After a while the internets biggest assets becomes it’s biggest curse. There are just so many wonderful resources out there it becomes impossible to stay on top of the latest and greatest. This blog is my attempt to track some of the things I have found but I am still constantly overwhelmed by the volume of resources out there. But here is another I like the look of:

http://www.boxoftricks.net/?page_id=29

This website really is wonderful. It is constantly being added to and as long as you have some idea what you are after it is fairly easy to search.

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Yes I spent the cash and have invested in an iPad. I have had it for about a month and these are my thought so far:

Fun 4/5
OK its ace! I love the ease of getting into my electronic communications such as email, twitter and Facebook without having to wait for the computer to boot the computer. I am loving a couple of apps in particular:
– Flipboard is fantastic..takes a twitter stream and turns it tin a glossy mag layout. As most of my twitter is eLearning related this creates a fantastic eLearning mag that is different every hour!
– Youtube is still fantastic but just so easy to access and watch on the iPad
– The Elements – just beautiful
– Goodreader – Gradually putting any pdfs on here, great to read easy to use and now I don’t have to lug heaps of books about!
– Amazon Kindle: enjoying reading electronically have no issues reading straight from the screen. Love being able to change font size and background colour. Also love not having to have the bedside light on to read. V.sneaky!!

Have used it at work heaps too which is great as this justifies the investment….well a bit! Have used it to show movies with the cable jack…worked a treat. Can display the textbooks and use it for presentations. getting use to not having to lug the laptop around top every class.

This year I have been studying on line through Swinburne. As part of the course I have to make regular newsgroup contributions. I have decided to use this requirement with my students as well on our Yr 11 Physics Wiki.

What I have asked the students to do in their Nuclear Energy unit is they must make at least three contributions per fortnight to the wiki forum. They are expected to ask at least one question and answer two. I am running the unit over four weeks so the students are then asked to submit their best answer for assessment.

So far about a third of the class has started using the wiki. The question have all been quite sophisticated and the answers have been thorough. I have insisted the students reference their answer from the text or other sources and they are beginning to do this.

I have been assisting several teachers set up wikis for their classes next year. Some of the issues that have come to light….
1. make sure they right down all their passwords and somewhere they can find them again!!
2. Check with the network manager to ensure emails from the wiki are not blocked by the school. This was a particular issue for us.
3. Make sure that each person has a clear idea on what they want the wiki to be. I have recommended blogs to several staff who were really looking for journal type application rather than a learning space.

This is a link to the Wikispaces learning A to Z page. Here are many educational wikis which can give an idea of how wikis can be used in education:
http://educationalwikis.wikispaces.com/Examples+of+educational+wikis

A good article on implementation of 1-1 check out edition 2 of Smart Bytes;
http://education.qld.gov.au/smartclassrooms/strategy/sc-bytes.html

It has a complete model for implementing such a program – all based on comprehensive research into 1-1 programs that have, and haven;t worked in different parts of the world.

If you are looking to use a blog or wiki and the students want avatars these sites have been recommended by the oz-teachers forums:
http://www.buildyourwildself.com/
http://www.myavatareditor.com/

Went to a great professional development about open source in education.
Open for Education – VITTA PD

Keynote speaker: Pia Waugh

Foundations of Openness

Need to maintain the openness of of digital data. Need to make sure that a student in yr 12 can still open documents they wrote in yr 1.

How does commercial licensing limit the development of technology? It is up to our law makers to make sure laws are reflecting the changes in technology. Look at the copyrighting of DNA!

If we hoard the specialisations, knowledge can be lost. Lock down of data: Video, music, software. Spyware getting in the way of communication. Lowest common denominator is financially support which dumb down the technology.

Pool of knowledge that has enormous potential become inaccessible.

Open source for an Open society. Need to change the thinking of our students – the need for openness.

An open platform gives:

Open Source > Transparency
The issues: if it is proprietary software is held tightly then in is impossible to determine

Open Standards > Sustainability
National archives has to constantly re save data into new formats

Open Government > Participatory

Open Knowledge > Accessible
Are we teaching a product rather than a concept?

Open Market > Supported

Openness > Innovation
Leverage cumulative and global knowledge. Can use existing code to adapt to specific needs. Huge community on the open source environment.

In learning we develop to be more adaptable

The Open Road – Donna Benjamin

Open source enables participation in the ever evolving ICT

Sugar -constructivist computing. http://www.sugarlabs.org/ – linux based system for teaching.

OLPC around the world. (One Laptop per Child)

Creative collaboration with teachers develops new uses not envisaged by the developers.

OLPC changed the paradigm of what using a PC was to be. This is said to have inspired Netbooks. But these have changed as the governments have taken them up and Microsoft has got there finger in! (this last is my comment not Donna’s)

Free Software for Schools Catalogue

ISTE nets international version of VELs and gives International Standards.

Check out the Cape Town declaration.

Web publishing

Why blog?

Gets the students out there. Employers are more likely to Google a name, if students have a web presence that demonstrates their abilities and adds to their portfolio.

Blogs offer an authentic and rich teaching tool.

Internet Safety – Do you have a Online Publishing Policy specifically?

Google aggregate tool Google reader is a really good reader for RSS. Categorises and then files them away as you read posts.

Chat with Ann McGrath have seen her posts from Oz-teachers
We talked about Intranets and file management she suggested looking at:
box.net for file share and Stixy.com collaboration. I have not heard of either so will be investigating these.

Open source office – Mark Richardson
Other than having Open Office on show, this really wasn’t much of a session. Mark did not seem all that familiar with the software and did not really give much insight into it. We were given time to have a play, but it was pretty clear that Mark had not had much experience with it himself.

Marks webpage will be of use though:
www.ictedservices.com go to Open Source
Need to investigate jing which allows you to make movies of screen movements to use for teaching how to use.

Other useful software Mark suggested

Camstudio another screen capturing movie tool

debut in the same vain

In a discussion about some o the limitations of Open Office Calc with modelling functions from data Mark suggested gnumeric which I will have to have a close look at.

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Meeting presentation: 0.5 hr

Presented to staff the use of the blog as a way of tracking our PD as a requirement of the VIT registration. I find using the blog as a far more convenient method for traking my PD as the blog is able to categorize the entries which make it much easier to search on a later date. I like being able to enter links and pictures with my reports and enjoy the opportunity to have comments and responses.

My PD Blog is available here

Yep, I really have, so sorry. I am planning to get on top of this. Will get to and edit my post from the conference so the links are active and then am planning to trawl through my Oz-teacher in box and catalog the ideas here the ideas here