26 posts categorized "Web 1.0"

July 30, 2006

Weatherbug video community

Screenshot_21_2 Steve Rubel pointed me to Weatherbug's video site. It's not got RSS or tags, but it has got personal videos submitted from the community to show weather from around the world. The extreme weather shots will be great for geographers out there.

June 13, 2006

Modern Language in the Primary School - Quick Ideas

As well as writing to the web you can, of course, use existing resources to great effect to learn a language. There are the amazing free audio podcasts you can get to learn any language under the sun, simply by searching for it in the iTunes Podcast Directory or using the words "French podcast" in Google, for example. But the following are some tried and tested ideas:

All languages

French

German

May 18, 2006

Edinburgh going wireless

Edinburgh is one of twelve UK cities, the only one in Scotland, to be part of British Telecom's wireless cities trial. So from 2007 I will be able to blog from Princes Street Gardens while Morgane does her shopping...

This is such good news, although I hope that the rundown areas of Edinburgh get it, too. This could be a great way to break down the digital divide and allow us to give web-based homework safe in the knowledge that the access is provided. I just wonder whether we'll see many more smaller towns investing in wifi points themselves. It's the rural, remote communities, after all, that have most to benefit from this.

April 25, 2006

The MorayCast - and introduction to ICT for modern languages

The cool cats at Moray House School of Education, Edinburgh Uni, have been learning this morning about lots of technology. I started out by putting the teacher in his or her place, the place I believe we should be: the guide on the side. I am grateful to AJ for his two writings which set the scene:

The Coach's Role

"Like a coach, the teacher has a limited role. The coach cant play in the games. The coach doesnt do the workouts. When it comes down to it... its always the players who do the sweating, the intense training, the defending, the scoring.

The coach is a strategist and a motivator. He gives the players a practice plan and a game plan. He (or She) strives to build the players' confidence... to urge them on to greater and greater efforts."

Intuition versus Analysis

"Ive been living in San Francisco for about five months now. Last year I lived in Bangkok, but I was ready for a change so I decided to come here and give it a try".

Imagine the above is a quote from a native speaker. Now imagine you ask that speaker, "why did you say 'have been living' instead of 'live'? Imagine you ask them, "Why didnt you say 'I have lived'.... "Why did you use the past tense in the second sentence?"

Unless they are English teachers, most will hesitate and struggle to give a clear, rational explanation. Why? Because native speakers are masters of Understanding & Using the language... not analyzing it "logically". Native speakers have what Krashen calls a "feeling for grammaticality". Native speakers operate on "feel", "intuition". Native speakers detect errors not through formulas or complicated analysis.. rather, most will tell you "it just doesn't sound right".

Having set the tone, here are some of the tools we discovered today:-

  • Quia,
  • HotPots,
  • PowerPoint: These three tools, it was suggested, were not really achieving the Teacher as Coach model we would like to attain. But if students were making up the games, not teachers, then we would be getting closer. This led me to...
  • GameMaker This is what Steve has been using - or rather Steve's students have been using - to create games to help their peers learn. Great potential as the games produced match those that the students are playing on their PSPs at home.
  • Garageband for Mac to make podcasts, Audacity for Mac and PC (and LAME, of course, to convert the Audacity file into an MP3), Garageband 3.0's free music (including the sheep bah),
  • Radiolover (for Mac) or LiveMedia (for PC) to record any sound playing on your computer (such as .amr audio files transferred by Bluetooth from a Mobile Phone). I normally use AudioHijack (for Mac) for this, with its 10 minute limit for recording on the free version. But Radiolover has a 30 minute limit and LiveMedia, for the PC, is limitless in the time it can record. Great for recording radio programmes from online sources, too.
  • Google as a concordancer (le podcast or la podcast - the number of results show you),
  • World of Warcraft,
  • Digital video and animation work taking place over at PiE.
  • Flickr and, right now,
  • blogging. You can read some Scottish Education blogs at scotedublogs.wikispaces.com.
  • Oh, and that means we also took a look at students becoming experts by creating articles in Wikipedia or collaborating using free wiki spaces such as wikispaces.com.

Here is the podcast we've just made in 30 minutes featuring the silky tones of Olivier and Charlie. Charlie speaks Spanish and explains how she would organise a class to do a podcasting activity. She's spot on. I didn't even know that Olivier didn't speak Spanish. Hats off!

Download moraycast.mp3

If any of the students present (or not!) have questions, points to make, concerns, or - best of all - ideas about how they might use some of this in their projects, units or next placement, please do share with us here. It was a joy to work with such a nice bunch this morning. Thanks.

March 09, 2006

The back up of all time or a shrewd ROI?

After writing about Google's plan to store all your information if you want it to today's Guardian confirms what edu.blogs.com readers have known for a few days:

"Google reckons it should be able to "store 100% of user data", which means "all user files, including: emails, web history, pictures, bookmarks, etc and make it accessible from anywhere (any device, any platform, etc)"

This is not only cool for those of us who lose information, such as blog posts ;-), but also a cunning Return on Investment (ROI) by Google, if they pull off this future service. Ben comes in with a cautionary comment on using this kind of high-powered technology in education, because of who owns that technology:

"Get ready to make the Backup Of All Time!"

Hell no! If they're going to be indexing my personal content and using it for advertising analysis, as we know they will be, they'd better make it worth my while. And anyone thinking of using this in education should think again - what are Google doing with student personal data? Their approach may be one to learn from, but not to actually use.

I often wonder about the pay-off for having powerful tools such as Google. We are happy to use its search capacities, with every search contributing to market research into how they can improve their service further. Many educators are also happy to run their blogs on Blogger (and get their students doing so, too, now that Will, via Steve, has revealed the secret to getting rid of that pesky and potentially damaging 'Next Blog' link). Running a blog on Google's Blogger entails a certain amount of information sharing.

What's the difference here? More information? Better information? If it all helps Google develop more powerful tools that benefit us and our students in the long term is this a price worth paying?

March 05, 2006

You want a copy of everything I've ever done? It's on my GDrive

From ZDNet comes the news that seemed likely. If you've ever owned a GMail account you'll know the bliss of never having to throw out an email to save space. That 2GB of space is about half my old Dell laptop had in total.

Well, if you've read things like Hammersley's Hacking Gmail you'll also have had the idea of linking together limitless Gmail accounts to create an online storage system for everything you've got.

Google have now hinted through some leaked PowerPoint slides that GDrive, a bona fide way to use Google's power to store everything you've ever owned in the world of 'e' with unlimited memory space, is not that far away. Get ready to make the Backup Of All Time!

About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is a teacher, speaker and investor, regarded as one of Europe’s foremost experts in digital media for public services.

His company, NoTosh Limited, invests in tech startups and film on behalf of public and private investors, works with those companies to build their creative businesses, and takes the lessons learnt from the way these people work back into schools and universities across the world.

Ewan’s education keynotes & MasterClasses

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Do you worry that your school or district could better harness its people, digital technology or physical space? Do you want some actionable inspiration, a mentor for a learning journey with your staff?

In a keynote or masterclass we can give them concrete ideas based on experience, enthusiasm fired by a vision of what can be, and backup before and after to make it happen for them.

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