Friday, February 29, 2008

Interesting new tool--Glogster

I was churning through the web looking for something new, and I stumbled on something I had never seen before--Glogster. It's a social poster site. Poster, as in graphics, and multimedia. I just signed up, and haven't made anything yet, but I can totally see using these as part of my teaching repetoire. Apparently it is supposed to be very easy to make them, even if one does not know HTML.

Now, I am probably the last person in the universe to have seen this website, but nevertheless I was so interested I just had to blog it.

I can immediately think of a few ways to use this in IL instruction:
  • an assignment for students in IL classes (have students make one)
  • a quick and cool way to make posters to illustrate concepts for each class I teach.
I also think it would be great as well for those who are very visual in their learning styles.

I was particularly intrigued by Cybrarian's Glogs. I think i feel inspired to go make one for next week's classes.

Friday, February 15, 2008

"Clickers" in a IL classroom setting; an experience

We recently got new classroom management software (allows for broadcasting screens for students and such) by Synchroneyes, and also we got "clickers," the inelegant term for "interactive response system. "

I have had a chance to recently try these out, and I thought it might be interesting and or illuminating to share my experience. I did a quick google on clickers and IL and some scattered links came up, so obviously it is being done. My particular experience was very interesting because it was for a first-year class, though some of them were upperclassmen and transfer students. Normally my preferred audience participation aid would be candy, but we had run out.

So I started by handing out the clickers and explaining that I would normally have candy. This seemed to amuse them. I noticed they were very pleased about being able to participate in the process. We talked about topics to research, and I opened up the Notebook software that goes with the clickers and entered in the topics they proposed, and had them vote. It seemed to go well, with the quiz question, a pie chart displays with answer percentages and a status count for votes.

I also had converted an activity where I show them magazine and journal covers and identify them as scholarly or not to use with the clickers. That seemed to work very smoothly.

I am now curious how other people are using this in their classrooms, and wanting to expand their use in other situations.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Finding Reserve Materials by Using the "Hard Copy Reserve" Search

Have you ever wanted to know if your professor has your textbook on reserve but wasn't sure how to find out? Did your professor tell you to read an article from a book that's on reserve at the library? Or do you want to know if there are any old tests on reserve to help you study for your next exam? Finding the answers to these questions got a lot easier last year when the new library catalog was released. The catalog now houses all the reserve items in a way that can be searched by everyone.

All you need to do to find reserve items for your class is to click the "hard copy reserve" link on the main library catalog page. Next you will see the option to search by course or professor. The course search uses the same abbreviations the university uses, "bio," "comm," "mc," etc. Enter the last name to search for the professor, lecturer, or instructor.

If you do not find a textbook on reserve by your professor, sometimes you can find it under another professor's name...especially for the larger core classes that use the same textbook. Try searching by course too.

Another thing to remember: this is different from the "electronic reserve." E-Reserve, or ERes for short, is for electronic access to reserve materials. In order to access ERes materials, you will need a password, given to you by your professor. The materials (usually articles or book chapters) can be downloaded and printed. Hardcopy reserve will be on the 4th floor at the Researve desk and most items must be used in the library. Photocopying articles or chapters is allowed.