Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Personal Brand - one of the things I feel least comfortable with!
A google search of my name threw up a well known (presumably!) spiritual healer and a New Zealand Librarian.  I flicked on a few pages and abandoned all hope by page 12!
Adding the town I live in at least got me on the first page thanks to an entry on my workplace library website (an old version!!)
Will I bother with Linkedin? Possibly... 
Still to be convinced.  I have, however, added my photo to my twitter account, but sorry guys - I'm basically a private kind of person :-)

Monday, 7 May 2012

QTLS - Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills

May 2012 - have now achieved QTLS status :-)

What did I do to achieve? Well, I did a two year DTLLS course (Diploma for Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector) at the institution I work at.  This involved the usual essay / assignment writing and also 150 hours teaching (approximately 3 hours per week).  I taught information literacy and was also involved in team teaching IT.  QTLS required a webfolio, which included links to 'evidence' in the form of Schemes of Work, lesson plans, resources, reflections etc.

What are the advantages? Well, I'm now part of a team of subject librarians who run information literacy sessions.  A teaching qualification has enabled me to develop learner-centred training in line with best practice, utilise a range of resources (including SMARTboards) and reflect and revise the sessions appropriately.

The Scarlet Pimpernel!

Well! My promising FE lecturer cancelled with less than 24 hours notice - he had a virus and the students were all going away the following week.  Since then have emailed, visited his office at assorted times of day and given him a new name!
"We seek him here, we seek him there...That damned, elusive Pimpernel..."

I will, however, persevere!

Friday, 16 March 2012

The FE Challenge!

Having successfully rolled out a series of information literacy sessions to HE students, it was more than time to pursue some of my more elusive FE tutors to get them to book their classes in.

One tutor had been particularly difficult to track down, had booked a session in the past and then cancelled...had exchanged emails with me, but all attempts to track him down for a meeting had proved fruitless.

When we did meet up it was a very positive encounter; he is a great advocate of independent learning and our IL sessions dovetail in with this nicely.  We've set up an internet session focusing on the module and assignment the students are working on at the moment (perfect!)

He was also keen on a 'research platform' or resources links page on our VLE, happily made some suggestions for links, and agreed to have an input.

Lots of boxes ticked here!
Relevance of session to students subject study, which increases their motivation
Collaboration with academic staff
Embedding IL into curriculum and scheme of work
Positive dialogue with academic staff

Now to make sure the session is a good one and my now on-board tutor tells all his colleagues!

Saturday, 4 February 2012

National Libraries Day

Local authority doing nothing about this, but popped into nearest branch. Very much alive - kids library has Dr Who decor and suitably contained a number of families with small children; all the PCs were busy (with assorted age group) and a young teen putting his name on the waiting list for the next free hour.
Teenagers busy doing homework (impressive!) and librarians friendly & helpful.
No book about Barcelona :-( but can get from Central library.

Debated copying Phil Bradley's idea of visiting my first ever library, but it's now closed!! Presumably the kids on the estate have to go a little further away for the riches of an endless supply of free books! I can remember going on my own to change my books aged 8 and 9 and confounding the library statistics by taking back books I'd borrowed one day because I'd read them all!!

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Going it alone: innovations in information literacy - Conference

The University of East London (UEL) Library 'Info skills' package is freely available via google and can be repackaged under the Creative commons license.

I'd heard about it on the twitter grapevine and from colleagues who had been along to a TeachMeet and seen a presentation about it. It's impressive and has had good reviews so a chance to go along and find out more wasn't to be passed by!

Points to explore further:
Use of short video clips 'talking heads' (some featuring library staff, some academic staff AND other students) on bite-sized topics are embedded in the website - in short term can use these in our Subject Librarian Moodle pages and in teaching, in longer term, can make our own?
Quick bite-sized approach - 'just in time' resources - exactly what the students need when they just want to find out how to reference an eBook...
Accessibility - video clips sub-titled AND transcripts provided -
Using resources produced elsewhere - no point in re-inventing the wheel, especially if these are readily available and exactly what you need
Collaboration - this word kept recurring - liaison with IT and academic staff, cross-curricular approach - sometimes duplicating resources found in study support 'skill zone' website, but that benefits the learner
However - most importantly - collaboration of ideas with others in your field - this can only benefit the learner as the best results are produced
Quizzes - part of the multimedia approach - interactive quizzes for learners - again, harvested from other institutions
Demonstration videos - just in time - e.g. how to log in to Athens

Friday, 6 January 2012

Tackling a project

I read an interesting blog recently about tackling a big research project, which I identified with!

The author looked at the beginning of the writing process and how ideas seem to go chasing off in different directions. The process of trying to make sense of it all, tie things together and give your project an overall sense of direction, results in a lot of scampering around as you try and round all the ideas up. They seem to diverge and are most unwilling to be contained and made sense of.

This bit is HARD WORK!

This is what I am doing at the moment with my application for QTLS (Qualified Teacher Learning and Skills) There are plenty of ideas, resources (or 'assets') uploaded to the IfL (Institute for Learning) Reflect database to add to my webfolio, but pulling the whole lot together into a coherent whole is proving most elusive!

I know, of course, because it has happened in the past, that the magic moment will arrive when ideas start to converge, order is made out of chaos, and light can be seen at the end of the tunnel. In the mean time...hard work!