33 posts categorized "January 2006"

January 31, 2006

Trying out different blog platforms

Trouble_boys_1I'm here in Coylton, near Ayr, trying to find the perfect blogging tool for some Primary 5 kids. Wordpress via Edublogs seemeed great, but uploading photos wasn't. They have to be posted somewhere else on the web it seems. We're giving Typepad a go with some simple WAV podcasting (I know, but we don't have time to convert to MP3!)

Download V001.WAV

January 30, 2006


You can read my proposal for the HigherEdBlogCon and let me know if there's something you think should be included by leaving a comment on this post. As ever, I think the link between high school and higher education is one that is overlooked on many fronts. Information literacy across these two sectors is probably one front that is not just overlooked but is probably an unknown front universities don't even realise they have to work on. Let me know what you think.

January 29, 2006

Jammin', just jammin' en français

The BBC launched at the end of last week their contribution to 21st century learning, BBC Jam. Last March I was very happy to have helped fix up and advised on some of the resources in Geography and French. BBC Scotland approached me looking for a quick link to be made with a Polish school so that they could film kids from a new European Union member state about their feelings of European-ness. It was great fun flying out to Zabrze, via Krakow, to take a trip down a coal mine and work with some brilliant kids. The way they were normally taught was very different to the way that BBC Producers and I worked, but the results were full of life and enthusiasm. When it's online it'll make for some great geography lessons. We even made the first European schools podcast (with RSS and enclosures and everything!) while we were over and ran the six-week geoBlogs project, which led to some valuable experiences in classrooms both sides of the Channel about what it meant to be European and living in a world where the concept of borders was changing on a daily basis.

P1010017_1 Being welcomed by some of the Polish pupils in the as yet unpublished Human Geography side of BBC Jam.

P1010044_1 Down the mines with the crew.

After that the French crew got in touch to see if they could user-test some of the French material with some kids. We did this in May and then I got filmed with a great class from Musselburgh last September for the promo video of BBC Jam. I've still not seen it, although most of my colleagues in East Lothian seem to have had a peek already.

The resources are hugely interactive with great structure in each 'lesson'. Kids didn't have the slightest impression they were actually learning anything - just having great fun. The results were, in fact, really impressive in a very short period of time. So I might be biased, but the materials are top dollar.


Cartoon-making is part of a French learning package that includes film sequences, sentence builders, writing frames in a 3D world...

January 28, 2006

Scottish? Educator? Blogger? Add yourself to ScotEduBlog Wiki

There are many blogs which exist already trying to map out Scottish blogging or UK educational blogging but none, so far, that have tried to map out the rapidly growing community of Scottish Edubloggers. After the apparent success of our small community's badgering away the time has come to try and keep tabs before things get out of control.

If you are a Scottish Edublogger, using a blog to keep reflections on education or running blogs with your classes, add yourself to the ScotEduBlog wiki. It's quite easy to use but, should you have any problems, navigate your way back to this blog post (bookmark the Permalink now) and leave a comment. I'll put you right.

January 27, 2006

Google.cn - the Chinese filtering Google results

Google.cn has been launched for Chinese searches on the Internet. However, Google have struck a deal with the Chinese Government to massage the results. Google have also banned Wikipedia so Chinese language wikipedia results are limited to those posted by Chinese communities in other parts of the world.

Ethan Zuckerman has started some interesting word searching experiments with curious results. It's not that everything is returning with no results, but some searches return Chinese-only results. Interestingly it's returning fewer results in a different order to Google.co.uk for things as banal as "ewan mcintosh". Anyone got an explanation? What have I done against the Chinese state?

Using Ethan's experimental phrase: “site:wikipedia.org 太石村”, I was amazed not just that nothing was returned by that the search changed automatically from 'Search the Web':


to 'Search China only':


This means that Google cannot be used to get round the Chinese authorities' grasp on wikipedia access. Scarily close control of the internet but really clever, too. More scary, though, when you realise that the Chinese search term is in relation to Taishi village, where the first signs of a democratic rebellion against corrupt officials were stamped out quickly and ruthlessly by the authorities

Is it right that Google have signed themselves and their technology away in a manner that restricts free speech, not only for Chinese in China but for the rest of us who might want to communicate with them?

January 25, 2006

LanguagesWork06 Podcast

30 minutes lates, but here nevertheless. What do Edinburgh kids think that languages will bring them in their future? After an amazing day with 250 kids from Auld Reekie this is what they had to say...

11,000 + listeners have your attention!

Download languagesWORKPodcast.mp3

January 24, 2006

It's not about the cliques, it's about the comments Part Deux

I wrote a post right at the beginning of this blog about how it was about who was reading you, not how many people, that was important. Also, it was who you were pointing to that would reveal what you regarded as important in cyberspace. Now, my blogroll is in need of some serious updating, but today I reached a point that classically reveals a healthy blog.

The number of comments is greater than the number of posts: 256 to 253, coming from 2,348 regular visitors and 9,147 first-timers (that strikes me as a lot of people not wanting to come back. Yikes.)

Let's hope that I can keep writing stuff that more and more people are interested in. Already, I'm happier about blogging on blogs and podcasts and all things educational. The antagonising I seemed to have caused some six months ago seems to have given way to curiousity and reasoning in my readership. I've also found that the RSS Glue that fascinated Will and others way back in August has now become a daily thrill.

Over the next few weeks I hope to be blogging a lot more as I have become a professional couch potato. Not through wanting to but because of a set of invisible stairs at Stirling station and a night in the Emergency Department last night, one the direct result of the other. The ligaments and bone in my left foot are likely to take two weeks to get well enough for singing and dancing again.

So, as Margaret Thatcher's "The lady is not for turning", Ewan McIntosh just can't turn (damned crutches). I might get round to Flickrfying the bruising and things protuding from my foot when I'm really bored.

InstaPodcast for Lecturers

In today's MediaGuardian is the news that University lecturers (and conference presenters, and classroom teachers of the chalk-and-talk variety) have been waiting for.

By utilising Apple's QuickTime and Really Simple Syndication (RSS) technologies, a development program being piloted in Europe in the spring, the lecturer will be able to record his or her own "performance" - their slides, notes and details of student assignments as they deliver them live to the students in the lecture hall. Once the lecture is over, the technology behind the system can turn the content into suitable files and automatically upload them to Apple's iTunes network or connect it to RSS feeds that students, and others, can subscribe to.

Obviously this is destined to increase sales of iPod Videos, but this will once more reduce the time it takes to make screencasts of lectures and allow the unique feel of a live lecture to come through in the recording. And, in any case, the result will be viewable on any computer.

This, coupled with Garageband 3's enhanced podcasting, is moving towards the completion of the lecturer's toolbox, allowing pre-meditated enhanced podcasts and live lectures to be podcast within the hour.

January 22, 2006

My new blog: ScottishDailyPhoto.blogspot.com

If you like the photos from around Scotland that I take and sometimes put up on edu.blogs.com then you may enjoy my new blog: ScottishDailyPhoto.blogspot.com. Every day I will post a photo from wherever I happen to find myself. Would love to hear from you on the comments.

January 19, 2006

Tablet in Port Ellen

85595511_5867945065 Tablet is a Scottish delicacy - the sweetest thing you can eat and not really something you would ever want to share. In Port Ellen they are sharing Tablet of a different kind and documenting their own use of Tablet in the classroom. Except this time it is the innovative and collaborative use of Tablet PCs in a Primary 4/5 classroom. How this has gone on under the scope for such a long time I don't know, but I do think there would be plenty of interesting collaboration between Port Ellen, Will and many others using Tablets in their schools.

About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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