Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Time for change?

David Warlick has highlighted the Time Magazine Cover story (December 18th 2006), "How to Bring Our Schools Out of the 20th Century", in this post on his 2 Cents Worth blog.
David sees this as an "opportunity to get ... ideas out in front of people who still envision their own 1970s (or 1950s) classrooms when they think of education." Familiar story!
The cover story should stimulate much needed global conversation about the challenges facing education in the 21st century and some fresh thinking .

David's apprehension, "I’m still a bit afraid that the wrong people will be empowered to affect change — rather than empowering educators to reinvent education," is shared by many educators. Recent examples where educators have been frozen out of forums discussing curriculum change, sidelined by politicians and, at best, afforded token representation make these fears real.

David's well considered reactions to the Time Magazine cover story deserve wide exposure. Take up his suggestion and promote this Cover Story via blogs and other mediums.
A new report about to be released, 'New Commission on the Skills of the American Workforce', should add to global debate around re-envisioning K-12 education for students to be successful in the global economy.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

2006 international Edublog Awards

Congratulations to all the fabulous edubloggers nominated in the various categories for the 2006 international Edublog Awards. Voting closes on Saturday 16th December 2006.

Social Networking Fears

Graham Wegner has posted about Social Networking Fears Via The Media on his 'Teaching Generation Z' blog. I tried to add my comment but was rejected, even though I was logged in as SouthOz. So here's my brief comment, Graham.

Hi Graham,
Getting home (very late) from yet another social engagement this week, I opened my copy of The Independent Weekly, of which I am a subscriber, to see your photo and read the article, “Web technology leaves SA schools behind”. Quite a contrast to see the views of fellow 'netblazers' in print during a week of heavy reporting in the local Advertiser on the negatives of social networking. And as Bill points out, such editorials and the like are sure to 'escalate into the future'.

You say 'Unless, (teachers) willingly go online and explore the web and become familiar with the students’ tools of choice … then how are they to teach strategies and offer advice to their students?
I agree. This is a role that needs to be embraced by educators in the 21st century . 'One size fits all' central filtering, blocking access to anything resembling read/write web for educators and students, including teens and young adults, limits these opportunities.

PS I've added my response to your poll on 'Teaching Generation Z'. Should be interesting!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Demo: SouthOz geotagged Flickr photos

Demo of SouthOz geotagged Flickr photos using Splashr tool (new window).

Test Flash Online Jigsaw Puzzle

Test: Flash Online Jigsaw Puzzle - create your own online jigsaw puzzle on FlashPuzzleZone.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Many masks make a work of art

Check out Al Upton’s miniLegends (Year 3 and 4 students) 'meerkats' blog to view their masks. The miniLegends have uploaded their masks to create an imaginative collage effect or "really exciting new art work."
Al's basic mask model, to which I've added a message of support, has blossomed into a colourful work of art for all to see and share their learning.

Monday, November 13, 2006

2006 Edubloggers Awards

Josie Fraser (convenor of the 3rd annual Edublogger Awards) provides more details about these awards, nominated and voted upon, by the edublogger community.
Josie highlights the opportunities that the awards present to promote valuable contributions and "excellence in the educational use of social software" and to re-focus attention on the positive as a counter to the increasingly restrictive and alarmist trends eg. DOPA.

The recent K-12 Online Conference was an awesome event and organizers, keynotes and presenters are sure to be well represented in the nominations.
Nominate now! There are 10 categories overall and edubloggers can make a maximum of two nominations per category. Nominations close on Nov 30th and voting takes place in early-mid December.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

K12 Online Conference

The 2006 K12 Online Conference, highlighted by edubloggers during the past month or so, is still happening. This conference assembles an amazing group of talented, inspiring individuals sharing insights and resources, utilising Web2.0 tools to further collaboration and conversation in the connected world.
If you haven't discovered this fabulous conference yet, the Conference blog has updates from each presenter with links to podcasts, wikis etc. Use the image links to the podcast feeds for each of the 2 weeks. Subscribe to the two media feeds (weeks 1 and 2) using your i-Tunes or other aggregator. Follow the links from the conference blog.
A quick overview of the Conference agenda could also be useful.

I would like to highlight in particular Graham Wegner's, "No teacher left behind: the Urgency of Web2.0" podcast and wiki. Graham is joined by a host of noted edubloggers including Mark Ahlness, Rachel Jeffares, Greg Carroll, Jedd Bartlett, Judy O'Connell, Doug Noon, Jo McLeay, Al Upton and many others in sharing their vision and experiences, nurturing student learning in a Web2.0 world, bringing colleagues on board, overcoming obstacles, highlighting issues such as IP, copyright, filtering, leadership, technology and time barriers, and providing a glimpse of the future.
Spread the word and join in! As Graham suggests, 'Get one person started,' provide a copy of the excellent, collaborative resource, 'The Coming Of Age' (available to download and in audio format) to colleagues, join or offer PD sessions, encourage others, comment on blogs, act on opportunities and continue to develop your own professional development.

Like Judy, I'm a 'Web2.0 evangelist,' taking any opportunity to present at workshops and conferences, encourage collaboration, share resources and develop professionally.
It will be interesting to re-visit the questions asked by Graham during the next K12 Online Conference.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

It's all happening!

I'm in the Harbour City (Sydney) this week and fly back to Adelaide, South Australia tomorrow.
I've snatched some (limited) time in my hotel room to check my social bookmarks and aggregator and keep abreast of happenings on the fabulous K12 Online Conference. And now there's a podcast feed. Much appreciated!
I've been spreading the word about the K12 Online Conference and Web2.0 here in Sydney and look forward to getting back home and getting into it.
The agenda is awesome!

Thursday, October 19, 2006


edna Groups has had a facelift after an upgrade to Moodle v1.6.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Tipping Point?

Graham Wegner has posted this creative image, based on his current reading of Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Tipping Point,” in this post, "Web 2.0 Tipping Point For Education." Graham asks, "Is the tipping point for widespread recognition of web2 technologies in education far off ...? John Connell has provided some contextual (and edgy?) help in the true spirit of Web2.0 on his blog.
I am experimenting with a new poll widget from PollDaddy based on the idea of the Tipping Point. You can customise your poll, embed the widget in a website or blog and keep track of results via RSS.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Web2.0 showcase

Graham and Mike have already posted their reflections on the Web2.0 showcase which highlighted use of social software: "Web2.0 All you wanted to know but were too afraid to ask!" It covered blogs, social bookmarking, wikis, personal start pages, mashups and other social software and Deanne capped it off with her presentation on the new literacies.
View Mike's photos on Flickr.
Thanks to Mike, Graham, Al, Deanne, Karen, Enver and the rest of the team for a collaborative effort in sharing ideas, expertise and enthusiasm.
I have to agree with Graham that it was a challenge to do justice to the big audience (linked in via CENTRA) beyond the F2F group in the Discovery Centre. However, comments from the (CENTRA) text chat reveal that many folk appreciated the ability to connect from afar and not so far! Hopefully the next event will include some presenters from those who joined us online.
Mike's recording of his section was savvy and a good option to consider for future activities.
I will have to use Web2.0 tools myself to connect with folk attending a range of upcoming conferences which I am unable to attend (ACEC in Cairns, Sydney Moodle Conference and the Global Summit in Sydney) .

Friday, September 08, 2006

Rapid Bay Jetty lives on!

Good news! Here's an update on the ailing Rapid Bay Jetty in South Australia, home to SA's beautiful marine emblem, the Leafy Sea Dragon.

The state government announced today that $3.9m in funding will be provided to build a new, safer jetty, 260 m in length. This will be built parallel to the old wooden jetty and will provide access and amenity for recreational fishers, divers, locals and tourists.

The 'T-section' on the end of the old jetty will be maintained to provide shelter and protection to the fragile marine environment underneath. This area is one of the premier dive sites in Australia. It will become part of the proposed Encounter Marine Park.

The Media Release states that "the new jetty will be a concrete and steel structure to reduce the high maintenance costs of the current wooden structure."
The funding announcement is good news to many groups, including the Friends of Rapid Bay Jetty, divers, recreational fishers, environmental groups, local business and the Yankalilla District Council.

Read more in The Advertiser or visit the Friends of Rapid Bay Jetty website.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

"Unleashing the potential" K-12 Online 06 Conference

Will Richardson's Weblogg-ed blog promotes the upcoming "Unleashing the potential" K-12 Online 2006 Conference" convention for teachers, administrators and educators ... interested in the use of Web 2.0 tools in classrooms and professional practice.

The event is being coordinated by Darren Kuropatwa, Sheryl Nusbaum-Beach and Will Richardson. Add Anne Davis, Ewan McIntosh and Bud Hunt into the mix so far. The coordinators, convenors and keynotes assembled to date promise for an exciting, not-to-be-missed online event.

Four strands are on offer over the 2 weeks with presentations made available and archived on the event blog in podcast or screencast formats.
Week 1
Strand A: A Week In The Classroom (practical pedagogical uses of online social tools (Web 2.0) and Strand B: Basic/Advanced Training.
Week 2
Strand A: Personal Professional Development
and Strand B: Overcoming Obstacles.

Visit Weblogg-ed for more detailed information and to keep up to date with program developments.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

More about the Web2.0 showcase

South Australian educators have an opportunity to participate in a free Web2.0 showcase - All you wanted to know but were too afraid to ask! on September 21st at Technology School of the Future in Adelaide. Graham Wegner has already provided some advance publicity on his blog, 'Teaching Generation Z' and I'm looking forward to co-presenting with Graham, Al Upton, Mike Seyfang and Deanne Bullen.
The showcase promises to provide "an introduction to some of the collaborative Web2.0 resources that are quick, easy ... collaborative, connected and empowering for kids and teachers" and capitalises on the interest generated by numerous presentations and workshops on this theme at the recent CEGSA Conference.
Judy O'Connell on heyjude has also been ‘showcasing’ Web 2.0 ‘All Your Own Work’ in a Web 2.0 World' at a seminar in NSW.
Judy's "aim was to encourage teachers and teacher-librarians to re-examine what it means to create a community of enquiry for themselves and for their students…by participating in new forms of information organization and sharing… social bookmarking, wiki, and blogs."
Congratulations to Judy who has just celebrated her "quarter of a year blogging" milestone and become a favourite with many edubloggers.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

DRM, copyright minefield in the Digital Age

A White Paper, just published by William W. Fisher & William McGeveran, provides a comprehensive 117 page report on the increasingly complex issues around DRM and copyright for educators in the Digital Era.
"The Digital Learning Challenge: Obstacles to Educational Uses of Copyrighted Material in the Digital Age" The paper is part of the The Berkman Center for Internet & Society Research Publication Series and has a Creative Commons License.

"Digital technology makes informative content easier to find, to access, to manipulate and remix, and to disseminate." The ability to share and connect beyond the classroom enriches learning experiences but opens up a minefield as illustrated by a large range of examples and case studies in this report.

The authors suggest that "copyright law and related structures impede the full promise of digital technology for education where instead they should be enabling creative uses of content."

All is not gloom and doom however, as the report concludes with a discussion on recent trends in attempting to overcome the obstacles and possible paths to reform.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

CEGSA Conference 2006

Just posted a selection of photos from the 2006 CEGSA Conference to Flickr.
Check out the photos on this page below the blog roll.
Photos include today's keynote speaker, Derek Wenmoth, from New Zealand.

The 2006 conference theme is "Learning, Thinking, Perceptions and Practices."

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Converting your posts to a podcast

Talkr converts your (text only) posts into a podcast. For Blogger users, first convert your feed using Feedburner then use Talkr to provide the RSS feed and the custom chicklet to allow users to easily subscribe to your 'podcast'.
After embedding and testing the chicklet and code in my blog, I subscribed via iTunes and listened to a voice reading my posts.
What potential for increasing accessibility for so little effort!
A little extra editing of the template with additional code adds an instant audio link for each post.
Talkr also enables some reporting functionality and subscriptions to other feeds in the free service.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Top 10 posts of an insightful blogger

Checked my aggregator tonight and just couldn't resist Graham's "My Top Ten Posts… For What They’re Worth!" from his 'Teaching Generation Z" blog. Graham's insightful reflections cover a range of issues including models of PD, trends in using ICT in Primary School classrooms, mobile learning, the value of IWBs, Creative Commons and "learning objects," thoughts on e-Portfolios as well as a blog he posted during a workshop (almost a year ago - how time flies!) which I had named "The Magic of RSS."
Graham's story of his own learning journey "a story I’ve wanted to tell for a while because of its relevance to the evolution of the internet" struck a chord as I harked back to my early days of connecting up via e-mail (Nexus) and online messaging, using a slow, dialup modem and searching online databases for up-to-date and interesting news and case studies to integrate into classroom activities (senior secondary).
The early web browsers, the joys of creating webpages in Netscape Communicator, before Front Page and Dreamweaver, and using ICQ and list servs to communicate and collaborate and so on ... up to the present world of the blogosphere, rss, social bookmarking, tagging, social networking, wikis, podcasting and more.
Web2.0 or the next generation of the web is the most exciting, empowering collaborative phase for teachers, students and professionals. My own professional learning has been significantly enhanced in this increasingly connected world. As Graham wrote, "technology has the power to connect people in a meaningful way and that perhaps is its highest purpose."
For those "who have the time" (a reference to one post) to read Graham's blog, check out the 10 top post gems he has personally selected from his prolific writings and add your comments.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Bite-sized on the web

Ellyssa Kroski (InfoTangle blog) highlights the trend towards microcontent and empowerment of the user, as "co-creator of their own online experiences ... (able to) dictate exactly how they prefer to consume their content" in a Web2.0 world.
Microcontent refers to structured, bite-sized chunks better suited to creative re-mixing and aggregation and personalisation which meets the needs of time-poor users in an information rich society where "attention is scarce and choices are immense."
Personal start pages, blogs, aggregators, mashups and widgets are all part of this world.
Ellysa's Sayonaro Super-Size - It's Bite-Sized on The Web" documents this bite-size trend, and its potential for transition to the Mobile Web as its "tightly targeted ... microchunked format is perfect for display on the small screen."
Some educators are beginning to explore the potential of Web2.0 in supporting personalised learning experiences and also experimenting with opportunities in the field of mobile learning.
Sayonara to Super-Size has extensive supporting links and follows another excellent earlier post by Ellysa about Community2.0.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Social software for learning (Futurelab)

The "Social software for learning" report (Martin Owen, Lyndsay Grant, Steve Sayers and Keri Facer) is now available for download from Futurelab.
"This report explores the relationship between the emergence of social software and the personalisation of education."
Excellent timing to support educators engaging in debate around social software, organisational barriers, teacher pedagogy, personalised learning etc.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Blogging Masterclass

James Farmer (incsub and edublogs) and Barbara Ganley (bgblogging) are guest presenters, via video conference, at a 'Blogging - exciting learning' Masterclass in Adelaide next week. This coincides with the e-Learning Event next week with numerous events, many via CENTRA technology, and a week long asynchronous 'e-Learning sampler' event using Moodle.
Blogging, wikis and Web2.0 in education feature in the upcoming CEGSA 2006 Conference. Graham Wegner (Teaching Generation Z) and Al Upton (Mini Legends) are two leading South Australian educators who will be running workshops at the conference, as well as a joint presentation, Blogging - 21st Century Learning Is Now!
There is growing interest in South Australia in the potential of the Read/Write Web, blogging and podcasting in particular. The masterclass, conference, e-Learning events and an upcoming Apple podcasting seminar will raise the interest even further and provide opportunities to discuss issues, share ideas, skills and strategies.
Reading James' blog tonight, he is starting his new position at 'The Age' tomorrow.
Good luck, James!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Rise of Virtual Desktop?

Exploring open source eyeOS Virtual Desktop which caught my attention on web2logo popular sites. Customisable, lots of tools and offers access to your data and a range of applications via a cool web interface. Very Web2.0.
More about eyeOS on Wikipedia.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Banning social software sites

I was alerted to this CNN news story about a US Congress proposal to ban social software sites in schools and libraries from a post on Will Richardson's Weblogg-ed.
A proposed Federal Law would "effectively require most schools and libraries to render those Web sites" such as MySpaces and other social software and interactive websites "inaccessible to minors."
It's part of the 'Deleting Online Predators Act' (DOPA) bill from a group of conservatives aiming to ramp up Internet censorship and protect children who would otherwise be "... unattended on the Internet through the course of the day" (at libraries and schools).
Will feels insulted that he is not trusted to make professional decisions about technologies in his school nor trusted "to teach my students what they need to know to be safe (online)."
It's a duty of educators and parents to provide guidance on internet safety. We expect schools to play a role in so many other life skills and experiences providing education around nutrition and obesity, budgeting, road safety, driver education etc.
The American Libraries Association (ALA) acknowledges there are legitimate uses (of social-networking sites) and supports education on safe use of the Internet and web tools, where an "informed user ... knows the risks, how to avoid them and how to keep oneself safe."
If the DOPA bill is successful, it would kill off the emerging use of Web2.0 technologies, empowering, engaging and connecting 21st century learners, with ultra restrictive filtering.
Blocking and filtering is a current hot topic with Australian and New Zealand blogger/educators.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

My 100th post and a downloadable Web2.0 resource

At last!
My 100th post to South Oz E-learning since early 2005 and news of another resource for educators exploring the potential of Web2.0.

Just discovered this free, 92 page downloadable resource on Web2.0 for educators, "Coming of Age: an introduction to the new world wide web".
Terry and a range of well known practitioners in the field of education have generously collaborated to produce an invaluable resource for educators interested in practical advice on how Web2.0 tools might be used, albeit for "small-scale experimentation" in the classroom.

Terry's resource aims to "demystify "Web 2" and terms like blogging, wikis, social bookmarking ... " and more eg podcasting, RSS feeds, photo sharing, video blogging, IM. It includes advice, case studies, 'must read' blogs, interviews, issues and other links to increasingly popular open source resources such as Elgg and Moodle.

Scan the list of contents on Terry's blog and download and explore this fabulous free resource. Share it with others.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Easy publishing and a mashup matrix

Trying out Google Page Creator tool with my experimental page (Veemur).
Another quick and easy way to publish to the web. Tools are basic but there are lots of layout templates to choose from.
An easy entry level tool with 100 Mb storage (needs a Gmail account).
Would like to see some additional functionality like my SuperGlu page and other Web2.0 tools but the storage limit is generous. Greater adoption of such tools (if not filtered out) should see more creative activity and collaboration by students and educators in the Read/Write web.

Also exploring programmableweb for mashups. Check the dashboard for the latest and most popular mashups (based on visits and user ratings). The site provides access to APIs and users are encouraged to share information and submit mashups to the pool. Includes searchable tags such as mapping, photos, news and events and a link to the mashup matrix. Subscribe to the blog, APIs or mashups to keep up to date.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Listen rather than read?

Catching up on some reading, collaboration and social bookmarking and a few blog posts over the Easter break. A good time to scan and read a few feeds and visit and edit my blogroll links.

David Warlick (regularly read his 2 Cents Worth blog feed) is providing alternatives to blogging for those who prefer to listen to his thoughts on his Connect Learning Podcasting on the fly. He has been very busy lately blogging and podcasting several conferences. David is selecting several blog postings each week, recording them as a podcast and posting them to his Connect Learning blog for those who would prefer to listen rather than read.
Recent episodes feature thoughts on games, teacher blogging and interviews with various conference attendees. Audio adds a raw dimension and a variety of voices and messages as I multitask!
Podcasts are proving increasingly popular for teacher professional development. Reasons include improving bandwidth and access, easy to use tools (to subscribe and download), portable devices (or laptops), busy teachers and leaders looking for flexibility and increasing choices of stimulating materials with opportunities for collaboration and review. One of my favourite online collaborative community sites is Learning Times.

Trends | Library2.0, Web2.0?

I discovered this Talis white paper, "Library 2.0 The challenge of disruptive innovation" authored by Dr. Paul Miller (v. 1 Feb 2006) while researching Library2.0.
For those interested in Web2.0 (or Library2.0), whether it's in connection with Libraries, businesses, educational institutions or just personal interest in the growing phenomenon of Web2.0 and current and future trends, challenges and opportunities, this paper makes for interesting reading.
It contains many links, some of special interest to librarians, including a link to a prototype application and conference presentations.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Online social networking tools for communities

Mark Berthelemy has posted this paper, part of his Master of Education course in e-learning, to his ELGG site.
The paper, "Using online social networking tools to support the continuing professional development of teachers" presents research in support of learning which occurs in a community of practice where learners are able to contribute to their own learning rather than a 'top down' approach. Learners can choose to connect with others in a group (friends of friends - FOAF). Connection and interaction is facilitated by use of emerging technologies.

The growth of Web2.0 has spawned ever increasing numbers of social software tools with social bookmarking, blogging, clever use of tagging and RSS feeds connecting people . Files eg photos can be shared easily and reflection and rich discussion can occur at any time and almost anywhere. Web2.0 has provided a flexible dimension in developing and supporting communities of practice, particularly with individuals in disparate locations.

A "shared context or common language" enables members to connect with "people and ideas" through a "shared repository" ... "using a common taxonomy." Elgg is an open source example, which I have experimented with, which supports trusted community building. There are others, commercial and open-source, mentioned in the paper. He provides a useful matrix of online tools and evaluates their role in supporting the learner and communities of practice in three identified dimensions, structural, relational and cognitive.

Tools include IM, forums (eg Moodle, Sharepoint), e-mail newsgroups, blogs (including WordPress, Blogger and Elgg with tags and RSS feeds) and social networking tools (including, furl, Elgg).

Blogs are highlighted as "enabling learners to ... reflect on their learning"... and "become part of a reflective community".Berthelemy concludes that careful choice of tools supports the structural and cognitive dimensions but the relational dimension requires nurturing support "by people demonstrating how the community will work."
This paper provides the contextual information around the DfES National Strategies, detailed analysis of the dimensions and an extensive bibliograph

Friday, April 14, 2006

Discovering Web2.0

Web2.0 is a hot blog topic according to a search on the tag, 'Web2.0' on Technorati.
The number of posts about 'Web2.0' using Technorati search in the last 30 days (to April 13th) ranges from 2,388 posts using the "with a lot of authority" filter to a massive 54,673 posts filtered by "any authority."

Two websites facilitating the growth of (access to and understanding about) Web2.0 tools and services are Web2.0 List which boasts 1391 members, including me, since the 29th March 2006 and Web2logo (see below).
PRWebReleases is promoting another amazing website in this posting,
"The Mecca of Web 2.0, Historical Evolution of 'The-reborn-Internet' "

It points to a site which utilises some of the functionality in this "next historical evolution ... on the Internet with the name of Web2.0" and promotes Web2logo which has already been heavily bookmarked on a range of social bookmarking sites.
This site provides a visual interface with logos and a tag cloud and a choice of viewing 50, 100 or 150 logos at once. 'The display (is) based on popularity and usability. Just click any logo you like and select one of the choices in the cloud.' User participation and feedback is integral to the site functionality.
Web2logo has snazzy features using tags as filters and groupings of Web2.0 sites according to functionality. I love this grouping feature and clever use of tags and logos. Examples of Web2.0 categories from the tag cloud include blog, audio, podcast, communication, chat, filtering, bookmarking, social, news, books, maps, storage, collaboration and many more.

Web2logo is an excellent site for anyone interested in increasing understanding of, and participation in, the world of Web2.0.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Are 21st Century Skills Right Brain Skills?

This intriguing topic came up in my feed reader on George Siemen's elearnspace blog. I followed the link to read more about the article by Doug Johnson in Education World, "Are 21st Century Skills Right Brain Skills?"
Outsourcing jobs to countries with lower costs, especially costs of labour, is having an impact on the types of jobs available now and in the future in countries such as Australia.
Daniel Pink raises the spectre of a Conceptual Age as taking over from the Information Age. This has huge implications for job seekers, education and lifelong learning.
"Successful players in this new economy will increasingly be required to develop and use the right-brain abilities of high concept (seeing the larger picture, synthesizing information) and high touch (being empathetic, creating meaning). "
Daniel, in his book, "A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age," provides examples of right brain skills which need to be cultivated in 21st century learning to complement left brain analytic skills.
Pink provides six right brain "senses" of design, story, symphony, empathy, play and meaning which should be developed and valued. Doug Johnson provides a range of examples of how Pink's model could be applied to classroom practice.
As more governments spend increasing amounts of precious education funding on basic skills testing and schools must respond to this, the chances of nurturing right brain skills in 21st century learning environments are reduced.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Teaching Hacks Moodle modules

Moodle is growing in popularity around the world. There are currently 10,903 registered Moodle sites from 152 countries (view the cluster map) and many more that have not been officially registered. The 2005 Australian Moodle conference was hosted in Adelaide and this year's conference will be in Sydney on the 14-15 October.
Teaching Hacks (Quentin D'Souza ) is developing a number of free, self-directed collaborative online learning experiences or Learning Modules for K-12 educators using a Moodle environment.
Quentin’s “Google Earth 101” course attracted 50 participants in its first few days. He laments the lack of discussion to date but the wikis and screencasts have been popular.
Quentin is currently finishing a short workshop on “Cyberbullying 101” so stay tuned to Teaching Hacks Online PD blog category for more details.
Any additional resources on 'cyberbullying' for this Teaching Hacks module?
Check out postings in the other categories, links, presentations, resources and podcasts on this excellent blog.
The "50+ RSS Ideas for Educators" downloadable resource is a real gem which I have recommended before!

Teenagers create, re-mix and share online

A Pew Internet & American Life Project, "Teen Content Creators and Consumers" (Nov. 2005) was highlighted in a speech by Lee Rainie to the recent 2006 Public Library Association Conference.
57% of all today's teenagers (in the US) create content while online and they do this as a matter of course, having grown up with a range of interactive media in a connected world.
Examples include blogging, creating personal webpages, sharing tagged photos, personal stories and videos online and remixing, repurposing and sharing this online content using easy to use, instant publishing tools, social software and hosted spaces.
The report refers to their "... unique attachment to the communications power of these new technology tools" which "... translates into new and different expectations about how to gather, work with, translate, and share information."
In the process, they are more often "...unaware of or indifferent to the consequences of their use of technology" and "... uncaring about their own privacy..."
The popularity of sites such as MySpace, Bebo and others have raised concerns about privacy and safety of teens online.
eSchool News Online published an article, "Experts to students: Watch what you post!" on Feb 9th 2006. This news item warned about the need for young people to exercise more discretion in what they post about themselves online and against releasing too much personal information in social software sites such as It's not just teens who are guilty of this. Many adults are unaware of such issues.
The Pew Internet Report comments on the teenager's "... world in which the line between what’s public and what’s private is less clear; where boundaries of taste and etiquette are shifting."
Wired Safety and BBC Safe Surfing provide some useful advice for teens, parents and educators. Educators have a role to play as mentioned in a previous post.
Lee Rainie provided timely advice to the conference about the opportunities to "model “media literacy” ... at appropriate teaching moments" ... and educate ... "about the basic rationale for copyright."
Lee's conference speech (with slides) is well worth reading in addition to the original report.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Preparing for the 2.0 World (Library2.0)

Stephen Abram provides yet more insights on Web2.0 and the role of Libraries in this era of transformational change in eBuzz (April 8, 2006) "Web 2.0, Library 2.0, and Librarian 2.0: Preparing for the 2.0 World."
Libraries have a role to play in ameliorating the digital divide for their communities as they "tend to the digital divide issues of the more challenged user."
Every Web 2.0 technology – "RSS, Wikis, blogging, personalization, podcasting, streaming media, ratings, alerts, folksonomies, tagging, social networking software etc could be useful in an enterprise, institutional, ... or Library.
He describes the Web2.0 social phenomenon as a "transition of the Web site and email-centric world from one that is mostly about information (and largely textual information) to one where the content is combined with functionality and targeted applications.… primarily about a much higher level of interactivity and deeper user experiences …."
Many Librarians have not yet heard of Library2.0 but Stephen's message is a powerful one. It's time to find out more and get prepared for the sake of Library users, particularly in supporting them in acquiring and improving skills and competencies for life, work and play.

Impact of new tools on teaching (HigherEdBlogCon)

The first week (April 3-7, 2006) of the online conference, HigherEdBlogCon, has now been completed and presentation screencasts and podcasts on the theme of "Impact of new tools on teaching" can be accessed. The blog provides opportunities for discussion. You can subscribe to feeds to easily keep track of any of the conversations.
Examples from week one include: Podcasting and Screencasting; Blogging; Teaching Information Literacy (role of social software - students learn in the classroom and outside it) ; New Approaches to the Learner; Blogs as Personal Learning Environments (PLEs) by James Farmer and a collaborative approach to curriculum development using a wiki (The Science of Spectroscopy).
James' idea for a future model of a PLE "based upon blogs, aggregation and associated technologies" is especially interesting. Stewart Mader's "Using Wiki in Education"is a valuable resource.
I expect the numbers of collaboratively developed online curriculum resources to increase in the future as more educators get acquainted with web2.0 tools.
I'm also looking forward to next week's theme of "Library and Information Resources".

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Emerging Technologies for Learning (BECTA report)

Have you read this new downloadable report from BECTA, "Emerging Technologies for Learning," on emerging technologies and future trends and their likely impact on education?

Some of the themes are "Mobile technologies: transforming the future of learning"; "The ambient web"; "Online learning in the real world"; "Social networks"; "Web 2.0 technologies adapted for education"; "Collaborative tools"; "The broadband home" and "What has this to do with education?"
Another excellent addition to the growing number of reports supporting the value of emerging technologies enabling 21st century education where personalisation of the learning experience is increasingly possible: "one which places learners at the heart".
Highlights the value of Web 2.0 and social networking.
Added this link to my bookmarks to share more widely.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

The Impact of New Tools on Teaching - HigherEdBlogCon

Over at HigherEd BlogCon 2006, a free online event, has just started. Check out The Impact of New Tools on Teaching (the learner and the learner) with presentations on e-learning, blogs as personal learning environments, legal issues in podcasting in the classroom, teaching information literacy, collaborative development using a wiki and more
The event puts the spotlight on "new online communications technologies and social tools ... changing Higher Education" but lots of promise for school-based educators.

Extending a conference beyond time and space

David Warlick provides "Ten tips to extend your education conference" on his 2Cents Worth blog. Some excellent ideas for organisers extending any conference beyond the time and physical space of the actual conference!
Web2.0 tools provide a host of Read/Write Web options to maximise the impact of any conference before, during and beyond the conference. Social software encourages reflection, promotes collaboration and dialogue enhancing the experience.
Blogging reporters, tagging, photosharing, podcasting, webcasts, conference feeds, a conference wiki and blog, wireless access at the venue, some professional development and more ....

Monday, April 03, 2006

Safety tips from WiredSafety

The phenomenal growth in popularity of social software makes tips and advice from sites such as WiredSafety a must for teens, young adults and others in the community. Instant publishing, easy storage, sharing of tagged images and video, chat etc maximise opportunities for communication and collaboration.
Good advice for educators too in providing guidance for young folk in a connected, collaborative, social world.
"WiredSafety provides help, information and education to Internet and mobile device users of all ages." Includes advice on ... "cyberabuse ranging from identity and credential theft, online fraud and cyberstalking, to hacking and malicious code attacks."
Bebo is one example of a social networking site which provides safety tips based on WiredSafety. Safety and privacy are key issues. Useful advice is provided about revealing personal information, e-mail addresses, cyberchatting, spyware and phishing, to name a few.

Web 2.0 Awards on seomoz

Fans of Web 2.0 tools should view the Web 2.0 Awards on the site.
Over 300 sites in 28 categories including blog guides, bookmarking, collaborative writing, communications, digital storage, mashups, personal organization, mapping, podcasts, images, social networking, social tagging and many more.
Awards are provided for the top three ranks in each category with honourable mentions in most categories. Ratings are based on usability, usefulness, social aspects, interface & design and content quality.
An excellent resource for anyone interested in exploring the growing band of Web2.0 tools.
Extensive commentary in a summary for each category as well as a handy quicklink shortlist and zeitgeist.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Web 2.0 ushers in Library 2.0?

Stephen Abram (SirsiDynix One Source newsletter) writes about the need for Librarians to start getting prepared for Library 2.0 as the huge wave of Web 2.0 tools provide opportunities for Librarian 2.0, the "guru of the information age."
Web 2.0, Library 2.0, and Librarian 2.0: Preparing for the 2.0 World
This is one of the best articles I have read about what "Librarian 2.0" could be in the Web 2.0 or immersion environment.

While on the topic of Web 2.0, I discovered this intriguing project on the ALA Techsource site,
On Change, Library 2.0 and ALA.
"ALA will prototype an interactive learning environment, built around a set of tools and concepts that has sometimes been referred to as "library 2.0."

The Library2.0 tag can be tracked in Technorati and and other social software.

Friday, February 24, 2006

The New Literacies: Essential or Enrichment?

David Jakes asks and answers the question about a range of Web 2.0 tools, the level of awareness of such tools and their use in today's classrooms. His post , The New Literacies: Essential or Enrichment? is on the Techlearning blog and I've added it to my boolkmarks to share with others.

IWeb 2.0 tools provide real opportunities. Is there a place for tools such as blogs, wikis,, RSS feeds, podcasting and Flickr in our classrooms? David argues that it's not about the tools per se but "their capacity to be used to create learning environments that are dynamic, student-centered, and information-rich. It's about creating classrooms where students can learn the skills that will make them effective life-long learners in the context of today’s world."

Educators need to be savvy about the tools that their learners are using and provide some guidance in internet safety eg participating in online communities. The MySpace example is provided here and other examples can be found on the web.

A stimulating read!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Mashups - fad or future?

Interested in exploring the world of mashups?
Dion Hinchliffe provides Some predictions for the coming 'mashosphere' and asks the question, "Where do you think it's going? Are mashups a fad or the future?"

He predicts that "RSS (will) become the mashup protocol par excellence".
On IP, he comments on the sacred "Right To Remix" and the role of the Creative Commons license in the world of mashups.

e-Portfolios buzz in the UK

Josie Fraser provides some quick links in a round up of latest happenings in the world of e-Portfolios in the UK on her EdTechUK blog.

ELGG and Moodle integration holds great promise and provides a dimension beyond a narrow definition held by some institutions.
I'm a fan of ELGG and Moodle and will be watching this David Tosh project with interest.

South Oz (Leafy Sea Dragon)

South Oz is diverting from e-Learning temporarily to highlight a unique South Oz treasure in this photo of a Leafy Sea Dragon, South Australia’s stunning state marine emblem.

It was photographed (Feb 2006) under the Rapid Bay Jetty on Fleurieu Peninsula, south of the capital city (Adelaide).

The jetty, originally built to service the nearby limestone & dolomite mine, has fallen into disrepair since the mine was closed.

The jetty is popular with locals, tourists, anglers and divers and is rated as one of the best dive sites in Australia. The jetty was closed to the public for safety reasons (Christmas, 2004) and has continued to deteriorate as this photo of some of the pylons shows.

The marine ecosystem is now under threat as the jetty provides shelter for a unique marine environment, including the Leafy Sea Dragon .
Community groups are trying to muster support to save the Rapid Bay Jetty and environs before it's too late.
Friends of the Rapid Bay Jetty
website has more information.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Web 2.0 on Southozzie

Just posted some additional references to Web 2.0 on SouthOzzie and updated my Superglu site and my social bookmarks (most recent of which are embedded in this blog).
Lots of buzz around Web 2.0.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

PLEs - personalised learning environments

James Farmer provides a highly visual posting on Incorporated Subversion on the "The inevitable personal learning environment" incorporating insights from a range of passionate folk including Stephen Downes.
Blogs and aggregation are at the heart of the personalised learning environment. ELGG shows some of what is possible in this space providing tools which empower the learner.
But "... major institutions aren’t going to start switching their LMSs to our PLEs any time soon."
James makes a compelling case, based on WPMU, for a possible solution. Likely or not?

Interested in research reports on personalised learning environments?
Check the NESTA Future Lab reports "Personalisation and Digital Technologies."
"The logic of education systems should be reversed so that the system conforms to the learner, rather than the learner to the system. "

Monday, February 06, 2006

Digital Communities and the Power of Trust

Robin Good highlighted this powerful article by Alan Moore in his recent MasterNewMedia news. "Digital Communities and the Power of Trust: A look at the Future"
Although the focus is on business and marketing in the 21st century of digitally connected communities, it provides salient information for educators.
"The internet ... is not so much a technology as social phenomenon."

The increasing penetration of the internet, higher bandwidth and the increasing convergence with mobile technologies provide opportunities for consumers (educators and learners) to engage in highly personalised (learning)
experiences and Web 2.0 tools are providing alternatives to push technologies as consumers seek personalisation and "trust-based strategies ... essential in a time of information empowerment."

Blogs, wikis, RSS, aggregation, folksonomy, to name just a few, point to a significant change in the way we use the web (or the Read Write Web) and connect with trusted others (FOAF).
This article has numerous embedded links and a range of examples to explore (including the London Bombings and Creative Archive Project) for anyone seeking to find out more about this 'new paradigm.'

Jeff Jarvis' comment on Buzzmachine, "Give us control and we will use it. Don't and you will lose us," provides a powerful message.

Friday, January 27, 2006

50+ RSS Ideas for Educators

Quentin D'Souza's resource, "50+ RSS Ideas for Educators" downloadable from Teaching Hacks, is another ready made guide for educators interested in exploring more ways of integrating RSS into practice. Quentin is developing this handy resource for a presentation for the Leading Learning 2006 and ECOO Conferences.
Quite a few tags in in the past 10 days. Visit Teaching Hacks to download your copy and add any comments.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Tech Tools for Learning (Will Richardson)

Will Richardson has provided a useful overview for educators interested in finding out more about the potential of using weblogs, podcasting, RSS, streaming video and webcams in their classrooms: Tech Tools for Learning - Innovative, Interactive Technologies Provide New Potential For Learning —In And Out Of Classrooms. (Cable in the Classroom Access Learning Jan 06) Web 2.0 technologies empower users to move beyond passive consumption of web resources into the read/write web where they can readily publish in a variety of formats and collaborate and interact with a global audience.

Will highlights "legal and ethical issues" that need to be considered by educators. These issues are constantly discussed by educators grappling with the ability to integrate emerging web technologies and personalised and safe learning environments. Tech Tools for Learning provides stimulating ideas, tips and resources for innovative educators to explore.

Another interesting resource for educators deals with blog safety and children. It is a European SPOTMYBLOG simulation game aimed at children aged 9 to 12 in which "the players create a fictitious blog and make choices that have consequences later in the game."