17 October 2007

Cell Phones as Classroom Learning Tools

I listened to one of the K12 Online Conference 2007 presentations in the New Tools strand. WOW!!! What a great presentation. I assumed that the info wouldn't be that useful, but I was wrong! I only use my cell phone to talk to friends and family without texting. And even tho the phone has a camera I haven't really used that feature because I didn't know what I could do with the photos. Now I do. And I now know how to make and share a podcast.

Liz Kolb explores using cell phones as data collection tools: audio recorders, digital cameras, and digital camcorders. Additionally, she discusse how classroom projects can be developed for cell phones: creating ring tones, text messaging, mobile WebPages, and mobile surveys. Finally, she looks at the future features of cell phones and how those features can play a role in learning
Since most teens already have cell phones why not tap into this ready-made tool. The cell phone could provide motivation and readily available learning opportunities. I was amazed at the free web applications that are available to use with cell phones and landlines (for those without cell phones). AND most of the projects can be completed outside of the school day. Many of the examples given during the presentation are useful and practical; like field trip or travel diaries or digital storytelling or photo collages.

I highly recommend this presentation. Ms Kolb's blog and presentation wiki are full of great resources and examples of educational uses of cell phones.

15 October 2007


Today is the first day of the K12OnlineConference. I received the first four presentations via audio podcast right after I got up this morning (they were due to be published at 7 am my time). Later in the evening after watching Dancing with the Stars I began a download of the video for the keynote in the New Tools strand. While waiting on the download, I was able to listen to its audio. It was only about 2 minutes long, but I didn't think anything was amiss. I proceeded to listen to the two presentations in the Classroom 2.0 strand while waiting for the video to download. I went into the conference blog and went to some of the links provided for each of the presentations. Probably spent about 90 minutes. Finally I began to read comments about MoreThanCoolTools. Should have read them sooner!!! probably before I even tried to download. There was trouble publishing the complete mp3.

One of the presentors, D'arcy Norman, had given another url for a lower quality video at google videos, which I tried. It loaded right away and I proceeded to view the New Tools keynote (53 min.)

The manner in which each presenter discussed Web 2.0 tools and the "trends" in development and use are very enlightening. I have used or was familiar with most of the tools used as examples in the presentation, but I hadn't really thought about the broader perspective or the "big picture". These are the trends discussed and explored in the presentation:

  • embedding
  • connecting people
  • socializing
  • collaborating
  • sharing
  • remixing
  • liberating
  • filtering
  • disrupting

Two of the last three trends, liberating and disrupting, are things I had not realized at all. I still need to digest and reflect to fully understand them.

I also wanted to mention that the comments and discussion (scroll down)that take place in the blog will also be a great source of learning!

13 October 2007

K12 Online Conference: Playing with Boundaries

I have been reading and exploring at the First Timers wiki. The Connected Planet Guide is very helpful. The conference takes place over two weeks, however, sessions will be available 24/7 after they have been published to the conference blog.

The first week is Oct 15 - 19 with a live Elluminate Fireside Chat taking place on Oct 20. Classroom 2.0 and New Tools will be the focus this week. “Classroom 2.0″ presentations will focus on instructional uses and examples of web 2.0 tools and the “New Tools” presentations will be "nuts and bolt" instructions for using web 2.0 tools with beginner's and advanced sessions.

The second week is Oct 22 - 26 with a live Elluminate Fireside Chat taking place on Oct 27. The focus this week will be Professional Learning Networks and Obstacles to Opportunities.

"Professional Learning Networks" presentations will include:

  • tips, ideas and resources on how to orchestrate your own professional development online;
  • concrete examples of how the tools that support Professional Learning Environments (PLEs) are being used;
  • how to create a supportive, reflective virtual learning community around school-based goals,
  • and trends toward teacher directed personal learning environments.

Unearthing "opportunities from the obstacles" rooted in these boundaries:

  • copyright,
  • digital discipline and ethics (e.g. cyberbullying),
  • collaborating globally (e.g. cultural differences, synchronous communication),
  • resistance to change (e.g. administration, teachers, students),
  • school culture (e.g. high stakes testing),
  • time (e.g. in curriculum, teacher day),
  • lack of access to tools/computers,
  • filtering,
  • parental/district concerns for online safety,
  • control (e.g. teacher control of student behavior/learning),
  • solutions for IT collaboration and more

will be the focus of presentations in this strand.

Presentation teasers are short videos that introduce the presentor and an intro to what you could expect to learn by viewing/listening to the entire presentation.

12 October 2007

Online Conference

I will be attending this conference which has already begun with a preconference session with David Warlick. I signed up for audio podcasts which I thought would help me decide which video sessions to attend. I've listened to David Warlick who demonstrates the lack of boundaries to communication that now exist, yet also the need to create new boundaries in the Web 2.0 world. Now I have discovered a wiki for First Timers which provides helpful info, guides, and links to everything. Check it out.

02 October 2007


Bloglines has just become an OpenID site. OpenID...What is it???

After reading the post at Bloglines I have a little better idea of what it is.
OpenID allows you to create an identity online and use that identity to login to any OpenID supported site. In other words, you will no longer need to create a new username and password for every single website.

It sounds too good to be true. I guess I'll have to wait and see how this idea progresses. The Bloglines team suggest checking out the OpenID Foundation. So that's what I'll do.

Gabcast! Learning #1 - OpenID

Bloglines has become an OpenID website.


Here's another online application that I discovered on The Collaborative Web pagecast. It's a writing tool that can be used individually and/or with others to collaborate on any type of writing project. Writeboard saves every version of a document so that one can easily view and compare different versions. You can subscribe to writeboards via RSS so that you'll always know of any changes made by others. Another neat feature is that Writeboard integrates with Backpack.
If you have a Backpack account you can attach writeboards to backpack pages or see a list of all your writeboards in one place on the Writeboards tab from within Backpack. You can also create new writeboards in Backpack. Using Backpack and Writeboard together is a great way to keep your writing organized (and not have to remember multiple usernames and passwords).

I'm all for having fewer logins to remember, so making use of both these online applications makes great sense to me.