Posts Tagged technology

I got the one with the bigger gee-bees!

Remember this video that was going around awhile ago?

“It has an app that will build you an island…”

“…It’s 3G, and has the Wi-Fi’s”

Well when I eventually did get my hands on a really cool iPod touch to play with on the wi-fis, I got to really wanting to upgrade my phone.  I will always love my Sony Ericsson c902, it took some great pictures for me, and even survived being whisked out of a moving car window onto a highway near Yass while I was taking snapshots of a duststorm.

(this was after the worst/best of the storm…the phone survived, alas the memory card did not…)

After playing around on new touchy-screen phone technology though, it’s just a bit weird going ‘back’ to ‘just a phone’.  With my portable device and all my wi-fis, I can read the internet and still hang out with my family instead of being cooped up in my study. That’s what sold me.

So after a long, long time of waiting, and of being jealous of OPP (other people’s phones) today, as a Happy Birthday to me present from my lovely husband, I went to pick up my new toy: a HTC Desire HD

I’m still in the swooshing-the-screen-around phase, but I already feel 10 times more organised with all this calendar and emailage at my fingertips.  Now to get it travel ready, with my music and things…isn’t out-of-the-box day the best? 😀



Tribes #TED

Seth Godin talks to TED 2009 about how, rather than homogonising everyone, then internet has instead lead us to form TRIBES. He explains how:

  • People on the fringes can now  find each other, connect and go somewhere.
  • It is tribes, not money or factories, that can change our world…that can align large numbers of people.
  • What we do now for a living in today’s society is: find something worth changing, then assemble tribes, which assemble other tribes etc. until it becomes something bigger than us – a movement.
  • Leaders challenge the status quo, and build a culture and a community to connect people to a cause.

What are you changing?

Who are you connecting with?

Who are you leading?


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Save the Net – sign the petition

The Federal Government is planning to force all Australian servers to filter internet traffic and block any material the Government deems ‘inappropriate’. Under the plan, the Government can add any ‘unwanted’ site to a secret blacklist.

Testing has already begun on systems that will slow our internet by up to 87%, make it more expensive, miss the vast majority of inappropriate content and accidentally block up to 1 in 12 legitimate sites. Our children deserve better protection – and that won’t be achieved by wasting millions on this deeply flawed system.

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Technology Leadership Team

Last week I went to my first meeting for my school’s new ‘Technology Leadership Team’.  I am so excited about working with other teachers, especially because they are mostly from other faculties, who are also excited about using technology to enhance learning.

The focus of our group is to plan and/or provide collegial professional development for other staff members in areas of technology.  We all agree that an important aspect of this will be PD in using online tools, such as blogs, wikis and podcasts.

Another exciting thing about the group is that we are planning to trial Moodle with some of our classes this year, and depending on our success, introduce Moodle as a tool across the entire school in 2010.  I can’t wait!  I’m interested to hear from anyone who is Moodling already, about how their school introduced it, and what kind/level of PD was needed.  Are majority of teachers in Moodle-schools using the system effectively?

I’m going to send my blog URL to other members of the team now – I hope they drop by and leave me a comment!

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Thanks to Darcy for tweeting this link to the Connectivism Wiki.

There are some great ideas here – I especially like the entry on Externalising Ourselves.  I am going to use a quote from this in my ETA Conference presentation on Saturday about Online Learning and Pedagogy:

The ability to connect concepts and ideas and to understand and be understood by others requires that we render our thoughts in some type of format that permits communication. The development of symbols, language, and writing permits externalization of thought and thereby the capacity to create and network concepts and ideas.

The same wiki page also has a link to a very interesting document about Connectivism as a Learning Theory.  I had to laugh at the title, as it sums up so many arguments discussions I have had with people about using online tools, for teaching or otherwise: ‘Connectivism: Learning Theory, or Pastime of the Self-Amused’!

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Cool tools for schools wiki

click, click, click…

After reading my blog comments I clicked through to Lee Mowbray’s Twitter account, then through to her shared blog Stepping Stones for teachers, and from there I found a link to a wikispace called Cool Tools for Schools.

The Cool tools for schools wiki stores information about a wide range of useful web-based tools, sorted by category (video tools, writing tools, image tools, quiz and poll tools etc.)

I love expanding my professional learning network!  Thanks Lee 🙂

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Do YOU know how to get a website unblocked?

ED: 19th March, 2012 – the information contained in this post may no longer be relevant. See visitor comments at the end relating to changes under the new ‘DEC’.

A recent post by Will Richardson, Filter Fun, got me thinking again about the situation with the (highly sensitive) web filter in my DET school.

I wonder – if only more teachers were proactive about applying for blocked websites to be UNBLOCKED, would the filter crew start to get a sense of how much they have (unnecessarily) blocked?  If they were hit with as many UNBLOCK requests as we are hit by ‘Blocked Site’ pages, would they be a little more careful about blocking potentially useful sites?

This term has been a constant struggle for me – teaching video games as a text in the English classroom required students to use internet searches for information and images relating to video games, game characters and game consoles.

At every turn we were blocked by the web filter.  Reason?  The sites we wanted to look at fell under the “Games” category.

Well…yeah.  Of course they did!  We were researching ‘games’!

I have to admit that, for my part, I did not apply at any stage this term to have a website UNBLOCKED.  Doing this is a pretty easy process if you are in a NSW DET school:

  1. Log on to the Portal
  2. Choose the ‘My applications’ tab
  3. Click on ‘Account Administration’ from the list below
  4. Choose ‘Web Filter Check’ and fill in the forms as instructed.

In my defense, however, I musy explain that the research work that we were doing required the students to search the web independently, which meant the focus was not on websites that I had found and unblocked for them.  As the unblocking process is not instant, it is of little help for teachers and students in the middle of a pre-booked lesson on the library computers!

If you are working within the NSW DET filter, here are some instructions for applying for a website to be unblocked that I made for my faculty.  Let me know if I got anything wrong – otherwise, spread the word that sites CAN BE UNBLOCKED!

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Learning to Change – Changing to Learn

I love this short (5 min) video by the Consortium for School Networking (COSN).  A range of ‘big wigs’ give their two cents worth on why schools need to become more ICT intensive – The following arguments especially appealed to me:

  • Students have a more stimulating and richer environment outside of school (how sad)
  • Kids are now very rich content developers and communicators, but we are not utilising their skills – instead we BAN everything from school which might ‘distract’ students from the learning we have designed for them
  • There is a need to defy the industrial narrative of control and order that positions students as factory workers, which maintains a stranglehold on the majority of schools and classrooms
  • Every turned off device is potentially a turned off child.

As Stephen Heppell says in the video, it may be the death of education, but is it the dawn of learning…and that is exciting indeed.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Learning to Change – Changing to Learn“, posted with vodpod