Documentation

Is Edublogging Back In Fashion?

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…”normal” blogging is, at least it is according to one of the net’s longest running blogs written by Jason Kottke. He links to a great post idea by Michael Sippey. Michael wants to get rid of:

the daily pressure of a capital B Blog, or the content pressure of a the capital E Essay. Start a new draft post on Monday, dump things in it over the week, rewrite and cull along the way, what’s left gets published on Friday. 

I also have been following a blog by an Instructional Designer Zak Mensah, who does a good weekly blog about the sorts of things he’s been up to each week. He says it helps him keep his thoughts organised.

That sounds like a pretty good idea to me. So I’m going to give it a try. I’ll draft things throughout the week and post every Monday morning.

 

Open Source E-Learning ToolsI developed the presentation as a part of my UCI E-learning Instructional Design Course. I reviewed three open source tools: Moodle, Audacity and Adapt Learning.

 

 

Erickson RImini Conference HAll

Erickson Congress Rimini 2013

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Erickson RImini Conference HAll

Last Friday I was really delighted to speak at the “Qualità dell’integrazione scolastica e sociale” conference in Rimini. The bi-annual conference is a huge event in the Italian education calendar. Something like 4000+ teachers attend each time the conference is held, so you can imagine I was more than a little bit nervous to be invited to speak there. Thankfully I had a significantly smaller room than the huge hall you see here.

My workshop was called “iDidattica” or iTeaching, where I was basically trying to get across the point that simply “digitising” lessons won’t change their quality or pedagogical effectiveness at all. Instead, I tried to argue that we need to adopt a more student-centred approach to our teaching methodology and then apply whatever digital tools suits our needs. One methodology that might achieve this I argued is Project Based Learning. I suggested four key tool categories to allow students to create interesting “final products” for their projects: a note-taking app, an audio recording app, a video editing app and an webpage annotation app.

I tried to make the workshop a bit more interactive, by using a few tools like todaysmeet.com to provide a “backchannel” where the 150 – 200-odd teachers in the room could discuss what I was talking about, disagree, add new ideas and so on. Reading back though it today, it seems like they were enjoying themselves -yaay!

Anyhow, I promised all the teachers present that I would upload the slides form my presentation so that they could go through the links and re-read what I’d been talking about.
In the next few days I’ll also add a second post with a few of the fun things we did like recording podcasts during the workshop, using a chatroom for a backchannel, sharing links with Diigo and a few others.

Anyhow,without further delay, here are the siides:

Cheap, good quality mic for E-Learning

Review: Samson Go Portable Microphone

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I’ve been playing around with some e-learning software recently. One of the things I noticed that I really didn’t like was the awful quality of the sound from my cheap headphone/microphone combination.

I read a bit about the Samson Go Portable Microphone and how it was really recommended for high quality DIY recordings. I tried a back to back comparison and podcasted it to AudioBoo earlier. I think you’ll agree that the sound is noticeably nicer in the second part of the recording when I’m using the Samson.

The Samson Only costs €60 from Amazon.it, even less from Amazon.co.uk. For the good build quality and excellent sound quality, I think it’s a great deal!

Cheap, good quality mic for E-Learning

Cheap, good quality mic for E-Learning

 

 

iDidattica- iPads in Schools

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Just before Easter 2013 I gave a talk at the Erickson “Scuola Nell’Era Digitale” conference in Trento, Italy. It was a huge pleasure, and I met some really fabulous teachers. They were a really dedicated bunch, working hard to improve the quality of education in Italy – often with the odds stacked against them.

I decided to forgo the usual conference “presentation-style” approach and do a more – hands-on workshop. It was ever-so-slightly chaotic in places, but we learnt a bunch, got through everything intact and had a load of fun. These are the slides I showed during my presentation. They’re in Italian – so I hope you get the gist of them!

Death By PowerPoint? No Thanks! – Digital Storytelling Using PowerPoint

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PowerPoint has the ability to utterly, utterly destroy your soul with boredom – and yet it can totally engage your students’ attention and draw them into a digital story plot if used well. And how should you use it well? These slides will show you! :)

I have posted these before, but this is a slightly updated version that I made for the teachers and trainers at Bolzano Free University’s language department (a tri-lingual University in the north of Italy!)

I had wanted to upload this to VoiceThread so that you, my dear readers, could ask and answer questions and see how effective Voicethread is – unfortunately, Voicethread allows a maximum of 50 slides per presentation and … well… this has several more slides than this. Anyhow, the first slides are the digital story part. If you’d like to skip straight to the  PowerPoint hints and tips, go to slide number 48.

Hope this is helpful – if you have any questions, leave them in a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

The Amazing Main Hall of the Yeditepe University

10 Key Things I’ve Learned about IWBs – IATEFL Conference Istanbul.

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The Amazing Main Hall of the Yeditepe UniversityI was delighted to be invited to speak at this year’s IATEFL LT & TD SIG conference in Istanbul, Turkey. I put in a proposal to discuss IWBs and the lessons I’d learnt from watching teachers get used to using them in my training sessions. When the confirmation came through in early May, I gave a whoop! I’d never been to Turkey before, but had heard loads of good reports from friends who said how friendly and welcoming people there tend to be.

What’s more, Burcu Akyol who is a conference organiser par-excellence, was co-ordinating the team which organised the whole weekend. Basically I need say little more than I can’t wait to go to Turkey or Istanbul again. I had such a great time, the conference attendees were wonderful people, the talks were really top quality and the on the last night, when I went out for dinner… the food… oh the food! It was fabulous!

Anyhow, let’s get to the point, during the talk I promised the teachers present, that I’d post up the IWB slides I used to support my talk. The slides contain useful hints and tips for teachers starting out with IWBs as well as a whole bunch of links to some really handy tools to make teachers lives easier when creating interactive activities.

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