Thursday, April 30, 2009

SouthOz 'heaps good' campaign

A South Australian "Heaps good" (Aussie slang term) campaign has kicked off. The clip on YouTube shows a number of SouthOzzies, dressed in "heaps good" T-shirts in front of selected icons and favourite places.

Exploring Twitter apps

Twitter has spawned a myriad of Twitter third party applications or tools as well as search facilities. Two of my favourite search tools are Twazzup and Twitterfall. Both provide a real time view of the hot topics and trends.
Twitterers can use hashtags to identify key terms which are easily picked up by such search tools.

I like the custom search (multiple) functionality of Twitterfall and the ability to adjust settings, particularly the speed, and themes, view queued tweets and flush if needed. The ability to save and select searches makes Twitterfall really useful.

These add a bit of fun.
When did you join Twitter reveals that I (@southoz) joined Twitter 560 days ago - on 18 October 2007.

After a couple of starts and pauses in 2007 and 2008, I finally caught the Twitter bug early in 2009, before Will Richardson's visit to Adelaide. Twitter has a critical mass of users now, more useful tools, greater use of social media for networking, conferences, meetings, shared resources and global conversations. This makes it an ideal tool for supporting professional learning networks (PLNs).

Twittersheep provides a tag cloud generated from the 'bios' of your flock of followers. View my current Southoz flock word cloud. The words, learning, online, social, teacher, web and education feature prominently in my word cloud.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

EduTweetUp and twtvite

I (@southoz on Twitter) attended the inaugural Adelaide EduTweet Dinner with a bunch of other folk on Friday night. Thanks to @kerryank and @theother66 for organising the meeting and everyone else who attended.
Needless to say a great time was had by all!

This Twitter app - twtvite - for simple event management could be useful for organising similar meetings. I haven't tried it yet.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

twtpoll: Do you Twitter?

Trying out a simple twitter app. - twtpoll here.
Check out my experimental @southoz twtpoll in the side bar. "Do you Twitter?"

This twitter app is very easy to use to create a simple poll with a question and one or more multiple choice responses.
You need to include your Twitter name.
Set an expiry date and it's ready to go!

The poll can be tweeted and retweeted by your friends or you can copy the embed code for your Facebook, blog etc.
Vote and check the updated responses via the generated pie graph

Additional features include the ability for other Twitter users to add comments (with a 140 character limit of course!) and view people (or tweeple) who have tweeted about or retweeted your poll.

The ability to share and quickly spread the poll, like a ripple effect across your network is a plus!

If you're a Twitterer and would like to use a poll to quickly gain some opinions from your network/extended network about a topic or issue then twtpoll looks very useful.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Blocked websites in schools survey

Sharon Elin has posted the results of a short online survey about blocked websites in schools on her edutwist blog.
"My school district is locked-down tight and fixated on security when it comes to internet access for students."
Sharon's curiosity about 'references to web2.0 sites being used in education by other educators' led to a survey on Google Docs, sent out by Twitter, Plurk and her edutwist blog.
I missed the original survey and only one Australian responded.

Despite a relatively small global response, and one skewed to educators already using social media/networking sites, the 'results', especially the use of comments/pull quotes, make for an interesting read and should stimulate further debate about filtering policies in school districts and jurisdictions and teaching and learning in the 21st century.
Trust and responsibility feature strongly in a myriad of issues.

Read Sharon's blog post , follow the link to the survey questions and results, comments and suggestions on Google Docs. and share.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Twitter Handbook for Teachers (on Scribd)

The Twitter Handbook for Teachers - just published on Scribd.

This overview of Twitter and ways of using it in education was created for a group of educators attending an inaugural Twizza (Twitter & pizza) gathering in Perth, Western Australia on April 8, 2009.
Created by: Tomaz Lasic (Twitter: @lasic) The handbook is provided under a Creative Commons - Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share-Alike 3.0 unported license.

It is a really useful guide for educators looking for helpful tips and resources for using Twitter and why you would want to, especially reasons for using Twitter to extend your professional learning networks (PLN).

An opening quote in the handbook from Sue Waters (@suewaters) .... provides the answer.
“Why would anyone want to tell others what they are doing in 140 characters?”
And yet to dismiss Twitter is a mistake because it’s an incredibly powerful tool for your personal learning and connecting with others.”

Twitter supports connections, reflections, communication and collaboration, the ability to form and foster trusted networks and connect critical friends.

Twitter provides the power of the tweet and re-tweet, the @ and #tag, shortened URL pointers to follow and for followers, the immediacy, opportunities for aggregation - the tools to enhance an essential and widespread PLN for 21st century educators.

Thanks to @moodleman and others from @southoz (me) for extending the global conversations and insights for the recent MoodleMootUK #mmuk09 via Twitter, Twitpic and other social media.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

30 funny Twitter comic strips

This selection of cartoons or comic strips on Web Designer Depot, "30 funny Twitter comic strips", will appeal to the rapidly growing band of Twitter fans.
Recognise yourself or @anyone in any of these?

My favourites include the 'crowdsourcing09', 'broken up with Jim', 'Follow me,'' blog man of so few words' and 'tweet relationship - shown here.'

\A tweet relationship\

Some extra smiles on April Fools Day!