Saturday, July 26, 2008

Second Melbourne Bloggers Feast

Helen has written about the recent Melbourne bloggers feast. We have Sue Tapp to thank for the concept of bloggers feast. The first one was held when Al Upton was coming to Melbourne as a way to meet him and each other f2f. It was just before the now celebrated ACCE tour to NECC and many of those who attended were also meeting there. Since then the bloggers feast concept come to the fore whenever someone from the edublogosphere or the twitterverse comes to town. And this week it was the chance to meet Andrew Churches. It was great (even though we didn’t ustream it. Sorry Lauren).

What I liked about it was hearing about how Andrew’s school sent many of their senior and middle staff in the holidays to really investigate the extension of their one to one program by visiting other schools and then making time during the trip to discuss their findings and ideas. It was great to hear about Andrew’s school and what they do, especially in light of the course I am doing at Monash on Flexible Learning and the Design of Curriculum in such a situation. I like the way flexible learning isn’t just about distance education but about giving learners choices about how they want to learn which is enabled by the use of various technology tools. It is about being more inclusive. Here is an interesting presentation on this topic by Martin Weller from the UK facilitated by George Siemens. To do this course I am engaging in online discussion with my classmates about much the same things we discuss on our blogs and on Twitter and Plurk. So I am in heaven with this course. One of the great things about meeting Andrew was that I finally paid attention to the revision of Blooms Taxonomy that he had done to include the digital aspect of education. It is really worth a close read. Both Helen and I are putting it before the teachers we meet. Lots of ideas thrown around on the night and let’s hope we have more bloggers feasts in the future

Saturday, July 19, 2008

School of Life

This would be a great film to teach students about irony, to have them think about life lessons and how we learn them, and to do a What Happens Next writing prompt.
Thanks to Lauren O'Grady for the link

Plurk timeline

Monday, July 14, 2008

Oz/Nz Educators' Network grows

The OZ/NZ Educators’ group (started by Sue Tapp) have been meeting on Sundays for about three months, using Flashmeeting. I haven’t been able to get to all the meetings - one Sunday night I was actually at a Ball (!) - but the meetings, audio and chat, is always archived at the Ning and wiki for Oz/Nz Educators. There has been quite a lot of global collaboration between Australian and New Zealand educators but also a bit with England and Wales. Flashmeeting only takes 25 people and several of the meetings had people who couldn’t get in as there were too many in there. So there was discussion: should we move to a different meeting platform? Should we move to a different night? (on Twitter it was revealed that Sundays were not always the best night because of family commitments for some would be participants). Eventually Sue decided to move the meetings to Tuesday nights and go for the Elluminate meeting software. Our first meeting in this format is tomorrow night at 7.30 pm.

“Our meeting night has changed due to a number of requests We are now going to meeton Tuesday nights at 7.30pm -9pm. Also due to an increasing number of people not being able to access the room as it is full, we are going to try Elluminate and have access to a free 50 seat room through Knowledge Bank online events. So on Tuesday 15th we will attempt to meet using elluminate and do a NECC roundup to discuss what was hot and not at NECC.I apologise to the NZ crew who will have a late night if they attend ,but the meetings will be recorded if you can't stay up that late. See you all there- new members most welcome. You can download elluminate here and do a practice session here too. “

But on the Sunday night Joe Dale from the UK who hadn’t realised the change was looking forward to the regular collaboration with those from downunder and so held an informal chat with a few who were around. I found out about it some time into the meeting. There was a new person at the meeting, Steve Collis, who soon had us all inspired with the programs, including Beyond Borders, he oversees at his school. One of the projects he mentioned had students mobile blogging using utterz, sparking a rash of interest in the site and puzzling some. All in all it was an exciting meeting, and an inspiring one.

And what about the different interests of the two sets of stakeholders? How did we resolve the issue? We will have the meetings on BOTH Sundays and Tuesdays. People can go to one or the other or both. As I have always said, there can never be too much social networking (sorry Vicki, educational networking

Friday, July 04, 2008

Goodbye to San Antonio

NECC 2008 has been and gone. And it was great. I still can't get over the number of hugs I gave and received, and the emails exchanged and contacts made. The theme was "Convene, Connect and Transform" and I think a lot of that happened. I was surprised at how at home I felt, and reflected on the reality of the virtual relationships forged and sustained through on-line communities. I sometime hear of people who do not want to get involved in on-line groups because they prefer "real" face to face interactions, but I believe we can make community wherever we are, and it's definitely better to have these relationships on-line and affirmed by occasional meetings than not to have them at all. I have been travelling for sometime and am still a way from home. I can't wait to get home, hug the family and unpack so I can get to reflect on all that happened. There are a number of ways I will be aiming to transform my classroom next term (one is through a contact with Lisa Parisi) and write up some of my learnings. The Australian Study Tour part of this trip was fantastic with a great group and a fabulous tour leader in Tony Brandenburg. If you get a chance to go on such a tour in the future, I highly recommend it. The photo is of me being interviewed by Cheryl Oakes who is wecasting live for the Women of Web 2.0 episode, part of Edtech Talk, the best best on-line community I have had the privilege of being involved in. In the yellow dress is Kristen Hokanson of the Connected Classroom who was also interviewed on the showed along with many others. The photo is by Lucy Grey and is shared via a Creative Commons licence on Flickr.

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