Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Not MIA, just busy on other web 2.0 projects.

It has been over one month since I wrote a post. What have I been up to?

Firstly, I have been refining my wiki and slideshare spaces. Both are now as well ordered and accessible as any beta tool can be. I have four groups now on slideshare to accommodate my finds.

Explore my Slideshare groups at: My Slidespace

My most popular group is where I am saving useful slideshows on how to use web2.0 or social media tools in teaching and learning.

I have another where Iam collecting shows that may be useful in teaching various subjects.

This one has less shows,but may become more and more useful as mlearning becomes more possible.

My delicious collection is becoming more and more a resource for my search terms. Have a look see at:

Many of my finds come from free email newsletters and elerts, google reader, RSSMicro search engine, Slideshare and associated groups.

In the next mail, I'll write an update on talbertstechtalk wiki I am very happy with the way it is developing.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Learning 2.0 Presentation for SPC Technology Reference Group Monday 19 November 2007

Everything 2.0 - what does it actually mean for education?

In the 90s came the internet and www...

We had the letter "e" invading our comfortable world of chalk and talk. What use to education was all this email and elearning?

This was rapidly followed by an explosion of interest in the letter "i". Has the busy iworld of tunes and phones disturbed our thinking?

In and around these developments, we have had the letter "m" creeping in none to quietly.

Few of us don't have mobiles. But have we looked closely at the potential of mlearning to change our teaching and learning practice?

The latest move has seen us append 2.0 onto almost any term we like. It has the sense of something new, interactive and about you and me. There is a whole new vocabulary to learn.

Web 2.0 social networking and learning applications.

What applications do we mean?

What use are they to teacher and student learning?

What potential might they have to improve achievement?

Web 2.0 definition at wikipedia of course.

MY web 2.0 social learning journey. It's all about joining, using, connecting, networking,sharing and collaborating

Step 1

google is increasingly far more than a search engine. google applications are being born it seems, on a weekly basis. We all know now about google earth or do we?

But have we embraced the personalisation of our learning offered by igoogle ?

google docs for word processing, presentations and spreadsheets all with thepotential to share and collaborate. Here is a great link to show how google docs can be used by teachers

This new google tool appeared about 2 months ago. I saved my major links and collections to this site. Much more could be made of this tool.
Have a look at google for educators also and sign up to their regular update emails to highlight new developments and resources..
I have also set up feeds using google reader to receive daily email alerts of new developments related to the search terms I use for all my social software spaces.
Step 2

I set up my account, one of the best known social bookmarking sites. I began posting those URLs that linked to the latest research, articles, blogs, wikis on my search terms.

I am searching these terms with minor variations: web 2.0 learning, social software and social networking

I have explored the unique features of other social booking sites including digg, diigoand others. One is enough.

Step 3

I set up my blog with blogspot. It is now a google blog. I have also subscribed to several educator blogs. These

Step 4

I set up my wiki though wikispaces and was able to get the K12 educator's version to remove the advertisments. I have also subscribed to several educator wikis that keep me right up to date with current practice and events. There are many wiki creation sites and the scene is becoming rapidly more competitive. I use my wiki as a clearing house for ideas, resource links and much more. Wikis epitomise the beta world of web 2.0!

How can wikis be used in the classroom?

Group projects: students work together in one place to research, outline, draft and edit projects within the wiki.

Assignments: Post homework, course materials, study guides, and more.

Resource Collections: Organize articles, websites, videos, and other resources for students
Peer Review: Post questions for student brainstorming, or have students post papers for peer feedback
Group FAQ: Students and/or teachers post and respond to questions on a given topic
Parent Involvement: Give parents a chance to be a part of the classroom and stay up to date on classroom news and events
Online Newspaper: Create a student-published online newspaper
Extract from wetpaint wikis

Step 5

I set up my slideshare account. A brilliant tool that allows the formation of groups, favouriting, contact lists, and access to slideshow uplaods from global sources. I have set up three groups to collect the lastest from experts and amateurs (U&I) one for web 2.0 presentations, one for shows related to mlearning and one to capture lesson ides from across the world as exemplars. I also favourite shows I like on nature and personal development.

Step 6

I created a ning network. I have also subscribed to several educator ning networks. The collaboration, sharing and learning opportunities are unbelievable! I have subscribed to those of educators across the world that are very active, with increasingly active communities.

Educators have achieved benefits for education use - special offers advertisement free for K12 student use

Step 7

I have also dipped into about 15 other applications. I have listed them for reference and occasional access in my wiki. The best of the rest:vodpod, voicethreads,teacher tube.

Step 8 - Check these out at your leisure.

I have just by maintaining the the sites to Step 5, also joined a number of blogs and wikis that are managed by well-known educational technology opinion leaders. I have also created a "blogroll" of these people on my wiki.

Learing 2.0 blog - 23 Things challenge

Conference update

A message on one of my google groups "teach and learn online" alerted me to some work by local wiki workers.;jsessionid=514823B554D03E9E2CC303AC5C2F2FF0

7 Steps to a flat classroom

So what is networked learning?

Follow my journey using my wiki links.

Friday, 26 October 2007

Reflections on Practice. Where to now? Why?

I have just reread the 7 entries I have posted since I set up this blog on 12 September 2007. I am proud of what I have learnt and pleased that I have had the opportunity to dedicate time to this in depth exploration of web 2.0 social networking and learning tools and their application to student and teacher learning.

On 24 September, I listed some questions posed by Mark Pesce about literacy and learning 2.0. It is urgent that educators begin serious conversations around these questions. It is vital that teachers engage with the transformations already in progress that will effect learning and teaching in schools over the nest year(s).

I continue to be absolutely entranced by the ever-growing avalanche of information available to teachers, everyone really. The creation of google personalised learning environments are a must to enable easy understanding of the potential administratiave and professional applications for education.

The outline of "The story so far ..." on 20 September 2007, gives me a timely reminder of how far I have come, what I have learnt, what I still need to learn and many other still to be discovered and answered questions. I have achieved what I set out to do in parts 2 to 6 and more. I have reflected on the value of each tool to learning, how sustainable these and many others are to use and keep using and made some decisions about which tools are potentially the most useful.

I have come across the work of Steve Hargadon and many other web 2.0 education gurus again and again through online conferences, in blogs, wikis on slideshare and many other web 2.0 locales. It is amazing how small cyberspace really is for educators learning through action. Steve's ten questions are the basis of an ideal set to start any conversation about web 2.0 applications to education.

Every day, I use slideshare,, my wiki and igoogle docs and reader. I have learnt how to integrate these quite well and they have become integral to my learning. Less frequently now, I use this blog, vodpod, ning and as for the others I will probably have to abandon them. There is so much overlap with the tools even with some unique features, there is just not enough time!

I plan to focus more on integrating my blog use with the other four tools to ensure that this fits into my daily learning routine.

I also need to insert more hyperlinks to show what I am doing with these most functional tools.

I am keen to further explore the use of widgets and the voicethread application.

Next time ...!

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Reflections and New Directions

I have continued to use the links and readings Google Reader sends me daily on my key search words. The energy being generated by web 2.0 social networking applications continues its upward trend.

Over the coming weeks, I'll focus more on classroom teaching tools and strategies for each of the applications I have explored.

I am looking forward to reading Alan Levine's material from his coming Australian tour.

Friday, 28 September 2007

Social learning tools - help, hype or time guzzler?

To end this week, I have spent some time reflecting on this question. I'll start with the oft repeated comment: "Teachers are busy people!"

Sure, learning new skills takes time, social networking and learning takes time. Setting up the tools takes time. If seen as a professional learning opportunity, then perhaps the time taken can be justified by most. The only thoughts, I honestly have about time, are "It's about time!"

In fact, time may be running out for educators who are not at least a little informed about the classroom teaching and learning potential of social learning software. You can rest assured, students will soon start to wonder why so little is being done to capitalise on their knowledge and skills with these technologies and applications. Teachers could be facilitating this learning to motivate and engage all students in their learning.

After this reflection, I put this problem aside, remembered the power of positive thinking and I got straight back to my cyberhaunts to follow up the social learning links provided my google reader and RSSMicro alert informtion. I happily receive these updates each day in my mail box. I still enjoy email. No plans yet to abandon that tool.

I have also looked at the Voicethread application and saved the most useful threads. This is a fascinating tool with potential for high impact. Why not explore this tool and brainstorm its potential with friends. Happy web 2.0 learning!

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Mark Pesce at web directions conference

Read his article "Welcome to the 24/7 online world, dudes" on my wiki or online at the SMH newspaper site. He has a lot to say that is relevant to teaching and learning NOW.

Literacy and learning 2.0 need our full attention.
What do we know about web 2.0 learning?
What should we know?
How can we play "catch up" if we need to?
Who can contribute to our web 2.0 learning curve?

Follow some of my and slideshare links to get some insights into the many opportunities!

Monday, 24 September 2007

google again - new shared stuff application

Just a short note about google shared stuff. It's a new tool that enables social bookmarking, email and sharing. Looks pretty useful. I might start with using it as a bookmark for my most successful learning 2.0 sites. Follow my my shared stuff trail and let's see where it leads!

Friday, 21 September 2007

Social learning - the story so far ...

I have been exploring web 2.0 applications for about ten weeks. Still, as far as opportunities go, there is no end in sight. I have signed up to around 20 of the best known social networking and bookmarking sites accessible at my workplace. So I have got the feel of what Facebook, MySpace and YouTube offer without subscribing. It is clear to me that the potential for high impact on teacher and student learning outcomes is very great! All this without the need for a great deal of imagination or high level ICT skills. Time to learn the basics is the key issue.

A brief history of the main stages of my web 2.0, social software for learning journey goes something like this.

Part 1. I heard about at a principal's meeting and when I continued to hear this word, I then noticed the little icon on webpages and knew it was time to sign-up. I have never looked back. This tool is very valuable and can be used in many ways to support learning. The tagging concept these tools use is becoming more and more visible on the web.

I also signed up to and still use on occasions: digg, reddit, blinklist, stumbleupon. In a later episode, I could talk about some of their unique features.

Part 2. Making an igoogle page and exploring the huge number of widgets and apps. available has been a real eye-opener. Google is upgrading its offering on a daily basis. I also set up a pageflakes page and plan to try to maintain this too. First, I need to assess whether I can access the same functions on igoogle and decide if I have the time.

Part 3. Signing up to ning a social network that offers privacy. I have since joined a number of ning groups for educators across the world. My ning page has not progressed as well as I had hoped. It's the time factor and which tool is of most immediate use.

Part 4 Signing up to slideshare. This application is fabulous! I have set up my own group as you can see. There are now around 15 members and I have worked daily to locate over 100 slideshows relevant to my group name. Google Reader has been my main source. I also have a favourites list for other specific learning area slideshows.

Part 5. Creating and maintaining this blog.

Part 6. Creating and maintaining my wiki. My wiki work has been the most labour and learning intensive. It is most definitely not beyond "under construction", but maybe that is the whole intention!

I have dipped into many other interesting poll, quiz and writing tools on the way!

Part 2 next time.

Happy web 2.0 learning!

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Big questions about web 2.0 in education

Big questions about web 2.0 in education

Tuesday, September 04, 2007. Posted by Steve Hargadon
At the Office 2.0 Conference in San Francisco, there will be a panel discussion on "Classroom 2.0" and the use of Web 2.0 software in education. A wiki with more information is here.

As preparation for the panel, an Office 2.0 Conference group in our Classroom 2.0 social network has been formed to allow for the discussion of ten possible panel topics. We will be encouraging attendees to join the group and participate in the discussions during and after the conference. We believe that some in the edublogosphere will be interested and hope you will contribute your wisdom!
Here are big questions to the forum discussions in that group. Follow the title link above to find the linked questions.

1. Is Web 2.0 a good fit for education?
2. Is Web 2.0 significant to future student achievement, workplace skills, information literacy, and digital citizenship?
3. Do we need to start teaching "digital citizenship?"
4. Are the formal structure of education changing because of online learning, and what roles can Web 2.0 software play in those changes?
5. Technology decision-making in schools: The divide between IT and the classroom, and why is it so hard to implement new technologies in education?
6. How much commercialization should be allowed in the classroom and in the school?
7. The conflict between school security issues and the innovative technologies of Web 2.0
8. Publicly shared lives: how transparent should students lives be, and is it appropriate for students to be "clickable?"
9. The training gap: professional development and rapid technological change. How do we train a huge workforce in skills that are just being understood?
10. How important is equitable access to technology, and do the tools of Web 2.0 change that?

Monday, 17 September 2007

Videos for learning

My cybersifting has enabled me to identify a number of useful tools for locating and viewing videos. My searching has been focussed on learning more bout web 2.0 applications. This site, vodpod enables you to search topics and save useful videos into a pod. At this link, you can access my collection, join up or follow others.

By saving to vodpod, you can access many youtube and google videos of educational value that would otherwise be blocked because the main site is understandably not accessible in schools.

I have a range of videos that complement what I have collected through slideshare.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Blog and wiki wisdom

I have collected some useful opinion and position statements from social software early adopters, who have gained reputations in educational technology over the last decade. These are worth noting since inevitably they bring a practical perspective to the use of new applications in teaching.

Most days, I spend up to an hour using google reader to identify new developments especially new uploads to slideshare.

I have set up a favourites list and a dedicated group, named "web 2.0 tools in effective learning". The number of relevant slideshows expands each day with educators and enterprising types around the world sharing their work. No real need to develop anything new for presentations any more.

Browse to see the possibilities:

It's more about learning 2.0 than the tools.

I read a great article this morning on this topic. It's worth reading in full.

Jeff Utecht wrote in his blog - It's not about Web 2.0 it's about learning! He writes: "I was invited in to give a lesson on how knowledge is changing in the 21st century. My first thought was "How do I tell students knowledge has changed, when they already know that?"I set up 3 Skype [...]"

When exploring web 2.0 social software, the deliberations, discussion and reflection must be on how to best use the many applications to ensure high impact on student motivation, engagement and learning.

My task now will be to continue to deepen my knowledge and skills to use the tools effectively but mostly to explore High Impact Teaching Strategies (HITS)for use of the tools.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Blogger and blogging - observations and issues

I have concentrated today on getting my two main applications - my blog and my wiki looking as I want them to. I have more to do and I have yet to look at content organisation with the wiki

I undertand now that it is almost time to make decisions about which tools I will continue to use regularly and which I will have to let go.

For instance,I ask myself how many social bookmarking sites can I reasonably manage?

Also,I ask myself how many social networking sites can I reasonably manage?

For each social network site the opportunity exists to join other groups managed by people with similar interests. This further enhances the learning, is great fun, but there is only so much time.

I always spend some time each day reading mails, blogs and looking for new slideshows. This is about keeping up to date. Each time I'm out there searching, I seem to find at least one new interesting application. Today it was:

I set up one set with relative ease. What a great little tool!

Reflecting and evaluating web 2.0 learning journey

I am back now to blog a little about my web 2.0 learning journey. As I indicated in my start up "learning how-to" posts, I have been concentrating on finding out about particular types of social software. Absolutely fascinating is the least I could say. I have been exploring a number of issues including:
*ease of sign in
*ease of use
*time needed to learn how to use
*possible applications to teacher professional learning
*possible applications to student learning
*time needed to maximise value of use for above
*issues of privacy and security

and many other matters not yet identified. I'll add to this list.

The opportunities for learning are vast.

Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Web 2.0 tools

7 August 2007
I love these social networking tools them whether they should be known under that title or tag or some other!

So far, I have explored a number of applications, they include: - this tool is very useful for research and so simple to use.
this blogspot

Most look like they could have some aplicationin classrooms.

I am also monitoring several blogs maintained by edtech experts. These are very useful and I'll provide an update soon on what I have learnt.

Thursday, 2 August 2007

Social Networking

Progress so far.

I have been researching numerous tools, including podcasts, vodcasts, wikis. All in the context of learning.

I believe these tools will be useful to teachers with a little support and scaffolded resources.

This blog will be of use to me, since I can reflect on what I am doing, finding and possibly achieving.

I have looked at and I think it is fantastic!

I have also signed up to a poll site, a brainstorm site and I am looking at a number of other sites.

I hope I won't attract spam.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

This is my first Talbertstechtalk post. I have been looking at mobile learning technologies and lately have delved more deeply into Web 2.0, social networking tools. I have decided I needed to put some of these tools to use. Maybe to the test, in an effort to assess their potential as high impact practices for teaching