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 - MGuhlin.net : Block YouTube and Block Science

Around the Corner - MGuhlin.net : 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!

globeandmail.com: Are the kids all right? Depends on whom you ask

globeandmail.com: 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 - edna.edu.au

Education Network Australia - edna.edu.au

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 del.icio.us 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