Sunday, April 25, 2010

Efficiency is What it's All About

"Efficiency is doing better what is already being done."
- Peter F. Drucker

Efficiency is what technology is all about. It is a tool that can make our teaching and, more importantly, student learning more effective. If it's not going to do that, why should we use it?

Notebook is an extremely efficient tool to use for lessons in your classroom. I would argue that it is currently the most effective tool for organizing and presenting resources. It is so much more than just another presentation tool, an alternative to Powerpoint.

To begin with, the Link feature, see "Technology, Turkeys and Touchscreens," can help you make quick transitions to websites, other pages in your presentation or attached files. You no longer need to waste time navigating through the numerous folders and files that consume your My Documents folder. Just one click takes you there.

Speaking of attachments, you can include a digital copy of any file you need for quick access. I always recommend attaching anything you could possibly use, not just what you are planning to use. For instance, if a lesson goes faster than you expected or changes in focus depending on student interests, you can have materials attached that you don't have to search for.

Finally, the "My Content" section of Notebook can also have an effect on your efficiency. This area, located in your Gallery is a place where you can store internet and gallery pictures, interactives and videos. The idea is to store items that you use regularly in your room, so that you can have quick access to them. For instance, timers and base 10 blocks were mainstays in my own My Content. One thing to consider here is that you want to make it easy to find the things you use all the time, so you must be very critical about which items you place there. The more items in, the longer it takes you to find what you're looking for.

Watch the video below to see how to add, organize and save your My Content section in Notebook.

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