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.