People, People, People

Saturday was my third #EduCampAKL and well worth the caffeine fuelled  drive up from Hamilton to Epsom Girls Grammar School. There were lots of new faces, plenty of familiar ones and a few online friends that it was great to meet face to face for the first time.

Full House at Epsom Girls Grammar School

It was a full house, populated by eager teachers/learners who saw the value in giving up their free time to connect with like minded colleagues from across the education sectors.  It was a day to further our understandings of third millenium pedagogy and the new tools that might be used to engage students and promote effective learning.

PD is often seen as something that is done to teachers (not always the case IMHO) but EduCamps/Barcamps are different. There are no reluctant participants; everyone who is there wants to be there. Twitter once again proved itself the WD40 of social oils and made it ridiculously easy to slip into conversations with strangers previously met online.

Ultimately though, the day was about people*. People sharing and discussing their thoughts, their successes, their pitfalls and reflections. A group of likeminded educators all willing to join with others to connect and collaborate. I wondered again what it would be like to work in a learning environment surrounded by these people.

He aha te mea nui o te ao?

He tangata! He tangata! He tangata!

Next… EduCampBOP …see you there!

 

*and I got a choccy fish :-)

 

Speaking of QR Codes…

It seems my time is spent on Twitter these days, but here’s a new post for my edublogs blog. I saw a link from Mashable on Twitter today and it gave me an idea for a class project.  Here’s a quick video I made to explain.

Of course it needn’t be the student’s own face that the talking mouth is added to.  It could be a character from a book, an historical character or anyone/anything else that suits.  I didn’t use a QR code on my image, but if you use a QR Code generator and upload videos to YouTube you can use the same QR enabled device for many different objects.

The original Mashable post is here.

And this is me… (click the image to embiggen)

QR Me

teachernzandface.jpg

This One’s For You

Last night I saw this trailer on BBC World…

…and then my daughter told me that the Internet had been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize last week.  I was away at school camp at the time and out of “the loop” so this was all news to me.

I started reading around a discovered a few articles in support of the nominations, but many seemed to think it was a ridiculous idea.

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to the person who has “done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” Is it so ridiculous that the Internet receive this nomination?

There’s a Māori saying in New Zealand/Aotearoa –

‘He aha te mea nui o te ao?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata’
‘What is the most important thing in the world?
It is people, it is people , it is people.’

Isn’t that what the Internet is really about?  Isn’t that why we spend time blogging, tweeting or facebooking?  It’s the people.  It’s the people. It’s the people. It’s the global connections and dialogues sans Frontières that are just as real and valid as face to face connections that make the Internet such a powerful tool for peace.

So who is the nomination really for?  It’s for you…  and me…  and everybody else out there trying to make a difference.  Celebrate… it’s not often we get nominated!

teachernz-and-face-b

Just a Test

Following a tweet from @abfromz

abfromz

I thought I remembered something about how to, so I checked the Animoto site and sure enough there were some details about exporting to YouTube and then embedding the resulting video.

Videos

So that’s what @abfromz did… you can see her embedded video here.  It worked.

I decided that there must be an easier way and, after a few minutes searching found this “Embedding Animoto in WordPress!” – I followed the link to VodPod and dragged the bookmarklet to my Firefox bookmarks bar (also works with Google Chrome, but not IE8).

I went to my Animoto page, clicked the bookmarklet and…

vodpodchromeI was thinking of posting to my WordPress.com blog, but I’m using that for my 365 photos.  I knew that Edublogs was based on WordPress, so I filled in my details, added a bit of text and the video was embedded.  It took a few minutes for it to show up, but it worked.  You can see the embedded Animoto below…

…and that’s when I decided to make the test post into something more substantial.

more about “Just a Test“, posted with vodpod
teachernzandface.jpg

Getting Over It

If you’ve read my earlier post Talking the Talk you’ll know how I feel about hearing my recorded voice.  Yesterday the chance arose to take another step up the ladder and produce a video.

@catspyjamasnz asked for people to contribute to her project What My PLN Means to Me and to add a video to the wiki.

So here’s my contribution.  Like I’ve said before, we have to put ourselves out there and get over our dislikes, fears and phobias.  How can we expect children to do this if we don’t?

Minority Report 2

Be warned- this is  very video heavy post

A Saturday morning tweet by @betchaboy

betcha

prompted me to refresh my memory…

I’ve blogged about this Oblong interface before, but I’d forgotten how slick it really was (apart from the naff gloves).

g-speak overview 1828121108 from john underkoffler on Vimeo.

Here it is being used to edit video/movie elements together.

oblong’s tamper system 1801011309 from john underkoffler on Vimeo.

Breed it selectively with this…


a handful of these….

and don’t forget the “glass” wall at the beginning of the Microsoft Future Vision 2019 video. That’s not a glass wall, its a touch screen offering real time translation of voice and text.  The children could be separated by half a world.

Is the combined DNA of these products a likely future tool of interactive education? Or will schools, as we know them, have ceased to exist by then?

teachernzandface.jpg

Sounds Good!

Earlier this week I left a comment (which I later turned into a blogpost) on this post by @wmchamberlain and was invited, via Twitter, to be a contributor at “At the Teacher’s Desk”   As I’d already identified audio and video of myself as a personal dislike I decided that the first step in “walking the talk” would be to use an audio-post as my first contibution to the blog.

Our class blog is provided by WordPress.com and it’s been about three years since I’ve done any real work on a Blogger based blog.  Before writing and recording my audio-post I needed to find out how to embed an mp3 audio player in Blogger.  Blogger (Google) doesn’t make this easy, which is a strange omission in a blogging platform that is otherwise so media friendly.  I thought I recalled doing it previously, but wasn’t sure.

In response to a question from @jlamshed I sent this tweet-

Which was met with a couple of responses.  One from @wmchamberlain suggesting I use Vocaroo (an online recording service) and another from @winetimejs saying I should find somewhere to host the audio file and link it in the blog.

Neither of these matched exactly what I wanted.  They’d both work perfectly well, but I wanted to edit the audio in Audacity to remove any “umms” and hiccoughs I might make.  I also wanted to embed a little player into the blog rather than have a link like this- listen here.  Don’t bother clicking – it’s not a real link!

After following several pomising leads from Google I eventually found this page.  It documents several ways of adding an audio player to Blogger. I used number 1 on the page to produce this player below.

You’ll need somewhere to host your audio file (I actually uploaded mine to WordPress).  After that you need to follow the instuctions, copy and paste the player code and then paste in your mp3 file location. I’m not going to reproduce all the steps here in any detail because they’re all included here.  Just make sure you paste the code into the html view in Blogger.

The page offers other options for embedding mp3 audio in blogger, none of which I’ve tried.  I like the sound of number three, which adds code to the Blogger template so that a player appears automatically whenever you paste in an mp3 link.

One final note.  This only works with mp3 audio files.  If you have any problems you can leave questions and suggestions in the comments.  Happy recording and listening!