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September 2006

Next Byte Education (WA PD)



David Allibon of Nextbyte has organised some PD and as far as Western Australia is concerned the information is as follows:

Next Byte has planned a number of short professional learning opportunities for West Australian teachers during term four. All courses are free, but please register your attendance by emailing Ashley Staring at stating your name, the course(s) you will be attending and contact details.

Introduction to OS X 10.5
Apple has just released some details of its next operating system OS X 10.5. This session will discuss and highlight many of the new and improved functions in 10.5 and provide time for discussion and questions
Location: Mt Lawley SHS
Afternoon tea provided
Date and Time: Wednesday 18th October at 4.15pm
Presenter: Byron Rudenno – Apple Account Executive (WA)

Using iWeb to Support Classroom Learning
iWeb is a new application in the iLife 06 suite of tools. iWeb allows students to easily publish to the web, sharing their ideas, work and thinking. It also allows teachers and students to set up their own blogs and podcasts. This session will look at how easy it is to use the software and provide attendees with hands on experience with the software.
Location: Christ Church Grammar School
Afternoon tea provided
Date and Time: Wednesday 31st October at 4.15pm
Presenter: Kyrne Holloway –Christ Church GS staff member)

The Power of Atomic Learning
Atomic Learning meets a wide variety of training needs including just-in-time support, help desk functions and structured training courses for staff and students. The tutorials can be embedded into the school’s own material.
It offers a very cost effective web-based software training and support resource. Currently there are over 20,000 video tutorials covering 100 software applications and growing all the time. Participants will be given trial access to the website to test its usefulness and benefits.
Location: To be advised
Afternoon tea provided
Date and Time: Thursday 9th November at 4.15pm
Presenter: Bryn Jones ACPD

Technical talk
This session is aimed at the more technically minded people in schools. It aims to answer your questions about the what/ why and how of managing macs in a school environment. Designed within the session there will be a time set aside for questions and answers as well as an opportunity to share ideas and knowledge.
Location: PLC
Afternoon tea provided
Date and Time: Thursday 9th November at 4.15pm
Presenter: Brett Clarke – IT Director at PLC

Taking Podcasting To The Next Level
While still using podcasting as a base the world has already evolved and vodcasting (video) has logically provided the next step. In this PD while still looking at the merits of podcasting we will look at evolving to vodcasting and techniques used to achieve required outputs. Some of the peripherals looked at are midi input, camera use in class, sound recording and also the merit in editing for student evaluation as well the provision of task analysis tools and student evaluation tools related to outcomes in WA. Hope you can make it.
Location: Kinross Middle School
Afternoon tea provided
Date and Time: Tuesday 21st November at 4.15pm
Presenter: Steve Adcock – Staff member at Kinross Middle School

Podcasting and iPods in the classroom
Many educators are currently Podcasting work and activities within their schools. This session will explain what a podcast is, the educational benefits of podcasting and give participants time to take the first steps in creating their own podcast.

This session will involve the use of Garageband, iPhoto, iTunes and iPods to complete Podcasts as well as providing support materials to assist them as they venture back to Podcast in their own schools.
Location: Oberthur PS
Afternoon tea provided
Date and Time: Tuesday November 28 at 4.00pm
Presenter: Larni Rettalack

MynoteIT - online note taking tool for students



mynoteITMynoteIT is yet another web2.0 online tool for students that allows them to organize their class schedule, class notes, and group their work. It does so quite cleverly in such a way that it can be easily shared and referred to in a few mouse clicks. Potentially it could be used by students of any level. As more eLearning services come out as part of the now famed web 2.0 (”Are we there yet Dad?”) such as Nuvvo and Chalksite, it seems with mynoteIT they are getting more specialised.

Postbubble has a favourable review here as does Lifehack here. If you are interested, it is worth downloading this .wmv screencast from Screeniac.

Boy aged three buys $23,000 car on eBay



What will these digital natives get up to next! This is a good lesson on the importance of logging out of websites for digital learners of all ages (via BBC):

Pink FigaroJack Neal’s parents only discovered their son’s successful bid when they received a message from eBay about the Barbie pink Nissan Figaro.

Rachael Neal, 36, said her son was quite good at using the computer.

Link to BBC article.

Freeware mp3 recorder(+podcasts rant)



I find it amusing that some colleagues are loathe to call syndicated XML enclosed media files by the populist name ‘podcast’. Like ‘Polaroid’ for the noughties perhaps. Others claim that podcasts are just mp3 files. The association with Apple is a difficult pill to swallow for some PC only users. In fact podcasts are any media to which you can subscribe and read/watch/listen using a feed reader, and if you choose a portable player - of which over 70% just happen to be iPods. RSS is the the corner stone upon which web 2.0 delivery is based and is here to stay - just like ‘podcast’ I’m afraid. Ironically, it was the open-source community that developed the podcast code/RSS enclosures and coined the name.

And now to the reason I am making this post. I came across this handy piece of PC only freeware - MP3myMP3 Recorder. The blurb says:

MP3myMP3 RecorderRecord internet radio and save to mp3 or wav. Record streaming audio from the Internet, microphone, or any other source for that matter. MP3myMP3 Recorder works directly with your system sound card - if you can hear it, you can record it! Use the scan tool to list all mp3, wav, aif, swa, or sun au audio files on your computer - then play and record portions of any of these files.

Handy for recording mp3s for students or for them turning into podcasts. And back to the rant. Wikipedia tells it like it is. From Wikipedia’s definition:

“Neither podcasting nor listening to podcasts requires an iPod or other portable player, and no over-the-air broadcasting is required. The name association came about simply because Apple Computer’s iPod was the most marketed and the best-selling portable digital audio player when podcasting began, and was used by early practitioners. However, the use of the “pod” name in 2004 probably played a part in Apple’s development of podcasting products and services in 2005, further [cleverly] linking the device and the activity in the news media.”

I try to explain podcasting to students by saying, mp3 players are to audio and video files what a postbox is to a magazine subscription. Podcasts aren’t just audio files, they are ‘home’ delivered personal choices.

Digital Chalkie Webcast #3



Topic: Podcasting in the Classroom.

Thanks to everyone who joined us for a discussion about podcasting in the classroom. We looked at both pedagogical and technical aspects of using podcasts for student learning. We may have to revist the topic as there was so much to cover.  When we have a chance on the upcoming school break we will invite interested teachers to join the conversation again and ask those of you who have used podcasting to share your experiences with us.

We had some problems recording the live webcast and are still trying to find time to salvage and edit the well recorded bits to combine into a podcast format.

For information on how to join the webcast click here.

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  • Melanie: Thank you Kim! I will definitely check out this link and see the developments for higher education on the SLED.
  • Kim Flintoff: We have been using Second Life in a range of situations. Built a Wound Care Clinic with Curtin University for training nurses about wound care and the relationship between hand-washing and infection in a...
  • Melanie: Hello Paul, I am wondering, have continued to utilize SecondLife? Do you find that it has better user-friendly features? Do you find that your courses are easier to teach in this format? Is the VLC classroom a...
  • Melanie: We may agree to disagree on the instant gratification society term, however when you look at new social network devices that are connected to mobile devices – there is an urgency that is attached to those...
  • Kim Flintoff: "instant gratification society" - I'm not sure I'm part of that society. Educational institutions do not make decisions - people do. Which people in educational institutions will cling dearly to email? Email...
  • Melanie: I agree that email is outdated in most settings. However, many educational institutions will cling dearly to email due to the aspect of "waiting before sending." Email is still a resource and an appropriate tool...
  • Maryjane: This is incredible and we need to spread it to school districts. It was posted two years ago and I've not seen new policies or classroom innovations happen since then. People are afraid of what the kids might do....
  • Suzanne: I cannot help but think that this trend, while reflecting archetypal youth rejection of all things "adult," is also related to the digital immigrant/digital native thing. The young are very flexible, very willing...
  • Maryjane: This made me laugh outloud. School districts are still discussing whether they'll give access to students for email; do all their business by email instead of walking next door and talking to someone; and wonder...
  • Nick Smith: This video was exactly what I needed/wanted to hear. As a student working towards being a teacher, I find it great to not only revolutionize teaching, but to re-invent it all together. One woman mentioned...
  • Scott Merrick: Hey there, feel free to unpublish this comment--it's more or less for your own info: This is to let you know that Digital Chalkie has been nominated for Blog-o-the-Month at the Blogger's Hut on Second Life...
  • Laura Seabrook: I have one other question, which I can't find answer to on the Murku wiki (no doubt the answer is right there and I keep missing it) - where/how does one get it?
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  • Kim Flintoff: Murku is designed to facilitate the construction of comics based on content in a Second Life TM, ie SL, environment. Murku will be of interest to those who have always dreamt of creating their own comics but...
  • Laura Seabrook: Actually there was a typo in my previous comment. I meant to write wouldn't be, not would as far as being the first to do an SL comic. I discovered Plywood shortly after starting my own, which can be found...
  • Kim Flintoff: Hi Laura, The example in the article wasn't intended to be a highly refined product - it literally took me 60 seconds to create with some random images grabbed from my hard drive. The points you make about...
  • Laura Seabrook: I started doing Second Life comics late in 2007 ( though I didn't use Comic Life - rather I drew bits, used screenshots and put it together using PaintShopPro and Fireworks (for speech balloons etc). I knew...
  • michael chalk: Great stuff Paul .. lots of good points here. You are right about the ABC - they're really leading the charge into the new era of digital participation aren't they! My favourite thing they do is the way they...
  • Ken Allan: Kia ora Kim! I don't think it is anything to do with HOW we communicate. It is more to do with how kids see email. It is simply to do with the age-old feature of youngsters avoiding ANYTHING that is associated...
  • Aaron Fisher: This is very cool! It is amazing how those principles from long ago are relevant today, just in different forms. Students do learn better by doing, no matter the subject. We teachers need to do a better job...
  • Julie Carney: Thanks for this post, and for posters like Paul who have linked and commented on resources for educators to use. As is the case with most things, it seems the right combination of educator/program/developer...
  • Debbie: I, too am upset that this website has been taken off-line. My special education students loved it, and I knew I could always find an activity geared their levels and abilities. I hope that it will soon be running...
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  • Cathy Nash: Learning Objects are one of the tools in a good teacher's toolbox. It is simplistic to lay them aside as past it. A poor teacher can make a pencil look dull and a great teacher may just achieve great things...
  • Suzanne: I am so upset that this site has been removed, however I fully understand why. My Year One children and my pre-primary children loved using the site and it catered for all ability levels in my class. i do hope...
  • Julie: I am sorry that Rainbow Maths has been forced off the web. My daughter loved it so it is missed. Any idea when Jenny may put it back on the web with added security measures to prevent it being copied etc?
  • Jen Zupp: I totally agree with Jenny's reason to take it off. I have spent thousands of hours keeping my website up which is pretty much a directory of quality websites I find online. If I had created a masterpiece like...
  • Kristy Dickson: I agree with Paul, $20 000, $80 000, or whatever they cost, kids are losing interest. I think they have their place for a bit of drill and practice occasionally, but I wouldn't pay for them. Motivation and...
  • Ingrid: I'm distraught that rain forest maths is not available. My 3/4 kids loved it. My kids loved it and it is so easy to cater for their abilities with the different levels. Anyone know if there's a chance it will be up...
  • Azam Ali: my kids love this site, they come on rainforest to learn. Anyone trying to stop kids education is playing with our future. Shame on people who are greedy for money and dont care for the future.
  • Bryn Jones: Channel 4 in the UK has £50million to develop new media content. Ewan McIntosh has some role in it as Digital Commissioner for Scotland. Jobs open now!
  • Thomas Goodwin: Paul Reid has pointed educators in the right direction (create and collaborate) however he started from an incorrect premise; The Learning Federation's Digital Resources are completely different from the...
  • Patricia Corby: Phew, what a terrific wealth of useful info here! Thanks Paul. In reference to this comment "They need to move from static to dynamic in form" as an overall comment it is relevant but being fair some are...
  • Paul Reid: If everyone's Math is correct the Teaching & Learning Federation pays $20k for jpeg pictures Learning Objects! eg these ones shown here http://www.thelearningfederati
  • Janice Millard: its not fair that my class can't go on rain forest maths because of other people copying we were going to do a test on it but it was closed down my class was very upset not very happy!