Monday, December 28, 2009

iMoot online conference starts Feb 4 2010

Attention Moodlers...
The date for the
iMoot global online conference (31 timezones, 210 countries) has been changed.
It will now start on February 4, 2010 instead of the previously advertised start date of January 7.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

What's your Twitter account worth?

Checked out one more of the plethora of Twitter tools.
It's called, 'What's your Twitter account worth?'

Apparently its worth $112 and my rank is #18961 out of 102437)

I guess it's something to do with the fact that major search engines are now trawling the twitterverse and integrating relevant tweets into results to add that 'real-time' or near critical and much valued element to searches.


Created by

Another couple of interesting Twitter tools are the TPS or Tweet Positioning System which adds a spatial dimension to conversations and Snap Bird to help re-find the tweets that got away!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Moodle Cool Course competition extended

The Moodle Cool Course competition has been extended into the new year.
The new closing date is 19 January 2010.

"The purpose of the Cool Course Competition is to encourage people to donate great Moodle demo courses for our Moodle demo site and to start building our demo community hub for Moodle 2.0."
(Helen Foster)

Check out the existing entries on the site.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Social Media and Learning2.0

The use of Social Media, so popular for social networking, is expanding into business, government and education worlds. Many companies are beginning to embrace the use of new social networking / media tools for promotion, marketing, engagement and interaction with clients and staff development but approaches and guidelines vary. These reports and resources outline a few examples.

Many educators see the potential of social media / web2.0 for teaching and learning and their own professional learning but access is often restricted in schools and filtering is an issue, as discussed in many blog posts.

As use of social media becomes more widespread in the community, le
arning2.0 research reports are of interest, including 'Learning 2.0: The Impact of Web 2.0 Innovations on Education and Training in Europe' - Final Report (2009) - European Commission Joint Research Centre. This 'describes how the emergence of new technologies can foster development of innovative practices.' It provides pointers for new directions and opportunities using new tools and new approaches in teaching and learning.

The Australian Government Gov2 taskforce is about to release a report, 'Engage -- Getting on with Government 2.0', which is expected to outline how the use of new social media technologies can help to make public sector services more efficient and to better meet the needs of the community.

Image by woodleywonderworks

Telstra (Australia) has come up with a new staff training guide for social media, the 3Rs of social engagement, for their 40,000 employees, as outlined in a recent post on Mashable. The '3Rs' are identified as responsibility, respect & representation. This online training package includes a comic style flip book with media clips.

The 'Ten Commandments of Social Media' by Robb Clarke aims to provide an easy to read personal guide to operating in an ethical manner, to not only 'make you a better person' but to also ensure a 'more appreciative' bunch of followers. Again, ethics are highlighted.

Social media, eg
Twitter, is a vital component of developing and nurturing an educator's professional learning network (PLN) in a connected world and for lifelong learning in the digital age.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Creativity, QRCodes and Geocaching

This week some colleagues carried out an activity, combining the use of QRCodes and geocaching. It was part of a collaborative experience and sharing of knowledge after a team meeting. (Check a short explanation of QRCodes here).
We organised the route to suit a walk back from a lunch break and used the QRCodes and code readers on iPhones to scan and then locate the prize - a heritage item (40mm anti aircraft gun) located in the middle of Port Road at Hindmarsh.
One member of the group, Paul created the original QRCode for the team and had secreted another at the spot. Once found and scanned, the QRCode link provided the essential additional information we needed, via a mobile site Paul had created.

My Flickr photo (Southoz) shows the team in the vicinity of the heritage 'bofors gun' as we checked out Paul's mobile site after scanning the hidden QRCode.
Next, the team intended to use an iPhone app to locate a geocache nearby that was created as part of a previous teacher workshop. This geocache has been registered on since 2004 (Pathway to the sea and hills) GCHTVX - check the Google map on the site in the vicinity of the brewery at Thebarton.

It is a traditional cache, easy level of difficulty and easy terrain, to suit a group pf teachers getting started with geocaching. The site provides a very useful clue to locate the geocache.
It has been discovered quite a few times in the past 5 years and is in need of a little TLC. Geocaching is even more popular now as an adventure activity, especially for family groups.

There is a lot of potential in using Geocaching and QRCodes creatively in education - literacy, numeracy, ICT, problem solving, teamwork and collaboration. The greater shift towards mobile and anywhere, anytime learning, increasing accessibility and connectedness and new tools make this easier than before.

I recently discovered the excellent BeQRious site (via my Twitter PLN) which has a generator and many examples of use of QRCodes in a range of settings. Check my Delicious bookmarks for QRCodes for other links.

Another area of interest is augmented reality and I am currently exploring Layar.and Google Goggles. Check the video.
Augmented Planet also has an interesting recent post on Google Goggles and Augmented Reality.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Twitter for Busy People

Twitter for Busy People is one of my favourite Twitter tools. This tool allows me to save my Twitter user name and quickly access the last tweet from the people I follow on Twitter.

It organises tweets by last hour, last day last week... in a visual and appealing interface. I have used t4bp for many months now and find it really useful.
Just hover over any person's image/avatar and their latest tweet comes into view.

A very handy tool for quick updates on the go and checking on members of my PLN.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Lyrebird on YouTube

Just have to promote this southoz highlight at the Adelaide Zoo (South Australia).

Meet the superb male lyrebird from the Adelaide Zoo, fondly known as 'Chook'. Why has 'Chook' gained global attention of late? Check this YouTube video and listen to his amazing repertoire of sounds. This lovable lyrebird mimics the sounds of his surrounding environment and that includes the sounds of construction work on the nearby Giant Panda enclosure.

Not only can you detect the sounds of other zoo birds, including the kookaburra, but also the typical sounds of the nearby construction work!

'Chook' is sure to get his share of attention at the Adelaide Zoo, even as the anticipation and excitement builds as the date draws closer for the arrival of two Giant pandas from China (Wang Wang and Funi).

Listen carefully to hear the full repertoire.

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Twtpoll (Twitter access)

Users of the popular microblogging site, Twitter, can access their account using a variety of tools or twittertools, via the Twitter website, phone and mobile apps.

What do you use most frequently when you access Twitter?
Mobile options are grouped under mobile and some of the possibly lesser known twittertools have been grouped as 'Other' to keep the number of choices to a reasonable number.

Try the Twtpoll. (Closes July 31, 2009)

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Mobile Museums

Interested in m-Learning, mobile presence, enabling and connecting learners and, as the title of this engaging presentation suggests, new learning trends with digital technologies? Incidental, informal, ubiquitous, lifelong learning is enabled with innovative learner-centric strategies and evolving mobile tools.

@dannno or Dan Sutch from FutureLab provides a glimpse of the (near?) future,"changing educational paradigm" and participatory culture in this SlideShare presentation.

Evolving mobile technologies and tools, 'always on, always connected,' authentic learning experiences are beginning to emerge. There are still many barriers to more widespread adoption. This presentation provides a range of ideas for exploring new connections for innovative learning and stimulus for discussion in education circles.

Monday, June 08, 2009

Giant Cuttlefish video

I have posted a short video to my SouthOz Flickr account of the spectacular diving attraction of the Giant Cuttlefish during their annual breeding season in the shallow waters off Point Lowly, South Australia in June 2009.

This short video shows a Giant Cuttlefish pulsating its skin to deter other male cuttlefish in the vicinity. This video was taken in the area known as 'the fenceline' off Point Lowly, Whyalla in South Australia.

This area is one of only two places in the world where this spectacular annual event occurs. It is a major tourist attraction for divers from around the globe.

The site is under threat from a proposed desalination plant for an outback mining venture and new wharf facilities for another new mining proposal. This marine environment is precious. Help protect it from developments which threaten its existence!

I have also posted a set of Giant Cuttlefish photos on Flickr.

Highlighting Social Media courseware

If you are interested in free social media courseware with Creative Commons licensing, then check out Laurel Papworth's offering "COURSEWARE: social media and PR Crisis Communication."

Laurel is @silkcharm on Twitter with a very handy 8,770 (and rapidly rising) followers (June 8, 2009). Her blog reveals a top blogger, social media strategist, writer, keynote speaker and workshop facilitator on online communities and social networks and Twitter highlights a 'World of Warcraft' addict.

Laurel has generously started sharing her courseware under a 'Creative Commons Attribute and Non Derivative' license.

She is using the services of Scribd and publish on demand service, Lulu, to share with the wider community. Visit Laurel's storefront on Lulu for hardcopy (purchase) or free download options.
"Scribd offers a YouTube style embed, Lulu offers both hardcopy and a free download service."

COURSEWARE: Social Media PR Crisis Communication
Example of embedding above.
If you have an interest in the potential and use of social media, in a variety of contexts take the time to check out Laurel's courseware, visit Laurel's blog and add comments/suggestions or check her Lulu storefront.
And follow @silkcharm on Twitter and add to the global discourse via this phenomenal example of social media . I have!

Thanks, Laurel.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Social Networking

The phenomenal growth of social networking in recent years, and more recently, the massive interest in, and uptake of, real-time applications in social media eg. Twitter, are contributing to new trends in lifelong learning, business, marketing, entertainment and more.

This Slideshare presentation, 'Integrating Social Networking & Web 2.0 Applications into e-Learning ', by Rob Gibson provides an overview of a range of social networking & social media applications and examples of potential use in an educational context. A good starting point for increasing awareness and for educators considering the role of new tools, web applications and strategies in an e-learning environment.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The shift (Social > Media)

The shift is on.
This Slideshare by @skytland, Social > Media, provides a highly visual presentation, combined with apt quotes and comments on the topic of Social Media. If you need a quick fix on understanding the global phenomenon of social media, this presentation is a good start!

It highlights the shift (towards real-time) ... asks why do we care? and provides a range of examples of social media used to support communication, knowledge and data sharing, collaboration, transparency, authenticity, networking, visibility and engagement.

Lo and behold, it even contains Astro_Mike and reveals how he was able to tweet from space (via e-mail to NASA).

Thanks, Nick Skytland for highlighting the shift and sharing your thoughts.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Scratch Day on the Limestone Coast

Scratch is a programming language developed at the MIT Media Lab. Middle school students can design, create and share interactive stories, games, colourful animations and other projects. The Scratch website, highlighting its 'imagine, program, share' vision, currently hosts 425809 projects (total 10,791,782 scripts, 3,329,676 sprites and 65,827 contributors).

Scratch is designed to
"help young people (ages 8 and up) develop 21st century learning skills. As they create and share Scratch projects, young people learn important mathematical and computational ideas, while also learning to think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively".
World Scratch Day (09) was celebrated on May 16. The 'Limestone Coast Scratchers' from the south east of South Australia joined in this highly successful event.

(It) "was ... an opportunity for students who would benefit from an event that would extend them in their Higher Order Thinking skills and who had the capacity to take their learning back to their respective school and teach their peers."

This Limestone Coast regional event, with 13 teams of Year 6/7s, was hosted by Grant High School (South Australia) and was one of over 100 global events for World Scratch Day. Feedback suggests it was an outstanding success which augurs well for a successful repeat event in 2010.

Read the Scratch Day 09 Report wiki for a comprehensive picture of the aims, program (including activities links), mentor support, outcomes and feedback.

Congratulations to all!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

21st century: Challenges, change and trends

This Slideshare presentation, 'Challenges, change and trends', by Derek Wenmoth was the Keynote presentation to the NZ Adult Literacy Practitioners Association (ALPA). It came to my attention, courtesy of my Twitter network.

Derek provides a compelling case for re-shaping new curriculum in the 21st century to encompass new technologies/tools and new literacies for current and future generations .
This keynote, tailored for his audience, has a focus on
"the potential for ICTs to be used to enable better learning for adult literacy students."

One slide provides an interesting comparison between communication technologies - then, now and next? with future technologies enabling pervasive, ubiquitous access and use (new media) and new literacies for the 21st century.

Derek puts out a number of challenges to educators including:
"To what extent are we prepared, as a society and as educators, for the massive changes in human capabilities that digital technologies are likely to enable in the next 13 years?
To what extent are our future visions for education based upon assumptions about humanity, society and technology that are no longer valid?"
How does this fit with the current emphasis in many countries on new/revised curriculum and increased focus on testing a narrow view of what constitutes literacy?
What will the next 13 years bring for the youngsters (born in 2008) featured in the first slide ?

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Learning in a connected world

This presentation captures the innovative practice of an Australian teacher where 'connect, communicate, collaborate, create!' provides the key to 'A glimpse at a 21st century classroom' (slideshare presentation) by Anne Mirtschin.

Thanks for sharing, Anne!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Real-time tracking

New social media tools, third party applications and mashups provide tools to enable real-time tracking, search and access to global conversations and news. They can facilitate social networking and development of professional learning networks (PLN).

One example is the Track Twitter Now tool (mashup) which provides a simple search facility to track real-time (Twitter) tweets across the globe. These are displayed on an interactive map and tweets from selected locations can be viewed and followed up.

I tried search terms such as Moodle. It's amazing to see the number and pattern of tweets happening on different topics. Time of day and hemisphere influence this as well.

Another tool is Track This Now for real-time news. I created a widget from a search for Adelaide, Australia news. (see below)

Another mashup I tried out was the nifty flash slideshow, Flickr Flip Book. This allows a search on a topic or tag for photos uploaded to Flickr.

I used terms such as Adelaide, then edutweet, southoz and tweets, with varying numbers of photos and settings in the slideshow.

This tool is easy to use and the slideshow display looks good (it gathers information from the description, tags and comments associated with the photos). It would benefit from being able to select more parameters for the photos and gaining an embed source code.

Some of my Flickr photos came up under the search term 'southoz' as well as well as some photos posted by Alison (@theother66) from the Adelaide edutweet gathering last month. Thanks, Alison.

The proliferation of tools eg third party applications using Twitter, Flickr, Google Maps etc has added the valuable dimension of real-time (or near) tracking, connections, participation and collaboration.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Celebrating Scratch

Great post by Jennifer Nelson in the School Library Journal, 1 May, 2009, about Celebrating Scratch in Libraries (Creation software helps young people develop 21st-century literacy skills)
Jennifer provides a compelling case for schools and libraries to come on board.

Scratch (a free download) is ....
"changing the landscape of how young people learn programming, engage in media-based project creation, and develop 21st-century literacy skills. "
The potential for collaboration and networking via the website (imagine, program, share) and use of Creative Commons Licensing are terrific features.

Smartcopying (Australia) has produced a highly recommended resource, a Creative Commons Information pack, to assist teachers and students operating in a digital world where digital content can be created, copied, shared, re-mixed, peer reviewed and communicated rapidly in a variety of ways.

Jennifer's post about Scratch is very timely, given that World Scratch Day is fast approaching (May 16). As you will see from the map, the Limestone Coast Scratchers (from the South East of South Australia) are participating in this event.

Grant High School, on the Limestone Coast, has a focus on HOTS (Higher Order Thinking Skills) and Scratch Day plays a role as one of their strategies in developing students' HOTS.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Multi-tasking (@infinitecomic)

Time out for some fun!
Tried the keyword, 'multitasking' in this online tool, the Infinite Monkey Comics random comic generator, infinite comic, a mashup of Flickr and Twitter (after a tweet from @josiefraser).
Check the result.

It weaves a story around Twitter apps, Nambu and TweetDeck, and the multi-tasking element of babysitting and twittering or is that tweeting and snoozing?
A second round, using multitaskin' produced this result.

Comics can be tweeted back to @infinitecomic.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Twitter Mosaic

Nifty visualization of my Twitter Mosaic (friends) via the third party application: sxoop.

Get your twitter mosaic here.