Add This

Bookmark and Share

Monday, 30 June 2008

Live Streaming

I am becoming more and more interested in Streaming Applications like and Mogulus Studio. I can see an infinite number of ways to use them with students. Some of the ideas that I am considering are: live streaming school events such as the opening of the LRC and sporting or cultural events. Another idea is to open up debates and interviews within and without school(involving global links and members of the school community such as new staff) using the co-host feature. One of my goals for this coming school year is to initiate a weekly student run news show and Ustream seems to fit the bill as you can stream live and record as well. It is also a good parking place for our video, the value of which our technical team will certainly appreciate. I have prepped a channel for this purpose at I can't wait to get started in August!

21st Century Information Fluency

21st Century Information Fluency (NECC Podcast)(NECC Powerpoint)

"Digital Information Fluency (DIF) is the ability to find, evaluate and use digital information effectively, efficiently and ethically. DIF involves Internet search skills that start with understanding how digital information is different from print information, knowing how to use specialized tools for finding digital information and strengthening the dispositions needed in the digital information environment. As teachers and librarians develop these skills and teach them to students, students will become better equipped to achieve their information needs."

This site offers the following and more, most of it for free.

Tutorials, Micro-models, challenges, resources, lessons, wizard tools and so much more to check out

Citation Wizards

Web Fluency Moodle Course

Sunday, 29 June 2008

Global Connections

Global connections have been very much at the forefront of my mind during this past school year. It all started off when I came across globalgateway while searching for ideas for my Literacy class. Over the course of the year the project has grown slightly larger than I had initially expected it to, and now encompasses students and teachers from 3rd to 5th grade. Our partner school is St. Peters in Uganda.

When the project began I had grand notions of collaborating online with the school something which I realised very quickly was rather naive, I had wrongly assumed that our partner school had access to the latest technology, so work on wikis and blogs were out of the question. Instead we collaborated the old fashioned way, email between teachers and snail mail between students. I am glad we did this as it gave my students insight into a communication method they were quite unfamiliar with. Most of the children I teach have had limited experience with mail systems and it was great for them to go through the process of sending and receiving photos, letters and stories in that way.

Our school has received several requests to partner up with other schools in the UK and USA, and I am hoping to broaden our collaborative work in the near future hopefully to include shared wikis and blogs. community.

iEARN is a similar network to global gateway and describes itself as"is the world's largest non-profit global network that enables teachers and youth to use the Internet and other technologies to collaborate on projects that enhance learning and make a difference in the world."


Joyce Valenza and I were just discussing the joint project our schools worked on using voicethread. This project started off as part of a Spanish class for high school students at Joyce's school. These students planned and composed myths in Spanish which they then produced using voicethread. A great deal of planning and work went into the myths, but I wasn't there throughout the entire project so I will focus on what we did at the El Salvador end of things.

Once the myths had been published the 4th grade students at the Academia Britanica Cuscatleca then had the chance to listen to the presentations, discuss them in small groups and plan paired responses to them. They were asked to prepare positive comments that were focussed on the storyline, the pictures chosen to depict the different events in the stories and also to include a short comment on how the presentation might have been improved upon. This took place after a great deal of work in Literacy lessons on media and stories so the students had a fairly good idea of what to focus on. It is also important to remember that these are 9-10 year olds commenting on the work of high school students. How often does that happen. The students were particularly thrilled with being encouraged to do this in their native language-Spanish which was a real rarity for an activity in Literacy lessons, normally conducted exclusively in English. The 4th graders, soon to be 5th graders are hooked and we are hoping to run a follow up to this project at one point in the upcoming school year possibly with the same group of students. During sy07/08 the ABC secondary school will begin its initial work on voicethread projects.

NECC Sunday Morning

Things are pretty quiet around here at present. My first attempt to link up with the Mac was foiled by an insidious little dead zone. Don't sit by the escalators on the main floor if you want to link up! Anyway after a rather embarrassing trip to the network doctor the link worked first try, did I say embarrassing? It was reminiscent of what happens at school, when the lap won't work for the teachers and the techs get things up and going on the first try. Did they doing anything differently than the teacher? Not usually!

I have decided to get on board with Twitter after fighting it for so long. So I now have a home page with a picture and have sorted out some more people to follow. My first event doesn't begin until 2:00 this afternoon so I won't be able to really see it in action until then, even with my measly 6 contacts. I hope to add more to the list later on today.

San Antonio is hot and humid, very much like El Salvador so I am feeling quite at home temperature-wise. I have tried both public transport and the conference shuttle service and they are both very easy to use and run like clockwork. The river walk is beautiful although it was packed yesterday when I was down there. I found the Alamo after a bit of wandering around and took a stroll through the compound just before closing, learning a bit more about Texas history as I did. It is funny I used to drive through San Antonio several times a year, so I can say I've been here many times, but I never stopped to visit on those trips and I am quickly coming to appreciate what a great place it really is.

Did I mention, I have learned how to fix my wordle code problems? Thanks George and Fernando!

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Embeded Code

The availability of web applications that allow you to use embeded code has increased dramatically over the last year. This in itself has had a major impact on how I publish to the web. As a once strong proponent of frontpage and html and part time website administrator I have been pleasantly relieved of many of my prior trials involving our school website. Over this past school year I have had to tinker very little with the Upper Primary School website once it had been restructured for sy 07/08. Much of this is due to our school's new blogging system which has allowed me to convert the teachers in Upper Primary into blog masters instead of the traditional webmasters that were previously required. This in itself has been a great step forward and empowered more people with not only the tools but the enthusiasm to go forth and publish

All of this is wonderful, but perhaps the greatest intitial hook for many staff members and students is that not only can they publish written work with ease, but they can embed a great range of presentations into their blog posts. The cool factor is what snags them immediately! This year we have experimented with mind maps using, slide shows with picture trail, slide, picassa, We have begun to experiment with Time Line Creator, as well as other apps. While this list appears short there are a huge number of other web applications out there and we have a long trial list ahead of us. I have to keep reminding myself that as exciting as this is there is a need to take it slowly in order to determine which are the best tools for our school to adopt for our students. This in itself can be challenging.

I must admit that while I am a huge proponent of web applications with embeddable code, the versatility of which has spoiled me in many ways. Being spoiled can sometimes lead to disappointment when things don't go as expected. I came across wordle over a week ago and fell in love with it immediately. As soon as I had my playtime I took the next logical step, trying to paste my word cloud into a blog. Initially I thought my frustration might have been the result of a goof-up on my part, but no, it appears that while you can link from this application you cannot embed your work. On further investigation, I found out that I wasn't alone in that particular boat, others, many others had bemoaned the same tragedy. I can't figure out why someone would go to the trouble to create such a great application and then allow it to fall short by not supplying embeddable code. That said I am an optimist and expect that there is a good reason for it. Maybe it is in the works still. I certainly hope so as I can see such educational potential in wordle.

This is my cloud. I print screened it then cropped it and saved as a pic. The long way around but here it is-my tag cloud. Not very original, in the sense that I am probably the millionth person to wordle their tag cloud, but very informative...just look at the large words and you can tell immediately where my interests lie.


Monday, 23 June 2008


The ABC LRC is a brand new learning centre constructed on the campus of the Academia Britanica Cuscatleca in El Salvador. The resource centre will be cutting edge when it officially opens in August of 2008. The main floor houses not only the Secondary School library, but 6 conference rooms and 2 recording rooms as well as adminstration offices and the school shop, with the second floor being dedicated to Humanities and Art.  The centre boasts top of the line technology on all levels which when combined with dynamic teaching, research and project work will serve to greatly enhance the educational experiences of all members of the ABC learning community.