Feature blog – Mill Park Secondary College

Heather Bailie, College Library Coordinator at Mill Park Secondary College has set up a most interesting blog.  Did I speak to you about… is a site just for library staff.  

Did I speak to you about...

Did I speak to you about...

Heather explains, ‘We have nine people making up 7.4 EFT on two campuses.  I spend half my time at each campus, others have one or two days a week at their non-home campus.  Due to part-timers it is impossible to have a meeting that all library staff can attend.  I set up this site during the Web 2.0 course when the penny dropped that blogs are a sensational communication tool.  Now instead of conversations between 2 or 3 people, phone calls and emails going back and forth and people being left out of the loop we can keep the conversation in a central location and it is up to each of us to contribute.  Better than that, with our Google readers set up as a widget in our iGoogle pages we are instantly alerted of new news.  I have even used a post to call for agenda items for an actual meeting and then made comments to record the minutes.’

She continues, ‘This site has been set up directly as a result of the library staff at Mill Park Secondary College completing the SLAV Web 2.0 course. I have just been appointed to the Leading Teacher Position of College ICT Coach – I don’t know if I would have even considered applying before doing the SLAV Web 2.0 online course.  What I do know is that having completed it and what I have gained from it has contributed enormously to my successful application!’

It really does go to show that the possibilities of Web 2.0 are only within the realms of our imagination. Congratulations to Heather on her innovative use of a blog and on her appointment as a Leading Teacher, College ICT Coach.

Zoho Notebook

If you create a lot of documents, or want to collaborate with colleagues, Zoho has a fabulous tool called Zoho Notebook.  The idea behind it is that Notebook acts as your complete online record of tasks; you can embed content of any type from multiple applications and share the whole Notebook or just a page or two with others (or not, if you don’t want to). Users are able to create content as well, including text, audio, images and video. Amongst other things, you can clip webpages (and then continue to use the webpages interactively, not just see a screenshot), draw flowcharts and import Powerpoint presentations and other documents. Zoho Chat is embedded into Notebook for quick communication with collaborators. Zoho Notebook is your one stop shop for creating records that embed multiple applications. You can even sign into Zoho Notebook with your Google or Yahoo ID. Here’s a notebook I prepared earlier…

Zoho Notebook example

Zoho Notebook example

Google has a similar product, Google Notebook. If you use iGoogle, Google Notebook may be your best bet. But comparing the two, it seems that Google Notebook has far less functionality that that of Zoho Notebook, which is unusual knowing how well Google does most things. Have a look at both to see which application suits your needs best.

Uses of Zoho Notebook could include digital portfolios for students and even a personal portfolio for teachers for annual reviews.

Zoho Notebook has to be one of the most exciting Web 2.0 tools around. Have a look at the demonstration video for yourself. Zoho have a number of tools in their suite, most are free but some business applications only allow limited numbers of users before you must pay a subscription fee. However, the tools are definitely worth investigating!

Note: You may have Microsoft’s OneNote as part of your Office 2007 suite. OneNote is similar to both Zoho Notebook and Google Notebook and definitely worth a play if you have a few minutes.