Monday, April 30, 2007
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Fonts Fonts Fonts
This is a font called Sketchy. This and 499 other cool fonts are available from Fonts 500.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
This is a great looking website from the UK with a whole raft of good quality videos related to education. There are videos for use in class as well as ones for professional development. I've just viewed part 2 of a video about boys education and it was quite good. Worth browsing through.
Monday, April 23, 2007
Mmmmmmm? Should I be worried?
As someone who has a wireless network at home and who works in a classroom with wireless access, should I be worried? I don't know enough about this but I do wish someone who really did know was able to give advice that was understandable. I went looking for information about wireless danger a few years ago and could only find conflicting reports that were so technical I couldn't understand all the jargon. The analogy in this article to laptops being the cigarette of the future made me stop and think. But then what about all the cell towers going up around the city that I have no control over? Can anyone point me to a simple explanation?
Saturday, April 21, 2007
Have a look at this.
I just love this sort of creativity.
Mashup Thinking part2
The concept behind 'mashup', as I understand it, is that parts of different media are merged to create something new. The more I think about it the more I think this is a good analogy for where we are heading in education. I blogged yesterday about 'Mashup Thinking' but I also think we need 'mashup' in a whole lot of schooling. Mashup Curriculum. Mashup Classes. What would Mashup schools look like? There is discussion in the blogosphere about School 2.0 and I guess this is where this idea fits.
I have had conversations in the past with teachers being very disparaging about home schooling. Maybe the public school system has something to learn from home schoolers who are creating 'mashup school' for their children. Mmmmmmm! Food for thought. I'm just musing here really and have to develop my thinking a lot more around this issue.
Friday, April 20, 2007
Had a great experience today when I was able to join in briefly with a professional development day happening at Brightwater School via skype connection with Allanah.
She was attending a session led by Dr David Whitehead. Allanah has given a great summary on her blog which is worth having a look at. She has included a brief audio comment from David where he is talking about knowledge as a verb. Now this isn't a particularly new concept but something he said triggered the thought in my head that we have a web2.0 term "mashup" that could be applied to the sort of thinking he is describing. So there it is. I put this out there for development. "Mashup Thinking" is what we are needing to develop.
Thursday, April 19, 2007
This is an interesting looking tool. Might be easier to use than podomatic to create podcasts. You can embed or link to the voicethread you create. One downside I can see is that you have to record via the macromedia recorder on the website. My experience of this in podomatic is that the quality isn't that great. Also it requires a microphone plugged in. I have been giving my iPod with attached microphone to the kids to record podcasts for our class. We also use audacity to manipulate the audio and get rid of all the umms and ahhhs and hesitations. I'd say it is worth looking at but I'd like to see them add some audio editing tools like jumpcut provides for video.
Monday, April 16, 2007
I've just been looking for a pdf annotation tool (prompted by my wife who was printing out copious pdfs so that she could write in the margin of them).
There has to be an easier way I thought.
If anyone knows of a better tool please let me know but this one seems pretty cool.
It allows you to type, highlight, add notes, draw etc onto a pdf file. The free version adds a software evaluation message to the top of each page which you would have to just ignore. If you pay for the pro version the message goes away. I'm amazed I haven't wanted to do this before now! Cool!
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Here's one for all those people who complain they would do more with ICT in their classroom if only they had.... better computers, better software, wireless access. I'm a firm believer in doing the best with what you've got. This video sums that up. If this inspires you to drag out MSPaint again then check our Artrage and you can see some really amazing stuff.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Friday, April 13, 2007
I'm always on the lookout for cool tools. This is another good looking one.
It looks a bit like Mindmeister the one I blogged about a few weeks ago but this one is up and running and not in invitation only beta stage. I have yet to try collaborating with someone on it but it certainly looks friendly enough.
Worth checking out.
Ban the laptop?
This is an interesting article from David Cole. He has banned laptops from his law lectures. Students were surfing the web, checking emails, sms messaging friends etc during class. As I read the article I couldn't help thinking that one of the most obvious issues was that he was standing at the front of the class "sage on the stage" style delivering knowledge to his students.
He argues that
As for multitasking, I don't buy it. Attention diverted is attention diverted.
Mmmmmm????? This point is worth pondering. We are hearing a lot about "digital natives" whose brains are wired differently. To what extent does this impact our classrooms?
Yes there are times when lecture style delivery is just the most efficient way to communicate a body of knowledge deemed important. At those times then putting down the laptop may be a valid call but I want to know, how much of a students day is in this sort of class? At university where face to face time is a lot less than at school maybe it isn't such an issue. In school where we have the students for extended periods how much of the day is lecture delivery?
How many opportunities do my students get to ask questions, present their opinions, search for answers, clarify ideas, talk about their understanding and create new knowledge for themselves.
I think web2.0 tools allow some increased opportunities to engage in knowledge creation. For me... I'm still trying to integrate the laptop effectively into learning, I'm not ready to ban it just yet. :) What do you think?
Thursday, April 12, 2007
I think I have a hidden cartoonist inside.
This is cool because I can also create my own characters (well actually in this case I copied one of our Freeville characters from school) but I was able to green screen the background and make it transparent, import that gif into toondoo and Walah! Characters to include in your own cartoon. Now this all seems very exciting and I'm not sure why it is so cool when this can all be done just as easily in Powerpoint.
The environment has something to do with it. I'm interested in tools like this that can be motivating for children to become creative. If this sort of adaption wasn't possible I'd quickly lose interest in toondoo because of the "clipart" nature. I do subscribe to Jamie McKenzie's view that clipart can stifle creativity. What are your thoughts on this? Toondoo is allowing the creator to mashup their own ideas from a collection of resources. Is this more or less creative? Fun to play with anyway and that is a huge plus.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
It must be holidays
This could get to be addictive
Vicki Davis has been posting cartoons created in Toon Doo. I thought I'd play around with it and I discovered you can also upload your own images. Now that is cool. You are not limited by the backgrounds available but you can use paint, kidpix, artrage etc or take your own photos and use them as backgrounds. Wow this is exciting. Anyone for a cartoon exchange?
Labels: toon doo
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
A nice little reminder that the world is changing
Maybe we should change the one laptop per child project to the one cell phone per child? Might get there faster! This video is from Teachertube.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
It has been a thought provoking weekend. My 94 year old grandmother died on Friday evening. I've been thinking since about all the changes she saw in her lifetime. She was born a few months after the Titanic sank. She lived through two World Wars, the depression, polio epidemic, Napier earthquake, Murchison earthquake, Wahine disaster. She lived to see man walk on the moon, jet aeroplane travel, television, computers, the internet. Incredible social changes occurred in her lifetime. Advances in science, medicine, technology... etc. Nana grew up in a house without electricity. I just can't imagine it really.
All that melancholic musing makes me think about my own girls and the changes they will see in their lifetimes. How do we prepare our children for a future we can't even imagine? Well I'm not really sure but I guess Nana's parents had no idea about television, internet etc. Heck! Motor cars would have been a marvellous new invention. Nana grew up, raised a family and lived through a period of incredible change. If all the predictions of futurist commentators are anything to go by change will only increase at an exponential rate. Two things I think about all this. Developing an ability to cope with complexity may be one of the most important things we can promote. That and doing things with your family. Spend time and get to know the most important people in your life.