Bling for your blog

Bling For Your Blog – a wow resource!

I just have to share this fabulous resource (better late than never) put together by another great New Zealand teacher from “across the ditch”.

Allanah shared this link in Twitter – so I found out about it!

If you need step by step instructions about how to set up and manage your blog at Blogger – then this is the ‘instruction manual’ for you!!

Allanah is a NZ primary school teacher taking a year’s leave to be ICT facilitator in Tasman. Add her blog Life is not a Race to be Finished to your RSS feeds and learn heaps about technology integration from a super Web 2.0 teacher.

Did You Know 2.0

This video is an update to the original “Shift Happens”.

I’m posting it here as a way of testing one of the many new features of WordPress.com, which allows me to post videos to my blog by the click of a button using my vodpod/wordpress toolbar button.

WordPress.com has a whole new Dashboard design with plenty of slick new features thanks to WordPress 2.5.

I’m pretty excited to see new things happening at WordPress.

from www.youtube.com posted with vodpod

  • Beyond RSS – with Alltop.com?

    I caught an interesting commentary from Clay Burrell on RSS in education – and got quite interested in the read for a while. I agree with Clay’s comments – to an extent. The thing is, there is more to RSS than mentioned here – but I’m thinking that it is outside the domain of teachers that we find the true power of RSS.

    How about setting up an RSS feed on info topics, based on good selection of key terms, which are delivered directly from comprehensive journal databases, or scholarly internet resource collections, or searches that your have “rolled” yourself?? That’s ‘serious’ information gathering! RSS is not just for web info collection – that’s basic – and eventually pretty boring! Any wonder kids (and teachers for that matter) are not much interested. RSS also drives the work of students participating in the Horizon Project. Perhaps it’s the purpose for which the RSS is being used that makes it work. Check out Sue’s post on How I use RSS to Make My Life Easier – that’s an important message for teachers too!

    I’m lucky – I can preach a different gospel of RSS coming from my library side, than I could coming just from my teacher side. There’s just more to learn about RSS – that’s all!

    The good thing was that Clay told us about Guy Kawasaki’s Alltop service. As a fan of popurls my interest picked up again. What a great writing task set up by Clay. OK, time for me to dig deaper into the potential of Alltop.

    Nah – no good! Well not for some of us anyway. Seemed to be a pretty slim representation of important education blogs. Even worse, I couldn’t find anything for education and library – either academic or school.

    Good librarians are great Web 2.0 information professionals – and they are the ones who can show teachers like Clay how else to effectively use RSS and a host of other Web 2.0 tools. Plus the information flow from librarian bloggers is fantastic too. Check out the Lib Bloggers in my blogroll, and you’ll get the idea :-)

    In a Web 2.0 world collaboration is essential. It’s time that librarians, teacher librarians, media specialists and teachers learnt more from each other – and collaborated more. That’s what Web 2.0 is all about.

    Image: Light Bulb

    Virtual tips and tricks

    The enormously wonderful thing about social networking and passionate Teacher Librarians is  the ease with which they can source just the right information for your daily needs.

    OK, I’m smiling as I write this :-)  But I do want to bring another blog to your RSS reader – especially if you are looking for quick hits of useful bits and pieces related to learning and literacy in schools.

    Joan joined me at St Joseph’s College just a couple of weeks ago in the role of Teacher Librarian – and is already a hit with her wonderful enthusiasm and depth of knowledge. She keeps us all on our toes!

    Joan adds value to her daily work by writing JDS BlogA Blog for professional learnings “Teaching without learning is just talking”.

    Drop by;  say hello;   and collect some great snippets of information.  

    Photo: what lies within?

    Meme – Passion Quilt

    Oh no!! here comes another meme :-)

    Thanks to Joyce Valenza and Dianne Cordell I have been tagged to join in the Passion Quilt meme. Usually I don’t like memes, but this time I couldn’t resist as I will be meeting up with these two fabulous Teacher Librarians at ISTE’s conference in San Antonio later in the year.

    So what is my passion? what image will I add to the quilt?  Here ’tis!

    Refocus your mind! Recharge your energy! [R]evolution Web 2.0.


    My Picture

    In this picture simplicity and peace are juxtaposed with Web 2.0 in order to highlight a changing mind or vision in learning. I like the picture because it shows that it is not about the rush of technology that mandates Web 2.0 – rather the mindshift that embraces learning as a multimodal conversation in our Web 2.0 world.
    My Passion
    I am passionate about lifelong learning, for students of all ages.

    You’ve been tagged:
    I’m passing this meme on to five like-minded teachers and/or tech savvy librarians:

    Frances Manning HFS Conversations Teacher Librarian in Sydney

    Jo McLeay The Open Classroom Teacher in Melbourne

    Kathryn Greenhill Librarian’s matter Librarian in Perth (Australia)

    Ewan McIntosh Edu.blogs.com Teacher consultant in Scotland

    John Connell Passionate friend of teachers and librarians. Hails from Scotland, works in the world!!

    Meme: Passion Quilt

    The rules are simple.
    1. Think about what you are passionate about teaching your students.
    2. Post a picture from a source like FlickrCC or Flickr Creative Commons or make/take your own that captures what YOU are most passionate about for kids to learn about…and give your picture a short title.
    3. Title your blog post “Meme: Passion Quilt” and link back to this blog entry.
    4. Include links to 5 folks in your professional learning network or whom you follow on Twitter/Pownce.

    Mini-legends 08 – sweet stuff

    You’ve got to love blogging and the Web 2.0 platform! Today I ‘met’ my mini-legend called Zelda. How did I do this?

    Well, Al Upton is at it again – a new group of kids, a new set of wonderful learning experiences.

    Al Upton and the miniLegends 08 are going to be interacting with the world through a unique mentoring program.

    Al says:

    If you’re an educational blogger of any kind (or visitor) and would like to ‘mentor a mini’ then please leave a comment on THIS page saying who you would like to be connected with. The idea is to drop into their blogs from time to time throughout the year and leave a positive comment .

    Very simple … why not join in this educational adventure with the miniLegends of 08? They are after mentors for all students from as many different countries as possible. They are adding additional mentors, so there is still time for you to share a miniLegend with an international friend.

    Photo: Sweet Stuff


    That’s my mouse…

    ……is a neat new entry into a teacher’s toolkit – if you’re brave enough to give it an experimental go!

    ThatsMyMouse allows people to passively interact. Just by navigating through a web-page you can interact with the people on it. Since it’s written in JavaScript (and supports all major browsers) it works for 95+% of visitors after a website places a single line of JavaScript on their page. You can see, talk and interact with anyone who browses to the same page as you.

    Mashable also wrote about this simple but brilliant gimmick that they dubbed a Social Browsing Widget.

    Playing around with it after an alert by Alec Couros on Twitter, I thought that it could be used as a good focus point for discussing a topic on a web page, or even webpage design.

    Contribute to the discussion of the tool for Alec at ThatsMyMouse. Alec’s captured text transcript will help you discover more.

    The way it could be used is governed by the comment field, which you position with your mouse after writing the text. The comments don’t stay on screen for long, so it’s not about marking up a page with comments, but rather having a fun tool – perhaps online with other classes – to throw some ideas around and generate discussion.

    Try this out on your wiki some time soon :-)

  • A Whole New Mind – Pink style

    6.00 am on Saturday morning, and at last it was my turn to join one of the classes for live blogging A Whole New Mind with students from Arapahoe High School.

    Some weeks ago Karl Fisch (you’ll remember his Did You Know 2.0? video) put out a call for people to participate in ‘live blogging’ over a series of weeks, and you can see the timetable of these events at AWNMLiveBlogging. Luckily for me I could make the Period 6 timeslot on a few of the dates.

    I’ve just completed my first session with these fabulous students. The record of just this one class group is at Smith 9H07-08.

    What I can’t capture here was the opportunity to hear the fishbowl discussion technique in action. Using MeBeam, a web-based video chat tool, I heard every fabulous word of discussion, along with my fellow bloggers Christian Long and Gary Stager.

    Yet another wonderful way to add flexibility and creativity to learning as a multimodal conversation.

    Photo: 油姬

    Breakdown of social networking

    Its the weekend and time to relax. So here I am surfing the Net – and what do I find?

    Imagine this scenario – what would happen to our social networking endeavors if we all lost connection to the Internet? Some of you may have been following Afterworld, the first television series to be made available on mobile phones and the web simultaneously (each of the 130 episodes is just over two minutes long). This animated sci-fi series tells the story of life on earth after an inexplicable global event which renders technology useless.

    More than 95% of international telephone and data traffic travels via undersea cables. So sometimes there is an accident! What does happen when something goes wrong?

    Passport reports:

    The Arabist, an anonymous blogger based in Egypt, sarcastically predicts “complete social breakdown” when people find themselves unable to update Facebook every few minutes. Here’s hoping it doesn’t come to that. Internet users from Cairo to Calcutta are either without the Web or their service is operating at a fraction of its normal capacity.

    The culprit? A ship off the coast of Alexandria, Egypt, dragged its anchor and snagged two major underwater telecommunications cables. Unfortunately for Internet addicts in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Pakistan, and India, the SeaMeWe-4 and FLAG Europe-Asia cables, which carry the majority of Internet service between Western Europe and the Middle East and South Asia, were the ones cut.

    Unfortunately for Internet addicts in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain, Pakistan, and India, the SeaMeWe-4 and FLAG Europe-Asia cables, which carry the majority of Internet service between Western Europe and the Middle East and South Asia, were the ones cut.

    It’s happened before, and will happen again. Passport explains that it’s unclear when normal service could be restored to the affected countries. I wonder how blogger Julie Lindsay is managing in Doha? and if she still has steady access.

    Oh, I see she is in Prague ……  and busy blogging about the ECIS conference! I recommend a visit to the slides of her presentation on Personal Learning Networks. She captures the key points beautifully.

    Below: damaged cable networks

  • .

    And now ….. a Webtrend map for 2008

    Here’s an interesting find from the Information Architects Japan. This is sort of appropriate given the release of The Horizon Report – a fun way to map trends for 2008!

    This time we’ve taken almost 300 of the most influential and successful websites and pinned them down to the greater Tokyo-area train map.

    Enjoy the clickable online version. You’ll notice that it incorporates people, tools, and a variety of media services. Unfortunately there are lots missing – as spotted by Gary Barber on Twitter, who mentioned Seesmic as an example.  Fun anyway.

    The map is available two formats – ready for you to use.

    1. Big, A3 PDF
    2. Clickable online version