Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Swedish blogosphere: kulturblog from the Book fair

Tomorrow opens the Swedish Bokmässan (Book fair) in Göteborg. A sign of the time is that a team of journliastbloggers are getting paid (apparently sponsored by the giant publisher, Bonniers, as well as the daily tabloid journal Expressen - to blog direct, on location.

As I'm not much into Swedish journalism. their names are not familiar to me - Isobel Hadley-Kamptz and Björn av Kleen. But now I can read what they read on their long travel by (train I suppose), whom they have made interview appointments with for the coming days, quite a lot of name dropping - and other minor reflections. They also try to make some ping pong with comments. Apparently sketchy styled, instant writing on the fly, but even the spontaneous looking could be prepared in advance. I like the idea of instant journalism as it is used here, although I don't know how much I would pay attention to this sort of blog myself - not unless I had the intention to go there myself. I used to go to the Danish Bogmesse for many years to get inspiration for my reading and to hear some of the authros tell stories about their books, but lately I have found this kind of mass venue to noisy and too crowded for my liking - and my tinnitus. So yes, perhaps a Danish Book fair blog would attract me and make me read day for day. After all I am Danish, I live here and this is where I would find the books that are published here; we only rarely see books translated from Swedish to Danish. Which does not matter to me as I read Swedish with ease; but it does matter because Swedish literature would not be exposed and discussed often here. Same goes of course for Norwegian, Finnish or Icelandic literature. And even less I know about Faroean authors from today. If there is any worth mentioning.

SO -I will keep an eye on the Swedish Bokmässan Kulturblog in the coming days and see if I get to know a bit more about what's shaking hinsidan- on the other side of Öresund - now that we do have the new Öresundsbron, the bridge connecting Sealand in Denmark and south Sweden, there should be access to a broader exchange of culture.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Wiki wise collaboration

Wikis, wikis - are they really as easy as peanut butter? This is what Jay Cross is exploring and reporting. He's currently prepareing a conference with a dozen people , using a wiki system called pbwiki.

I like how he introduces the Wiki concept and advantages to his fellow group members, pointing at simplicity, transparency and the need to get out of your confort zone and try doing new things!

I am working on a wiki-based project plan right now as well; I used to find wikis a bit tough, yuou would have to write html code, and I could not keep track of pages: today's wikis are less intimidating because you work with a rich text editor and a hierarchic system showing pages and subpages. Also, I was skeptical because I did not trust the openness: I was fearing that evil intruders would spoil the fun; but apparently there is no loss of data, you just go back to a previous version. I'll get back with more on working wiki wise. Our wiki is a wikispace, good looking and easy.

Blogosphere in primary school - according to Steve o'H

For some time, I've tracked the tag blogosphere, and today I I found the most beautiful bid on what this means to young learners, primary school kids in the UK. It is a film with interviews of teachers and students explaining why blogs is just such a great deal. The film maker is Steve o'Hear whose deep insight in ICT, children and human kind(ness), facilitates the mission of this video. Although most of these enthisuast young children interviewed were just ordinary girls and boys from the after school blog club, I was most of all deeply impressed about the autistic children's approach; Their teacher explained how the way blogs are constructed helps them focus and gives them a voice! Also, some foreign children reported that blogs allowed their distant families living abroad to stay updated with the child's work.

I'm hoping to obtain Steve's benevolent presence as one of our invited guest speakers and inspirators, in the coming EVO 2006 blog course (more about this soon).

The Blogosphere video will be streaming from Teachers' TV

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Tagging in Blogger

I have not yet found out the best way to tag posts in Blogger blogs. Leigh Blackall agve me a hint some days ago as a comment to my cry for help. Now I'll try a traditional HTML hand coded string and see if I got it right; I tried to do this from my Blogger for word program (where a menu bar takes me straight from inside my Office word document and to this very blog) - but with no good result

This is a test! I think I'd better do this in Edit HTML mode that in the more wysiwig style Compose window - here goes:

Cool Tools 2005 evaluation

Cool Tools 2005  evaluation
Last week,  I had the pleasure to participate in the Australian Cool Tools conference, and today they sant a survey to ask for my degree of interest and satisfaction. As always, I prefer the extra comments that were also encouraged, over the simple grading of statements. So, as not lo lose sight of my evaluation thoughts, here they are.

More and more people become confident and feel at home in Elluminate, like I think they were in those two sessions I participated in, and this creates a pleasant flow in the conversation with presenters. This is a meeting competency so much needed by educators and presenters,  which I've remarked is  developing over time, indicating that we do need to encourage playful practice lab sessions at any possible moment!

Well - I find that "this type of event" is getting better and better for each time I join something happening online. Just keep working ahead, these social technologies and the individual skills to use them for common needs, always will grow best in dynamic, interactive community contexts, and so it be!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Podcast solutions book by Geoghegan & Klass

Podcast solutions – a book coming with a cd packed with podcasts about the book

Just started reading the book that just arrived from Amazon, UK  - to my home here in Farum Denmark. I'm a regular listener and chat participant in the edtechtalk podcast every Sunday at 2 pm GMT. They even invited me for a spontaneous Skype  interview some weeks ago - to talk about a weekend course in blogging was facilitating at Knowplace.

Ever since I've been sold  - simply need to find out how to work around podcasting on my kichen table - how can teachers to make language learners want to listen and talk?
This is what Webheads are talking about - every week, from all over the world. Just listen  - so many different accents!

I'll follow up with postings in my blog about this book and what I get to know, from now on.

Michael Geoghegan’s blog

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

UBC Lamberson & Lamb on RSS in Horizon Wimba

This evening's Horizon Wimba session was devoted to yet another presentation of RSS
Enlivening your course with RSS
by Brian Lamb and Michelle Lamberson from UBC. Vancouver BC. Rich contenbt, many inspiring examples, they did app sharing & webcams and apparently no major glitches, just a bit of echo (when one of tghem forgot to turn off his microphone when she was talking).

We were using the newest update of Horizon Wimba, my audio listening worked smoothly and I think I had more access to some control over my own window, also I found a (cryptic to me, but potentially interesting) connection log, might help me detect when and why I am disconnected from time to time in almost every online session I'm in - even on Skype. And of course also figure out how to troubleshoot similar events happening to other users.

Apart from my observations on the virtual classroom functionality, tis session was another proof of the folksonomic wave now also invading education, with updated content on topic oriented RSS aggregated pages, tagging your curriculum, etc etc. Students will need to learn developing critical evaluation skills more than ever before in education I think - they have access to tons of information updating minute for minute, but what should they trust, and how to create a blogroll of one's own! This kind of stuff is part of digital literacy of tomorrow - and of today, now is here!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

TAFE session: social software, tags, creative commons

Listening to a great presentation by Sean Fitzgerald and Leigh Blackall from TAFE just now, they're sharing their knowledge and links for all sorts of collaborative www2 social software - blogs, wikis, tagging, blog rolls, creative commons. Here's a link to their wikispace

Now, right now I'm wondering where I can tag blogger posts! Don't see any tag place in this Rich text editor (logging in from mac today, may have to look for how this looks in Windows.)

Monday, September 12, 2005

Which blog tool for 2006?

Which blog tool would you prefer for collaborative work with students in 2006?

This is an inquiry to find out how to make the most out of the coming EVO 2006 session on blogs. Anna Koorey is coordinating a proposal, Bob, Jane and I have accepted to teamwork on this while Bee and some other key persons have said that they would like to present when we get to the real thing.  And today, Anna and I have been brainstorming which aspects of blogging in education we would like to focus on. At they have developed a tool for collaboration and portfolio building, it is still under  development and a major update is about to be released soon I think, hopefully with as more up to date rich text editor that does not require HTML skills. I do like their FAF feature, a cluster of friends of a firend that allows you to read  text and image blogs across participants in a group, or rather people whose interests are connected somehow. Still, it is a very small community with only few active blogs as far as I can find out. There is a file folder for each and perhaps also for groups – will need to dig deeper into this to find out pro & con. Design is not fancy, simplicity rules, but probably this would change whenever someone starts designing nicer skins for your choice.

Another possibility for the collaboration part of the session would be working with blogger , as in this group blog. I’m personally fond of their newest gadget which is a plugin for MS Word – I’m now typing and formatting from a Word document, using a Blogger menu bar with four buttons: Blogger settings, Open Post, Save as  draft and Publish. Very neat tool. And Blogger is so easy to explain to newbies  - they can start instantly working on postings and not worrying  about formatting as they have a nice interface with tools menu, links creator, etc. Also the access to post audio messages from audioblogger is good.

And then, there’s Yahoo 360 that has merged with Flickr, and from where you would also have access to your Yahoo email, your groups, your Messenger contacts and your  own homepage editor  at geocities, etc etc

Monday, September 05, 2005

Edtechtalk featuring; Sus Nyrop about blogging enhanced

This weekend, i have been quite busy online, with the workshop at knowplace about blogging enchanced with images and audio, and with the interview in Edtechtalk, where I was invited with a short delay by Jeff Lebow, the developer of
This was really fun and a good experience for me to practise my spoken language. First, we had a long voice chat with Daf on vacation in Spain, using a cell phone and being Skyped into a conference webcast direct. We're still pretty new to this innovative format - but I find this is not hard to do. Welll - it was very improvised and I would like to find out what I really said when it came to my 25 minutes interview.

You never know who would be listening to his, but surprisingly I had several Skype calls while being on the air which I had to refuse as I did not kn ow what to do with them; it was not my conference and there is a limit of five in the Skype conf room. Geoffrey Kaye from Australia was listening and would like to ask some questions in the call during the show, but talked with him later; we met online some years ago. He's currently working with some third world countries as an edtech consultant, and we discussed how satellite cell phones may help to bring information, communication and e-learning to people in remote areas. I would indeed wish to learn more about his field of work, in some African states. I hope that he will get in touch with the Worldbridge people and suggest a topic for a session.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Welcome back dear Wacom pad!

Welcome back dear Wacom pad!

Did you ever try to make a drawing with the computer mouse, with a desperate feeling of being brought back to the scribble age? Then you would probably imagine something more well known to your hand movements, such as a digital pen tool. That was one of my very first computer gadgets - a Wacom pad with a pen, allowing my drawing efforts to look not so clumsy. But after I moved over to a modern laptop, I could not use it because the old Wacom pad used the mouse port on my keyboard - and newer computers use USB or firewire. I've been missing this tool indeed.

When I saw a modern USB version Wacom Volito 2 on sale today, in Netto -  for just 249 Danish Kroner (about thirty-some Euros or US dollars, I was instantly hooked and went home, happy as a child, to rediscover how cool it is to be able to draw just naturally with a pen, or a sharp pencil, or a smooth broad brush, or an eraser.