Archive for August, 2008

PBwiki Training Video

For anyone who came to my presentation last Wednesday – this is a pretty good introductory video on how to create a wiki using PB wiki. It is 10mins long, but covers all the basics.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “PBwiki Training Video“, posted with vodpod

, ,

Leave a comment

Vdeo Games page – new!

I have added another page to my blog now – one where I will be collecting the resources that I have found useful in teaching video games in the English classroom.

Please feel free to add your own ideas and resources.

Leave a comment


I can’t wait to start using Voicethread next Term!  I first heard about this tool at the AATE conference in July, and it turns out a few of my colleagues have been using it for awhile…if anyone has links to Voicethread projects they have done with their students I’d love to see them!

My initial thoughts are that I would like to use Voicethread for:

  • Year 9 poetry unit – students compose poetry and read it aloud with accompanying images for other students to view.  Perhaps also some collaborative poetry writing?
  • Debating Training – One week debates.  Students can record a real debate.  Starts with 1st Affirmative speaker, then following speakers get 24 hours each to respond; runs like a ‘real’ debate.

Some great tips and ideas for using Voicethread can be found on Wesley Fryer’s blog.  I have just joined the English Group on the Voicethread Ning, and am hoping to get more ideas and tips from there.

, , , , ,


David Griffin on how photography connects us | Video on

Another TEDtalk that I’ll be using in my Year 9 unit on digital storytelling.

The photo director for National Geographic, David Griffin knows the power of photography to connect us to our world. In a talk filled with glorious images, he talks about how we all use photos to tell our stories.

more about “David Griffin on how photography conn…“, posted with vodpod

, , , , ,

Leave a comment

The Choice Generation

On Hack (JJJ) today the whole program was dedicated to looking at the paradox of my generation – the “Choice Generation”Hack reported on a generation that is well educated and geographically mobile, and that has delayed the traditional milestones of adulthood such as marriage and parenthood.  Yet despite having more freedom and opportunity than any previous generation, people in their late 20s and early 30s are feeling anxious and stressed by the pressure to do and have everything.  The choice to make the right decision and take advantage of what’s on offer is a burden.  With so much on offer, we are torn.

On average in this generation:

  • 8 out of 10 will complete Year 12 – most of these will go on to further study
  • we will have stayed at each job for about 2 years so far, and we will have about 20 employers in our lifetime within five diffrerent careers (which we will retrain for)
  • we are more likely to have rented than owned and therefore have moved lovation a couple of times
  • overseas travel and careers are expected
  • marriage and children are occuring about seven years later than they did for our parents – on average we’ll start having children when the woman is 31 and the man is 33

Apparently we’re also quite socially progressive…but is my generation also selfish?  Spoiled?  Reluctant to delay gratification?

Looks like Saturn’s Return, currently playing at the Wharf 2 Theatre (Sydney Theatre Compnay) explores similar themes:

Tommy Murphy’s new play is grounded in observable reality: people’s lives do have a tendency to shift in their mid-late 20s/early-mid 30s…Growing up, or not, is the point celebrated, delayed, mythologised and avoided in this psychologically deft and satisfying work.


Jonathan Harris: Collecting Stories

Artist Jonathan Harris discusses his latest projects, which involve collecting stories – what a great talk!

I’d like to show this to Year 9 when we start making digi-stories, to get them thinking about how images can represent people and their lives.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Jonathan Harris: Collecting Stories“, posted with vodpod

, ,

Leave a comment

Identity resources

Followed a link from a note on Facebook which lead to some excellent materials by Michele Knobel and her colleagues.  The papers that they wrote all addressed some aspect of the theme: Literacy, Identity, Place.

Our school this year has run an AOS on “Identity”, in preparation for the concepts dealt with in next years AOS: “Belonging”.  I’ve tried to push the idea of studying online identity, but I’m not teaching the course so can’t get involved really with how it is conceptualised.  But I think these papers, although they aren’t relevant at all points, would provide a good entry for interested teachers into thinking about online identity.

, ,

1 Comment

Channel 10 is not my friend

Tonight my usually-favourite-channel has gone from the good books (for making Neighbours available online) to the bad books.  After another excellent episode of Burn Notice followed by the dreaded Channel 10 announcement “that was the final Burn Notice for now

It’s only been back on for a few weeks!

I am so tired of free-to-air channels stuffing the audience around.  If it’s not alternating new episodes of House and NCIS with old, it’s pulling shows off altogether with no sign of when they’ll return.

Not happy Ten.  Seriously.

, ,

Leave a comment

Laptops in Schools

An interesting article in the SMH today – the DET is on the hunt for cheap laptops.

Had to chuckle at the reference to the NSW government resigning itself to the “boisterous nature” of secondary school students, and allowing for “the likelihood that one in 10 of the machines will be lost, broken or stolen each year.”

What I want to know is – what are they going to do to make sure the laptops we DO get run faster than a snail’s pace?  Currently my average laptop lesson uses about 15 minutes at the start just getting logged onto the laptops and onto the net.  This turns most teachers off, and many colleagues avoid the laptops altogether because they ‘waste’ so much class time.  *sigh*

Leave a comment


I’ve just been browsing through Jo McLeay‘s student blogs, which are hosted by 21classes.  I know I have heard of this site before, but I have been so happy with Edublogs that I haven’t bothered to pursue any other providers.  The main features that 21classes lay claim to are:

  • Host and manage blogs for your students
  • Use a Class Homepage to communicate with students

It looks at first glance like 21classes provides an easier structure for teachers to link student blogs to a main class blog.  Another selling point is that students apparently don’t need an email address to sign up for a blog…good news for DET teachers whose students don’t use their DET email, but also can’t access their Hotmail or Gmail accounts on the school computers!

Is anyone out there using 21classes?

Has anyone used 21classes AND Edublogs, and can comment on how they compare?


Leave a comment