Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Just because... a bit of light relief.

Had to share this simply because it amused me. (Plus I love the Sound of Music - sad but true). All that aside, if you listen carefully the educational advice aspect is very true and worth considering. Don't forget to sing along.

Saturday, 22 March 2008


I'm just playing with my Flock web browser as I explore the possibilities of this social networking based tool. Technically speaking, if this actually works, pressing the "publish" button should send this to my blog. I guess we need to see what happens.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Wohoo! It worked :) I added this after it uploaded by signing in to edit though Blogger like I normally do. This could prove to be a very useful tool. I already like the fact that I can follow Facebook, Twitter and Flickr via my Flock browser. I can also subscribe to and follow RSS feeds for blogs I want to keep an eye on. If I click on my favourites button it automatically adds it to my del.icio.us account - very cool. There are a few other neat features that I still need to play with, I'll keep you posted.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Playing Again

Just had a play with Bookr and made this. I thought I might use it for our "Wild New Zealand" unit next term. Very cool to be able to make a "book" with pages that turn. I also like the fact that it is embeddable.

I seem to "play" online a lot. Not that I think this is a bad thing, I personally feel that the best way to learn to use new technology is to take the time to play and explore. By playing you can come to grips with how something works. It also enables you to identify the pitfalls and possibilities. The more you play, the more ideas you start to generate for uses in the classroom.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Twitter - it works for me.

I think one of the best things about being a connected learner/educator (and I count myself as both - I am learning so much) is the global connections I am able to make. I am building my Twitter network, working towards regular blog posts and avidly reading and following the blogs of other educators. I also belong to a couple of nings (links in sidebar). Twitter for me really has been the most powerful social networking tool. I know I have probably said it before, but it really has made a huge difference to me, both personally and professionally. When I try to explain what it is to others I tend to get funny looks or comments like, "Well what's the point?" I am also aware that there are some out there in cyber space who also see little value in it.
Those I follow through Twitter are all educators and this is where it really works for me. I am able to follow, share with, learn from and connect with like minded others in a form of self driven PD. Twitter has broadened my knowledge of the educational potential available through net based 2.0 tools. I can see what others are doing with their classes and even organise for my children to participate in global collaborative projects.
Last night was a perfect example of why Twitter works for me. My class are soon to be producing video commercials for their "Advertising Me" unit and I was searching for useful ways to teach them about camera angles. I put out a tweet asking if anyone knew of any sites or resources - I figured that maybe someone would see and I might get a reply. In a matter of minutes I'd had responses from several people, for a range of different sites relating to my query. I was stoked! needless to say, my class had a wonderful time today exploring the links and developing a really solid understanding of terms like close up, mid shot, panning, worms eye view, etc.
The second neat thing (well for me anyway) that occurred last night came just as I was thinking about closing the laptop and trotting off to bed. Suzie Vesper and Sujokat both sent out tweets asking if anyone wanted to try out WiZiQ. I didn't even know what it was but thought ,"why not?" What followed was half an hour of mirth, merriment and good old fashioned fun as we played with this. It was neat to hear people's voices, especially as they are all people I "talk"(read as type/write) to online, but have never met in person. I also got an opportunity to explore a tool for collaboration and presentations that I would other wise have had no knowledge of . My mind is already churning over the possibilities - I even jokingly suggested to another teacher this morning that you could teach from home if you were sick as you'd be able to hear the class, talk to them, share files with them and write up info for them. They could do the same for you at home. (Don't worry I'm not quite that bad...yet!)
The net result of my experiences last night was that while I got a few hours less sleep then I should have, I had expanded my horizons, made connections, interacted with others and felt a real sense of community and belonging.

Sunday, 9 March 2008

Social Bookmarking

Came across this in my web wanderings today. I thought it explained Social Bookmarking very clearly. Posted on Slideshare by heyjude.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

Meme: Passion Quilt

I've been tagged twice!! Once by Nedra and once by Allanah to participate in the Passion Quilt Meme created by Miguel Gulhin. Thank you for tagging me, I still get a kick out of the fact that other people are reading my blog too.
I knew what I was passionate about, the trick was finding a picture that actually represented what I was trying to convey. After looking a pictures of people of various ages, technological devices, signs, etc - I finally found these guys. To me they have a look of wide eyed curiosity and I know from my own cats that cats are constantly exploring and discovering their world, taking risks, problem solving and persevering until they achieve their desired result. I wanted to convey one of my main aims as a teacher and life long learner and for me this picture says it all.

Here are the rules:

1. Think about what you are passionate about teaching your students.
2. Post a picture from a source like FlickrCC or Flickr Creative Commons or make/take your own that captures what YOU are most passionate about for kids to learn about…and give your picture a short title.
3. Title your blog post “Meme: Passion Quilt” and link back to this blog entry.
4. Include links to 5 folks in your professional learning network or whom you follow on Twitter/Pownce.

I now tag the following 5 people:
Toni Twiss
Rachel Boyd
Jane Nicholls