Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A request for help


Hi all

I am currently undertaking research looking at the question:

In what ways does podcasting enhance oral literacies?

I have been gathering data in my own context but I would love to hear what other teachers have found when using podcasting in their classroom programme and add voices from further a field into my final write up.

I am intersted in authenticity:

  • Audience
  • Context
  • Purpose
  • Self confidence

If you could provide an example of your students demonstrating any of these things I would love to hear about it and incorporate it into my study.  Please leave me a comment on this blog including the country that you are commenting from.

Please could you include this request on your blogs with a link to this post, I would love to get as much information as possible.  It will be great to have a piece of research that says - This is worthwhile doing, and this is why.


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Saturday, May 26, 2007

Action Packed Classrooms

What do a bunch of dedicated teachers do on a Saturday in Dunedin?

Spend the day moving and grooving with Cathie Summerford of Fit 4 Learning! What else!

We were privileged to have Cathie Summerford come to Dunedin all the way from her home in sunny California to take us through the amazing power of combining physical activity and learning. I first attended a full day workshop with Cathie at the Learning Brain Conference on the Sunshine Coast (QLD) last year and we were so blown away by her message that we had to bring her out to New Zealand to talk to our teachers.

Cathie demonstrates powerfully the link between movement and learning and cites some persuasive research about how increasing movement in the classroom can help not only to engage students but to grow brain neurons too. One piece of research Cathie mentioned was the finding that voluntary exercise can even reverse some of the negative effects that bad diet can have on learning.

We learnt how to juggle for success and how to incorporate movement into everyday lessons to enhance learning. One participant said to me, "this is great, it's not another thing we need to do on top of our heavy workload but a way to do things better."

If you ever get a chance to go to one of Cathie's workshops, they are well worth while. As you can see from our photos, we moved and grooved all day and enjoyed every minute of it. Everyone was buzzing with great practical ideas that they could put into their classrooms the very next day.

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Thursday, May 24, 2007

Adventures in Podcasting Part Two

In this episode I will talk about different types of podcasts. Podcasts for fun, instruction, professional development and student learning.

Podcasts mentioned in this presentation are:

Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2007

iPlayMusic - Learn Guitar the Quick, Simple and Easy Way

TILT - Teachers Improving Learning with Technology

small voices

Room5's podcast

Welcome to Pt England School

nzedublogs » home

allanah » People Who Podcast

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Adventures in Podcasting Part One

Time4 Online Conference

The Time4 Online NZ virtual conference runs from 28th May to the 8th June, 2007. I will be presenting on Podcasting in the Online Publishing With Audio and Visual Tools section of the programme. This is part one of my presentation looking at the importance of Oral Language instruction in the classroom and some of the research around this. The presentation also gives a general outline of what podcasting is.

Links referred to in this podcast are:

TKI - Assessment: Exemplars: English: Oral Language

Special Delivery 1: What is Podcasting? | Ask A Ninja

MCM Report FINAL.qxd

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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Who's been sitting in my chair?

Last night I went on a walk through Second Life (see my last post) and spent some time looking around David Warlick's office but I made a little mistake. I sat down on a comfortable looking chair in his office...

Well, I got distracted in RL, so I clicked to quit out of SL. The next morning I realised I hadn't left David's office before quitting. I quickly logged in to get out of the chair and walk outside and who should be standing in front of me but a confused David. I apologised for being in his office and he told me that he hadn't noticed me come in (which I hadn't as I had just appeared). We then proceeded to have an interesting albeit brief conversation about the glass walls in SL and learning how to live in a world without secrets or locks.

It is quite difficult constructing a code of conduct for a new world. This makes me think of our students walking into our schools and classrooms. For many of these students it is a new world with new rules that they neither know nor understand.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Wandering around in Second LIfe

Well, It is strange this new world!  But I am really enjoying it :-).  I have just taken a walk around Steve Dembo's office in Second Life and then ambled over to Will Richardson and David Warlick's offices.  While in David's office I took a look through his filing cabinets and read some of the files he has there.

It is a strange new world.  For these educators it is past 2am in the morning, for me it is 7:30 at night and I'm walking through their offices.  There is a whole new etiquette to learn.  Is it okay to walk into people's houses?  Is this a new type of society where everything is open and nothing is private?  No one has any secrets and there is no way to steal or vandalise or otherwise upset the utopia that is EduIsland? 

I have already had many conversations with Educators in Second Life that have been stimulating and enlightening.  It is like IM on steroids :-).  There is something more personal about talking to someone when they have a body and a sense of style.  I have started a lot of conversations with, "I like that dress, where did you get it?" :-).  It is really exciting seeing where this Web 2 is taking us, whatever next?

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I have found a new tool for podcasting (audio only) which I tried out and it works really well.  It is called the levelator.

The Levelator 1.1.0 Screen Shot

GigaVox Media, Inc. » The Levelator™

This tool is a free download for both Mac and PC.  What it does is it levels out the volume of voices on the podcast, so if you have two or more people speaking on the podcast it will match their volumes.  (I just love the name!!!  Hi, I'm the levelator {spoken with Arnold Swartzenegger's voice}).  It works on aiff and wav files and it is just a matter of dragging your file onto the application and it does all the work for you.  Pretty cool. 

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

10 Years to save the planet

Our cluster will be embarking on a cross cluster inquiry next term and the topic is "10 Years to Save the Planet".  This is based on an article we read in the Otago Daily Times on global warming and the pressures the Earth is facing.  Reading Derek's Blog today, I came across this:Zerofootprint: Footprint Calculator

I went through the questions to see what sort of damage my lifestyle was doing to our planet and it was a bit of an eye opener.  We take it all for granted and this is a good way to show the students in our classes that there are things we can do to make it better for everyone.  Unfortunately NZ isn't one of the countries listed but you can compare your footprint to the Average Australian as our closest neighbour.

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Saturday, May 12, 2007

2007 Web2 Awards

Read this on Derek's Blog today. If you are interested in Web 2 technologies and want to see what is out there, this is a great site to get started with (click on the image to go to the site). There are over 200 Web 2 tools put into 41 categories. The growth of Web 2 truly is amazing. I began looking at this stuff just over a year ago, made a podcast, put together a wiki and a blog page, thought I was doing well. Now there is just way too much to choose from to not be using this in your classrooms!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Hero in the Hallway!

I found this video on the Cool Cat Teacher blog. She stated that it gave her goosebumps, it made me want to cry. If you are coping with bullying in your classroom or teaching about bullying prevention, this would be a great discussion and action starter.

South Park Mac vs. PC

I'm not normally a watcher of South Park but I couldn't resist this clip. This is for Vicki who thinks I am too much of a Mac Freak.
(There is nothing offensive in this clip)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Graffiti Creator

I was just reading Naketa's Blog and found this:


I came across this really cool website Graffiti Creator yesterday while I was designing t-shirts for a friend of mine. My usual awesome t-shirt designer was busy so I had to track down some way of creating a cool Graffiti logo. Graffiti Creator lets you play with a template (you type your own word) and add effects and colour! What a cool online tool!

I immediately had to have a play.  I have a group of yr 6 boys who would think this tool was the best thing ever!  I can see when I show it to them that I will have this as the main heading for all of their presentation work instead of the boring word art I seem to get all the time now!  Thanks Naketa.

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Will you be a hero in the hallway?

Steve Dembo has a video on his blog about bullying prevention called Will you be a hero in the hallway. This is a powerful video. If you have problems with bullying in your school or want a good discussion and action starter for a unit on bullying in your classroom then this is the video for you. The Cool Cat Teacher blog said it gave her goosebumps, well, it made me want to cry. This is a powerful video and demonstrates the power of giving students voice. Check it out. (For some reason I couldn't embed the You Tube video on my blog today so head over to Steve's blog to see the video)

Friday, May 04, 2007

Gosh Mum, go look it up on the internet!

Gotta share this.

Tonight I was watching "Happy Feet" with my kids.  I realised that it was a story about a society that valued singing and a society that valued dancing.  I paused the video and asked my 14 year old son what his society valued.  He cried at me in an exasperated voice, "Gosh mum, go look it up on the internet.".  Gee, I have to talk to my son via the internet now.


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