My skills? I wouldn’t class myself as being very technical. I’ve had a dabbled in social networking: posting messages on a blog, I engage in live tweeting at conferences, and I subscribe to Facebook. In the past I have helped support lecturers in using the VLE, particularly in linking to full-text journal articles. For this I could I used to write some basic HTML code to provide live links and became adept at troubleshooting those links that hadn’t worked. I have also produced an interactive quiz on referencing for use on Blackboard. I have used this with classes of post-graduate students to enforce learning and also promote discussion. To accompany the quiz, I produced a referencing guide using Dreamweaver.
When I completed the Certificate in Training Practice many years ago, I was required to keep a reflective diary. I kept up this practice, and would regularly analyse my teaching sessions and where I felt I could improve, make appropriate changes. I think using a blog, such as this one, is a great aid to reflection. I’m quite enjoying sitting with my laptop on my knee writing and expressing myself. It seems to need a lot less effort than writing your thoughts down on paper. I also like the fact that have a delete key gives me more control over my writing! The only thing which is driving me slightly mad is knowing how to customise the blog. It’s taken me ages to change the menu entitled “about” to “about me” and I lost the menu “home” in the process! Any ideas on how to get it back?
Liz has just asked me about my skills as a librarian. Yes I suppose I do have information searching skills which have been developed over the years. I’ve been a librarian working in the Higher Education sector and supporting Business Studies students now for around 18 years! Libraries have changed so much during this time. When I started CD-ROMS were just coming in but the Internet hadn’t been invented. Using technology to aid searching has made my job so much easier – you just need to know what keywords to insert, how to refine your search if you get too many hits or change the keywords if you retrieve nothing. Evaluating the retrieved information sources is also a skill I have learnt especially when I’ve done team teaching with academic staff and heard them related to student how to select journal articles to use in their dissertations.
A skill I have very recently acquired is learning to cook with an aga! In February I moved into a house with a gas aga cooker. I had one quick lesson on how to control the temperature and found out which was the cooler simmering oven as opposed to the hotter roasting one. Using Mary Berry’s The aga book I have learnt how to roast a chicken and cook a casserole. I am hoping to improve my culinary skills to cater for my family when they come for Christmas!