Hillcroft LRC

Archive for January 2014

Britannica displayThis week our Access to Higher Education students are finishing off their course work on Human Biology. They’ve been looking at how viruses spread as wells as fungi and other parasites and how they develop.

As usual there is a wealth of material on our library catalogue to help them. This academic year we’ve been showing them how to use Britannica Academic Online which not only has regular encylopedia definitions of terms but also comes with embedded videos and scholarly academic articles too.

The Learning Resources team have been themselves somewhat under the microscope this week as Ofsted have been assessing our impact on learners and also our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). This has given us the chance to show how we respond to our learners’ requests for material in different formats (DVDs, audio CDs) as well as suggestions for science fiction  and confidence material, biographies, books on other countries as well as short stories. We have been reinforcing the skills we teach in inductions (using ebooks, referencing, copyright and plagiarism) through the use of Vokis, GoAnimate, Xerte learning objects and quizzes on the VLE. And in doing so boosting their functional skills in using Information Technology.

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Enquiry desk overlooking the gardenThis weekend 25-26 January is the Royal Society of the Protection of  Birds (RSPB) Big Garden Birdwatch which gets all of us out counting the number of birds we see in our gardens or parks.

This is a great thing to do for our residential learners at Hillcroft College as it gets you not only to test out your numeracy skills but also to recognise different species of birds.

The Hillcroft garden is a fantastic spot for birds. Our Learning Resources Centre which overlooks the garden enables us to see robins, wood pigeons, green woodpeckers, blackbirds, magpies, wrens and blue and great tits on a regular basis.

All you need to do is pick an hour and register the maximum number of each kind of bird that you see within that hour. Don’t count ones flying overhead. Children will enjoy taking part too. You can register what you’ve spotted on the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch page.

How about taking your maths skills further? Find out about numeracy courses coming up at Hillcroft on the English and Maths link on our Courses page.

Boojk shelvesOur GCSE English students are studying John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. One of our student’s asked the Learning ResourcesCentre (LRC) team if we could point them to an interview with John Steinbeck about Of Mice and Men. We did a search and found a recording of Steinbeck on YouTube discussing Of Mice and Men and Grapes of Wrath.

The LRC team have also found a two-part interview of Thom Steinbeck on his Father John Steinbeck.

For anyone doing an assignment for GCSE BBC Bitesize – Of Mice and Men has some handy links with character information, plot summary, themes and videos.

In the LRC we also have copies of:

Finally there’s an interview with a volunteer archivist at the National Steinbeck Center on the Authors Road: John Steinbeck, Novelist and More