Reading and Delta Module Two

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.


3 thoughts on “Reading and Delta Module Two”

  1. This definitely would’ve been useful for me when I was doing Delta Module 1–and probably Module 2 as well. I’ve become an Evernote devotee, having recently downloaded the app to my iPhone. I love the fact that you can take pictures with it. If there’s something in a book that I’m reading and want to remember, I can snap a quick photo of it, tag it, write my own comments, and add it to a notebook. However, I had no idea that there was an Evernote computer program, and I didn’t know about the Web Clipper either. Have downloaded both and will be using them extensively. Thanks for the tip Sally!

    1. And I had no idea you could just snap things with a smart phone and add them to notebooks that way. Though it ought to have occurred to me – in classes for the past year or so when I do those round up slots (when you put up stuff they have said on the board to look at what they might avoid / change / add) there is a flurry of phones as they snap the commented / corrected version at the end. I don’t have one as the idea of a phone that you can’t use for more than a day without recharging seems like a backward step, but I wonder if I’m not going to have to swallow my Luddite tendencies soon and give in and get one so I can understand what people do with them (be that my language learners or my teachers).

  2. I deactivated Evernote when I just bought my current (smart)phone. Back then, I thought the app was a nuisance since it kept reminding me of what I could jot down in an ‘S’ note or attach to/as a document while reading or save as a webpage for later reference and so on and so forth.
    Two weeks into DELTA Module 1 and I went back & apologized, empty-handed and barefoot! Evernote was polite, and not only did accept my reactivating it, but gave me a year’s free premium “courtesy of Samsung Inc.” I was like “Wow! Thanks guys!”
    The main reason why I kinda “had to” go back and reactivate it (and yes I AM using it full force) was that I had a lot of info to sort out in terms of the flood of data I keep getting both inside & outside the course. Plus, I have just realized that I’ll be needing all of that when I’ll be writing LSAs and assignments and stuff of that nature in Module Two, when probably I won’t find much time to read extensively and methodically as I do now (or at least that’s what I gather from the websites and blogs of past moaning and groaning DELTA attendees).

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