Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Creating a Moodle Quiz

A great tutorial on how to set up a Quiz in Moodle, quizzes are really good for checking understanding, revision of key concepts and giving immediate feedback to students. You are all most probably saying but when will I find the time to write these. I suggest get each teacher in your faculty to log into the course and write a couple of questions each then construct the quiz from these. Even better break your students up into groups, group one for questions, and group two for answers. Get the students to write the quizzes and answers and upload them as a txt file so you can copy and paste them with little trouble over to the question bank.

Monday, July 20, 2009

week one of laptop roll out

We rolled out around 70 laptops at our school last week and Monday was the first day for students and teachers to use them in class, seems to be running well so far.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Web 2.0 and learning

A good presentation from BECTA in the UK, I really like how all the students are learning together and using IT as a tool to create and reflect on their learning. An interesting point is made that space must be made to give credit for this type of learning. What is needed is at the teacher training stage to demonstrate to teachers what can be done to enrich and engage students in their subject areas using ICT.

School Lap Top Program

Tomorrow I will be working with our Dean of Studies and IT support team to begin our laptop roll out to our year 8 students. It has been about a year in the planning and we are ready to go. I have had our Moodle LMS up and running for nearly a year now and teachers are beginning to get on board and the students are logging in more and more. Moodle coupled with our Click View video streaming solution, which I also manage, are a good combination to begin the schools journey into ICT integration and 21st century learning. I am sure it will not all go as planned but if we waited until all possible issues were ironed out we would never get started, so it is G O for tomorrow.

However, the government has not paid for these laptops it is the parents. It is a common mistake to think that the RUD government will pay for laptops in schools, the funding we received was to be strickly used for desktop computers. The desktops we purchased with the government grant have been welcomed by our students, parents and teachers.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Social Networking Tools for Learning

Interesting results from Masie
about the use of Social Learning. What I draw from this is the barrier is not ICT capacity but organisational culture. Also a very strong response in the positive for social learning. Social learning has always been a key way in which people learn so it seems hardly surprising that social learning mediated by IT is going to be any different.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Excuses for not using IT just got harder

Currently my wife is working with senior citizens in a retirement village. One of the residents is 101 years old and most of the other younger participants are early 80’s. What is interesting from an IT point of view is the 101 year old writes poetry and song lyrics and emails them to my wife as part of her study. My father and mother in-law both over 60 regularly use Skype to chat to their grandchildren and keep up to date with family events via Facebook. No one mentioned is in the IT industry or would consider themselves an IT expert. Therefore the excuses that are sometimes, though less so recently, from teachers that this IT Internet thing is all too hard and I am too old to change really lose their meaning.

IT training for teachers now needs to focus on how to collect, re-invent and present information gathered from the digital domain.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Moodle the step by step process

A recent post ( I can't for the life of me find it !) by a Moodler talks about how often Moodles are just static sites with little interaction. While this is most probably the case in many implementations it does not mean that all Moodle sites need to be this way. This has led me to think about how we move from what I call the upload/download step to the interactive step. I tend to divide Moodle rollouts and implementations into a series of steps, this helps explain to others particularly management what is going on because I believe e-learning roll outs are slow iterative and almost organic process.

Step 1 – Getting it up and running, test it and setting up the look of the site

Step 2 – bit of content to get things going

Step 3 – cultivating your Moodle Champions

Step 4 – training, passing it onto your Champions

Step 5 – ramping up the user experience

Step 6 – users creating gravity

Step 7- retraining your Champions and getting them to pass on the knowledge

Step 8 -looking back and asking what has been achieved

Sunday, July 5, 2009

ICT Integration

Good example of use of ICTs to support learning. Notice that the students appear to be enjoying learning. However, the focus needs to be on how ICTs support learning rather than IT for IT sake.

Instructional Practices

Not a bad site, worth a look. Again this sort of thing is all about thinking and actually applying theory. Too often we read the theory, write the essays but fall short when it comes to implicitly using our theoretical knowledge in the field. It would be much easier if teachers had a ready to go set of lessons that demonstrate a theoretical position. This would enable teachers to use an already formed approach, watch it in action and modify it to their needs.

"Rogoff, Matusov, and White (1996) argue that ‘coherent patterns of instructional practices are based on instructional models, and instructional models are based on theoretical perspectives on learning'. Recent research indicates that teachers usually hold implicit theories about teaching and learning that inform their planning and day-to-day decision making. Yet these theories are typically underarticulated, unrecognised, underspecified, and quite often inconsistent if not schizophrenic in their application. It is our contention that clearly stating and coming to understand one's theory (or theories) about teaching and learning can help us to develop a coherent instructional model and then to scrutinise, converse about, and adapt our teaching in ways that hold powerful benefits for teachers and students."

[ source http://www.myread.org/scaffolding.htm ]

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Moodle, Wikis, and Blogs for teaching

This is a great idea for getting started with online learning in your classroom

Simulacra and Simulation AKA World Of War Craft

Game Addiction
The above posts are a salient warning to those who are drawn into the world of simulation. Some simulations – online computer games – are so seductive that they can consume the user. Simulations can become a narcotic with the user wanting more and more, but more is never enough and the simulation consumes its users. The greater the number of users that are consumed by the simulation the greater the power of the simulation. The users simulated/virtual self, embodied in an avatar, increases in importance and within the world of simulation the real self is subjugated by the virtual self.The virtual self initially a doppelganger to the real self consumes its host, the real and virtual self meld into a chimera.

But when does the relationship between the user and the simulation become chronic?


I created this presentation for teachers at my school as a way of starting discussions about how we as teachers can use “The Network/Internet” as a learning space. What I find particularly exciting about the continually growing Internet is its ability to create opportunities for creating and sharing stuff . What this stuff is is up to us and as teachers it is incumbent upon us to guide students to create and participate constructively in the online environment.