Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Gurkha Justice Campaign

I for one don't tend to get political but there are occasions where injustcie needs to be admitted and sorted out and this campaign is in my opinion one of these:

See the campaign in action here

Gurkhas are fighting for Justice. They want the same terms and conditions as their UK and Commonwealth counterparts.

Britain has had no greater friends than the Gurkhas. They have served all across the world in the defence of our Country for nearly 200 years. Over 45,000 died in the two World Wars as part of the British Army. They are still fighting in the British Army today.

You may have seen in the media that they are fighting in Parliament and the Courts. Step by step, things are getting better - but there is a long way to go.

Today, we expect judgement from the High Court as to whether their treatment has been unlawful in terms of the right to live in the UK if they retired before 1997.

Whatever the High Court decides today, the Government has to change the law on how it treats Gurkhas. We demand the full, fundamental change in law that will allow all retired Gurkhas the right to live here.

By signing up below you will be expressing your support for all Gurkhas. You will be signing our petition, and we will be able to contact you in the future as we mount the largest ever campaign to get them the Justice that they deserve.

Join me in the campaign: together, we can finally right this wrong.

Joanna Lumley

Dim Dim 4 - still a great user interface

At 4pm UK(11am EDT) Sundar from DimDim hosted an online session on the new aspects of DimDim4 - it still has the best look and feel of any of the online video conferencing apps, and is developing quickly, using feedback from users in order to make it even better. If you want to join in and ask questions that get directly back to DimDim go to the website and simply sign up for a session and experience it for yourself.
I think that it is still a powerful contender, perhaps held back by its limit of 20 people per meeting in the free version, rising to 100 with addition of being able to add your own branding in the Pro $99 per year version. In the free and pro versions you can only have one meeting going on at one time but can have meetings spread out around the clock which is useful. Below are some of the key features of DimDim4

Look out for more features from the DimDim crew in 2009.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Diigo Tags 09/29/2008

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Paul's Virtual Worlds Diigo Tags

Following the Jokaydian Unconference in Second Life this weekend here are some of the Diigo links that came from the discussions:

Peggy Sheehy opens the conference with some inspring stories of how SL can be used in education.

HeyJude Online's presentation and discussion at the Joeys Auditorium
  • tags: fotopool

  • Quest Atlantis (QA) is an international learning and teaching project that uses a 3D multi-user environment to immerse children, ages 9-15, in educational tasks.

    tags: virtualworlds, education, elearning, gaming, 3d, web2.0, game, edtech

  • Quest Atlantis (QA) is a learning and teaching project that uses a 3D multi-user environment to immerse children, ages 9-12, in educational tasks. Building on strategies from online role-playing games, QA combines strategies used in the commercial gaming environment with lessons from educational research on learning and motivation. It allows users to travel to virtual places to perform educational activities (known as Quests), talk with other users and mentors, and build virtual personae. A Quest is an engaging curricular task designed to be entertaining yet educational.

    tags: barab, virtual_worlds

  • Project Wonderland is a 100% Java and open source toolkit for creating collaborative 3D virtual worlds. Within those worlds, users can communicate with high-fidelity, immersive audio, share live desktop applications and documents and conduct real business. Wonderland is completely extensible; developers and graphic artists can extend its functionality to create entire new worlds and new features in existing worlds.

    tags: lg3d-wonderland

  • tags: learner, blog

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Paul's mobile microblogging Diigo Tags

The Jokaydian UnConference in Second Life

Come in and listen to Peggy Sheehy on TwitPic

Unconference agenda here

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Teachmeet 08 at the Scottish Learning Festival

Today 24th September the 9th (or was it 10th?) Teachmeet was held at the Scottish Learning Festival, recent Teachmeet's have been streamed through Flashmeeting and this evening at 6pm master of Flashmeeting ceremonies David Noble hosted around 13 educators from the UK and further afield ( including a certain David Warlick!) as the in room host Ewan McIntosh hosted his last Teachmeet. This link will take you the unedited Flashmeeting recording.You may need to fast forward past the initial setting up, however, if you are patient you are in for a real treat, as this I think is the best flashmeeting/Teachmeet yet, even accounting for some very localised Scottish accents.... not all are Scots though, indeed don't miss the first presentation of the evening by Tom Barrett showing some of the inspirational work he is doing in his UK primary school. In the middle of the recording is a visit to the breakout sessions,also a tribute to the departing Mr McIntosh.
For the quality of the learning experience this is a must see recording.

The demise of Skypecasts

I see that from earlier this month (1st September) Skype has discontinued( or in their words - retired) its Skypecasts (beta) as again in their words 'the quality of what was produced didn't quite measure up to the high standards that they required of the service'. This will be a disappointment to those who used it to join in some excellent conversations over VOIP.
However I can understand their decision as the open nature of joining a skypecast could also lead to some less than brilliant examples of VOIP - Skypecasts could literally be gate-crashed by anyone registered with Skype, I remember from the first series of K12Online in 2006 that the 'When Night Falls 24 hour skypecast was on numerous occasions stopped in its tracks by strange interlopers!
I hope that Skype have an idea of how they want to replace the 'Wild West' that was Skypecast!!!

Periodic Table of Videos

Thanks to IB Chemistry online mentor Maria Muniz Valcarcel for bringing to my attention this gem of a site where Nottingham University have put together an excellent resource of short Youtube video clips on each chemical element. They have also thought about the possibility of YouTube video being blocked in many schools - to aid this they have set up a mirror site here which will hopefully allow your school to use this as a resource for your students.
I think that the winner as far as student use is concerned is the interface itself allowing them to visualise where they are in the table and then have the rich full media experience.
Here is the introduction to the series :

You can also subscribe to their Youtube feed here http://www.youtube.com/periodicvideos

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Diigo Tags 09/23/2008

  • An Abergavenny boy and before his untimely death in 2003 an occasional player for Abergavenny Hockey Club.

    tags: no_tag

Monday, September 22, 2008

If you click the EdTech Roundup link above it will take you to the Sunday (21st September) evening Flashmeeting discussion between a group of dedicated UK educators - also here. The discussion was linked around a series of WOW's of the week where particpants explained some of the tools that they are currently using in their classrooms in particular in this show a discussion between the merits of Edmodo ( thanks Jose) and Yammer for secure microblogging. Utterli , Flowgram and Bussu ( for mfl teachers *)also cropped up in conversation. This is weeks discussion was once again ably lead by Doug Belshaw ably assisted by Lisa Stevens the wiki pixie. In the morning I had joined the late night Oz teachers Flashmeeting ably lead by Simon Brown and Sue Tapp with local colour and humour supplied by the ever resourceful Dean Groom

Diigo Tags 09/22/2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Utterli ( nee Utterz)

It has been a day of revelation and multi tasking - Utterli ( the Utterli blog here )came up in converstaion at some point during the day..... from an Aussie I believe. Utterli is a bit more verstaile as a tool than is something like 12seconds.tv I guess. These are the audio/visual equivalent of Twitter were you can join in the conversation and invite others in to either a written or multimedia collaboration.
Utterli is particulalry easy to use and I think could easily become addictive..... ooooh dear!
(Utterli was until earlier this month known as Utterz)

Using Flowgram

Following a packed Edtechroundup this evening, I can't actually remember who it was that suggested Flowgram as a means of recording a presentation, so my apologies to whoever that was! I have had a busy day trying to keep up with the conversation today having been in an OZ tech teachers flashmeeting along with my friend Joe Dale this morning. Followed by hopping into Lisa Parisi and Maria Knee's EdTech talk this afternoon, I was a little punch drunk this evening for the 8.30 to 9.30 Flashmeeting..... however I was keen to give Flowgram a go, the result is below.
It strikes me as a tool which is as easy to get your head around as something like Voicethread in that the recording procees is easy, it even gives you a time line in order that you can organise your presentation. You can use a range of different sources to which flowgram will sync. My small example uses a voice over a blog post, followed by a picture from my hard drive ( I should have voiced over that as well!) You can also upload powerpoint slides for voice overs as well. I thin that it would be great to see how kids in a real class use this tool..... more creatively than I ;-)( the sound effect in the background, not of course a steam train, but Mrs H ironing..... I did my ironing this ironing before joining Sue, Dean and the gang from downunder .... honestly I did!!!!)

A Video that speaks for itself

From David Truss

Yammer - A micro-blog for your organisation

My WOW of the week - is Yammer, Twitter without the hassle!

Yammer recently won the top prize at the TechCrunch 50 event. But what is it and how could it work for you?
Yammer is Twitter-like in that it works on micro-blogging rules of short posts, where it scores over Twitter is that you can set up a Yammer network for your own organisation/ school or social network group which is then closed to others..... no followers only invitees! In addition to the micro blogging you can also tag posts to help colleagues find what they are looking for. If the organisation or someone within it wishes to takes admin rights over the group allowing access controls etc there is a fee of $1 per user per month, but if not the whole system works free for your users.
Below David Sachs the founder of Yammer explains the origins and uses of Yammer

It would be a great system to set up for all sorts of groups - especially perhaps as people consider how to introduce these tools into the classroom - Yammer can be configured to work from SMS (The company already allows interaction with the service via the site, an AIR client, iPhone, Blackberry, IM, SMS and email. This evening they’ve also launched an API to allow third party developers to build Yammer into their applications. ) The AIR client integration means that you can have a Twirl - like update on your desktop.
You could set up your class/subject group up on Yammer and use this as a means of communication for both assignments and as a method of communicating comments on assigments. It could also form part of your education of pupils on acceptable use.
Within a school a Yammer community of teachers would certainly help to begin the process of integrating web 2.0 tools into teachers daily lives with a purpose - I would advise against school admin getting involved as it could soon temper the debate within the group!!
This certainly seems to be something which would be useful in many different schools/organisations as a means of communication that the Twitter community can understand.

Diigo Tags 09/21/2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

Diigo Tags 09/19/2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Diigo Tags 09/17/2008

  • The OpenSimulator Project is a BSD Licensed Virtual Worlds Server which can be used for creating and deploying 3D Virtual Environments. It has been developed by several developers. Out of the box, the OpenSimulator can be used to create a Second Life(tm) like environment, able to run in a standalone mode or connected to other OpenSimulator instances through built in grid technology. It can also easily be extended to produce more specialized 3D interactive applications. Check out the list of growing features to get an idea of what OpenSimulator is capable of.

    tags: opensource, secondlife, virtualworlds, opensim, virtualworld

  • In this presentation we're going to take a preliminary glimpse at SecondLife and discuss what it is, some of the important characteristics and activities taking place in the virtual world and importantly broach some questions on how or in indeed whether SecondLife can be used to facilitate learning in higher education.

    tags: secondlife

Monday, September 15, 2008

Diigo Tags 09/15/2008

  • BeTwittered is a client for Twitter, which is a very popular micro-blog sort of service. Twitters uses are always expanding into new areas, but it’s a great way to keep in touch, or just passively follow what others are up to. If you are not familiar with Twitter, go get a free account and check it out. It’s VERY easy to sign up. Because Twitter is hard to describe well- It’s best to just try it for yourself. Feel free to “follow” me to get started (whether you choose to use BeTwittered or not ) Just visit meta_robert after you sign up, and click the “follow” button on my page.

    tags: betwittered, twitter, software

  • tags: posterous

  • Pat
    I like to hike, read, crochet, teach, and do digital scrapbooking. I retired after 27 years of teaching in the classroom. Now I teach graduate courses as an adjunct instructor for Furman University.

    tags: teaching, education

  • A new US edublogger

    tags: mr

  • Shantideep Adarsh Vidhyasadan is one of the English Medium Schools established in 1998 with 13 students in a backwarded countryside of Bhaktapur district of Nepal. The name of the village is Bageshwori (altitude approx. 1500 metre). It lies in the eastern part of Bhaktapur district. It was established when the parents were not so aware of their children’s education. We (school Management) had to struggle a lot to achieve the sympathy of the parents / villagers. They weren’t convinced in the very beginning and didn’t send their children to this school thinking that we can’t run the school continuously for the long run. As a founder director, I tried my best to build up and uplift the situation of the school. By the end of that year, we were able to impress them showing the out put of our teaching techniques and methodologies. As a result the number of students reached 78 in the beginning of the second year. The number of students has been increasing gradually. But we can’t enroll all the new comers due to the infrastructural and financial problems. Now we have 137 students.We hope we can fulfill the need and desire of our parents/ villagers (target groups) if your contribution on the infrastructural or/and academic sectors can be entertained.

    tags: savschool

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