Monthly Archives: December 2010

Our Christmas 2010

Christmas time is my favourite time of the year. Here is how we spent it in 2010.

Ten days before Christmas, we put a fresh, young pine tree in our sitting room and decorated it with a variety of decorations. The traditional star was placed on top.  Cards were sent out to family and friends and emailed Christmas letters  to those who are online. Two days prior to Christmas, presents and gifts were wrapped for the family and placed under our Christmas Tree. Christmas Eve is time for church – with the children leading the service and telling the Christmas story.

Christmas Day is spent with family. Two of our sons were able to be part of it, virtually, despite their distance from home – Jason in London and Jonathan in South Africa. Although skype had been playing up, it allowed Jason to watch from his home in London, his nephew and

Jason watches the presents being opened via skype

niece open the presents that he had sent in the mail. He also watched the other presents being opened. (We only used one way videoconferencing to hold the connection.)

 At night, Jonathan, Jason (our two overseas sons) and another cousin living in Leeds were able to set up a conference skype call and speak to all those assembled at my sister-in-law’s house for Christmas tea.

Christmas lunch was traditional, with half our immediate family present, including our two grandchildren, Will and Ella, and spent at our place. Here is our lunch menu.

  • Entree:- prawn cocktail
  • Main:- Roast Turkey and ham, roast pork and chicken, baked vegetables and honeyed carrots.
  • Dessert:- plum pudding and brandy sauce, fruit salad and icecream, fresh strawberries in dipping chocolate sauce.

For the evening meal, we drove 30 mins into Warrnambool to spend the night with my husband’s family. Gran, my husband’s 90 year old mother was also present. That meal consisted of cold meats and salads, with fruit salad and trifle for dessert.

How did you spend your Christmas? Would love you to comment back or link to your blog post.

The evening meal and virtual guests

Wishing you all a very Merry, Happy and Joyous Christmas

To all readers of this blog, to all my online colleagues and friends and the general global community, I wish you a very happy and joyous Christmas. Below is a collage of the art work of grade prep/one class  in our school.

Thank youto  Mrs Lee for allowing me to publish this gorgeous collage. They have captured lots of details of the impact that Santa has on them at Christmas!

The Preps wish all a Happy Christmas

What happens when Delicious turns sour?

sour delicious

A special Tech Talk Tuesday session discussed the unknown future of delicious. Several tools were shared and thanks to @scottduncan and @mrpbps (John Pearce) for sharing their delicious accounts and diigo accounts. Here is the link to the recording.

Alternative bookmarking sites that participants currently used

People wanted to discuss:-

  • What is social bookmarking?
  • What can we do with our delicious accounts now?
  • Would like to see examples and make comparisons
  • Does anyone know how to export to diigo?
  • What is the difference between an educators’ account and a normal one?
  • How can we keep diverse?
  • Discuss the diigo let
  • Does google have a bookmarking tool?

what is social bookmarking

advs of social bookmarking

Here are some intersting links and a video:-

  1. delicious wont be shut down says Yahoo
  2. transition of delicious to diigo frequently asked questions
  3. Migrating from delicious to diigo!
  4. Mac and IPhone-friendly Alternatives to Delicious from @teachtechie

Using posterous in the classroom and lesson plans using posterous

Tech Talk Tuesday Special:- If it’s not delicious, do we diigo our bookmarks?

Tech Talk Tuesday Special: Tuesday 21st December 3:45 -4:45pm. Melbourne, Australia  gmt+10

Topic: If it’s not delicious, do we diigo our bookmarks?

The twittersphere has been active with tweets regarding the news that the future of delicious (a popular online social bookmarking tool) is in jeopardy or about to change its platform. Delicious was one of my top 10 web2.0 tools and has been user friendly and popular with many. Most people are now exporting their bookmarks to diigo. This session will be a general discussion on what action can or should be taken, is diigo the best alternative, how do people export their bookmarks, what are the benefits of diigo and other alternatives etc.

It is hoped that some experienced users of both tools will join in this general sharing session. Come whether you are new or experienced.

Here is the link to the session

Right from the beginning it was delicious!

Over three years ago, I started to experiment with web2.0 tools. The first tool was blogging but the second one was delicious! This opened my eyes to the wonderful world of web2.0! Here is what I could do!:-

  1. Save favourites online rather than in my browser
  2. Access bookmarks from any computer with the internet, anywhere around the world.
  3. Look at other people’s favourite websites.
  4. Create a personal learning network.
  5. Find many bookmarked sites for topics I was interested in eg podcasts etc
  6. Find other people who were interested in the same topics.
  7. Found delicious to be user friendly, useful and great tool to show others the power, benefits of and need for web2.0. It was often used at conferences and staff PD to encourage the use of web2.0.
  8. Share my online discoveries with others
  9. The ability to tag and find resources quickly

Delicious featured in my top 10 web2.0 tools for the first two years and was featured in conference presentations that were made. My students were encouraged to commence their own delicicious accounts, especially those in the senior years of school.

It was with sadness that yesterday my tweet feed revealed that Yahoo was considering shutting down delicious (see also post by pcmag). Yahoo has since responded on the future of delicious.  Although I also have a diigo account, delicious has always seemed easier and more user friendly.

Here are 10 alternative sites to delicious from searchengineland. I am also intrigued with diigo and the fact that you can create web slides with bookmarked sites. See Michael Ghulin’s post on how to create the webslides and Slide Thinkfinity into the Curriculum with Diigo Slides

Announcements today are saying not to panic and that yahoo is looking for an alternative platform for delicious, so I will do little now, except

  1.  read up more on the alternatives eg exporting bookmarks ,   Export, Import and Migrate Your Delicious Bookmarks and then ensuring that I move my delicious bookmarks into diigo.
  2.  download a firefox applet that will save bookmarks to both delicious and diigo

Here are some sites to explore on the use of diigo (Thanks to John Pearce)

  1. Examples of student learning with diigo
  2. Bookmarking using diigo in the classroom and this youtube video
  3. Getting started notes for diigo by John Pearce

More alternatives

  1. xmarks – needs downloaded sync
  2.  googlebookmark
  3. pinboard – has a small annual cost

eT@lking final for 2010: End of Year and Christmas Celebrations

virtual presents are opened


What fun we had at the End of Year and Christmas Celebrations, last session for 2010 Tech Talk Tuesdays. Here is the link to the recording
 The following gives you some idea of the agenda, the games played and the sharing that took place:-

  1. What was the highlight of your day?
  2. Scategories led by @brittgow – listing words from a number of categories that started with a predetermined letter
  3. Two things you don’t know about me – written on the whiteboard by all participants.
  4. Write your name in a coloured box on the whiteboard
  5. Name your favourite festival/holidayBritt and Peggy George
  6. Memory Test
  7. Show us your Christmas outfit/headgear etc Thanks @peggygeorge and @brittgow for using the video camera to share with us.
  8. Santa Says (a Christmas version of Simon Says)peggy george
  9. Santa gets a msg on his phone – What is it?
  10. Adding the participants’ virtual food to the table! – what a feast there was for all including a wonderful variety of Chinese food.
  11. Decorate your plate for the festivity – participants were put in pairs into breakout rooms and decorated their plates for use at the virtual table.
  12. Opening the virtual presents
Our virtual feast Our virtual feast

The time went quickly and there are many more games left for next year! Hope to see you in 2011!

The final outcome of Santa says!
The final outcome of Santa says!
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas
Wishing you all a Merry Christmas! There will be a few week’s break so look out for the events on Innovators Guide to Innovation and LearnCentral  for tweetouts on twitter for the next Tech Talk Tuesday and eT@lking.

eT@lking – final celebratory session for 2010 – Malaysian style

Obviously this was a busy time of year for all, as we had only a couple of participants turn up and then, Adrian had to leave 20 mins into the session. Unfortunatley, the damp, wet weather at home, meant that I bounced in and out for the start, but as my dear colleague, Veronica Woo had prepared 10 slides for presentation on highlights of the school year in Ipoh, Malaysia and how Malaysia acknowledges/celebrates Christmas, Veronica was able to share her experiences for the whole session. Thanks Veronica and would love to get you back next year, when more participants should come online.

Here is the link to the recording

Christmas activity ideas

Myspace Text -
Here are some ideas for those of us who enjoy celebrating Christmas. For

Santa in Helsinki, Finland


  1. Students love glitz, animation, colour etc Add some sparkly text and a Merry Christmas heading in your blog post with sparklee, glitter text, free sparkle etc
  2. Add an animated gif or graphic. Search for copyright free images online.
  3. Take a photo of any evidence of Christmas activity in your school. Add to a blog post with a brief description on why this is occurring.
  4. What does Christmas look like, sound like and feel like in the area where you live? Make a txt movie, a powerpoint presentation, a poem or write a report and add to a blog post?
  5. Using your mobile phone (cell phone), take photos of the Christmas tree in your home, add to your blog and explain the processes of getting the tree up and then removing it.
  6. Does your neighbourhood put Christmas lights up in their gardens or on their homes. Tell us what they look like, add an image and find links to actual global Christmas lights eg Oxford Street, London Add these links to your blog post.
  7. Are there Christmas markets near you? What are they like? Find some of the big global Christmas markets and add a brief post, hyperlinking text to any sites that you find. eg Christmas markets in Germany
  8. Check out Shelly Terrell’s blog post on 8 free apps for creating special holiday gifts.

For some fun and games!

  1. Make your own Advent Calendar: using MS Powerpoint or enjoy all these Advent Calendars from iLearn Technology
  2. Get ready to follow Santa on Norad and Google maps See Norad tracks Santa
  3. Make a snowflake
  4. From @sandynay on twitter
  5. Santa Clause sciencebase
  6. The North Pole
  7. Elf yourself
  8. Make some Christmas Cards and find some interesting questions relating to Christmas time.

For teachers

  1. Great site with videos, music etc relating to Christmas
  2. Elf Yourself in a Christmas card!
  3. Advent calendar with a different web2.0 tool featured each day and a maths advent calendar with maths activities in the leadup to Christmas
  4. Get each of your students to make a picture relating to Christmas. Put them into a collage and create a Christmas greeting. See below for an example from our Prep/One teacher. Isn’t it wonderful!

Tech Talk Tuesdays: End of Year, Christmas celebrations and virtual parties

Our year is nearly at an end so come along and celebrate, have fun, play games and get to know each other better, for this our last session(s) of the year!

Tech Talk Tuesdays: Tuesday, December 14th 3:45 -4:45pm (Melbourne Australia time – gmt+11)

Topic: End of Year and Christmas Celebrations

As this is the last session for 2010, let’s celebrate with some
fun, games and general sharing. There will be presents for all,
so wear some party/Christmas headgear and share it using the video cam & microphone.
Bring a photo and share Christmas celebrations with those from other cultures.
Bring some food for the virtual feast (copyright free images etc)
Share your most exciting moment for 2010
Do you have any ideas for this last session? Add as comments below.
Here is the link to the session

eT@lking: Wed Dec 15th 8-9pm Melbourne Australia – gmt+11

Topic:- Virtual End of Year Party

As this is the last session for 2010, we will have a party with fun, games, sharing conversations etc.
Please bring along some or all of the following and share with us all:-
•A highlight for the year
•A photo (resized) depicting where you live or your culture
•Your favourite moments of 2010 – educational/personal
•A funny moment, a sad moment and a proud moment
•Something new you tried this year educationally
•For those who celebrate Christmas, an object to share over the webcam or an image (resized) to place on the whiteboard
•Most importantly some virtual food (images, photos- copyright free)
Any ideas for games/acitivites!
Please join us and experience the best that web conferencing can offer!

Here is the link for the session

Drawn by year 9 Ebonie

Avatars – keeping students cybersafe

Please meet the students from my classes – they include years 7 through to years 9/10 ICT and some of my accounting students from years 11 and 12.
Can you find their names, their ages, their personal details from the pics below? No? Therefore they are really safe when using avatars as  computer identities when working online.

Students from my classes

Here are our two favourite avatar creating sites:-

  1. lego avatars with reasonably clever  (this requires a screen dump to save – see below)
  2. portrait making  with illustrator avatars – right click on completed avatar and save image as ….. in appropriate folder
  3. or you might like to use MS Paint and draw your own.

To make a screen dump:-

  • complete your avatar
  • Find the key PrtSc (on top RHS of keyboard = print screen)
  • open a drawing or image editing tool eg MS Paint
  • Click ‘paste’
  • Crop the image
  • Save as a jpg or png file

Extension activities

  1. A voki or talking avatar can then be produced and added in a text widget on the side bar or within a blog post.
  2. A  super hero can also be created. See flurogreen’s super hero. Her blog also features a lego avatar and a voki. Can you find them?
  3. The teacher could add a wallwisher, getting students to describe key features of their avatar and how it relates to their personality.

Can anyone give instructions for mac computers? What avatar creating programs do you use?