43 posts categorized "Tags"

November 04, 2006

Language Shows Hot Links

289491832_7052e34c34 I've spent the past three days between London, Edinburgh and Stirling at various language shows and conferences, sharing my ideas and examples from around Scotland with those who've not yet discovered some of the social media tools that can bring languages alive. This post will give some of the links mentioned as well as a screencast of a previous conference which covers some of the ground:

October 31, 2006

Introduction to new technologies for student teachers

Screenshot The video/audio of the lecture David and I delivered at Jordanhill, the Education Faculty at the Uni of Strathclyde, is up and his post reveals how we managed the feedback of students. It was nice to meet some of the students afterwards and see how different technologies got different people so excited. I can't wait to see what happens with this group as they head into the world of the classroom.

David's got some of the things we used on a special del.icio.us page that the students (and you) can use to see what we were talking about for yourself. I'm going to forward more of the ones we mentioned there over the next few days to populate it a bit better.

October 12, 2006

Community required – please enquire within

I’ve just been in Liverpool for the first time ever and had an absolute blast. Next time I have to spend more than 14 hours there. Last night I got in at about ten, before heading out with my sis-in-law, Gaelle, to do the Liverpool-in-an-hour thing. Straight off to Mathew Street and the home of the Beatles, down to the Cavern Pub where a superb if slightly David Brentesque rock band strutted their stuff.

Photo_5 Joe Dale managed to find us and brought my two new Live Web chums, Steph (pictured right marvelling my mini MacBook Pro webcam) and Alex (just pictured being Alex, below). These are two languages teachers from dan saff who are beginning to release the potential of new technologies for their students and, importantly, their colleagues.

Steph was on good form and revealed her podcast toolkit which is due for release in November. The idea is that with the tools and advice in one place anyone can get into podcasting with their Modern Languages class. Another attempt to bring things together under one roof which might just convince some of those lagging to get into gear.

Photo_7 Mr McIntosh Goes To School – the naked conversation
Joe and I eventually delivered our own ‘naked conversation’ to the delegates, in my latest mishmash of principles for Live Web teaching and learning – I’ve managed to get it down from 10 to 3. I enjoyed the challenges of keeping to the clock, keeping to the line of enquiry in the presentation and having a proper conversation with Joe in front of the crowd. He was able to play devil’s advocate and make me s-l-o-w down to explain some of the points the audience might have needed expanding. The result was smiles and gushes – and hopefully some new teaching and learning in the coming months.

Community is so important
What has become apparent, though, in putting together this presentation is how much less of a community exists in England and Wales. Those pioneering are not finding their soul mates as quickly as I did in my journey north of the border. Is this down to the size of Scotland or is there something deeper, lying in the sheer weight of the national curriculum with its high stakes testing.

Another aspect I’ve found interesting is the blatant enthusiasm from these language college teachers countered by a strong feeling that school management will just not “get it” and block it all. There are two things here I would suggest.

First – do it, try things out, play and find the holes that need filling before the management do (that might mean not telling them, although its best to get their support from the start in case things do go awry).

Second – get hold of some of the videos on the East Lothian Glow page. The one, two, three videos from the Head of Education there, Don Ledingham, will provide ample targeted ammunition to speak on their terms with their interests at heart, with a horse’s mouth who is there doing it now.

The links for the talk can be found in a post I made a day or so ago.

October 11, 2006

SSAT Liverpool: Modern Languages and Social Media introduction

Tomorrow I am speaking at the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust annual conference in Liverpool. If there had been internet freely available things would be a lot easier (I've never taken so many screen dumps in my life) but the following links will at least give those present the chance to play around when they get home.

  • The edublogscom wiki holds some of the modern languages related blog, podcast and wiki examples from North and South of the border which were used to explain the current varied uses for social media in the classroom. Thanks to Joe Dale for sourcing some English examples.
  • The MFLE carries god information on getting started with new technologies in MFL. Take a look under the Creative Teaching section. Currently, a lot of the support offered on the forums and the free blogs we give to teachers on Typepad.com, which enables easy podcasting, are only for Scottish teachers due to the nature of Glow, the national intranet.
  • For very easy web-based podcast creation, file storage and publication nip over to Odeo.com.
  • CommunityWalk.com is great for getting students to use what they have done on school trips and share it with other learners. Take a look at Ewan's photo tour of Paris (well, the Eiffel Tower at least) and the video examples from this year's SETT Learning Festival.
  • If you use Flickr.com to share your photos as a class you can add them to a map within Flickr. Some cities, though, appear less well here than in Google Maps / Google Earth / CommunityWalk.com. The wadvantage with Flickr is that students can label photos with their own notes: see an arty example from the LTS Flickr pages.
  • For geotagging photos and linking them into a "fly-in" on Google Earth the links I made for these Highland teachers will be of use.

There will almost certainly be other links I post in coming days in follow-up to questions or requests. Likewise, leave a comment here if you think I'm missing things out that MFL teachers might appreciate knowing.

August 30, 2006

Getting Dynamic

  Our Dynamic Earth 
  Originally uploaded by beck_cox.

The past two days have been really energising (read: busy) working on the beginnings of two very different and very large projects. One of them kicked off with a meeting at East Lothian HQ with Dr Krista McKinzey, who is coordinating a new Scottish Executive partnership between the outreach services of the superb Our Dynamic Earth (pictured) and the Scottish Seabird Centre at North Berwick. Also offering an interesting insight, and confirming that new technologies and marketing are insatiable bed-buddies, was Lynda Dalgleish from the Seabird Centre.

Both places have been school visit fodder for many years now, have pretty and well-visited (and one-way) websites. Their education services are second-to-none for those who choose to visit the centres. However, Krista and Lynda have both seen the power of new technologies from what is going on in East Lothian and want to make that educational opportunity spread beyond their doors and into classrooms wherever they are.

The best route I felt was to couple their existing web presences with something more sociable. If I want to know what the Seabird Centre is really like I don't want to speak to a tourist guide half as much as I want to speak to one of the wardens who looks after the birds on a daily basis. I want to see the photos from his mobile phone camera the minute a basking shark passes by. Better still, if I'm taking a group of kids there I want them to be able to contribute to a corpus of 'expert' work with their photos and audio recordings. It's Sonic Postcards, blogging and podcasting stirred and set to bake...

The possiblities then became apparent as I Flickrd the simple basking shark example live onto the web for Krista and Lynda: they have existing partnerships with nature reserves and science museums all over the world. This would not only provide a means of sharing information but would allow them to become the brokers in inter-school linkups on themes.

"Wouldn't it be great to chart basking sharks as they move from the north of Scotland down to the warmer waters?" Well, with a Technorati watchlist that's exactly what we did, from Shetland to Cornwall via the Isle of Skye, over a period of a couple of months of blog posts (just flick back three or four pages). For the Seabird Centre, which links up with other organisations to track nature and environmental issues, this is a simple way of tracking information as it, quite literally, moves around the planet.

We're going to help Our Dynamic Earth and the Seabird Centre to try these things out with real live kids before coming to a conclusion on just how much more beneficial this is, but I, for one, am really looking forward to learning lots myself.

Update 1: Wes reports on a nature deficit disorder mentioned in Edutopia - are nature and technology imcompatible?

Update 2: TES article on a great use of mobile phones in an art gallery setting.

August 03, 2006

WidgetBox - dynamic dynamic content

I had a meeting today with John Connell, Director of the Scottish Schools Digital Network, and very quickly got on to RSS capabilities for drawing in and maintaining audience, much in the same way as we have done with the MFLE when we introduced the podcast and blog; it was as much to have a feed and pull in punters as to provide regular good content.

Widgetbox4 Well, on my return I have found this waiting for me from Marc Canter. Widgetbox is a new proposal for making widgets, already quite dynamic, doubly dynamic. How? By leaving a special tag in your blog post the widgets will respond by bringing in RSS information (photos, stock info, news, gossip, blog posts) from other related posts and displaying it in a pretty sidebar box. It's a bit like Google Ads in the way that they are able to propose things that you seem to be wanting when you run a search.

As I've been taking a look at how web services in East Lothian could be made more accessible, providing more information but taking less time to peruse, this seems like a dream come true. A student in Dunbar writes about US foreign policy in their blog and tags appropriately, automatically providing the reader with up-to-date news feeds, photos and opinion to set the picture (and also provide more research sources for the student).

The technology is just in alpha and comes with a health warning, but I can't wait to see how this comes through.

January 13, 2006

The power of Technorati - ONE second ago

Miguel has posted about last night's show - ONE SECOND AGO. How can Technorati search blogs so quickly?!


December 13, 2005


Now that Yahoo have acquired del.icio.us, Flickr and have their own blogs service will Yahoo become my number search engine? Let's face it: they're going to have tags down to a fine art pretty soon, and quicker than anyone else.

December 07, 2005

Yahoo Mindset: intelligent searching

YahoomindsetAt Les Blogs I heard one of the Yahoo CEOs talking about the rather cool Yahoo Mindset. What is does is search for pages. So far so good. But it offers the chance for users to choose if they want more commercial, shopping type results or if they want to get the results for a school project. The latter search means that a search on Harry Potter need not be filled with ads for stuffed puppets, but instead a wealth of information and interactive games.

I hope they get it out of beta soon and this becomes a mainstream searching tool for kids in school.


December 06, 2005

Riya: Flickr with face recognition

Newtara_1My new best friend, Tara Hunt, who I met yesterday through the IRC suring my session at Les Blogs, is working the coolest project I have ever seen (for the moment, anyway). It's a photo bank, like Flickr, except when you search for someone by name it looks for faces that ressemble that person, meaning that bad tagging will never get in the way of finding the perfect photo. It's called Riya and is in "So Alpha It Hurts" stage. But when this hits the market it's going to be big, I'm just sure of it.

Tara also has a cool blog - HorsePigCow which I'll be tuning into lots over the next wee while.

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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