Monday, September 28, 2009

create your own blogzine

Title page to Locke's Some Thoughts Concerning...Image via Wikipedia

This is agreat tool to use in school when you are trying to engage the reluctant teachers at your school. Make your own Magazine with the content from your PLN.


You read blogs as part of your personal learning network, somtimes the posts are relevent sometimes they are not but the shear number of people you connect to gives you at least something everyday.

Wouldn't it be great if you could automagically take articles from a range of feeds and put them into a pdf or ebook to then pass on to others or keep as a library of resources and ideas that you can use in your school. A bit like taking articles that you like and making your own magazine...

zinepal will do the hard work for you - no more cutting and pasting. Just put in the blog addresses and then choose the posts you want to include - then zinepal pat it together into a two column layout ready for printing or emailing. The images embeded will come too and you can customise the look and feel to a degree (mostly with limited fonts). You could then throw it up to issuu so everyone could look at it.

If you need to do more editing throw it at to convert it to an editable document, and then publish it.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Video Resources

There are a lot of video sites out there now - so much stuff is being uploaded it's hard to find what you are looking for, even with a good search engine.

NEOK12 to the rescue. Not a video site, but an indexed repository of videos from a range of different servers, all vetted for use in education. The videos are streamed through their site so if your school blocks YouTube this might be a way around it.

Use these videos with TurningPoint Anywhere and you have a visual and interactive lesson to start a topic and an opportunity to check prior understanding, prediction and comprehension.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Interesting things to do with your data projector

I subscribe to some blogs that don't strictly have anything to do with technology in education. One of them is digital motion a blog that talks about tools for VJ's. Video Jockeys are people who mix video and sound for installations, performances and night clubs to create mood and atmosphere - much like a DJ only with light.

One of the tools discussed recently was VPT - Video Projection Tool. What it allows you to do is to take various streams of video and images and using one or two projectors, project them onto multiple surfaces as if you had a projector for each surface. For instance you have 5 videos playing and being projected onto 5 different surfaces at all sitting at different angles - from the one projector.

I see a big potential for this technology in theatre arts - reducing the number of projectors being used and being able to control everything from one computer. And being free it definitely keeps the costs down. - Virtual sets.

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Time to catch up with a few things....

Sand dunes (Gold Coast, Queensland)Image by Luke Redmond via Flickr

I feel like my feet have hit the ground for the first time this week. I was at the "Leading a Digital School" conference on the Gold Coast from Wednesday to Saturday - It was great but with presenting workshops, being on the stand and Co MC'ing the quiz night - I was exhausted by the time I got back to Perth... Thank goodness for my new iPhone for the six hour plane ride (thanks boss).

For one of my workshops / presentations I used a new web 2.0 tool called prezi - Prezi breaks the traditional slide based presentation model and is more based on a messy concept map with pathways to move through. So you can explore topics as they come up - or give it to people to explore themselves. Speaking of which - here is the one I used at the conference.

Our product line up has increased as well with an agreement with RM for both software and hardware - The coolest being the new Ed-e Robot. He certainly got a lot of attention at the conference and even danced at the quiz night on the main screen.

We also now have access to all the software the RM carry including podium - pod casting software simplified for primary students.

Last thing - echalk (the computer teachers listserv) has been buzzing about Greenfoot, a java programming environment for kids. I just had a look at it and it seems that I'm going to have to download and play with it because it looks really cool.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Just a little bit angry at the moment -

I've just read an article (link here) about very popular web monitoring tools that parents pay for to monitor their family's web use - particularly their children. OK so I don't like these type of monitors blockers without good reason, how are kids supposed to deal with the real online world when they don't see it?

Anyway the thing that got me angry is that this monitoring software is recoding what kids do - up loading it to their servers AND THEN SELLING THE INFORMATION TO MARKETING COMPANIES!!! This include chats, websites, forums ----- everything.

I encourage you to read the article and get as angry as I am. This is another good reason not to let someone else censor / monitor the net - you never know what they are doing with the information.