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How do I take my emails with me? First Class transition 2

There are two ways of taking your emails with you. 

One, you can Export them; two, you can Summarize them.

If you have attachments on your emails that you need to save – choose Export. If you just need the text inthe emails, Summarize them. You can save Exported and Summarized emails in the same folder on your C drive.

Option 1 – Exporting – easy, but creates bulky files on your C drive:

  1. Select all the emails you want to take with you.  They should all be highlighted blue.
  2. Right-click on them and choose Export.
  3. Choose a place on your N drive to save them.  A folder named Email might be appropriate.
  4. Click Okay.

Your selected emails will go to this new folder.

However, every email is saved in its own folder, in SEVERAL different ways, with a name that First Class chooses based on the sender’s name, subject and maybe the date . Easy, but inefficient.  It will be very difficult for you to find an email again, if you choose this way.

Here’s another way.  This is easiest if you have already sorted your emails into folders.

Option 2 – Summarizing emails, slightly more difficult, but much more organised:

  1. Select the emails you want to save in the same place by clicking on them.  If you have already organised them into folders, you could select all the emails in one folder.
  2. Right-click on them and choose Summarize Selected.
  3. Go to File–>Export and choose a folder to save into.  Again, Email might be an appropriate name for this folder.
  4. Rename the file so that you know what is in the document.  If the emails have come from one folder, you might choose that name and perhaps a date or date range.
  5. Be sure to put the file type at the end, either .txt or .doc.
  6. Click Save.

Your selected emails will have been saved as one text-based document, and if you choose Word as your file type, you should be able to open it and search within it for any information you need.  And, because you have named it yourself, you can control the organisation of the files.

What do you think? Is one method better than the other?  Which do you prefer?

Also, what ‘fish hooks’ have you encountered with these methods?  Did you find solutions to your problems?  Please share in the comments!


October 31, 2010 Posted by | First Class, Gmail | Leave a comment

Preparation for First Class transition 1

Some things that will help your transition:
1. Delete, delete, delete.  Delete any unwanted emails.  Delete any unwanted or unused contacts.  Delete any unused documents in the subject area, while you’re at it.
2.  Organise your emails into folders.  Click on New, and choose Folder.  Give it a name that makes sense to you as to the contents.  Put all the relevant emails into that folder.  Repeat.
3.  If you already have folders, go through them and delete anything you don’t need or aren’t required to save.

October 31, 2010 Posted by | First Class, Gmail | Leave a comment

A few more Gmail tips

Darko Johnson has put together 12 tips for using Gmail and they can be found here.  The number one tip is probably not as useful to us as educators as it might be for a business, but the rest of them are fairly useful – using labels, filters, stars and search.  Have a go!

Have you found out something great on Gmail?  Share it here in a comment!  🙂

October 20, 2010 Posted by | Gmail | , , | Leave a comment

Gmail tip

Two days ago, I was sent a document on First Class from a student who’s using a newer version of MS Word than I am at home.  However, my machine can only read dot-doc (.doc) documents, and this was a dot-docX (.docx).  It was pretty urgent that I read this, so I opened it in Gmail and chose the View option, rather than the Download option for attachments.  Magic! I could now read the document without any problems and reply to my student in a timely fashion.  Although I haven’t tested this, I think that it should work with documents created with open source software (those dot-odt files you sometimes get from students) or in the Macintosh version of a word-processing program.

What is your latest find in Gmail or Google?  Please add to the list by posting a comment!

October 20, 2010 Posted by | Gmail | , , | 1 Comment

E-book readers

Kobo, Kindle, Nook, iBooks, Project Gutenberg – what is the story?  E-books and e-readers. 

Personally, I’ve been reading books electronically since I had a Sony Clie, one of the last gasps of the PDA, before smartphones started becoming almost affordable.  It was great to be able to have so many books in my pocket and made my luggage much lighter.  Now, I have to confess, I have fallen in love with Kindle on the iPad, especially since I purchased a matte finish screen protector.  It wasn’t too bad, in the dark winter, to curl up with my shiny iPad, but now it’s even better.  Plus, as I said before, my luggage is much much lighter. 

Another advantage is the speed with which you can acquire books.  Three days before an assignment was due for my paper at Vic Uni, I realised I could really use several books.  These were available on Amazon, and in the past, I would have ordered them (earlier) and hoped that some of them would get to me before I finished the paper, much less my assignment.  This time, I found them online and available in a Kindle edition.  The advantages: cost and speed.  The Kindle editions were cheaper, particularly after adding in postage, and the Kindle books, all four of them, took about one minute to download. Fantastic!  I had time to read the relevant sections and include them in my assignment.  Not only that, I could access them on any of the i-devices we have AND Kindle would remember how far I had read.

Now we come to the tricky bit – referencing.  E-books are so new to academia that APA hasn’t quite caught up.  I Googled some ideas and made a decision to reference them as you would books, but to indicate that I used the [Kindle edition].  The second problem is quoting from the texts.  Kindle editions have no pages numbers as they are not pdfs or other direct copies of texts.  They have ‘locations’ based on how much text is displayed on the page.  This can vary if, as I do, you access the text on an iPad as well as an iPod/iPhone.  You can look up the location using Amazon’s Look Inside function, but this can be pretty tedious.  I haven’t got any decent solutions for this, and would welcome any suggestions!

Using Kindle, you can bookmark, highlight and make notes, just as you would in a print copy.  The software remembers your annotations and you can search glance through them to go back to ideas.  Not only that, but in certain texts, the sections that other people have highlighted will also show up, indicated by a dashed underline.  Many other e-book readers have similar functions, which means that in the future you could have a class discussion based around the reasons students have chosen particular passages, rather than simply swapping which passages have been highlighted.  E-book readers could move a class discussion more quickly from ‘what?’ to ‘why?’ enabling a deeper discussion of a text or idea.

What do you think? What other uses could there be for e-books in schools?  What advantages and disadvantages might there be?

Do you use an e-book reader?  What has been your experience?  Please share it in the comments.

Finally, if you are interested in e-books and e-book readers, join the NZERT wiki, the taskforce leading the discussion in this area in New Zealand.

October 20, 2010 Posted by | e-books | | 2 Comments

Ewan McIntosh

Some notes on Ewan McIntosh and his presentation on games in education

Fun becomes engagement.

Toladano did research on video games and the levels of engagement during play. The pictures taken indicate a wide range of emotions and support the idea that people playing games are not passive consumers of media.

Epic, adventures with important goals
Winning is always possible
Flow, loss of sense of time
You have to fail to win

Give LOTS of small levels where things get harder each level.

In games, YOU are the boss of everything.

The tinkering school, Gever Tulley TED talks
Developing entrepreneurial learning, take risks

Write a connective text. Start with key words. Put very key words in first paragraph.
Use hyperlinks in wikipedia or a wiki to do nonlinear writing.

If you make a blog, make a link for SHARING.
Google maps, MY MAPS, can add comments

Games are the CONTEXT for learning
Gaming for learning office?

Characteristics of a video game: higher level activities involved-
Play, performance, simulation, appropriation, multitasking, distributional cognition (sharing individual knowledge with crowd), collective intelligence (crowd sourcing), judgement, transmedia navigation (go into other media sources to find answer, also other media forms that are versions of the same media product), networking, negotiation

’tilting it towards completion’

Tim rylands and myst.

Replicable, sustainable way of teaching. This is vital.

Assessment, technology integration, two stars and a wish, anything else

Choose a section of a game, rather than whole game.


Punctuation pyramid
Podsafe music

October 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Stephen Heppell

This is it. The final speaker.

Heppell discusses the change from expertise to experience, that is people can do it, have done it AND can write about it, speak about it, etc.

Surprises: there are many unexpected events in our lives, but we continue to teach in a manner which is based on the idea that we can predict the future. We need to change our teaching to encompass surprise.

He emphasizes the idea that you can have large classes as long as there are several teachers (‘superclasses’). However, it works incredibly well if the teachers work as a team.

Heppell suggests that we look at the structure of online learning communities to see the possibilities for future learning spaces. That having materials freely available and accessible online will be the basis for education.

We’ve limited education to ‘only as fast as the adult could run’ (making an analogy to learning to ride a bike). However, we now need to just let them run with the technology, allow THEM to appropriate the tools, rather than appropriating them from the students.

(Email is what your dad/mum does.)

Heppell also asks the question about the role of standardized tests.

Another key point he makes is that we are living in a world of no secrets. That is, that things that are online are not secret and that this means that things like exam results, etc, are available. He extrapolates this to mean that students can have access to knowledge that we previously restricted to a certain age, and gives the example of Portland Academy.

He reminds us of the resource Teachers TV.

Again, he discusses the out of date concept of industrial age based education and the way in which ICT can overcome this difficulty. He says that this basis is the obstacle that prevents learning.

He encourages is to demonstrate publicly that different is better.

He also says that many of the things which are ecologically friendly in a building are detrimental to learning, JUST touching on the ways spaces encourage a particular mindset.

Now, it is all about membership, esteem, contributions, and enduring.

October 8, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Flip Mino cameras

These tiny cameras (no bigger than your average cell phone) are pretty darn good.  So much so, that I’ve recommended we get a bunch (10) for the school which are now available for booking from the library.

They record onto the camera’s solid state hard drive.  This means that there are no tapes, no DVDs, nothing.  Just the camera.  Solid state means there aren’t very many moving parts and the hardware is more durable.

The other good bit is that when you’re done filming, you just FLIP out the USB connector and load the footage onto your computer.  (Actually, you should load the editing software first, if you’re using your own/school laptop.)  You can also simply copy the files over to your own C drive.  It is best, as with all video files, to keep these files far, far away from the network drive (T drive).

I can see some really clear benefits from using the little cameras, mostly with recording assessments in English, Drama, and the like.  They are unobtrusive, have no electricity leads, get decent sound and can be put quite close to the action on little mini-tripods.  You simply push the red record button to record and then again to stop – that’s it!  Download the files to your computer and use software to edit them into your moderation submission.  Done.

They record about 60 minutes, charge from the USB and take about 20 minutes to transfer 60 minutes of footage.

October 7, 2010 Posted by | hardware | , , | Leave a comment

Digital pedagogy – Tony Ryan

Tony Ryan is talking about the use of digital technology, with an emphasis on high level thinking. ‘I don’t think that’s good enough. We need to boost the level of thinking.’ -Tony Ryan

Note- check out Ridley Scott’s Life in One Day. Tony Ryan asks for ‘School’ in One Day. Let’s do it!

Next point, he recommends ensuring students have F2F as well as digital interactions.

Check out: The Horizon Report

Create a 5 level code for KCs?

Karen Melhuish asks: what is his definition of ‘higher order thinking’?

Click here for handouts, practical ways of addressing these ideas.

He talks for a long time about KCs, but little specifically on higher order thinking.

Some ideas:

Big points:
Apps, the clever ones, not the stupid ones (70% return)- shows Ocarina app
Games in the classroom

October 7, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Game based learning

Adrian Camm, from Melbourne, Headof Mathematics at McGuire College

Camm starts by talking about Malcolm Gladwell’s idea of the ‘magic 10,000 hours’ that it requires to become an expert in a topic.  Sigh.

Then he also shows the same game-related images that Ewan McIntosh showed that demonstrate the different levels of engagement. Sigh.

Camm begins by giving two examples of immersive environments creating real-life economic pressure and ‘authentic purpose’ to counter the idea that gaming is an isolating experiences.

Some language to know:

  • MMORPG (massive multi-player online role-playing game)
  • COTS (Commerical off the shelf)
  • ARG (Augemented Reality Games)

Camm examines different COTS (commercial off the shelf) to support the idea that games are a growing economic and social phenomenon.  He believes that games will be a major tool in education

At the Games in Education wiki, ideas about the ways games can be used in the classroom.

ARG (Alternate Reality Games)  – these are not quite ready for use in the classroom.

Lure of the Labyrinth teaches problem-solving skills in a games context.  Teachers can check on the amount of time the students have logged in the game.
ElectroCity is like SIMS, but based around the development of a town and includes teacher resources. (This is also a NZ-based company.)
Zork is an example of a game which is text-based, rather than requiring flashy graphics.
Conspiracy Code (have to pay to get the game) from Florida Virtual School is an example of how to use gaming in a whole unit, incorporating credits.
Grow RPG is a simple example of choices and consequences.

The main thing is to contextualize the learning.  It is important to set it within a learning context, in order to make the learning explicit.

October 7, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment