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Archive for the 'Anne Mirtschin' Category


Let’s skype with vegemite!

Posted by murch on 18th June 2008

 At the end of term 2, we experienced an amazing session. It was Friday 13th, in the school library with a combined year 9/10 info class and the grade 3/4s (as  it was too wet to play sport outside). Our principal had just left on a plane for the US, but we beat her there as we had an appointment at 10 am with a school from New England in the USA, at 8pm Thursday 12th.

Skype allowed us to videoconference with exceptional clarity. The audio did not falter on our end and the video was quite clear and had few time delays. A web cam and desktop mic were our means of communication. After 8 weeks or so of connections via shared blog posts and live blogging, our finale was this videoconference of ’show and tell’. A live bird, a New Guinea eclectus parrot, and three baby birds started the show off, followed by vegemite, a meat pie with sauce, a footy, Essendon footy jumper, a netball, webkinz, toy koala, banksia flowers etc. Collaborationnation showed us their dunkin’donuts/drink, baseball cap, basketball top, district flag, Disneyworld souveneir. They explained the origins of their national anthem and sang it to us with gusto. The girls demonstrated cheer leading and jazz ballet steps and chanted mugzy to taste test vegemite from a teaspoon to prove it was a food. We responded with a demonstration of netball and the singing of our national anthem. The responses from students has been resoundingly positive  and they wish to continue on with this style of learning and both countries’ students have begged their teachers for more. However, the US students finish their school year next week and we change semesters. It is certainly to be hoped that we can continue to collaborate next semester with a new group. Read these student posts to see what students feel about our current schooling and the online collaboration in comparison:- Flurogreen, Tawney, Leecie, Lauren, Mugzy The fabulous part about all this collaboration, is that it triggers further research from the initiative of students. Paul Bogush has forwarded on this finding on our infamous vegemite from his students after yesterday’s videoconference. We had promised to send them a tube of vegemite, but now we will have to abstain. However, I have been since informed it was a hoax!!!!

Posted in Anne Mirtschin, Global Projects, flatclassrooms | 1 Comment »

The ePlanks Podcast - on a cyberwave near you!

Posted by Jess on 18th May 2008

This is a cross-post with technoLOTEapril 21 001

The ePlanks podcast is up and running! We have 4 episodes all ready to go for your listening pleasure. ePlanks is a project that I (Jess McCulloch) am working on with Anne Mirtschin. We are trying to lay the ePlanks of the virtual classroom and a Web 2.0 school. We’ve been a bit busy lately with my little iPod and it’s voice recorder -which has become my favourite piece of technology lately!

Episode 1 - We talk to Virginia as she begins her journey as a blogger. We ask her what she thinks of the whole Web 2.0 thing. She’s feeling a bit left behind, but that’s ok - never fear, Jess and Anne are here!

Episode 2 - We found Sandy Phillips from the Victorian Department of Education’s Education Channel and so we sat her down and asked her how Global Teacher got started, which is the blogging campus we have set up many of our students and teachers with for their blogs.

Episode 3 - We (myself, Anne and our greatly treasured librarian, Faye) had a little chat amongst ourselves in the car about blogging as we drove back to Hawkesdale from Melbourne. melbtohdalemap2

We chatted about how we started, some fears and just jumping in and trying it.

Episode 4 - As part of our ePlanks project, Anne and I decided to go and visit Coburg Senior High School, who are not just talking the talk of a 21st century school, but also walking the walk. You will have to listen in for more details of this pretty amazing school.

We are planning many more episodes for ePlanks, so keep an ear open - we are on the cyberwaves!

Click on the player here to listen to our episodes, go straight to our podomatic site, or you can subscribe through iTunes.

Posted in Anne Mirtschin, Blogging, Jess McCulloch, Web 2.0 | 1 Comment »

Laying the ePlanks of a Web 2.0 School

Posted by Jess on 17th May 2008

This is a cross-post with technoLOTE

eplankssmall Anne Mirtschin and I were lucky enough to this year be granted Teacher Professional Leave to develop a project we have called ‘ePlanks - Laying the Foundations of a Web 2.0 School.’ Our aim with this project is to get as many staff using various Web 2.0 tools (such as blogs, wikis, podcasts, social networks and social bookmarking sites) as possible to extend their teaching in a way that suits them.

We have outlined several stages that we think would be important when encouraging staff to jump into the Web 2.0 world. Our eplanks are:

Plank 1 - Understanding what the Web 2.0 World is / means and why you would use it
Plank 2 - CyberSafety
Plank 3 - Digital Media and Copyright
Plank 4 - Creating Your Own Online Space / Creating Online Student Spaces - Blogs and Wikis
Plank 5 - Adding Your Voice / Adding Student Voices- Podcasting
Plank 6 - Joining Networks and Making Connections
Plank 7 - No Walls on this Classroom - mLearning

Plank 8 - Keeping the Learning Going - Web 2.0 PD for Busy Teachers

You can find more details about these steps on the ePlanks wiki.

As part of this project we went to see Will Richardson speak at the SLAV conference on Monday 12th May. Will is a world-renowned leader in the field of Web 2.0 in schools and it was great to hear him speak. The main message I took away from his session was that Web 2.0 is not about the tools, it is about the powerful connections that can be made with those tools. These connections then lead to really powerful learning experiences for our students. These connections can make it possible for you to bring someone into your classroom who knows more about what you are trying to teach than you do - whoever they are and whatever age they are. Comments left on a blog can lead to further conversation and the discovery of more information about what you are trying to teach for example.

Here are the points Anne noted from what Will Richardson said:

  • Students have so many different ways of connecting and learning outside school
  • The more we block (online websites), the less safe we leave our kids
  • We can be so ’scared’ that we do not allow them to do anything.
  • Schools need to prepare students to be ‘googled’ and ‘googled well’
  • Social networking is not all bad. It can be extremely positive. Meg Cabot is a good role model for a fine example of use of myspace.
  • Clarence Fisher does not moderate but teaches students what to do in particular contexts.
  • Students need to learn on demand - they will not be trained or retrained once out in the workforce but they will need to do it independently
  • It is important that we teach students how to use and create hypertexted environments.
  • Students need to build connections to links and need to be  ‘findable’ in order to collaborate
  • Connection is the real power - it gives an authentic audience. Students need to connect with people in many different ways.
  • Need to change personal learning practise and prepare them for the future.
  • Teachers are more important than ever before -
  • Students need teachers as
  • role models
  • for guidance
  • support
  • wisdom
  • their personal experience

    These are all really important points for us to remember as we progress with our project. I especially like that it has been pointed out that teachers are more important than ever before. Hopefully this will motivate some teachers to take a few more risks and at least get up to their knees in the river/ocean that is the world of Web 2.0.

    Look out for plenty more posts about laying the ePlanks - and the ePlanks podcast!

    Technorati Tags: ,,

  • Posted in Anne Mirtschin, Jess McCulloch, Web 2.0 | No Comments »

    My Flat Classroom

    Posted by murch on 12th April 2008

    Lesson Plan for Tue 8th April, 2008

    Topic: Oceana - Australia - our culture, country, school, town, farm

    Length of lesson - 60 minutes

    Class size: 110 students, several staff members!

    Student asking question via skype

    Time of lesson: New Brunswick 8:45am, Australia 9:45pm

    Teachers involved: Jeff Whipple, Chad Ball and other interested Canadian staff; and me, Anne Mirtschin (Australia)

    Venue:

    • Nashwaaksis Middle School / Devon Middle School School District 18 Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada and
    • the study, my home, Hawkesdale, Australia

    Prior learning:

    • existing wiki, with resources set up by Chad Ball, the teacher in New Brunswick
    • questions posed by the students in reply to the message by Chad, posted on the facebook bulletin board.If any of you have a good question for our Australian webguest, please post it here. Add your name, write your question down and bring it tomorrow morning. You may have the chance to ask. See the questions.

    Resources:

    • skype, headphones with microphone,
    •  lots of digital images of Australia put into 4 powerpoint presentations
    • wiki setup with MS Powerpoint presentations, using slideshare to embed them into the wiki.
    • internet access
    • nerves of steel!!

    Lesson Plan:

    Introduction: introduce myself and my country with a map of Australia.

    Lesson: Walk through the slideshares on the wiki, indicating ‘next’ so Chad and his students can be viewing the same slide as me, as I talk to these students about our culture, country, town, school and farm, stopping for questions along the way.

    Conclusion: Question time for staff and students.

    Teaching the New Brunswick students about Australia

    Evaluation:

    Self:  There were many questions which is always a good indication. My voice broke up somewhat but overall skype and the line were okay. We dropped out once but were soon back online again. Such a powerful learning experience that textbooks can never give.

    Jeff: kids loved it…isn’t skype wonderful kids couldn’t stop gabbing about presentation all day…so excited…you are so right about textbooks…primary sources  are as close as our connections to the world…current, authentic.  thanks sooo soooo much…the kids haven’t stopped talking about you, the learning, and your “funny” accent…

    Chad: As it was still pretty early when we came online, the students were all pretty sleepy, but that didn’t stop them from talking about you all day! I would really like to see this communication continue, if you are interested.  How many students have you got?  Maybe we could do some type of e-penpal idea or something of that nature.  I would love to have the kids share some of their teenage lives with each other.

    Part of our ‘de-brief’ when we were done was to review some of the pics and video from your website.  I also had the kids write a few quick notes to you.

    • It was incredible,
      Its just so different from what is normal here. I probably would of never found any of that out if it wasn’t for that presentation!
    • That was soo cool! it was real awesome of the cool things i (and everyone) learned, I think i’m gonna do some research on more later…
    • i really liked the fact that we were actually talking to her. not just in email. i thought all the pictures she showed were pretty sweet. also, i thought it was cool how we are used to different surroundings and habbits.. yes, we dont say put your bookbag in the boot… i still find it awsome, though. i love australia so much! (not to mention thier accents!)
    • I thought that was so cool, for anyone who missed that, I wish that they could have seen it!
    • that was an EXCELENT, presentation. I LOVED IT.
      it was very interesting, and i think that getting to learn chinese
      is a very diffrent thing then what we learn here.
      THANK-YOU SO MUCH. :
    • i dont really understand why they learn chinese… i dont really think that makes much sense
    • Hi Mrs. Mirtshin
      We were just watching you video and we wanted to know what bubble taps were.
    • I really enjoyed seeing and listening to her.
      I learned a lot of new things
    • i loved her accent. when she said RIGHT-O ! hahaha !
    • Hello again..
      I jsut wanted to say thanks again for taking the time to talk to us abotu Australia. It was really interesting and i learned a lot!.
    • it was swet
      her accent was cool, but the conection kept breaking up
      but it was till sweet
    • thanks allot for sharing some of the intersting facts about were your from and for taking the time out of your day!!
    • I thought that it was great! And I love her accent. Plus, we got out of Math!!! It was really fun and I hope we can do it again.
    • Mrs.Mirtschin,
      Thank you very much for taking your time to teach us about where you live. I thought i was really interesting to learn about how different it is from here.
      thanks again !! )
    • Awesome presentation and pics. I’m gonna look up some more stuff on Australia… We should have a field trip there lol it would be fun…
    • Yeah we thoguht the presentation was cool, and the web-cam thing was a really good idea. We both learned lot’s of new things about Austrailia.
    • thank you Mrs. Mirtschin, that was really cool… and i hope that someday i will come to australia, and now that i know a little bit about australia i will be able to understand things there even more.
      for anyone who missed it, it was a very awsome presentation.
      you should have been there.
    • Thank you for teachiing me lots of things that i didnt know about Australia.
      P.S. I LOVE YOUR ACCENT!
    • Thank-you for teaching us stuff… PS. Kangaroos are cute!
    • Thank you for teaching me so much about your home, Australia. I learned a lot of really cool stuff, and I hope that some day I can go there to explore for myself.
    • jsut wanted to say thanks for talking with us today and taking the time to teach us more about australia. hope you have a grate day MATE, or nignt i dont know
    • I that it was to cool that we got to talk to you this morning
      Thank you lots
    • hey mrs. mirtschin
      thanks for teaching us about australia it was fun thanks again
    • Thank you Mrs. Mirtschin for teaching us alot about Australia and what it is like to go to school there and about the farms and the sheep and everything. I enjoyed listening to you talk and asking you questions thank you for your knowledge that you shared with us.
    • thank you i learned stuff that i dident know about befor
    • i really liked the presentation you gave!!! thanks bunches
    • good stuff, cool last name
    • That was really interesting! It was pretty wicked awesome in my words. ) -lh
    • i thought that was a really interesting presentation. i can’t believe you can EAT kangaroo! gross.— emma.
      P.S- her accent is AWESOME. )
    • Lucas: thanks for doing your awesome presentation! ps: i would like to try kangaroo
      Stephen: thank you for taking your time to do that it was great!
    • Thank you very much for your time. I really enjoyed listening to your presentation. I thought it was very interesting and very well done !
    • Thank you so much for staying up late to talk to us. I thougth it was really fun and nice of you. Hopefuly we can do it again sometime!
    • Thank-you so much for staying up late and talking to us about Australia.! I learnt a lot just from that presentation. : ) . It made me want to take a trip to Australia! That would be pretty sweet .! Anyway, THANKS SO MUCHH! : )
    • Thank you for the grate moring here.
      Thank you for geting ous out of the frst 2 class of the day!
    • Thank you!
      I learned a bit from the presentation this mornig!
      I wish I could visit Australia sometime!

    Dont forget to check out Jeff’s version of our flatclassroom.

    Posted in Anne Mirtschin, Global Projects | No Comments »

    The importance of making comments on blogs

    Posted by murch on 3rd April 2008

     ”A comment a day encourages bloggers to have their say.” (A quote from one of my twitter friends.)

    comments on blogs

     When using online tools, the power of leaving comments when viewing other people’s work should not be overlooked. Comments can be made on blogs, podcasts at www.podomatic.com, teacher tube etc and even be added to some vokis and voicethreads.

    I can still remember the excitement, when our classroom blog received its first comment. Someone was actually reading our post on the www.backyard.globalstudent.org.au It read:-

    Your “backyard” is beautiful! Thank you for sharing it with the world. (Lori, California)

    …and the comment was  from overseas!! How absolutely fabulous!! That was it, the posts went up regularly - all students wanted comments, so they knew they had to complete the work, write interestingly and well, add images, if possible, for added impact and there was a need to proofread.

    Here are more reasons on why comment!! (taken primarily from an educational angle)

    • There is an authentic audience that is now tangible. Another memory from early this year, was hearing a simultaneous whoop of delight from my year 9/10 IT elective students when they discovered people were commenting on their posts. Now, that is a sound, we rarely hear in our traditional classrooms!!
    • Comments can be so highly motivating. There is an authentic audience and real people are reading (it is not just for an assessing classroom teacher).
    • They can lead to conversations. Students from the USA made comments on older student blogs asking for feedback on what USA was mentioned. That made my students sit down and think!!
    • Connections are made by replying to the email address that must be shown when commenting.
    • Establishes social networks The most experienced bloggers  maintain good social networks as they email replies to all comments and conversations extending the post to even greater depth and levels.
    • Teaches students and adults cybersafety techniques. Comments on most blogs require approval before they are published online, so students are taught responsibility for diagnosing and filtering appropriate material.
    • It may activate student-led learning. Comments on some student posts have aroused the curiousity of students - the location of the person making the comment, the need to research further a comment on Mt Helen’s volcanic eruption, a question that requires higher order thinking skills etc
    • An increase in personal confidence. People care about the writer and the content of the post. Further dots are appearing on their clustr maps etc. Students want to share their work and here is proof that they are - whether it be another teacher, parent friend or global visitor.
    • Encourages regular posts - which helps increase reading and writing skills
    • May drive the blogger to read the commentator’s blogs and learn about other cultures, ideals, thoughts, geographical areas and learning activities taking place in other schools around the globe.

    Next time, you read a post, even if it is just a short one liner, please make a comment and it will make a big difference to the writer- whether they be experienced or inexperienced.

    Posted in Anne Mirtschin, Blogging | 4 Comments »

    Keeping students cybersafe!

    Posted by murch on 28th March 2008

    As we are pioneers in cyberspace, cybersafety is a concern that is being refined and evaluated all the time - trying to balance transparency with privacy, allowing students some freedom, yet protecting them and ensuring their safety at all times.

    Students complete posts in classtime but many find it so enjoyable, they post at home keeping a running journal, adding multimedia and producing online digital portfolios.

    Here is what we have done in our classrooms this year, in relation to cybersafety:-

    • Watched videos on cybersafety, consulted various online sites (see suggestions) and hold ongoing classroom discussions.
    •  Constantly reinforce the need for safety during class eg no surnames, no addresses/phone numbers and other personal details to be placed online.
    •  Students create their own avatar using MS Paint or use other avatar creating websites  This becomes their personal “photographic ID” for blogging purposes, voicethreads and other online sites. (See the image of a global voicethread below for some of the grade 3/4 avatars.)

    avatars on voicethread

    • Parents sign permission forms agreeing to publish student work online , online photographs, on the condition that no names are attached and group photos to be used where possible.
    • A folder and checked lists are kept to enable us to ensure these conditions are adhered to.
    • A partnership with parents is essential, so an information evening with grades 4-6 parents was held early on in the year, outlining the pedagogy for the use of blogs and other web2.0 tools and outlining cybersafety issues. A “techno corner” article appears weekly in our school and community newsletter.
    • Parents are encouraged to ‘adopt’ a student who may not have the internet at home. This ensures all students may get comments even those whose parents do not have internet access. Again, there are many watchful ‘eyes’ (both parents, staff and community) on our students, to alert us to any impending problems or issues.
    • We have a great staff and many of them voluntarily read student posts and comment on them, including our principal. So students are aware that they are constantly being monitored.
    • I have joint administration rights with my students on their blogs, so comments and posts can be edited if need be and comments and incoming links moderated.
    • Jess McCulloch, our LOTE teacher, a techno savvy person and I are currently applying RSS feeds for each student’s blog to our google readers, so that we are alerted to any new posts that students put up.

    Here are some further activities we will do:

    Further parent info evenings or invite parents to  classes so they can see what their children are doing.
    Add links on our blog sites outlining cybersafety protocol.
    Produce a form for Students to sign in the presence of their parents alerting both parites to correct internet protocol.

    Further interesting reading and links:-

    10 digital rules

     Postcript: It is only when you hear of Al Upton and the possible consequences that it makes you even more aware of trying to keep our students safe and that wonderful tool of blogging intact and ongoing. However, we can never guarantee they will remain 100% safe, but maybe we can give them the skills to cope with the dangers and surprises that may lurk out there

    I would alos like to add this comment from John Pearce a fellow Victorian teacher, who has been a real pioneer with younger students and blogging.

    Hi Anne,

    “Nice list and ideas. Another suggestion we have used is to include a page with a set of rules to all of the student based blogs we set up eg http://leaemibps.globalstudent.org.au/ There is a copy of the rules in Word format at http://johnp.wordpress.com/tutorials/

    On a slightly related tack we also asked our students to consider the issue of copyright by directing them to http://mrpbps.globalstudent.org.au/copyright-4-kids/ and then write a page on their blogs in response. Despite most students composing some reasonable responses to the task, many still were fast and loose with images. :(.”

    Posted in Anne Mirtschin, Blogging, Welfare | No Comments »

    Pedagogy to justify student blogs in Australia

    Posted by murch on 18th March 2008

    The majority of our students have set up their own blog space. A little risque as some of you might ask. After all some are only in years 4,5 and 6 and the even riskier end is year 9 and 10 teenagers. Well, so far so good.

    Some have tried to put images on posts, to give their stamp of personality but this has led me to talk to them about public perception, cultural impact and plagarism. Most students have immediately complied and removed possible offensive material.

    Cyber safety is constantly being addressed and talked about. Most have created their own avatars and are in the process of adding them to their blogs and their comments.

    Much of the time it is student directed learning as they work out what they might need and the image they wish to project. eg Many started creating a personalized header image, using the panoramic option in irfanview.

    Some have added posts for Chinese (mandarin Chinese is our LOTE). The principal and various members of staff have commented on the posts, and comments from overseas are starting to come in. (A clustr map widget exists in edublogs now.)

    A meeting was held with grades 4-6 parents and part of that time was spent outlining our goals with student use of web2.0, including blogging. (See the slideshare below for the content). One parent commented from the floor that her 11 year old boy no longer wanted to play game……the staff who were present held their breath for the next comment……(as there had been rumblings as to the need for any technology at their age)……. but the next comment delighted us all…………..he only wants to blog now!!!!
    Some are using it as journal entries about their daily acitivites with others adding any school work that they are proud of producing.Below is the presentation given to parents, using pedagogy to justify the use of web2.0 and predominantly blogging.

    Posted in Anne Mirtschin, Blogging, Web 2.0 | 3 Comments »

    20 reasons why students should blog

    Posted by murch on 15th March 2008

    Blogging is such powerful learning material and students should blog.

    Why?………………………Here are just 20 reasons 

    This post has been written as a draft for a few days, but I wish to publish it now, in support of @alupton and his wonderful minilegends. (They have been asked to remove their blog by their education department)

    1. It is FUN! Fun!….. I hear your sceptical exclamation!! However, it is wonderful when students think they are having so much fun, they forget that they are actually learning. One of my favourite blog comments is as follows: It’s great when kids get so caught up in things they forget they’re even learning… :)   by jodhiay                                                           
    2. authentic audience - no longer working for a teacherwho  checks and evalutes work but  a potential global audience.
    3. Suits all learning styles - special ed (this student attends special school 3days per weeek, our school 2 days per week, gifted ed, visual students, multi-literacies plus ‘normal‘ students.
    4. Increased motivation for writing - all students are happy to write and complete aspects of the post topic. Many will add to it in their own time.
    5. Increased motivation for reading - my students will happily spend a lot of time browsing through fellow student posts and their global counterparts. Many have linked their friends onto their blogroll for quick access. Many make comments, albeit often in their own sms language.
    6. Improved confidence levels - a lot of this comes through comments and global dots on their cluster maps. Students can share their strengths and upload areas of interest or units of work eg personal digital photography, their pets, hobbies etc Staff are given an often rare insight into what some students are good at. We find talents that were otherwise unknown and it allows us to work on those strengths. It allows staff to often gain insight to how students are feeling and thinking.
    7. Pride in their work - My experience is that students want their blogs to look good in both terms of presentation and content. (Sample of a year 10 boy’s work)
    8. Blogs allow text, multimedia, widgets, audio and images - all items that digital natives want to use
    9. Increased proofreading and validation skills
    10. Improved awareness of possible dangers that may confront them in the real world, whilst in a sheltered classroom environment
    11. Ability to share - part of the conceptual revolution that we are entering. They can share with each other, staff, their parents, the community, and the globe.
    12. Mutual learning between students and staff and students.
    13. Parents with internet access can view their child’s work and writings - an important element in the parent partnership with the classroom. Grandparents from England have made comments on student posts. Parents have ‘adopted’ students who do not have internet access and ensured they have comments.
    14. Blogs may be used for digital portfolios and all the benefits this entails
    15. Work is permanently stored, easily accessed and valuable comparisons can be made over time for assessment and evaluation purposes
    16. Students are digital natives - blogging is a natural element of this.
    17. Gives students a chance  to show responsibility and trustworthiness and engenders independence.
    18. Prepares students for digital citizenship as they learn cybersafety and netiquette
    19. Fosters peer to peer mentoring. Students are happy to share, learn from and teach their peers (and this, often not their usual social groups)
    20. Allows student led professional development and one more……
    21. Students set the topics for posts - leads to deeper thinking activities

    This is surely powerful learning!!

    Posted in Anne Mirtschin | 4 Comments »

    Weaving eWays with Web 2.0

    Posted by murch on 27th February 2008

    I was amazed (but thought it was great) to read Lori’s article on the top LHS of http://www.dailywriting.net/Wild%20Gardeners%20eLearning/Advent2007_Day1_WildGarden.html and to see that although Lori had been using web 2.0 for18 months it was only recently she realised that is the name given to her e-uses. I had assumed she had been there for yonks and that I would never, ever get to the stage she was at.

    At the end of last year, I heard the word web 2.0 but due to the crazy time it is when school finishes, I put it to the back of my mind. After all, I had to cope with MS Access and Dreamweaver - the software types for the new year 12 ITA course. However, in May, an email came to me from our Moyne Cluster co-ordinator to ask whether we were into web 2.0 yet as web 3.0 would soon be here. At that stage I did not even know if I knew about web 1.0. However, I attended the ICTEV conference in May and decided to join up for all the possible sessions that even vaguely mentioned the word ‘web 2.0′.

    Absolutely fascinated with what I heard, saw and witnessed, I was then ‘hooked’ and determined to learn more. At the same time a rich picture case studies grant was being offered by the Victorian Education Department. I decided to apply and to my surprise was a successful applicant. This grant allowed us to work on developing enhanced podcasts with grade 6, using as much web 2.0 along the way.

    So, I immediately set up a del.icio.us account and soon got my students to do so as well. I have so many favourite websites that were bookmarked on my computer at home but this allowed my to bookmark them online. Not only that, but I could search for some great other web 2.0 sites, network with others who have similar interests and also share their sites and these are available to me anywhere there is the internet. I shall write more about this fabulous site but it gave me some insights into web 2.0 and how it could be used. It was easy to set up and easy to use. Further down the track Heather Blakey came to our school with her storyteller and Magic Garden and that set us off on blogging. I am not a writer, nor an artist but I love learning and encouraging others to learn so I have used blogging extensively now and google fed into other people’s blogs who are as mad on web 2.0 as I am. Our backyard blog is the result of Heather’s great work.

    So, 6 months later, after a lot of hard work, wanting to have everything perfect all at once, including content and presentation, but still not even anywhere near that stage, I feel I have learnt so much, been re-energized, made a lot of global friends , many of whom I only know by their cyber names, and still wanting to learn much more. This is why I think the adventure calendar is so great ……………. and of course I have bookmarked that in delicious!

    Anne Mirtschin

    Posted in Anne Mirtschin, Web 2.0 | 1 Comment »

    Who is e-looking?!!!

    Posted by murch on 27th February 2008

    I teach in a relatively small p12 school at Hawkesdale. This small rural town is 30 minutes drive to the nearest large shopping centre of Warrnambool, so at times we work very independently and to a certain degree, in isolation as it is expensive now to drive to Melbourne (3 hours away) for PD activities and meetings that so many of our city peers take for granted.

    However, blogging has opened up a whole new world for us. Our students have talked about their backyards, eagerly gone home and taken digital images or else scanned them and converted them to jpg files. Their blogs have been published. Kind people have actually made comments on their blogs which means that students have a real and authentic audience. These young digital natives are then encouraged to write and express themselves and explore further some of the comments made.

    So, it is with a bit of fun that we have added a widget to our sites from clustrmaps. Once a user name and password is registered, together with an email address, a code is issued that is unique to that url or blogsite that you wish to use the world map on. So, once your email is activated, you goto clustrmaps again, obtain the code and paste it into one of your text widgets. Each time someone hits your blog site a red flag comes up in the reader’s country of origin. Our students love that because they can see that people in an increasing number of countries are actually looking at our backyard site.

    Another fun widget might be a clock. An updated clock of your own choice at www.clocklink.com will keep your time and allow international guests know what the time is in your country. A code is again copied and pasted into another text widget and hey presto, you have a clock. I have only just got to experiment with widgets and will continue to do so. They are fun and add extra information or pizzaz to your site.

    Anne Mirtschin

    Posted in Anne Mirtschin, Web 2.0 | No Comments »