practical :: innovative :: flexible

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Gizmo - like Skype but cheaper (is freeer a word?)

Education/Technology - Tim Lauer

Nice summation here of the benefits of Gizmo, an internet telephony service similar to Skype but possibly even cheaper. Gizmo is currently running a scheme where you can make free calls to the landlines of other Gizmo users in 60 countries around the world.

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Using it in the classroom

This is a quote from George Siemen's blog and sums up very well some issues I've been having with the tool-centred approach of a lot of eLearning 2.0 training.

"A new survey of teachers and their use of technology suggests there is a clear correlation between hours spent in professional development, classroom integration of technology, and improved student performance. "

I don't imagine this is a shock to anyone. Competence and confidence determines action. Professional development for educators needs to be on at least two levels: how to use technology tools (LMS, blogs, wikis, podcasts) and how to alter the instructional environment to reflect the new affordances created by the tools. I'm concerned that the second component will be overlooked in our efforts to teach individuals how to use the tools.

elearnspace: Teacher Development

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Friday, July 21, 2006

Want to brush up on Web Design?

Web Design - Wikibooks, collection of open-content textbooks

This is a pretty nifty use of a wiki to run a web-design course, setup by Michael Nelson of the Blue Mountains campus of TAFE NSW.

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

Great resource of "Serious" Games

Social Impact Games :: Entertaining Games with Non-Entertainment Goals

The Serious Game movement is all about using the particular strengths of video and computer games - engagement and entertainment - to convey useful information about the world.

It includes things like language learning, decision based simulation and collaborative learning, properties of physics and much much more.

Games in education advocate Mark Prensky has a list up of more than 200 games that you might find of interest.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

It's educational - really :)

Top 20 Educational Locations in Second Life - SimTeach

Have you taken a look at Second Life yet? It's what they call a Massive Multiplayer Online Game - essentially a vast, earth sized virtual world where you can wonder around and do pretty well anything that it is possible to do in reality.

Educators are starting to look at this with interest - and here are some of the leading locations within second life where interesting things are being done - everything from functioning ecosystems to looking at heart murmurs.

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Practical uses of Wikis

Wikis offer a simple shared space to collaborate on things that really matter. This does not translate into the “build it and they will come” thinking.

Rather, as described in this article, wikis will work only if all of the following are present:

* The right culture. The talking, negotiating type.

* A practical, compelling reason to collaborate, to share (it helps if they are a number of practical, compelling reasons).

* A champion who can show the way.

pebbleRoad: Using Wikis on the Intranet: The British Council Case Study

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Everything you ever wanted to know about screencasting but were afraid to ask.

wwwtools for teachers

This is a pretty extensive resource on the wwwtools for education website all about screencasting.

According to Wikipedia, a Screencast is a digital recording of computer screen output, often containing audio narration - essentially the sort of thing you would use software such as Camtasia for and is quite handy in showing learners the steps involved in doing something particular on the computer.

Well worth a look.

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

July 14: Social Web Tags using

Monday, July 10, 2006

Any Maths teachers out there?

Weblogg-ed »

Will Richardson has found a wiki that showcases student created screencasts about maths related topics.

I really like how he highlights the benefits of this kind of activity.

The thing I like the most here is the opportunity to engage our students by not only asking them to show what they know by testing it but by teaching it. I really believe that is a transformative shift that finally allows us to stop being the sole audience our kids work for. I always tried to find authentic audiences for my students’ work when I was in the classroom, to move the motivation away from the grade and instead to the audience feedback and reaction.

Weblogg-ed »

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Thinking about tagging and users defining data

This is a pretty interesting (and not toooo lengthy) paper looking into the use of tagging in websites such as (bookmark/favourite sharing) and flickr (photo sharing)

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Interesting use of Flickr - for short stories.

In investigating the use of tagging I’ve come across an interesting movement using Flickr – it’s people writing short stories attached to Flickr images. Some are one liners, others stretch down a page. All grouped together using the tag Flicktion.

This is one I particularly enjoyed. (click image)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

OMG!!! Teacher gets class to create MySpace type page for characters from Richard III

» Blog Archive » Medieval Space Pages

This is a really nifty idea - the title pretty well says it all

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Great Podcast on the importance of creativity in education

TEDTalks (audio, video)

I've just been listening to the Sir Ken Robinson speech about the importance of emphasising creativity in education from this year's TED talks and highly recommend checking it out.

The audio file is about 7mb and comes in at about 17 minutes.

In addition to being a very funny speaker, he makes some very interesting points about current educational directions and the value in teaching people not to be so afraid of failure.

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Monday, July 03, 2006

Good Age article about blogging in education

Adventures in blog land - Education News -

While this does perhaps go over some familiar ground, there's a fairly broad investigation here into the way different academics have been using blogs of late and how it is reshaping knowledge sharing everywhere.

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Saturday, July 01, 2006

How to assess Blog posts

Weblogg-ed » Assessing Blog Posts

This is an interesting blog entry from George Siemens (in response to David Warlick's initial thoughts) on ideas for assessing blog content.

1. What did you read in order to write this blog entry? Yee Haw! Blogging starts with reading, and I read David’s post, which leads me to blogging. (I read some other stuff, too. See below.) And I think an even more interesting question to add is “What was your process of reading?”

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