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.