Create Digital Texts From Your Blog Posts With Anthologize

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I have recently discovered a great WordPress plugin called Anthologize. It was built as part of the One Week One Tool project. It essentially allows you to create electronic texts from blog posts. You can create texts in ePub, pdf, TIE, or RTF formats. It also allows you to create chapters to organise your content.

This is a wonderful opportunity for the thousands of educational sites currently using WordPress. It allow students and teachers to export their best content as an ebook or pdf at the end of semester, a project, or learning period. I know of a number of schools who use WordPress Mu as their student digital portfolio platform. This will allow them to easily create an electronic book/portfolio of their best work. The plugin is in ‘Alpha’ at the moment but I have managed to get it up and working relatively easily. A short three minute screencast is below. This is a very promising development effort for the web and education. Well done to the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University for creating this software.

You can download the screencast here or on Vimeo.

Update: More possible educational uses have been outlined by Hope Greenberg. A good post plus another screencast.

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 ninehub.com.

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

WordPress 2.7 blogging bliss

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WordPress 2.7 has been released!!!

This blog runs WordPress, as does a whole lot of the educational blogoshpere – Edublogs, Globalteacher, Globalstudent etc. I have been using it for a number of years on many local school websites – Koorlong PS, Irymple South PS, Cardross PS and others.

This ‘point‘ upgrade should really have been WordPress 3.0, the changes in the interface and usability are absolutely brilliant. Check out the two minute video introduction below.

I am continually amazed at the quality of opensource software efforts. Well done WordPress.org!

Webspiration concept mapping

News, Web 2.0 2 Comments »

If you are a big fan of Inspiration and Kidspiration the good news is that there is now an online version called webspiration. It is currently in beta but you can sign up to give it a run. The interface is pretty much the same as the inspiration product and behaves in pretty much the same way. So if you have used any of their products, you will be instantly productive!

Some interesting features include the ability to collaborate with others in real time and uploading and downloading of Inspiration 8.5 files. One interesting omission in the product is the ability to upload an image

So for all those teachers that have wanted to use Inspiration but couldn’t get it past their school’s IT budget, go and sign up while it lasts. I couldn’t find any details of future pricing or premium services. This is oviously a response from the large number of other web2.0 services that offer free visual thinking tools – bubbl.us, mindmeister.com, mind42.com, gliffy.com and others.

A perfect flickr storm

News, Web 2.0 2 Comments »

I’ve just finished reading Sartz’s blog where he has been discussing the usefulness of flickr in education (and making bad horse puns!)  Flickr is a photo sharing site powered by Yahoo! that allows users to upload and share their photos. Sartz explains quite a few services based on flickr such Taggalaxy, Flickrcc, PhotoSoup, Bubblr and 10 by 10. All interesting sites based on mashing up publicly accessible photos.

Which leads me to one of my flickr favourites flickr-storm. ‘Flickr storm‘ is a simple tool that allows you to search flickr based on a keyword, select the pictures from the results, and then save those results as a web page that your students or friends can access. In addition, it also adds a link to the flickr user as well as the licensing terms. My short bridge example is here.

Flickr Storm

In actual fact, I hardly ever use Clipart for presentations anymore, preferring to use pictures that are in the public domain or licensed under a creative commons license and making sure that I give attribution to the author. For creative common searches on flickr try http://flickr.com/creativecommons You could even add it as a keyword search in firefox!

Seeqpod – Playable search?

News, Web 2.0 2 Comments »

Searching for content within podcasts and videos has always been difficult given the nature of any audio or video file. While text is easy to search, audio and video is not! So the next best thing is to able to search by topics and/or related content. I’ve just discovered this new search engine for audio and and other rich media called ‘seeqpod‘. It appears that it uses a combination of topics, keyword and other data for determining results.

… instant playable search results. Clips, tracks, and presentations can be played, embedded, or shared immediately …. From video to audio, slideshows, and Adobe Flash, the vast multitude of rich media files …

The best part about this search engine is that you can play and preview the material without having to downoad it. Particularly useful given the size of rich media files! I’ll definitely be investigating further the possible uses of this search engine.

Embed Google spreadsheet forms in your blog to collect student data

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spreadsheet2.jpg

Many educators and students are discovering the enormous value of using Google Docs for creating online documents (word processing, spreadsheets and presentations). Wherever you have an Internet connection you have access to your work. Add to this the ability to do ‘real time’ collaboration, export and import different formats, and save your documents offline – you have a real killer app!

But it just gets better because with Google spreadsheets you can create online forms to collect data via email or via the web, the data goes straight into your online spreadsheet. This is can be an awesome way to collect student data and student responses (and I know there are some great free survey tools out there but they don’t always allow you to get the raw data) A recent upgrade to Google Spreadsheets now allows you to embed the online form in your blog or wiki. Have a try at the one below and go sign up today. Students can sign up using their school email account, they don’t need a gmail account.

Virtual spaces – Thank you MySpace, Thank you Facebook!

On my mind, Web 2.0 1 Comment »

Read Write Web One of the professional action learning teams we run in the Sunraysia Mallee Schools Network is the “New Tools & New Media” team, which is basically the Web2.0 team. But if I used that term, most teachers wouldn’t know what I was on about!

This year’s team is another great group of committed teachers willing to try new learning in their classrooms. The big difference I’m noticing with this new team is that those teachers with either a Facebook or MySpace account seem to understand ‘virtual spaces’ and communicating online so much better. No surprise I suppose? But the teachers involved in this form of social networking seem to ‘grok‘ the whole ‘collaboration, connection & communication’ thing, that is so important when trying to understand the value of web2.0 tools (blogs, wikis, podcasts etc).

Teachers are comfortable commenting to a Moodle forum or a blog, adding a voice annotation to Voice thread or sharing their knowledge by uploading to a ‘team space’ on the Moodle or a wiki. It’s great, it makes my job so much easier.

So thank you MySpace, Facebook, Bebo, Twitter, Ning, and the the thousands of other ‘social networking’ tools that help people understand that we live in a global community where these types of conservations can take place for both socialising and learning. I’m sure our students won’t mind being involved in more online learning with their ‘social networking’ savvy teacher.

Photo credit: Leigh Blackall

Professional Learning Opportunities in SMSN

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Here is the flyer I recently sent to all principals regarding three professional learning programs that will be running in the ‘Sunraysia Mallee Schools Network’ in term 2.

Online Curriculum using Moodle
Exploring curriculum delivery in an online environment using a ‘Learning Management System’.

Interactive Whiteboard Learning Team
Exploring the use of IWB’s in the classroom and to develop a network of skilled IWB teachers.

New Tools & New Media
Exploring online tools in the classroom.

Please contact me if you need more information.

Embedding Web 2.0 content with Moodle

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As part of the ‘New Tools & New Media‘ ICT group we have running in the Sunraysia Mallee Schools Network, we make extensive use of Moodle for online learning. We are also exploring lots of the Web 2.0 tools as well. So I thought it was about time I demonstrated how to combine the two. This tutorial outlines the steps needed to embed content from the web into Moodle. With all of the great content on the web (including your own Web 2.0 stuff), it becomes a really useful way of gathering and presenting resources to your students. You can use this method to embed content from Teachertube, Youtube, Slideshare and other Web 2.0 sites that allow you to ‘Embed’ content.

Update: Jason Hando has put out a video of how to embed web 2.0 content in Moodle. He offers a few other ways to do it. It’s part of the k12 online conference and can be accessed here.

Web 2.0 – Mashable Resources

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Mashable.com is ‘Social Networking News’ site. They’ve recently posted a couple of great resources for doing photo and image manipulation online, and also for doing video editing online.

Photography Toolbox
http://mashable.com/2007/06/23/photography-toolbox/
90+ Resources in the photography toolbox

  • Online Photo Editors, Photo Sharing
  • Free Photo Hosting
  • Photography Blogs
  • Photo Mashups
  • And much more

The Video Toolbox
http://mashable.com/2007/06/27/video-toolbox/
150+ resources in the video toolbox!

  • Online Video How-to
  • Online Video Editors
  • Online Video Converters
  • Video sharing & hosting
  • Vidcasts & vlogging and mashups
  • And much more

Enjoy :)

Teachertube

General, Web 2.0 1 Comment »

Youtube (the video sharing) website has been banned in Victorian schools. And while there was some very useful content, there was also some questionable material as well. Fortunately, a number of alternatives are starting to appear. The most promising of these is teachertube.com

Our goal is to provide an online community for sharing instructional videos. We seek to fill a need for a more educationally focused, safe venue for teachers, schools, and home learners.

I’ll certainly be looking to use this site and promoting it as a good video sharing site for teachers.

Another educational video sharing site is Next Vista for Learning.

An online library of free videos for learners everywhere – find resources to help you learn just about anything, meet people who make a difference in their communities, and even discover new parts of the world.

All of the videos on this site have been checked for appropriateness. No video can be uploaded and published until it has been checked by the team at Next Vista. They also have a different approach by using three categories of “Light Bulbs”, “Global Views” and “Seeing Service”.

Elluminate ICT meeting

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Tonight the ICT network hosted a virtual online meeting using the Elluminate software. The software allows for live web conferencing in real-time, with members logging on to a shared ‘virtual’ meeting place.

Attendance wasn’t great because of the usual term 4 pressures (reports, performances etc) but the small group that attended online had a very useful session. This type of collaboration, communication and delivery can open up some possibilities within our network – both in terms of distance and time. Why not attend some PD from the comfort of your own home?

Here is a screen shot of what it looks like. You can actually record Elluminate sessions, but we chose not to on our first attempt. Click on the image for a larger view.

Elluminate screen

Tonight’s meeting focused on Web 2.0 and in particular, the social bookmarking site, delicious. Not sure what this means? Email me so you can join in the conversation next time!

K12 online conference

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The k12 online conference has begun :) This conference is unique in that it is being  conducted totally online. Presenters from around the world are doing video keynotes, live events, podcasts, blog posts and even collaborating online through the use of wikis.

The “K12 Online Conference? is for teachers, administrators and educators around the world interested in the use of Web 2.0 tools in classrooms and professional practice! This year’s conference is scheduled to be held over two weeks, Oct. 23-27 and Oct. 30- Nov. 3 and will include a preconference keynote. The conference theme is “Unleashing the Potential.?

Lots of interesting stuff around the new tools and new ways of learning. There are plenty of top quality teachers and educators contributing. The conference wiki is here. A video of David Warlick’s opening keynote is here. There is a presentation on using Web 2.0 in the grade one classroom (among many others!) Did you get that – grade one and web 2.0?

I hope you can spare a few minutes to have a look at what’s going on in classrooms around the world who make great use of ICT for learning.

Mash it up with Wikispaces and Slideshare!

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If you’ve been following along you’ll know that I’ve been developing the SMSN wiki at wikispaces.com and playing around with slideshare.net.

Today I learnt that you can easily embed media content from other services into the wiki. That means you can add content from hosted services such as YouTube, Google Calendar, Odeo etc. So I linked my slides from Slideshare and added them to the wiki. A web2.0 mashup!

wiki2.jpg

Google launches site for educators!

News, Web 2.0 2 Comments »

Google Educator
Google have a vast array of web technology and websites. You see there’s more to Google than just search! There’s Google Reader for RSS, Google Docs and Spreadsheets, Google Earth, Google Video and Google Suggest to name a few. If your not sure what any of these are, you only need to Google it ;)

Their latest offering is called ‘Google For Educators‘ …

“… we support educators who work each day to empower their students and expand the frontiers of human knowledge. This website is one of the ways we’re working to bolster that support and explore how Google and educators can work together.”

You’ll find a teachers guide to their product offerings on the site. There is also a newsletter for educators if you want to join the list.

I’ll certainly be watching with interest to see how it develops. The ‘Google Docs and Spreadsheets’ already allow teachers and students to work from anywhere with an Internet connection. No more emailing documents home? Collaborate on group/class documents at home and at school? Very interesting …

ICTGUY006 (The Wiki Edition)

Podcast, Web 2.0 Comments Off

Podcast number 6, 15.9.2006
[ICTGUY006.mp3 Running time: 9:38mins, size: 4.5MB]

Topics: Wikis, Moodle, Slideshare and more!

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Download it here!

Links from the podcast:
Research on Wikis
http://www.futurelab.org.uk/

Westwood’s Wiki
http://westwood.wikispaces.com/

Wikispaces
http://www.wikispaces.com

Pbwiki (Peanut Butter anyone?)
http://pbwiki.com/

Stikipad Wikis
http://www.stikipad.com

Go Digital Project
http://need2learn.net/

SlideShare – Web 2.0 for your presentation

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New kid on the block SlideShare (in beta), allows you to upload your presentations to their website and have them converted to web based slideshows. While you probably won’t miss having to go without all that ‘flying in’ and ‘flying out’ custom animation, what you do get are those great Web 2.0 characteristics: Discover, Share, Connect, Create – all online in a browser!

SlideShare allows you to tag your presentations much like delicious and has a similar naming structure. For example: http://slideshare.net/tag/web2.0 or http://slideshare.net/username/presentation-name
You can search most viewed, most popular etc. You can view your presentation online in full screen size. Or even embed the slideshow in a webpage like this (This was a recent presentation introducing blogging)

I have ten invites to SlideShare if anyone wants to give it a try … drop me a line.

SlideShare

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