Monthly Archives: September 2009

MSc Update.⤴

from

Will be heading up to Aberdeen on 3rd October for an introductory meeting with the course tutors and fellow students. I have already registered and logged in to the online learning site and still trying to figure out how it all works!

Response for John Connell⤴

from @ Islay ICT

In John Connell’s Post for a workshop at the BBC, he has asked ……..

  • How did you get into blogging?
    • I was encouraged (Bullied?) by Andrew Brown (Then the Education Support Officer for ICT in Argyll & Bute)  I was, and still am, of the opinion that blog is far too often a personal Soapbox. Saw much more educational use for Wiki’s. I set up an initial blog in June 2006 but moved to this one in the November.
  • What were (are?) the motivations?
    • Decided that I needed to record/broadcast what we were doing with our Schools of Ambition project.
  • How does your “private” blogging relate to your work?
    • Private blogging is now done exclusively via twitter. I have had the occasional personal post in the blog but generally I am reflecting on what I and the school are doing.
  • How do you achieve a balance of personal voice and authority
    • I am not sure I manage this or even if I want to. I am placing my voice and any authority I have is given from others. I think this community implied authority I consider far more real and important.
  • What can be achieved through blogging that can’t through ordinary news/reporting routes?
    • How could a tiny school 2 hours from the mainland have had voice through ‘ordinary news/reporting routes’. It didn’t. Even today we are ‘too far’ for even the educational press to realise where we are. 
  • How do you follow other blogs and other forms of “public conversation”?
    • I have 5 pages of feeds from a wide range of inputs, i.e. blogs, bbc, and technorati tag words but a load come via recommends in twitter.
  • How does your blog connect to others in a “conversation”?
    • It has been the starting point for lots of conversations. Twitter is very conversational, Blog can have some feedback. The best example was the crowd sourced input to the discussion around the Education 2020 wiki This was much more than a conversation.
  • Are there other bloggers you follow especially, others you think are exemplars of the practice?
    • Less now than did at the beginning. At first I had ‘experts’ that I looked too. Now, I find the tag feeds much more important. Though a couple of people provide regular, thought provoking inputs to my thought processes. Taking John as a given. Don Ledingham, though he has gone quite.
  • How do you feel about “lighter” practices such as Tweeting, facebook status updates etc…?
    • These are vital sparks to deeper reflects on blog posts and crowd sourced wiki actions. They are like the ‘pub chats about big topics. They get your brain going but you have to remember this is out in the public domain

    Response for John Connell⤴

    from @ Islay ICT

    In John Connell’s Post for a workshop at the BBC, he has asked ……..

  • How did you get into blogging?
    • I was encouraged (Bullied?) by Andrew Brown (Then the Education Support Officer for ICT in Argyll & Bute)  I was, and still am, of the opinion that blog is far too often a personal Soapbox. Saw much more educational use for Wiki’s. I set up an initial blog in June 2006 but moved to this one in the November.
  • What were (are?) the motivations?
    • Decided that I needed to record/broadcast what we were doing with our Schools of Ambition project.
  • How does your “private” blogging relate to your work?
    • Private blogging is now done exclusively via twitter. I have had the occasional personal post in the blog but generally I am reflecting on what I and the school are doing.
  • How do you achieve a balance of personal voice and authority
    • I am not sure I manage this or even if I want to. I am placing my voice and any authority I have is given from others. I think this community implied authority I consider far more real and important.
  • What can be achieved through blogging that can’t through ordinary news/reporting routes?
    • How could a tiny school 2 hours from the mainland have had voice through ‘ordinary news/reporting routes’. It didn’t. Even today we are ‘too far’ for even the educational press to realise where we are. 
  • How do you follow other blogs and other forms of “public conversation”?
    • I have 5 pages of feeds from a wide range of inputs, i.e. blogs, bbc, and technorati tag words but a load come via recommends in twitter.
  • How does your blog connect to others in a “conversation”?
    • It has been the starting point for lots of conversations. Twitter is very conversational, Blog can have some feedback. The best example was the crowd sourced input to the discussion around the Education 2020 wiki This was much more than a conversation.
  • Are there other bloggers you follow especially, others you think are exemplars of the practice?
    • Less now than did at the beginning. At first I had ‘experts’ that I looked too. Now, I find the tag feeds much more important. Though a couple of people provide regular, thought provoking inputs to my thought processes. Taking John as a given. Don Ledingham, though he has gone quite.
  • How do you feel about “lighter” practices such as Tweeting, facebook status updates etc…?
    • These are vital sparks to deeper reflects on blog posts and crowd sourced wiki actions. They are like the ‘pub chats about big topics. They get your brain going but you have to remember this is out in the public domain

    Call for collaborators⤴

    from @ Islay ICT

    A couple of years ago I got a very positive feedback on an animation that the the S1’s (12 year olds) at the time had produced using Google Sketchup. On a blog post by Ewan McIntosh, I made contact with Keith Hamon.

    Keith is a wonderfully positive and enthusiastic leader. We talked via email about how we could work with some of the teachers in his part of the world. He identified Bob Meacham from the Banks Stephens Middle School in Forsyth, Georgia, USA.

    Between us we developed a wiki based around pupils sharing information about local buildings.

    The pupils would collect as much information about one local landmark and place it on the wiki for the other pupils to recreate in Sketchup. We would then have some video conferences. I even ‘taught’ the Banks Stephens class how to use Sketchup via VC.

    I think its time to revisit this project.

    I am looking for some classes/teachers from around the world who would be interested in developing a new project.

    Leave a comment or add your name too the wiki http://international-sketchup.wikispaces.com/

    Technorati Tags: , ,

    Call for collaborators⤴

    from @ Islay ICT

    A couple of years ago I got a very positive feedback on an animation that the the S1’s (12 year olds) at the time had produced using Google Sketchup. On a blog post by Ewan McIntosh, I made contact with Keith Hamon.

    Keith is a wonderfully positive and enthusiastic leader. We talked via email about how we could work with some of the teachers in his part of the world. He identified Bob Meacham from the Banks Stephens Middle School in Forsyth, Georgia, USA.

    Between us we developed a wiki based around pupils sharing information about local buildings.

    The pupils would collect as much information about one local landmark and place it on the wiki for the other pupils to recreate in Sketchup. We would then have some video conferences. I even ‘taught’ the Banks Stephens class how to use Sketchup via VC.

    I think its time to revisit this project.

    I am looking for some classes/teachers from around the world who would be interested in developing a new project.

    Leave a comment or add your name too the wiki http://international-sketchup.wikispaces.com/

    Technorati Tags: , ,

    AR Fail⤴

    from

    I bought some Top Trumps cards the other day. I was all excited because they were the new 3D ones, and I imagined that we would have a menagerie of virtual creepy-crawlies to play with and inspect.  And for a change, said crawlies would be safe from the hands of The Destroyer, sweet (though inquisitive) child she is.

    I eagerly awaited the pack of Bugs.  When they arrived they were the usual excellent standard of Top Trumps cards, but a few of them had AR markers on the back.  Hardly able to contain the excitement of the children (ahem, not my excitement of course) I downloaded the software and installed it. 

    Then started to smell a rat.  The first AR card started the software, and each brought up a question that could be answered from on of the other cards.  OK, nice idea, I’ll buy that.  But the only one with an actual BUG on it was the last one, which could be made to dance, jump, tickle and various other non-buglike activities.  The children were interested for about a minute but then wandered off leaving me to suspect that Top Trumps have missed a trick here.  One lousy spider?  Give me a break.  I hope Ben 10 Alien Force is better than that when it comes out.

    Sequencing for fun⤴

    from

    Picture 4

    Scratch is a great programming/sequencing environment, intuitive and fun to use. Yet it’s made much more fun with the addition of a pico board.

    A pico board is an interface with a load of sensors on it. Scratch can be programmed to read these sensors and their values, and then to take actions dependent on what the readings are. There is a slider, a button, a light sensor, a sound sensor and four other sensors that can read resistance ( so could have many different sensors, home-made or otherwise, attached).

    The possibilities are endless. With my usual amount of creativity (zero) and the help of two small children, we managed to design the world’s first sound-operated multi-colour light-sensing etch-a-sketch. We revised the number of degrees in a circle, and the number of times we need to turn to draw a square. We even took in some astrophysics (about 360 days for the earth to go round the sun and it’s nearly a circle, yes?).

    Program written, the fun begins.

    The slider sensor was programmed to make the sprite move up and down, and if you shouted at it the sound sensor made it move left or right dependent on the slider value (using AND statements). Dimming the light made the colour of the sprite change and also changed the colour of the pen. Presto, a rudimentary etch-a-sketch. And nearly an hour of fun screaming at the computer, finding things out and making things happen.

    Start Slide Show with PicLens Lite PicLens

    Have you tried Blogging yet ?⤴

    from @ eCurriculum Blog

    Well the start of a new academic term for us all and time once again to challenge myself to keep this Blog up to date and dynamic with all things e-Learning of use to the learning community in the West of Scotland.

    An interesting video on YouTube I was recently alerted to with  Seth Godin and Tom Peters, discussing the value of blogging. They are both enthusiastic advocates of the benefits of Blogging in terms of personal, intellectual and emotional outlook and I broadly agree about the personal benefits of summarising a topic and writing down your own thoughts on it - It's described as meta-cognition.

    So if you haven't tried it yet maybe now's the time to try.