Monthly Archives: April 2010

Unpacking the Netbooks – WIWOW

WIWOW was again popular this afternoon, when the topic was “Unpacking the Netbooks”. It is now just over two months, since netbooks were rolled out to students in years 5 to 8. The program is proving to be very popular with students and teachers. However teachers have not been made aware of the programs that have been installed on these netbooks.

For one hour after school, as part of Walk In Walk Out Wednesday, teachers were given the opportunity to ‘play’ with and explore a netbook and it software. Two of our year 7 students were also there, to share, demonstrate and help staff through the unpacking. A very popular and well received session!

Present were Rob G, GP, BG, KO, Bronya, AMH, Jane L and AM plus our two students.

eT@lking – The power of mobile learning in education

Louise Duncan was our wonderful presenter this week. Louise has pioneered the use of iPod touches in the classroom and shared much of her experiences, uses and applications of them to empower learning for students. If you did not attend the session in real time, you must view the recording! Here is the recording link.

The chat will be shared as soon as I can access the recording.

Tech Talk Tuesdays and eT@lking – this week’s sessions

Online in elluminate will be the following free webinars. Please join us  and share with some exciting presenters:-

Tech Talk Tuesdays:- Tuesday April 27th

Topic: Learning Adventures

Time: 3:45-4:45pm (Melbourne, Australia time gmt+10)

Presenter: Adrian Camm

Topic Summary:  Learning Adventures

In order to model a more constructivist educational setting, Gary Stager coined the term ‘learning adventures’ to replace ‘assignment’ in describing classroom activity. He argues that this simple rhetorical shift has a profound impact on teachers spirit and effectiveness in teaching. In this session, Adrian Camm from McGuire College will focus on the particpation in learning adventures that are deep, rich, have inherent cross-curricular opportunities and can be used in your own classroom.

About Adrian:- 

Adrian Camm is the Head of Mathematics at McGuire College and has responsibility for senior Mathematics and Physics. He is now taking a leadership role in promoting effective use of emerging technologies across all faculty areas. His pioneering use of current and emerging technologies is impacting positively on student engagement and learning outcomes across Victoria and beyond. Adrian received two awards at the 2009 Australian Awards for Teaching Excellence; Best National Achievement – The Federal Minister for Education Award for Excellence in ICT and the Highly Commended in the Excellence by a Teacher award.

Here is the link to the session

eT@lking Wednesday April 28th

Topic: The Power of Mobile Technolgy for Powerful Learning

Presenter: Louise Duncan

Topic Description:  Louise Duncan is our guest presenter tonight. Louise won the 2009 Lindsay Thompson Fellowship – Victoria’s Education Departments’ highest award to a teacher for her work on mobile devices – iPod touches. Louise has transformed learning at Shepparton High School with the humble iPod. She is considered an eLearning champion at the school where she has taught for seven years. Ms Duncan’s tireless fundraising has enabled the school to increase its technology assets and successfully embed the use of ICT into the curriculum, with a strong focus on personalised learning through one-to-one technology – namely, the iPod. Her determination and unstoppable enthusiasm to transform learning with technology has inspired schools across the nation and impressed other project participants in Singapore, USA and the UK.

Link to join the Session

International Friendship Day

Friday, April 16th, was International Friendship Day in Singapore. 

“International Friendship Day is a day dedicated to the understanding of Singapore’s relations with neighbouring countries and beyond. It aims to sensitise our children towards the geo-political realities inherent in Singapore, as well as nurture in our students the spirit of friendship and collaboration among different people.”

The classes at Elias Park Primary  School  were busy with a number of activities. Grade 5, under the direction of their teacher, Baljeet, were writing to the students in australia about the kampong experience like the games, the house and utensils used during the kampong days. Aini Hussein’s grade 6 class were making miniature scarecrows from different countries, out of recycled materials. Students were given two chopsticks and then use their recycled materials they brought from home. The scarecrows were to represent the citizens from other countries. To our delight we were part of the demonstrations of the completed scarecrows. Elias Park students and Aini linked up using  skype to videoconference with us and one of our year 6/7 classes. In clear confident voices, students took it in turns to talk about their scarecrows. The scarecrows represented USA, China, Korea and one really creative one was a cross between an Egyption mummy and a Japanese citizen. Thank you students for a fantastic demonstration and involving us in your International Friendship Day. Our sound and video were clear and loud, but unfortunately, the students from Singapore could not hear us and had to rely on our text chat for communication.

See a movie on the videconference and linkup.

A global voice! A global brain! A global issue in education – ning!

A global educational issue has arisen with the proposal by ning to charge for the use of their networking tool. Becoming a member of classroom2.0 2 1/2 years ago when there were 3000 members enabled me to establish a fantastic personal learning network. Classroom 2.0 uses ning for a platform. Since then, I am a member of many nings. For me, a ning is user friendly, has the abilitiy to embed multi media, allow blogging, discussions, formation of groups etc.

When Steve Hargadon called a meeting to discuss the impact that the announcement would have on educators, I was delighted to find that I could attend. 143 educators were in the room at one stage from many different countries, cultures and languages. What an amazing event to be part of – “a global voice and a global brain”! The chat went wild and it was almost impossible to keep up with the threads!

  1. Listen to the recording. 
  2. LearnCentral discussion group for administrators of educational networks

One of the items on the agenda was “What are we going to do?” The participants then combined brains and voices and came up with “if we build our own ning alternative these are the characteristics that we would like!”

  • Ability to set privacy options
  • JGubbins207: Ability to backup and offload data
  • Easy to set up; private; possibly for under 13
  • Kevin Honeycutt: Make it possible to know your data is safe and accessible
  • The ability to have video you can watch through LI via embedded code would be nice
  • Functionality of ning
  • natural evolution
  • ease of use
  • grandfathering of existing networks and future membership growth is vital
  • Expectation No ads
  • Free for education
  • streamed video capabilities
  • Keep space for video/photo upload
  • ability for some customization (change look & feel)
  • embedded video
  • Mobile ability connection
  • customer support and training
  • ability to add features without excessive costs
  • easy migration and export
  • Categorizing of groups
  • Ability to share and store recommendations
  • Chat functions
  • Ability to create sub-networks based on interests, communities
  • Tagging
  • wiki capability
  • rss feeds
  • capability to post to multiple places eg twitter, Ning, blog
  • ability to have separate discussions and/or forums within the site
  • Forums, threaded discussions, chat, embed features, blog features
  • abiliy to video conference!
  • File sharing
  • Video chat
  • micro blogging
  • voice/podcast ability/

From the chat came: sharonbetts 1: @Alice – we have built a perfect educational social network – now need someone to build it!

What do you think? What would you add?

Ning and its future in education!

The first inkling that I got re potential  issues with ning, was an email alert from Jen Wagner that read as follows:-

I am unsure if you have heard the news — but NING’s blog today had information about their upcoming changes to NINGS and the fact that they will be costing in the near future.

Which means, in the near future, this ning will need to close as well. But no worries — I am already looking for a portal to move us to.

Twitterverse was full of many discussions but still the future was unknown. Steve Hargadon founder of classroom 2.0 called an immediate/urgent online meeting of interested parties, Wednesday April 21st in elluminate. It was fortunate that I could attend such a meeting. The atmosphere was electric with more than 140 participants representing most continents of the globe, all with an active voice. The discussion and chat moved so fast, that many had to change their view in elluminate and even then, it was impossible to keep up with the feed. From Sharon P: The chat rocks too fast

All were deeply disappointed with ning’s announcement, many felt angry, others frustrated but all were left wondering about the future of networking in education for both educationalists and students.  The meeting agenda is below:-

From the chat:-

  • I’m a huge Ning fan.  I’m hoping we can convince them of the value of some things, and of the obligation of some others. (Steve Hargadon)
  • Indeed but we can’t expect everything for free can we? Before we go into a panic let’s see what there price point is.  (JGubbins207)
  • Scott MacGregor: i think our general message to NING should be that a free offering for educators is a great loss leader through our students and colleagues. cutting out free participants, in an arena filled with free offerings will cut your ad revenue
  • I’m worried about the content that’s been lovingly created under the belief it would be available. (Steve Hargadon)
  • Sharon P: Buddypress is definitely what I would consider as a replacement for NIng, but one needs a server to host
  • Kevin Honeycutt: I have never found anything that works as easily and handles so much multimendia
  • Kevin Honeycutt: I understand it has to cost, I pay for several networks but I have inportant content on some free ones. Hope I can migrate or find sponsors.
  • Linda Dougherty: Just checking with Second Life friends, they are migrating to
  • Ibrahim: I have started copying all images to my own host using Coppermine web uploader
  • Does it mean that we lose all our existing free nings, if we do not pay, or will they just be locked down?
  • Sharon P: @JGubbins I have to look at this thru the lens of educators in developing nations
  • SandyDG-Argentina: can you speak slowly…please . we are speaking english as second lenguages…thanks..
  • sharonbetts 1: very awesome – my worry is all those teachers with small networks that cannot be afforded
  • Ning has done something tremendous. Here is the evidence – in this room!
  • Scott MacGregor: ning hasformative in my teaching and that of one of my colleagues
  • Cris: We need a social entrepreneur to come through for Ning
  • Sharon P: I completely understand that Ning needs to change their business model in order to continue to exist
  • As teachers we want our students to be ‘lifelong learners’ – so whatever direction we take post-NING, I’m looking for lengevity.  The ning – even if dead-ish should enable students to reflect on their progeress years after the event
  • Deb White (MN): Solutions…let’s avoid whining and move to ideas.
  • sharonbetts 1: it has been such a fabulous way to extend the classroom across cultures.
  • Tammy Moore: Peggy – if you give me CC I could type to try to help English as second language participants
  • steveoc: NING doesn’t owe anyone free services
  • Cris: Ning is like a nursery for preparing digital citizens
  • Sharon P: For those in developing nations, ning offered a great entry point for using technology to communicate
  • angelamaiers: Think about how much we spend in schools for textbooks, reproducible materials, etc…the price point pay for a Ning will pale in comparison
  • Camille Nischal: What is grandfathering of existing Nings?
  • Stephanie Sandifer: I use Classroom 2.0 as a “gateway drug” when introducing teachers to social networkng in workshops
  • Donelle: I wonder if we should designate a particular day to have all of us blog about Ning and let them know where we are coming from.  There can be power in numbers and doing it all of a specific day may have a strong affect in having them take notice.
  • Lee Kolbert: I think its unreasonable for us to ask for free and no ads. What about G-rated ads?
  • Maureen (bcdtech): I hope Steve pulls all of these ideas into a mindmap- I need a visual
Lets do something constructive
  1. Steven Verjan’s Google Doc
  2. Lucy Gray survey
  3. Backing up your user data
  4. Backing up your Ning?
  5. Educational Networking Wiki

Further information

Others suggestions for migrating from the chat included ELGG, buddy press in wordpress
Claude:  The twitter fall on alternatives
Lee Kolbert: Alec Couros Google Doc on Ning Alternatives:
If you are a creator of an educational ning, please fill in this survey to enable ‘your voice”‘!
A global issue with a global audience: the map of participants being built:-

The 21st Century Learner – eT@lking

Kim Cofino was to be our presenter for this session but due to the political unrest and the fact that the demonstrators had camped in her street, meant that Kim and her husband have not been allowed home for most of this week. In the morning, I received an email to say that Kim still was not allowed home, and it was most unlikely that she would be able to present. It was decided to continue the session with the same topic, but to make it an unconference session. All publicity was quickly altered in a bid to let everyone know.

The session started with a number of dedicated educationalists, and after the introductions and ice breaker, participants proceeded to unpack the 21st century learner, using the whiteboard. Fortunately, I glance at the participants list regularly to see if new people are coming into the room, and to my utter amazement, I noticed Kim’s name there! I looked three times, but sure enough when greeted, Kim took the mic and acknowledged her presence. The presentation continued with Kim first, telling us about the dramatic events that are evolving in Bangkok. Thanks Kim for putting in this huge effort to be with us and thanks to your host family for enabling you to use their facilities. You are amazing!Comment from Sue 1 “Wow my school day was boring compared to that!!!!”

See Kim’s presentation resources  21st Century Learner wiki and blog

Not so many shared links this time, but some profound comments from the chat and Kim came the following:-

  • the notion of prosumers (a mix of producers and consumers) = a new media generation
  • we need to embrace all these disruptive technologies
  • Letting go of the control – always the first challenge (in relation to teachers)
  • Do students all need the same hardware? Can they have a suite of tools to select from laptop / ipad / iphone etc ..
  • Synthesise new understandings and constructions from different people, ideas, views .. across cultures, time and place.

Videos mentioned

Listen to the Recording

Finally, please fill in this survey, if you live in Australia for EdNA, to let those who fund the site, know how valuable it is.

From Roland Gesthuzien – visual communication

eT@Lking tonight – now an unconference session

Unfortunately, due to the political climate in Bangkok, and the fact that the protestors have camped in Kim Cofino’s street, Kim has been prevented from returning home due to the potential danger. She is therefore, unable to present. Instead there will be an interactive unconference session where participants will discuss the 21st century learner. Apologies from all involved. We hope that Kim remains safe and is soon able to return home!

The link for the session

Tech Talk Tuesdays- Using Images Online

April 21st Session: This was an unconference session where participants contributed meaningful conversations and discussions, shared knowledge, asked questions and came up with a wonderful number of links and suggestions. See the recording. It was great having the global mix in the room. Thank you everyone!

From the busier than ever chatroom came the following urls and key points:-

  • Listen to Susan Patrick from iNacol about global perspectives on future ed trends with online learning. See the events  
  • Pirate Pad is the same as as both use etherpad: – online open pads for discussing and brainstorming

From @Peggy George Earth Be sure to join in the castathon on Earth Day 🙂 24 hours of fantastic sessions online and free

This Thursday is paperless day. Please join in.

Jenny Lucca’s cybersafety presentations

@Sue Wyatt gave these links for image sources

 Blog post re adding images in posts

30 applications for photo editing online 🙂

From our USA counterparts “discovery streaming but I love it for images!”

Suggested file name extensions approprate for online use:- jpg, png

Editing images:-

Suggested sizes for

  • avatars 97×97 pixels for avatars
  • adding images to blog posts 500 x375 pixels,

Pearls of wisdom from @Peggy George

  1. you really need to convert your photos and not just change the extension.
  2. I always save my images large because they can always be downsized but you can’t upsize them and keep the quality
  3. many sites limit you to 40k for uploading

@SueWyatt I set the camera to standard size which will print at a half A4 page or postcard size

Online albums flick,,

Good article from Sue Waters in the edulogger on  how not to have problems uploading photos and images.

 Participants added their ideas to the elluminate whiteboard and here is the presentation of those screen dumps.

Tech Talk Tuesdays and eT@lking- this week’s sessions

Session: Tech Talk Tuesdays (sponsored by the Innovations and Next Practice Branch of DEECD)

Topic: Using Images Online

Date:  Tuesday 20th April

Time: 3:45- 4:45 pm (Melbourne Australia time gmt+10)

Access to session: Click on this link to join the online session in elluminate

This session will be an unconference where participants will discuss the following:-

  • many sources for images,
  • the  ideal or appropriate size of images when working online or emailing.
  • online storage sites and
  • online slideshow creators etc
  • how to upload or embed in blogs, wikis etc
  • other factors to consider when working with images.

Bring your ideas, or if new to it all, bring your questions!

Session eT@lking (Australia Series) sponsored by elluminate

Title: The 21st Century Learner with world reknowned educator Kim Cofino

Date: Wednesday, April 21st

Time: 8-9pm Melbourne Australia time (gmt+10)

Join in this exciting session, where Kim Cofino will talk about “the 21st Century Learner”. Session details:-

Looking to engage your students through the use of new technologies? Wondering about the key skills and attributes they will need for their future? Ready to start adapting your classroom to the needs of the 21st century learner? In this presentation we will focus on strategies for helping students learn with technology the way they live with technology. Bring the engagement and excitement students have about connected learning into your classroom by embracing the new technologies and skills students are experiencing outside of school. All resources and materials used in this presentation can be found on the presentation wiki.

Link to the session

Please note that both these sessions will be recorded and published online!