Thursday, March 13, 2008

Thing 17: ELM Productivity Tools

1. Gale/Cengage Learning: I set up my search alert to search for articles about how to get and or keep boys about age 11 reading. I am hoping to find some mind blowing idea that will change the course of history, but I will be thrilled if I can get a few ideas that I can try out.
2. EBSCO: I like the choices on EBSCO. I enjoy having the ability to look at back issues. I added quite a few journal alerts from here, I also added a couple articles to my folder. I don't understand what I am to do with the web page that I have set up - but the background is cool. Who gets to see it besides me? I saved it to my desktop and I believe I will use the link to check on articles when I get alerted. Comparing the two (Gale/Cengage and EBSCO) I like EBSCO better.
3. Proquest: I tried to set up the webpage the way the directions said, but it didn't take me anywhere and it didn't offer a save spot. I did email it to both myself and to a friend. I found a couple articles that look like they might have good info too.
4. NetLibrary: I had never used NetLibrary before today. I signed up for an account and checked out the site. I think this tool will be very useful to students and teachers.

Thing 16: Student 2.0 Tools

Encouraging students to use the research project & assignment calculators should be a breeze. They are fantastic tools. If only we were all that well planned! I think that the tools speak for themselves in that it is obvious right away that they will make the student's life easier. The step by step guide in the assignment calculator with resources within each step is amazing. I love the research process glossary in the research project calculator. If given the exposure to these tools, I believe that many students would make an easy transition over to using these two programs (along with others) on a regular basis.

I saw a number of great teacher resource ideas that would work in the media center. I believe that a writing/research spot can be made - just a corner of a desk - hanging folders or standing folders, each with different resource tools in them. The students can come up and get what tools they need without feeling like they have to ask for help and are still close enough to ask if they want to. I liked: the student research planning guide, what is research handout, improve your google search tip sheet, 10 questions for evaluating websites, taking notes ideas, and so on.

I think that the students will be more willing to use the tools on their own if they know that they are available and you are not judging you.

Thing 15: On-Line Games and Libraries

I deal with students playing on-line games in the Media Center everyday. Games, along with all other non-school related media, are not allowed in our school. I did go to Puzzle Pirates and do two missions; I bilged and I learned swordfighting. I did interact a little bit with a couple other people on my ship, but I didn't have too much to say. I don't think my computer is fast enough for the game I was playing because it had a tendency to hang. I love puzzles so I was excited to try Puzzle Pirates, but I found the move choices limited in this program. I do play other puzzle games on-line. One of my favorites beign Text Twist on MSN games. There are a lot of game sites out there, but most of the students seem to be into role-playing games. One I see the most is Runscape - which you can play free or become a paid member of.