Thursday, September 22, 2005

Why use technology in class?

I came across an interesting post by David Jakes, via Will Richardson, about the slow pace of uptake of technology of many educators.



Here's a quote:



"...how many teachers can even design an effective presentation in PowerPoint? How many take advantage of the professional development opportunities available to them? How many internalize technology tools as significant and mission-critical tools required to teach today’s kids. Sadly, the news is not good."




I am waiting to see how many particpants I get at my session on blogging and podcasting in Madrid this Saturday - I know the conference has generated a lot of interest, and some of the speakers are being asked to put on two sessions - I volunteered for this, but I've yet to hear. Hopefully it won't be true, but I have visions of all the classrooms being full except mine, and me standing there talking to three people, who have only come in because the other sessions are full.



Hopefully, I'm wrong about this...

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Interview with Brazil's Number One Blogger

Bee, who was instrumental in raising my interest level in blogging by 200%, and who is always a source of inspiration and great ideas (especially during the EVO2005 session on weblogging that she kindly asked me to co-moderate, along with Aaron Campbell)has been featured in "An interview with Barbara Dieu" on the British Council Brazil site.



In particular, this section of the interview caught my eye:



"So, I´d say that the greatest appeal and strength of blogging lies in this openness and freedom of speech. It´s the “power to the people”, “the can do”, creative pull.



The blogging tool gives you the possibility to act, intervene, create your own content, share it with others, develop your voice and makes you believe that you as an individual, connected to others who share the same belief, can help, make your voice heard and produce change."




Bee also talked extensively about Dekita, which is just one of the many exciting projects she is involved with. Great work, Bee! You're an inspiration to all of us.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

7 things you should know about...

7 things you should know about... from Educause is a series of pdf documents featuring concise information on emerging learning practices and technologies. Each pdf file "focuses on a single practice or technology and describes what it is, how it works, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning."



These information sheets are great introductory leaflets that you could print and leave out in the staff room for colleagues to browse, etc.



They cover:



blogs, videoblogging,
wikis,
podcasting,
clickers,
social bookmarking



I found all but the one about clickers interesting. And I was surprised that they bothered to make an information sheet about clickers and not one on interactive whiteboards, which I think is a far more useful / interesting technology.


I have started to use an interactive whiteboard and am excited about its potential - it really does help with integrating ICT in the classroom and also affects the way you approach teaching a class. If you're using the iwb well, you can't just write on the board, but you need to use the resource in a different way, planning the way your boards will look to your students, and what you will do at various points during the lesson - in this way it is not only a presentation tool, but also an aid to lesson planning.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

British Council Madrid Conference 24th September

Something Old, Something New is the title of the educational conference that is going to be held at the British Council in Madrid on the 24th September.



It's open to all teachers and I'm down to give a session on (surprise surprise) blogging.



Hope to see some of you there.




Blogging: Push Button Publishing for Students and Teachers



A ‘blog’ (short for weblog) is an easy-to-publish website which can be used by teachers and students to make themselves heard and to help form out-of-class and out-of-school communities. Although blogging as a student journal-tool is the most common use, there is so much more to blogging than this. The session will cover everything from basic blogging journals to encourage and improve process writing, to new trends exploiting photographs (photo blogs) and audio (podcasting).