What – ways to make sure you can access and use what you read.
Who for – it started from me trying to find things to suggest to people doing Delta Module One and wanting to ‘study’ for the Paper Two Task Four, but I think it would work well for Module Two research and for people planning to do intensives (and wanting a preparation plan).
You need to read, but what ? How ? And how can you process it / remember it ?
For Delta Module Two (while you are doing it if you are on a part time course, or as preparation if you are going to do an intensive), start using Evernote (why that one ? you could probably achieve the same ends with other services, it is creating and building a personal system that matters, not which tool you do it with – if you have done something similar with a different system, perhaps you could comment here or link to it).
Work out what areas you think you need – for Delta Module Two you could create notebooks for the four systems, four skills, classroom management, feedback, reflection, professional development. You will find you need more, but you can add and reorganise later. You will soon discover which areas you are most interested in.
Install the web clipper in your usual browser. Then when you read something you think is relevant to an assignment you are working on now (or might be useful later), you click on the web clipper icon.
The key to it working well for you is to take a minute first to check back through what you have just read and put in a summary for yourself. So read and mentally (or with a pencil, I guess it depends how long the article is) jot something down that mentions the features you think you might want to come back because of.. When you click on the web clipper you can see this.
The top line (1) is the name of the article as Evernote see it – you may or may not want to edit that so it helps you spot things fast.
The second line (2) is the notebook it is going to save the clipped page into (you can use the drop down menu to change that, but if you suddenly decide you need a new notebook you have to come out of the web clipper, make the notebook in your main Evernote page and then start again).
The third line (3) is tags – it suggests some automatically, but you can add more or edit. Finally (4) you can see T+ and this is where you can add a comment. If you write a summary in there it will be the first thing you see on the note page (you can edit all of this later if you want to change or add things). Don’t forget to click on save (5).
Then when you look at it in your notebook you can see …
A list of notes on the left (1) and the one we are looking at is highlighted in blue/grey. The clipped web page on the right (2), with the summary comment I put in just above it (3) and the link to go to the original blog page at the top(4).
You can also write your own notes from scratch – so keep notes of books and articles you have read in here too.
The list of notes on the left is not so easy to work with once you have got past about ten or so (though you can skim down through your summaries as those are what show up in the small windows and that is helpful). At the bottom of that list you have the option to change the view.
And when you change from snippet view to list view it looks like this.
Now you can see where the value of tags lies (they are the blue lozenges over on the right) for keeping track of things that might be useful to you.
You can also attach files to notes (Word or pdf) and store things that way.
You can choose to keep Notebooks private to you or you can share them with others or make them public (as I have done with this one).
One last thought – read as you collect as you read. The reading bit is the important bit. Collecting and being able to go back to it is really useful, but writing the summary matters. If you clip anything and everything that mentions ‘lexis’ without reading, choosing, discarding and summarising what you decide to keep, then you may as well stick with a quick Google search when you decide to write an assignment on an area.