A few students I teach came into class today talking about twitter. They had been shown this video:
This video also does not help promote the "coolness" of twitter:
Twitter is a great tool. I have referred to it regularly in my blog, often calling it my personal learning network. It is just that PERSONAL. Someone wanting to utilise twitter can not just start an account and then start "following" all the people who I follow and have a meaningful experience.
To have a positive experience with Twitter you need to start your account, edit your profile - add an avatar and give some details about yourself in your bio. It does not need to be personal info... generic details that you are an educator is fine.
The next step is to start following people who are of interest to you. If you have your avatar and bio in place there is a much greater chance they will follow you back.
Next steps for those who want to advance are to use a twitter browser such as TweetDeck. It makes it a lot easier to track your tweets.
For more info this link will take you to a "handbook" for teachers using twitter.
I thought I'd blog about this video here: Happy Mole Day so I don't forget to play it to my Chemistry students on the 23rd October. I have put it in my google calendar and set it with a sms (text to my mobile) reminder.
I know it is a terrible video clip but I bet deep down they will love watching it:
A good friend of mine Toni Twiss introduced me to something new (for me) stop motion. This week she made a video to explain her view on how new technologies have made our world a smaller place and how this impacts the role of both the teacher and education. To get the effect with the spinning globe I think she used istopmotion software.
This is a great example of stop motion - Lego Thriller.
Moodle is clever! There are so many "activities" that you can create without being a computer genius. One of those that I have not explored in great depth is the Lesson Activity. I have made two attempts but I did not feel they were particularly good and consequently I have not spent a huge amount of time developing in this area.
Until today. Today I was inspired. I was checking out my list of "must view" blogs. On that list is Mary Cooch's blog: Moodle Blog. She has gone to the trouble of making this must see video which clearly explains how to make a Moodle lesson.
Well now I have a much clearer understanding of how to make a Moodle Lesson the hard bit is coming up with my own context to start my creation. Any help out there? I am currently teaching a Physics unit on Speed etc to my Yr 9 Science class. Perhaps I should focus on creating one for the next unit - it's Biology based with emphasis on Food Chains, Food Webs, classification etc. Any one with ideas for a context to create a lesson please leave me a comment. I seem to be a little brain-dead.
I would be the first to admit that the title of this blog is very misleading. There is virtually no posts about Moodle so if that is what you came to read about then this blog will disappoint!
Til now that is!!! I live in New Zealand for those who don't know. I did not go to the UK Moodlemoot 09' (7th - 8th April) and the small logistic that NZ is +1200 GMT does not help when you want to keep up with what is going on at the UK Moodlemoot. However that is where technology plays a massive role and without too much trouble and a great website (MoodleMoot.org) I have learnt some new new Moodle tips and tricks which I thought I'd share here!
First up GLOSSARIES!! Within a Moodle course you have a primary glossary which collects together ALL glossary entries. So to create an individual topic specific glossary you need to set up as a secondary glossary. Also students can only make entries to a secondary glossary (V1.8).
Put more simply when you create a glossary, use the secondary option and you won't have any problems.
Ideas then on how to use the Moodle glossary: think outside the square... it can be more than a traditional glossary:
Book reviews - using the authors name students put that in the concept box and then write their book review in the large space. Remember if students use firefox for their web browser they get an html format toolbar so they can format their text - ie. Change colour of text, make it bold, italic, centred etc
Homework diary - each week you create an "entry" in the glossary and outline the homework task. To be extra nifty - create a Random Glossary Block and connect your homework diary glossary to this block. Set the Random Glossary Block to display the latest entry and that way it will automatically change when you create a new entry.
Home economics/Food technology - need I say more. All those scrumptious recipes. Yep... post them to a glossary and then 24/7/365 students can access their favourite class creations. It is possible to link images/photos to glossary entries, so when a student/class has created their favourite dish, take a photo and display it along with the recipe.
Introducing... most fitting at the start of the academic year no doubt... each person (staff and/students) write a short brief introduction about themselves. This one could also be displayed in a Random Glossary Entry (RGE) block. It is possible to have multiple RGE blocks.
Dictionary/Encyclopedia - CREATED by STUDENTS. At some stage when students have a grasp of the content in the unit they can brainstorm common terms in the unit. (or the teacher can make a list). Then each student is assigned one of the terms to then add to the glossary. Remeber to tweak the settings so editing is/isn't allowed depending on your circumstances.
A novel idea - Each student gets a character from a novel/shortstory to write a "character thingy" for. Again, depending on the class and how you want to operate the task you can allow other students to edit the original glossary entry. You could effectively allow editing and then the task would become more wiki like and in fact a wiki could be more suitable.
MFL - Languages I have not forgotten you. Obviously there is a lot of vocab for a student learning a MFL but it could be that students research their own little phrase, joke, or quote in the language being taught.
ESOL (Basic) - picture based glossary of everyday objects. A thought, if students were able to edit this glossary it could be a task for them to add the word from their language so each term would have the English term, a picture then the chinese, mandarin, samoan etc term too.
ESOL - each student makes an entry which includes an image of their home country and a liitle about that country like how many people live there and the climate so others can gain an appreciatian for where their fellow class mates are from
Yenka - This is a new generation of educational modelling software from Crocodile clips, which allows teachers and students to simulate concepts.
I have had a brief look at the electrochemistry, it looks very manipulative and the user has a lot of variables that they can select/control. Physics is cover well, there seems to be a lot of simulations that would be useful when teaching topics in Electricity, Optics/light, Motion and sound.
The software is not free but they do give you a free 15 day demo! Check out their website to get started.
Finally, to quickly acknowledge @andyfield who tweeted the link - Thanks!
Lastly: evidence a PLN (personal learning network) is hugely valuable to professional development
Here you have it: A recording Application for your ipod touch. I was reading Nick Rate's Blog today and came across his entry titled "ipod touching". He highlighted a few applications that he is using and the iTalk really took my fancy the only problem is you need a 2nd generation ipod touch and mine isn't. But in the future I may get a second generation itouch and thought I'd mention it here anyway so that I know I can find this information in the future. The software iTalk is available from Griffin Technology the only other thing worth pointing out is that you do require a headset obviously with a microphone and Nick to mention that this would be handy given that they have apparently released Skype for the iPhone/Touch! Something else worth investingating.
Well it is the holidays... AGAIN... for me. I love the holidays! Most of the time I'm fairly inefficient during the holidays. I spend time reading newspapers (online of course) with a coffee when I first get up, eventually wean myself off the laptop and into the shower and then off to take Millie my boxer for a walk.
Throughout the day I pop on to my laptop to check out what my twitter buddies have to say, check me email accounts and of course re-visit the newspaper sites.
My (twitter) friend Michael Fawcett (aka teachernz) posted a link to this YouTube video:
I thought it was really creative. Actually my first thought was how much time would that have taken? I am sure one day I will have a spare 4 minutes to show it to a group of students... I'm interested to hear what some supposedly "digital natives" think of it.