Archive for the “Web 2.0” Category

Want to see what mashups, HTML5 and some real creativity can do …. follow the link – http://www.thewildernessdowntown.com/

Designed for Chrome browser but works OK in Firefox.

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The sharing of assessment and achievement information is a hot topic at the moment.  The National Standards have dictated to schools some of the content we now HAVE to report and the way it is done.  (Having said that good assessment practice has always included much of what the Standards have made explicit).

Nick Rate at CORE has been doing a lot of work around ePortfolios and I like this slideshow from him:

Eports breakie

View more presentations from Nick Rate.
There are many complicated ways of ‘doing’ ePortfolios and different solutions will fit with different schools and different teachers.
The key thing, as always I believe, is to be clear about the purpose.  The purpose will be the filter to enable you to discard what is not going to work or to fit.  And purpose will be the lens through which you reflect and review what you have done.
Start small, keep it simple and do SOMETHING.  We have a number of classes blogging at school.  Others are doing some great things with wikis, including using video to facilitate reflections on learning in maths.  That’s our beginnings.  ePortfolios are quite some time away and contingent on a lot of things being in place – not the least of which is teacher familiarity with online tools and technologies.

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What does this mean for your practice? …so WHAT?
What does this mean for your understanding of the world the children in your class live in? ….so WHAT
What does this mean for how you communicate with your kids?
Are you ready to teach todays kids if you don’t understand this stuff?

SO WHAT NOW?

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This Facebook add-on evaluates your privacy settings and ensures that you are not inadvertantly sharing iniformation you thought was private. – LINK

via Lifehacker

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You always hate seeing yourself on the screen. Voice sounds different, chins multiply, the list goes on.
At ULearn last year I spoke to Matt from CORE about what we have been doing at school with blogs and wikis. Follow the link to see the video as it won’t embed properly for me ….??


Hopefully someone in the world finds this vaguely interesting 🙂

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A student’s art project …. stunning.  Love it.

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Some days are just the coolest – to quote the teenage vernacular.

This morning I joined a room full of teacher librarians in Washington DC via Skype for two sessions at the School Library Journal Leadership Summit 2009.  It was a rather surreal time looking into the wee green light on the laptop screen and knowing I was beaming on a wall thousands of miles away, yesterday afternoon.

The second huge buzz was this evening getting a VERY excited text from a teacher from school letting me know she has made the finals of the Interface Best Class Blog awards.  Clemency is a stunning teacher and has a wonderful classroom.  Her blog began as a tentative toe dipped in the water and has grown over the past couple of years into a central part of her classroom and classroom programme.  In the usual way with people who do fabulous things she simply sees it as normal, nothing special, and rather mundane.  It is none of these things!  It is a wonderful example of the way Web2.0 technologies can break down the barriers between home and school, make the classroom programme transparent and bring families into the school in so many different ways.  Please take a look at the website and vote for her class blog.  (you do have to be a NZ teacher, or employed in a school to vote though) She thoroughly deserves the accolades!

An interesting note too – 3 of the 10 finalists in the Awards are classrooms and teachers from Dunedin.  Two are from our ICT PD Cluster.  How good are we!

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I have been doing quite a bit of thinking recently about managing workflow.  All school leaders have an infinite amount of work to do.  There is always the tension between the important and the urgent.

But once you get down to it there are things I have found help me to actually get the work done.  I am predominantly digital and much of my professional life is on my Mac laptop:

  1. I keep as much of my work digital as I can.  I email a lot.  My calendar is iCal.
  2. I use Growl – with lots of extensions installed – to let me know when new messages come in, when I have a new message on Skype, etc.  I then get to read mail messages without flicking to the programme itself.
  3. Adium is a neat wee application that pulls  iChat etc into one small window. Skype and Adium are on all the time and I use them in very transactional ways to connect with the people that I need to anywhere in the world.
  4. My Mail only checks once an hour to reduce distractions
  5. My inbox is a sort of ‘to do’ list.  I use a Mail extension called Letterbox to change how Mail looks – into two columns – so I can read the message in one screen full for most messages.  This saves a lot of scrolling and flicking around the screen.
  6. I have a notebook.  A good old spiral bound analogue notebook.  And I use this to keep all the business cards, notes, scribbles, etc that I need to keep track of.  Lots of stuff glued in.
  7. I run a 20″ monitor plugged into my laptop with a nice set of speakers.  I have music going most of the time and work on the big screen with mail open on my laptop.  Two screens is great!
  8. ByteController runs my iTunes – a small application that sits in my taskbar, is easily accessed and enables me to mute, jump around or stop what is playing.  Music helps me concentrate.
  9. I TRY to keep my desk as clear as possible.  Vain hope most of the time, but it is a goal.
  10. I have a meeting table in my office and a toybox to keep wee people amused if I am needing to have a conversation with their parents. ….
  11. I tweak stuff.  I have quite a list of Firefox extensions running as well as specific software installed that modify things to make them look and feel how I want.
  12. I have a palm Treo 650 phone that syncs to my laptop with its calendar etc using Missing Sync software.  My pocket buzzes when I am supposed to be remembering things.
  13. LOTS of things go into my iCal – I link to emails and paste in documents etc as well so all the information is in one place.  I keep meeting notes in particular events too.

So these are some of the tricks and tweaks I use that have fallen together over the years.  They work for me.

What things do you do to manage your workflow?  Lets share in the comments.

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