Sunday, November 21, 2010
The Flexbook system offers a number of ways of access; they can be displayed as pdf , through an online viewer with quite a straight forward interface and in htm format or in print format. Chapter titles link to the start page for that chapter. Additionally you can make up a completely new textbook by selecting various chapters from separate titles, combine and assembly the chapters in any order you like, add prefaces, introductions, chapters list, etc and set it up as a FlexBook.
There are number of Webinars happening soon, so visit the CK12 website for the schedule starting from Nov. 23 to Dec. 16th.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
This seems to imply that the most widely used mode of communication for boys and girls under 17 years of age is not the desktop computer, the notebook, the netbook or the iPad. Its the mobilephone. Modern mobile phones are now cameras and audio recorders, allowing students to work on multimedia projects.
Anecdotal evidence as well as statistics like those above possibly point to the notion that mobile phones at school are a distraction. And as a result, many schools have policies - both formal and informal - that restrict mobile phone use in the classroom. But our evidence point to a different reality - kids use them a lot, in (without permission and unknowingly to the teacher of course) and out of the classroom. This raises the question: Is it about time that we re-evaluate our policies with regards to the mobile phone and argue for a change in attittudes?
Have a read of this short article by Audrey Watters here...
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Today I'd like to share with you links to some useful tools and gadgets that hopefully will be useful in your teaching and to your students, (and stored somewhere where you can always pin-point).
1. The Ultimate Twitter Guidebook for Teachers - As the intro. announces "adopting a new communication tool is not easy. Figuring out the best way YOU can use Twitter is even harder." This updated resource lists a range of blogs, posts, web sites, etc. grouped separately for the novice, Twitter for Educators, Resources for Making the Most of Twitter, Suggestions on how to use them in class with students, Applications to Make Twitter Work for Teachers, Applications , Tweets to follow as well as Fun Twitter Experiments.
2. 15 Little-Known Ways to Google - This is an extensive reference to how Google and its many free tools can help both teachers and students. Google's Search now includes a Books Search which allows you to look for the full text in popular titles, old and out-of-print books. The powerful Geo Education site has helpful hints on using Google Earth, Maps, Sky, and Sketch Up in the K-12 classroom, empowering teachers to bring the world's geographic information to students in a compelling, fresh and fun way. Covered too in this collection of Google tools are: Google News, iGoogle - a personalised collection of content, widgets, etc. . The blog discusses in detail and extensively good search practices, Google Notebook, Blogger, Calendar, and of course Google Docs an array of of easy-to-use online tools to create word processed documents, spreadsheets and presentations. Covered too in this report are: Goggle Groups, Google Page Creator, Picasa and Google SketchUp. Finally there is a short write up about Google Apps Education Edition, which is a broad IT solution for schools.
For those interested in Moodle, Google can now be integrated with Moodle too. Back in 2008, Google sponsored twelve new Moodle developers. The end result: Google Apps and Docs are being integrated successfully in Moodle.
3. The Best Presentation Sites on the Web This collection presents some of the best online presenetation web sites around, including such popular ones as: prezi, and presentation zen.
4. Online Tools and Software to Create Charts, Graphs, Flowcharts, etc.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
The other day I stumbled on Learn IT in 5, a web site owned and operated by Mark Barnes, a technology teacher, online course instructor and presenter of "The Paperless Classroom" method of instruction and Web 2.0 applications. It is basically a repository of "How tp..." videos for the teachnology classroom. If you are a teacher it might be useful to subscribe to, and bookmark the site. Some recent video postings include: Classroom Blogging , Social Media for Teachers , Classroom Video Tools , Wikis For Teachers , Classroom Podcasting , Web 2.0 Lessons , Visionary App Series .
As a teacher, (well, actually semi-retired) I find little time to browse extensively to become more Web 2.0 literate. As with many in the fraternity, what interests me most is: how do I apply or use a Web 2.0 technology with my digital natives. They will of course take to it as a fish to the water, but for those my age, being digital imigrants we need to understand and explore the technology before we apply it in our teaching. Sometimes you'll find that the work has been done for you. Take a look at this great colklection of ideas on how to use Blogs, Wikis and (Google) Docs.
I have recently been alerted to a new site which offers the facility to create free great looking online quizzes, get a widget for it and embed in your website or blog. Once you create a login name, off you go and start creating. Choose a colourful skin, decide on the widget size, name your quiz, add a tag, add an image, video, chart or none; tested one out and here is the result with only one question.
Hmmm, not too bad for a 2 minutes job. Wonder how it integrates with Moodle.
New ways to explore and employ Web 2.0 technologies are cropping up almost daily. Educators are among the first to analyse their potential and seek ways to integrate them in their teaching. Anna Maria Menezes has created an extensive list of some little known and other common Web 2.0 technologies in her report Web Tools applied to Teaching
Till next time.... sahha
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Announcing a new edna Group: eLearning in Schools
This group is designed to offer a virtual meeting room for teachers who are planning to introduce, in the middle of introducing or actively involved in online learning in schools across the country. It is intended for primary, middle and high schools as well as VET teachers. Through this virtual meeting room, to be known as the elearning in Schools Group, a Community of Practice is born and it is hoped together we act as catalysts in the development of eLearning in our schools, promote good standards, and provide a venue where group members are able to share their experiences, difficulties as well as suggestions,
In order to subscribe to this Group, you must be subscribed to edna. If you are already subscribed, log on to edna and login. Once logged in, Go to Groups at the top right of the page and click on the tab. Do one of the following to locate the group:
- Scroll down the list of Group Categories and select School Education. Click on
Page 5 and scroll down to around the middle of the list to elearning in School
and click to launch the group’s home page.
- Type in: elearning in Schools in the Search Groups field at the top right corner of the EdNA Groups home Page and click Go.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Elluminate Inc. has expanded its role as a provider of online learning platforms and meeting spaces by launching a new social learning network for educators, called Learncentral. A free and open resource for professionals in the global education community, LearnCentral provides social networking and collaboration tools for members to find and connect with others, share content and best practices, create and maintain a portfolio of learning content, meet in real-time virtual rooms, and hold and attend virtual events. Upon joining LearnCentral, each member receives a free Elluminate vRoom, a virtual meeting room for up to three participants or locations. The network is moderated by Elluminate’s social learning consultant, Steve Hargadon, founder of Classroom 2.0 and director of the Consortium for School Networking’s K12 Open Technologies Initiative. Incidentally Elluminate are the behind the Elluminati group which resides on Learncentral.
The mission is to inspire today’s students and spark interest in the STEM fields, and it appears to be working: In studying photos of Mars taken by a NASA spacecraft, a group of seventh graders in California earlier this year discovered a previously unknown cave, as well as lava tubes that NASA scientists hadn’t noticed.
“What we’re trying to do at NASA is make our data more accessible,” said Chris Kemp, chief technology officer for NASA, in an interview with eSchool News, “and we’re doing that by connecting students in the classroom and at home to a user-friendly platform.”
Called Terapixel, the night sky project is now available for viewing with Microsoft’s WorldWide Telescope, a free, web-based program that functions as a virtual telescope, bringing together imagery from ground and space-based telescopes to enable seamless, guided explorations of the universe. It enables seamless panning and zooming across the night sky, blending images, data, and stories from multiple sources over the internet into an immersive experience.
The night sky project, as well as the Mars 3D project, began 50 years ago as photos were taken of the night sky by ground-based survey telescopes. Over five decades, thousands of images were taken by NASA and stored with the Digitized Sky Survey. The challenge then became: How can scientists take these various images and make them into a single, unified image for exploring via computer?
The WorldWide Telescope’s Night Sky view is also available using Bing’s street view feature, allowing users to look up at the night sky from a particular area on the map. Inside Bing Maps, users first need to click on “Map Apps” and select WorldWide Telescope to enable the program.
The app is not just for identifying constellations and planets, as the menu allows users to load all data from sky surveys, the Hubble Telescope, and other astronomy data sources.
And while we are on the subject, have a look at Space Exploration - The Shuttle. If you're after some presentations for primary age staudents have a look at Space, Stars, Galaxy and Solar System.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
Education.au Blogfest 2010 has been a real eye-opener for me. To start with it has exposed me to new tools, new ways of doing things and broadened my perception of blogging and other social communication technologies. It has also alerted me to my own limitations but at the same time encouraged me to explore more in the world of blogging.
The task based approached worked well for me as I tend to commit myself once I'm into something. Obviously it does not suit everyone as evident from the blogs of other participants and I can understand that. I particulalrly enjoyed tasks where I had to add/insert items into the blog in spite of some frustrations experienced with me.edu.au blog. I made another attempt last week to insert a video in the html format of the blog but the alignment was completely out of wack.
I wish we had an opportunity to explore new and emerging technologies such as:
Google Moderator - a tool that allows audience/participants to vote for a preferred topic, questions, ideas.
Google Wave - helps users communicate and collaborate instantly and live on the web. Users work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more. It is also a platform with a rich set of open APIs that allows developers to embed waves in other web services and to build extensions that work inside waves. Both of these applications have a wide range of applications and I can see them being integrated into or embedded into a number of Web 2.0 applications (Moodle? ).
Though officially BlogFest 2010 comes to an end with this task, I wonder whether we can all explore maybe half a dozen new/emerging techologies and discuss how they can be integrated into our teaching and learning. We can do this through own own usual blog or through an extension of this BlogFest
I'd be honestly embarassed if I was mentoring an online group and find myself tailing off. And I'm not sure how I will handle it. I'd of course have an introspective examination of why I failed to meet my commitments, followed by an honest exposition of the circumstances without being too personal and do my best to reinstate the original momentum.
I will continue to blog and hopefully apply some of the ideas that have been exposed and discussed through this BlogFest.
Sunday, January 17, 2010
It is certainly not easy to initiate a conversation these days especially when there is so much blogging around. Often people follow regularly certain blogs, others not so often. I follow one or two blogs on Education.au's me.edu.au often moving on.
For the purpose of this task I decided to put on two short videos, similar in nature and message but different in the way they go about presenting the message. Both from Next Generation Learning, a British government campaign initiated by Becta.
What is Next Generation Learning?
1. What are two videos trying to tell us? Is the message similar, the same, or completely different? In other words if both videos are about the same subject, do both deliver the same message? if not, why not?
2. After viewing both videos, how would you explain what Next Generation Learning is to the parents of a K10 student?
Saturday, January 16, 2010
I must admit that though I subscribe to a number of emails from educational entities, I have never bothered to search their websites to check if they have RSS feeds. A case in particular is the eSchoolNews that Kerrie has displayed on her blog for this task. I have followed eSN through their variuous newsletters for a few years now; I get 2 to 3 of their email-outs every week. So I have add their technology widget to my blog to the left and subscribed to the RSS feed that now has been added to my iGoogle account.
Having looked at some of the blogs refered to by Ali, Cecily and Kerry and others later, I'll start looking a lot more seriously at building my range.
I used me.edu.au blog for the last year or so but now I'm quite keen on Blogger's. I have documented my impressions about me.edu.au earlier but after reading Helen's entry for Task 3, I might squeeze some time to play with it again.
Monday, January 11, 2010
Task 3 - Embedded Files
The requirement for this task is the embedding of external content into the blog. Once again this should be another exciting exercise. External content is usually imported into a blog using a snippet`
of html code that is embedded within the page on the blog. Many websites support embedding of their widgets, video and other media and generally offer the code free of charge. However I have noticed that Google recently has started to advise that some of their maps do not display unless you use Google Chrome , a web browser developed through open source over the last few years. Apparently Chrome holds 5% of the market and wonder if people have encountered any problems with it.
I have also discovered that me.edu blog may not be capable of handling embedded external code.
So far I have tried Google Maps, Countries visited from World66 website and videos from YouTube.
So after creating my new blogger account, first thing I tried of course is including the World66 map of places I visited and hej presto here it is:
OK, next on my list is a short video. I decided to add a video about the Grand Harbour of the island of Malta, (ts people awarded the George Cross medal by King George VI for their bravery during World War 2. The Grand Harbour was withness to most of the sea and air battles.
Task #3 - Widgets
Widgets - those small "engaging, and useful applications that allow users to turn personal content into dynamic web apps that can be shared on just about any website" (Wikipedia).
Ideally these should be placed to the left or right of the main content of a blog.
I have attached a translator from Babylon to the right panel of this blog.
Well that's about it. I have spent too much time on this task first due to issues with my previous blog, and now having to learn a new environment.