Tuesday, 30 November 2010

ICTs in English Update - it's a bumper edition!

In this update:
  • e-books
  • Upcoming conferences
  • Handy handouts
  • Moodle 2.0 news
  • Free PD opportunities
It has been a busy couple of weeks on the forum with a lot of discussion around e-books! There is clearly a divided camp out there - one still passionate about the tactile experience of paper books and those passionate about the pragmatic nature of the e-book. I for one am happy to have a foot firmly in both camps - I will always love the smell and romance of a second book shop and will continue to collect and fill book shelves around the house. That said, I also think I need (okay...want) an e-reader for Christmas - much easier to transport a virtual library to my seaside summer holiday! Or maybe I need an ipad (for the virtual magazine shop).
It would be interesting to see how we would view this forum discussion in 10 years time?! Would we be heartened or humoured. It sort of reminds me of the discussion that used happen when vinyl started to be CDs and now itunes...I guess it is just a matter of "only time will tell".

Karen Melhuish shared some interesting resources to support this discussion:
Electronic books in the just-released Horizon Report 2010 (from page 8)........sneak peek via Derek Wenmoth's blog

Upcoming Conferences

Learning @ School Conference

23-25th February 2011.

Much Ado About English

IFTE /NZATE Conference 2011

18-21st April 2011

Of particular interest to this forum is the strand 'New Technologies, New Practices'

This strand invites contributors to focus on, but not be limited by, one or more of
the following sub-themes:
• Impact of digital technologies on teaching and learning
• Challenges and tensions for teachers
• Changing parameters of the classroom
• Transformative possibilities for teaching
• Online learning
• Digitization of literature
• New conceptions of text
• Pedagogy of e-learning
• Co-construction and the digital classroom
• Assessment practices in new times
• Plagiarism, intertextuality and creativity
• The social networking classroom

Check out the details (and consider presenting a workshop as well!)

Finally, here are a few things I have been working on and looking at over the last couple of weeks. I thought they may well useful as you start to think about how you might integrate ICT into your planning for 2011

Handy Handouts

I have put together a series of handy one page handouts suitable for teachers or students, including:

  • Introduction to Facebook Groups
  • Introduction to Google Sites
  • Introduction to Google Forms
  • Introduction to Google Docs
Moodle 2.0

Many of you will have heard that Moodle 2.0 is coming. It was officially launched on 24th November. If you are intereted in finding out more about how Moodle 2.0 differs from the present version, you can check out the release notes here:

You can find out more about Moodle on Software for Learning

PD opportunity for teachers - a free online seminar for Google Apps for Education

With senior classes gone and the term winding up, you might like to take up this opportunity for some free PD!

Taking the Core features of Google Apps to the next level.
Skill level: Intermediate
Lead by Michael Wacker, Google Apps for Education Certified Trainer and Google Certified Teacher

We will explore 5 "killer" features to be used in a K-12 setting in 5 Google tools. Take your Google
astuteness to the next level. Join us to learn tips and tricks on Search, Documents, Forms/Spreadsheets, Sites, and Calendar.

or you could simply check out a Google apps demo here.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Secondary English Teacher Blogs

It was great to hear about some of the ways that English teachers and departments are thinking about and are integrating ICT into their class and department practices.

After the Introduction to e-learning workshops at the SAATE (South Auckland Association of Teachers of English) PD day held on Friday, Chris from Aorere College shared their Dept website with me. Still developing content but you can see what they are doing here Aorere English Department.

Manurewa English teachers are experimenting with the new 'group' content of Facebook. After finding that the students were not that keen to use the school 'intranet' group pages were set up for some English classes. Students familiar with and already using Facebook were ready and willing to discuss there class texts there. Teachers also found that the their personal profiles were no longer of interest to the students!

What else is being done in Secondary English teachers out there.....

Monday, 8 November 2010

ICTs in English Weekly Update - Digistore, Software for Learning and Mix and Mash Month!

Last week Fiona Grant sent out some updates:

Wiki Updates
Digistore wiki: Teaching and learning with primary sources (original documents and digital objects) Practical support material for teaching and learning with primary sources. Includes archived materials from NZ and international museums and libraries. Includes some very handy teacher guides and analysis tools that can be downloaded and repurposed.

Software for Learning wiki: Focusing Inquiry
In this snapshot of learning see how a 'smart tool' can support teachers to learn about their students' learning. The snapshot includes easy to follow instructions that can be downloaded to accompany short screencasts demonstrating each step.

Mix and Mash Month
A chance to show the world what you can do with New Zealand digital content and data. Entries close Tuesday 30 November 2010

Categories include:

Best redesign of a teaching resource

Awarded to the best new teaching resource created by remixing existing educational materials for use in the NZ curriculum.

Best poem inspired by the New Zealand Poet Laureate Awarded to the most inspiring poem remixed from words and images chosen by NZ Poet Laureate Cilla McQueen.

I would still love to hear from you about anything you have trialled in 2010 or are planning for 2011!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Creative Commons, Cloud Computing, Social Networking, Blogs, Wikis and more...

Nothing to report from last week, but I would like to highlight some great free ICT PD opportunities again!

K12 online conference – a free online conference taking place now!
K12 Online invites participation from educators around the world interested in innovative ways Web 2.0 tools and technologies can be used to improve learning. This FREE conference is run by volunteers and open to everyone. The 2010 conference theme is "Cultivating the Future." This year’s conference began with a pre-conference keynote the week of October 11, 2010. The following two weeks, October 18 and October 25, forty presentations will be posted online for participants to view, download, and discuss.

Here are a few more of the presentations that look particularly interesting for secondary (English) teachers.

Creative Commons: What Every Educator Needs to Know - discover how learners of all ages are gaining access to millions of free images, audio files, video elements, and written materials allowing the creation of unique multimedia products.

C^4: Leveraging The Power Of Blogs And Wikis In Student Learning – a great example of how a combination of wikis and blogs can be used in and beyond the secondary classroom (I also like that it is the students teaching us as presenters in this one!)

Don’t Fear the Cloud, Embrace and Leverage It! – a great introduction to the concept of ‘cloud computing’ and why we don’t need to fear Google Docs

The Classroom Social Network – It’s More than Fun, It’s Fundamental to Modern Learning! – great ideas for using social networking to support teaching and learning. Focuses on Weebly, Facebook and Twitter.

All of these presentations will be available indefinitely, make sure you check out the whole conference schedule!

I would love to hear from you about your reflections about how you used ICT in English in 2010 and/or your plans for 2011 – are you using a class wiki? A Google site? Setting up students with blogs? A Facebook group? Sharing on Google Docs? Using Wikieducator? Blogging about your teaching? Using Weebly or Ning? Trialling Prezi as a presentation tool? Creating Learning Paths on Digistore? Share your e-learning stories (or plans) here!