Blog Day 2007

Blog Day

Uploaded with Skitch!

I am waiting with baited breath for the clock to tick over to midnight so that I can say that we in NZ can be the first to contribute to Blog Day! The idea is that we all link to five new blogs that we think people may be interested in…

  1. Find 5 new Blogs that you find interesting
  2. Notify the 5 bloggers that you are recommending them as part of BlogDay 2007
  3. Write a short description of the Blogs and place a link to the recommended Blogs
  4. Post the BlogDay Post (on August 31st) and
  5. Add the BlogDay tag using this link: and a link to the BlogDay web site at

So here is my Famous Five

* Coffee Waffle– a Nelson environmentalist, kite man, photographer, canoeist, biker and IT guy.

* Post a Secret– people send in postcards of their most intimate secrets and thus release some of the pain that keeping secrets brings.

* The Mad Kiwi – a rugby mad teacher about start teaching in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.

* Stillpoint Yoga Retreat– converting a Nelson farmlet into an Ashtanga yoga retreat.

I know there is only four but it is 11.59 pm and I need to publish!!

ULearn Presentations

I got notification today of the venues and times for my ULearn hands-on interactive workshops in Auckland in October and thought I would publish it here because I wrote the abstract so long ago I have forgotten what I had said we would do…

*** ICT U Can!

1. Adding a little bling to your blog

Blogging is an excellent way to communicate with your community and make connections around the globe.

We will take a quick look at a few different blogging solutions and then focus on using Blogger as a tool.

We will look at ways to make it as safe and secure as possible, and then get into some fun stuff to add to your blog to brighten it up to make it a resource centre for your class and community.

Best suited to those who already have a blog and want to give it a little bling!

Sky Apple Marlborough Room 1

Breakout Round 5

Limited to 25 participants

2. Getting connected globally with podcasting

In this hands-on session we will have a quick look at a variety of types of podcast, audio, enhanced and video; and different genre of podcasting- scripted, interviews, Skype, video etc.

Then we will look at how to put a podcast together with Garageband, followed by how to have it hosted on line and subscribe-able in iTunes.

One of the great things about podcasting is the way we can use it to connect personally with others in your community and around the globe.

PC users are welcome but learning with Garageband is an Apple application which is difficult to mimic on a PC.

Sky Apple Marlborough Room 1

Breakout Round 6

Limited to 25 participants

Looking at the timetable my two presentations totally conflict with Ewan’s– damn it! Viewing of everyone’s presentations goes live next week and selection in September- if it was anything like last year you need to get in quick to get the sessions you want as there are 1400 registrations this year!

Keeping Ourselves Safe

Every second year the whole school learns more about Keeping Ourselves Safe. The programme is supported by parents, police and a variety of videos as children are helped to understand more about being safe and getting help.
Uploaded with Skitch!

The Year Five and Six class prepared this animation using the Apple application I Can Animate. The animation script follows closely one of the support videos ‘Home Alone’- what to do if you find yourself arriving home and your parents aren’t home yet. Everyone in the class had some role in the production- script, set,animation, filming or production.

It was a great effort- deserving of a wider audience. It has been published on our podcast page but I thought it was so cool that I would share it with in case you don’t subscribe to our podcast.

12.7MB 3 minutes 5 seconds

A Helping Hand Across the Oceans

Having plenty of time to play as you do when you are on leave I took it into my head and via one of my comments to put a Clustrmap on this blog. I registered for Clustrmap as you do and spent and hour or so trying to find out where to put the html. No luck- nothing worked. What to do??? It was close to one in the morning and I don’t like going to bed before these sorts of things are sorted!!!!!


Why Twitter of course! I put out a general tweet for help. Miguel Guhlin leapt in to offer assistance. After asking a couple of pertinent questions he had helped me track down a tutorial in doing exactly what I needed and the job was done.

Graham Wegner also volunteered a hand but arrived a little later into the conversation.

It was a powerful example for me of collaborative learning with Web2.0 tools between Miguel in USA in the early hours of yesterday and myself in the early hours of his tomorrow!


I have spent the last few days exploring VoiceThread, a newish collaborative tool for recording voice with photos and inviting oral comments from others.


To support and record my own use of Voicethread I have made a new post on my tech blog Bling4yrblog along with an actual Voicethread. It takes you through step-by-step how to create a VoiceThread. VoicceThread has lots of possibilities and I look forward to using it in my class next term.

Here is my first effort with Voicethread.

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Thank you John Pearce for your expertise in embedding VoiceThread in Edublogs. You are a star.

Of course you are presently reading the blog of one of the biggest clutzes known to man! You need to make sure your Voicethread is public otherwise you will be the only one on the planet that can see it!!!!! Thanks Paul and Steve from Voicethread himself for your feedback.

Handbrake and Animoto

Today I had a lot of success playing with a couple of new finds.

Download at HandBrake

Uploaded with Skitch!

The first was a link from Paul HarringtonHandbrake – a cross platform application that lets you turn DVDs into something that can be published in a podcast or played as a movie. I was a bit skeptical but will give anything a try. A quick download later and I was surprised just how straight forward it was.

We had written a DVD a couple of years ago when iMovie was new and the source files had long ago been forgotten. Ten minutes later my selected DVD chapter was an MP4. I then turned that into a podcast with a much wider audience than it had sitting on a classroom shelf. This is one for the rugby fans with the World Cup coming up soon.

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get images [step 1/3]

The second find from Ewan MacIntosh was Animoto. With Animoto you upload your photos and they can add the music and make very jazzy slideshows.

I also added a ‘How to’ post on my Tech blog on how to use Animoto.

Here is my practice run

Thank you to Lynne Crowe via Twitter for the heads up that Animoto now embeds in Edublogs. Yay!

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Vimeo- Free Video Hosting for Your Blog

This is turning into a tech tips blog as I haven’t had any child contact now for five weeks. I have been left to reading blogs and sourcing Web2.0 tools to use at a later date and preparing for my presentations at ULearn07. After initially liking Teacher Tube I have gone off it big time because of all the grief it has caused me in the way of browser crashing so I have been off exploring a Dave Warlick recommendation. Dave is a regular contributer to his Blogmeisterblog forum helping us sort out problems and responding to requests.
Join Vimeo

Vimeo is quite cool as you can decide who gets to see your video. This is what it looks like in my class Moturoa blog. Elliott and I made this video virtually in the school holidays. Elliott is ten years old and just got a new camera. He had learnt how to make animation at school but didn’t have Quicktime Pro so he mailed me the photos and I put it together and emailed it back.

Store Wars Animation

Another link from Paul Harrington’s blog. Too good to pass up. Star Wars was my all time favourite movie until Kevin Costner came on the scene. This animated variation is excellent. Hope you enjoy it. [kml_flashembed movie=”″ width=”425″ height=”350″ wmode=”transparent” /]

Nelson Traffic Jam

Paul Harrington in Wales has been playing with Voicethread to record a place based digital story. I have just finished viewing it and I was so impressed I had to return with a little piece of Kiwiana.

Three days ago I was stuck in a Nelson traffic jam as the local council dug up the Tahuna roundabout to improve traffic flow! I had my little Kodak on the back seat and recorded this photo and 7 second video out the driver’s window as we crawled along. Can any of my overseas or NZ readers beat that for a traffic jam view!!!

Nelson Haven


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NZ Bloggers Cafe at ULearn

Way to go Jane. From the deep south Jane has organised a NZ bloggers meet up at ULearn07 in Auckland in October. Now I am looking forward to the event even more. I will be really fired up by then to get started with all the new learning and collaborative projects that I have had time to ‘play’ while I am on leave. Just this morning I was chatting with April Chamberlain from Alabama and setting up a collaboration for next term. April is giving a presentation at the K12 On Line Conference. How cool is that!!

 Jane says….

 “Come along and engage with other bloggers in some lively debate about life, the universe and everything. This would also be a great place for ‘budding bloggers’ to come and learn some tips and tricks from ‘blooming bloggers’. The cafe will be open during morning tea and lunch breaks so come along and join in the discussions. The venue will be advertised in the conference handbook and I am told there will be some aromatic coffee available!

We will need people to help man the cafe during these break times, the idea for the cafe is twofold. The first is so that we can all get together and meet in person the minds we have been reading. The second is to be of help to other bloggers just starting out and who would like some tips and tricks. If you would like to help, please leave me a comment.

I would like to kick the cafe off with a targetted discussion during lunch on the first day of conference. There has already been a suggestion of looking at the issues raised in the Karl Fisch presentations, if you have a topic you think would be a great one to get us started please also leave a comment.

I look forward to meeting my aggregator in person, there are some great bloggers in NZ and I’m sure there are some I haven’t discovered yet.”

Life is not a race

Thank you Jane again and through her to a link on Chris Sessum’s blog to this Alan Watts You Tube video. It pretty much sums up how I feel about life.

In NZ Maori have a whakatauaki (proverb) that I like…

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 the people, the people, the people.

It is the aroha and caring shown to people on a personal level that is more important than learning outcomes and teaching targets. Children need to feel loved, valued and cared about to become successful adults.

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Another Random Meme

I’ve been tagged by Jane Nicholls on the 8 random facts meme.

First, the Rules:
1) Post these rules before you give your facts
2) List 8 random facts about yourself
3) At the end of your post, choose (tag) 8 people and list their names, linking to them
4) Leave a comment on their blog, letting them know they’ve been tagged

Here we go…Image

  1. I have written three resource books on reading- Close Reading of School Journals.
  2. My great-great grandmother was the first pakeha girl born in Nelson.
  3. When I am not playing on my computer I like to do scrapbooking with photos.
  4. I am taking this term off school to care for my mother who entered a rest home today- I hope she is OK.
  5. I lived in a hospice for a couple of weeks as I cared for my sister- strangely it was was one of the most heart wrenching yet rewarding experiences in my life. It affirmed what I believe about family, caring, trust and loyalty- who had those qualities and who didn’t.
  6. I like to swim and am learning to like bike riding as I return my injured knee to good health.
  7. I love going to live musicals- I once played the clarinet in a production of Oklahoma.
  8. I won my laptop in a radio competition. You had to answer seven questions over a week. I Googled the answers to the first six. The winning question was, “What are the upright wickets in cricket called?” I knew!

My Audio of my computer win

Click on the above link to hear me win my computer!!! As an aside getting this MP3 file into my blog was a little technical wizardry in itself. Newstalk 2ZB is a pretty cool radio station as it podcasts much of its stuff and you can listen to the last 24 hours programming. This is how I captured the sound byte. It was WMA format though and I wanted to edit it because it was 15 minutes long. To be able to edit it I opened it with Quicktime, then imported it into Garageband podcast, edited it, exported it to iTunes and then converted it to MP3 for uploading to Edublogs! There is probably an easier way but this way works fine for me!!!

Now I tag

Jocelyn Mackay

Suzie Vesper

Marnie Thomas

Brett Harston

Jason Hando

John Pearce