Sunday, 13 April 2008

Swimming not Waving

The first week back at school has been a great one for me in terms of moving forward in my journey into technology. The name of my blog came from my first few weeks of blogging- everyday there was another thing new to explore and so often I feel like a kid in a giant lolly shop.

The previous post where I described my lesson 'introducing/co-learning' Google Sketchup was wonderful and the second class was even more so as students explored how they would make their project have a minimal footprint environmentally.They explored the 3D warehouse and found objects such as solar panels and water tanks already constructed and ready to go. In terms of takeup, the geeky computer star boys were happily just fiddling around and chatting about the app, but a couple of the girls just absolutely zoomed and were actually creating detailed interiors to their building - much to the surprise and chagrin of the supposedly 'expert' boys. Way to go girls!
My school now has a second meeting every week apart from faculty and staff meetings and it is designed to allow for IT training. Last term I offered blogging and only two people reluctantly attended which was really disappointing. So this term when asked to do another blogging one, I suggested I would rather do and of course received a blank stare. Wednesday morning at staff briefing no takers on the list so I made a brief but excited announcement and by recess had 17 takers on the list. By the time of the class, I had 20 - a real audience at last, so I prepared a sheet, using my bookmarks, diigo and my network. I used the Commoncraft video on which is found on Teachertube - another little lesson- and added a link to Sue Waters great post on her wiki that has great hints for the beginner and the more adventurous.
So twenty people did turn up, several just could not get on the network- wireless was down just then - of course, and the rest happily followed my directions and by the end were busily bookmarking and creating networks themselves. What a difference from my previous effort and I have had positive feedback from several staff since.

Diigo Oz Educators
My big effort at going in the 'deep end' and actually starting something has been starting Oz Educators group at Diigo. As I write it is currently at 37 members and I am so pleased there are new names I am not familiar with. So on Saturday night a tweet came through to watch a flash meeting on podcasting. A few of us popped in but the sound and vision were really poor so we chatted. Jess McCulloch and I decided to have our own one as I now have booking rights for Flash Meeting. So I booked a session and tweeted it and then got going working it out as we went. Eight people came in - all Aussies or Kiwis and we played with the software. John Larkin has already blogged about this - in fact within the hour and his screencasts give you a great idea of how it looked to the participants.
Thanks to Simon, John, Nirvana,Fiona,Jess,Sue and Sarah for being 'early adopters'!!
So we have started and now we are planning to try and have a big OZ/NZ Educators meeting in Flash Meeting at 8pm AEST. I have tweeted the link three times so far today and am planning my evening around the meeting. Hope it will be a positive beginning to building links for the southern hemisphere. I am also thinking of trying a Google forms survey as we go. Wish me luck!!'I'm Gonna Blog About This!'


Sue Waters said...

Thats excellent news about your PD session. It's really hard to find the hook that gets people to want to try the tools. is good and really handy to use once you get your head around why it's important to use. Showing Common Craft's video was an excellent idea as they explain the concept so easily that it makes good sense why you would use.

Glad you found my how to use page handy.

Flickr and creating digital stories would be another good workshop - mainly focusing on digital stories. There is something about digital story telling that engages even the more reluctant -- everyone loves to create a movie. You could start with PhotoStory.

Sue Waters
Mobile Technology in TAFE

SoulCradler said...

Your meeting schedule sounds like a dream! We currently only have room for ICT once a month :-(

Congratulations on the PD session - I think the most difficult thing is getting people there.

I'd advise you to gain feedback from attendees each time you run ICT PD - I've found this useful and a good indication as to whether its hitting the mark.

I agree with Sue that digital storytelling using PhotoStory/Windows Movie Maker/Voicethread would be a useful PD. Or maybe Voki/podcasting? Both can then be used for really clear VELS assessments.