Ruminating on educating

Damien Morgan – items of interest from the world of education

Archive for the ‘PD’ Category

Brainstorming done right

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Many teachers use brainstorming to kick off a new unit. I know it’s also used by groups of students to make group work more effective, and sometimes staff meetings employ the technique. OptiMinds and Tournament of Minds competitions require students to be good brainstormers when they take part in their spontaneous challenges. So here’s an excellent video showing how to do it properly.


Written by Damien Morgan

September 13, 2011 at 10:04 am

Scott McLeod

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I could well be the last educator with an interest in technology to discover the writing of Scott McLeod, an Associate Professor in the Educational Administration program at Iowa State University. He has a blog at The Huffington Post which is always interesting.

My attention was drawn by a tweet from Steven W Anderson @web20classroom referring to Scott’s article titled ‘If We Were Really Serious About Educational Technology‘.

His personal blog is called Dangerously Irrelevant.

Written by Damien Morgan

November 28, 2010 at 10:37 am

Video tools for teachers

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This site came to my attention through a tweet in my PLN from @web20classroom (Steven W. Anderson)

100 Video Sites Every Educator Should Know

The range of sites available here is just fantastic. It includes some of my favourite websites and sources of inspiration, such as TED and Teacher TV, and introduces many, many more. I just have to find the time to sort through them. Could be some late nights ahead.

Written by Damien Morgan

April 8, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Using Google

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I attended a Windows 7 launch a few days ago. Unfortunately, the Microsoft presenter had been called back to Sydney, so we made do with the local guy who “had seen the presentation a couple of times”. Hmm,  a bad start -obviously we are less important than Sydney folk. I was less then blown away. I was initially, and still am I suppose, curious as to Microsoft’s choice of name for this system update. Mac System 7 (specifically 7.1) was a ground-breaking and excitiong piece of software released 18 years ago. Sitting , as I was at a breakfast table, along with invited others from various industries, we decided to amuse ourselves by counting the references to Vista (two, and neither were positive, in a half-hour. Many references to XP, however). But what we should have counted were what appeared to be Microsoft’s catch-ups.

At the risk of sounding a little bit pathetic, Windows 7 appeared to be more about catching up to the Macintosh system 10.x and, of all things, Google.

And that got me thinking about (a) just what was available through Google, and (b) why a software megalith would be concerned about competing with a free website.

Question (b) is probably easier to answer. My guess is that it’s about power and control. ‘You have paid for our package, so why go anywhere else? Stay with us. We’ll look after you [imagine a big warm smile]’.

The first question is answered at Online Colleges. I don’t know how complete this list is, but why would you go anywhere else (please don’t take that literally – my point is that there is much to make use of at Google)

100+ Google Tricks That Will Save You Time In School

Written by Damien Morgan

November 2, 2009 at 7:13 am

Personal Learning Environment/Network

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Since deciding a month ago to develop this blog I have noticed a couple of things:

  1. I get distracted from the task at hand.

On its own, that’s not too bad, but I do have a couple of tasks I am supposed to be working on. And I keep following up links from tweets and add more things to my delicious, then find something there that might fit in with the job…  I have followed two conferences in the last week using Twitter, and that has been quite valuable, but having been on vacation meant I could actually spend some time doing it. Back at work next week, so I’ll have to be more judicious.

2. I’ve forgotten what No 2 was. See what I mean about getting distracted?? I’ll edit this post when I remember!

(next day) OK I’ve remembered. The value of a PLN.

I had never even heard of this term until about a month ago – obviously moving in the wrong circles and reading the wrong things. Now (as you can see on the right) I have a number of like-minded blogs which I read, and to which I refer, when ruminating on matters educational, especially with regard to Web 2.0 technologies and the implementation of such in schools, particularly my school. I’m also interested in the idea of a personal learning environment (see below for link), and while I have always had one, I had never really considered it as such until recently. Mine has, of course, also changed in very recent times. It would be an interesting idea to develop with students, also. However, the amount and type of filtering in a school environment, and what they will allow will have a direct impact on a full development of the concept.

The idea of mapping a PLE was mentioned in a tweet from Darcy Moore, and I had a feeling I had seen one linked to the 09 Horizon Report (see how things connect?). I have linked the edtechpost wiki here. It makes thought-provoking reading. I’m not sure what mine would look like at the minute – probably all blurry as I try to figure things out. I can say this: from a zero start, I have come to use Twitter very regularly over the past month. I am developing an eye for posts and topics with which I can connect to develop this blog in the way I want it to go.

Written by Damien Morgan

October 2, 2009 at 1:35 pm

Posted in PD, PLN/PLE

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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

Posted in PD

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