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labdien lurkers

ever wondered why afl coach kevin sheedy has a 3 on his shirt ? seems stupid. the essendon football club is proudly brought to you by the number 3. however, it is not so much the name of a phone company dreamed up by clever marketing people so much as the third generation of online technologies that are tied up in the so called 3 phones.

the first being static web pages interpreted by a browser on your machine and the second, being the point of this posting, being the set of technologies like php and python that operate scripts on a server before sending the return back to you.

most typically, they operate databases. and there is a whole mob, called the open source community that supply it all for free.

now, the first php script was written by rasmus lehrdorf and it simply kept track of who visited his web site. the next thing he did was write a guestbook, so folks could leave him messages. this was an enormous advsance ‘cos it made the website *interactive*.

the word quickly spread around the open source community, and people started to make logs online of what they were thinking and doing; web log became blog. being pesky little nerds, there was an explosion of interactive web pages, all working off php and its clones and you can check ‘em out at

these technologies were termed the web 2.0 technologies and provided a vehicle for online communities to share and collaborate. names like joomla, elgg and lately druple come to mind. these are based on the one trick ponies like forums, wikis and bloggers. of course, being open source, folks can incorporate these into their projects. a sort of black hole emerges, incorporating all of these into one mega app.

enter moodle.

moodle is just fantastic. termed in the top ten best educational innovations on the planet. anytime you have six stubbies and a couple of hours i will tell you about moodle.

now, back on earth, i have been mucking around with these web 2.0 apps for a while. feel free to mosey on over to my joomla based content management system at to see what i have been doing.

specifically, lob into my wiki to see how i have been attempting to write a textbook on liquids in two double periods. see, by getting forty kids to each write a paragraph or two, i can quickly generate text to read. by making them do a draft first, i can pay attention to plaigarism etc etc etc.

i can discuss how my project like the fabulous falcon flyer went on my  forum.

or, i can try to teach kids in broome how to program in logo using my moodle site (thhp://

computer studies => languages = intro to logo

if a teacher wants to knock himself out writing course material all power to him, but it sort of is his. it occurs to me that purveyors of fine trade agreements have tied things up so tight, that reading from a longmans book out loud probably breaches some sort of copyright involving broadcasting. let alone recording it to download to a kid’s phone so he can use the mp3 player to read to him as he checks out the text. oops a web 3.0 technology

they said i was mad building a castle in this swamp, but like i suggested in 1995 that email and web pages might have a future, i just wonder where this current rash of technologies will go. computers have only been in schools thirty years, so we can’t rush into these things.