Google – resources for UK Schools

Google have put up a resource page here, to help teachers use their tools (Search, Maps, Earth, Images and News). It’s got lesson plans, classroom ideas and links to other Google sponsored projects such as digitalexplorer and the Google UK Carbon Footprint Project (or GUKCFP as we call it :). It’s aimed at Secondary Educators but there’s some nice stuff there and some pretty innovative links – the CarbonGame for instance is a live – pan european simulation, where European schools compete against each other in a carbon trading game.

via OUseful Info

the web is becoming automatic

One of the things about putting an output (rss) on your web-presence is that people can do helpful/interesting/surprising things with it. This is a trivial example, but Andy Powell at Eduserve wanted to make an easy way to subscribe to all the blogs nominated for the Edublog awards. A few technical glitches later he realised that he could plug it into Tony Hirst’s OPML Dashboard and produce a single page that lists the last 5 posts by all the candidates. Easy-peasy – and as he said, cool.

The results are in, and no surprise Dy/Dan won best new blog: you should read him, he’s on fire.

via eFoundations.com

cogdogroo

Cogdogroo is an absolutely fantastic wiki by Alan Levine about how to tell stories/deliver presentations using Web2.0 tools – he starts of with this version of the Cinderalla story as a demonstration of how not to do it, (though I have to say I think it’s rather good).

He then goes to on to deliver a workshop on “50 Web2.0 Ways to Tell a Story” – great tips on “prompts”, what you can do if you’re stuck about what to say; and then goes straight into doing it.

Why is it called “50 Web2.0 Ways to Tell a Story”? Because, having outlined the story he’s going to tell (the story of Dominoe), he then goes on to recreate it (gulp) using 50 of the on-line presentation tools available now – everything from photo slideshows to timelines to video mashups and beyond. He gives a brief review of the services as he goes – good stuff. The quickest way to look through it is to check his Webslides (that way you’ll also see which services aren’t working at the moment :)

Wesch does it again

Michael Wesch is an assistant professor in Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University who made a video called The Machine is Us/ing Us at the beginning of the year which – well, 3.5 million people have watched it so far; so I guess he hit the zeitgeist. It certainly made the hair stand up on the back of my neck.

Wesch2 is called “A Vision of Students Today” and it continues the theme.

What jumps out to me is that:

  • He is using the medium to explore the medium.
  • That his students must love the fact that he has a de-facto reputation.
  • And they are becoming part of it.

via Everywhere

ULearn07

ULearn07 is a conference on ‘Personalising Learning in a Digital World’ being held in Auckland NZ until tomorrow. Ewan Mcintosh of Edu.blogg fame (I’m a bit of a fan) did the first Keynote which is why I know about it, and as is the way with all such conferences now, (see the Scottish Learning Festival from Sept.) it’s using the tools it seeks to promote, so you can follow/comment/interact (at least a bit) here.

10 steps to Web2 loveliness

1 – Think up a new password.

You’re going to need it. You can’t do Web2 without signing up to a ton of stuff and it helps if you’ve got a password where you can think – “Web2! – thats….. b2telishus” or whatever. Not the same as work. Trust me – in 18 months time you’ll be glad you made the distinction.

2 – Get a Google account.

Now. Go here and sign up. If you don’t have one already jettison the feeling that it’s all moving too fast and just get on the wave – it takes about 60 seconds. (and once you’re on the wave….things look different).

3 – Get a blog.

Now. Go here, or here or here. If you don’t have one already…. whatever, I said that already, but you get my drift. At some point when you’re signing up it will ask you if you want your blog to be “public” or “private”. Check “private”. (This means you can play in peace – no-one goes live from Day1).

4 – Get a reader.

Now. Go here or here or here. If you don’t have one already jettison….repeating myself again. Just do it. Now.

5 – Pause.

You’ve done all the easy bits – now it’s time to think about content/purpose. This is the good bit, because once you’ve got all the tools sorted out you can start thinking about what you really want to say, (and what you really want to learn).

6 – Say what you want.

There are 2 clear rules in blogging:

  1. Talk about what you know – what you’re passionate about.
  2. Be your own authority (My blog – my rules)

7 – Find the Motherlode.

Whatever field you are expert in, someone has already blogged it – which means there are exemplars on-line now, who have already gone through steps 1-6 above. Find them.

8 – Don’t be afraid to share.

No-one expects a blog to be full of unique/original content, it’s not that egoistic. Even if 150,000 people have already blogged a presentation/post/service it’s ony boring to post it if your friends have already been there.

9 – Read your peers.

It’s not a one way thing – that’s why you need to get a reader.

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