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Archived Posts from “Emerging Technology”

happy 10th b’day edna from digitalchalkies

21

November

10 years is a long time in digital life, especially when you are quietly prompting your own education revolution(sic). But when you are based upon open-source organically created tools, it becomes easier to weather the times. Education Network Australia (edna) has been well managed to be flexible enough to move with the technologies of the times. The professional learning scaffold they have built provides for thousands of teachers (and now students) Australia-wide and is a remarkable success story.

I work within a few of these communities of learning and what continues to impress me is that for all intents and purposes they have become self-sustaining. This is remarkable simply because we 21C teachers often require guidance and multiple learning opportunities to get to grip with the digital tools of the age. However, edna’s mash-up of tools offer an engaging, easy-to-use toolset of open-source technologies based mostly upon social constructivist pedagogy - this simple formula leads to strong social support networks (crucial to scalable lifelong learning).

In this spirit of utilising the free, open-source and social tools of the web, edna has set up a LiveClassroom webconference, a VoiceThread and a party in SecondLife. I love this spirit of fun and adventure they bring to their learning events.

Via Kerry Johnson:
edna is going to be holding an event in SL on Tuesday 27 November — and I thought you’d be interested in attending.

SL EDNAHere are the details:
“Official” start time is 2:45pm Adelaide, South Australia time - check your timezone here - on the island of Terra Icognita - click this slurl to access. But you’re welcome to drop by any time after 2pm.

We’ll have free ‘tedna-shirts’, virtual cake and champagne and, after a live broadcast of speeches including the launch of myedna, your avatar can rock out to popular Second Life band Space Junky.

We have a 10th birthday page on the edna site with more details and info on the Live Classroom event Kerrie Smith is hosting also. It’s located at: http://www.edna.edu.au/10birthday

Sounds like fun! Thank you to Kerrie Smith, Kerry Johnson and the rest of team for personally taking the time to engage with the communities of learning you support. I can’t even begin to imagine what your 20th anniversary party will be like.


Teaching On the Second Life Stage: Playful Educational Strategies for Serious Purposes

20

August

NMC Post workshop discussion
CDB Barkley, Anya Ixchel and Kim Pasternak discuss the drama.

On Saturday, Anya Ixchel (Angela Thomas) and Kim Pasternak (me, Kim Flintoff) presented our session at the New Media Consortium’s Symposium on Creativity in Second Life. We used aspects of Process Drama to develop a structure that can be used to explore issues and concerns through roleplay in the virtual world. The basic premise was that we located the story in the future - 2009. This was a time 2 years after several changes had been made to the governance of Second Life communities. Many existing (2007 reality) freedoms in Second Life were restricted or outlawed in the fictional future.

The material requirements for the drama were quite simple -Angela has some good pictures on her discussion of the event and JoKay Wollongong also. We used a mock up TV studio, a couple of sofas, a changeable backdrop screen (with international locations), a poster and a collection of role badges to help identify the general roles played by participants, and a Polling station.

We introduced the pretext material, randomly distributed role badges (Parent, Student, Admin, Teacher) and asked participants to group in their roles. Each group was asked to determine a representative who would appear on a TV debate. I played the TV host and Anya Ixchel was our roving “vox pop” reporter. The title of the debate on the TV was “Disneyland or Jurassic Park: What kind of Second Life do YOU want?”

The entire drama came and went very quickly - our 50 minute session was barely long enough to contain the interest and buzz that developed. Initial feedback after the session indicated that participants found the process engaging and effective.

Some nice photos from the event can be seen here.


Video tutorials - wiki in the classroom

08

August

Many teachers have shown an interest in using the power of wiki in the classroom. But the learning curve in using wikis can be a little steep. I like to have video tutorials when I am learning new software. I like being able to go through the steps at your own space you’d like to view some video tutorials on how to use a wiki these may be of use.

WikispacesIf you are using a free Wikispace for educators there are some how-to videos here for perusal at your leisure here. This video takes you through the Wikispaces “history” function.

PBWiki have some free wikis for education too. These PBWiki video tutorials at Atomic Learning wikiPBwhich are free until Sept 30th and should be very useful in helping you and your students develop skills and understanding of the use of Wikis in education.

When talking about wiki I always like to refer colleagues to the Terry The Tennisball Wiki by students of Grade 3-4 in Geelong run by John Pearce. To my mind many wiki are in essence like a mini Choose Your Own Adventure story. The CYOB format for storytelling is an engaging writing and reading literacy tool at teachers disposal. Students with iPods may be interested in downloading a free version of a story called ‘The Abominable Snowman’ from this website. InstikiAt my last school I set up an Instiki Wiki and it really helped engage students in a collaborative writing project for a Year 4 English class. As a read/write ‘web’ and functional literacy experience the students built a wiki around their hobbies and tried to add to each others writing - we developed a diverse range of expertise and communication of opinions. To set the wiki up I hosted it on my iBook NB4T which meant the wiki was portable.
Other ways we can use wikis in our teaching?:

1. A list of articles and resources that describe how to use wikis in education
2. A comprehensive list of existing educational wikis that we can learn from

Some other wiki services:
* WetPaint - http://www.wetpaint.com/
* Stikipad - http://stikipad.com/
* OttoWiki - http://www.ottowiki.com/

If you are interested in a first had account from a teacher using a wiki in the classroom you try this podcast from Vicki Davis. “She is known for her award winning class wiki, wiki-centric classroom structure, and use of broad scope of Web 2.0 tools to improve student performance.” The podcast (audio recording) link is add the bottom this page.


Knowledge sharing via web2.0

19

July

The ease of knowledge sharing via web2.0 is continually prompting me to see it as the main driver for educational in the new paradigm. Many educators are questioning if the industrial age institutions we work in are ready for the kids of the digital communication revolution. As we begin to understand that moncultures are unsafe as models for access I find I keep returning to a quote by Wikipedia’s founder Jimmy Wales when he was in Perth recently.

We need to learn to contribute and disagree in safety.

If “knowledge sharing is the lubricant behind the knowledge community” as Mal Bryce postulated in the panel discussion, then the engine of web2.0 is beginning to be used by educators as the agents of change. We are beginning to see a culture of sharing and creativity which is not based upon market exchange but rather an intellectual exchange.

“Professionals” in any field come in two flavors: Knowledge Sharers and Knowledge Hoarders. The hoarders believe in the value of their “Intellectual Property”(IP). The products of their mind must be carefully guarded lest anyone steal their precious ideas. But let’s face it–if our only “strategic advantage” is our ideas, we’re probably in trouble.

Quote and image below via the post Mosh Pit as Innovation Model on Creating Passionate Users:

Progress/Innovation

Mark Pegrum from UWA writes eloquently about the panel discussion here:

Mark Pesce (whose podcast and slides are available here) argued that the question “What is the truth?” has now become “Who do you trust?”. There is a potentially a clash of cultures between the Wikpedia model and the older encyclopedic model; has the culture of expertise, he asked, been out-evolved by distributed authority? He concluded by predicting a coming war between elites (who’ve traditionally possessed knowledge), special interests (who try to shape knowledge to their own ends), and communities (which are just becoming aware of the knowledge latent within them - and are beginning to use tools like wikis to harness that knowledge).

During the Perth panel discussion (a podcast of which is available), Mal Bryce, of IVEC, suggested that knowledge sharing is the lubricant of the knowledge economy, adding that information which is shared is information which is enhanced. Control freaks, he claimed, have no place in the emerging order. He agreed with comments made earlier in the day to the effect that more than anything else, it’s about changing the culture rather than grabbing the tools.


Paul Fuller *LIVE* from the NECC

27

June

Yesterday evening, Paul Fuller joined Paul Reid and Brad Hicks, for a live webcast from the NECC conference in Atlanta Georgia. Below is a podcast of the discussion. Thanks to Brad for hosting Podcast bannerthe webcast and to those eChalkies who joined us in the webcast academy chatroom.

Digital Chalkie Webcast #6 Paul Fuller: Live from the NECC
(MP3 – 17.9MB – 45min 58sec)

Right click to download the audio file from here.

Paul FullerPaul Fuller is documenting some of the journey for his students on a blog and will be talking about it further at the upcoming ECAWA Conference. Paul passed on this interesting blog post about what is topical at this years NECC conference.

For more than two decades, NECC has been the premier forum in which to learn, exchange, and survey the field of educational technology. This annual conference features hands-on workshops, lecture-format and interactive concurrent sessions, discussions with key industry leaders, and the largest educational technology exhibit in the world.

Apple is hosting the official podcast channel for NECC 2007.


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Recent Comments
  • 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?
  • Laura Seabrook: Murku looks really interesting (and I shall definitely try it), though the examples could do with some improvement, as per my comments above. Positioning can be important - see the Blambot article at...
  • 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...
  • Andrew Westerman: Each LO costs $20 000. So, if 20 students use that learning object for 0.1 of an hour (6 minutes), that's 2 student / hours @ $10 000 per hour. If 2000 students use that LO for 0.2 of an hour (12...
  • 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! http://www.4ip.org.uk/
  • 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 on.edu.au/for_teachers/what...
  • 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!