July 30, 2010 by Lynn
OMG – sorry just had to borrow that from my teenage daughter!
Today I attended one of the most inspiring SLAV Professional Development conferences ever. It was titled “Make, Share, Do: Active Online Learning” and featured the amazing Dr Joyce Valenza (of ‘The Wizard of Apps’ fame) from Springfield Township High School in Philadelphia.
Joyce’s keynote addresses (there were two and I’m sure the room could have listened to her for a lot more too) were fascinating. I don’t think I lifted my pen from the page (and yes I must confess here to liking to take notes the ‘old fashioned way’) and will have to spend the next few evenings deciphering my scribbles before I can share the many (and I probably mean hundreds if not thousands here) of websites/apps that she mentioned or showed. If not wait for Judith’s ‘Bright Ideas’ post next week on the conference and links to the many sites, not just from Joyce but also the other presenters. Joyces’ work was just awe-inspiring (from wiki after wiki after wiki) and imagine my surprise when in the middle of her presentation up pops my own wiki and I’m hearing my name as she talks about ‘Sharing eLearning at MESC’ – only a small mention but wow!
Adrian Camm (McGuire College) showed some of the wonderful work he is doing in the classroom using apps (I seem to have picked up the word ‘apps’ from Joyce here instead of ‘Web2.0 tools ‘ description I used to use) such as Wolfram Alpha and MIT OpenCourseware. He spoke of the “unclassroom and beyond” and the fact that we (you) could “no longer opt out of this new media”. You learn by doing and extend students by getting them involved seemed to be Adrian’s motto and I would love to be a student in one of his classes – even if for me it meant learning maths!
Cecilie Murray (Delphian eLearning) spoke to us about “Imagination in your pocket: educational apps” and the endless possibilities it seems for iPhone/iPad users with their portability for learning. I didn’t take many notes on this – concerned about RSI at this stage!!! – seriously Delphian eLearning links will also be added to the Bright Ideas post.
Tony Richards (IT made simple) and of Kahootz fame, but known to me as a member of ‘EdTechCrew‘ creating podcasts of ICT in education that are well worth subscribing to and downloading. Tony provided some personal reflections on various online technologies. Without duplicating any of Joyce’s presentation Tony showed us a whole other side to Google (look for “more” and “even more” in the drop-down box), the power of Twitter and following/connecting with ‘like-minded’ learners. Teaching with TEDTalks, Screencasting for creating videos to demonstrate concepts, calibre for ebook management, Popplet for brainstorming, diigo for managing, saving and sharing websites, and my favourite from Tony’s session Jing for grabbing screen images to create easy screencasts and activities.
Paul Callaghan (Games consultant) then gave us an overview of the game creators world and experiences we as learners can get from the ‘critical thinking’ involved in these. I’m still a bit overwhelmed by games (as you would have gathered from an earlier post from the PLN when I confessed to still playing with a ‘Galaxy Invader 1000’ and hadn’t progressed much futher – actually does Bejewelled Blitz count here??
We then experienced a ‘Smackdown’ Plenary Session – something quite new to alot of the audience and probably not done to it’s full justice in such a short time. It involved a variety of speakers (well known to many of us including Tania Sheko, Rhondda Powling, Camilla Elliott, and Judith Way) showing us, and telling us, about various tabs on the wiki created by Joyce and themselves covering a variety of topics from today’s conference – SLAV wiki – everyone was encouraged to join this wiki and add their own suggestions.
So in getting all of this out – I just had to share, plus I have late-night pickup for said daughter mentioned earlier so need to stay awake and am on such buzz from today that I don’t think I’d sleep anyway!!!!
Thanks to SLAV, the many friends and colleagues I met/reconnected with today and RAECO for the bottle of bubbles I won from the trade displays.
Category Professional Learning, SLAV PD | Tags: Adrian Camm,Blogs,brainstorming,Bright Ideas,Camilla Elliott,Delphian Learning,Diigo,Edtechcrew,Gaming,IT made simple,Jing,Joyce Valenza,Judith Way,MIT OpenCourseware,Paul Callaghan,PD,Podcasts,Popplet,Professional Development,Rhondda Powling,SLAV,SLAV Wiki,Tania Sheko,TED,wiki,Wizard of Apps,Wolfram Alpha | 3 Comments
June 14, 2010 by Lynn
My blog post this week has taken some time to get started – in between finishing the research, a long weekend, and taxi duties – I’ve procrastinated, delayed, cleaned, written the heading and saved it as a draft, and…then I read Seth Godin‘s blog post ‘Trying to please’ in which he asks “Who is your marketing or your product or your effort trying to please?”
I realised that I was trying to write ‘the perfect blog’ instead of ‘Lynn’s PLN’ blog and that is what I hope you are reading now. So here’s some of my thoughts on this week’s task of Research Tools.
Plagiarism in the classroom is something that I think everyone would be aware of whether it be within your own school, university, college or online. Certainly there are a lot more online tools available now to assist in detecting circumstances of plagiarism, but we also need to go on ‘gut feeling’. Does this student normally write with such flair and cite their sources so precisely? Is this one similar to one received last week, last month, last year? Do students realise the disservice they are doing themselves by copying somone else’s work and passing it off as their own? These are things that have all gone through my mind when I’ve been asked by a teacher to assist in locating the “original” piece. Often just typing a passage into Google Search is enough in some cases but it’s good to have some other online tools to offer staff now. The student doesn’t need to know that their work has been checked either, because every now and then someone will surprise us by producing a magnificent piece from the heart. We do have a good little tutorial linked to our library website that we have used with senior students called “You Quote It, You Cite It”.
Due to our current staffing levels we find it difficult to offer enough sessions on effective research methods to all classes. Some of the examples shown this week will be great to pass on to the classroom teachers to enhance their methods (and maybe change a few) of research with students. I especially liked the Springfield Township High School Google Search Posters which were very colourful and engaging for primary and secondary students. The ergo website is a fantastic source of research ideas and the presentation we organised for staff last year was very well received. I especially think the “Learn skills” section is valuable for students as a basis for classroom research on all topics.
I did sign up for Diigo but at the moment I’m using Delicious and will look at whether to import my bookmarks to Diigo at a later stage.
When reading about the Google Custom Search Engine and trialling it for myself, I was very impressed by how quick it was to find relevant results matching my search terms. I was actually doing some research into ‘student engagement in the classroom’ for a TPL group and they were very impressed with some of the findings. A great filter tool for schools, as well as to aid in cybersafety I should think. It reminded me of Weblinks which we subscribe to for educational websites both primary and secondary.
So on to bibliographies and I trialled Bibme by entering ten items for a unit of work on refugees linked to our current Year 7 novel ‘Boy Overboard’. It was very easy to use and certainly would be a great help to those struggling to understand how to set out a bibliography. We have a fairly comprehensive bibliographies guide for students on our library website and the teachers are often referring students to this link which is pleasing to hear. This is my link to the finished bibliography using Bibme – http://bit.ly/bqw9Ub
Zoho promotes itself as an online notebook that could be used for portfolios, with pages available for various medium, and I’m going to give it a try for my next performance review process. This has also made me think that I need a new way of presenting my finished review and I will certainly go back to the presentation tools from previous weeks for some ideas nearer the time.
Week 7 has now come to a close and to finish off may I congratulate Will Richardson who this week celebrated his 9th year of blogging and is more motivated than ever to keep blogging as he sees them as “a way of digging more deeply into what I’m thinking and seeing”.
Category Blogs, Research Tools, Week 7 | Tags: Bibliographies,Bibme,Blogging,Copyright,Diigo,ergo,Google Custom Search Engine,Google Search Posters,online notebook,plagiarism,Research Tools,Seth Godin,SLV,Week 7,Will Richardson,Zoho | 5 Comments