Ruminating on educating

Damien Morgan – items of interest from the world of education

Archive for September 2009

Using iPods in the classroom (cont)

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This interesting site gives some very practical uses of iPods in classrooms – especially with regard to using them to track development in students’ reading. The teacher stores children’s recorded reading using iTunes, and collecting these as a playlist within the Audiobooks section. Very clever. This certainly expands the idea of running records, as each entry is separate and date stamped, but all are stored in the one list.

iPod literacy

From Colin Harris (@digitalnative) on Twitter:

@jdeyenberg Some uses of iPods in the literacy classroom athttp://ipodliteracy.com5:09 PM Sep 26th from Tweetie in reply to jdeyenberg

Then, a couple of hours later, this tweet from Tom Barrett (@tombarrett)

For those teachers at #aisitic09 What happens when you give a class of 8 year old children an iPod touch each?

20 minutes ago from TweetDeck

Take a look at the way these 8 year old English children have taken to using iPod Touches:

Make sure you scroll down to the video file – something of an eye-opener.


Written by Damien Morgan

September 29, 2009 at 11:22 am

New uses for cellphones

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Amazing new phone!

What will they think of next 😉

Our local discussion continues on the use of electronic devices by students. This video will be used at a coming staff meeting as a little light relief, but also to show the multi-tool nature of a modern communication device.

While inflating tyres, cooking sandwiches, or heating a room might be a little far-fetched, modern devices are becoming more like a digital Swiss Army knife. With the launch of the latest Apple iPods, the question was asked as whether there is a place for a simple music player any more.

(See article from UK Guardian here)

Connectivity, it seems, is the thing. And this is just part of the challenege facing teachers in every classroom. What is the problem – the tool or the behaviour? Once we decide what the problem actually is, how do we deal with it?

Written by Damien Morgan

September 27, 2009 at 6:24 pm

Dust storm fame!

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Wow – I’m nearly famous. I answered a Wired magazine tweet this morning for dust storm photos and submitted two – one of which made it on to their website! With a credit (of course).

see the Wired webpage here

My point in submitting was to show that the dust was not restricted to Sydney, but was MUCH more widely spread.

Here’s a couple more of my pics, taken at about 9:40 this morning.

Looking south from my home this morning

Looking south from my home this morning

looking north. the water tower is about 200m from our home
Looking north. The water tower is about 200m from our home

Written by Damien Morgan

September 23, 2009 at 2:09 pm

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I have just discovered this great little web app, Wallwisher (thanks to Kerrie Smith).

Wallwisher offers you a wall on which to paste sticky notes. Think of it as a virtual fridge door, if you will.

Please feel free to add something to my wall: “2009 – so far”. (It’s actually intended for the staff at my school, but anyone can join in).

Written by Damien Morgan

September 21, 2009 at 4:45 pm

Posted in PD, Uncategorized

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21st Century Skills

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Stephen Downes has posted an excellent piece on the topic of 21st Century Skills. He explains very clearly why ‘facts’ in learning are just not enough. It’s a lengthy piece, but the argument is so well put that it’s not hard going.

Basically, his argument works this way: there are too many facts to know, some of which change,and books, being the static things they are, can not be relied upon to have the current facts, so we had better have a different construct of learning.

Read “An Operating System for the Mind”

Written by Damien Morgan

September 20, 2009 at 3:36 pm

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Current 2.0 apps

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I was asked recently by a colleague which Web 2.0 apps I use, and which I could recommend. I’m not going to pretend to be an expert here, having only leaped into the fray relatively recently. However, once I started noting which apps I use regularly, or sometimes, I was quite surprised. My list just kept on growing.

  • Google Apps:
    • Google Mail
      • You need this to access other Google Applications. It’s a good web mail client anyway.
    • Google Docs
      • For those documents I need access to at work and at school, or while on holidays. Everything is stored securely online. Also, these documents can be set up to be shared by more than one user, so they have a classroom purpose in collaborative work.
    • Google Alert
      • Searches Google News each day for items that match the search criteria I give it. One email in my Gmail box, with links to news items of interest.
    • iGoogle
      • Allows me set up a home page with all sorts of widgets attached on various themed pages. An excellent tool.
    • Google Maps
      • Possibly the handiest online invention ever.
    • Google Earth
      • I can hardly think of a better way to waste time online. But it can so easily be tied to curriculum: go and look at the places the class is reading about; places in the news; make a literature map of a story/author.
    • Picasa
      • Online photo storage and cataloguing facility with social networking facility
  • LibraryThing
    • Social networking site for readers/lovers of books. Compile your own library lists, see and read what others are reading, share reviews, add to the shared knowledge of books and authors
  • Twitter
    • Micro-blogging network. I use it to ‘follow’ a small number of other educationalists who post interesting thoughts and worthwhile links. I try to respond in kind.
  • WordPress
    • I use WordPress to host my blog, simply because the person who ran the blogging workshop I was at used it. There are many others: Blogspot, Edublogs etc etc
  • Delicious
    • Social bookmarking site. Users tag and share their bookmarks. Instead of using Google Search, I can see what other Delicious users have tagged similarly to me. For example, I’m researching autism in schools, so in Delicious I use tags such as ‘autism’ and ‘school’ and ‘education’, and I find what other people have bookmarked using those tags.
  • You Tube
    • You need a clip to illustrate something? Want to see that goal again? Some variety for your PLN? It’s here.
  • SlideShare
    • Slideshows can be uploaded and shared with other users – viewed, downloaded, embedded in your own documents (copyright issues need to be considered)
  • Wikipedia
    • Not the evil place some would have you think. It’s hard to think of a more up-to-date encyclopedia, and users will not have problems if they remember to always cross-check information, as they should do anyway.
  • Flork
    • Social networking for books, music and the arts, and allows entry and higher level use of sites such as Literature Map
  • Literature Map
    • Links authors/like authors; provides details and chat between readers etc
  • Daily Lit
    • Books, book discussion, download books bit-by-bit through a daily email, etc

This excellent presentation by Jane Hart gives an overview of the top 25 tools for teachers.

I emphasised that there are many, many more that I simply haven’t had the time to try out, let alone adopt. I must revisit this list in 12 months – I bet it will be longer!

Written by Damien Morgan

September 17, 2009 at 9:52 pm

Posted in PD

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Facebook security story

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A story in the Brisbane Times tells of a Western Australian who has been scammed out of $1000 by a criminal who hacked into a friend’s Facebook account and hooked him with a story of desperation. The good news for him is that he got suspicious when a second demand was made, and can afford the loss. Other people might not be so lucky.

In the light of that, it’s timely that this list of ways to safeguard your Facebook privacy by Mahendra Palsule appeared over the weekend.

Written by Damien Morgan

September 15, 2009 at 5:38 pm

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