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.