In my recent blog post My digital pencil case 2.0 I forgot to mention FoxIt Reader, which is an alternate to Adobe Reader as a way of reading pdf documents. I have found this really useful as it opens allot quicker than adobe reader and it allows me to add notes and comments.
August 25, 2010
Classroom management software allows staff to view the screens of all the computers within a teaching room or library, from a single computer. This ensures students are not accessing inappropriate websites or going onto applications they shouldn’t behind the teachers back. Many of the commercial options have trial versions which are available to download.
Different systems have different features, but some common features of these systems include;
– Staff being able to block or allow internet access for an entire group or individuals (can be used to reward students at the end of a session)
– Staff being able to restrict access to limited number of websites/applications (ideal for safeguarding issues)
– Staff and students being able to send files to each other from individual computers.
– Staff being able to take full control of everyone’s computer which can be used to show a presentation on individual screens rather than having to look at the screen at the front of the class.
Below are links to a number of case studies and testimonials of some of the different solutions;
*The links below are the result of a systematic web search and do not represent recommendations of specific commercial products from myself or the JISC Advance RSC. If there are any systems you feel I have missed out, and there are case studies available, please use the comments section to let me know.*
King George V College and ‘Swat-It’ (Stop Web Access, Teacher Is Teaching). A system which was developed in house.
Preston College have used Ranger Remote to provide control within a classroom environment and to provide an alternative to an interactive whiteboard
Kings College use NetSupport School to prevent students from using email, browsing the internet and using software they shouldn’t during class.
Blackburn College who have used LanSchool to give the teaching staff control over what is or isn’t blocked and allows students to ask questions in a class without having to put their hand up.
Available via; http://www.itsltduk.co.uk/contactus/index.aspx?id=687
MidKent College have used LanSchool to manage the ICT classroom and library
Sandywell college who have used SynchronEyes to ensure students stay focused
Hamble College (comprehensive school) use AB Tutor Control to provide staff greater control in rooms with poor layouts.
The School of Engineering at Blackpool and Fylde College have used BrowseControl to ensure staff are more focused.
Moor End College use Sanako 500 to increase communication, collaboration and support within the learning environment.
August 20, 2010
For the last couple of years I have been study for a Masters with the Open University. When I began the course back in 2008 I wrote a blog post in which I listed a number of online resources which I found useful. I have decided to revist the list and update it.
Evernote In my original list I included Google Notebook which I used to clip and store content from web pages as well as type individual notes. In 2009 Google announced they would no longer be developing Google Notebook, so I moved over to Evernote. Evernote allows me to clip web content, save entire web pages, upload and save pdf documents, and other content. These resources are stored online and can be searched for and retrieved via a web site, a downloadable desktop application or an app for my mobile phone. What I find particularly useful about Evernote is its ability to search the content of all the resources I have saved including all the text on saved web pages and all the text within the pdf documents I have saved.
Freemind In my original list I included Mindomo, an online mindmapping tool which I used to plan my assignments. I have gone on to use mindmaps more and more, not just for planning assignments but also for general note taking. I still use mindomo and I also use Thinking Space for taking mind map notes on my android phone, however the main mindmapping application I now use is freemind, which is free to use and available as part of the fantastic EduApps package of free applications which run directly from a USB stick. I prefer freemind as I find it so quick to load and easy to use, although some of my collegues prefer XMind which is also part of the EduApps package.
DSpeech For this course I have had to do allot of reading which can take alot of time. Using DSpeech text to speech programme I have converted text documents to mp3 audio files which I have listened to in the car. I still read through the text to make sure I have all the important information, but listening to the documents is the equivalent of skim reading a long document. DSpeech is also available as part of the EduApps package.
August 9, 2010
Pecha Kucha presentation as delivered by Liz Bennett from The University of Hudersfield at the JISC RSC NW Annual Conference 2010
August 2, 2010
‘We never had that in my day’ OR ‘We’ve built-up the infrastructure, now what are you going to do with it?’ a Pecha Kucha
The following Pecha Kucha presentation, entitled ‘We never had that in my day’ OR ‘We’ve built-up the infrastructure, now what are you going to do with it?’ was delivered by Colin Hawksworth at the JISC RSC NW Annual conference 2010.
The following Pecha Kucha presentation, entitled ‘Turnitin as student diagnostic learning tool; it’s life Jim but not as we know it’ was delivered by Jo Richler from Salford University at the JISC RSC NW Annual conference 2010.
The following Pecha Kucha presentation, entitled ‘Transition from FE to HE English at Blackpool & The Fylde College’ was delivered by Ashley Lister from Blackpool and Fylde College at the JISC RSC NW Annual conference 2010.