Connecting with the Beijing Olympic Games is more interesting and dynamic with technology. Think of what the moon landing would have been like if we’d had the same possibilities. I remember being spontaneously sent home from school so that we could all watch the landing on TV. (Grade 5, in case you’re wondering. Linda Fewings came home with me and we ate crumpets.) What we have now is almost instant visual information (videos, slideshows, pictures), dynamic news through RSS (Twitter; Very Recent search engine) and interactive tools (trackers and maps). A great way to introduce students to Web 2.0 technologies when they’re already engaged in the Olympics.
I’ve been fishing for links to the Beijing Olympic Games and here’s what I’ve caught:
Summer Games on Youtube
Interactive map of Beijing Games on New York Times
Teacher Planet (lots of resources on the Olympic Games) Continue reading #080808 Olympic Games
Wes Fryer compares good teaching to good cooking. He talks about ‘recipes’ being modified in a Web 2.0 context to suit specific needs and situations. His six main ingredients for powerful teaching and learning are del.icio.us social bookmarks, Flickr photo sharing, VoiceThread digital storytelling, collaborative writing tools, websites for phone recording as well as SMS polling, and videoconferencing. How do these tools and applications differ from traditional 19th century teaching and learning? Replacing a one-way direction from teacher to student, where the teacher is the expert and the student a passive receptacle, these ingredients enable active and interactive learning.
I’m interested to find out more about the websites for phone recording and SMS polling. Are Australian teachers doing this?
I realise that many people would have discovered ages ago what Hawkesdale College has been doing with blogging, but since I’ve only just looked through properly, I have to do my little rave because otherwise I’ll burst. It’s so fantastic!
The Hawkesdale K-12 blog : Techno7 (Our first year 7-12)
is about students and teachers blogging through the 7-12 school journey.
What’s on the blog?
• There’s a page for each subject, plus extras, eg. study skills, etc.
• Each student has a blog for each subject
• Each teacher has a blog following their Web 2.0 journey, posting stuff for students, or just ideas, findings, etc. Continue reading Bravo Hawkesdale
Here’s a useful way of using Pageflakes in the classroom. A not so recent but still very exciting and relevant blog post by Will Richardson in Weblogg-ed (dated 21 November 2006) discusses Pageflakes as a dynamic student portal. Will talks about creating a topic-specific page on Darfur/Sudan built on tag feeds from YouTube for videos, Flickr for photos, the New York Times and the Sudan Tribune for news, del.icio.us for what people are bookmarking, and Google Blogsearch blogs.
I like this on so many levels. Firstly, Continue reading Green Pageflakes
Skoolaborate put me onto this video by a young film maker, Robbie Dingo. The author of this blog uses this example to illustrate the learning potential of virtual worlds. He lists learning areas, such as maths, geography and problem solving that are demonstrated in the creation of this short and creative film.
Still browsing in my search for clarity and understanding of the purpose and potential of virtual worlds. What do you think?
Camilla Elliott provides many useful links for podcasting on her Linking for Learning site. I took up her recommendation to subscribe to the ABC’s EdPod RSS feed. Now the latest EdPod audio files are automatically sent to my iTunes every fortnight. Love the idea of getting stuff automatically. It’s like someone working for me while I sleep.
I listened to ‘One long yawn? History in the classroom’ and pondered the podcast. What’s not to like? Continue reading #20 Casting the net
I like to be reminded that the mind is an amazing thing, that people are different in the way they see things, learn things, focus on things; that people can surprise you, amaze you.
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This video (3 in one) of the forum at Stanford University, "From MySpace to HipHop: new media in the everyday lives of youth", delves into a subject that I'm compulsively drawn to - social networking and the implications of these new ways of connecting. The questions that come out of these presentations are vital to our understanding of youth in order to evaluate and re-evaluate our teaching and learning programs. Some of these questions are:
Are we seeing an evolution to a new kind of engaged community?
Should we be enthused about the ubiquitous nature of digital media or should we be deeply concerned?
As educators, how can we spark the same engagement and motivation that we see on MySpace and Facebook?
Are young people changing through their participation with digital media?
How does this change their relationship to school and home life?
Why do they participate in digital communities rather than real life?
Although the research study presented here doesn't tell us what to do, only what we need to know, I think that it's vital to realise what we need to know. Our familiarisation with Web 2.0 applications is only the beginning of a new direction in education. More importantly, we need to understand why we are doing this and what else we need to find out. One of the speakers points out that we may be at an inflection point where change is accelerating and old ways disappearing, where systems are no longer working, indescribable innovation is becoming possible. If this is true, then we need to understand it and we need to understand the good and the bad, and we need to harness it.
I've spoken about the significance of audience for young people. The first speaker makes an important point - Web 2.0 and what young people do within this environment is inextricably tied with who they make it for and with. MySpace and Facebook enable deeply social activity not driven by the technology itself. Network publics are an extension of youth's existing publics. How does this change young people's relationship to school and home life?
I'm going back to the question I was asked at my recent interview: how do we get to know adolescents?
This question is at the heart of the research presented here. The goal of the research is to understand these changes from the point of view of youth themselves. As the first speaker said, before we can design our own adult-centred agendas for education, we have to try to take young people's agendas and experiences seriously on their own terms.
Have a look at Heather Horst's submission to the website Digital youth research. I found this link on Hey Jude. Thanks.
Restoration… Hagia Sophia scaffolding
Originally uploaded by annpar
Every day I’m reminded of the importance of the human presence behind the use of technology in teaching and learning. We need the good old-fashioned teacher to support the resource-based and student-centred learning more than ever. Before, during and after the research or learning process, we need, more than ever, the educator to explain, inspire, moderate, explain, encourage, supplement, support, explain … Otherwise the joy and understanding will go right out of the student’s assignment and the student will loathe the assignment and loathe learning. These are my thoughts as a teacher, teacher-librarian and parent.
Here’s what someone else had to say – scroll down to the halfway point.
It’s not a dichotomy – the old fashioned teacher and the 21 century teacher – it’s the same teacher.
I know that many people are kicking against this Web 2.0 learning curve. I’m not saying everyone, but I have spoken to several (more than 3) people who are finding this experience more pain than gain. Well, I just want to say , don’t give up! Once you pass a certain threshold, you suddenly get stuck into it, and you know what, you can’t stop.
Personally, I’m finding that I have an opportunity to learn which I feel is always a privilege. As a child I enjoyed learning at school, always something to look forward to. There was a time in my life (quite a prolonged time ) when I didn’t have the opportunity to learn as much as I was used to. I’d say that these were the years when my children were very young. Sure, I had to learn stuff, but you know what I mean, there was no time for me.
This program has given me the opportunity for exploration and creativity. I thrive on that. Without it, I’m not in a good state. As I read others’ blogs, the links in these, look at possibilities offered by Web 2.0 applications, I feel like I could do anything. Lately, I’ve decided I could write a children’s book. Do you ever think that? How hard could it be? Well, here’s a YouTube video from the British comedy show Black Books that I think illustrates what would happen if I ever tried to write a children’s book.
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