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Archive for September, 2009

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howstuffworksYay! Wish I knew about these sites today when I was working with a teacher desperately searching for information on electrical circuits. Once again, Jane’s E-Learning Pick of the Day points me to interesting, new web tools.

Here are a few I could have used today….

  • How Stuff Works
  • YouTubeEDU – I use YouTube a fair bit but wasn’t aware of EDU version
  • Instructables – this was very helpful!
  • eHow – there is an education section  – laughed at the article about how to deal with a mean teacher!
  • WikiHow – wow! There’s a wiki for just about everything!!

But my favourite suggestion from Jane was the Best London Underground Tube map. For those of you who are familiar with the Tube map in London – I dare you not have a belly laugh at this version!! Go take a peek!

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Worth a look!

JC Canal 2 014I am always surprised at how quickly time flies when I am just browsing the web. I have drifted away from viewing some of the blogs I use to regularly visit, and instead I have had fun searching out some new blogs.

Here’s a peek at what I found or re-visited today.

Printing-the-internet-bed1

I love photography so I regularly visit Sydney Eye (photo above) which is just brillliant! Julie takes stunning photos in and around her neighbourhood of Glebe, Sydney and posts them daily on her blog.

Creative Cloud is a blog with gorgeous photos and artwork. I discovered it today based on a recommendation from Jane’s E-Learning Pick of the Day. I had great fun checking out all the links like this poster about the internet. A true visual feast that portrays sobering social messages as well as those that are just plain fun!

From this blog I stumbled across Wikimedia commons.  Yet another wiki tool, this site has some really lovely photos and media files in any number of categories.

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Viewed this YouTube clip in a meeting today with my colleagues from CAtholic education in NSW. We were discussing the possibilities of harnessing Web 2 for our roles in supporting schools. We shared our experiences so far – pretty diverse from “newbies” to “techies”. I think I am in the middle somewhere!

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It takes an experienced ESL teacher like Paul Dufficy to exemplify what good, challenging learning looks like. In any context. So to the presenters of 21st Century learning last Friday….take note!!!!

cline taskPaul, who is also a lecturer at Sydney University in ESL, had our large audience of K-12 ESL teachers totally engrossed in learning. He shared his knowledge about rich, challenging learning tasks for ESL learners and provided some stimulating collaborative learning tasks for us to engage with. The substantive conversation that the teachers generated with each other, as a result of these tasks, was brilliant!

Paul re-visited the notion of frontloading prior to engaging students in reading texts. Tasks that engage students in talking about the “big ideas” of a text before they read it. In essence, building the field but making it quite challenging.

Teachers were making links to their own context, critiquing the tasks and suggesting modifications that would work with their students, deconstructing how the task supports language learning and…………they were having FUN doing this!

Like Paul said, well-structured learning can be more powerful if it is fun!

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Web_2BEST: Joining Ben’s VoiceThread conversation. Brilliant stuff! See my posts below.

WORST: Incredibly disappointing seminar on Friday about 21st Century learning. Needless to say it was more about product placement (Telstra, Microsoft etc) than elaborating on 21st Century learning. What a sham! At least I got something out of the Twitter conversations! Perhaps they should have invited Ben and his Kindergarten classmates from Regents Park in Sydney to show them 21st Century learning in action!!!

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02062009(006)An update on my earlier post about Is a giraffe taller than a whale?

Check out some of the conversation Ben and his classmates had..

6 m that’s not big. The dinosaur is the biggest it has 40m.
The giraffe isnt tall at all!

But the dinosaur is not bigger because the whale is 150 tonnes and the dinosaur is 80 tonnes.

oh yeah and then giraffe is really small because its only  2 tonnes

503606552_c5e71096b2_mIn response to how big a metre is, they had this to say…..

Well i’m 130cm

Yeah, and a meter has 100cm

So i’m 1m and 30cm

The next decision the students had to make was how to measure a metre. They had some good ideas….

You can find it with a tape measure or string

We think this much is a meter up to my eyebrows.

We think this much is a meter.
But we can really know if we do it with measuring things.

02062009(010)How’s that for thinking!! It didn’t stop there. More children became involved in a discussion on how to represent the information they found. In particular, how best to build a real-life model of an adult giraffe!

That’s for another post.

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