Sunday, 28 December 2008

One Trick Pony � Google Maps as Time Machine | Bernie Dodge

One Trick Pony � Google Maps as Time Machine | Bernie Dodge:

A post by super-educator and webquest inventor, Bernie Dodge:

"I got a call tonight from one of my old Peace Corps housemates and we spent a good hour reminiscing about our two years there. All kinds of memories were refreshed: hiking through tiny villages miles from nowhere...teaching math.

Ever since Google Maps came out, I’ve clicked periodically to revisit those intense times. Until recently, our little town of Bonthe, Sierra Leone, was a low-resolution blur covered in clouds. You couldn’t make out individual buildings or really see much of anything. Then, last spring, they updated the satellite photos and suddenly I can look into my past with amazing clarity."

I commented: Google has made doing so many things related to learning and connecting so much easier. This is a brilliant idea for teaching and learning. A great way to remember, trace, even actualise the past using a most modern and supremely versatile tool.

I could write pages on google tools and the educational achievements of Bernie Dodge. Click on the link, read the post, check out the landmarks of Bonthe and then scroll back though Bernie's posts and follow all his links. You will learn a lot.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Cloud computing: sky high expectations?

Cloud computing: sky high expectations?:

Jose Picardo wrote in his blog:

"I must, first of all, apologise for the contents of this post, as it is hardly researched and it is very much a gut feeling rather than a rational elucidation of my thoughts on this matter. In fact, I’d go as far as to say that I am not sure to what extent I agree with myself on this one, but I thought I would don my black hat for the day, as it seems the right thing to do ...

There is no doubt that cloud computing has given us an enormous wealth of resources particularly in terms of Web 2.0 applications, such as social networking or video sharing sites, and software as a service applications such as Google Apps, Google Docs and Zoho, amongst many others.

My bad gut feeling is no so much concerned about the communication and social networking aspect of cloud computing, but rather with the storage side of things. Are my files secure? Is my work safe?"

My comments include: It is important to take a cautious approach to students' accessing online storage and social networking sites. Data access and loss is but one issue.
In addition, there are so many hidden and even unknown security and privacy concerns that have to be identified and then assessed for level of risk and risk management.
The importance of these issues for schools should not be underestimated.

Visit Jose's "Box Of Tricks" blog and read the full post, comment and take a look around.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Open Education Teaching Ideas : Concetta Gotlieb's blog

Open Education Teaching Ideas : Concetta Gotlieb's blog:

Open Education Teaching Ideas

"I attended the Open Education 2008 Conference at Macquarie University yesterday. It was great because of the people, everyone was excited about teaching, learning and sharing."

My thoughts, in this post, Concetta provides insights into a number of teaching ideas shared during the conference. The post is easy to read and offers a number of links to examples, why not go and read the whole post and take a look around her blog.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

The National Strategies

The National Strategies:

Just visited the UK Department for Children, Schools and Family's newest web site. Seems to have a one stop-shop approach to TPL. There is so much to look at, the opportunities for learning are inspiring. The site blurb says:

"The National Strategies are professional development programmes for Early Years, Primary and Secondary school teachers, practitioners and managers. This new website supports those involved with education to improve the quality of learning and teaching to raise standards of attainment for children and young people in all phases and settings. Select content via the navigation or use the improved search. Communicate and share knowledge with colleagues by joining the online groups and discussions."

I will enjoy spending many hours exploring and then sharing my learning. The interactivity through networking in groups and discussions looks impressive.

Saturday, 15 November 2008

Pecha Kucha Night : Presentation can be fun | Empower Your Point

Pecha Kucha Night : Presentation can be fun | Empower Your Point:

Empower Your Point authors wrote:

"Pecha Kucha Nights prove that presenting can be both trendy and fun. These social events where people gather to listen to presentations have been created in Tokyo in February 2003. They are now taking place all around the world in more than 140 locations."

I commented: I absolutely love the PK concept and the idea of PK nights. Concise in a thoughtful graphic setting is the key. I am pleased I took the SlideShare link to this blog.

Visit the blog and read the full post. Follow all the links to other posts, including:
"The Long Tail on Slideshare (and a second chance for iChart)
Latest research tends to demonstrate that Slideshare slideshows are creating a Long Tail."

This is a very interesting blog with many must-read posts for those who want to produce powerful presentations.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Learning Teams « Darcy’s Blog

Learning Teams « Darcy’s Blog:

Darcy's posts are a must-read for all and especially teachers in NSW public schools. This post is topical and thought-provoking. He wrote:

"Our school ran a Year 7 Learning Team Project with one class this year and the evaluations are extremely positive. The executive is currently working out how best to improve the learning outcomes of students, especially in the middle years of school. We really need to engage our 11-14 year olds much more effectively and to build on success in the immediate future. The whole staff are about to explore the ideas and structures discussed in this post."

My comments:
Student success in learning during Years 5 through 9 is vital for retention to HSC and best results for each student.
Apart from effective learning in preschool and early childhood there is no more vital time.
Effective TPL underpins everything.
IMO, it should be about consistent and shared language (QT) and strategies, focus on explicit teaching of literacy and numeracy skills and effective feedback on agreed, most effective teaching practice. All subject to regular review.
The latest web2.0 tools will assist if the learning purpose is made clear first.

Visit Darcy's blog, read he full post and add it to your must-read list. Follow him on Twitter too.

TechTalk4Teachers: tt4t_062 Time to cleanup some delicious bookmarks

TechTalk4Teachers: tt4t_062 Time to cleanup some delicious bookmarks

This is Tom Grissom's blog. His latest post with a recording on delicious and his planned cleanup will strike a chord with many web2.0 afficionados. I can very much identify with this, my book marks are mostly in order but my favourites and saves on Twitter and Google Reader are too regularly out of control.

I commented on his post:
Nice post.I have to find some time to go back through your posts to listen to all your recordings.
Like you, I love delicious. Even though, I like diigo too especially the groups I've joined, I am sticking with delicious for social bookmarking. The PrintWhatYouLike site looks very useful.
Tom's blog is worth a follow and you can keep up with his tweets and posts on Twitter too.

The journey so far. | My Journey with Digital Pedagogy.

The journey so far. | My Journey with Digital Pedagogy.:

Shane wrote in his new shanetechteach blog:

"Recently I was invited to share my journey to a range of practising and pre-service teachers. As the sole Advanced ICT Pedagogical License holder within my region, I was required to outline the difference of practice between Certificate, License and Advanced License. This is easier said than done, as Certificate and License holders presented before me and I did not want to portray that anything they were doing was less than worthwhile."

I asked him a few questions and Queensland education and commented about my beliefs:
Interesting post, especially regarding your role as holder of an "Advanced ICT Pedagogical License". Is this a state or private school credential in Qld?
Does Qld have its own ICT requirements or standards for teachers? I am interested in your use of UNESCO standards.
For me it is about using ICT tools as a means of engaging students and improving learning outcomes. Using web2.0 tools there is still the "wow" factor for many teachers in fact most teachers.
In influencing teachers' use of ICTs and the vast range of tools and techniques, it is about what the (subject) teacher wants the students to learn to ... (skills) and learn about ... (content).
Learning purpose first and then the most suitable tools and strategies.
Read Shane's full post by following the link in the title. You can refer to the list of UNESCO ICT Competency Standards for Teachers.

Saturday, 1 November 2008

E-Learning Journeys: What have you signed up for this week?

E-Learning Journeys: What have you signed up for this week?:

Julie Lindsay wrote in her blog:
"A recent conversation with colleagues at school has prompted this post. They were concerned that there are just 'too many' things to sign can one person cope with it all? ...what is the relevance to everyday classroom education and life as an educator? How can you remember all the passwords and login information?"

This is a topic dear to my heart, so I commented:
This is a very important topic. I can understand how teachers new to web2.0 tools feel. I have signed up to stacks of applications. I regularly use about 5 and I visit 2/3 occasionally.
The user name and password issue is also a big one from the security angle.
Recently, I signed up to edmodo also. I think this one has lot of potential. I also wasn't sure about how to invite people, but I have used the code with one person and plan to try more. I have shared the tool with others, who are also enthusiastic.
I also signed up to some utterli groups. Harder for me to sustain that activity.
I am very reluctant to sign up to new things now, since I know I can't manage any more connections.

Visit Julie's blog, read her tips and sign up for the feed. She is doing wonderful work in so many contexts.

Sunday, 26 October 2008

What did you learn at work today? | Sliced Bread

What did you learn at work today? | Sliced Bread:

Tony Searl, wrote in his blog:

"All students reflect as part of our college Reflection, Organisation And Reading programs. ROAR not only involves using a learning log (diary) to plan, record homework and organise assessments, it also encourages students to consciously record how they best learn, reflection. With fine tuning and more realistic goals, I think this 4 year old program will improve further in 2009.

My question however is, how do staff reflect on their profession? I assume they do, I’m just not sure how. Maybe we could introduce a staff learning log and model real reflective practice?"

My comments: This is a very insightful post. I would love to hear more about the school's ROAR program. Reflection is a key element of effective learning.
Your observations and questions about staff reflection and learning seem to me to be the million $$ questions. Now, is the time to press for some answers and action on these issues.
The Jeff Cobb questions and Mal Lee quote are worthy of being posted prominently in each school for day to day viewing by staff.
Would that be provocative, yes, I hope so.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Who Can See Your Photos? | reflecting on innovations

Who Can See Your Photos? | reflecting on innovations:

A post by "denisesinnovations", about photo sharing sites such as Flickr and Photobucket:

"As for use in Education - hmmm. There’s the issue of children’s photos on the internet that is a major hurdle to overcome. No matter how secure the site some parents are not going to let it happen. They have that right. Then there is purpose. The first one that came to mind was Travel Buddies - it is the perfect setup for that to happen. Then wouldn’t a blog serve the same purpose? Then of course there is the issue of content. There are many photos and videos on these sites that are inappropriate for school children, particularly primary aged children."

My comment on this very topical issue: As you have said, sites in the media sharing category have many benefits however they are also bound up with a range of risks associated with privacy and safety.
YouTube is also in this category. As long as there is the potential for accessing 18+ material it is hard to see how these sites including the photo sharing sites can be made available to any students.
I would like to find a solution to this significant problem.

Have a look at the blog, read the post and enter a debate, whose time has definately come.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Life IS LIKE a Box Of Chocolates AND Blogging IS LIKE… | Mobile Technology in TAFE

Life IS LIKE a Box Of Chocolates AND Blogging IS LIKE… | Mobile Technology in TAFE

Sue Waters blogs are a vital part of my professional reading. With a number of other educators she is among many other things, promoting class and student-blogging on a global scale.

In this post she has made very good use of a very creative student comment by "Ashley".

I made a comment on her post: I have a blog in name only. I don't feel the need to think up ideas. I piggy-back, comment and reflect on the post or tweets of far more dedicated bloggerati and twitterati.
This is made easy with a simple google tool.
I sometimes feel a little lazy, but it is all I can manage and it seems a respectful way of acknowledging other people's, creative and insightful ideas.
The posts or tweets I use as a springboard, mostly reflect my interests and beliefs. Not quite a "self-portrait" but nevertheless an indication of who I am.
As a teacher, I do aim to separate the personal from the professional as best as I can.

Weekly Wrapup: After Web 2.0, Newsfeeds, Recommendation Technologies, And More... - ReadWriteWeb

Weekly Wrapup: After Web 2.0, Newsfeeds, Recommendation Technologies, And More... - ReadWriteWeb:

The latest from this must-read feed. Click above to read it all.

"It's time for our weekly summary of Web Technology news, products and trends. On the trends side this week, we had a great discussion about what's next after web 2.0, celebrated the success of the newsfeed, looked at enterprise use of social media, helped Twitter find a revenue model, and more."

This is a publication where the web 2.0 lingo was first born. Can't be missed each week. Is techy, yes, but it is leading thinking on technological developments that can impact education. Always useful to be thinking and reflecting on potential learning innovations.

I am particularly interested in the bit on Twitter. The question of how to monetise web 2.0 tools is very topical.
I hope someone can figure it out without the use of too much, obvious advertising.

Monday, 13 October 2008

The Thinking Stick | I’m done with the 21st Century!

The Thinking Stick | I’m done with the 21st Century!:

Jeff Utecht wrote in his blog:

"I know it’s the largest word in my tag cloud on this blog….but really I’m over it now.
I have come to hate the phrase “21st Century” whatever: Learner, Thinking, Teacher, Skills.
Has anyone noticed it’s 2008…well 79 days until 2009!
We’re 9 years (depending on how you count) into the 21st Century and we’re still calling for 21st Century things.
I’m sorry we’re in it! These are just skills! They are just what we should be doing and if we’re not teaching them, helping students to understand them then we’re letting them down….big time!"

I commented: “21st Century” whatever" has always been several horizons too far away for my liking.
With the current global turmoil in so many aspects of life, 2009 will be far enough for most strategic planning and thinking to actually be close to the money.
We have a great opportunity in these difficult times to make the value and potential of learning and collaborating across "two hemispheres" with a view to making a difference, a reality.

Congratulations on this much overdue, very bold stand on what has been for far too long an unsustainable and oft glibly used expression.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

using Twitter in education - what the mlearn audience thought []

using Twitter in education - what the mlearn audience thought []

Andy Ramsden wrote in his blog:

I recently presented at mLearn08 about the potential use of Twitter in Teaching and Learning based on a survey I did quite a while ago (slides: )

Part of my session included the audience (about 60 people) to split into groups and write down on a piece of paper (yes I know !) how they thought Twitter might be used to support teaching, learning and administration.

I commented:
I saved your show to my slideshare group. It looks good. Great set of preliminary thoughts from your session. I have followed on #mlearn08. I will be putting Twitter near the top of my Top Ten tools when I redo it soon. I am looking at similar tools in a more closed environment for student protection, maybe edmodo, utterli or ...

I will follow your work with interest.

Friday, 10 October 2008

Twitter, ICT and Professional Respect at Conferences « On an e-journey with generation Y

Twitter, ICT and Professional Respect at Conferences « On an e-journey with generation Y:

Anne Mirtschin wrote:
"This post is in response to some of the negativity and complaints about the use of laptops, lack of professional respect and twitter at the recent ACEC08 conference, which has appeared as a thread on one of my mailing lists. When attending the ACEC08 conference, I was guilty both of using my laptop and sending tweets over twitter."
She continues with her reasons and:

"The absolute power of interactivity and the use of web2.0 tools should not be blocked. Conference participants do need to be mindful of digital citizenship and potential outcomes of online negativity. The nature of our world, our classroom and professional development is changing."

I commented:
Great post, that encapsulates the essence of people's angst in changing times. Funny/sad that people at a computing conference would complain about a colleague's use of what is considered cutting edge interactive, collaborative technology.
You at least were there in person to also interact F2F.
I am thinking with all the tools and willing people like you and many others to share in situ, the time for actually attending a conference in the flesh may be quickly coming to an end.
Although a real time lunch may still do the trick for me.

Go and read Anne's full post and make a comment. I think I could feel guilty that for the recent NOW Conference during one session, I used the chat facility, wrote on the whiteboard, put comments into the relevant conference ning and did one tweet.
Was I was rude, I can't see it but maybe I have yet to be told.

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

The Future of Reading - Using Video Games as Bait to Hook Readers - Series -

The Future of Reading - Using Video Games as Bait to Hook Readers - Series -

The Future of Reading. The Video Game Strategy
This is the second in a series of articles looking at how the Internet and other technological and social forces are changing the way people read.

Reporter Motoko Rich wrote:
"CARLSBAD, Calif.— When PJ Haarsma wrote his first book, a science fiction novel for preteenagers, he didn’t think just about how to describe Orbis, the planetary system where the story takes place. He also thought about how it should look and feel in a video game.
The online game that Mr. Haarsma designed not only extends the fictional world of the novel, it also allows readers to play in it. At the same time, Mr. Haarsma very calculatedly gave gamers who might not otherwise pick up a book a clear incentive to read: one way that players advance is by answering questions with information from the novel.
“You can’t just make a book anymore,” said Mr. Haarsma, a former advertising consultant. Pairing a video game with a novel for young readers, he added, “brings the book into their world, as opposed to going the other way around.” "

My observations: This will be an important series to read. For parents and teachers alike the concept of marketing reading with a "game hook", is a must-have debate. Effective literacy teaching may just require these types of tools to inspire or sustain a positive approach to reading.

What do you think?

Sunday, 5 October 2008

ACEC 2008 Obs Continued « My Other Blog

ACEC 2008 Obs Continued « My Other Blog:

John Pearce wrote:

"Big Question??? Who does the vetting for keynotes and how much does sponsorship influence the choice of presenters? It is a truism that you will very rarely find a Keynote that inspires and transfixes a whole theatre full of delegates. It is also relatively rare to find keynoters who leave you wondering what there message was really about and how it was that they can have gained sponsorship for their appearance."
I commented: Interesting if lengthy post.
1. I did not go to this conference. I heard about it from a colleague. I plan to speak to this person about the conference. Especially if there was employer sponsorship. It is considered a "techy type conference", my words. Pity!
2. All organisers of all conferences of all types should be initiating online, backchannel, unconference and edubloggercon elements.
3. I followed the conference though twemes, #acec08. I appreciated that very much. Says me, very much liking 140 character reports now.
4. I would say "well done" to Julia Gillard for attending the conference. Has it ever happened before?
5. I like the Pecha Kucha model.
6. Poster sessions + brief commentary should be promoted.
Thanks for your reflection.

Read the first part of John's reflections on ACEC 2008.

It's Time For Leadership - NSW Labor Party

It's Time For Leadership - NSW Labor Party: "It's Time For Leadership

This is the Policy Speech for the Australian Labor Party, delivered by Gough Whitlam, at the Blacktown Civic Centre, in Sydney.

Men and Women of Australia!

The decision we will make for our country on 2 December is a choice between the past and the future, between the habits and fears of the past, and the demands and opportunities of the future. There are moments in history when the whole fate and future of nations can be decided by a single decision. For Australia, this is such a time. It's time for a new team, a new program, a new drive for equality of opportunities: it's time to create new opportunities for Australians, time for a new vision of what we can achieve in this generation for our nation and the region in which we live. It's time for a new government - a Labor Government." ...

I plan to revisit this speech as I heard it at the time. What a time that was!
In fact, I plan to revisit several famous speeches at

‘NSW pulls out of computers-for-schools program’ « Darcy’s Blog

‘NSW pulls out of computers-for-schools program’ «
Darcy’s Blog:

Darcy Moore wrote 26 September 2008:

"The term ends and one would hope for more inspirational news from our political and system leaders. The above headline is from the ABC website and I am assuming it is reporting on yesterday’s memo from the Director-General but am uncertain what it will mean for us in schools who have already been allocated money/laptops from Round 1. My school has been expecting 233 laptops and the wireless infrastructure to support these tools. Does this ‘pull out’ mean that we will not receive laptops or infrastructure. I hope not but am cautious about having too much faith in it all."

I commented:
I have been following the (non) developments with the "Digital Revolution" in NSW from afar of late. To be more precise from a desk in a small box, in the DET corporate environment. Maybe, I am a little out of touch...and getting just a little peeved about the way the whole "revolution" seems to be not developing in NSW public schools. Anyway, here goes:
The DR was and still is a good concept.
Laptops for students as proposed in the DR was and still is a good concept.
Are private schools worrying about on-costs? Did I miss that debate?
If I were a student in a NSW public school, in line for a laptop, I would be wondering by now where mine was.
What do our parents (really) think about the delays? Did I miss that debate too?

I am not sure it is the Rudd concept or team that is the issue or problem here.

Just an insight into some of my thoughts on this matter. I have decided that it is timely to write about some political matters as I turn my attention to what action needs to be taken.

Thanks Darcy for your stimulus to comment.

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media: How Much Time Does It Take To Do Social Media?

Beth's Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media:
How Much Time Does It Take To Do Social Media?

Beth Kanter wrote:
"I'm getting ready to a workshop later this week, I did a simple pre-workshop assessment, asking folks about their level of experience/comfort and their burning questions. I usually do this in a room with a quick poll, but I wanted to push myself to create the content based on their questions."

This is a brilliant post and Beth's blog is great for educators, business and of course her main purpose, non-profit organisations. Her knowledge of social media and the ever-changing landscape of social interaction using these tools is very deep. The long list of comments is proof of her reputation in the social media landscape.

I wrote: Just found the great post. Missed it on Twitter, have been away. The time issue or "better value for time" issue is a very critical one for educators. Also, the level of engagement notion is worthy of much consideration. Get as much as you give-consume and produce. We make our choices to fit our need at the time and this can change over time and with the times.

Put Beth's Blog on your Google Reader subscriptions or follow her on Twitter.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

The Educational Technology Site: ICT in Education: --> What makes a good list?

The Educational Technology Site: ICT in Education:
What makes a good list?:

Terry Freedman wrote:

"Every so often another 'top X' list hits the blogosphere in general, or the edublogosphere in particular. But are these lists even worth bothering to read?"

My comments:
I have enjoyed all the lists I have been pointed at through posts, email, Twitter etc.
I am just happy that someone made the effort to identify and collate.
Most lists I have looked at over the last year or so, have in fact assisted my professional learning and have vastly reduced the time I would have had to search to do the same myself.
Congratulations to all the list compilers in the many 'spheres and 'verses, I move in.

Read his full post. What do you think?

Blogging Corner: Week beginning 22 September: Your favourite blogs: Week beginning 22 September: Your favourite blogs

Blogging Corner: Week beginning 22 September:
Your favourite blogs
"My favourite blogs are mostly Oz teacher blogs. Although, I have got some favourite NZ, UK, US and CA, bloggers that I follow on Twitter too. I made a slideshow on A List edubloggers, that I put on SlideShare.

The blog is interesting. I like the guidelines for blogging and commenting. Getting teachers to blog and own the idea of blogging for themselves and their students, is maybe for most teachers an 'idea whose time has yet to come'.
Pity really! Not sure either how to change this.

Microblogging on Twitter for instance, could be a solution. 140 characters has a lot of appeal and the PL payback is high, if you are following the right people.

I like the 23 things concept. The Yarra Plenty model is worth a look and the originals are easy to find with a google search."
Blogging Corner run through is a wonderful way for teachers to read about the work of Australian educators.

Technology in the Middle » Blog Archive » Digital Literacy: Effective Search Strategies Part 1

Technology in the Middle » Blog Archive » Digital Literacy: Effective Search Strategies Part 1:

Patrick Woessner wrote:

"In our increasingly flat, information-rich world, the skill of locating information has become as important as the skill of memorizing information. With more than one trillion pages on the web, finding and managing digital data can certainly be challenging. Our fourth Digital Literacy topic, effective search strategies, divides this vast concept into two manageable, fundamental lessons: choosing words and choosing tools."

He includes links to the IMSA (Illinois Science and Math Academy) materials and a short slideshow he has created. The Search Box Strategy, he is referring to here in one of his digital literacy lessons is vital to effective searching.

I commented: Very useful post and the IMSA materials look fabulous. The capacity to identify keywords for searching is vital and too often not taught. Teachers often assume a lot with students when it comes to information/digital literacy.The structured and systematic teaching of these skills needs to be integrated into all subject areas.

Well worth following this series of lessons.

Sunday, 21 September 2008

The librarian edge: Michael Wesch, Media Literacy, and Classroom Portals

The librarian edge: Michael Wesch, Media Literacy, and Classroom Portals:

Katie Day wrote on her blog:

"Michael Wesch is a professor of digital ethnography who has learned both from his students and with his students. His videos -- A Vision of Students Today, The Machine is Us/ing Us, and Information R/evolution -- are well known.

... his latest presentations are:
'An anthropological introduction to YouTube' given at the Library of Congress, June 23, 2008.

'A Portal to Media Literacy' or 'Michael Wesch on the Future of Education', was presented at the University of Manitoba on June 17, 2008. This is the one I recommend for teachers, as it was aimed at educators."

While you use Katie's post as a launch pad to the Wesch videos, read her other valuable posts for educators.

Sarah's Musings: Digital and computer literacy resources

Sarah's Musings: Digital and computer literacy resources: Sarah Stewart wrote: Online Information Literacy

"One excellent resource is the Online Information Literacy project , which has been developed by Otago Polytechnic and the University of Otago. Particularly useful is Module 9, which is the Digital Literacy module. The module takes you through a number of tasks which are presented in a scenario including connecting to the Internet, using a browser, copyright, social bookmarking, creating a blog and working with collaborative documents."

The module she refers to looks like a wonderful resource. Read her blog and follow all the links. Think about other resources you can share.

All teachers are learners - All learners are teachers � Blog Archive � In defence of Student centric IWB use

All teachers are learners - All learners are teachers � Blog Archive � In defence of Student centric IWB use:

Another must-read post by Lauren O'Grady, this extract is but a paragraph:
".. By contrast, those teachers who used IWBs most effectively were in the enhanced interactivity phase” Which was the point of my presentation that enhanced interactivity is best sought through the partnership between teachers and students whereby knowledge is co constructed instead of spoon-fed."

My comments:
Another well thought-out post.
I agree with all you say and I noted you had 11 commenters for your first post, "Great White Hope" what a wonderful title.
I agree with:
*asking questions in presentations, to promote "just in time", face to face discussion
*focussing PL on how to best use the tools for student learning
*your references to some of the most recent research
*the shift of attention from teaching to learning focus.
*your observations about IWB - roll marking. This is an administrative function.

All teachers using IWBs should be consciously aiming for the "enhanced interactivity" phase, where learning will be maximised.

SMARTBoard Lessons Podcast � Blog Archive � SMARTBoard Lessons 144: Brain Rules and SMARTBoards (for staff and students)

SMARTBoard Lessons Podcast � Blog Archive
� SMARTBoard Lessons 144: Brain Rules and SMARTBoards (for staff and students):

"Joan and Ben discuss Brain Rules and SMARTBoards for staff and students. How can you make your SMARTBoard use more brain friendly? How might you use other topics to influence how the SMARTBoard is used by staff via book talks, and ongoing professional learning?"

These podcasts are a must-listen for teachers using IWBs of any company. These podcasts are "pdtogo". This lesson is based on the John Medina book called "Brain Rules". You can download the lesson as a pdf or Notebook file.

Whether you are new to IWBs or have gained some expertise through use, go to the site and LISTEN to all these podcasts.

Twitter Grader - Measure Your Social Media Profile

Twitter Grader - Measure Your Social Media Profile:

"The Twitter Grade measures the relative power of a Twitter user. It is calculated as a percentile score. A grade of 65 means that the user scores higher than 65 percent of the other user profiles that have been graded. Your grade is calculated using a combination of factors including:
* The number of followers you have
* The power of this network of followers
* The pace of your updates
* The completeness of your profile

O, well, not so popular or ...! I am very happy with this, have no time to do more. The benefits I am reaping with the current situation are very satisfying. Also worth while checking out this site:

What is your Web 2.0 Quotient?

While Kevin Kelly talks about Internet of things as he predicts the next 5000 days, the question is are we even ready for the present? We are still struggling with Web 2.0 and Learning 2.0, trying to bridge the gap between digital natives and digital immigrants.

So are we really ready for the future?

How well do you use the web in the present?

Are you familiar with the Web 2.0 mumbo-jumbo?

Do you utilize the web to connect, learn and grow?

What is your Web 2.0 Quotient?

Here’s a simple form I created to check your Web 2.0 Quotient.

What web 2.0 applications bring the best rewards?

The battle of the tools | Sharing the Addiction

Susie Vesper wrote in her blog: " ... This is just one example of the kind of exploring that I have been doing recently. All of which means that I am now getting a little bamboozled. So many options and they all have features that set them apart from each other while still having the same key functions. I don’t want to be uploading images to multiple places on the web but I don’t want to miss out on great features either.

How are the rest of you out there finding the range of web 2.0 tools on offer? Are you coping?"

I commented:

This is a timely and topical post. Every day, on blogs, Twitter etc. not just one but many new (web2.0) tools. It is distracting and confusing.

I like the way you have displayed your best finds. For teachers, newbies especially it is important to keep it simple and relevant to good teaching practice and professional learning.

Hasten slowly I say, and select a couple. Present a rationale for why they should be the first and give many practical examples.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

All teachers are learners - All learners are teachers » Blog Archive » Show and learn vs Show and Spoonfeed ?

All teachers are learners - All learners are teachers » Blog Archive » Show and learn vs Show and Spoonfeed ?

Another must-read post from Lauren O'Grady. My comments in reply, stimulated by a talented young woman's reflection.

Another very insightful post. Once again, your reflection will lead you to the best way to go forward.
As for the future: both spoonfeed and sandpit.Tricky balance, I suppose.
Scaffolding-enough is probably never enough. Link this to easy to use in class docs or ...
Do I need to make tutorials-as for scaffolding? It is great to take things away or make them available on a wiki or have them as google docs for use in class.For IWB, information about sites that have lessons and links for all proprietary software could be valued.

This blog is one to subscribe to. Have a read and post your comments.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Langwitches » Blogs vs. Static Websites

Langwitches » Blogs vs. Static Websites

Silvia Tolisano's Langwitches blog is a great one for languages teachers to follow. This post on using blogs to develop learning communities is very valuable for teachers wanting to maximise connections for students through blogging.

She wrote: This upcoming week, we will have a Professional Development workshop for our faculty. The topic will be blogs. We will introduce the new features of the upgraded Wordpress 2.6 version, remind teachers how to sign in and comment on our SJEDS Travels to Latin America blog and mainly how to move from using their classroom blogs as a static website and moving towards creating a learning community for their students in that online space.

My thoughts: I like the smooth progression you are framing here for staff. The charts that outline the concepts and your thinking are very useful.

The 7 steps ladder for blog communication is a neat way of thinking about literacy development and learning through this medium.

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Free Technology for Teachers: New Podcast - When Technology Fails

Free Technology for Teachers: New Podcast - When Technology Fails:

This blog as the name suggests, is worthy of being on any educators top reads list. Anything that assists a teacher find new strategies and applications to improve learning should not be missed.

The post states:
"In this episode I share my experience of going to plan “b” when the technology I had planned to incorporate into a lesson fails. The lesson I was reminded of is that as much as I love to incorporate technology into my instruction sometimes the most memorable lessons for students don’t involve any technology at all."

You can bookmark, subscribe or follow on Twitter.

My Quick Start Tips for New Twitters | Mobile Technology in TAFE

My Quick Start Tips for New Twitters | Mobile Technology in TAFE

Sue Waters, top Oz bloggers writes about Twitter. A must=read for anyone looing at taking up this valuable micro-blogging application. My comments:

I signed up to Twitter mid 2007 and did not tweet until May 2008. I just could not see the value in investing my time.
I took up the tool, when BeTwittered became available for my igoogle. page. I then found TweetDeck and liked that idea, to organise groups of those I was following. I knew who to follow initially since I was familiar with most of the top edubloggers worldwide.
My tips, are similar to yours. I like to follow top UK and Oz/NZ people since this perspective balances the US presence.
I favourite tweets to peruse later. While it takes a little time, I do always review the action from different time zones. I enjoy tweeting links to good articles, reports and SlideShare.

Go read the full Sue Waters post and get tweeting to develop another perspective to your PLN.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Some questions about teaching at

Some questions about teaching at

Doug Belshaw wrote: It’s the start of the new academic year and so naturally a time when I start musing on the whys and wherefores of education. By the end of the academic year I’ve almost come to accept the system as normal but now, at the beginning of the year - and fresh from summer holidays - it all seems rather strange…

asked for some feedback to a number of questions, these are my responses:

1. We use a value-added (growth) measure and like for like. Does your system really demand "better than last"?
2.Ask the question, what is our filtering software and how is this site categorised (media sharing). Who has access? Who doesn't and why? Is there a review process?
3.Good question. Administrative needs overtake learning needs. The timetable decides.
4.I think all intervention should lead to some improvement. Why bother otherwise?
5. A seemingly intractable problem being debated across the world, I believe.
8. Our public selective schools are outdoing many private schools, in public exams. This occurs with vastly different resourcing.

A lot more could be said in response to each of his questions. Why not have a think, visit his blog.

Tuesday, 9 September 2008

All teachers are learners - All learners are teachers » Blog Archive » Teacher 2.0 ? Have we gone label mad?

All teachers are learners - All learners are teachers » Blog Archive » Teacher 2.0 ? Have we gone label mad?

This is another must-read post by Lauren O'Grady. As usual, she has identified a topical issue and explored it honestly. After you look closely at this post, have a read of and comment on her many other substantial posts. My comment on this post was:

This is a very thought-provoking post. I felt challenged by the sentiments and that is what great bloggers do.
I do like the 2.0 label and I try to use it to provide the opportunity for teachers and leaders to articulate what quality teaching with 2.0 applications can achieve in terms of enhanced teacher and student learning.
However, you are right about buzzwords. They can be a distraction away from the main game of teaching especially if it just comes down to an exploration of a "tool" without a practical learning purpose in mind.

Saturday, 30 August 2008

AUP 2.0 at

AUP 2.0 at

Doug Belshaw wrote:

"A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post entitled Towards a Forward-Thinking Acceptable Use Policy for Mobile Devices. To avoid repeating myself, a lot of what I’m going to say here builds upon that post. As a result, you may want to read that first before you start here ... No-one ever works in a vacuum, and I don’t think anyone in the history of the world can claim to have had a truly ‘original’ idea. At least not in terms of being the sole agent involved with the idea from scratch. With that in mind, there must have been something brewing in the edublogosphere, as the week after my post seminal blogger David Warlick posted his AUP 2.0. In it, he introduced his School AUP 2.0 wiki, a fantastic resource for anyone wanting/needing to grapple with these issues."

This post is a must-read for all teachers and administrators. Doug's thoughts and ideas, his references to the fine work of others has just about got the concept of acceptable use covered for now.

In a time of everything 2.0, there is an urgent need to plan for the ongoing education of school staff and students about the risks and the benefits of new tools and applications. Security and privacy are everyone's responsibility.

always learning

always learning: Kim Cofino wrote on her blog, a post called

"Going Full Circle"

"Eureka! I think I’ve got it! Thanks to all of your fantastic feedback on my previous posts, I realized that the Collaboration Continuum I started this weekend isn’t really a continuum at all - it’s a cycle:"

She has created a very useful graphic to outline the concept and detailed some of her thoughts too.

"...To me, the cycle idea makes much more sense than a continuum. For starters, I really didn’t like the idea that teachers would feel that they should be at one end of the continuum - the pressure to “figure out” where you are on the path and how you compare to others is just too tempting (and intimidating). I also didn’t like the visual impression that it was a finite process, appearing as if once you make it to the mentoring stage you’re done."

Could you use this with teachers in your school? Respond to Kim's post.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Plug into Generation IM |

Plug into Generation IM |

David Rapp wrote:
For the generation that grew up with the internet, social-networking and IM-ing are second nature. Now educators must learn the language.

"It should come as no surprise to school administrators that many of those users are their own tech-savvy students. Every single day kids post huge quantities of information—blog entries, comments, photos, music, their likes and dislikes— to their interconnected networks of online friends through computers, cell phones, and BlackBerrys. As is common with technology at the forefront of popular culture, kids were among the first to discover these networks and understand how to use them for their own socializing. It is an integral part of their daily lives. Quite simply, they get it. Now it’s time for educators to get it, too, and to start to use these same social-networking principles in the classroom."

This brief article looks at some kids social networking possibilities and projects, Imbee, Webkinz, ClubPenguin, Moodle and iCue.

Where are the teachers in your school placed in terms of their understanding and practical use of these tools and/or their associated concepts?

Are teachers and students blocked to this sites because of web filter policies?

Monday, 4 August 2008

Using twitter, sms, word clouds and audience response systems in my workshop ... a technology too far? []

Using twitter, sms, word clouds and audience response systems in my workshop ... a technology too far? []:

Andy Ramsden wrote on his blog, Monday 4 August 2008:

"I tried using Twitter, SMS, Word Clouds and Audience Response Systems in my last presentation. I suppose the first question must be, why use so many technologies? A previous comment on this blog asked if there was any evidence of people using Twitter within their large group teaching. This post describes a use by me in a recent session that I ran, and gives feedback on some lessons learnt."

This is an interesting post and the slideshow saved on Slideshare is worth a look too.

The concepts are valuable for school learning 2.0 and professional learning - enterprise 2.0.

This post helps us assess the potential of these interactive, mlearning tools.

Just Blogging Around: Bell-Bounded Learning

Just Blogging Around: Bell-Bounded Learning:

John Peters wrote on his blog:

"Bell-Bounded Learning - Learning which takes place within the limits of a class period or a school day. Learning stops when students leave the confines of the classroom and they are no longer in an educational enviornment.

The definition of Bell-Bounded Learning above is one that I made up. Why? Because although I have diligently searched, I could find no other definition.

I first heard the term Bell-Bounded Learning at Edubloggercon 'Live in San Antonio' at NECC 2008. I was attending a session called:

If the Leaders Don't Get It, It's Not Going To Happen - How can we best help school principals and superintendents move schools into the 21st century? What are their special needs and concerns? What are ways we should not approach training for these folks?"

John, has referenced a number of A List edubloggers in his worthy post.

Who was it that first posted: "If the Leaders Don't Get It, It's Not Going To Happen"?

This is a theme that rarely leaves my mind ... more to follow.

Smart Technologies whiteboard software now requires product keys for installation � Moving at the Speed of Creativity

Smart Technologies whiteboard software now requires product keys for installation � Moving at the Speed of Creativity:

I wrote this comment on Wesley Fryer's blog:

"In discussing this tool, the hardware in the first instance, it is wise to use the term IWB. All other terms are proprietary.

This tool will be useful if teachers understand and implement quality teaching practice. Without structured and sustained TPL it could just be a costly chalkboard.

As far as the various proprietary software goes, in my state NSW our education department has very skilfully negotiated contracts that have procured IWBs independent of the proprietary software.

Intelligent planning, I believe."

I will follow the many discussions around IWB across the world with links I have collected at

Saturday, 2 August 2008

Learning in the ‘hallways’ of Twitter | More than just knowing stuff!

Learning in the ‘hallways’ of Twitter

Helen Otway wrote on her "More than just knowing stuff!:" blog:

"Dare I admit this in my blog? I think I am addicted to Twitter!

A day doesn’t go by without checking my Twitter updates. I haven’t quite put my finger on why it is so addictive. What possesses me to log on each morning to see what are people are doing, reading, saying or thinking? And why do I feel compelled to answer in 140 characters or less the question - What are you doing? Do people really care?"

She gets her inspiration from the Steve Hargadon paper "10 Trends" to make some observations about Twitter. Helen also references the work of another talented Aussie blogger, Jess McCulloch.

I commented on her Helen's blog post with some thoughts and experiences of my own.

~I like your observations connected to the Hargadon trends. I also wonder why Twitter is so compelling.

I signed up last year and resisted until about four weeks ago.

I only started using Twitter because of BeTwittered where it is on my igoogle page and that is fantastic! Also, I love the sleekness of TweetDeck.

So, I finally found it was easy to do and not just another tool to try to remember to use.

I like responding to tweets from hours ago and thanking people I have never met for the many professional learning opportunities I can so easily access.

The web meetings I have participated in have added a whole new dimension to my learning.~

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Great VoiceThread resources � Moving at the Speed of Creativity

Great VoiceThread resources � Moving at the Speed of Creativity:

Wes Fryer post 28 July 2008.

"Great VoiceThread resources: I thoroughly enjoyed listening to the Teachers Teaching Teachers webcast “Revisiting VoiceThread” from July 23rd today on my commute to and from work. Among the nuggets of good advice shared in the session about helping students effectively use VoiceThread were the following basic but powerful recommendations:"

Wes relates the 3 recommendations and as usual acknowledges the work of other great bloggers' writings on the topic and EdTechTalk.

I have only ever made comments on other peoples work. But, if I were in a school or classroom VoiceThread would be one of the first tools I would promote for use.

Monday, 28 July 2008


Twitter: Robyn Jay wrote about checking out:

"transferring content across from YouTube is indeed easy. Click on upload video and grab YouTube video link appears."

This is a must try, if it solves the "blocked" problem and allows educators access to this great resource during their work day.

Sunday, 27 July 2008

All teachers are learners - All learners are teachers

All teachers are learners - All learners are teachers:

Lauren O'Grady's blog is well worth following, her posts are pithy, powerful and practical reflections of a talented educator in the field.

Her post: We need to move beyond elearning and eteaching and we need to do it NOW!

She writes: "... We need to stop creating buzzwords such as elearning and eteaching as they are no longer relevant in our schools. Computers and technology have been around long enough. We need to move beyond this speciality paradigm and move into powerful learning and teaching."

She relates student comments about powerful teaching, that include, these observations:

"They wrote about the use of images, multimedia, web and how they can get answers but do not know how to distill or make sense of this information overload. There was also a huge push for content creation instead of passive dictation and exercises. "

In conclusion, she states:

"We offer all these buzzwords and terms which allow us to drift from our main purpose in schools which is to teach, scaffold, facilitate and reflect to ensure powerful learning."

Lauren's post provides us with another valuable opportunity to reflect on our purpose and practice as teachers and learners.

Saturday, 26 July 2008

How can our school set up a team blog for teachers? � Moving at the Speed of Creativity

How can our school set up a team blog for teachers?

Wesley Fryer wrote, on 25 July 2008 on his blog, Moving at the Speed of Creativity:

How can our school set up a team blog for teachers?
posted in blogs, web 2.0 |

"I received a question via email from Tammy Parks in Howe, Oklahoma, recently, who just returned from BLC08 eager to setup a team blog for teachers at her school. Her question is:

Our district would like to set-up a teacher blog site for each teacher to post a daily classroom summary. Initially, we would like for the blogs to be accessed by the admin and teachers only - not available to the public. What is the best way to approach this?

Here are several options I’d recommend, in prioritized order. Any of these can work, but they each have different drawbacks and benefits. This is a great question and could easily be a full-day workshop in its own right! I’ll try to summarize here but also point out some of the important considerations to keep in mind with each option."

Wesley includes three options and as usual provides a very comprehensive overview of the possibilities. He also links to posts of other edubloggers who have provided insights into the opportunities for teacher professional learning through blogging.

For teachers, I would recommend Blogger mainly because it links with all the other wonderful google apps.In fact, google has released a suite of tools for educators that offers an integrated platform for a range of learning purposes.

Ning, a social networking application is also an exciting option for professional learning.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Missing Connections | ICT in my Classroom

Missing Connections | ICT in my Classroom:

Tom Barrett wrote: "Many Twitter users have woken up this morning to find that their followers/following lists are a bit wonky. I noticed yesterday afternoon that I was approximately 300 people short of what I thought it should be. My first reaction was to dismiss it as a silly little problem, it is just a number, it will probably get sorted - I shouldn’t worry about. Mulling over it for the rest of the evening I realised that in fact it was a big problem and that it was truly bugging me."

Yes, I too wondered what had happened. Did I do something wrong? Nope, it was the Twitter service. Not the Fail Whale, but worse, a lost data base!

Have we survived, yes, but I am a different person, now.
I understand that ...!

Thursday, 24 July 2008

Stoooopid .... why the Google generation isn’t as smart as it thinks - Times Online

Stoooopid .... why the Google generation isn’t as smart as it thinks - Times Online:

Bryan Appleyard wrote:

"On Wednesday I received 72 e-mails, not counting junk, and only two text messages. It was a quiet day but, then again, I’m not including the telephone calls. I’m also not including the deafening and pointless announcements on a train journey to Wakefield – use a screen, jerks – the piercingly loud telephone conversations of unsocialised adults and the screaming of untamed brats. And, come to think of it, why not include the junk e-mails? They also interrupt. There were 38. Oh and I’d better throw in the 400-odd news alerts that I receive from all the websites I monitor via my iPhone."

This is a topic that has been tossed around over the last month or so. Whether it's about Twitter making us lazy (see previous), google making us stupid or references to addictions, viral apps and various other scary sounding, infectious learning 2.0 tools, the thread is similar.

Are we suffering? How? What to do about it, if anything?

Read the book - Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age by Maggie Jackson.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Around the Corner - : Block YouTube and Block Science

Around the Corner - : Block YouTube and Block Science:

Miguel Guhlin wrote:
"If you block YouTube, are you blocking science?

Here's another great use of the web. Scientists from Nottingham University have created videos for each element of the periodic table. Each video contains information about the element, as well as an experiment. The videos can be accessed on the Periodic Table of Videos channel on YouTube. These videos are another example of the ways Web 2.0 technology can engage students in a way thatis only now beginning to be fully exploited.

Will School Boards ever consider discussing YouTube, and advocating for student/teacher education rather than just blocking it in schools? Should they have posted these videos in Edublogs.Tv or TeacherTube or Schooltube rather than...YouTube?"

This is a very important topic and it is this second paragraph that is worth particular attention.

Question 1: Education v blocking, we should be doing both. Many education systems are opting for the short term, expedient, technical "block" solution to manage risk to avoid liability. Education is the way to go if we want to be serious about digital citizenship.

Question 2: The answer here, is yes. Why not put them where educators and school students can access them with ease.

Much more understanding about web filter systems (rationale, purpose, role) amongst educators and those who seek to serve the education community is needed.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Angela Maiers Educational Services: Reflections of Paradise-Honolulu Literacy Institute

Angela Maiers Educational Services:

Reflections of Paradise-Honolulu Literacy Institute:

Angela Maiers writes: "I will be sharing more about these tools and strategies in upcoming posts, but here are a few things to try out to get your learning juices flowing:

Wordle, BigUniverse, 3-2-1- Big Idea Assessment, Dipity, Animoto, Slideshare, GoogleLitTrip, CogDog-Digital Storytelling Resource

Angela's blog is a must-read for teachers. Check out these important applications and web sites by following the links from the blog.

Youth marketing agency, youth marketing experts

Youth marketing agency, youth marketing experts

Extract from Ypulse daily marketing update:

Emerging Teen Technology

Bill Carter, from Fuse Marketing (anchor sponsor for the event), presented results from a survey they did of senior technology executives from companies such as Sony, MTV Networks, Yahoo, and Nokia to find out what's next for teens. They heard that content is what's most important, and that technology should never be use for its own sake without something real to say. The tone of the content is the next most important aspect, and then comes how technology is used to disseminate the content or message. Only half of the brands that are using technology as a platform are backing it up with a real message. Before a company decides to use technology, they need to ask why they want a mobile campaign (side note: I just saw a website banner for a Listerine promo offering a free music download - what a random way to draw in potential users of mouthwash!)."

Also: about handheld devices, geo-targeting will go mobile, connecting to friends ...

This daily free enewsletter, is a must read for those interested in tween and teen culture.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

Digital Education Revolution: School Development Day - Teacher Professional Learning � Darcy’s Blog

Digital Education Revolution: School Development Day - Teacher Professional Learning � Darcy’s Blog:

Darcy Moore wrote:
"Increasingly students must take responsibility for their own learning and the teacher becomes more of a facilitator, creating the conditions that allow individuals to progress at their own pace. Self-directed and independent learning will become the norm and the teacher will have more freedom to be the ‘guide on the side’ rather than the ‘sage’ at the front of the room. This will not happen overnight in some classrooms but we will need to adjust our teaching and educational programs as more technology floods into schools.

I like this theme the NSW Teachers Federation has put forward at the recent conference. We have a responsibility to update our professional skills with the appropriate support from our employer. Schools infrastructure needs to be upgraded and appropriate support structures, like technicians, need developing. We need to organise ourselves so that we all can seek TPL that is appropriate to our personal needs and DHS is endeavouring to do this."

An interesting blog and post by a NSW school leader. There need to be more like this.

Reflecting on my DIY Holiday Learning 2.0. Part 1-The Beginning

I took up my login of last year, and finally started on Twitter. I will never be the same again.

Since then I have tweeted many times. I need to find that piece of data.
I follow 182 and am being followed by 75. Sounds a little scary doesn't it?
I am very taken by this micro-blogging, UGC as a PLE with a ready-made and dynamic PLN.

In these always-on, anyone 2.0 'spheres, 'spaces and 'verses, you can be constantly tweeting with learning professionals, of your choosing across the world !

I must say I never thought I'd talk about "tweeting". The combination and variations of "bird words" make for fun!

Prior to learning about the Google gadget BeTwittered and TweetDeck at around the same time, I could not imagine what could be gained for MY learning by being on Twitter.

Part 2-Setting up for DYI learning in the Twittersphere.

All teachers are learners - All learners are teachers

All teachers are learners - All learners are teachers:

Lauren O'Grady writes: "The last two weeks I have felt like I have not stopped, been at conference after conference. The learning has been amazing. I have met some of my geek heroes and shared drinks and great conversation with them, most of all I learnt heaps and was stimulated to learn more. This was all done via technology, I met these people face to face for the first time over the last fortnight but felt like I knew quite a bit already through my e-network. My enetwork is my online personal learning network. The people in my enetwork are found via blogs, twitter, secondlife and various other networking sites. These applications are making me more human not less, I am out meeting and having some of the most powerful conversations in my life thanks to these networks."

Her questions to her enetwork are worth exploring:

Where can we take these conversations?
How can we collaborate?
How can we further connect to ensure future learning?

The big "Cs" of learning 2.0! Are the kids all right? Depends on whom you ask Are the kids all right? Depends on whom you ask:
"Are the kids all right? Depends on whom you ask

July 19, 2008

How the Digital Age Stupefies Young Americans and Jeopardizes Our Future [Or,
Don't Trust Anyone Under 30]
By Mark Bauerlein
Tarcher/Penguin, 264 pages, $27.50

Tapscott writes: "As a person who has spent the last decade or so observing how young people, including my own children, interact with digital technology, I was eager to read Mark Bauerlein's The Dumbest Generation. In this book, he charges that the young today are dumber than any previous generation. They've been so dulled by their immersion in digital technology, he argues, that 'they're drowning in their own ignorance and a-literacy.' These are serious charges against the first generation in history that has grown up"

His question: "Could it be true? Are they stupider than we were at their age?"

Another very topical and often contentious, polarising debate around the world. Must buy this book.

Generation YES Blog

Generation YES Blog

Sylvia Martinez writes in her post; Twitter as a metaphor for learning: "In my experience, Twitter is a nice place to hang out with people. Sort of like Second Life without bumping into things. A lot like a lunch room. Twitter is simple to use and gives you 140 characters to say something, anything. You see everything your “friends” say, and you can choose your friends based on any criteria you like. So loose groups of people tend to form who have similar interests.

On Twitter, the flow of tidbits is fast and completely random. Depending on when you show up, you hear about mundane details of people’s lives, work highlights, baseball color commentary, requests for help, and more than a few musings on educational technology. Not surprisingly, when you get a bunch of people who live, work and sometimes breathe education and technology, the conversation trends that way."

There is a lot of conversation in the 'spheres about learning 2.o applications. Sylvia's final observations and questions, need to be considered.

She writes: "Educators who create climates of possibility in a classroom sometimes make it look easy, but it’s far more tricky than it looks to guide groups of students in goal-oriented, academic tasks while still allowing them to drive their own learning. I talk to teachers all the time who have been tweaking project assignments for years, subtly changing minor details of timing, instruction, environment and tools to increase the level of student agency while also increasing the quality of student work. It’s difficult, painstaking, rewarding work.

What might Twitter teach us about creating these learning environments?"

Over to everyone 2.0 ...

Thursday, 17 July 2008

Weblogg-ed � What I Hate About Twitter

Weblogg-ed � What I Hate About Twitter

Will Richardson wrote:

I’ve liked Twitter since I first started playing with it last year, but there are some things that are really starting to annoy me about these 140-character “conversations” that we’re carrying on there,...

Whether it’s some people getting a little snippy from time to time and then other people making a way-too-huge-a-deal about it, or whether it’s two very smart people like Gary and Sheryl blowing out a Tweet-a-minute micro debate ..., or whether it’s people trying to live Tweet hour-long presentations that turn into like 347 updates, I’m finding anything that hints of substance just too scattered, too disjointed to read, even with the wonders of Tweetdeck. It’s like trying to eavesdrop on the conversation of a bunch of people ... Frustrating.

Very interesting post. I've been doing Twitter with TweetDeck for a week. I love it to death already. What does that say about MY personality?

Scott McLeod has written a response too: Blogging, tweeting, and the uncovering of personality.

Both posts are vital to the debate about learning with this tool.

I hope to write more myself, if I can drag myself away from the Deck and am not too lazy to go beyond 140 characters.

One final point point, I am fascinated by the use of numbers in the 'spheres. I'll leave that for another post.

Mr Barrett I have got glue on my laptop… | ICT in my Classroom

Mr Barrett I have got glue on my laptop… | ICT in my Classroom:
Tom Barrett wrote on his blog:

"Although I may have led you to think that everything in the image is stuck to the laptop, I have to disappoint you! However I really like this image of my classroom because of just that sort of possibility. I want a learning environment for my class that blends the best tools for what we are doing - a blended tools approach. Whether that be a laptop and access to an online application, a headphone mic set or a gluestick. This is a natural picture of my classroom, it is not what you would see everyday, but the children think of the technology as just another tool. Long may the risk of glue on the laptops continue!

What does this image say to you?
What sort of challenges do we face as educators in creating an environment that blends the best technology tools for learning and what is considered more traditional?"

Great post, perfect graphic, short but powerful! Fit for purpose, is the key!
I print good blog posts to read on the train.
To be effective learners and teachers, we must blend the old with the new and newer and the not yet well formulated and so on ...
I want my grandchildren to colour in with beautiful Derwent colours like I did and then be next minute creating something on the computer.

It's all about learning!

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Filters | Cathy Nelson's Professional Thoughts

Filters | Cathy Nelson's Professional Thoughts:

"Much discussion of late in my network circles center on filters at school. Concerns range from students’ abilities to circumvent them to them being too tight, blocking more than just inappropriate material. While in my recent years I’ve felt when filtered content was blocked, I’ve had an appropriate method to request an opening or unblocking of content, based on these recent conversations, I feel that is not the case for many."

Cathy Nelson at her TechnoTuesday blog has set up a survey for teacher librarians about web filtering. Check out the results and read all her posts tagged " filters".

Monday, 14 July 2008

Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day: Jane's Pick of the Week

Jane's E-Learning Pick of the Day: Jane's Pick of the Week:

"Jane's Pick of the Week is a new feature that will provide a weekly list of additional hand-picked tools, resources and news items from around the Web"

Jane's whole web site is well worth keeping up with. If you haven't yet submitted your Top 10 Tools for Learning, then why not do so.

So much to use here for teacher professional learning.

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Weekly Wrapup, 7-11 July 2008 - ReadWriteWeb

Weekly Wrapup, 7-11 July 2008 - ReadWriteWeb:

"It's time to review the week that was on ReadWriteWeb. It was a very busy week on the product side, and not surprisingly it was dominated by the release of Apple's 3G iPhone and the accompanying App Store. Also this week Google launched a virtual world, Yahoo opened up its index and search engine to outside developers, and there was a (unconfirmed) rumor that Twitter had bought Summize. On the trends side: we analyzed the problem of spam in social networks, and investigated why 'old school' bloggers dominate in new apps like FriendFeed and Twitter."

This is a very informative email newsletter. Sometimes a little too techy, but this one covers some pretty significant events and issues.

I hope Google gets Lively for Macs going soon!

I better look for those "old school" bloggers ...

SlideShare >> My Slidespace (SlideShare is the best place to share powerpoint presentations)

SlideShare >> My Slidespace (SlideShare is the best place to share powerpoint presentations)

This is My Slidespace. I have 7 presentations. Three are learning related, two are of Australian plants in my garden and one is a set of slides about our trip to Japan.

I also have lots of topic groups, several that I started and many others of interest that I post to.

Slideshare is the best. I have google reader set up with a web 2.0 search to capture relevant shows in all languages.

It is fabulous fun very day!

Saturday, 12 July 2008

A NECC to learn from - Teach42

A NECC to learn from - Teach42:

Steve Dembo wrote on his blog:
"The good stuff was easy. Much more challenging to document the stuff I think we need to learn from. Before I go any farther, let me just say that these are my own personal observations and thoughts. While I may sound critical of some people or behaviors, I don’t begrudge anybody because I don’t think anyone I refer to here had any sort of bad intentions and to be honest, I do understand why many of these things occurred. I’m not saying that I have any solutions, but I think discussing the problems (whether real or just perceived) is important."

This is one of many post NECC 2008 blogs. Reflecting and learning, I say. I have found the posts fascinating, enjoyable and flagging great opportunities.

ALEA08 - IWB And Literacy Presentation | Teaching Generation Z

ALEA08 - IWB And Literacy Presentation | Teaching Generation Z:

Graham Wegner wrote: "The Interactive Whiteboard has emerged as a popular tool in classrooms all around Australia enabling the use of digital resources for student learning. This powerful technology allows the teacher to use multimedia, the internet and literacy-based software as part of their literacy program in new and innovative ways. This workshop will showcase some of the ways an experienced classroom teacher has used the IWB in his classroom over the last three years and how his practice has changed along the way."

Go the Aussies!
Time to do a little more showcasing of Aussie A Listers!

The Innovation Unit - What's Next? 21 Ideas for 21st Century Learning

The Innovation Unit - What's Next? 21 Ideas for 21st Century Learning

Charles Leadbeater was invited to visit and observe schools in The Innovation Unit's Next Practice in Education programme. The result is a fascinating glimpse of how the most innovative of our schools are developing new and successful approaches to adjust to the conditions of the 21st century.

Leadbeater asks how can we build on the most radical innovations in today's schools to create a new approach to learning fit for the century to come?

He argues that the current approach to educational reform is running out of steam. Improvements in results have reached a plateau. Educational inequality remains stubbornly high. But some ‘next practices' in innovative schools indicate a fresh approach which energises learners and teachers alike.

What's Next? makes 21 recommendations to create an approach centred on children learning with, as well as from, teachers at schools that would feel smaller and offer more personalised learning. But just as important, Leadbeater sees relationships for learning embracing the family, workplace and community as well as the school as centres for learning

Friday, 11 July 2008

Education Network Australia -

Education Network Australia -

For Aussie educators this is the best!

A fabulous site full of valuable information and tools for student and teacher learning.

WAT_NECC - List | Diigo

WAT_NECC - List | Diigo
We are Teachers - NECC follow-up by John Costilla.

Diigo is a wonderful tool! WebSlides, save, share, print. It has is all.

I still love my and google shared.

O! to be sooo spoilt for choice.

Google Reader (57)

Google Reader (57)
My first "blog it". How will it appear?

My starred items.
These I save, to savour at my leisure. Posts, slideshows for me the best of the best.

Top 20 still to read.

It is all soooo convenient!

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Back to blog!

After, 3 months down time, settling in to a new workspace, I have set a goal to blog at least once or twice a week.

I have continued my learning 2.0 research and the avalanche of new apps and tools is phenomenal. I have mostly stuck with those mentioned in posts below. The new tools I use are:
  • diigo especially the groups
  • Twitter through google reader and TweetDeck
  • friendfeed and
  • second brain

All the new tools I read about I post to google shared.

I have found Twitter fascinating and can follow many of the A List edubloggers I have identified over the last year.

In my next posts, I intend to:

  • write about leadership of learning 2.0 in schools
  • summer conference in the northern hemisphere, notably NECC 2008
  • my stats. using google trends and slideshare

Monday, 10 March 2008

Teaching for student learning 2.0

To provide opportunities for learning using web 2.0 social elearning tools, try these applications and then launch them to promote learning 2.0 and transition to classroom 2.0. That's right, now we have the potential of everything 2.0!

My inspiration for this post is based on the work of Judy O'Connell. Visit her blog, it's been highly awarded at:

As a result of my learning 2.0 journey, I make the following pathways for teachers aiming for learning 2.0 classrooms.

Set up an igoogle page
This will provide your learning 2.0 platform.

Use google tools - they just keep on coming! - Google Docs & Spreadsheets - Create, store and share documents and spreadsheets on the web. This function is BLOCKED by DET. Maybe, it's time for us to register concern?

Book mark and share resources at: - research with the world.

Create and share ppt slideshows - upload, tag and share presentations with the world. Create groups and make comments.

Create a wiki
Wikispaces Wiki - Sign-up for an advertisement free wiki for education. Post references, content, assignments, manage group projects and much more.
Consider also: Wetpaint Wiki

Set up a blog
Why not set up a blog at http: This is another google product, improving all the time!
Consider also: or here

Share photos - free image hosting site, where you can share and embed your images into your blogs and wikis. Yahoo owns this provider. Look at FlickrCC - for Creative Commons images. Consider also: and

Want more, then follow the link to heyjude's blog and read about: - open source software - Support the OER movement.