Thursday, June 14, 2012

iPad Inservice

This week I taught three 90 minutes sessions as part of our faculty iPad inservice week. I taught the Productivity session, where I got to teach QuickOffice, Evernote, and Diigo (using these tools on school laptops and iPads) to groups of 10-20 faculty members. There were 3 other classes being offered by other specialists: iPad Basics, eBook Options, and Classroom Possibilities. I had a lot of fun actually teaching from the iPad as I walked around the room. I could also switch off between projecting from my iPad and laptop.  I would have loved it if the Smartboard worked with the iPad..maybe someday! The teachers had varying skills, but we all helped each other, and I had a great time. They loved it when I took their picture in an Evernote note, which was also very helpful for attendance. The most confusing parts to teach were adding Evernote's web clipper and Diigo's web highlighter to the iPads.
I am attending  an ALA session about Professional Development, because I see a lot more of this in my future (Leading Professional Development that Matters…and Works Friday, June 22, 2012 | 12:30 p.m.–4:00 p.m. Presenters: Debbie Abilock, Kristin Fontichiaro, and Violet H. Harada). I am already planning our August inservice week, where I hope to be teaching Your iPad and the Library: Access, Collaboration, Participation. Or something like that.. Do you have favorite Apps or iPad uses you think I should highlight (or get) for the faculty? Please share!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Great News from NoodleTools!

Friday I attended a webinar about the new version of the citing module of NoodleTools that will be available in late June. I am happy to say, I'm sticking with NoodleTools! After working so hard over the years to make this amazing citing, note taking, and outlining tool a large part of the K-12 Brentwood School research experience, I didn't want to have to change citation platforms. But NoodleTools really needed an upgrade. And an upgrade it is!

The Abilock team understands that we need to teach the students not only how to cite, but what they are citing, and that the tool students use needs to be flexible and not too complicated. Now they give us three citation levels instead of two, breaking the skills down even further so 2nd graders, 7th graders, and 11th graders or college students can all cite the types of resources they use. Engaging slides defining each type of source and how to find the elements needed for citing are available in each level. Teachers and Librarians can use these slides for instruction, or students have the option of seeing them while citing.

My students will especially appreciate  these highlights:
Quick Cite: They can now copy and paste citations from databases, and NoodleTools will offer some prompts to make sure the citation is edited if it needs to be. It will also mark on the bibliography that it is a copy and pasted citation, so students can go back and refine it later if needed.

WorldCat Integration:  Finally! Enter  a title and NoodleTools will offer up matching book covers and information so the student can make sure they are selecting the right one.

Archive and Annotate web pages: Using the iCyte bookmarklet,  students can keep copies of the sites and highlight on the screen.

Switch easily between types of sources: "Oops - I need to switch from citing a magazine to a newspaper, do I have to start all over?" Not anymore!

And like icing on top, all of these citing features work on the iPad, and later this summer the notecards and outlining features should work as well.

Some other  new features might please your students. For instance,  if your school teaches several citation styles, it is easier to switch between styles . Also, the notecard feature has a new layout that looks easier to navigate while writing notecards.

I did nto get to use NoodleTools myself, I only saw the webinar. I am very excited to see how it all looks live, and to share it with my students in the fall. Here is a video from NoodleTools all about the upcoming release. I will be able to write more after I actually use the updated product.

Thanks, NoodleTools!! The upgrade looks great!