Wednesday, 1 October 2008


I met Geoff and Phill, "The Simmonds Brothers" back in 2005 when we invited them to Auckland to speak to a group of enthusiastic educators about life, music and animation. They use a unique combination of real life stories, retold and recorded then set to their own very individual style of animation. Their most recent documation project, 'The Making of the Volunteers, the world's first animated reality series is chronicled weekly in a mash-up of documentary footage and cutting-edge animation'.

This mix really works as a medium for retelling stories and sharing 'voice'. The Simmonds share some of their films including some behind the scenes thinking on creating them. My favourite is Pearl, Florrie and the Bull.

Great to see some films by students mixing it up and has me thinking more broadly about student voice...see below from Onehunga High.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Embedding video in your blog post

A response to Alison's recent comment...
"I've tried adding a couple of videos sourced from Youtube about 21st centuryteachers/kids/literacy.. on a post but had trouble embedding the codes ..any thoughts?"

I have found when embedding code in a blog post in Blogger that the software behaves itself better if I click the Edit Html button in the top right hand corner of the editing field. This turns any hyperlinks etc that you have included in your post into html. Then paste your code into the editing field and publish. I always use the edit Html button if I am embedding code for a video or another widget like slideshare, bubble share etc. It will look something like below( click image for larger view), you can see the code pasted after the initial text and that the Edit Html button has been clicked.

While on the subject of video and 21st Century teachers, I have recently posted on my cluster blog..."There are no natives here..." To engage with the technology simply to entertain without appreciating how it can be harnessed to make a difference to learning and consequently actions that are 'significant' involve development of new understandings about the technology for both teachers and students..."there are no natives here".
Michael Wesch explores these ideas and provides some useful frameworks, understandings and examples of a 21st Century teacher...well worth investing the time to listen and consider.

Thursday, 19 June 2008

twitxr sounds like 'twitcha'

Posted about twitter here last year when I added the TwitterLit widget to the sidebar of this blog. Have found twitter can be useful when I need help with something quickly. I also pick up alot of handy tips and links from the community 'tweets'. So for my immediate learning some definite advantages. I could also see the possibilities of using it as a collaborative tool to support a groups working on a project as accounts can also be set up as a private community.
Extending on this idea a link from Lenva led me to twitxr sounds like 'twitcha'...a variation on twitter using pictures. I am liking its potential as you can upload pictures from your phone capitalising on the 'moment'... now I just need an iPhone ;-)

Also had been looking at Nixit's A day in a year in a life project and thinking how twitxr could be utilised in similar ways. Nicki tells me she had been envisaging this idea used as a photo diary so twitxr would be a useful alternative especially with the phone upload. Also images and comments can be posted from anywhere and individual twitxr widgets inserted on any collaborative online spaces.

More twitter stuff here...have a look at Haiku-Tue: All Haiku, All Tuesday ( Thanks Summerland tweets)

Friday, 11 April 2008

Seven Habits of Highly Connected People

This article by Stephen Downes reflects similar thoughts from a previous post on 'Students and Blog Talk' from the work of Konrad Glogowski

Seven Habits of Highly Connected People highlights the value of participating online in ways that can add value and impact positively on the ways in which we collaborate and communicate not only online but face-2-face.
  • Be Reactive
  • Go With The Flow
  • Connection Comes First
  • Share
  • RTFM
  • Cooperate
  • Be yourself
It is inspiring to see and read about educators who are reinforcing and supporting their students to share, connect and contribute in ways that require them to think purposefully about their participation.
Thanks to eLearn Space weekly blog summary for this link.

Post Script April 15th 2008: Just read this on my aggregator from Lenva Shearing at BBI, words which reflect the importance of eLearning and effective pedagogy.

Sunday, 30 March 2008

ICT Community News

Our ICTinEnglish Blog has been recommended on the TKI ICT Community News page, many thanks to Penny Harrison. It is worthwhile checking in on the community news page regularly as there are always new and valuable online resources highlighted, that will save you lots of time. Also listed is a link to work by Andrew Churches on a revised Blooms Taxonomy that recognises the impact of digital technologies on learning...well worth reading.

Also I would recommend that you register for Hot Topics a collection of online resources based around current topical events that relate to NZ and current world events. Again alot of the sourcing for quality web resources has been done for you. When you register you will be emailed out or you can access them directly online. The current Hot Topic is ANZAC

Monday, 3 March 2008

Online Collaborative Projects

I would really appreciate your feedback on an online resource that I have been beavering away at : Handpicked Collaborative Projects is a site especially for NZ teachers and is a collection of pedagogically-sound, active, online collaborative projects. It means that as teachers come across projects and evaluate them that ‘the best ones’ can be shared. This site is still in its infancy stage but I hope your input will change that.
Cheers Rochelle Jensen: E-Learning Advisor, Uni of Waikato.

Students and 'Blogtalk'

Questions around engaging students in blogging through commenting and responding to others is a challenge and has frequently been raised in posts here…with some great examples in NZ schools being shared in this blog. I picked this post up off my aggregator while catching up on some reading this weekend.

From Konrad Glogowski, the blog of proximal development. His latest post shares some interesting strategies he is exploring with his students around their participation and response to their learning within a wider community of learners, including peers and teachers.

“It’s not enough to know how to grow a blog, to pick a topic and keep contributing to one’s blog. Our students must also be aware of the class communities in which they learn”(Glogowski, 2008).

We often hear how peer pressure in social networking sites has resulted in negative implications. While todays' students have been labeled 'digital natives' I also wonder if in doing so we make an assumption that along with understanding how to access and use the technology, students also have an innate ability to participate with empathy and understanding in a digital environment? (I am sure we don't make these assumptions F2F). I was particularly interested to read how Konrad has harnessed the power of the learning community to support student learning. He is (like many NZ teachers) providing his students with opportunities and positive role models of what it means to ‘relate to others’ in an online environment.

Would be interested to read your thoughts on his post. If you leave a comment on Konrad’s blog please add a link to it in the comments here too.

Saturday, 23 February 2008

Animation and Education at Learning@School

I have just returned from the Learning@School Conference in Rotorua for the ICT PD Cluster network. I wanted to bring to your attention the release of MARVIN. Promoted by the developers as “the world's fastest growing avatar (character based) animation and education resource development platform in the world”, it enables teachers and students to develop and share 3D content easily and without having to grasp a lot of new skills. The software comes with a library of animated characters that are also designed with a specific age group target. Users can then add background images, written text, text to voice as well as recorded voice in a language of choice.
The potential to create interactive content specific to learners’ needs and context as well as content that reflects cultural and social frames of reference makes this software potentially very appealing. Purchase price and licensing sounds reasonable (I suspect because of support from Microsoft) and schools can also access training. I have a demo disc so will be exploring this further with some teachers in our ICT PD cluster. Find out more and register online.
If you are using MARVIN with your students now or in the future please post a comment here or email me. It would be useful to see some NZ examples.

MARVIN is for Windows, however I was sitting with Dave Young at the presentation yesterday and he fired it up in Parallels on his Mac ( below left) and it seemed to behave itself a little better than the presenters copy ( below right)

tags technorati :

Saturday, 9 February 2008


Greetings everyone and welcome to 2008.

Looking forward to continuing the development of this space as a team blog. The community welcomes contributions through commenting on individual posts however if you wish to post as an author visit the ICT in English wiki for instructions. See below for a couple of current events that you may be interested in exploring further.

If you are attending the Learning@School Conference in Rotorua from 19-22 February 2008 you may be interested in visiting the Bloggers Cafe, an opportunity for some face-to-face and a place where you can pick up some tips on blogging.

International Year of Languages
The following was posted on the List Serv by Roslyn Teirney (GATEWAYS Project Leader Ogilvie High School, Tasmania) and I thought it was worth including for ICT in English blog readers too.

2008 has been declared "International Year of Languages" by the U.N. General Assembly. It is described by Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, as "a unique opportunity to make decisive progress towards" ensuring "that the importance of linguistic diversity and multilingualism in educational, administrative and legal systems, cultural expressions and the media, cyberspace and trade, is recognized at the national, regional and international levels."

For more details see the
wikipedia entry.

There is a gathering place for those wishing to support 2008 IYL on Facebook in the groups section of that fantastic networking site.

There were 100 members by Jan. 1 and 1000 on Jan. 23, and they are still aiming for 10,000 by International Mother Language Day, Feb. 21.