Sunday, November 22, 2009


This has been an amazing journey. I don't see this as the end, but only the very beginning of so many things to explore! To understand something properly, we need to constantly keep in touch with it and there are so many areas on which I want to revise and expand my knowledge. With the exception of virtual worlds (I don't have enough time to keep up with the real world!), I can see myself using all the Web 2.0 applications we have covered in this course in some form or other.

Thank you for a well presented and informative introduction into the interactive world of Web 2.0!


#22 Ebooks and #23 Audiobooks

I love reading and I love books - my house is overflowing with them. I think the appeal lies as much in the physical nature of the book as it does in the story. For this reason I can't get overexcited about these concepts. I am more of a visual than an aural learner - I'm ashamed to say my listening skills are quite lacking! I couldn't see myself concentrating for long periods on an audiobook, although I can see how they could be used to enhance listening skills in the classroom. And what a wonderful tool for the visually impaired. Not a new concept by any means, 'talking books' have been around for as long as I care to remember, but the quality and range now available with current technology has opened up a new world for audiobook users. Also a great tool for study, especially for anyone permanently attached to their ipod/mp3 player as most students are these days!

As for ebooks, there is no doubt this has opened up the world of literature to many who would otherwise probably never pick up a book. With the current generation at school being obsessed with anything "computerised" I can see ebooks being very useful and let's face it, anything that gets kids reading is a plus! But the idea of reading a book on a screen has no appeal to me, and to print out the pages really defeats the purpose! So I'll stick with my paperbacks and curl up in a comfy spot and get back to my latest adventure!


Saturday, November 21, 2009

#21 Online Video

It's dangerous sending me to YouTube ... once there I could spend hours immersed in comedy skits and funny animal videos - one leads to another then another etc...

I do like the TeacherTube option for our industry. The problem with YouTube is not just the type of videos you might accidentally stumble across, but also the comments people make under them!
I have really enjoyed the Common Craft videos on TeacherTube used throughout this course. They are very simple and to the point, but get the message across in an interesting format. I have also found lots of useful videos for the classroom including the Dewy Decimal System explained by monkeys and an explanation of order of operations using a mnemonic (Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally) which caught my attention for obvious reasons.

The one I've chosen to include here however is from YouTube. It is Adam Hill's irreverant but very catchy version of our national anthem as performed at the Melbourne Comedy Festival.

Hope it works!


#20 Podcasts

Podcasts are great. I have occasionally used them to catch up on news or something I missed on the radio. But I really had no idea just how must there is available out there! I found many interesting podcasts, particularly in IT, Science and Education. I added several RSS feeds to my Google Reader (time to clean that up already!).
This one has many sessions quite relevant to this course:
Also, for anyone studying a language there's heaps of podcasts which could be used as additional learning or review material.


#19 Rollyos

Took me a while to find the advantages of this tool, but once I started experimenting it made a lot more sense.
I created a searchroll for book shopping and added all my favourite online bookstores. I could use this regularly in the library for finding particular books to buy, using only approved suppliers.

I am finding the site a quite unreliable in that it usually takes two or three attempts to actually connect. Have not had this with any of the other web 2 applications.


Friday, November 20, 2009

#18 Wikis

I would love to have time to explore what other people are doing with Wikis, especially in Primary Schools. I can see them as a great collaborative learning tool in the classroom, encouraging kids to explore what others have created or discovered as well as contributing with their own knowledge and research. It is good to know there is plenty of scope for security and privacy.

In my areas of admin and library I can also see many possibilities. Even simple things like meetings and special event organisation could be made simple with wikis, with staff being able to contribute to agendas, invitation lists etc without the need to collate data from many emails. I think I might start off with a school library 'wish list' where students can add requests for particular titles, genres, authors etc and then follow up with a book review wiki ......


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

#17 Organise yourself with Delicious

Yet another great tool that almost everyone would find useful. With two part-time jobs plus casual work, I use several different computers most weeks and having access to my favourite or most commonly used websites wherever I am will be great.
Classifying them with tags is very useful, although I quickly learnt to be specific with the tags, otherwise I could end up with countless sites for one classification. eg education or photography.
I can see lots of uses for this in all areas of education, particularly primary, where you want to steer students to a particular group of websites.
Nice one.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

#16 Stay informed! ~ Subscribe to some blogs

I have been having a lovely time searching for blogs and sites with RSS feeds that interest me. I can see my Reader becoming a little overcrowded very shortly!

A couple of quick google searches on 'rss feeds education' and 'rss feeds environment' (a topic we are passionate about at our school) returned a great range of options. I quickly found a couple of particular interest - Science Alert and Friends of the Environment. Two very interesting Australian sites with rss feed options.

Love it. I often find a good site and then it gets lost amongst my favourites list when another topic takes my interest. This way I'll get constant 'reminders'.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

#15 RSS

Excellent. I love the idea of having a "summary" of updates to my favourite or most visited sites all there on the one page to quickly browse through for an idea of what's happening - whether it's the world of news in general, a specialty topic (sport, education, weather ....) or just the latest posting from an interesting personal blog.

So quick and easy to set up once you know what it's all about - and those video tutorials are so clear and to the point.

I can certainly see some uses for RSS feeds in education, mainly (without putting in too much thought into it at this late hour of the night!) in keeping up to date with latest curriculum changes (one ofthe recommendations was the Board of Studies feed); new resources; special needs; technological developments ... the list is probably endless!

One thought that just occurred is that it would be a great way to keep the school community informed of school website updates - rather than relying on students/parents/staff to check the website regularly. Must give that one some more thought.

I'm sure there are many, many ways this tool could be used in the education industry.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

#14 Facebook

I have to admit I am no stranger to Facebook. I have used it now for two or so years. Initially it was quite exciting getting in touch with long lost friends and work colleagues from another lifetime. Now it's more a quick check every few days for personal messages and to take my turn in my scrabble games! (I'm a board game junkie who's never had many people interested in playing real life games!). I am so over seeing who hates who and how much they had to drink last night ... not to mention how they scored in some obscure quiz about what colour eyes the person they are going to marry has!

Thankfully Facebook has plenty of options when it comes to privacy settings and choosing what you can and can't see from others or publish about yourself. Left unedited, it leaves one open to all sorts of nasties including cyberbullying, defamation, invasion of privacy etc. One thing that hugely concerns me, not just with Facebook but any social networking and in fact the internet in general, is the freedom to post information and pictures of anyone, anywhere without their consent. I have been quite upset in the past when other people have uploaded (and tagged) photos of me and especially my children. I even feel quite voyeuristic (is that even a word?) myself when I've looked at photos that my friends have uploaded - even though that has been the intention of the posting. Also the fact that you can read entire "conversations" between other people bothers me in some ways, although everyone is aware when they chose this method of communication that it is all there for everyone to see.

With the right settings I do think Facebook is a fun and useful application. Being able to join groups of likeminded people with common interests, or keep up to date with an upcoming event, or staying in touch with friends and relatives you would otherwise have little or no contact with (I have some relatives travelling overseas and it's great to be able to see where they are and what they are up to) - these are all great benefits of an application that is quick, simple and best of all free!

It is certainly a great communication tool, putting people in touch all over the world, be it for fun, friendship, education or promotion. Certainly beneficial for secondary and higher educational institutions, but like MySpace, way too 'dangerous' for the primary aged. They just don't have the experience and the skill to handle it responsibly.


#13 MySpace

I have been aware of MySpace for a number of years and even created an account a few years back simply to stay in touch with one particular friend. I have never been a big fan of MySpace - the layout is just not to my taste, but I do appreciate the attraction for those looking to reconnect or make new 'friends'.

I can see why a library or school would benefit from a presence on MySpace - especially at secondary level. It's just another tool that could be used to connect with students (especially teenagers/young adults) on a level and platform that they are familiar and comfortable with.

Certainly would not recommend for primary level - but for that matter most schools would have sites such as these blocked (or so I would hope).


Sunday, November 8, 2009


Originally uploaded by sal299
Well, that didn't work, so I'll try again!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

#12 Flickr

As you'll see by my post below, I'm loving Flickr! I have explored it before, just from an amateur photographer's point of view, but hadn't ventured as far as registering and checking out the extra features. I haven't had a chance to play with the edit tools yet, but can see how useful and timesaving that might be! Important to remember to keep photo sizes limited though, or you would quickly use up the 100Mb limit.

I very quickly uploaded a couple of my own photos for the exercise. This was quick and painless and so easy to add tags, descriptions etc.

This is (hopefully - if this works) Monty, our pet rabbit, being very austere! Yes he is a big bunny!!

As with all of these wonderful Web 2.0 applications, Flickr is another to add to the 'must explore further' basket!


Yellow home

Yellow home
Originally uploaded by Köttbullekvist
I have been lost for hours enjoying the delights of flikr! There are countless talented photographers out there.
I love this photo because it reminds me of a place where I stayed in Sweden too many years ago .... VERY happy memories :-)
Next I will try uploading a photo or two of my own.