ICT Items

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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

Emerging technologies & transforming learning in schools

Westley Field

Skype: westleyf

Part of opening remarks ‘MLC aims to grow strong, eminent women. I’m not sure they’re the marrying type, but if you want to find someone to run the country, MLC is the place you’d want to go.’ Sigh.

Field opens by comparing the way businesses and schools react to change, and advocates the open (rather than filtered or restricted) access to technology.

He also says that schools should question the research that they are basing the decisions to change, and recommends something like Revolutionizing Education.

His top trends in education:
Personalized (independent) education (older/female)
Collaborative learning (networking)
Technology as a critical friend.
Process to replace content.
Global connections
Mobile learning (cyber safety)
Online learning

He recommends a high-trust model. MLC has a LMS which looks like Facebook which according to him allows the school to help students learn about using social media in a responsible manner.

He also talks briefly about gaming and how it is changing, in particular with motion controllers, like Wii. Everything is personalized, except during school. But is this really true?

He talks briefly about using collaborative spaces, breaking down the walls. I think this was called team-teaching when I was doing teacher training? And I’m pretty sure that a lot of primary schools work in this way.

Technology as a critical friend. He dismisses the idea of the difference in competence and confidence with technology being related to age (digital natives), but with EXPERIENCE. He says that it should be re-phrased as ‘digitally inexperienced.’

Check out Kevin Kelly online.

Field talks about amalgamated technologies, giving the example of very thin, flexible screens (Sony) and QR codes, perhaps they could be looking at the answers on the insides of their glasses or through their clothing. His question is Should we be testing them on information they can look up on a Google (or any search engine)? It is no longer sufficient to ask people to do things from one to ten, or regurgitate stuff. We have to change the questions that are being asked.

Global connections
He promotes his project Skoolaborate. This is a MUVE (multiple-user virtual environment), ie: Second Life.

Mobile learning. Future may be projected images next to the phone. (Will this be an interactive projection?) Field thinks that soon students will be able to access their own providers, as well as using the school’s Internet, so this means that students need to be socially responsible.

He gives the example of apps like Qbooks and Wikihood.

Online learning enables students to work at their own pace AND to get more time with content by re-viewing through the coursework, through video, podcast, notes, materials created during class, etc.

Evaluation of evidence-based practices in online learning is a good study to look at to guide adoption of online content.

Field repeatedly says that technology should be integrated deeply but STRATEGICALLY. In other words, he advises using an LMS structured like social media, but with the purpose of teaching students about using it in a responsible manner, as well as for access to and organization of content.

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

Video conferencing at Abbotsleigh

Video Conferencing: helping students become global citizens

Simon Ware & Warwick Noble from Abbotsleigh
4 (!) full time ICT integrators
(private girls’ school in Sydney)

WN wanted to ensure that it would not be equipment that sat in a cupboard and/or seem really difficult to use.

Initial aim was to have 12 VC in the first year. Actually had 44! This is due to having ICT integrators who do their job FULL TIME.
Some dedicated spaces, but also has some mobile use. the aim is to bring the VC to wherever the learning is happening.
They also use it for meetings and for proof of global presence as a school, as global school.

Costs of VC? The school covers this under the software budget for the school. This could be a solution for us, or perhaps getting the students to bring in  or 2 dollars, demoing on the size of the class.

VC creates ‘just in time’ learning opportunities.  
VC is more dynamic than watching video

Many universities have ‘Cinderella’ collections; they sit unused in a room, but professors can create a presentation for the students around it. Does Vic, Otago, AUT have something like this?

VC is better than Skype because it creates a better immersive experience for students.
Abbotsleigh have been recording their VC; can we? Then we should make the VC available online on Moodle?  
Can set up more than one screen, so you can have a VC and PowerPoint going at once.

Sign up to Capspace. You create a profile, like FB, and can put out requests for help.
Twice  and CILC are available through Polycom
Some other ones operate like listservs and will send you email alerts.
If you can’t find what you need, ask. Ask a university, company, etc. Often they have VC equipment that isn’t used much, but are happy to sort something out.

VC is being used at the upper end here. It’s more like an enrichment, rather than as it’s being used in NSW (Breakout 3).

Ways used:
Virtual excursions
Talk to experts
National & international collaborations
Professional development opportunities
Inter-campus communication (because their campus is split by a freeway)    

Virtual Excursions
Penn Museum
6th Floor Museum (JFK>
Sheffield Museum (Canada)
Nicholson Museum
Scott Base, Antarctica

Talk to experts
Physics & astronomy (big bang)
Health and nutrition
Authenticity of the Bible
Careers Fair (had women in different careers presenting via VC)
Holocaust survivors (in USA)
Literary festival 

St Lorraine language exchange (speaking to classes in other country)
Read Around the Planet (global literacy initiative)
Social Justice

Community of practitioners (could have school to school sharing for LOOP schools?)
Teacher Librarian conference
Development Office Fundraising
IT Managers meetings
K-12 team meetings

1 must be authentic learning experience
2 prepare your students
3 students should come to session with questions
4 if there are questions, email them to presenters
5 time zone convertors are your best friend (ask the presenters when is best for them too.)
6 do a test call before the actual conference, week before, etc.
7 don’t need to fill whole lesson
8 know your tech tip and tricks, and who to call if things go wrong)
9 come prepared, bring your laptop and mobile, just in case.
Possible to have synchronous sound. Could we expand this for music?
Very important to prep the people presenting the VC as well as the students.

October 7, 2010 Posted by | Video conferencing | , | Leave a comment

Are we there yet? A blended approach to learning, anywhere, anytime

Enver Malik has come from Australia to discuss the way this could be done and give an example.

He suggests that this could broaden a curriculum that is narrowed by being rural (or other reason), linking with experts and for PD. This could be an interesting avenue for WGC.

However, limited by bandwidth. Distant locations are limited by equipment too.

Possibilities include video conferencing and web conferencing (using Centra), and asynchronous tools (Moodle) & Digital repository (SCOOTLE).

Centra enables whiteboard collaboration, recording/playback functionality. The focus here is on collaboration, VC is for high quality.

Kym Bell then spoke to us via VC from Australia about ‘Trade Schools of the Future’. This is an idea which could be useful to WGC, especially for Gateway and perhaps Yr 12 students who have a second study.

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