Tag Archives: web2.0

Website of the Day

Here is an interesting eBook developed by google. It shows the future direction that reading, presentation etc can take. Google has published this online book to honour the work of Tim Berners-Lee, who put invented the World Wide Web, in November,  20 years ago.

Enjoy this book, its graphics and taste the future of reading – 20 Things I Learned about Browsers and the Web!

Tech Talk Tuesdays -What I do with Web2.0!

Jess McCulloch – an early uptaker of and innovator with web2.0, a young mother, a treasured colleague and vivacious presenter, talked about “My Use of Web 2.0”. Jess ably walked us through her blog and other favourite websites, featuring a number of web2.0 tools, answered questions and demonstrated their purpose. Jess talked about the Interactive Whiteboard Challenge which she organises and showed the wiki that is used for this project. Her audience came from a large number of countries – Germany, England, Canada, USA, Australia, Vietnam, South America and Ukraine. Listen to the recording.

From the chat:

Tech Talk Tuesdays: Breaking Borders with Web2.0 (Web Conferencing)

Claire Bloom presented on an inspiring topic of breaking borders with Web2.0. I recently met Claire at the recent Innovations Showcase, sat through her session and enjoyed it very much. Soon after, I met her online in a web conference leaders’ elluminate session. Claire asked me what should be done if everything went pear shaped! Well, that is exactly what happened this afternoon, when the links I tweeted, did not seem to work for those who wanted to join. Those issues were resolved, and just as I was to start the recording, our power went off……completely off. That was it no computer access, no wireless access, no telephone (we dont have mobile phone service). Rather than panic, I ran out to the orchard to try and get sufficient service to try and ring Claire. She failed to answer her mobile phone! No what! I walked back into the house and to my delight, the power was back on.

It took 10 mins to log back in and it was so good to see that Claire had started the session and those who were determined to join the session had succeeded. Claire shared stories of the  global, interactive project she set up with a school in Wellington New Zealand, using skype and elluminate.

Listen to the recording of the session.

From the chat came the following:-

Where to find global partners

5 tips for starting off in web2.0

I was recently asked to answer the following:-

What are your top five (or more) tips and hints for other teachers wanting to try using some of these technologies with their own classes and in their own schools?

  1. Lurk around online. Read blogs, look for wikis, global projects.  Read what you can, as much as you can, get lost in cyber space and leave comments when and where possible etc
  2. Develop a personal learning network. Find a colleague if possible from your own school to work with, then join mailing lists,  nings eg classroom 2.0, guidetoinnovation  or other social networking sites. Join twitter and follow other teachers. There is no such thing as a dumb question Dont be afraid to ask as there is such a sharing community out there and it is never too late to start. You are not left behind.
  3.  Experiment with blogs or wikis personally and gain confidence, then start with your class.
  4. Use simple web2.0 tools for a start – delicious, wordle, blogs, flickr  etc 
  5. Get involved in  some simple global projects. If you are a primary school teacher, Jen Wagner has some wonderful easy, quick projects that can connect you to so many others or if a secondary teacher try globalprojects.

Do not delay, start 2.0day.

Techno Work Experience- let’s web2.0 it!

Student:- “I knew what my workplace looked like before I even got to Melbourne, therefore I knew where to get off the bus”

Staff member – “How did you know that?”

Students “I had checked it out on googlestreet!” and so the use of web2.0 is infiltrating our school programs.

Each year, I am fortunate enough to go to Melbourne with our year 11 students for a few days of their 2 weeks of work experience. I love the excitement, the nervousness, the constant questioning or the first few days and then watching them develop into confident young people that they turn into, once they can find their way around the challenges of Melbourne.

We stay at the Oasis YHA in Chapman Street, Nth Melbourne, where there were two internet access terminals. As I had taken down my brand new laptop, Graeme and I decided to try out some of the technology to record this wonderful program. It also gave the careers advisor time to ‘play’ with some of the technology.

  • The flip video camera was used to record the students attitudes priort to and after their first day of work.
  • The students helped me install bluetooth on my laptop and phone, to enable photos taken on my phone be downloaded. (no mean feat!!) Worked well once we got it going.
  • Decided to use my phone as a recorder for podcasting to capture the excitement, reflections and duties of their first day of work.
  • Each day, students would use my laptop to type in 30 words to describe their day at work as soon as they got home.
  • These were then posted onto my blog and Graeme’s.
  • Developed several powerpoint presentations and uploaded them using slideshare.
  • will produce some podcasts and digital movies to upload online.

An example of a powerpoint presentation produced is featured below…What do staff do all day?

What Do Staff Do All Day

View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own.

Laying the eplanks – a 6 monthly report

Jess and I have teacher professional leave this year, to lay the “eplanks for a virtual classroom” and are now required to write a short progress report. When we first started this project at the end of last year, only the two of us were seriously blogging in our school. A student blog had successfully been in progress for 4 months in 2007.

Achievements since Feb, 2008 at Hawkesdale p12 College

  • approximately 60% of staff now blog
  • three of our SSO staff (teacher aides) have commenced a blog
  • all primary grades have a class blog (see links from http://hawkesdale.globalstudent.org.au)
  • all students from grades 4 to 10 and some year 11s have an individual blog
  • a Hawkesdale College  “front page” has been created, from where all staff and student blogs are linked.
  • a science wiki has been set up by the secondary science staff
  • a new maths wiki is in the process of being produced
  • established a wiki outlining our project and its progress
  • getting involved in global projects, voicethreads, videoconferencing and much, much more
  • developing a personal learning network that includes staff from Australia and overseas

All of these projects are attracting a global audience.

Getting staff on board

-has required taking ‘baby steps’.

  •  end of 2007/ we ran short inservices on the use of delicious, MS PHotostory and digital image manipulation with irfanview and introduction of skype and ms communicator. We started with tools that staff would use in their personal lives, so that they could gain confidence and then think about applying it to their classes.
  • “10 minute spot demonstrations” at staff meetings on new tools, technology, resources etc.
  • WIWOW – Walk in walk out Wednesday afternoons, where staff come into the computer lab with any  needs and Jess and I help them. It is purely voluntary and runs for 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Queries have related to a whole range of topics, including basic email use, photo resizing through to blogging, digital movie creating, music files and live blogging. This has been very successful.
  • The sheer enthausiasm of our students with blogging and associated web2.0 tools has driven many staff to look at their work and become involved.
  • As time goes by, and others join in, lots of ways and uses for blogging are shared resulting in even richer and more powerful learning outcomes. New directions are being discovered all the time.

Involving Parents

  • a parent information evening for grades 4-6 students included a 30 min presentation of our goals in regard to the laying of the eplanks
  • a weekly corner in our school and community newsletter updates them on progress, activities and notable events.
  • at parent/teacher interviews, parents were shown student blogs
  • students often show parents their blogs once home from school

Personal PD

  • attendance at a SLAV conference with Will Richardson, a renowned blogging expert from the USA.
  • 4 week inservice on Quest Atlantis – a virtual world for students
  • online sessions with USA technology educationalist counterparts

Reflection and reporting


Smile before the baby steps

The baby needs to smile before taking “baby steps” into web2.0

Yesterday, whilst I was running several sessions for the “Grass ICT Day” at Casterton, I was shocked and dismayed, by the following events:-

  • one teacher told me that she could not apply for a class or personal blog as she did not have an email address!! (She was in my blogging session and about to open a blog)
  • At an earlier session, the room was full of teachers wanting to learn MS Photostory. That was also to my utter astonishment as I had expected all teachers to have used it in some form or another and that I would have few particpants in this session.
  • When working with smaller groups, staff did not know how to open a new window or tab in Internet Explorer. (Another trait I had assumed)
  • Many staff lacked confidence in basic computer skills
  • By sheer coincidence,on twitter that same night @dswaters made similar comments about observations in her sessions that day.

So, that has made me reflect again on how we get staff on board web2.0. Many staff, still have little knowledge or skill with computers. So, they need to smile before they take those baby steps. Confidence and knowledge is the key to success.

They need to first:-

  • know how to use the internet with confidence and purpose
  • have ready and regular access at their place of work to the internet
  • each staff member must have a personal email address
  • all school communications should take the form of email where possible
  • computerised student reports should be mandated
  • PD sessions, preferably in-house, should take place regularly, with refreshments and food on offer, to make a relaxed atmosphere. These sessions should cater for absolute beginners through to more experienced levels. These should be on offer over varying times and days, if possible.
  • More experienced users of technology could be directed to online pd sessions.
  • first applications of web2.0 need to be useful and purposeful in personal lives, as this will prompt possible classroom and teaching applications. (del.icio.us, google apps, image manipulation (with eg irfanviewMSPhotostory for digitalstorytelling etc) 
  • educational institutions need to provide backup support

I have learned never to assume that staff know anything at all about internet and online usage. Even surveys may bring skewed results as staff are reluctant to admit they lack knowledge and before I make presentations, or conduct workshops, I must remember to gear them for all ability levels.

a comic strip!

Where to start with web2.0

Below is a slideshare set up from a powerpoint presentation, for a local teachers conference held at Deakin University, in Warrnambool. Our experience has shown that staff need to start with something that could be useful in their own personal lives, experiment with it and use it, and from their they can start to see the potential uses and applications for their classroom use. The presenation below summarizes my suggestions for that all important question, where do we start. (nb that I talked and walked through the slides so they are not all embracing of the content of the actual presentation.)

Getting staff on board web2.0 cont…..

Jess McCulloch  and I have 20 days teacher professional leave in 2008, to look at ‘laying the eplanks for a virtual classroom. Today, we used one of those days for reflection, planning and builiding up our resources. Now that blogging has become established amongst our students, we looked at getting staff on board web2.0
Lengthy discussion followed. Should we aim for 100%, 75%, 50% staff usage of web2.0?


  • At a recent teaching and learning meeting, it was recognised that some staff may see no need, nor have time to learn and introduce it into their classroom curriculum. This applies especially at senior levels, where there is a set curriculum to adhere to, SATs to complete and exams to be sat.
  • Some staff including the physical education staff saw no real need. (We, of course, could argue against this, but there is no point at this stage.)
  • It is too hard and time consuming to take on board
  • They feel they have ‘missed their opportunity’ to come on board, and will never catch up now.
  • Don’t know where to start and then, what to do with the tools.

Current uses of ICT and Web2.0

  • All our teaching staff have registered for a http://del.icio.us social bookmarking account as they can see a ‘need’ to have such an account.  So, we do have 100% use of web2.0 for this use, (if it is used at all).
  • most communications are by email and all our reports are completed on a computer, using the software markbooks.
  • An intranet has just been set up by our technician using MS Sharepoint
  • All teaching staff, but one retired part-timer, have a personal laptop, leased through the department.
  • 80% or our primary school staff, are blogging and have got involved in global projects.
  • 50% of our total 34-12 staff have created blogs with most posting now.
  • A grade 6 classroom blog has been set up
  • One aide has commenced blogging
  • Other office staff, science lab assistants, library assistants and other SSO staff are showing interest and have asked for after school pd sessions etc
  • It has taken ‘baby’ steps to gradually get staff on board. The air of excitement and notable keenness  of students using blogging has created an interest in other staff, and allowed them to see a need, niche and use for blogging.
    What we need to do:

  • Continue with 10 minute spot pd’s at staff meetings
  • ‘Walk in walk out’ Wednesdays (offer our time for 1 hour after school, for staff to come in with any questions, concerns, needs or just to have time to work on computers and leave at any time)
  • Approach staff on an individual basis to seek out their needs, inhibitions and potential uses.
  • Direct staff to possible social networks who may be able to help them use these tools
  • Encourage participation in global projects.
  • Set up resources, links and tutorials including podcasts on our school intranet








Preps, web2.0 and ICT

In our goal, with the support of our school leadership and teaching and learning team, to ‘lay the eplanks for a virtual classroom’, we are looking at the following elements of the conceptual age:-

  • connectivity
  • creativity
  • communicate

After speaking withTrish Butters, our current prep teacher, Trish was of the opinion (and I tend to agree with her), that there is little use for web2.0 in her classroom.  It is felt that preps (5 year olds) need to connect with each other and their teacher in this important formative year. Connections outside this realm would have no meaning or impact. 
 Despite, many of them going to Warrnambool to shop (a 30 minute trip), they still have no concept  of it being Warrnambool. If a map of the world was shown to them, it would have no meaning either. Even basic ICT and computer skill use is lacking. Some students still have had no exposure to a mouse or computers, and need to learn computer basics. So communication skills will be built upon within the classroom only.
This leaves creativity and my suggestion to Trish, that she might set up a class blog, where a collection of their activities, writings, art work could be stored online etc. Some interest was shown in this, but time is an important element. It would basically cover communication as well.
Any comments on this issue would be welcomed!!