Category Archives: social networking

Conversations in 140 characters

twitterA recent presentation to “Broadband for Seniors” tutors on “What you need to know about Twitter” brought forth the question

How can we possibly keep a tweet to 140 characters? Why cant twitter increase the number of characters?

and some of the responses from participants:

  • putting your message in so few words is tricky
  • putting yourself across succinctly takes practice but is good for your English!  (Rasa)
  • If you have to do all this to get beyond the 140 limit, why dont twitter just expand the 140 limit?
  • then it will become toooo much – the treat of it is its only 140 – short and sharp !!!140 characters – sweet and short (Megan)

Here are some tips for keeping within the 140 character limit:

  • Consider a short username/id/twitter handle if people reply to you or retweet one of your tweets it will not use up too many characters
  • Keep your sentence short, concise and to the poin
  • Use recognized abbreviations eg Ss and Ts for students and teachers. Rasa suggested searching online for twitter and facebook abbreviations
  • Use pictures to show what the tweet is about
  • Add short videos for depth See


  • Use a url shortener like bitly, moourl, tinyurl, google etc (although twitter seems  to shortern the url and not include all of it in the character count)
  • Create a poster in canva, a powerpoint slide converted to a jpg to portray a lot of information or other image generator for sharing  eg the 6 or 7 questions to be posed in a twitter chat. They can be displayed on a poster converted to jpg and then attached as an image so that the complete content can be displayed or see tweet below for another example:


Another question was “what happens if you exceed the 140 characters?” It highlights the characters that over the 140 mark and states how many characters you are over!

What tips and hints do you have to keep conversations within 140 characters?

140 characters

A Lobby Friend at TRYP

In the lobby

Having forgotten to book a hotel for the Saturday night of my stay in New York City, I browsed through travelzoo two weeks before my visit trying to find a reasonably priced hotel. The TRYP hotel  Times Square South came up with good value rooms.

It was a hotel with innovative spaces and retro decorations. It was extremely innovative in its use of technology. On entry into the physical hotel lobby, two large monitors greeted guests with hotel updates, opportunities and events. Upon registering as a guest with reception, I was given a username and code to join their social networking lounge – “ the Lobby Friend”. This temporary membership gave me access virtually to concierge, hotel staff and guests who had also joined the Lobby Friend.

The monitor in the lobby sharing Virtual Lounge updates

This had some great advantages:-

  • Enabled networking and publicity of organised events by guests
  • Concierge could immediately alert members to special deals/tickets/events as they came to hand.
  • Finding NYC outlets eg “If I want to find  specific  store  I could post a message and one of the hotel staffers would reply with an answer.
  • If I got lost I could post a message and concierge or staff would help me (I loved this idea! as this was my biggest fear!)

As this was a reasonably new app, and as I was only there one night, I did not make much use of it. However, if I would have been there longer, I may have. The opportunity of a lifeline that if I got lost, sold me on the idea.

What do you think of this type of app? Would you make use of it? How could something like this be adapted into the classroom. Would a ‘lost’ button or update be useful for students when they get confused?

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

SuperclubsPLUS ROCKS!

SuperclubsPLUS site

SuperclubsPLUS site

Students from grades 4 to 6 have all been busy registering for this great social networking site in the last week. It is wonderful to walk into the room and see excitement, students teaching students, the sharing of what they have learnt and how they did it. Students love to customize their pages, and the first few lessons were spent adding colours, images, text and polls.

Already, after four days, one student had their account suspended as someone else had used their username and password to send emails. All teachers were notified, including the principal. So, here was a teachable moment, that students do not share their passwords. Students were spoken to.

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Education is sponsoring all Victorian students in years 3 and 4, and students involved in the netbook program, to join superclubsPLUS, online software developed by IntuitiveMedia. It is a safe educational site with a teacher on duty at all opening times. Students learn how to learn, study and behave appropriately online from an early age, in a safe educational environment. 

Students can upload media, publish articles, build personalised web pages, run their own clubs, complete projects, join discussion forums, chat with friends, achieve their ICT ‘Star Awards’, and participate in ‘Hot Seats’. One of the first awards to aim for is the cyber safety award.  On Thursday, April 30th, a female Qantas airline pilot will be online and availabe to talk to the students. Teachers can also achieve “Star Awards”. There is a teacher howto  section.

Here are the steps for registration. If you are in another state or country, goto superclubsPLUS and follow instructions. A fee is payable annually for each student enrolled.

If in Victoria, goto the Education Channel page  and follow instructions. An email will be sent out with several attachments – a proforma letter for permission to join, to be sent home to parents and a spreadsheet, for data entryt of student and teacher names. This requires birth dates of students as well.  Once parental permission has been given the spreadsheet is emailed back to SuperclubsPLUS and a phone call is made to the school, to ensure that it is indeed a school and that those students exist.

Usernames and passwords are then received and students  can commence. 

  • Students logon.
  • Give students 10 minutes to explore and see what they can discover about the site.  
  • Who’s On shows the teachers, students who are on and the staff member on duty.
  • Staff and Student who are new to the site, should check out “who’s on”  after changing the “my stuff” page. You can see who is online, click on their links and see their pages to get ideas of what can be achieved.
  • Goto “My Stuff”  to  change their password and add an avatar.
  • Goto “My Tools” where students can customize their own page.
  • “How to Link” helps develop confidence in using the site.

This video demonstrates the excitement and interest that superclubsPLUS can generate.

Our orange day in a sentence really stars!!

day-in-a-sentenceThank you to everyone who contributed this week. There were wonderful sentences and I just love tapping into the imaginations of a global cohort! The sentences covered all kinds of topics. So, here is what we had to say about our “star day in a sentence in orange”.
The American elections were uppermost on some minds.
Gail Desler   As the stars dim and the orange glow of a new day begins…change has come to America:-)

Special current events were on others’.

Teryl Magee   Today the Big Or ange (UT Football Team) will come out on top of Wyoming and send Fulmer out as the star that he is!

Paul Bogush   I followed my kids under the stars, trick or treating for 2 hours, planning on how to snatch the elusive rare orange packaged full sized Reeses Peanut Butter Cup from my daughter’s bag.

Anne Mirtschin Colours abounded at our school for ‘out of uniform day” on Tuesday, to celebrate our Melbourne Cup, the horse race that stops the nation of Australia. However, there was no orange to be seen, just many students looking like movie stars.

 The weather was another popular topic of conversation.

Sheryl McCoy    The stars disappeared this morning in a blaze of orange sunlight crossing the sky.

Sharon Harper  

Orange stars blister
Under molten sunlit rays
Summer has arrived
Amy   Falling from the sky and covering the ground, the orange stars confirm the upcoming appearance of winter.
Brrrr…. I’m not ready!

This gem from Lynn Jacobs  covered many topics…
After a week of gloomy, overcast skies without a single glimpse of a star, (Other than our new president-elect!) I am eager to notice that the mandarin oranges are once again for sale at the roadside trucks.

Then, I just loved the humour of some.
Matthew Needleman    Orange you glad it’s been a week of stars and change!
Angie  I was going to start my sentence with ‘orange you going to write’ but someone already stole that idea so give him the gold star!

Education is still alive and well…..

James   Helping students remember the Canadians who liberated the Dutch House of Orange in WWII, allowing Hollanders to see the stars in freedom, again.
Sciencebase     Quite coincidentally, I was hoping to reconsider my “Click an Orange” campaign to raise awareness of RSS this week, thanks for the reminder, you’re a star!

…except for

Cyndi Danner-Kuhn  who must be justifiably disappointed.
Thought I would be a “star” this morning for an iWeb faculty workshop in the College of Education, but no “star” today, no one showed up to learn!”
Health has been an issue for others

Amy Kenyon    Morning after “seeing stars” when my dream for the country came true, I was driving to school in the “orange glow” of sunrise.  I got a call that my step-daughter (a freshman at SUNY Buffalo) was being taken to the ER by ambulance!  Fortunately, it was only gallstones (and not something worse) but it was a stress-ball sandwich after a night of little sleep.  Today is Saturday and I’ve finally recuperated.
From our very own host, Kevin
If you were to peel back my brain like an orange, at the center would be a star of pain that has come with a lingering flu which has kept me home for a few days. Blah!
(Sorry this is so negative, but that’s how I feel right now)
Note ..Hope you are feeling better now Kevin and to Amy, hope your daughter is recovering.

The imaginative….

Sheryl McCoy     When I saw this challenge, the question popped in my head. “Why don’t we see/use more orange sticker stars?”

Pearls of wisdom..
Ken Allan   

In Cyberspace went Candid Ken
A cultured pleasure star to see:
Where Knol, the learned river, ran
Through postings fathomless to scan
Into an orange sea.
Sara   The ground beneath my feet shifted last night -the stars shine brighter, oranges taste sweeter, my sleep smoother – my god but a new day has dawned!

Lynne Culp
What a day it was—stars and oranges collide in my brain and my euphoria dims somewhat as I realize that my colleague’s son was right: “in California, we care more about chickens than gays.”

Cynthiaq Calvert
My favorite part of early morning, after the first sip of coffee, of course, is seeing the last star fade as the orange rays of the sun begin to peek over the horizon.

Sheri  At the Pow Wow, under the blue-white lights and skimming across the wooden gym floor to the steady beat of the White Hawk drum, the grass dancer’s orange and white yarn strings flowed fluidly with his mindful moves, like the grass of the prairie- waves in the wind beneath the endless stars.

Elaine  When we celebrate Harmony Day by wearing orange , we are all stars in our collective effort to bring peace and understanding to our own part of the world.

Bonnie I’ve been living with stars in my eyes and the sun rose on a new day Wednesday bright orange.

 Thank you one and all, and thank you Kevin for allowing me to be a host. Now, over to you!



Superclubs PLUS

At the recent ACEC 2008 conference, I attended a session by Dr Jennifer Masters, on the Superclubs PLUS, as my grade 6 students had just been enrolled on this site.
SuperclubsPLUS is a social networking site online that offers children

  • A classroom without walls
  • Confidence and competence with technologies
  • Social construction of knowledge
  • Social networking expertise
  • Wider networking potential

Supervision is present on SuperclubsPLUS

  • Provide a secure environment for children o participate
  • Clearly outline safe practices and appropriate behavior
  • Monitor interactions, mediate discussion and publication
  • Use opportunities to reinforce safe practices an d strategies for dealing with situations.
  • Children in program are 6-12 and can      
  • Meet other  children and chat via email
  • Build their own web space
  • Participate in forums and expert ‘hot seats’
  • Engage with literacy and learn ICT Skills
  • A supported experience
  • All superclubsPLUS children are authenticated by their school.
  • One or more trained mediators are on duty in the environment.
  • Ten rules provide a code of conduct for children, teachers and mediators live hours are 8am to 8pm, on weekends 3 hrs in morning and 3 hours in evening.

The children learn through practicing, playing and doing. They are able to relax, explore new concepts, develop new skills and even make mistakes within a safe learning space. Our students look forward to being involved in this site. 

If you are a teacher in Victoria, Australia, of grade four students, they are being sponsored by the DEECD to join this club. See details.



My online friend, Bonnie Kaplan has commenced a photofriday. I met Bonnie through Kevin’s regular day in a sentence“. As I missed the inaugural Friday, I am determined to share a photo today.
My day in a sentence for this week is:-
It was announced at morning briefing that our principal was leaving for USA, but I reported that I would be there before her, taking my kids with me, as we were using skype to participate in an amazing videoconference for a “show and tell finale” with the New England students we had connected with through blogging.
My photo follows the same theme and shows one of my students holding up a jar of vegemite to show the students of Collaboration Nation, in New England, USA. We are in Australia, but with the help of skype, a web cam, a desktop microphone and an interactive whiteboard, we were able to videoconference with each other. They chanted Hannah along until she tasted the vegemite in front of the camera.

hannah vegemite

Day in a Sentence is now technicolour

Enjoy all the colours of the rainbow as day in a sentence goes technicolour. Thank you Kevin for allowing me to host it this week and for spelling colour as it is and not color. Goes to show true tolerance and global collaboration and next time I shall use color for you!!!!

Some of the sentences will make you:-

  • laugh
  • cry
  • stand back in amazement
  • be uplifted

but best of all,  you will enjoy reading all of them.

Dont forget to check out Kevin, our usual host’s post as well.
Kevin has kindly allowed me to use his powerpoint version of the technocolour day in a sentence. So, here it is….

Our global connectedness

I wish I would have used the above title for my session at ICTEV yesterday as it is so much more realistic now. However, I put in my presentation synopsis quite a few months ago and now we are so much further down the track (around the globe). Instead of 4 hours to get around the world, it is just a few minutes of connection time. One of my first experiences of connectedness witht the globe was from classroom2.0 when we were having problems playing videso from our video iPod through a tv monitor. I put the question up on various Australian mailing lists as we really wanted to show the digital stories to a parent presentation. As a last minute endeavour I also put it up as a discussion on classroom20. Within 10 minutes the answer to our problems came back from a teacher in Alabama, USA!!! Hey  presto, the advice worked!!

The ICTEV conference theme was “Successful Stories in ICT” and I know that for my students the use of web2.0 tools has been a great success. Below is the powerpoint presentation that I used as the basis for my talk.

Day in a sentence goes technocolour

Cheers! Australia is proud  to host  ‘your day in a sentence’  this week. So come on all, and Aussies in particular, tell the world about your week! I am grabbing Kevin’s catch line of ‘day in a sentence in technocolour”!! (Wish other countries could spell correctly!!!)

Here is the idea:
Boil down your week or a day into a sentence, mentioning a colour that best describes your day or week within that sentence.

Post as a comment here. The comments will all be threaded together on Sunday  here and on Kevin, our host’s site at

eg Yellow describes my day today as I strived to make the theory interesting for my yr 12 students, applying the theory of working in virtual teams by live blogging with them – 2 hours just flew past!!

Be part of this virtual community that connects at least once a week ‘in a sentence’. Look forward to your comments.