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.