Introduction to Freemind

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The  ’1 to 1′ netbook project journey continues! This week we are looking at the free and open source mind mapping tool called FreeMind. You can download FreeMind for Mac, Windows and Linux. In this video I give a brief introduction to some of the features available when using FreeMind.
You can also download the video here if you are not subscribed via the podcast.

Introduction to FreeMind from Darrel Branson on Vimeo.

Free Web 2.0 Moodle Course for Teachers

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web20In term four of 2008 we ran an online professional development course for teachers through Moodle. The aim was simply to be an introduction to the world of web2.0 and how it might impact on the classroom.  The course was undertaken over five weeks with the following areas of focus each week.

  1. Blogging
  2. Social bookmarking
  3. RSS and personal homepage tools
  4. Collaborative document creation including wikis
  5. Digital story telling online

In addition we had weekly meetings using the Elluminate conferencing software.

Having benefitted greatly from the opensource community I am offering the course as a download, as a very small way of giving something back. You will need your own Moodle installation, or you can always get a free one at

You can take a look and download it on or download it directly from here.

Free Moodle from

News, Quick Links 2 Comments » is offering free Moodle hosting for anyone. Fantastic!

Everyone who reads this blog will realise that I am a big Moodle fan. In fact, the very reason we registered the domain was so that we could allow any teacher in the district to have their own Moodle classroom without the need to setup and maintain their own servers.

The good news is that anyone can now have their own Moodle setup free of charge with their choice of name eg You also have full administrator permissions.

The bad news is that you will need to suffer Google ads at the bottom of each page. These are not intrusive but would it be acceptable at your school?


Videos for ‘Educational Change’

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I thought it might be useful to post some of my favourite Internet videos on ‘Educational Change‘. With a new year started, we have four new coaches working in our district and many schools looking at trying to get teachers moving with ICT. Hopefully, some of these videos can be used at staff meetings and professional learning opportunities to start rich discussions and conversations about learning in the 21st century.

Education Today and Tomorrow (2:30 mins)
Comment: Are you teaching for the future or the past?

Did You Know (8:19 mins)
Comment: Shift happens, the world is rapidly changing.

Pay Attention (7:40 mins)
Comment: Are you teaching ‘digital‘?

3 videos from Michael Wesch

The Machine is Us/ing Us (4:33 mins)
Comment: The read/write web, participatory culture.

A Vision of Students Today (4:44 mins)

Information R/evolution (5:28 mins)
Comment: The changing nature of knowledge and information

A few more of my favourites …

Sir Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity? (19:29 mins)
Comment: This is both humorous and too close to the bone!

Digital Students @ Analog Schools (7:12 mins)
Comment: Digital learners

Are kids different because of digital media? (2:34 mins)

When I become a teacher (1:39 mins)
Comment: A spoof about ICT, teachers and change

Please add any other movies you find useful to the comments. I’ve tried to use where possible.

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