Monday, 27 December 2010

Wet day wonderings - planning for 2011

It is essential to try tools not previously used to assess ease of use and possible outcomes before using with students. Prepare well, practise, then use confidently. We are all learners first and teachers second. I needed to try the newspaper snippet creator, so here are my reflections on an unusually wet and windy day.

Newspaper snippet generated at http://www.fodey.com/generators/newspaper/snippet.asp


Tuesday, 7 December 2010

MWSnap and Snipping Tool

During holiday breaks I enjoy finding the tools that make life easier. I've used MWSnap for several years to take screen shots for documents and in house publications.

It is a free download with a comprehensive range of tools that include a colour picker and an on screen ruler. I like the simplicity of the interface and the ease of use, but occasionally it has collapsed and I've had to reload the software. There are plenty of on screen editors embedded in web browsers now but I still prefer this simple tool to save my images.

Screen shot of MWSnap using the Snipping Tool from Windows 7
Recently I've moved to Windows 7 and just found the Snipping Tool from the Accessories menu which has limited functionality but has earned a temporary spot on my task bar just for quick accessibility. It has simplified taking this shot of the MWSnap window without having to use the Print Screen option or employ another third party tool. Only time will tell if it retains its spot on the valuable Task Bar real estate.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Learning highlights in 2010

Learning from colleagues
During the last year I have had the privilege of learning from colleagues from all over the world through the power of Twitter. Closer to home my colleagues continue to provide support and the opportunity to discuss new developments. I’ve been privileged to have a practice teacher working with our library staff for the last 4 weeks and her fresh ideas have caused me to revisit this dormant blog as well as examine some library practices.
Points to revisit and emphasise for the new school year in January
  • Student learning comes first - library tasks facilitate learning
  • Model lessons with the emphasis on developing students’ thinking skills for other staff
  • Prioritise tasks within the library
  • Allocate tasks and meet regularly to review task completion
IPad project
During the last month my school has issued iPads to 198 Year 12 students and about 80 staff. The process of getting there has kept both the IT team and our steering committee very busy. Students have rapidly adopted their new tool into everyday classes. Some very enthusiastic staff have made the most of this opportunity with the boys, and collaborative learning between staff and students has improved.
Planning such an implementation requires much time and infrastructure. My brief outline of the process can be found at iPad: Idea to Implementation
The long summer break will provide time for staff to become as proficient as students in their use of this great new tool. I look forward to continuing to provide ongoing support for both staff and students when and where needed.