making life easier for international educators Vol 4, no 3 January 26, 2005
IN THIS ISSUE => => => => => Editorial Backing up your data Information Literacy ILMP Useful Web sites
*EDITORIAL* How many of us know that we should back-up our data files daily but don’t? I'm the first to put my hand up so, it is with real enthusiasm that I can tell you about our recent subscription to an invaluable new service, which can automatically protect all the essential data you hold on your computer, laptop, mobile phone and PDA. The service is called Depositit and I would highly recommend it to everyone who values the data held on their machines. In fact the service is so good that I must confess that Executive Shortcuts is a "reseller". Given that no income is generated from this newsletter the small commission generated by you purchasing a subscription to Depositit will help to keep Shortcuts afloat. Read the article to find out more. Information Literacy is much talked about and this issue of Shortcuts provides you with a few useful links. Last week I had the pleasure of attending the first ever residential workshop for the ILMP (International Leadership & Management Program)in my capacity as the link person between ECIS and its partners Fieldwork Education and the National Association of Headteachers (NAHT). I sat in on some of the sessions and found them stimulating and enlightening. One of the participants described the sessions as "that magical balance of inspirational and aspirational". As always included here are a miscellany of web sites that may be useful. Finally, I wish to remind Headteachers to forward this newsletter to all their teachers and senior administrators; and teachers to send it on to colleagues. Shortcuts has a growing readership and there is usually something for everyone in each issue. If not, let me know what you would like to see included. Thank you for your continued support Best wishes Jennifer Henley Editor (c) 2005 executive shortcuts *=================================================== This free email newsletter is available to anyone in international schools. It is written by professionals to save teachers and administrators time in searching for information. Please feel free to forward the newsletter to other colleagues. Heads of Schools are asked to distribute Shortcuts to their entire faculty. However, we ask that you keep it intact and forward it in its entirety.
To add or remove your name from the mailing list please go to the end of the newsletter. *=================================================== *BACKING UP YOUR DATA* I assume that at the end of each day you are backing up the important files on your computer using either CD ROMs, DVD's or tapes? I would imagine you check the backup has worked and then store the media somewhere safe -- am I correct? Probably not! Despite my resolve to carry out regular backups this invariably did not happen. *Depositit* was recommended to me and there has been no looking back Depositit will do everything for you, just download a small piece of software from the web site and install it on your computer, select the files you want to backup and every day at the scheduled time your files will be safely backed up. The service offers an Education package 300mb (150mbcompressed) of data stored annually for GB£29.99/ US$54 / Euro42. Schools that wish to back up their whole systems may choose one of the larger packages. Assignments, dissertations, lesson plans, databases, emails and digital photos make up just some of the information stored on your computer systems. Regardless of whether you are a student, teacher or administrator the value of this data is immeasurable, consequently the implications should you lose it can be devastating! Having spent valuable time working on your lesson plans, reports and the like, the last thing you want is to watch them disappear in front of your eyes as your computer crashes, catches a virus or worse still is stolen; of course no school can afford to lose the information stored on it's systems. Depositit will protect your e-mails, digital images, music files and any other important work and data stored. Once you've signed up you download software which you can then load onto as many machines as you like. You then set up 'Definitions' on each machine, and they will then login and upload a backup hourly/daily/weekly/monthly automatically. The good thing is that the backup is only incremental, and so only those files that have changed are uploaded, so it's fast. The software runs in the background, so you don't even know it's happening. The other great thing is that you can then login (using the software) from anywhere, and download specific files from the backup. So, if you are travelling you can always restore your data if needs be. Please order your subscription using the following link http://www.depositit.com/costs.shtml?KBID=1428 and click on the Education tab. This newsletter will benefit from the "click-through". The people at Depositit are very nice too, and they were recently chosen by the UKs premier consumer magazine "Which?" as the service of choice in a Computing Which? review of online backup services. They also understand international schools – the Director of Sales & Marketing was an international school student. You can view a short presentation at: http://www.depositit.com/download/depositit%20presentation%20b.exe Jennifer Henley, Editor
*INFORMATION LITERACY* It is a given that the Internet is a vital educational tool for teachers and students. However, not everyone is "information literate" with thekey skills needed for using the information resources effectively. There is a big difference between computer literacy and information literacy -- the latter being the icing on the cake of computer usage. Many international schools have librarians who are at the fore front of teaching and promoting information literacy whilst others do not have a professional librarian act as an effective advocate for the subject. Teachers need to be knowledgeable about information literacy and to include it as part of their everyday teaching no matter what age or subject level they teach. The skills are not just about finding web based information but focus on finding information that supports all aspects of the learning process. James Herring, an Australian lecturer in Teacher Librarianship, has a dedicated web site on the PLUS model of information literacy. PLUS is designed to provide a way for students to acquire the necessary range of skills needed to identify their own information needs and make effective use of reading, note-taking, writing and communication skills. The PLUS model seeks to incorporate the key elements of previous models while adding emphasis on thinking skills and self evaluation. http://jimmy.qmuc.ac.uk/usr/jherri/plus/default.htm Learning & Teaching Scotland has a page of Information Skills exemplar materials. The downloads are arranged under the headings suggested by James Herring's PLUS model and contain activities and notes for teachers and librarians delivering an information skills course. Users are free to adapt the materials. http://www.ltscotland.org.uk/5to14/features/informationskills/resources.asp When working for ECIS I had the pleasure of commissioning a book for the Effective International School Series -- Information Literacy in Action by Carol Gordon. Carol was the Director of Libraries &Information Services at the Frankfurt International School, Germany before her appointment as Head of the Educational Resources Library at Boston University. The book offers practical examples that have been tried and tested in international schools. Information literacy at all age levels is considered from building a library vocabulary for Grades 2-8 through to Students as Authentic Researchers (Grades 10-12). Information Literacy in Action can be purchased direct from John Catt Educational Ltd at http://www.schoolsearch.co.uk/bookshop/product.asp?pid=66 The Department of Information Studies, Sheffield University, has a page of links to worldwide information literacy resources. http://dis.shef.ac.uk/literacy/school.htm Noodle Tools, which is also listed in the Useful Web sites section below, provides an Overview of Design, Process and Outcomes in relation to information literacy. Noodle Tools states: Information Literacy shares a fundamental set of core thinking and problem-solving meta-skills with other disciplines. Authentic crossdisciplinary problems which include observation and inference, analysis of symbols and models, comparison of perspectives, and assessment of the rhetorical context, engage students in developing mastery information literacy over time There is a clear four step model looking at 1) Information Literacy; 2)Student Skills; & Strategies; 3) Student Outcomes; and 4) Curriculum& Teaching Design.
Each of these four stages examines the following aspects of information: Engaging Defining Initiating Locating Examining, selecting, comprehending, assessing Recording, sorting, organizing, interpreting Communicating, synthesizing Evaluating Within each stage of the model there are links to other web sites and resources. http://www.noodletools.com/debbie/literacies/information/1over/infolit1.html An ERIC Document on which Noodle Tools have based their model is:*Computer Skills for Information Problem-Solving: Learning and Teaching Technology in Context*. ERIC Digest#: ED392463. Authors: Michael B. Eisenberg & Doug Johnson (1996) Suggests that effective integration of information skills has two requirements: (1) the skills must directly relate to the content area curriculum and to classroom assignments; and (2) the skills themselves need to be tied together in a logical and systematic information process model. Schools seeking to move from isolated computer skills instruction also need to focus on these requirements. Library media specialists, computer teachers, and classroom teachers need to work together to develop units and lessons that will include both computer skills, general information skills, and content-area curriculum outcomes. The "Big Six Skills Approach to Information Problem Solving" is an information literacy curriculum, an information problem-solving process, and a set of skills, which provide a strategy for effectively and efficiently meeting information needs. This model is transferable to school, personal, and work applications, as well as all content areas and the full range of grade levels. An addendum is included which presents skills and knowledge related to technology that are not part of the computer and information technology curriculum. (Original abstract amended) http://www.emporia.edu/idt/it743/computerskills.htm *=================================================== *ILMP ~ INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP & MANAGEMENT PROGRAM* The ILMP got off to a flying start in Windsor, UK, with a four-day residential workshop. One of the participants gave the following unsolicited comments: Committing to new projects is always risky and the professional in you tells you to wait until all the glitches have been ironed out and the system thoroughly tested. But I feel that the inaugural conference was impressive in the range of experiences on offer, and in the quality of participants, materials and speakers (has anyone coined the phrase "brain-spa" yet?). Personalised, active learning for international leaders has been long overdue and the ILMP course is structured to acknowledge the very real differences in circumstances in individual schools. Its relevance to individual schools and situations is immediate and potentially very powerful. The willingness of guest speakers to enter into dialogue rather than lecture, whilst deceptively condensing years of experience into accessible conversation, helped create an atmosphere of focused intimacy. I have learnt so much already and am aware there is so much to do. It was that magical balance of inspirational and aspirational. Thank you so much for the very personalised attention to detail throughout the four days -- it was overwhelming to think of all the careful attention that must have gone in to the organisation, timings, scheduling, bookings, resourcing, food, accommodation, balancing of group dynamics and
individual needs, let alone the intellectual quality of the materials selected and presented. It was very, very impressive and says so much about the quality of your teamwork. Another participant commented that it was "the best leadership residential programme I have ever attended". If you are interested in joining the second cohort please contact: ECIS-Programs@ecis.org for further information or download a flyer from: http://www.ecis.org/downloads/ILMPFlyerDPS.pdf *=================================================== *USEFUL WEBSITES* I recently received a notice saying that PowerPoint is detrimental to good communication! February 7-11, 2005 has been designated "Just Say No to PowerPoint Week". http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/1/prweb197989.htm Despite this I recommend this 'EPSON Presenter's Online' a web site to help you with PowerPoint presentations. The site covers the basics of presentation delivery and content; tutorials; the latest presentation technology & software; and a range of downloadable resources. Users can register for FREE membership of the Presenters Club, which gives access to presentation resources on the web: Clip Art; Templates; and Digital Images. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/1/prweb197989.htm Almost all of you will have Adobe Acrobat Reader on your hard drives, which enables you to open PDF files. However, not many actually have the Acrobat software to create the files. PDF stands for "Portable Document Format". Adobe Systems Inc. developed it for use with its Acrobat software. PDF preserves the original look of the document almost exactly: fonts, photos, graphics and layout all appear as they do in the original. *Go2PDF* is free software enabling any document to be converted instantly into PDF format with a simple click. *Go2PDF* contains a Virtual PDF Printer, which is a high-quality PDF converter and generator with passwords protection that converts any document to PDF file making it easy to delivery your document worldwide. http://www.go2pdf.com/product.html With PDF and ADSL mentioned above do you find all the technology acronyms a puzzle? The Glossary of Internet Terms by Matisse Enzer could be the answer. A comprehensive list, last updated in November 2004 is at: http://www.matisse.net/files/glossary.html Noodle Tools is a comprehensive suite of interactive tools designed to aid students and professionals with their online research – citations and bibliographies. Some tools are free others are subscription based. Noodle Tools was co-founded in 1999 by mother and son team Debbie and Damon Abilock. Their flagship product, NoodleBib, has emerged as the leading bibliography software on the Internet, transforming bibliographic instruction methodologies in subscribing schools. http://www.noodletools.com/index.html In the dim and distant past I was a special needs teacher in an international school. An issue then and now was the "grey" area between special educational needs and English as an Additional Language (EAL). A paper from the UK may be useful reading material for an international school -- "Language needs or special needs? The assessment of learning difficulties in literacy among children learning English as an additional language: a literature review". Tony Cline & Tatheer Shamsi(January 2000).
This lengthy research report (93 pages) is worth printing out as a resource in school for the SEN and EAL/ESL departments. There is a useful list of resources. http://www.dfes.gov.uk/research/data/uploadfiles/RR184.doc Looking for a good book to read? Try Whichbook.net – it gives readers an enjoyable and intuitive way to find books to match their mood. Instead of starting from the overwhelming choice of books available, whichbook.net starts from the reader, and enables each individual to build the elements of that elusive 'good read' we are all looking for but don't quite know how to define. The books in the database are all fiction and poetry in paperback written in or translated into English and published (with very few exceptions) since 1995. Although designed for Public Library use in the UK it is a helpful guide for choosing titles to order through amazon.com http://www.whichbook.net/index.jsp If it is difficult finding the time to attend language courses try the BBC Language courses. These online interactive programs cover French, Spanish, German, Italian, Greek, Portuguese and Chinese for beginners. Other courses help students to become better learners and listeners and for ardent skiers there are skiing phrases in German. Italian, French and Spanish. Bon chance! http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/ *=================================================== If this has been forwarded to you and you wish to be added to the mailing list please SUBSCRIBE at http://www.international-ed.com/shortcuts_subscribe.htm If you do not want to receive any more issues please UNSUBSCRIBE at http://www.international-ed.com/shortcuts_unsubscribe.htm Shortcuts is published by *Executive Shortcuts* who will not make the subscriber list available to any other company or organisation. Whilst all reasonable care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the publication, Executive Shortcuts cannot take responsibility for any errors or omissions. >---------------- mailto:email@example.com ------------------< executive shortcuts for international educators *making life easier* phone: +44 845 050 6324 fax: +44 208 566 3002 24-hour telephone answering service, seven days per week >------------------ http://www.international-ed.com ----------------<