Sunday, June 25, 2006

Open, Networked and Hands On - Fostering Student Creativity

Reflecting on why I teach and where the value is for students, a constant in my day-to-day work is the process of change itself. I'm working in a continuous state of change. Each day is a flux of:
  • New information.
  • New technologies.
  • New people within my network.
  • New thoughts…

The continual flow of ideas from multiple sources affects the decisions I make and my actions in my workplace. What enables me to cope and adapt to the change is my own creativity and learning from the ingenuity and knowledge of the people in my networks such as TALO.

In education to acknowledge the process of rapid change as a reality of working life and necessity to remain competitive in the workplace now puts the emphasis on the process of fostering student creativity in all aspects of education.

Fostering student creativity

Ken Robinson in his recent funny and inspiring speech on education states ‘Creativity is having original ideas which are off value.’

I have been thinking about this for some time and agree with his key point ‘In Education Creativity as important as literacy’.

In my educational role the value is in facilitating, enabling and supporting teachers and students for the networked working world, to enable them to

  • Be creative with the technology they use in day to day work and life i.e. Mobiles, Skype, Blogs…
  • To participate communicate and work within networks, organization networks, class networks open networks on net.
  • To be aware of change at a given point in time find and act on information from multiple internet sources then use this to achieve their goals.

In the past my role as an educational technologist was to sit at the computer, focus on

  • Web development.
  • Creating resources.
  • Administering an Learning Management System,

The value in the resources to be consumed within closed systems and less on what actually goes on with students in the classroom.

Working with students

THED_Jeanne interviews her students following task
Recently I worked with Jeanne McRae (Tourism and Hospitality) and her students. They had to organize an event management task, a car wash at the TAFE Wollongong campus. The students where given some technology a mp3 recorder (ipod) to interview each other and digital camera to take pictures and video with basic instructions.

The outcomes:

  • The students themselves created a resource about event management.
  • The students loved using technology where comfortable with recording and interviewing each other.
  • The students helped each other clarify and discuss their own learning outcomes during the recording process.
  • The photos and audio can be used as part of assessment portfolio.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Creating comics with SecondLife & ComicLife

Creating comics with Secondlife & Comiclife

If you're wanting something new & fun to explore check out Second life (SL), it's fantastic...(once you get your account). Through my avatar, 'sparker Wollongong' :-) I've been hooking up with my Irish friends back home & inspiring work colleague JoKay at her frozen retreat. I've been flying around 3d virtual worlds where all manner off human activity is happening, including education.

There are many educational possiblilties to utilise secondlife (SL), where to start! It is exciting to explore by fully immersiving oneself into the 3d world to learn as much as I can via Secondlife campus, Second life - How to wiki, Second life education wiki.

SL can be used in conjunction with other programmes, for instance I have also been experimenting with a gem of a programme I've come across called ComicLife (CL) can download a demo... it's not free but well worth the educational price. By first using SL to take the screenshots for the background of each comic scene, I have then created an instructional comic using ComicLife (CL).

In SL it's really easy to control camera angle of your view of the world and take screenshot's (saved as .png). In CL it's really quick and easy to create comic strips, choose your comic panel layout, drag your screenshots in, add caption with that cool comic type, voila! ... a flashy SL comic. You can even use ComicLife with photos.

Try SecondLife and ComicLife, with the richness of SL environments and engaging educational possibillties are apparent, the imagination is limitless for ways they can be applied in the classroom environment, some possibilities are....
  • Create narrative/ learning resources with SL screenshots
  • SL and CL together, storyboarding videos or SL movies (machinima)...
  • In the classroom students take photos as part of a room task, put them into CL, create a comicstrip , they then have to plan stages of activity and how to communicate, great resource for all...
  • Take it to the next stage you could upload your comic strip to Bubbleshare and bring in audio of the comic dialogue...
The Tourism & Hospitality NetworkED (THED) group is exploring animation. We've been looking at DFILM, Check this out from Tony a NZ bakery teacher. I will be exploring with the THED network using SL and CL as another great option for developing engaging hospitality resources... Great stuff!!!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

David Pollard's Social Networking Landscape

Today I was online for the Flexible Learning Social Software Conference, one of the presentations was about defining 'What is Web2.0' and 'What are the differences between Web1.0 and Web2.0'. From a site referenced during the presentation I found a link to 'David Pollard's Social Networking Map' and have just re-visited it. David writes:

"I've been trying to define the boundaries of Social Networking, rather than simply (and less usefully) trying to define the term. The best way I found to do so is to list the various functionalities (applications) of Social Software by objective, rather than listing the tools themselves by type of content"

For those of us who will be explaining the multiple facets of web2.0, what social networking means and why we should care I think it's a gem of a resource to reference. Check it out...

Monday, June 05, 2006


joshuarrrocks said...

'posting stuff about anemels is cool and rily fun.'

A quick insight into what happens when you show kids, in this case an eleven year old how to use blogger... he was up and running in 30mins!

What does an eleven year old blog about:

He was full of enthusiasm, so much that once his blog was published online he continued on by drawing up his own plans for the future of his blog (no prompting needed), which involves taking video and pictures for his school projects, ' do stuff with friends, show them my favorite games and stuff..'

By the end of the day he had not only shown his brothers how to set up a blog, but also his father!!

When shown how to link to his favourite stuff and put it on the internet he thought it was 'sick'. So do I :-) Joshua was enthusiastic about showing his blog to his teacher, to see if he could get the class blogging...will wait and see the feedback soon.

Joshua RRRocks!!!