The fact it is .org indicated it was a non profit organisation and the home page about its early beginnings was very interesting. The author of the website John Logan became interested in the American Revolution in 2000 after coming across a book in a Borders bookstore in New York. He was meant to be buying his wife a romantic novel for Christmas and after browsing the History section discovered a book John Adams: A Life by John Ferling which he purchased . The story about this second President of the United States enthralled him and gave him the impetus to start building this website in February 2001. After the first 12 months of building the site he then focused on reading every book written on the American Revolution and  let the site stand for years while doing research and visiting historical sites up and down the East coast. One day he did a search under “theamericanrevolution.org” and found thousands of entries which helped him  decide to make a significant investment to update the site’s look  as well as ensuring the existing content that was accurate remained. During 2010 the site was “soft launched”  with the home page, battle page and important people all updated with a clearer and more readable design. The feedback was very positive and he now works with teachers and universities to deliver the content they require to support their lesson plans and Curriculum. The URL’s are kept the same to ensure that the content referred to in a lesson plan doesn’t change and thousands of educational institutions are now  linked to the site which has received over 5 million unique visitors during the last 12 months. Sponsored links are American express along with local advertising. New features being added to the site are virtual tours of history sites and more indexed and searchable documents on the American Civil War and the US War of 1812 with links to Suggested Readings.

I used the CARS Concept to check if the website was credible, accurate, reasonable and had verifiable sources of information. There is plenty of information available about the author who is an authority on the subject, and the information is accurate after checking other sites. He does not appear to have a bias and the site is regularly updated with close links to Educational Institutions. The only drawback I found was a dead link to the videos- but this may have been a software problem on my part as there was a note asking you to install Microsoft Silverlight. After the installation the videos were available.

Tagging blogs

I’ve been tagging my blogs since I started way back in Unit 1 and have since added them as a widget through the tag cloud. I usually don’t choose recommended tags but prefer to go all out and choose Apply all!!

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Unit 4 : Teaching and Learning Tools

Diigo

I decided to look at the the on-line tool Diigo to investigate the Terms of Service and the Privacy policy. Browsing on the membership portal there didn’t appear to be an obvious place to locate the Terms of Service so I then searched Google under Diigo.com Terms of Agreement. What I did find interesting  was  the diigo team consisted of only 12 people !       “We are a 12-person team with diverse experience in software development, marketing, academia, and investment management, who share the common traits of information junkies :-)” Such a small group for a pretty amazing product!

The Agreement is 9 pages long which is a bit daunting and most likely the reason why I didn’t read it initially when I signed up.  The language however is not that difficult to read although it is written within a legal framework and states at the very start that the terms of Agreement are legally binding if you use the service. They also add “Please read this Agreement carefully and save it. If you do not agree with it , you should leave the Website and discontinue use of the Services immediately.” They also mention that in order to participate in certain Services  you may be notified that you are required to download software or content and agree to additional terms and conditions which could be a concern. Another surprise was that Diigo can modify this Agreement any time through a post on their website and they remind the user to review the Agreement regularly. They also ask the user to choose carefully anything you post as they reserve the right to reject, refuse or remove any posting including email and can restrict, suspend or terminate your access for any or no reason with or without prior notice.

Diigo also reserves the right to charge for Services and to change its fees anytime at its own discretion, if you are a paying customer for Premium use. The Privacy policy is incorporated into the agreement and is made reference to.

Another interesting clause in the Agreement was termination if there was any illegal use of the Services including collection of usernames and or email addresses for the purpose of sending unsolicited emails being prohibited, along with any posts promoting racism, harassment,  nudity, violence, offensive subject matter and providing telephone numbers, street addresses or URLs to name a few. Diigo can also restrict the number of emails Members can send in a 24 hour period or unsolicited bulk email messages in order to protect its members from advertising and mentions the sum of $50 fines per unsolicited email or communication. All very interesting although this is found at the bottom of page 5 in the fine print. Diigo appears to have covered all its bases.

Exploring whether Diigo has a method to back up data or export data was simple enough to find. I was fascinated to read that last year Diigo was hijacked  and the service became unavailable , the company was blackmailed and ended up paying the ransom money. This is the link to the story if you are interested- Diigo recovering after domain hijacking nightmare. You can easily back up your data  by going to tools in your account and selecting export your library with a choice to save to your computer or link into Delicious if you have a previous account. There is also an excellent  page from Bright ideas (Cam probably wrote it! )  explaining all the details along with other tools such as Evernote. I also came across another useful blog by “doug- -off the record” who recommended sending an automatic feed from diigo to Evernote creating a link note in your notes through a service called IFTTT (If This Then That) It looks simple enough but would need more exploring.

Terminating the service by the user is also clearly defined under Term and can be carried out any time for any reason through the accounts setting page by clicking the link – cancel my subscription.

In conclusion I believe Diigo has covered all their bases well, they are a profitable company with paying customers for services with extra benefits and I would be happy recommending others to sign up for the service.

Evaluation of  Learnist

I decided to evaluate Learnist due to a recent tweet from Brave new world March 24, 2013. The author Tania Sheko in her blog described it looking a lot like Pinterest which I use and a little bit like scoop it which I have been thinking about exploring.

You have the option of signing up with an email address or through Facebook , I chose the email option. The service does require a log in and you need to give your email details and choose a password when signing up for an account. The Terms of Service and Privacy policy are included as a link on the sign up page and are quite detailed with a fair amount of legal jargon, they also include a Copyright policy and mention that their services may contain links to other websites & software. They clearly state that they do share the information with third parties and generate statistics and other user information, so perhaps this could be an issue for students.

Learnist is visually appealing in magazine style format offering a social network and allows you to browse boards under Featured, New or Popular or search under categories ranging from Art & Design, Education, Technology , Business, Politics, Science, Society, Sport and Health & Fitness. For this reason I can see Learnist being used in an educational setting as these areas I imagine would be very useful for students, allowing them to explore boards curated by others with specific research tasks for subjects. Each board gives some detail about the author and and you can identify how many have read their boards or see how many likes. Apart from browsing the user can rate and comment and follow the authors of each board. Students could also curate their own board on a particular topic by browsing  for specific information and sharing it with the class. This fits in with the SAMR model  in the Transformation stage, as the learning task has been modified with the technology allowing the student to embed images, use audio or video and collaborate and share educational content. It is also possible to share a link with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Linkedin or email the link.

Other categories of interest are Entertainment, Games, Lifestyle, Travel & Places, Products, Food & Drinks and Music. I can imagine it could become addictive! After your first log in it also asks you to choose from a range of interests and tailors the boards to cover those interests such as learning, high school, reading, technology, social media and education. You could use this tool in your professional learning by following particular people or boards  or create an individual or shared Learnist board with your faculty, you can also add tags or suggest a site to an existing board. I can see it being used across the wider school community as it allows people to learn from each other. I recently checked the site and today there is a board featuring April Poetry Month with lots of good ideas to use in the classroom.

Learnist is very user friendly and I created a board- Teaching Information Literacy in the 21st Century. Are we teaching students the right skills for life long learning? I chose 6 articles for my board- one including a short film, a you tube clip from TED and an article from an interesting blog site Have iPad– Will teach. Once  completed  you can check to see if anyone has liked, commented or added tags to your board. In summary I think Learnist has captured all the tools we often use such as Facebook, Scoop it, Pinterest and rolled them into one but in an educational framework.

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My embed with You Tube

Here is a video that I’m embedding

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Unit 3 Networking

Online Professional Communities -what role do they play in Education?

I believe online professional communities are extremely important in education today and play a vital role for me personally in my Personal Learning Network. I was fascinated by George Siemens‘ article written in 2005 – Connectivism : A Learning Theory for the Digital Age   recognising the need for behavioural change in the way we learn.  Learning in the 21st century requires a very different method to the one used when I first   began teaching. It is mind blowing to think that “…half of what is known today was not known 10 years ago and the amount  of knowledge in the world has doubled in the past 10 years and is doubling every 18 months.”  and we as traditional curators are responsible for helping students find that information! It can become overwhelming when you think about it , but I do believe teachers and teacher librarians today need to belong to online professional communities in order  to keep abreast with the everchanging world of technology and information. In recent years the key word in education has been to collaborate, schools are now encouraging teachers to sit in on each others classes to  help  with teaching techniques and have gone even further to employ full time staff to act as coaches in the classroom. Teacher librarians particularly in primary school settings are often isolated being the only TL and need to be involved with other like minded professionals to bounce ideas off, interact and learn from. On-line professional communities through twitter, facebook and Google + can be instant, you can choose who you want to interact with at a time that suits you. Educators are so time poor today they need personal learning networks that are flexible and adaptable. In my own PLN I rely heavily on the team of TL’s I work with , but I also use 80% of my spare time using on-line professional communities such as blogs, websites, subscriptions, TL networks, professional TL magazines , SLAV and ALIA conferences to name a few. I love the quote from George Siemens: “Our ability to learn what we need for tomorrow is more important than what we know today”

Twitter 

I must admit I was always a bit sceptical about using Twitter until I attended the Global e-literacy Conference run by SLAV at the MCG last July, when the presenter explained that 95% of his Professional Development was from Twitter! I can understand the scepticism however I think if it’s used as a professional tool it could be very appealing. The use of the hash tag #TL  can define your search to follow anyone out there with a twitter account who has a strong alliance with teacher librarians world wide. It’s instant and I like the idea of the limit on words! You don’t have to read much to get the main idea with the link only a click away. You can choose who you want to follow and a bit like facebook one face/tweet can lead you  to discover other good connections. I have only used twittter  this last week and I am now following 26 people!! I also think it is possibly less bulky than facebook and easier to navigate but like all web 2.0 tools it could become addictive! After reading the article Why Educators Should Spend 15  Minutes a day on Social Media by Tanya Roscorla I would like to take her advice and build this into my daily teaching routine. We all have busy schedules but manage to check our emails each day (some of us!) so why not take 15 minutes off emails and spend the time on twitter?

Facebook

I have been using Facebook for over 12 months now and forced myself to join up for a few reasons. Mainly because I have 2 teenage daughters and also felt as an educator I needed to stay in touch with the communication tools our youth are using today and also see what all the fuss was about! It has reconnected me with some people I haven’t seen or heard from in over 30 years but has also helped me stay in touch with family overseas and interstate. I think adults use facebook in an entirely different way to students  -they appear to rely on facebook like we did in our youth using the telephone-it’s their main way of communicating socially with their peers. An entire weekend of social events or “gatherings” can be organised for some students through facebook! During their Primary and Secondary school years both my children and my husband and I have attended some informative sessions about using social media and the dangers of not carefully navigating our way through the privacy settings -there is some great education available to both parents and students. One presenter explained  that posting  on facebook without privacy settings was like standing in the middle of a packed  Melbourne Cricket Ground and sharing it with everyone.  Lately I have read the urgency for teacher librarians to take on the role as cyber safety educators. I think in some ways we may have missed the bus as there are fantastic resources out there but we could play a minor role.  I think for too long we have ignored the signs, it’s time to be more pro-active rather than reactive and use whatever tools capture the interest of our students. We owe it to them to keep up or become dinosaurs in this everchanging climate. In the not too distant future I believe students will be allowed to BYOD to school and mobile tools will be the key to their learning after educators sift through the legal, social and ethical ramifications.

Tools for collaboration or communicating.

Classrooms at my school in the junior campus at the Year 5 & 6 level, have just started using Edmodo and I can see great benefits here. It’s a media that students enjoy, a bit like facebook but a lot more controlled and teacher driven. I have used Google + recently but would like to explore using this tool amongst staff and students. It appears a lot safer and has the ability to create a number of circles enabling the user to have circles for departments, classes and networks outside the school within the professional arena.

          

 

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Unit 2 : Bringing it all together

Unit 2 has certainly brought with it some challenging tasks for me the last fortnight!

I tend to use an iPad 80% of the time for professional reading /emails , a desktop computer occasionally and a laptop. When I first began the unit I was unable to install Google Chrome on our desktop computer due to a problem adapting to Windows 8. However this afternoon it actually installed after  many previous attempts which has really made my day!! The evernote web clipper and diigo web highlighter were also very difficult to install on the iPad but after many late nights and searching on Google I finally discovered I was not alone and found the right answer/code at 1 am today!! I would be interested to hear from anyone else who has had the same problem. I have found with sheer determination and perseverance anything is possible!! (but extremely time consuming…) In the end the best method I found  was sitting with the iPad beside me, following the instructions and putting it all together on the laptop. So I now have Evernote web clipper, Google Chrome and the diigo web highlighter all installed on 3 devices!!

What are your current techniques for keeping your work organised, keeping track of resources and sharing these resources with others? How do you imagine the tools covered in this unit will change your workflow?

Keeping work organised and keeping track of resources has always been a priority for me but I can see the limitations in saving everything in files/ folders / documents and only being available on one device. Knowing exactly where to access the stored information  is another problem in itself.

It is only during the last 12 months after purchasing an iPad, an iPhone 5 and attending a few SLAV and ALIA conferences  that I began to use Evernote, but in a very limited way I might add after completing Unit 2! Today there is an overwhelming amount of information available at our fingertips and joining OZTL_NET has also opened up another world of all the amazing  Teacher Librarians out there with a wealth of knowledge, expertise and experience. Never before have we had the opportunity to become so connected with so many people. I currently rely heavily on email for daily/weekly subscriptions from OZTL_NET, teacher-librarians at Diigo.com, Karen Bonanno@eduwebinar and various other blogs. Anything I found useful I would email to Evernote. Eventually I discovered notebooks and tags but learning through the PLN how to use notebook stacks and give my notes multiple tags has been a great help . Subsequently I am now in the process of placing over 300 notes into notebooks with tags and notebook stacks! Email was also the only method I used, to share resources with others.

The tools covered in this unit will definitely change my workflow and enable me to use my time much more efficiently. Utilysing the google chrome browser for only important bookmarks  and the use of Diigo to save all the other bookmarks that you don’t use daily is certainly the way to go. I would like to explore further, the possibility of clipping notes and applying tags to articles in my mailbox before saving it to Evernote. Is this possible? I have tried using a #tag in the subject line with no result , but I imagine there must be a a more efficient method.

Is teaching workflow and organisation techniques to students an important task? What have you noticed about the workflow and  organisational strategies of students? 

I believe students in this present climate are often  overwhelmed by all the information available to them. Not only by the enormous quantity and the questionable accuracy of the information, but the fact it is accessible 24/7 (a new term we use today!)  I find students tend to skim across information rather than develop analytical skills in sourcing the best information. There doesn’t appear to be any set workflow with few organisational strategies used by students.  All Year levels from Yr 7 to 12 have been introduced to iPads this year and many of them have installed Evernote. During a discussion with a small group I discovered they were unsure of how to use it, but were very interested to learn .  After I had shown them how to add a tag to a note and file it under a notebook they were excited to keep exploring it’s usefulness! Like Facebook they were keen to add as many apps (friends) as possible but didn’t really know “how these tools all fit together”. Subsequently I believe we play a very  important role now more than ever  to teach workflow and organisational strategies to our students. With greater confidence as the course continues I hope to take a few classes in early Term 2 in trialling the use of Evernote with students in Year 7.

How have digital technologies and internet access changed the way we organise ourselves?

Where would we be without technology? Its hard to believe the advancements technology has made within the last 15 years. We ourselves are now accessible  every hour of the day along with information. We want to know things instantly whether it be the maximum temperature of the day before we leave the house in the morning , the local news or what our friends have been up to through facebook during the last 24 hours! If a President or Pope has been elected we can “google” them and know their life story within a couple of minutes.

In becoming more mobile as a society, digital technology has also made the world a lot smaller-we are certainly more connected than ever before and able to access information no matter where we are -within reason! This access has also given us the ability to organise ourselves in a much smarter way. iPhones, iPads , social media, digital reminders, alarms , birthday reminders ….and the list goes on are all helping us to become better organised.We can retrieve information smarter and hopefully free up our time to do more of the things we enjoy!

Here is the link  to my shared note. Glad Unit 2 is finally over but I did enjoy the challenge!!

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