Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Notes from 03-25 June 08

Notes on trying to blog by myself – 03 June 08
Ha! I am confirming for myself why I find all this web stuff so “not me”! I have just tried for about 45 minutes to make a new post for my blog, but I lost the lot twice and I couldn’t get the photo (from Flikr’s Creative Commons) to show at all. This is frustrating and makes me feel stupid!

On 11 June in the optional DIL workshop I did get a little bit further, especially with trying to add photos. I get enormously frustrated and discouraged, but then sometimes determination kicks in and I won’t let go. I did eventually work out what I was doing wrong with trying to insert a photo into my blog. However I need more practice and experience before I can think about encouraging students to blog as an alternative to journalling.

Notes on finding out a little about Zotero
In return for supplying the name of a text book agent, a colleague showed me Zotero, the free software that does citing and referencing from on-line catalogues and databases. So I have it on my office machine, but it is going to take some getting used to. I’m really not sure how to use it yet. I had to download Mozilla Firefox first.

More about Zotero – 20 June 08 (?)
Serendipity (or is it synchronicity?) by definition appears when you aren’t expecting it. By chance I found out that my Zotero-wise colleague was about to run a session with someone else about how to use Zotero. It was OK for me to join in. Having another learner there was a big help, as questions that someone else asks always help other learners.

Our wise colleague stated that if you can’t explain a new piece of software in 10 minutes then there is something wrong with the software. Hmmm – a new thought! But is there really so much faulty software out there, or does it confirm that I’m a slow learner where software is concerned?

Anyway I tried to understand more about Zotero, had to have my wise colleague fix something on my computer, and then I was delighted to see the software create a very satisfactory citing and a reference all by itself! That was exciting!

Sometimes what Zotero writes isn’t perfectly correct, but you can fix it. As with everything else in this category, I need lots of practice to feel confident with it.

And now elluminate – 25 June 08

It is interesting that our DIL workshop today is going to include a session with a Wikieducator researcher through elluminate. Just yesterday in a CAPL staff meeting it was decided to try to run our next staff meeting using elluminate to push us into learning it, because it is an obvious tool for working with APL candidates with whom we can’t easily meet face-to-face. (For half my time I am seconded as a facilitator to CAPL where we work to match people’s experience and prior learning with qualifications and prepare them for assessment.) So much of what I am learning about through the DIL group has a direct impact on my work.

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